The history of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources from the students’ perspective is recorded in The Log. Terence E. Hanley served as an archivist in 1999 charged primarily with cataloguing a large collection of photographs. He also compiled a supplement to the 1999 The Log containing a history of this publication and collections of writings compiled by students at summer camp during the 1930’s. The following is based in part on Mr. Hanley’s introduction to the 1999 Supplement.
The Log was not the first yearbook published by the department. The students of the forestry summer camp, begun in 1929 at the Clark State Forest near Henryville, Indiana, published a hand-typed and mimeographed “Camp Log” for a number of years. This document recounted the exploits of the students over the course of the eight or ten weeks they spent at camp, more often than not in a humorous vein. In 1989, Franklin E. “Bumpy” Rhoades, a forestry graduate of 1935, sent the Department a copy of the Camp Logs of 1932 and 1936. In 2010 Barbara Bryan Heilers, Houston, OH, daughter of Clement Bryan, sent a copy of the Camp Log for 1934. Clement was a student from 1933 to 1937.
A group of veterans of WWII who became forestry students upon returning home started a publication similar to The Log. They called it Oak Leaves, first published in 1947. “The Purdue Log Mark,” was published in 1958 by the pledge class of Xi Sigma Pi, the national honorary for forestry students. (Not located as of this time.)
The first edition of The Log was published in 1959. The new department head at the time, William C. Bramble, was instrumental in making this possible. The Log was published almost continuously for over 30 years. The Society of American Foresters conducted a student publication competition for many years. The award was given at the national convention. The Log placed third in 1982, second in 1979, 1996, and 1997, and first in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, and 1999.
The last edition was published in 2005. We can all surmise why students since then have not been motivated to continue the tradition. A very significant factor is the little free time students have because a large majority of them need to work to meet the costs of being a student at Purdue University. It’s tempting to also place blame on the dominate role personal communication devices and the internet play in their lives. Perhaps this website will connect future students with those that came before them and motivate them to leave their legacy.
We believe that we have a copy of The Log for all the years it was published. We may not have a copy of the “Camp Log” for all the years it was published. To access these publications for a given year click on that year. (Note: not all years have been scanned and posted yet.)