Good news guys! I have recently (as of, like, five hours ago) declared myself a history major. And I’m going to celebrate with a blog about some of the coolest and quirkiest historical aspects of Transylvania University.
As you might know from a previous post, I have something of an infatuation with genius, ex-botany professor, and possible school-curser Constantine Rafinesque, but he’s certainly not the only famous figure with Transylvania ties. From it’s founding promoted by Thomas Jefferson himself in 1780 as the first college West of the Alleghenies (which, in itself, is kind of a big deal), Transy has been affiliated with a wide variety of prominent political and academic figures.
Henry Clay, the Kentucky-born statesman, Secretary of State, and five-time presidential candidate known throughout the history books as The Great Compromiser, was appointed Professor of law at Transylvania in 1805, and just a couple blocks from campus you can see the house where he lived and practiced law.
Now, that information alone probably anyone who’s as much of an American history buff as I am salivating, but it doesn’t end there. Transylvania has also produced some historically significant alumni, for instance, two justices to the United States Supreme Court, Samuel Freeman Miller and John Marshall Harlan.
We’re definitely standing on the shoulders of some giants here at Transy… and with the high quality of education offered here the next famous name to come out of this school just might be yours.
I realize that sometimes my interests may veer slightly towards the eccentric, so if you don’t share my excitement over very old hairballs once touched by Mary Todd’ Lincoln’s brother, feel free to skip the next sentence. If not, and you join me in my love for bizarre historical artifacts, read on: Transy has a very old hairball that was once touched by Mary Todd Lincoln’s brother. In fact, he donated it to the university. It is fourteen inches in diameter, from the stomach of a buffalo, and full of majesty.
You can see the wondrously sized hairball and a myriad of other unique historical relics at Transy’s Moosnick Science and Medical museum, which is home to a vast collection of nineteenth century science artifacts once used for teaching things like medicine, chemistry, and biology. Another special historical place on campus is Transy’s Special Collections library, which holds a terrific array of original historical books, dating back from as early as 1653.
Other historical locations on campus include the our signature cabin and, for the romantically inclined, the Kissing Tree.
The best part, of course, is that with all this majestic old architecture, rooms full of dusty relics, and antique hand-printed books… it’s remarkably easy to pretend you’re at Hogwarts. And there is no reason that shouldn’t be one of the leading factors in your college decision making process.
Who knows what my future as a history major holds? Only one things for sure- at a college with as much historical Transylvania, I’ll never want for inspiration.