WMU Campus History
Navigation Bar WMU Home Page WMU Campus History Home Page WMU Campus Master Plan Home Page Planning Division Home Page Facilities Management Home Page Contact Campus Planning

"End Papers" : Original design by John Kemper

Back to Trivia Page

bullet John G. Kemper (1909-1991) was a faculty in the Art Department from 1942 until his retirement in 1970.  A graphic designer by profession, he provided Western with over 300 designs for such things as posters, plaques, and brochures.   His design is still the official seal for the University.  Prior to his death he endowed a Medallion Scholarship that was awarded from 1990-91 through 1993-94.

John Kemper graphic design used as end papers for college history book Walwood Hall (Union and Dormitory) The Theatre (now called The Little Theatre, or Oakland Recital Hall) Vandercook Hall Spindler Hall Health Service Building (now Speech and Hearing Center) Natural Sciences Building (West Hall) Cable car tracks and "house" (trolley discontinued in 1949)  Library Building (now North Hall) Men's Gymnasium or Oakland Gym (facade retained in 2002, now part of Indoor Practice Facility) Garage (now Upholstery Shop) Faculty residences English Hall Campus directional signs Waldo Stadium Hyames Field Education Building and Women's Gym (now East Hall) Training School - Elementary and State High (now East Hall) Business Education Building Industrial Education Annex (now part of Physical Plant) Mechanical Trades Building "Barracks" Building Tool House Burnham Halls Draper-Siedschlag Halls Administration Building (now Seibert Administration Building) President's Residence (now The Oaklands) McCracken Hall Maybee Hall Kanley Chapel Service Building Hillside Apartments Arcadia Cafeteria ROTC Buildings West Michigan Avenue New York Central Railroad U.S. 12 (now Stadium Drive, Business 94) Oakland Drive Vande Giessen Road Gateway Golf Course The Waldo Boulder
Pass pointer over picture to reveal comments.

bullet This delightful drawing/caricature by John G. Kemper gives the viewer a snapshot-in-time of Western Michigan College in the early 1950's.  West Michigan Avenue is along the lower edge of the drawing (north is "down", south is "up"), while the railroad tracks and U.S. 12 (Stadium Drive) cut across it on the diagonal.  At the very top are Walwood Hall, the Little Theatre, and Spindler Hall, separated by Oakland Drive which runs down to meet U.S. 12.  Oliver Street is not shown; at this time it was only a short lane stopping near Spindler.

bullet In the details we see an airplane next to the Industrial Arts and Mechanical Trades Buildings where students learned aircraft mechanics and where, during World War II, naval cadets received ground and flight instruction.  (The Mechanical Trades Building, renamed the Brink Building, was demolished in 2002. The bas-reliefs of turbine engines that decorated the exterior were saved by Campus Facilities.  Antennae atop McCracken (science) and Maybee (music) Halls give a hint to the programs offered within.  The far right edge of the drawing depicts Vande Geissen Road and the Gateway Golf Course.

John Kemper's design for cover of 50th anniversary book.

 

 

 

Top