Southern Illinois University Edwardsville traces its lineage to the 1827 founding by pioneer Baptist missionary John Mason Peck of the Rock Springs Seminary in Southwestern Illinois. The seminary relocated northward to Upper Alton in 1832. Following a generous monetary donation of support by a Boston physician, the seminary was renamed Shurtleff College in 1836.
Shurtleff College served as the leading institution of higher education in Southwestern Illinois for more than a century. Its graduates became productive citizens of Alton, Madison County, the St. Louis region, and the wider world. Financial challenges common to small denominational colleges eventually forced the closure of Shurtleff College in the spring of 1957. By chance, its demise coincided with the establishment of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Under a lease/purchase agreement, the former Shurtleff College campus became the site of SIUE's "Alton Residence Center" and the location for the university's initial class offerings in July 1957. Many of Shurtleff's students continued their degree programs as SIUE students. Subsequent to the inauguration of the new main campus at Edwardsville in September 1965, the university opened its School of Dental Medicine on the former Shurtleff campus on September 5, 1972. So the old Shurtleff campus remains an essential part of SIUE today.
The Louisa H. Bowen University Archives & Special Collections unit of Lovejoy Library is the repository for the surviving copies of the Shurtleff College yearbook, the Retrospect. Thanks to the efforts of the original yearbook staff members, the lives of those who served and attended Shurtleff College during the first half of the twentieth century are documented and reflected in the pages of the Retrospect. By digitizing and sharing online the information contained in these yearbooks, Lovejoy Library seeks to honor the memory and traditions of Shurtleff College and to celebrate SIUE's ongoing connection with the present-day Alton community.
This digital collection was created by Lovejoy Library in 2011. The digital collection reflects the Library's physical holdings of the Retrospect and is comprised of yearbooks for 1911-1932, 1938-1942, and 1948-1956. It also includes a supplement featuring the graduating class of 1957. The Project Director was Stephen Kerber, who also wrote the home page text. The original materials are preserved in the Louisa H. Bowen University Archives and Special Collections of Lovejoy Library.
Select an issue from the list below.
Note that the dates on some of the covers are incorrect.