by Diane Newman, Archives Manager
A Sense of Self
The charge came to collect objects to represent events in the development of our school. A display room was built with glass shelves to hold simple items someone here or there valued and saved. The little toy skeleton represents a real Melbourne mammoth uncovered on these grounds. Can you hear him trumpeting at a distance when you walk through the botanical gardens? Or perhaps you catch echoes of an animated conversation fervently discussing the human condition by the ladies from Dayton, Ohio, who pooled their resources and built the University of Melbourne. Starting with a donation of 37 cents, Dr. Jerome Keuper leased their property and opened the Brevard Engineering College for NASA scientists and engineers to enhance their education.
From these modest beginnings, Florida Tech emerged. Dr. Keuper raised awareness and generated a place where a man named Dr. John Miller instituted educational programs for a man named Dr. Lynn Weaver to attract investors whose generosity and faith transformed this campus. There arose buildings where faculty taught serious students engineering principles and life sciences, sparking their desire to learn what is known and to seek what is not known.
President Anthony Catanese took the baton from his predecessors, and now the Florida Institute of Technology has reached an age where it is aware of itself as an entity, a living being with a past, a present, and a future. The Harry P. Weber University Archives represent the embodiment of the ideals of this institution. The collection represents commitment, hard work, dedication, and joy of men and women striving alone and together.
A wise man once said, “People come and go, but the institution remains.” This room represents our institutional memory. It answers Socrates’ charge long ago to Know Thyself.