Rearview Mirror

From the Desk of Felicity Knox ’94, Library Associate to Special Collections and University Archives

First commencement flyer

Ask an Archivist

Q: Did Towson University start as a women’s college?

A: TU has always enrolled men and women. However, because it started as a school for teachers and teaching was historically a female-majority profession, we have always had a higher number of female students. During World War I and World War II, the number of male students dropped very low: In June 1945, not a single man graduated. 

However, after World War II and particularly after the school transitioned to a liberal arts college in 1963, the population of male students climbed steadily upwards.

Have a question for Felicity? Email her at .

Levy Collection

On Nov. 7, 2019, Stewart Levy, nephew of jazz composer and teacher Hank Levy,
made the first donation of charts from his uncle’s collection to our department.
Hank Levy is remembered as a great innovator in the jazz world, exploring a variety
of time signatures.

In 1968, Hank founded the jazz program at Towson State College, and, in his 21 years
as director, he created an incomparable jazz orchestra, winning so many awards that it was barred from some competitions. Today, the jazz orchestra and the Hank Levy Legacy Band continue to play in his honor, and we are grateful to his family for allowing us to preserve his work.

Campus Photography Through the Years

students in 1886


Our first campus photographer was George L. Smith, who taught science from 1875 until 1892. He is the namesake for Smith Hall. One of the items in our collections is a photograph album he created for the school’s first principal, M. A. Newell. It includes pictures of the original Baltimore school building, the faculty and many of the class years posed outside.

Contact sheet from 1980


About 100 years later, university photography hired students to take photos for campus publications. Students would check into the department, pick up a work ticket and a camera and go off to their assignments.

Kanji Takeno shooting a photo


Kanji Takeno joined TU as director of photographic services. For 23 years, he shaped how prospective families; community members; and students, faculty, staff and alumni see TU.