Monday, November 24, 2014

The Lost Architecture of UNCG, part 1

At the time of its opening in 1892, the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG) consisted primarily of four buildings: two dormitories, a "main building," and the president's house. Smaller outbuildings existed, but these four structures served as the heart of campus activity. Today, only the Main Building -- renamed the Foust Building in 1960 in memory of the institution's second president Julius Foust -- remains.

Campus in 1893 (from left to right:
McIver House, Wooden Dormitory, Main Building, Brick Dormitory)

What happened to the other original structures? What other buildings were constructed during the earlier years of the institution but no longer stand? This week and next, we will look at some of the lost architecture of UNCG -- the buildings that were but are no more. Today, we start with the three structures that stood on opening day of State Normal but no longer exist.

Brick Dormitory

Brick Dormitory, designed by Epps & Hackett of Greensboro, was one of the two campus building in the original campus plans created by the architecture firm of Epps and Hackett of Greensboro. It also known as the matron’s hall or the living building. Like the Main (now Foust) Building, Brick Dormitory was built of brick, trimmed with granite, covered with metal shingles, and plastered with Acme cement.

The three-story structure was built in stages. By 1895 it included a kitchen, an infirmary room, and a dining hall that held 150 students. A final wing was added at the rear of the building in 1903 to add more student rooms and larger dining and kitchen facilities. Brick Dormitory also served as a site for socialization amongst the students. In the evenings between study hour and lights-out, they sat on the steps, singing songs and telling jokes. 

The dormitory was destroyed by fire on January 20, 1904, with all of the residents escaping unharmed. The total loss due to the fire was evaluated at $64,458. It was located to the east of Main Building, approximately near the site of the current McIver and Taylor buildings.

Wooden Dormitory/Midway/Guilford Dormitory

Built in 1892, this 22-room dormitory was known at the outset as Wooden Dormitory. It was then nicknamed “Midway” after the Chicago Exposition of 1893 and later called Guilford Dormitory. This frame building was not included in the original building agreement between the school and the city of Greensboro, so the school's board of directors were forced to mortgage the property (along with the President's house) for $9,000.

As was the case with Brick Dormitory, students who lived in Wooden Dormitory were directly supervised by "lady assistants" who served almost as house mothers. The students in Wooden Dormitory, however, faced an extra challenge compared to those in Brick Dormitory. Rigid standards of dress dictated that no lady would be seen on the street without hat and gloves. Therefore, students had to be properly attired before they could walk from their room Wooden Dormitory to the dining hall in Brick Dormitory.

The College’s first “practice school” was housed in the right wing of the dormitory until the Curry Building (College Avenue) opened in 1902. The dormitory was razed in 1935 to make room for the current Alumni House.

President's House/McIver House

This two-story, ten-room house was built in 1892 on the southwest corner of College Avenue and Spring Garden Street for President Charles Duncan McIver and his family (around the site of the current Vacc Bell Tower). Although President McIver passed away in 1906, Mrs. McIver lived there until her death in December 1944. It was torn down in 1952 but has since been commemorated on two occasions.

The Class of 1923, on the occasion of its 30th reunion, commissioned a small brick foundation from which the original 1892 School bell, or “University Bell,” would hang. In 1967, on the occasion of the University’s 75th anniversary, the student body voted to build a more elaborate brick setting on the site named Student Anniversary Plaza. Student Anniversary Plaza was renovated in 2005 to incorporate the Vacc Bell Tower.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Lost Clubs and Groups of UNCG

Every campus had them - groups and clubs that embody a time period where a certain activity was in demand or appeared relevant. From horseback riding, to women carpenters, to school plays performed by a swimming club, learning about these groups help to enlighten us about what was important and trending in different eras of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). This blog will focus on four groups or clubs that had a significant effect on the campus and its students. All photos shown in this exhibit come directly from the SCUA archives. Information about these groups was found in UNCG yearbooks, student handbooks, and various texts about the campus history. When looking at these student-based groups, what we can begin to interpret is how time and technology has altered what the students engaged in, or what they cared about.
 
Y.W.C.A.
Campus Y.W.C.A. group, 1908/09
One of the oldest groups on campus, the Young Women’s Christian Association (Y.W.C.A.), elected its first president on December 6, 1892. This group of women was responsible for almost all of the religious activities that were held on campus, such as Sunday school, prayer meetings, and volunteering for other Christian organizations. Other important Y.W.C.A. based activities were creating the Students’ Handbook until 1926, missionary support, and helping finance students who wished to travel to foreign countries for religious or social work.

Playlikers
 

Playlikers group photo, 1938/39
The Dramatic Club was officially organized in 1912-1913, with a presentation of Booth Tarkington’s, The American, being a part of the Commencement that year. The club encouraged girls who wanted to act in plays to be in the spotlight as frequently as possible. By the 1920’s, the name had changed to the Playlikers, and Raymond Taylor had taken over as director of the drama department. The club began to travel across the state to perform and built a healthy reputation. One of the major traditions that formed was to present plays written by UNCG students.

Outing Club

Outing Club trip, Pilot Mountain, NC, 1967
“Going places and doing things” was the motto given to the Outing Club by the Greensboro Record writer, Bodie McDowell, in a brief article on the active group. The club was officially formed in 1966 by students that were avid climbers and knew of others interested in outdoor adventures. The club organized everything from skiing, horseback riding, and mountain climbing to canoe trips, camping, and sailing, at affordable costs for all students involved.

 Dolphin-Seal Club
 
Dolphin-Seal Club, 1963
Originally, when the club was formed in 1926, it was only known as the "Dolphin Club." Its aim was to help improve swimming stroke and technique. Later, the "Seal" was added to include women who wished to swim but were not as advanced as their “Dolphin-sisters.” By the 1930’s and 40’s, the club hosted many events to help raise money and entertain the campus through water-based plays and musicals. Though UNCG still has a swimming team, the Dolphin-Seal club is no longer part of the university.

 This blog was created by Ralph Butcher, History Department Intern at the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives, November 2014.

 

 

 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans Day Spotlight on UNCG Alumna and Women's Army Corps Brigadier General Mildred Inez Caroon Bailey

Mildred Inez Caroon Bailey was born in 1919 in Fort Barnwell, North Carolina, and raised in nearby Kinston. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in Flora McDonald College in Red Springs, North Carolina. She transferred to the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) in her sophomore year and graduated in 1940.

From Bailey's 1999 Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project Oral History:
At that time, transferring to Greensboro, that was a big step to the university level, and it was very impersonal and much larger. I was trying to work six hours a day to help pay my tuition and working very hard to keep my grades up, so I was extremely homesick when I first transferred there.
Women's College Yearbook, Pine Needles 1940

From Bailey's 1999 Oral History, on working with the Dining Services through college:
One thing that I remember so much about that was the dietitian.... One of her jobs was not only the menus and the serving and the cooking, but to monitor the students who were working there. She felt that those of us who were working to get through school deserved the opportunity to not have to eat all of our meals as cafeteria meals and on the run, and so... we had to report an hour and a half before we were scheduled to start serving. We had a dining room of our own and a beautiful meal was served to us personally. When we finished that meal, then we went out and served the rest of the students.
Bailey was also a member of various student organizations while she attended the Women's College: The YWCA for three years, Le Cercle Fran├žais for years 3 and 4, Education Club year 4, and Classical Club years 3 and 4.

Women's College Yearbook, Pine Needles, 1940 Classical Club Photo


Bailey joined the newly formed Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in the summer of 1942, and was sent to Officer Training School at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, where she was a member of Third Class of WAACs. Bailey was assigned to the Army Air Corps and stationed in Daytona Beach, Florida, until mid-1943, when the company she commanded was transferred to George Field Army Air Base in Illinois. Bailey was then sent sent to Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, for a short time before moving to Craig Field, Alabama, where she taught English to members of the French Air Force until the end of World War II in 1945.

From Bailey's 1999 Oral History, on joining the WAAC:
The newspaper said that women who were interested should contact the nearest army installation. Well, I wasn't interested enough to contact anybody, and I guess the nearest army installation was Fort Bragg at that time. I knew it existed, but I'd never been there. But a friend of mine who was very interested in it wanted to go to Fort Bragg and see what it was all about, so I went along with her for the ride. That's the way it all started.
My father said to me, “I'm not sure what you're doing and all that. You know what you're doing. But if you've made this decision, then your family stands behind you.” That summed the whole thing up. That was certainly not the attitude of a lot of people in this country when women started in the military service.
Bailey remained in the army after World War II and was sent to Miami, Florida, where she served as Vocational Guidance and Counselor Officer for veterans. In 1949, she was transferred to Stuttgart, Germany, with an Intelligence assignment. She was then sent to Munich to command a WAC attachment at the 98th General Hospital.

In 1953, Bailey returned stateside to Washington, D.C., where she worked in the Intelligence branch of the Military District of Washington headquarters. In 1957, she graduated from Strategic Intelligence School, and then reported to Fort MacPherson, Georgia, where she served as the Head of Recruiting for the Southeastern United States for three years. In 1961, she was put in charge of the WAC detachment at Fort Myer, Virginia, the largest detachment in the U.S. From 1963 to 1968 Bailey organized and traveled with the Women in the Military presentation tour. The stage show featured a broad scope of historical military and civilian fashion, ranging from Ancient Egypt to contemporary uniforms. The tour was used to boost recruitment to the WAC and also general public relations. They performed at shopping malls, Rotary Clubs, state fairs and schools.
Mildred Bailey in WWI-era dress, 1967 Object ID: WV0413.6.016


Upon returning to Washington, she worked as a Liaison Officer for the Senate. In 1970, she made Deputy Commander at the training center in Fort McClelland, Alabama. On 2 August 1971 Bailey became the third Director of the Women’s Army Corps and was promoted to Brigadier General. She retired from the army in July 1975.

Jimmy Carter with WAC personnel, circa Oct. 20, 1978. President Jimmy Carter signed Public Law 95-485 disbanding the Women's Army Corps as a separate corps. WV0360.6.009
Mildred Bailey married Roy Bailey in the early 1940s while stationed at Daytona Beach. He passed away in the early 1960s.

Mildred Bailey died 18 July 2009 in Washington D.C.

Written by: Sara Maeve Whisnant

Monday, November 3, 2014

100 Years Ago: Campus Life in 1914

On Monday, September 21, 1914, classes began for the 582 women enrolled as students at the State Normal and Industrial College. All but 18 were residents of North Carolina, and they represented every county in the state. As the Course Bulletin from that year noted, "every county has its proportionate number of appointments, and the advances of the Institution are, to the extent of its capacity, open on similar terms to all."

The college offered give general courses of study for the students, leading to Bachelor of Pedagogy (for those intending to teach), Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Home Economics, and Bachelor of Music degrees. Twenty academic departments employed 69 faculty members to teach classes ranging from Principles of Teaching and Classroom Management to Household Decoration and Furnishing to Theory of Gymnastics.

Class of 1914 basketball team
State Normal offered no scholarships for undergraduate students, but provided free tuition to those "who signify their intentions to teach upon such conditions as may be prescribed by the Board of Directors." Each student applying for free tuition was required to sign a formal agreement affirming their desire to pursue teaching as a post-graduate career and stating that, if she "can secure employment and my health permits," she will teach in either public or private schools in North Carolina for at least two years after completing her studies. For those who did not wish to teach after leaving State Normal, tuition fees were $45 per academic year ($65 for non-residents of North Carolina).

Additional fees, including board in the dormitories ($104), laundry service ($18), fuel and lights ($10) and a library fee ($2), brought the total of basic expenses for a year of school at State Normal to $195 (including tuition). Further fees were assessed for students taking courses with a laboratory component and certain business classes. A $5 annual charge also covered the expenses related to textbooks (the College provided the students with the books they needed for each class).

Scene from "Anita's Trial" by the Adelphian Literary Society, 1914
Students were able to join a number of different organizations, but perhaps the most influential groups in terms of campus life were the literary societies. In 1914, there were two literary societies on campus - the Adelphians and the Cornelians. These groups organized plays, lectures, debates, socials, and other activities for members and campus at large. Students were not required but were strongly encouraged to join one of these two societies. As noted in the Course Bulletin, "after observing for several years the general progress of those students who are members of these Societies, and those who are not, the authorities of the College do not hesitate to say that is a great mistake for a student not to become a member."

Gladys Avery, 1st SGA president
The two literary societies also worked together to publish the bimonthly State Normal Magazine, which included "timely articles on current educational questions, with material relating to the past history of the State form[ing] a considerable portion of its contents." State Normal Magazine was led by a Board of Editors elected from the Adelphian and Cornelian literary societies. Additionally, guidance was provided by a member of the faculty who was appointed Advisory Editor.

1914 also saw the organization of the Student Government Association, with its legislative and executive divisions (although the official Board of Directors resolutions approving the creation of the Student Government Association was not approved until 1915). Gladys Avery was elected as State Normal's first ever Student Government Association president.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Ghosts of UNCG: A Special, Spooky Spartan Story!

To celebrate Halloween, we repeat this blog post, originally posted in October 2012 by Hermann Trojanowski, who retired from Special Collections and University Archives in 2013. We hope you enjoy this extra spooky Spartan Story.

Spencer Residence Hall
Tales have long circulated about the ghosts that allegedly haunt the campus.  In the late 1960s, the Spencer Residence Hall ghost was known simply as “The Blue Ghost” or “The Woman in Blue.”  In the early 1980s, students gave her the name “Annabelle,” possibly alluding to the subject of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic poem “Annabel Lee.” 

Legend has it that Annabelle is the spirit of a student who hanged herself many years ago in one of the building’s bell towers; however, no such suicide has ever been documented.  A member of the residence hall staff reported that Annabelle had “appeared as a blue shadow on two occasions in the Spencer’s main parlor and when the building was closed for the Summer in 1976, the same staff member heard the ghost “dragging something on the floor out in the lobby.”There have been other reports of a blue haze passing by a second-floor laundry room and of objects being flung across rooms.

In South Spencer in the early 1980s, an apparition reportedly awakened two different staff member on two separate occasions by walking into their rooms. The building had been closed for vacations both times. It is not known whether this was Annabelle or another ghost or ghosts.

Mary Foust Residence Hall
Build in 1928, Mary Foust Residence Hall was named for Mary Foust Armstrong, daughter of the college’s second president, Julius Isaac Foust.  Mary was a member of the class of 1920 – she died in childbirth in 1925. Some believe that her ghost took up residence in the dormitory that bears her name, because rumors have floated around for years about random “unexpected crying” and “funny noises” on the hall’s second floor.  Mary Foust’s portrait, which had hung above the fireplace, disappeared some time back without a trace.  Another rumor about Mary Foust Hall was that in the 1950s, three nursing students hanged themselves from the rafters in the attic.  Investigations have shown that the structure of the beams would make hanging very difficult but still the rumors persist.

The campus’ most well documented ghost reportedly inhabits Aycock Auditorium, which opened in 1927.  An interview with Raymond Taylor who taught drama and play presentation and was the director of dramatic activities on campus from 1921 until his retirement in 1960, reveals that Taylor not only believed in the ghost of Aycock Auditorium, but recounts his personal experiences with the ghost. 

Raymond Taylor
According to Taylor, “at one time a sort of colonial mansion stood on the corner where Aycock is.  There dwelt in this mansion an old lady all-alone.  After a while she became extremely unhappy about her lonely state and went up in the attic and suspended herself from a rope on the rafters.  Having committed suicide there, she determined to stay on as a ghost.  When they tore down the building, she haunted the area for a long time until Aycock was finally built, and then she adopted that for her home.  She seemed, when I knew her to delight in the upper reaches of Aycock foyer where she assumed the guise of lights that flitted from ceiling place to ceiling place and dragging chains and clanking objects over the floor down in the lobby up to my office door.” 

Taylor goes on to tell the story of an incident that occurred one afternoon when he and the Aycock janitor were working on the set for a play.  The whole building was locked up, and since it had been an extremely hot afternoon, he and the janitor undressed down to their briefs to work.  Taylor had left his clothes neatly in a pile.  During the afternoon, a storm came up that raged and roared for quite a while and after the storm was over, Taylor went upstairs to dress and found that his clothes had been disarranged.  He had been wearing a vest with a watch chain across it, and his watch chain had been arranged on the table in the form of a cross.  His other clothes were “helter skelter all over the place.” Taylor just knew this was the work of the ghost of Aycock Auditorium.
Aycock Auditorium

Many nights, while working in the auditorium, Taylor would hear all sorts of strange noises.  He tried to explain some of them by saying that they were the echoes of passing cars or the reverberations of the passing trains shaking the building, but one night he and a colleague, Jimmy Hogue, were sitting in his officer around midnight talking.  Hogue was sitting with his back to the door.  All of a sudden the door opened, and a cold air came in, and they heard the receding clank of chains.  They got up and turned on the lights in the hallway and looked all over, but could never find an explanation for that occurrence.

Jane Aycock
Students have given the Aycock spirit a name, Jane Aycock, and say that she is the daughter of the man for whom the auditorium was named; but Governor Charles Brantley Aycock, whose two wives bore him nine children, had no daughter by that name.  Supposedly she killed herself in the auditorium, a noose around her neck, her body dangling from the fly-loft over the Aycock stage. But the only deaths the auditorium has witnessed have been those acted out on stage, not over it.

According to an article in the Winston-Salem Journal in 1977, written when Aycock Auditorium was 50 years old and was getting ready to reopen after renovations, the drama majors were so attached to the specter that it became something of a tradition to introduce her to new students. “An unsuspecting freshman would be handed a lighted candle and shown the stairway leading to the attic, reportedly the ghost’s favorite turf.  Then the drama majors… would solemnly watch as the flickering flame floated away into the gloom.  They knew there was a certain spot in the attic where a draft always blew out the candle.  It would take a few minutes for the novice spook chaser’s eyes to adjust to the darkness.  Then, the victim would see a shape – a human shape – shimmering in the inky blackness.  The drama majors always got a kick out of hearing the screams that usually followed.  It’s surprising what a coat of luminescent paint can do for a manikin borrowed from the theater’s prop shop.”

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Beginning of Physical Education on Campus: 1892 – 1917


Dr. Miriam Bitting, first campus physician, ca. 1892
When the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG) first opened its doors in the fall of 1892, the Department of Physiology and Physical Culture was in place. Its purpose was to educate the students in the care and training of their bodies and to encourage health and wellness. The program included gymnastics and calisthenics to promote strength and improve the posture of the students. Exercise classes were held in the school’s first gymnasium, located in the northeast section of the Main Building (now the Foust Building), which was equipped with weights, bars, and exercise machines. Training included increasingly difficult exercises meant to develop the body and create strong, graceful, and dignified young women. Miss Maude Broadway was the director of the gymnasium and led the exercises that were designed to be easily translated into the classroom, as many of the State Normal students were studying to become teachers.


Miriam Bitting was both the resident college physician and the head of the department. She taught a class on physiology and made morning and evening rounds of her students, offering suggestions regarding room ventilation, hygiene, and clothing. Dr. Bitting was very progressive in thought and encouraged the girls to reject their corsets for better movement and general health - giving the State Normal girls the reputation for a good postures and large waists.


Maude Broadway wearing a traditional gym suit, ca. 1893
Dr. Anna Gove, second campus physician, ca. 1894
























When Dr. Bitting left the following year to get married, she was replaced by Dr. Anna Gove. Dr. Gove was a graduate of the Woman’s Medial College of New York Infirmary and had also studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It was Dr. Gove who began the “walking period” or “exercise period” that required each girl to spend at least an hour per day participating in outdoor activities, which could include walking or games.  In 1900, the gymnasium in the Main Building was converted to a library and this daily exercise period would become even more important. The campus Athletic Association was founded the same year.

First athletic field, across from Spencer Dormitory
During the 1907/1908 academic year, the Department of Physiology and Physical Culture changed its name to the Department of Physical Training, remaining within the Hygiene Department and retaining Dr. Gove at its head. Miss Ruena West, specially trained in physical education, was also hired to serve as physical director. The program concentrated on exercise regimens tailored to the needs of the individual, and also included sports such as basketball and tennis. An exercise room was incorporated into Spencer Dormitory, which could be used throughout the seasons. Field Hockey was added a few years later and a large area was designated across from Spencer Dormitory for an athletic field. Popular courses such as folk dancing and rhythmic dancing were added in the 1911/1912 academic year, but the program also continued to focus on physical evaluation, drills, and indoor and outdoor games. In 1917, the department officially became the Department of Physical Education.                                                                                                                                           

Monday, October 20, 2014

Basketball before Co-Education

October is North Carolina Archives Month, an annual observance of the agencies and people responsible for maintaining and making available the archival and historical records of our nation, state, communities and people. The 2014 NC Archives Month theme is "North Carolina at Play: Health and Leisure in Our State.” All of our Spartan Stories in October will focus on this theme.
 
From its founding in 1891, the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG) emphasized physical activity and personal health. Curriculum in the first year of the school’s existence (1892-1893) included the Department of Physiology and Heath, which had two objectives: instruction in hygiene and an individualized program of exercise. A course in Physical Culture was actually required of all students. The work included gymnastics, calisthenics, and other exercises that were meant to promote the student’s general health and strength.

1909 State Normal senior class basketball team
Around the same time, basketball for women was beginning to gain popularity across the nation. Basketball rules for women were first introduced in 1892 at Smith College. These rules were modified specifically for the women’s game, as it was feared that the women could not physically or mentally handle the strain of the men’s rules. The court was divided into three areas with three players from each time in each area (nine total players per team). The ball moved from section to section by passing or dribbling. Players were limited to three dribbles and could hold the ball for three seconds. No snatching or batting the ball away from a player was allowed.

Students at State Normal gravitated towards the game and actively sought opportunities for athletic competition. In 1900, the campus Athletic Association was formally established (15 years before the student government was founded). In a space that is now the site of the Petty Science Building, the women of the Athletic Association cleared and prepared playing grounds, marked the fields, and installed nets on four tennis courts and basketball goals. A primary goal of the Athletic Association was to support competitions between the classes (freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors). They held their first basketball tournament in 1900, and in 1902, they adopted their official motto: “Athletics and active college work go hand in hand.”

Intramural basketball game in Rosenthal Gym, 1942
Competition continued to be solely among State Normal students until 1928, when the school (at the time, known as the North Carolina College for Women) hosted the first annual intercollegiate Play Day in North Carolina. Students from seven schools from around the state came to play a variety of sports (including basketball), but they were not competing for their particular schools. Instead, teams mixed students from the different institutions in order to discourage over-competitiveness.

Permanent facilities were also constructed to allow space for basketball and other competitions. In 1922, a 50 x 90 foot outdoor gymnasium was constructed, and it hosted many of the Athletic Association competitions. The structure consisted of little more than a floor and a roof supported by posts. Rosenthal Gymnasium was completed in 1925. Boasting a swimming pool, basketball court, and other amenities, it was praised as one of the best facilities of its kind in the country. In spite of the upgrade to the facilities, the competitions continued to be intramural only.

Intercollegiate basketball competition, 1963
In the 1940s, Woman’s College began experimenting with a few low-key intercollegiate matches at Play Day. In March 1944, the Carolinian student newspaper was happy to report victories by the WC basketball teams over Guilford and Greensboro Colleges at the recent Winter Sports Play Day in Rosenthal Gym. This experiment, however, only lasted a few years. Intercollegiate competition didn’t resume with any frequency until 1963.

In 1963, the final year before WC became UNCG and admitted male students, the school began its first full schedule of intercollegiate women’s basketball competition. The 1963 team was coached by Ellen Griffin, a 1940 graduate of Woman’s College, an instructor in the physical education department, and a nationally renowned golfer. The team won three of its four games against nearby colleges and paved the way for the current Spartans women's basketball team.