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This Week in ISU History: Fell’s Deli and presidential deja vu

Pete Youngwerth at his deli

Freshman business administration major Pete Youngwerth at his Fell's Deli business in spring 1983.

Every week, we use STATEside to take a look back at the recent and not-so recent past, using the archives at the Vidette.

If you recall any of the campus happenings referenced in our This Week in Illinois State History feature, feel free to post in the Comments below.

10 YEARS AGO

This may sound familiar. A decade ago this week, the Illinois State University Board of Trustees held an executive session to begin discussion on selecting an interim president. President Vic Boschini recently announced he will be leaving Illinois State on June 1, 2003, to become chancellor at Texas Christian University. Illinois State Board chairman William Sulaski says the board wants to move quickly to find the next president but also values input from the University community, including the Student Government Association, staff, and Academic Senate. Al Bowman became interim president months later (June 2003), and became president on March 1, 2004. Bowman himself announced in December 2012 that he plans to step down. The Board of Trustees is now searching for Bowman’s replacement—ISU’s 18th president.

20 YEARS AGO

It’s February 1993, and the Office of Residential Life announces that two new residence hall room types will be offered for the first time in the 1993-94 school year: super singles and deluxe doubles. Super singles will cost $800 more per year and be spread all over campus. Deluxe doubles, formerly known as Quads, will be offered in Watterson Towers only. Both are the result of University’s enrollment reduction program during that time period. “With this extra space, we are now able to offer different options to students,” said Mindy Mangialardi, associate director at the Office of Residential Life. Today, most residence hall rooms are double-occupancy, though there are a limited number of quad-occupancy rooms, single-occupancy rooms, and super-single rooms.

30 YEARS AGO

It wouldn’t be allowed today, but back in spring semester 1983, freshman business administration major Pete Youngwerth started his own sandwich business—in his room inside Fell Hall. He called his business Fell’s Deli, and he served up ham, turkey, roast beef, and Dagwood sandwiches on fresh rolls, plus a pickle wedge on the side. Plus, Fell residents got free delivery, plus 24-hour service “if we are home,” Youngwerth told the Vidette. “I need the money for living expenses, and I also want to get some experience in running a small business,” he said. As of February 1983, he hadn’t gotten any complaints from University staff yet—and even got some encouragement from his residence hall coordinator.

50 YEARS AGO

Vidette reporter Christa Altier takes a peek at the University’s new Direct Inward Dial telephone system, which was installed during the fall 1963 semester to serve ISU’s 1,400 telephones. The new system, she writes, cuts down on the number of calls to the University switchboard, making it more efficient. Now, only one person is needed at a time to operate the board. The University even mailed out telephone directories to local businesses and asked staffers to tell their loved ones their new direct numbers. All of the newly installed equipment is rented by ISU from the General Telephone Co. in Bloomington. But the system is missing one thing: the ability to place long-distance calls. That didn’t come until later.

Ryan Denham can be reached at rmdenha@ilstu.edu.

 

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