Schwebel: More than just a name

You sit in Schwebel Auditorium, but you probably don’t even realize that’s what it’s called. The Schwebel name is present all over campus, but do you even know why they’re named the way they are?

The Schwebel family has a long history of charitable support to the university, but it all started when Dora and Joseph Schwebel baked their first loaf of bread in their Campbell home in 1906.

Eight years later, Schwebel’s bread could be found in a few local stores, and in 1923, the couple opened a small bakery on Lawrence Avenue. A few years later, Joseph died and left Dora to not only take care of the bakery, but to raise their six children.

While those around Dora tried to persuade her to sell the bakery, Dora refused. The year after Joseph passed, Schwebel’s lost the majority of its investors due to the stock market crash, and then the Great Depression began.

The Depression served as a time of growth for the bakery, despite the economy’s bleak circumstances. During this time, the bakery created their mascot, Happy the Clown, as a symbol of hope in dark times. Happy the Clown can still be seen on the yellow bags used to hold their bread.

Dora remained an integral part of the bakery until her death in 1964.

The Schwebel name is all over YSU, with most students not even giving a second thought to the name. The next time you’re in the Schwebel Auditorium in Moser Hall or in the Schwebel Lounge in Kilcawley Center, remember that those dedications exist because of the generosity of the Schwebel family, and remember that it all started with a loaf of bread.