This week marked the fourth iteration of a relatively new Case Western Reserve University tradition: Legacy Week, which celebrates the university’s long, illustrious history. Legacy Week was created in 2017 for the 50th anniversary of the federation of Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University and as a bookend to Homecoming, which occurs each fall semester in the week leading up to fall break. This year’s Legacy Week included a variety of events, some in person and some virtual, put on by CWRU’s administration and student organizations.
The week began with an event hosted by University Archivist Helen Conger and Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Janice Gerda on Monday, April 19. During the event, Conger and Gerda talked about the university’s history and answered questions from students.
Legacy Week ends tomorrow, April 24, with the university’s longest running tradition: the Hudson Relays. The Hudson Relays began in 1910 to commemorate CWRU’s move from its original campus in Hudson, Ohio to its current location in University Circle. While the event will be conducted quite differently this year due to COVID-19, typically each class would put together a team of racers to compete in a 26-mile relay around campus. If a particular class wins the race each of their four years at CWRU, the university’s president and provost will treat them to a steak and champagne dinner. Winning all four years is a rare feat, though.
In between Conger and Gerda’s talk and the Hudson Relays, student boards including the Class Officer Collective, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Undergraduate Diversity Collaborative, the Undergraduate Student Government, the University Programming Board, the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and many other organizations put on events. These events covered a large swath of CWRU’s history and mixed learning with fun activities. One event, RHA’s Clarke After Dark, an annual open mic talent show, was an already existing campus tradition that has recently been rolled into Legacy Week.
CWRU’s administrators are happy that student organizations have taken to celebrating and growing Legacy Week each year.
“[Legacy Week] started as an effort to unite the university through the celebration of our unique history,” said Colleen Barker-Williamson, CWRU’s director of Student Activities & Leadership. “It’s grown as other campus organizations and departments have begun to participate by decorating their spaces, planning events or including it in their social media postings.”