Celebrating Wright State’s 50th: Online Historical Photos Gallery

Throughout the year of 2017, Special Collections & Archives will help celebrate Wright State University’s 50th anniversary with a series of posts honoring the university’s history. We will explore our past through the use of historical resources available in the university archives that help document the story of the university, our faculty, staff, students and alumni.

In today’s post we will explore the online Historical Photos Gallery. This project was started in mid 2016 as we looked towards the pending 50th anniversary and knew there would be a lot of interest in photos from the university’s past. The University Photograph Collection includes over 23,000 images going back to 1963, beginning with the early artistic renderings for the campus master plan as well as the initial construction photos of Allyn Hall, as the former pasture lands of the George Warner property began to quickly transform into a new state university. What began as a single campus building soon developed into the campus Quad, with four primary academic buildings, (Allyn, Oelman, Millett, and Fawcett Halls), and a public square in the middle.

Maybe the most useful archival records for demonstrating campus growth are the aerial photographs contained within the collection. Below are several of the campus aerials showing the growth of Wright State from a single building standing alongside a cornfield to the large academic campus of today.This online gallery provides a fascinating look back at WSU and helps tell our story through images of the campus, our faculty, staff, students, and pursuits over the years. We hope that these may provide just an introduction to a deeper exploration of the university’s history as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. We will be adding additional photos throughout the year, and invite you to investigate Wright State’s history further through the materials made available online as well as in person at Special Collections & Archives.


Architects Rendering for Dayton Campus, 1962

Aerial view of Allyn Hall and campus land, ca. 1964

Aerial view, central campus, October 1974

Aerial view, University Center and P.E. Building, 1974

Aerial view, 1985

Aerial of Nutter Center, October 1990

Aerial view, April 2000



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