On this date in 1957, the Beacon reported the installation of the first private telephone in a student room on campus. Donald E. Gorger, a sophomore from Pendleton, Oregon, then living in room 24 in Christie Hall, paid Bell Telephone for the installation of the private line. The Beacon reported the event on its first page as “a history-making event, which should . . . be set down in the annals of the University for all posterity’s sake . . . . ”
Do you recognize this item? The list “What your Frosh doesn’t know” appearing annually at the beginning of the college term warns instructors against enhancing lectures with homey analogies falling outside of the frame-of-reference of their eighteen year old students, for example: today’s college student may be unfamiliar with the rotary phone, and maybe even the concept of a land-line, cord-tethered telephone. The touch-tone keypad was introduced in 1963; and mobile phones became commercially available from 1983.
It is not until 1965 that the University Directory lists contact numbers for students living on campus. Today a wireless network makes web access available in all residence halls and campus buildings. And so again as in 1957, if students want to use a land-line from their campus room, they must supply their own instrument to plug into the wall.