Student life focus of gallery exhibition

Author: Notre Dame Magazine

It wasn’t enough to get kicked out of Notre Dame in the 19th century. For several years expelled students had their foul deeds recorded for posterity in a large book.

That book is now on display at a museum in downtown South Bend as part of an exhibit on student life through the years.
Notre Dame: Reflections of Student Life, in the Raclin Gallery of Notre Dame History at the Northern Indiana Center for History, showcases hundreds of photographs, documents and other artifacts spanning 160 years.

The literal black book, which was kept for only four or five years in the 1870s, is displayed under glass, so visitors can’t leaf through its pages. But it’s possible, if not easy, to read about several miscreants on the pages to which the volume is opened.

Two of the students expelled in 1874, for instance, were L.D. Murphy and E. McCunniff — Murphy because he “got tired of college and went to town without permission,” McCuniff for being a “mean fellow” who ventured downtown without a pass and “kept fooling around until he got the ‘grand bounce.’” Or so wrote the ledger’s author, Prefect of Discipline John M. Toohey, CSC. R.C. Mortimore got the bounce because he was “extremely addicted” to gambling and “thought there was too much religion here and not enough liberty for a youth his age.”

Other artifacts on display include a series of photos of student rooms from 1890 to 2000 and a list of rules for campus dances from around 1920. The Prefect of Discipline insisted on being given the names of all students planning to attend a dance along with the names of their dates at least three days in advance of the event or it would be canceled.

As with previous exhibitions in the Raclin Gallery, Reflections of Student Life was researched and designed by the staff of the University Archives. The gallery is open 10-5 Tuesday to Saturday. Admission ranges from $3 to $10.