Curtis Laws Wilson Library Trivia

Who was Curtis Laws Wilson and why did we name the library after him?

Wilson was the Dean of the Missouri School of Mines from 1945 through 1963. During his administration the size of the campus more than doubled, the number of faculty more than tripled and number of support staff went from 147 to over 800. He has been described as hardworking, well organized, efficient and fiscally conservative. There are also rumors that he was not the most popular of deans and was put in place by the UM administration to make sure that the Missouri School of Mines did not break away from the University of Missouri system. The Library building was unnamed from the time of its original dedication in 1968 until it was named in memory of Dean Wilson in a Founder's Day dedication ceremony in March of 1979.

Einstein - the bust of Einstein in front of the Circulation Desk was sculpted by local artist Louie Smart. It is a bronze casting that was donated to the University by the Friends of Einstein. It is rumored that you can raise your IQ by ten points for two hours by touching your forehead to his. This is unproven, and generally frowned upon by the library staff.

Library Artwork:

St. Patrick - Rudy Torrini, a St. Louis artist, chose to depict the saint in bishop's garb with his foot on the snake to clearly identify him as St. Patrick, the patron saint of engineers. It is eight and a half feet tall and was originally sculpted of plaster with a simulated bronze coating. The piece was presented to the university by the St. Pat's Board in October of 1970. In 2007, the St. Pat's Board raised the funds needed to have the plaster statue cast in bronze; the new bronze statue was not returned to the library but instead resides outside Toomey Hall. After nearly 40 years in residence, St. Pat has left the building.


Astrolabe 1999

This 14 foot in diameter work was commissioned by the library and installed as a finishing touch to the library renovation project in 1999. Jefferson City-based artist Thomas Schulte took his inspiration from the astronomical instrument, the astrolabe. Schulte's sculpture reflects both the Arabic origins and complex geometric patterns of the astrolabe with its graceful curves and interlocking forms. It is a celebration of interrelationships between the artistic and the technical, as well as the history and the future of science and technology.

What is an astrolabe, anyway?
An Astrolabe is measuring device perfected by the Arabs in the 9th century. The device can serve several functions, but were most commonly used to measure the position of celestial bodies, for navigating at sea and surveying. Early astrolabes consisted of a base plate, or mater; a rete, a disk that rotated on the mater around a center pin; and an alidade, a straight rule. Gauges on the astrolabe indicated positions of the moon, sun and stars at various times.


What is that funny red robe on the second floor, and why did you frame it?

The cap and gown belonged to distinquished Missouri S&T alumnus Mervin J. Kelly, who went on to become president of Bell Labs. Kelly wore the gown at a ceremony where he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Lyon in France.

Engineer Jokes:

To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

An engineer was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess."
He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket.
The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week." The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket. The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do anything you want." Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket. Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, that I'll be at your beck and call. Why won't you kiss me?" The engineer said, "Look I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girl friend, but a talking frog......that's cool."

Most people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features.

Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said," Where did you get such a great bike?" The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want." "The second engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!" The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!" The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with him." "Hi George say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?" The greens keeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind firefighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime." The group was silent for a moment. The pastor said, "That's so sad. I think will say a special prayer for them tonight." The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them." The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"

What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers? ---Mechanical Engineers build weapons, Civil Engineers build targets.


Library jokes:
IFLANET Library Humour