University of Rochester

Student Research Focuses on Politically Volatile '60s

October 12, 2000

Political activism at the University of Rochester during the 1960s provided inspiration to two students researching the University's history during this sesquicentennial year.

Undergraduate research papers by Craig Linder and Brian Kowalski, both majors in history and political science, used different aspects of campus activism to craft award-winning research papers in a competition sponsored by River Campus Libraries.

Linder, a 2000 graduate of the University, and Kowalski, now a junior, are the respective first- and second-place winners of the Sesquicentennial Contest for Research Papers. The first-place winner receives $1,000 and $500 goes for second place. The students will read their papers during Sesquicentennial weekend, which celebrates the University's 150th anniversary of its founding, at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in the Welles-Brown Room of Rush Rhees Library on the River Campus.

Linder, former editor-in-chief of the Campus Times and member of Sigma Nu fraternity, was inspired to write about faculty activism during the late 1960s when he was sifting through archives for a CT article. He was struck by the degree of faculty unrest at the University that was, in his mind, equal to or even more significant than student activism at the time. Linder now works as a journalist in Washington, D.C., covering the federal government for six newspapers and Web sites, including the Detroit Free Press and Philadelphia Daily News.

Kowalski, of Liverpool, N.Y., and current captain of the University's football team, was studying the period in a course and decided to look deeper into student activism at the University during the late 1950s and early 1960s, primarily focusing on nuclear weapons protests.

The afternoon's research presentations will be followed by refreshments. For more information on other Sesquicentennial events, go to the University Web site at