Why a Little Blue Book?

In short, because there’s a lot to digest as you move into advanced education. The idea of “going to college” has become such a visible and increasingly common pattern in our society that it’s easy to forget that it also represents an important change in the way you manage your life and the way others see you. So our objective here is to introduce you to Case Western Reserve University’s academic life and its legends and lore in a way that is both entertaining and useful.

Handbooks such as this one have been part of collegiate life at many colleges and universities for more than a century and this institution is no exception. The Little Blue Book was first published in 2004 in response to growing curiosity among our students regarding information about campus customs and traditions, and has since become a campus tradition itself.

As you’ll see in this book, the history of our customs and traditions is complex. We used to be two institutions and ever since we became one university in 1967, there have been many additional changes in structure and nomenclature. A simple illustration is the very phrase “Case Western Reserve University,” which embodies the collective heritage of our previous institutions, each a bit different from the others and each with its own following.

It’s also important to note that, at Case Western Reserve, you’re not just “going to college.” You’re enrolled in one of the nation’s leading research universities and that means your experience will differ from those of your friends attending other institutions. You’ll certainly come to know other students who share your goals and outlook. You’ll also come to know students, faculty and staff whose paths are moving in very different directions. This handbook was designed to help you navigate this exciting, diverse environment.

We encourage you to use this book as a keepsake. Record your special memories at the end of this book and share them with family and friends when you reflect on your time at Case Western Reserve University.

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