Polymorphonuclear neutrophilic leukocyte, Rah, Rah!

November 14, 2011 —

Nucleous, Pacemaker, Cardiograph – those are just some of the names of the Des Moines University yearbook published on and off since 1905. Lindsey Smith has launched an effort to scan the collection amid her other duties as archivist in the DMU Library and Kendall Reed Rare Book Room, where visitors can page through the actual volumes along with many other historical books, reprints and out-of-print journals.

“We thought that by digitizing our collection of yearbooks, we could share a relevant and entertaining part of our history on our website for all to see,” she says.

Entertaining, indeed. Lest you think health professions students are all work and no play, a peek at the 1921 Cardiograph’s section on the Class of 1923 reveals that – in addition to its colors, purple and gold; its flower, violet; and its four officers, all women, incidentally – the “class yell” goes like this:

Polymorphonuclear neutrophilic leukocyte, Rah, Rah
Polymorphonuclear neutrophilic leukocyte, Rah, Rah
Polymorphonuclear neutrophilic leukocyte, Rah, Rah, Rah, SOPHOMORES.

The Class of '23 may look pretty serious, but...

While it doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue, you know there has to be a great story behind the cheer. Preserving and sharing traditions like these are vital to an institution’s history, character and future, so kudos to our library colleagues for making DMU’s past so accessible to us in the present.

What is your favorite aspect of DMU’s history?


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