The Creation and Opening of the Edwardsville Campus - Introduction
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville came into being in 1957 because the residents of Madison and St. Clair counties demanded the establishment of a public university in Southwestern Illinois. Guided and counseled by Dr. Harold W. See, they formed the Southwestern Illinois Council for Higher Education (SWICHE) advocacy group, lobbied their legislators for appropriations to open "residence centers" in Alton and East St. Louis, raised funds to purchase property for a new campus outside of Edwardsville, and voted in substantial majorities to pass the November 1960 State Universities Bond Issue to construct the initial campus infrastructure and buildings. Dr. Harold W. See, the forgotten founder of SIUE, served as the catalyst for these events, which followed upon a preliminary effort by the Edwardsville Chamber of Commerce, and presided as the university's first executive from 1957 through 1960.
This digital exhibit honors Dr. See, the other Founders of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and the early faculty, staff, and students. It describes the opening of the Gyo Obata-designed SIUE campus on September 23, 1965, as well as the dedication of the university on May 13, 1966. The digital exhibit includes digitized historic photographs, narrative text, and digitized university documents dating from the years 1957 through 1966.