Top 10 Mementos of U.Va. Men’s Basketball

We are pleased to feature a guest post by Third-Year Garrett Gottesman and Fourth-Year Susan Gravatt, bloggers for The Media Studies Experience.

After a tough loss against Michigan State on Friday during the Sweet Sixteen round of this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, many Cavalier fans have been distraught. But instead of moping around, we decided to dig through the Special Collections Library to find some things that might just restore your faith in the glory that is Virginia Basketball. We may not have a basketball national championship this year, but what we do have is a 109-year old institution focused on respect, academic balance, and character. Our message is clear: win or lose, we are proud to be Hoos!

The collection at the library includes over fifty brochures, eight Sports Illustrated magazine issues, forty-three black and white negatives, three posters, thirty-nine digitized photographs from the 1910s, six autographed pictures, three signed books, and four dissertations. Here are our top ten favorite finds:

1. The Program from the 1910 Game Against VMI

(Photograph by Garrett Gottesman)

The 1910 program is complete with the rules of the game (pre-three point shots) and plans for the dance and refreshments that followed. “Those desiring to dance will kindly secure their tickets at the box office. Gentlemen, 50 cents; ladies, no charge.” (Broadside 1910z .R62. Photograph by Garrett Gottesman)

2. This Photograph of the 1912 Team

(Holsinger Studio Collection. U.Va. Digitization Services)

Check out those basketball belts! (MSS 9862. Holsinger Studio Collection. Image by U.Va. Digitization Services)

3. These Flashbacks to Simpler Stadium Seating at Mem Gym

(University of Virginia Visual History Collection)

Mem Gym was the home court for the Cavaliers from 1924 to 1965, as seen in this 1940 photograph.  (RG-30/1/10.011. University of Virginia Visual History Collection. Image by U.Va. Digitization Services)

(Image by Susan Gravatt)

Note the venue in this brochure for a game against South Carolina, 1956. (RG-27/1/1.101. Image by Susan Gravatt)

4.  Or These Memories from University Hall


Basketball games were played at the University Hall arena from 1965 to 2006, as seen in this fish-eye photo from 1972… (RG-30/1/10.011. University of Virginia Visual History Collection. Image by U.Va. Digitization Services)

(Photograph by Susan Gravatt)

And in this greeting card… (RG-27/1/1.101. Photograph by Susan Gravatt)

5. This March 1955 Sports Illustrated Article about Buzzy Wilkinson

(Photograph by Garrett Gottesman)

“At this tradition-soaked institution, where students wear coats and ties to class, basketball was long considered a kind of gauche pastime designed for the peasants in the hinterland. Buzzy Wilkinson changed all that. This year Virginia played to packed houses both at home and away.””Eyes on the Buzzer” from Sports Illustrated, March 19, 1955. (GV885 .H4 1955. Photograph by Garrett Gottesman)


The article tells the story of the spark that reignited the fire in Virginia basketball, and the number-one-recruited NBA player who decided to pursue a law degree instead. He still holds the ACC record for highest scoring average at 28.1 points per game. “Eyes on the Buzzer” from Sports Illustrated, March 19, 1955. (GV885 .H4 1955. Photograph by Garrett Gottesman)

6. The entire 1975-1976 season

(Cavalier Daily, March , 1976. Photograph by Petrina Jackson)

Front page of the Cavalier Daily, March 16, 1976. (Photograph by Petrina Jackson)


“The Cinderella Cavs Flirt With Destiny” – This issue of the Cavalier Daily possesses some of the only information around about that 1976 ACC Championship win from the Wahoos. It provides full details of how this underdog team came back to win it all. Going into the tournament, the Hoos were seeded six with a 4-8 record and before taking on North Carolina in the championship game, they had to “topple NC State (75-63) and Maryland (73-65), the third and second seeded conference teams.” The championship was no easy match. Five clutch free throws from Billy Langloh secured the victory over the Tar Heels (67-62)- making their first ACC win also the ‘first time that the first-place bye team lost in the finals’. “As methodical and controlled as their coach is calm and composed, the individual Cavalier’s showed in the ACC tournament that Virginia is henceforth a team to be reckoned with…” Author: Kip Croons. Pages 6 and 7 of the Cavalier Daily, March 16, 1976. (Photograph by Petrina Jackson)



1975-1976 Basketball Yearbook. Kevin Moore exemplified the era with his short shorts and Afro. This yearbook also includes the schedule for the 1976 season that would carry the Hoos to their ACC Championship win. (GV882 .V5. Photograph by Garrett Gottesman)

(Photograph by Garrett Gottesman)

1975-1976 Basketball Yearbook. (GV882 .V5. Photograph by Garrett Gottesman)

7. The Reign of Ralph Sampson

His first. (Image by Petrina Jackson)

Towering over opponents at 7’4”, Ralph Sampson was a lot to love. He was one of the most heavily recruited college and professional athletes of the time and brought unprecedented character to the courts. This is one of six Sports Illustrated magazines whose covers Sampson graced; in it, the writers speculated on the unclear future of this towering 7’4” freshman. (GV885.43 .V57 K45 1979. Image by Petrina Jackson)

(GV885 .43 .V57 K568 1980. Image by Petrina Jackson)

This is the story of three basketball stars who chose to stay in school rather than move on to the NBA after highly successful underclassmen seasons. There is a focus on Sampson’s overcoming of criticisms, particularly by frustrated NBA recruiters looking to draft their top pick and famed sports journalist Howard Cossell who claimed that “The University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson’s School has a 7’4″ kid at the fifth grade level.” (GV885 .43 .V57 K568 1980. Image by Petrina Jackson)

[Image by Digitization Services]

Autographed photograph of Ralph Sampson. (RG-30/1/10.011. Image by U.Va. Digitization Services.)

 8. Just, the whole Corks and Curls Photograph Archive

(Photograph by Garrett Gottesman)

This endless stack of high quality images from the 1970’s editions of Corks and Curls is nothing short of addicting.  You simply can’t find anything this good online. Check out those Converses! (RG-23/48/1.841. Photograph by Garrett Gottesman)

9. This, Um, Cool Poster From The 1990 Season?

(Photograph by Petrina Jackson)

Nothing says intensity quite like grown men walking out of the smoke with their hands on their hips. If this doesn’t make you nostalgic for the 90’s, what will? (Poster 1980.U57. Photograph by Petrina Jackson)

10. This moment.

ACC CHAMPS! Cavaliers Down Duke to Win ACC Tournament Title and Regular Season Crown. This photo was taken at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, March 2014. (Photograph by Matt Riley)

ACC CHAMPS! Cavaliers Down Duke to Win ACC Tournament Title and Regular Season Crown. This photo was taken at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, March 2014. (Photograph by Matt Riley)

This year’s Cavaliers were nothing short of amazing. We had 30 overall wins, 16 conference wins, 15 home wins, the first regular season championship since 2007, the first ACC Championship since 1976, and the first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 1995. Long story short, the 2014 team was extraordinary and one that will forever be remembered in history.

Go Hoos!

The Media Studies Experience: U.Va.’s Beta Bridge

We are pleased to feature a guest post by Garrett Gottesman, who is a Third-Year, double-majoring in Media Studies and American Studies with a concentration in Social Reform, and a blogger for The Media Studies Experience.

Because I’ve seen messages and artwork come and go almost daily on Beta Bridge over the past three years, oftentimes the words and their meaning are lost on me. But this week, Beta Bridge grabbed my attention and made me momentarily put my day on pause.

Beta Bridge, February 2014 (Photograph by Garrett Gottesman)

Beta Bridge painted in support of Venezuelan protests, February 21, 2014. (Photograph by Garrett Gottesman)

Having followed the news coverage of the political unrest in Venezuela, this visual demonstration arranged by Venezuelan students at U.Va. instantly caught and held my attention. This dramatic appeal resonated with me as images of violence and brutality still lingered in my head from the news the night before. Second-Year Student Henrique Sosa, who is from Venezuela and is a leader of U.Va. students demonstrating support for Venezuela, said that their mission is to increase consciousness about the crisis amongst students and also to send strength to the Venezuelans whose voices are being silenced by the oppressive regime.

(Screen shot taken by Garrett Gottesman)

An example of U.Va. student support for the Venezuelan protests is this picture, which has reached an audience of over 700,000 Venezuelans after it was retweeted by prominent Venezuelan reporter Miguel Henrique Otero, February 23, 2014. (Screen shot taken by Garrett Gottesman)

In addition to accomplishing this mission though, the message also left me questioning the history of Beta Bridge as I realized that I knew so little about it.

Paintings on the bridge commemorating students who have recently died, or the “Hoos for Hokies” message after the Virginia Tech shootings are some of the most memorable Beta messages that resonate with the student body. But largely, the free billboard space is filled with birthday wishes and CIO (student group) advertisements. These more common messages go unnoticed; however, the sanctity of this outlet of expression is worth defending.

Filled with curiosity of the bridge’s history, I visited Special Collections. There, I found dozens of pictures of the bridge over the last 20 years, as well as two Cavalier Daily articles from the 1980s that illustrated Beta’s history and importance.

University of Virginia Beta Bridge, 1969. (RG-30/1/10.11. University of Virginia Visual History Collection. Image by Digitization Services.)

University of Virginia Beta Bridge, 1969. (RG-30/1/10.11. University of Virginia Visual History Collection. Image by Digitization Services.)

The March 11, 1981 Cavalier Daily article, “Beta: It’s More Than Just a Bridge” explains the history of the bridge. The original wooden bridge was built in 1855 by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company, who owned the railroad below, but it wasn’t until the 1960’s that painting it became such a part of U.Va. culture. As a matter of fact, it was illegal to paint it before this time, and the marks seldom on it, which were usually sports scores, were done under the cover of the night.

This tradition blossomed though, and, by the 1980s, the bridge was painted up to five times a day. Reaffirming my sentiments, the Cavalier Daily articles noted how important this outlet of student expression was. In the September 22, 1986 article entitled “Beta Bridge: Layers of University Tradition Live on Rugby,” former professor Raymond Bice explained, “Once in a while someone paints something that raises eyebrows. But really it’s a harmless activity that is very valuable.” Although the instances that he is talking about are ones like the John Lennon memorial that stayed up for ten days, this act still holds value today as some students use it to reach beyond the University community. The bridge poses as a cornerstone for the symbolic value of student voice, and even though it can often be pointless fun, sometimes its impact leaves a lasting mark on those who see it.

The Media Studies Experience: Let the Experience Begin!

When I received a message from VQR Web Editor Jane Friedman, inquiring if Special Collections would be interested in having a group of students from her spring semester  Media Studies class, Digital Media and Publishing contribute content to our social media, I jumped at the chance.  As a result, Special Collections has gained four enthusiastic, smart, and social media savvy undergraduates, who will share with you many of the fantastic finds they encounter while researching Under Grounds.

The Special

Pictured from left to right: Professor Jane Friedman, and students Emily Caldwell, Garrett Gottesman, Ali Sutherland, and Susan Gravatt.

Allow them to introduce themselves!

Emily Caldwell

My name is Emily Caldwell, and I am a Fourth Year in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. I will graduate this May with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Minor in Media Studies. Outside of my academic studies at the University, I am also a marketing and publicity intern at the University of Virginia Press and have worked there for about a year now. As a typical student with a Liberal Arts Major, I am still unsure of exactly where I will be or what I will be doing after graduation (if anyone is looking to hire an English major who is highly analytical with exceptional written and oral communication skills, let me know). In all seriousness, I am very interested in pursuing a career in the Media or Publishing Industries.

I chose to be in the Special Collections group as part of a semester-long project for my digital media and publishing course because I believe this library, as a whole, is a buried treasure chest, so to speak. It is a resource “hidden” in plain view of U.Va. students, and therefore extremely underutilized. I would love to uncover some of many gems located at Special Collections and make them known to my fellow Wahoos with the hope that they, too, will fully take advantage of the rich history that U.Va. has to offer. As an English Literature/Book Nerd, I am most interested in delving into the University’s literary treasures. I want to examine everything from the papers of William Faulkner, my personal favorite writer, to Walt Whitman’s manuscripts. I am not only deeply fond of these historical texts as literature, but I am fascinated and intrigued by the physical representation of these artifacts and how they lend themselves as historical vehicles.

However, on an even more personal level, I am a Virginian born and raised in Salem, which is about two hours southwest of Charlottesville. I have grown up learning the rich history of my native state, and it is one of the main reasons I chose to attend the University of Virginia. Although not all of the history of Virginia, or the University itself, is pretty or admirable, it is still my history, your history, here for us to discover. The ground we walk on at U.Va. is full of this history, and I mean that literally because a large part of the Special Collections Library is located underground. I look forward to unearthing everything beautiful, terrible, fascinating, honorable, and tragic that has made the University of Virginia the institution it is today.

Emily Caldwell

Photograph of Emily Caldwell, 2012.

Garrett Gottesman

My name is Garrett Gottesman, and I am a Third Year at U.Va. I am currently double majoring in Media Studies and American Studies, in which I am pursuing a concentration in Social Reform. When I heard about the opportunity to do digital media publicity for the Special Collections Library, I knew that it was the perfect opportunity for me. Since being admitted to U.Va., I have been obsessed with its history. I am looking forward to looking at material culture from the University, and I am specifically interested in the Civil War, the Civil Rights Era, and modern pop culture as they pertain to U.Va. This obsession with U.Va. is somewhat ironic when you consider the fact that I am from Austin, Texas and grew up with no information about the University.

As a proud Texan living in Virginia, I am currently learning what it means to have withdrawals from quality Tex-Mex and Barbecue. That being said, I am enjoying the chance to try out the local cuisine and remaining open to the idea that I may not move back to Texas immediately after graduation.

Right now I am still juggling a million career ideas as I get closer and closer to my fourth year. However, my career choice of the week is to do Marketing and Communications for a global nonprofit. I love finding any excuse I can to help others even if it means annihilating what little free time I have. This is most true when my Madison House “little sib” convinces me to come help him with his math homework or when friends ask me to do favors for them. I know how to say no, but I prefer to instead just say yes and roll with it.
I am a passionate explorer and have traveled to over thirty countries on six of seven continents around the world. My most recent adventure was on the 50th anniversary voyage of Semester at Sea which took me to 17 countries along the Atlantic Ocean in 115 days. I am obsessed with the movie Elf, and I could not live with out Swedish Fish. I also have the coolest dog in the world. He is a basset hound named Elvis. Here is the link to his facebook profile.

Garrett Gottesman in front of the Special Collections vault, 2014. (Photograph by Petrina Jackson).

Garrett Gottesman in front of the Special Collections vault, 2014. (Photograph by Petrina Jackson).

Susan Gravatt

My name is Susan Gravatt, and I’m a Fourth Year Media Studies major and Religious Studies minor at the University of Virginia in the College of Arts & Sciences. Since my fourth semester at U.Va., I’ve worked at WTJU 91.1 FM in Charlottesville, Virginia, as an intern, producer, and now a co-host for the station’s public affairs program, Soundboard. I also work with U.Va.’s new student radio station, WTJX, and am an outreach coordinator who builds student involvement through our site, which you can find at: When I’m not at WTJU, you might find me practicing with U.Va.’s salsa club or University Baptist’s collegiate choir, Jubilate.

After graduation, my biggest goal currently is to… have a job! I am currently embarking upon the Notorious Job Hunt and hope to find work in the Northern Virginia area or in Charlottesville. In a perfect world, I would continue to do some sort of creative work in the radio industry, but we will see where that takes me.

Until graduation and the Real World, though, I am enjoying my final semester at U.Va. and looking forward to working in the Special Collection Library. After visiting it a few times as a First Year for a project, I realized how many treasures are buried here and wanted to share them with others online. In the coming weeks, I plan to explore and write about U.Va. and some of the lesser-known stories about Grounds.

Keep checking back, as our team will be bringing you some pretty cool content and posts in the next few months!

Susan Gravatt

Photograph of Susan Gravatt

Ali Sutherland

My name is Ali, and I am from Grundy,Virginia (it’s where West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia meet). I’m a Fourth Year Government major, Media Studies minor, and have many, many, many interests.  I sing, play guitar, and craft A LOT.  I’m a sister of Sigma Delta Tau and am OBSESSED with social media. My dream job would be to either have a record deal or to do social media for a fashion label.  I’m really into history and antiques, so working with the Special Collections Library is going to be super fun.  The guys from Pawn Stars would love it here…

Note: Ali will be contributing to our social media via Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.  Be sure to follow us and see what fun treasures she finds.

Ali Sutherland

Photograph of Ali Sutherland by Nicholle Goodnight, 2013.

Look out for The Media Studies Experience coming at you all semester long!