Throughout the weekend celebration of Peters Hall, Oberlinians scribbled their favorite memories of the building on rolls of paper left by Archivist Roland Baumann.
Here are a few of their recollections:
"This was the center of my universe."
--Corinne Dorf Gunther '47
"My francophone lit class on the 3rd floor--a huge chunk of the ceiling fell out onto a table. Kaa-boom!! Woke us all up and put us on guard for the rest of the semester.
"It was so easy to fall asleep during an 8:00 am class in very warm Peters after being out in the cold winter air--those radiators . . . I must have dozed a lot in my very first term at Oberlin when I had six 8 o'clocks in the fall of 1965."
"Registration lines snaking around the bottom floor, everyone sitting on the floor in line, speculating about whether they'd get the classes they wanted. Also, Oberlin Review story assignments were posted on the main floor."
"I took Latin I and II with Mrs. Cony Sturges in a round room on the first floor. Dean Ned Bosworth was the person that freshmen talked to to register for first semester classes--and, I presume, for all later course selections and changes. We think that his office was behind the fireplace!"
--Bob Bliss '37
"Yikes! Paying my term bills at the bursar's office!!! (Oh, yeah, and French class.)"
--Oscar Riba '92
"I was in an American history class in Peters taught by Geoffrey Blodgett, when the news came that President Kennedy had been shot."
--Constance Bulkley Castillo '65
"My first semester was Spring '95, and the whole time I meant to break in . . . once even got caught trying. Finally, after the end of classes my new girlfriend and I went over and, using wire, a credit card, and a thumbtack, opened a door. I'd never been inside the place, so in the dark all the dead-end staircases, etc. were extra-mysterious. We went up to the observatory, sat on opposite sides, and whispered in the dark. (Sigh.) How romantic!"
--J. Q. '98
"The registration was done via IBM cards. There was a lively semi-black market just before you got to the table--swapping 'Soc' for 'Lit,' etc. All the lovely landscaping around Peters and in front of Peters was bike racks--cement blocks with a groove for a bike tire. In '69 the peaceniks closed down the placement office--wouldn't allow the military, so Obie said 'the whole thing shuts down.' I had anthropology in one of the famous semi-circular classrooms--temperature a modest 85°--in winter. Egad!"
"My first passport photo was taken outside the stone tower at Peters Hall. It was immediately after a 9:00 am government exam (Dean Reich) and I looked like I had spent a year in Siberia! That passport took me to the Obie studies abroad in France, a job in the Virgin Islands, and many business trips thereafter--my Oberlin education also proved to be a passport unto itself. Thanks for saving Peters!"
--Melanie Lenhard Hedler '70
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