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by Barbara Floyd, 1997


As a person grows older and taller in stature, the shadow he casts upon the earth grows longer. His impact on the world becomes more profound as he matures and succeeds. The same can be said of a university. The University of Toledo, created 125 years ago, has grown taller in stature and risen in influence. The shadow cast by its tower has lengthened.

This volume, The Tower’s Lengthening Shadow: 125 Years of the University of Toledo, is a scrapbook of the institution’s history. The 130 photographic images published here were selected from over 15,000 photographs preserved in University Archives. They visually tell the story of the university’s development from the small, private Toledo University of Arts and Trades in 1872 to its evolution as a municipal university from 1884 to 1967 and finally to its emergence as a large state university situated on several campuses providing educational opportunities to 20,000 students from around the world.

Many of the photographs published here were taken by unknown persons. Not only do many of the photographers remain anonymous, so too do many of the people shown in the images. If persons are unidentified or appropriate credit is missing, I apologize. Due to limitations on the size of this publication, unfortunately many important events and people had to be excluded. Still more are not included because no photographic image exists in the holdings of University Archives. The photographs that were selected seemed to summarize significant events or time periods in the university’s history.

There are many people to thank for their assistance with this publication and accompanying exhibit. First, special thanks to the members of the Friends of the University of Toledo Libraries. This group, which has been a part of the university’s history since 1936, generously provided the funding. Thanks to Sue Van Fleet and Jan Vezner of the Publications Office for their assistance with the design and production of the book and to Sue Benedict and Terry Fell from Audio Visual Services for assistance with the production of the exhibit. Much thanks to the staff of the Ward M. Canaday Center (especially Robert Shaddy and Janice Colwell) for their assistance, and to Leslie Sheridan, dean of University Libraries, for his editorial assistance with the manuscript. And a special thanks to Richard Perry for his comments on the manuscript and for his remarks at the exhibit opening.

And most importantly, thanks to the photographers—both known and unknown—who produced these remarkable images documenting 125 years of the University of Toledo.

—Barbara Floyd

University Archivist, University of Toledo