“The Underground”
isu campus
ISU Campus, 1906

From 1895-1906, U-High students went “underground”, continuing to take courses with the college classes; in fact, between 1895 and 1906 50 students graduated from the high school.

During this time, there was no organized group of high school students sitting in Room 12 in Old Main, and no principal of the high school. But it had been arranged that students would be under the supervision of the grammar school principal.

A new beginning

In 1905, the Lindly Act granted a free scholarship to one 8th grader in every township to attend of the state’s normal schools.

This provided an extra incentive to reconstitute the high school, and in 1909, U-High was re-established.

The new U-High was geared much more toward its original mission- teacher observations and practice teaching.

Because of this, new course studies of science and manual arts were added.

The green & gold

At an all-school assembly, the green and gold colors were officially chosen as school colors. Legend has it that the football team’s followers, while en route to a game, picked the fall goldenrod from the fields and began waiving it during cheers at the game. “Smitten” by the green and gold colors, the team won and the colors were born…or so legend says.”

green and gold
The first play
the birds christmas carol play
The Birds Christmas Carol

On December 16, 1910 U-High presented its first annual play, “The Birds’ Christmas Carol”, by Kate Wiggin. “This little play, well adapted to presentation by young amateurs, proved to be the success of the year.”

1911 students
news article
A new name: University High School

For several years after it was re-established, the high school was considered an academic department of ISNU, an “Academy”. On February 4, 1911, President Felmley officially used the heading “University High School” for the first time.

boys basketball team
Basketball team, 1911

The most important factor in the name change was the difficulty in scheduling boys basketball games. Other schools were unwilling to play an “academy team” that might include college-aged players.

girls basketball team
1911 Girls Basketball team
Girls Basketball

As early as the 1911 girls basketball team pictured here, U-High offered girls team sports- but usually only against other U-High and University teams.

The First Class Night
May 30, 1911
First commencement held by high school alone since 1865
June 8, 1911

“Quite a number of the old U-High (prior to 1895) were present,” according to The Daily Pantagraph. Graduate Charles Capen gave the principal address in which he pointed out that between 1865 and the present commencement exercises were held in conjunction with those of ISNU.

145 students enrolled
Fall, 1911

There are more boys than girls in all of the classes. The freshman class is by far the largest with 70 students enrolled.

-The Daily Pantagraph, 9/13/11

First intercity football game
football team
1912 Football team

30 boys, ranging from lads the size of “squib” Pfiffner to such formidable giants as Harrison, Collins and Burtis, took on Normal High. As the ISU Index describes it, “a large crowd of visitors came over expecting to see Normal take the U-High boys into camp. But somebody upset the dope bucket and U-High came out on the big end of the score, 19-0.”

U-High wins first intercity basketball tourney
Passing the ‘lamp of knowledge’ became a tradition
A new home
thomas metcalf building
Thomas Metcalf Building

In 1913, the Thomas Metcalf Training Building (now known as Moulton Hall) became U-High’s new home, along with the grade school. For the high school, this building provided a study hall, a small office and a few classrooms. Built for $125,000, the building was meant to house up to 250 high school students and 700 total students.

Principal Pringle expands offerings
principal pringle

Ralph Waldo Pringle

Ralph Waldo Pringle, a “Harvard man”, was the new principal that year, a position he would hold for 22 years until 1935. He added a number of extra-curricular offerings and a number of new courses during his tenure. During this period, U-High became a “Scientific High School”, with a focus on modern science and manual arts.

Between 1909 and 1935 attendance was limited to 230 students.

The glee clubs are formed
girls glee club
1913-14 Girls Glee Club

The Girls glee club was formed during the 1913-14 school year.

In the fall of 1914, the Boys Glee Club was formed led by Miss Minerva Hall. “No loafers” were allowed to join.”

boys glee club
Boys glee club, 1914
Boys debate team forms
boys debaters
1914 Boys Rostrum

In 1914, Rostrum, the boys debating team, was started. Girls were not allowed.

U-High graduates 25 students
June 3, 1914
Students from ISSCS begin attending

Students who had been attending school at the Illinois Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home began entering U-High. They would continue doing so up until 1961.

Baseball team forms
boys baseball team
1916 baseball team

In years prior, high school players had participated on the ISNU team. On April 8, 1916, in its first game, U-High beat Normal High 22-4. Games with Clinton, Paxton and Gibson City rounded out the first season’s opponents.

senior farewell