Postcard views of Notre Dame

A vintage postcard from the 1930s with the caption; "Stadium and Field House, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.

A vintage postcard from the 1930s with the caption; "Stadium and Field House, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.

Not the victory but the action;
Not the goal but the game;
In the deed the glory
  -Inscription on the Southwest Stadium Tower. by Hartley Burr Alexander
The following history of Memorail Stadium is from HuskerWebcast.com:
 
Memorial Stadium/Tom Osborne Field
Nebraska’s continuing NCAA record of consecutive home sellouts passed the 200-mark in 1994 and is expected to reach at least 246 after the 2001 season. On Homecoming, Oct. 29, 1994, against the University of Colorado, Nebraska celebrated its 200th consecutive sellout. Nebraska set a single-season home attendance record this past season by averaging 77,878 fans for six home games, breaking the old record average of 77,729 set in 1999.

The string of consecutive sellouts started on Nov. 3, 1962, when 36,501 showed up for the Homecoming contest vs. Missouri. The last non-sellout in Memorial Stadium was Oct. 20, 1962, when the Huskers and Kansas State drew 30,701.

With the new additions, the Cornhuskers’ Memorial Stadium has a seating capacity of 74,031 in 1999, up from 72,700 in 1998. Home attendance has averaged over 75,000 for the past 27 years as NU has ranked in the top six nationally in attendance for many years.

In the fall of 1922, a drive for $430,000 in stadium construction funds was undertaken by faculty, students, alumni and friends of the University of Nebraska. The quota was over subscribed. The Stadium was named Memorial Stadium to honor all Nebraskans who served in the Civil and Spanish-American Wars; the 751 Nebraskans who died in World War I; the 3,839 in World War II; the 225 in Korea; and the 422 in Vietnam. Construction was completed in a few more than 90 working days and Memorial Stadium was dedicated on Oct. 20, 1923, at the Homecoming game in which Nebraska was held to a scoreless tie by Kansas.

Inscribed on the four corners of Memorial Stadium and preserved despite construction is the following words, written by former UNL professor of philosophy Hartley Burr Alexander:

Southeast: "In Commendation of the men of Nebraska who served and fell in the Nations Wars."

Southwest: "Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory."

Northwest: "Courage; Generosity; Fairness; Honor; In these are the true awards of manly sport."

Northeast: "Their Lives they held their countrys trust; They kept its faith; They died its heroes."

As part of the continuing improvement of athletic facilities at the University of Nebraska, several major projects have been completed throughout the past 76 years enhancing the facility. The $1 million Hewit Center performance buffet/study hall area was opened in March of 1985, underneath the West Stadium adjacent to the massive strength complex. The weight room and the Hewit Center were expanded and remodeled in 1989. The artificial turf was replaced again in 1992. This season, Memorial Stadium was resurfaced with FieldTurf, a new artificial surface with that is safer than artifical turf. Nebraska is the first Division I program to use the new surface.

Prior to the fall of 1994, Nebraska installed two 17' feet high, by 23' feet wide replay boards, now known to Nebraska faithful as HuskerVision screens.

Following the 1997 season, construction began on a $36-million improvement project which was completed for the start of the 1999 season. Included in the improvements are the addition of a new press box facility and 42 skyboxes, each of which will house 25 spectators on game day. In addition, club seating rose from approximately 350 to 1,500 per game. The improvement project also tripled the number of restrooms on both the East and West sides of the stadium, doubled the number of concessions in both East and West concourses and included concrete repair and waterproofing throughout the stadium. Completed, the renovations raised the capacity of Memorial Stadium from 72,700 to 74,031. It is also noted that the original four inscriptions will remain visible for the generations to come.

The Story behind the famous quotes, from an article "In the Deed -The story: The Origins Of Nebraska Football's Most Famous Quote" by Mark Fricke. From The Husker Press Box

"Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory"

Those words have become as etched in the minds of Cornhusker football fans as they are in the concrete of Memorial Stadium. Engraved in the stone pillar high above the stadium's Southwest entrance those words have welcomed visitors since the field's construction in 1923.

Those seventeen words have endeared themselves as the motto of Nebraska football and have reached such a level of reverence that even a complete renovation of the Memorial Stadium facade, including the area were the quote resides, would not allow for the destruction of the motto.

"With the new entrance, what we've done is framed a visual window through the building and we're lighting the inscriptions so you'll be able to see the inscriptions, probably better than you've ever seen it before." said John Ingram, Director of Athletic Facilities for the University. " Additionally, the 'In the deed the glory' quote will be engraved across the span of the new facade."

But those words, stoic and simple in their message, call one question. Who said that? Where did the saying come from?

The saying, as well as the other three statements that grace the stadium's other corners is attributed to Hartley Burr Alexander, a philosophy professor at the University of Nebraska during the first quarter of the century. Alexander was later responsible for the icons and quotations that surround the Nebraska State Capital building, Rockefeller Center in New York and the Los Angeles Public Library building as well as other buildings around the world. For his work Alexander would eventually become an honorary member of the American Institue of Architects. But Alexander's inspiration for the quotes outside of Memorial Stadium have rather simplistic origins.

"He just made them up." says Kay Logan-Peters, Architectural Librarian and Historian at the University of Nebraska. "He was a bit of a renaissance man. He knew a lot about mythology and was a very literate person so it's not surprising he could just dream it up."

Alexander was a fairly controversial scholar in his time. He studied what was known as "Metaphysics". He quickly developed the reputation for coming up with the messages to accompany grand concepts, a practice he coined as "iconography." He was asked to create the quotes to grace the new Nebraska football stadium in the early 1920's.

In Robert Knoll's book Prairie University, Alexander was described as a "visionary" and "one of the most remarkable persons the University had ever produced. The intellectual center of the University. " He studied as an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska before taking a fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and later got his PhD at Columbia in 1901. He returned to Nebraska as a philosophy professor in 1908 at the request of the chancellor. It was there that Alexander's reputation grew. He was a scholar in such diverse arts as mythology, poetry, philosophy, and anthropology. In 1922 he was commissioned to oversee the schematics on the Nebraska State Capital in addition to his contributions on Memorial Stadium. Eventually his idealism put him in conflict with University administration and he left the University following a dispute with the Chancellor shortly thereafter.

While the "In the deed" quote has become the most well known engraving on Memorial Stadium, many fans don't realize that similar messages are engraved over the remaining three corner entrances.

Over the Southeast entrance are the words "In the Commendation of the men of Nebraska who served and fell in the Nation's Wars". In the Northwest corner is "Courage; Generosity; Fairness; Honor; In these are the true awards of manly sport." and over the Northeast corner can be found "Their Lives they held their countrys (sic) trust; They kept its faith; They died its heroes."

 

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