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: Restoration Ball Throughout the Decades

We are pleased to feature a guest post by Susan Gravatt, Fourth-Year Media Studies major/Religious Studies minor and blogger for The Media Studies Experience.

Saturday, March 22, 2014, from 9pm to midnight on Peabody Lawn, students will come together for the 51st Annual Restoration Ball. Each $25 ticket enables students and alumni of the University of Virginia to support the restoration of the Rotunda.

Just as the Rotunda has seen numerous changes and renovations in the past, the Restoration Ball itself has evolved in unusual and surprising ways since it began in the 1960s. In sifting through materials at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, I had the unique opportunity to step back in time and follow the history of this grand occasion.

(Photograph by Susan Gravatt)

One of the many posters from the Restoration Ball Ephemera collection, 1981. (LD5680 .R87 R47. Photograph by Susan Gravatt)

I’m not sure exactly when I first heard about this year’s Restoration Ball, but I do know that I found out about it through the now-standard event invitation service that Facebook provides. While posters certainly may be on Grounds (though I have personally not seen any), the Restoration Ball ephemera collection includes a series of posters from the 1960s to the 1980s. Some of the posters feature photographs of the Rotunda while others, like the one above, showcase a drawing or sketch.

Part of me is somewhat sad that these posters are not more abundant today. As I flipped through and photographed these older relics in Special Collections, I couldn’t help but wonder what materials will enter the library to mark the 51st event? Will Special Collections print a screenshot of the Restoration Ball website or the Facebook event? There is a certain nostalgia or romanticism that this poster and the others like it evoke, but checking out the online information about this year’s ball doesn’t have the same effect. Having the ability to hold a poster in my own hands made an event prior to my own birth come to life for me.

(Image by U.Va. Digitization Services)

Restoration Ball in the Rotunda, May 15, 1965 (RG-30/1/10.011. University of Virginia Image by U.Va. Digitization Services)

Before my visit to Special Collections, I did not realize that the Restoration Ball took place in many different locations throughout the years. As the image above shows, many of the earlier balls were actually held in the Rotunda!  According to the primary sources I consulted, by the 1980s, there was a permanent move away from the Rotunda and to Newcomb Ballroom, Peabody Lawn, and other larger, open spaces across Grounds that could accommodate a growing student body. Although I am excited to attend the event myself tomorrow evening, I must say that I am envious of those who danced in the Rotunda. For now, I’ll have to live vicariously through this photograph of past students who enjoyed that luxury. But what I wouldn’t give to have attended the ball in 1965…

Restoration Ball Dance Booklet (Photograph by Susan Gravatt)

A dance request booklet for Restoration Ball guests. (LD5680 .R87 R47. Photograph by Susan Gravatt)

Inside of dance request booklet.

Inside of dance request booklet. (LD5680 .R87 R47. Photograph by Susan Gravatt)

Although I spent almost an hour combing through the various articles and objects in the ephemera collection, the dance request booklet is, perhaps, my favorite find. Because tomorrow night’s Restoration Ball will be my first, I’m not entirely sure what to expect. However, I suspect I will not make song or dance requests to a deejay or live band by writing them down in a booklet. This nifty item enabled guests in the past to do just that.

My research on the Restoration Ball this week left me feeling the way that I do many times after leaving Special Collections. I always wonder how much students would enjoy this rich resource if they really understood the depths of its archives. Special Collections is not a building full of artifacts but rather a home for treasures that gives students a taste of both the history of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia.

Special Collections makes history real and exciting because it enables me to put my student experience in a broader context. I am attending the Restoration Ball in 2014, yes, but I am becoming part of a tradition that has spanned for decades. Special Collections documents these histories and activities that are intrinsic and central to the core of student life at the University of Virginia.

But if dancing and Restoration Balls aren’t your thing, I guarantee that if you spent time in Special Collections, you would discover surprising parallels between the past and your time and interests at U.Va., and beyond.

My research in Special Collections gave me one more reason to get excited about my first Restoration Ball and the 51st for the University of Virginia, tomorrow night.



The Media Studies Experience: The Cavalier Daily and Black Culture Week

We are pleased to feature a guest post by Susan Gravatt, Fourth-Year Media Studies major/Religious Studies minor and blogger for The Media Studies Experience.

Turn back the clock 40 years, and an edition of The Cavalier Daily appears quite differently from the predominantly online publication that it is today. However, its attention to particular facets of student life is surprisingly similar. Diversity, a regular topic of discussion that I have heard throughout my four years at the University of Virginia, receives a handful of nods in a February edition of the student newspaper from 1974.

I could have spent days mulling through the Special Collections archives of the newspaper that date back to the 1890s. However, I especially wanted to see the paper’s emphasis on race in the 1970s, since universities nationwide were still acclimating to integration.

Black Culture Week appears in an edition of the publication from February 8, 1974. That year marked the Black Student Alliance’s (BSA) 4th annual week-long celebration of encouraging “awareness of the black persons within the University community.” The BSA brought gospel choirs, concerts, and the “Black Ball” to Grounds. A student chairman for the BSA exclaimed Black Culture Week was “the highlight of the year for black students.”

(Photograph by Susan Gravatt.)

Anderson, Francine and Rosemary Cooney. “Black Culture Week: Week Offers Exposure to Black Experience.” Cavalier Daily, February 8, 1974. (Newspaper VA UVa CD. Photograph by Susan Gravatt)

Fast-forward to the present, and The Cav Daily still has a vested interest in covering issues of race within the student body. But now, there may be a slightly bleaker picture. Just on Valentine’s Day of this past year, Jared Fogel, an opinion columnist for The Cav Daily wrote,

Since…. 1996, University minority percentages have stagnated. According to 2012-2013 statistics, 28.3 percent, or around 6,000, of the over 21,000 students that attend the University are minorities. This does not quite measure up to the around 36 percent of minorities that live in Virginia or the 37 percent of minorities that live in the U.S.” Although The Cavalier Daily is addressing concerns for not just blacks but all racial minorities, the paper’s writers continue to hope to educate and inform their fellow students regarding issues of race and what they mean for the entire University.

After flipping through the 1974 paper, though, I asked myself, “What happened to Black Culture Week?” As far as I could find from the BSA website, the University did not hold a similar event in 2014, though these festivities did take place last February.

Do any readers recall Black Culture Week celebrations during the 1970s? How did they shape student life, for the week and beyond?

Cavalier Daily (Photograph by Susan Gravatt.)

“BSA Sponsors Mandrill Concert.” Cavalier Daily, February 8, 1974. Mandrill is an American band formed in New York in 1968. The band’s music fuses funk with Latin, salsa, rock, blues and soul.  (Newspaper VA UVa CD. Photograph by Susan Gravatt.)


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!