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 missionary support, helping finance students who wished to travel to foreign countries for religious or social work, and publishing the Student Handbook from 1892 until 1935.

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.
Woman'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.

Woman'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.