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Old School is New Again at Shippensburg University - abc27 WHTM

Old School is New Again at Shippensburg University

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It has the look of a well-planned museum, but it's open only one weekend a year. It's the story of Shippensburg University told through memorabilia. It's a hands-on look at campus life dating back to its early days as the Cumberland Valley State Normal School. It's a collection started twenty-three years ago by Associate Dean of students, Robert Smith.

"Every day new things come in. I probably get 4 to 5 pieces every week," said Smith.

The collection now includes more than three-thousand items gathered from flea markets, yard sales, e-bay and alumni. It's a nostalgia treasure for past and present students.

"It's just like memory lane," said Smith. When some of them walk in here they say 'Oh my God. I had that. I remember that.' Or, if they were in a fraternity or sorority. They love looking at the old pictures, reminiscing about friends. If they were on one of the sports teams, it's kind of nice to come back to look at the pictures and look at the artifacts that we have."

Famous alumni are featured all throughout the display, including best selling author Dean Koontz, U-S Army General Tommy Franks, and pro football stars John Kuhn, Rob Davis and Brent Grimes. Pittsburgh Pirates infielder, Clyde "Pooch" Barnhart, who played in the 1925 World Series, is also highlighted. Many visitors, like Shippensburg Senior Marquita Johnson, say they'd like to see the homecoming weekend display become a permanent part of the campus.

"That would be a good idea," said Johnson. Because I like going into a library and you see the old pictures. It gives you this feeling that, oh, there's history here."

Senior Jonathan Ballard-Baker agrees. "I think the collection is amazing. I just looked through it briefly between classes and there's a lot of history here."

And new to the display this year is a memorial to long time Associate Director of Athletics, Jane Goss, who guided the 1979 field hockey team to a national championship.

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