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Friday, May 6, 2016

'Evening at Elms' combines fundraising, fun to celebrate DePauw's 175th year

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dr. Warren Macy (left) presents DePauw President Brian Casey with the student journal of Alberta Williams, a DePauw student from the 1920s and '30s, during the "Evening at the Elms" fundraiser for the Putnam County Museum. The event celebrated the 175th anniversary of DePauw's founding in 1837.
Some 150 friends of the Putnam County Museum attended "An Evening at the Elms," the Museum's winter fundraiser hosted by DePauw University President Brian Casey at his official university residence Saturday evening.

The event is part of a year-long celebration of DePauw's 175th anniversary.

The evening featured refreshments, hors d'oeuvres, music from the DePauw School of Music and a silent auction. The event was sponsored by Asbury Towers, the Banner-Graphic, Bittles and Hurt and Hopkins-Rector Funeral Homes, Collins Evans Real Estate, Cunningham Insurance, DePauw University, DePauw's Department of Art and Art History, First Financial Bank, Greencastle Hometown Dental and HBG Insurance and Bonds.

Therese Cunningham, president of the museum board, thanked Casey and DePauw for hosting the event for the third straight year, then turned the microphone over to Emily Jones Knuth, vice president of the museum board and event chairman.

"This evening we celebrate DePauw's 175th anniversary, its rich and storied past in our county," she said. "DePauw has been a vital piece of our county's culture, notoriety and economic stability.

"Everyone here this evening has some personal connection to the university. You may be a neighbor, or have deep-rooted ties to the university that go back generations. In some way, each of has touched or been touched by DePauw."

Casey, acknowledging Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray nearby, noted that DePauw is currently working hand in hand with the local community to make the most of the Stellar Community grant. When historians look back on this era, he said, they will describe it as an era of cooperation that benefited the entire area.

Dr. Warren Macy, a past president and emeritus museum board member, presented Casey with a special artifact from the museum -- a student journal dating to the 1920s and '30s. He read passages that described the joys of student achievement, marked the dedication of Gobin Methodist Church, and documented the travails of surviving the Great Depression.

Turning to Casey, Macy added, "Through the years DePauw University has been most generous to the Putnam County Museum. Your faculty and staff have given freely of their time and talents to aide our mission. You have provided student interns and volunteers who most capably help fill our staffing needs. And, you have aided our fundraising efforts with events such as this tonight.

"As a small token of our appreciation the museum would like to return this unique journal to the university where, 83 years ago, it originated."

John Schlotterbeck, professor of history at DePauw, looked even further back in time.

"Our founders understood that without Greencastle there never would have been a college here," Schlotterbeck said.

He noted that local citizens pledged $25,000 -- a major sum in the 1830s -- toward the establishment of the university when the town was just 15 years old.

"For 175 years town and gown have grown up together. DePauw's actions have shaped relationships with the community -- expanding into neighborhoods for new buildings, becoming the county's largest employer, opening the Nature Park, and most important, providing a wealth of musical, cultural and intellectual opportunities unequalled in any other small town," Schlotterbeck added.

A new exhibit celebrating the university's 175th year has just opened at the Putnam County Museum, and will continue through early summer. The exhibit was developed by six DePauw students and includes a timeline of student life and campus changes over the course of the university's history.

It features a replica of The Boulder, a longtime campus landmark; the university's first newspaper, the cornerstone from DePauw's first building, stories of legendary DePauw students and professors, and more.

The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 1-4 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The museum is located at 1105 N. Jackson Street in Greencastle, in the former Kroger building.

For more information on the museum or the DePauw exhibit, contact Tanis Monday at the Putnam County Museum, 653-8419, or tanis@putnamcountymuseum.org

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