In the summer of 2010, Clemans Hall, along with Breese and Nelson dormitories, was demolished to make space for a large five-story, suite-style dormitory. With a mix of room types, the new dormitory is designed for upperclassmen. In addition to having environmentally friendly design features, a portion of the building's décor will honor those buildings sacrificed to allow for this new addition to campus. The buildings' demolition also brought some memories to the surface…literally. Crews were put on alert to locate the time capsules sealed up in the buildings by the students of Oshkosh State College at the time of construction. Capsules from both Breese and Clemans were found.
With this exhibit, the University Archives of UW Oshkosh shares sampled items from the much larger Clemans time capsule, providing background for each item so as to provide a snapshot of what was important to students in the 1959-1960 school year. In its 50-year service to the campus, Clemans Hall was a home-away-from-home for thousands of students. It was the third dormitory built on campus and the first for men. The building was named in honor of Earl Clemans, a science instructor and administrative jack-of-all-trades who held numerous posts including interim-president.
At the time the hall was built, the Wisconsin State College-Oshkosh, known colloquially as Oshkosh State College (OSC), was in the midst of a building boom prompted by a huge surge in students after WWII, as well as a maturation of the school's curriculum beyond just teacher training. OSC, likes its sister schools statewide, was broadening its influence on the state and the local community. Student life and traditions were experiencing a post-war zenith. And, admittedly very slowly, the campus was becoming more diverse. It was truly an exciting time for OSC students, and their pride in their school is reflected in what they chose to include in their time capsule. These materials were destined for just such a moment as this, for just such an audience as us. Take this time to pause and see what these students left for us to discover.