Monday, October 16, 2017

Romanesque Revival Architecture on the State Normal Campus

When plans were made public that The State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG) was to be built in Greensboro, North Carolina, many architects were considered to design the primary campus buildings. Ultimately, it was decided that the firm of Epps & Hackett of Greensboro would construct the two main buildings in the Romanesque Revival style, for a cost of $500. A fashionable 19th century, Romanesque Revival was influenced by 11th and 12th century European architecture, and was often used on American college campuses. Henry Hobson Richardson made this style popular in late 19th century, and it would continue to be used for decades after his death in 1886.

Main Building and Brick Dormitory (now Foust), ca. 1896




The State Normal and Industrial School was a very large commission for the new firm of Epps & Hackett and they designed two imposing buildings, which would rise dramatically from land recently used for cornfields. Typical of Romanesque Revival style, the architects incorporated semi-circular arches and heavy frontal towers constructed of brick with granite trim to create an impressive fa├žade. Thomas Woodroffe, the owner of the notable Mt. Airy Granite Company, was hired as the contractor.
When the school opened its doors in October of 1892, students were welcomed into the new buildings. Main Building included classrooms, administrative offices, recitation rooms, a library room, a gymnasium, and an assembly room, which was also used as a chapel. When the legislature appropriated additional monies for the school’s improvement in 1895, two flanking wings were added, allowing for additional classrooms and laboratories.

Brick Dormitory, 1900
Brick Dormitory was situated directly beside Main Building, with the two structures being joined by a large circular drive. The first floor of the dormitory housed the infirmary, as well as the dining room, which sat 150 students, while the large kitchen was located in the basement. When the building first opened, thirty-six rooms on the first and second floors were designated for students, and when the third floor was completed, it added twenty-two additional rooms. Eventually, a wing was added to the rear of the building, which created a new dining hall that sat 400 students and faculty and created additional bedrooms, increasing the capacity to 330 students and faculty residents.

Students' Building, 1915
As the student population grew, additional space was needed for campus gatherings, administrative offices, and social activities.  To meet these needs, Students’ Building was constructed on the site of college president Charles Duncan McIver’s barn. Built with monies raised by students and supporters of the school, the cornerstone was laid on College Avenue in 1902. The large three-story brick and granite structure reflected the Romanesque Revival style of Main Building and Brick Dormitory. It incorporated a 700 seat auditorium, literary society halls, reception areas, and meeting rooms. A special room dedicated to the Bailey sisters, who died in the school’s 1899 Typhoid epidemic, faced the front of the building and featured beautiful stained-glass windows. The third floor included bedrooms that could be rented by alumnae.  The college’s administration found a practical use for the basement by designating it for the domestic science and manual training departments.

Brick Dormitory in Ruins, 1904
Sadly, these Romanesque Revival buildings met varied fates. On the night of January 20, 1904, Brick Dormitory caught fire. While all of the students escaped unharmed, the building was totally destroyed. Considered dilapidated and out-of-fashion, Students’ Building was razed in 1950. Only Main Building continued to be used by the student body for classrooms and offices. In 1960, it was renamed Foust Building, in  honor of the second president of the college, Julius Foust. Now considered the most iconic structure on campus, the Foust Building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, as one of the most important examples of the Romanesque Revival architecture in the state.

Monday, October 9, 2017

William Raymond Taylor’s Journey

Today's Spartan Stories post was written by Arlen Hansen, a PhD student in History. Arlen worked in Special Collections and University Archives during Summer 2017, assisting with research related to the University's 125th anniversary celebration.

William Raymond Taylor may be one of the more colorful characters to have populated the ranks of Woman’s College (later UNCG) faculty. He was certainly one of the most challenging of faculty members for Woman’s College President Julius Foust, and a figure who always “pushed the envelope” of what was possible at the WC.

William Raymond Taylor was an English professor at the Woman’s College from 1921 to 1961, but he is better known for being the founder of the University’s Drama and Speech Department. UNCG’s Taylor Theater is named in his honor. A native of North Carolina, Taylor received his B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1915, and his M.A. from Harvard in 1916, where he studied with prominent Shakespearean scholars, and became a close friend of the playwright Eugene O’Neill. He taught at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (later Auburn University) from 1916 to 1921, where he founded the drama department there, before coming to the Woman’s College. UNCG historian Allen Trelease writes that knowing Taylor’s love of and involvement in drama, then President of the Woman’s College, Julius Foust was reluctant to hire Taylor and allow him to begin to pursue drama once on site at the Woman’s College.1  It would be the beginning of a long history of tension between Foust and Taylor.

Throughout his 40 years at the Woman’s College, Taylor would divide his time between teaching language and literature, and building the theater program at the Woman’s College. He organized the first drama group at the Woman’s College in 1923, called the Play-Likers. The Play-Likers would evolve into the Drama Department (now the School of Theater and College of Visual and Performing Arts). Taylor would direct more than 200 plays during his years at the Woman’s College. In the early days, Taylor took the Play-Likers on the road, performing plays in small theaters for townspeople in towns throughout the Piedmont and Eastern North Carolina. Also for the first several years of the Play-Likers’ existence, Taylor and his wife, promoted further interest in theater by taking groups of Woman’s College students to New York City to see Broadway plays. On some of these trips they would pack in multiple performances, seeing almost a dozen plays on the trip.2

During this time, Taylor began urging a reluctant Julius Foust to build an auditorium. He, and an associate traveled all over Europe looking at theaters and opera houses for design inspirations for the prospective building. In 1927, when the new Aycock Auditorium made its appearance at the corner of Tate and Spring Garden Streets, Taylor prevailed upon a skeptical Julius Foust to make the building a theater as well. Foust only half-jokingly referred to Taylor’s growing assortment of backstage props, set pieces and paraphernalia as “the devil’s workshop.”3  Taylor would “push the envelope” with some of his 1920s productions, particularly his version of the Broadway hit “Tarnish.” Foust opposed the play’s “low moral tone,” but allowed the production to go forward. Apparently, Foust did not know just how “low” he would consider the moral tone to be. Foust did not go to see the play, but when hearing about its debut, he called Taylor into his office and nearly fired him. Taylor would later say that he never regained Foust’s confidence after “Tarnish.”4

Taylor (left) and members of the Play-Likers
preparing for a performance in 1932
In the late 1940s, Taylor’s position and stature at the Woman’s College began to suffer and diminish. He found himself increasingly incompatible with his associates in the drama division, and critics began to charge Taylor and the Play-Likers with sloppy business practices. The Play-Likers began to disintegrate, audiences declined, and the organization began losing money.5  These problems would eventually lead to drama acquiring status as its own department “in 1953—a development that,” Trelease writes, “involved the removal of W. Raymond Taylor from its leadership.”6  Taylor would return to teaching full-time until his retirement.

After his retirement in 1961, Taylor started a successful stage production and theater supply business with his son. It became one of the largest such firms in the nation. During this time, Taylor and his son designed and installed staging for Las Vegas casinos, and materials for theaters all over the United States, and even in South America. He became an award-winning rosarian (a cultivator of roses). His garden eventually contained over 1200 rose bushes of 250 varieties. In his later years, Taylor also did extensive research in the field of theology, as well as studies in New Testament Greek, after experiencing what he called a “spiritual awakening” at the age of 75. Taylor would tell the Greensboro Daily News in 1972, that around 3:00 AM on the morning of April 3, 1970, he had found himself wide awake and was aware of a voice speaking to him. “I did not hear the voice” he explained, “but in the place of audible sound there was the completely experienced “consciousness of voice.” Taylor said the message of the voice was crystal clear: “You are weak. You are all alone in your loneliness. You need the strength and comfort of my spirit.” A few days later, Taylor, who had never been a church-goer, would tell his wife, a lifelong church-goer, that he wanted to go to church with her on Sunday. Taylor’s “spiritual awakening” would lead to him traveling all over the South, preaching in dozens of Baptist churches, during the last years of his life.7

Taylor died in 1976, at the age of 81.


1  Allen W. Trelease, Making North Carolina Literate: The University of North Carolina at Greensboro from Normal School to Metropolitan University (Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2004), 103. 
2  Elisabeth Ann Bowles, A Good Beginning: The First Four Decades of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1967), 150, and Trelease, Making North Carolina Literate, 119. 
3 Trelease, Making North Carolina Literate, 88. 
4 Greensboro News Record, September 23, 1990. 
5 Trelease, Making North Carolina Literate, 169. 
6  Ibid., 247. 
7  Greensboro Daily News, June 18, 1972.

Monday, October 2, 2017

125 Years Ago: Starting Classes at State Normal

On October 5, 1892 – 125 years ago this week – the doors of the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG) opened its doors for an initial class of 198 women from across North Carolina. The institution was originally chartered by the State of North Carolina in February 1891, with a mission of training female teachers and instructing them in “drawing, telegraphy, type-writing, stenography, and such other industrial arts as may be suitable to their sex and conducive to their support and usefulness.” Leading the charge in the establishment and development of the school was Charles Duncan McIver, a staunch advocate for public schools, teacher education, and higher education for women. After the state legislature approved funding, McIver was named the first president of the State Normal.

View of the State Normal campus from Spring Garden Street, 1894
Four North Carolina communities put forth offers to be the home for the new school: Durham, Graham, Thomasville, and Greensboro. Ultimately, Greensboro won due to its relatively central location and the convergence of railroad lines from six directions (see this post for more information on the selection of Greensboro as the school's site). McIver and other school boosters quickly set about identifying a location in Greensboro where the new institution could be built. Ultimately, in November 1891, the site that was selected was one referred to as the "Pullen Site," located about a half mile west of Greensboro Female College on Spring Garden Street. This site was also within view, but not directly on, the railroad line. Two Raleigh real estate speculators and philanthropists, Richard Stanhope Pullen and Robert T. Gray, donated the ten acres that would house the school.

After a year spent planning the new school and constructing its facilities, classes began at the State Normal on October 5, 1892 (the date we now celebrate as Founders Day).Courses of study were divided into three departments: normal (teaching), business, and domestic science. The normal, listed as the leading department, included pedagogy classes as well as coursework in English, history, math, science, foreign language, art, music, and physical culture. This department also served as the academic home for McIver. In addition to serving as President of the school, he taught courses in pedagogy, education, and civics – courses that maybe went on a bit longer than anticipated. A memoir written by a staff member noted that “both in class and in chapel, he kept the students after the appointed hour so frequently that faculty members tried to avoid having their own classes scheduled in the following periods.”

President Charles Duncan McIver and the State Normal faculty, 1893
The standard course load for these new students included 22 to 27 class meetings per week, divided among six or eight individual courses. Study time was curtailed by the dormitory lights-out rule from 10 pm to 6 am, designed to ensure that students got adequate sleep. Every freshman regardless of major took the same eight courses in algebra, English, general and English history, Latin, physical geography and botany, drawing, vocal music, and physical culture (although domestic science students substituted sewing for drawing).

Founding the State Normal proved to be a milestone in education – and particularly women’s education – in North Carolina and throughout the United States. McIver and the early educators and students at the State Normal set the groundwork for UNCG as it stands today. One hundred twenty-five years after the first classes took place, the legacy remains.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Brain Videos, IV Bags, and Deadheads: The Most Interesting Teaching Experience Contest

Today's Spartan Stories post was written by Arlen Hansen, a PhD student in History. Arlen worked in Special Collections and University Archives during Summer 2017, assisting with research related to the University's 125th anniversary celebration.
Michael McIntosh

One day in 1998, sitting in the UNCG Dining Services facilities, Michael McIntosh, an Associate Professor of Nutrition at UNCG, would recall the exact moment—on a day twenty-four years earlier, that he knew he wanted to be a teacher. It was the day the new English teacher arrived at the mission school in the small village in Cameroon, West Africa, where McIntosh was a Peace Corps volunteer. A few months earlier, the previous English teacher had had to leave the country suddenly because of a serious illness, and McIntosh, who had been training local farmers in fish farming (to enhance local production and consumption of protein-rich foods), was pressed into service as an interim English teacher at the mission school. The next day he found himself out of the field and in front of sixty French-speaking junior high school students. McIntosh would soon discover that their level of comprehension in English was about the same as his own comprehension in French. Over several weeks, McIntosh and the students learned to communicate with each other by use of hand signals, demonstrations, models of all sorts, and blackboards full of chalk. It was difficult, but at last McIntosh felt that he was making real progress. McIntosh described the following three months of teaching those Cameroonian middle schoolers as some of the most fulfilling of his life. And then the new English teacher arrived, and McIntosh sadly went back to the fields. It was at that moment, he knew he wanted to be a teacher. McIntosh told this story as a part of the “Most Interesting Teaching Experience” Contest held by the UNCG Dining Services in 1998.

McIntosh’s story is inspirational, and thus perhaps fitting for a teacher from a university that started its life as the “State Normal and Industrial School.” A “normal” school was a college with the specific mission of training teachers. While McIntosh’s story was inspirational, many other entries in the contest were mostly humorous, if a little frightening on occasion. William Purkey’s class in Counseling asked him to describe what “encounter group activities” were like in the 1960s. Purkey wrote, “To demonstrate…I asked for 10 volunteers to form a very tight circle in the middle of the classroom, then I asked for a single volunteer to “break” into the circle. In the 1960s the one being excluded would run around the closed circle, looking for an opening. But I forgot [to mention] this…. The excluded volunteer suddenly started from one side of the classroom, ran to the circle. Then vaulted completely over the 10 circled student and landed head first…inside the circle.” Purkey concluded his story by saying that he has never since described that activity again. He did not say if the vaulting student sustained any injuries.

An even more disturbing experience was described by Psychology Professor Kathy Bell. While teaching about electrical impulses in the brain, Bell showed a video segment on how electrical impulses in the brain fire during a seizure. In the video, areas of the brain firing were illustrated with flashing lights. While this “seizure” was being demonstrated on screen, a student in the class had an actual seizure. Wrote Bell, “After depressing the student’s tongue to avoid her choking, I sent another student to call an ambulance. The student was fine by the time the ambulance arrived….” Later in the semester, Bell would discuss a study of children in Japan who were having seizure in reaction to flashing lights. She observed that this “provided a possible explanation for what we had observed in class. Needless to say, I do not intend to show the brain video again.”

But the Grand Prize winner of the contest takes the cake for being both hilarious and disturbing, in nearly equal portions. Bill Tullar remembered a professor from his college days whose name was Hailey. Professor Hailey had a reputation for giving the most difficult tests anyone had ever seen or experienced. Hailey hated giving make-up exams, and made them absolutely impossible if he had to give them. Consequently, students would do anything to avoid missing a regularly scheduled exam. One night during finals, Tullar remembers walking past Professor Hailey’s classroom and seeing a most astonishing sight through the open door. Tullar wrote, “In the front row of the class was a young man. He had his IV stand, a full IV bag hung on the stand, and the IV needle was firmly stuck in his left arm. He was writing furiously. This young man had gotten out of Moses Cone hospital, come to school to take the exam, and as soon as he was done, he went right back to Moses Cone, IV bag and all.”

Adams teaching on the bus in the summer of 1989
UNCG is, of course, no longer strictly a “teacher’s college,” but is classified as a “research university.” Yet, teaching, and the student-teacher interaction, as either transformative or frightening, as the anecdotes above illustrate, remains central to the task of education, here at UNCG, and everywhere that there are students and teachers. “Research and teaching are…inseparable,” wrote Sociology Professor Rebecca Adams in her response to the contest’s question. The entries were mostly hand written on a half-page size entry card that could be picked up at the Dining Services locations. For her entry, Adams submitted an article she had published in which she described teaching a summer class on Field research and Methods and Applied Social Theory to twenty-one undergraduates and then taking them on the Grateful Dead’s 1989 Summer Tour to research the subculture surrounding the band. In the article, Adams describes the close bonds that formed among the students from the experience of class on the road, and how, she wrote, “The students became a part of my life.” Long after that summer tour, Adams and the students she came to call “my deadheads” would meet up again over the years at Grateful Dead concerts. Adams husband and toddler daughter had accompanied the class on the tour, and wrote Adams,
At the urging of the students, my daughter spoke her first sentence: “Go Bus!” They held her, talked to her, and played with her. They sided with my husband when we bickered. The intensity of emotion I felt towards “my deadheads” both surprised and scared me; I had always kept a proper distance from students. Then I realized the benefits of this closeness. Because the students knew me, really knew me, they were more likely to come to me with problems, questions, and ideas. They knew I would respond as a friend, not just to the limits of my bureaucratic responsibility. They respected me more, not less. I now have more insight into the lives students lead. I am a much more effective teacher.
Sounds like a true education, for teacher and student alike.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The History of Dance on Campus

Student Dancer, 1928

Dance has always been a very important part of the history of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). When the college opened in 1892 as the State Normal and Industrial School, “movement” was taught as part of the Physiology and Hygiene curriculum under the direction of resident physician Dr. Anna Gove. The program stressed posture, calisthenics, gymnastics, and walking. This cutting edge curriculum was a product of several important conferences held during the mid-nineteenth century, which attempted to refine different physical education ideologies prevalent in the United States and Europe.

Only a decade after the school opened, Physical Culture had broken away from Physiology and Hygiene, concentrating on “the development of grace, precision, alertness, agility, and endurance.” This plan of study also included sports such as tennis, field hockey, and basketball. Physical education was stressed so that the students could both keep in shape and learn basic athletic skills that would prepare them for their career as teachers. By 1911, the school’s “Physical Training” program included rhythmical movements and folk dancing, as well as singing and games. These areas remained an important part of teacher training through the 1920s.

Folk Dancers

During these years, dance also emerged as an important part of school pageants and productions. Park Night, May Day, Field Day, and school clubs provided opportunities to bring both music and dance to campus events. Park Night festivities began with the “Dance to the Past,” followed by a large procession of students carrying torches. The event continued with lyrical poetry, presentations, and a solo dance, ending with the “Dance to the Future.”  The elaborate May Day celebrations included students dancing around colorful, ribboned poles, as well as group dances performed as part of smaller productions held around the campus. Even Field Day, primarily an athletic event, incorporated a “dance drama” performed by the Orchesus Club. This exclusive campus group was founded for students interested in interpretive dance.

Mary Channing Coleman

In 1920, college president Julius Foust lured Mary Channing Coleman away from her position at Columbia University to be the director of the school’s Physical Education Department, and the wheels were in motion to move the program into one of national importance. Under Coleman’s direction, dance became a growth area within the physical education curriculum, offering a variety of choices such as rhythmics (including interpretive dance), clogging, and folk dancing. Dances such as clogging and square dancing, which were both closely connected to the mountain culture of the state, were particularly popular.

The students’ interest in dance was fueled by the visit to the college by several important dance troops, including the Duncan Dancers, which had been organized by the internationally renowned American dancer, Isadore Duncan; the Denishawn Players, featuring Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn; and the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.

Virginia Moomaw
The curriculum continued to grow under Coleman’s strong management and in 1945 Virginia Moomaw was brought to the college to develop an official dance program. Shortly after her hire, the interdisciplinary Graduate Creative Arts Program was approved, which established dance as an MFA degree program and in 1957, students had the opportunity to declare dance as their major. Moomaw was also very involved with dance outside of the school. She was active in the early years of the National Dance Association as well as the AAHPERD (American Association of Health, Physical Educations, Recreation, and Dance). Her reputation for excellence and her creative curriculum made the college’s dance program one of the best in the nation.


Student Dancer, 1990s
In the following decades, dance became a part of several administrative changes. In 1963, the program was included in the Physical Education Department with health education, physical education and recreation but by 1970, dance became part of the School of Heath, Physical Education, and Recreation, which was renamed the School of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance in 1980. When in 1991, the School of Health and Human Performance was formed, dance was included and remained as part of the department until 2010 when it joined the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.  In 2016, the Department of Art merged with the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance to form the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the largest performing arts programs in the state and one of the largest programs in the region and in the country.*

* The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (20 January 2015). "UNCG: GRAMMY nods for four with ties to School of Music, Theatre... -- GREENSBORO, N.C., Jan. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --".

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bringing Music to Peabody Park

If you have ever walked the length of College Ave (in the direction of Market Street), you will eventually find yourself crossing a metal and concrete bridge. The structure and placement of the bridge creates for the walker the illusion of floating through and above a wooded section of Peabody Park. As you pass through a line of tree tops, you begin to see hints of a brick and glass structure located just beyond the bridge. The building’s multi-story entrance beckons students, faculty, and visitors to pass through its glass doors and experience the energy and creativity of music education as well as the wonders of musical performance. It is the Music Building.

The Music Building is situated at the corner of West Market Street and McIver Streets. Drawing on the existing landscape of Peabody Park, the design team built the three-story structure into an existing hill. Thus, the 130,000 square foot building blends into the surrounding landscape and conveys a sense of permeance. Would you be surprised to learn that the building only opened in 1999?
Prior to the building’s construction, the music program had struggled with growing pains and operated out of seven different buildings on campus. Faculty and students had to walk from building to building to study, rehearse, and perform. For example, the Brown Building on Tate Street housed the program’s administration and instruction spaces. The Brown Building Annex housed rehearsal spaces, the music education library, and faculty offices. Three separate campus-owned houses were used as offices and practice spaces. Finally, music performances were held at the University’s Auditorium and the nearby Curry Building. Thus, the hope was to bring together all the program’s functions and house them in one academic building.

The planning and construction of the Music Building in Peabody Park reflects the forward vision of its administrators and faculty. Starting in 1977, the music school Dean Lawrence Hart charged a committee to consider the needs of the program and the feasibility of constructing a new campus building. The committee’s work stopped with the Dean’s retirement. In 1984, with the appointment of Dean Arthur Tollefson, there was a new push to study the program’s current and future needs. Dean Tollefson himself articulated a vision of a building that provided both the “appropriate tools” and space to support a world-class music education.

Over a period of years, the University’s Board of Trustees worked to obtain funding for a new building. With the passage of the $310 million North Carolina University’s Improvement Bond by voters in 1993, monies were secured for various capital improvements on campus as well as the construction of a $23.4 million music building. In February 1994, the Board of Trustees voted to select the architecture firm Calloway, Johnson, Moore, and West of Winston-Salem. This firm designed the building in association with Howard, Montgomery and Steger Performance Architects of New Orleans. Also in February 1994, the Board of Trustees selected the site of the new building. Surprisingly, the Board rejected Chancellor William E. Moran’s recommendation of constructing the new building on Tate Street (between the Weatherspoon Museum and the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks). Instead, they approved an alternative location for the music building on the corners of West Market and McIver Streets. The Board justified its decision by stating that the new site would provide the music building more visibility.

The selection of the West Market and McIver Streets site was not fully embraced by all of the University’s faculty and students. For example, the Environmental Awareness Foundation (a coalition of students, faculty, and members of the surrounding community protested and expressed concern about the impact of new construction in Peabody Park. At the same time, this group did recognize the need for a new music school building. Several demonstrations were held on campus. In response to these protests, the University’s administration sought design changes and protective measures to minimize any impact on the flora and fauna in Peabody Park.

On August 1999, the new music building opened its doors to 50 faculty members and 500 music students.to its 500 students. The new building featured a 351-seat recital hall, a 120-seat organ recital hall, and a 140-seat lecture hall. One of the star features of the organ recital hall was a stunning 28-feet tall 1,900 pipe organ. The organ was fabricated by the Andover Organ Company in Methuen, Massachusetts. Additionally, the building contained faculty offices, classrooms, rehearsal spaces, recording studios, and a music library. The new building also adopted a range of new technologies. For example, the Wave (Wenger Acoustic Virtual Environment) Room stimulated the acoustics and environment of various concert halls around the world. Chancellor Patricia Sullivan formally dedicated the building on October 3, 1999. The afternoon-long event was filled with tours, demonstrations, and recitals.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Gregory Ivy: The Legacy of a Non-Conformist

Today's Spartan Stories post was written by Arlen Hansen, a PhD student in History. Arlen worked in Special Collections and University Archives during Summer 2017, assisting with research related to the University's 125th anniversary celebration.

To the extent that UNCG is known as an “arts school” in North Carolina, much of the credit for that reputation can go to Gregory Ivy (1904-1985). “Consider,” wrote his student Lee Hall, “what the world and North Carolina were like in the Great Depression, what the Woman’s College was about…when Gregory Ivy arrived in his super-modern space craft and -- seeming to barely speak the language of the country he had invaded -- urged the female natives to seek and value freedom, to question what they had been taught was unquestionable, and to notice that most authority figures were swaggering about as buck naked as the emperors they imagined themselves to be.”1  According to Lee Hall, “Ivy might as well have been an alien when he arrived in North Carolina” in 1935, to found the art department of the Woman’s College (later UNCG).2

Ivy was a Columbia University-educated artist, a modernist influenced by surrealism and the Cubists. As such, according to Hall, Ivy was always advancing challenges to the status quo, and he made the newly minted art department at the Woman’s College into “a mini-cosmos of the humanistic world he envisioned.”3  With this guiding philosophy, Ivy influenced generations of students, and shaped art education at the Woman’s College. In 1938, Ivy established a summer art colony held at the Beaufort Summer School through the mid-1950s, which focused on landscape painting. In 1941, with the help and support of community members, Ivy established an art gallery, now known as the Weatherspoon Art Museum. Ivy’s connections to the wider art world meant that he could bring nationally known artists to the Woman’s College. This is how the sculptor Maurice Glickman, for instance, anchored the inaugural exhibit at the new Woman’s College Art Gallery in 1941. In subsequent decades, under Ivy leadership, the Weatherspoon Gallery became nationally known in the art world as a leading showcase of modernist art. His legacy is still felt in the Arts at UNCG, and in the Weatherspoon Art Museum.

Ivy's watercolor Dead End, Beaufort (1940)
Lee Hall met Gregory Ivy as an art student at the Woman’s College.4  Hall would later recall that in 1950s “McCarthyism” America, Ivy “did not fit in, he did not conform.”5  Ivy had built the UNC system’s first department to award a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in fine arts, and assembled an art department of very talented colleagues. According to Lee Hall, “these “liberal” or “arty” or “pinko” faculty…kept the gossips and scolds stoked, and caused among the keepers of the status quo near-terminally raised eyebrows and pursed mouths.” Lee Hall recalled that students seemed to either love or hate Ivy, and recalled the gossip of her fellow students about him. From students who liked him: “He’s hip.” “He has Negro friends.” From students who hated him: “He’s an atheist and communist.” “He believes in sex before marriage.” “He’s going to be fired.”6

Gregory Ivy left the Woman’s College in 1961, after twenty-six years, to work as design coordinator for an architectural firm in Greensboro. He resigned with an angry letter to acting-Chancellor W.W. Pierson bemoaning the lack of funding for the art department, and the apparent disinterest of the College to fund it. “The Art Department,” he wrote, “is the only department here which is not housed, and yet, it is the best known nationally of all the departments.”7  His resignation letter detailed all of his grievances with the administration, and continued, “I feel that I can no longer assume the responsibility for maintaining decent standards under these conditions. The quality of the work done under these really outrageous and scandalous conditions suffers.”8

 In 1965, Ivy left Greensboro to head the art department at California State College in Fullerton. Over the course of his long career, Ivy participated in exhibitions with major artists such as Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollack, and Marc Chagall, and at institutions including the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. The Weatherspoon Art Museum houses a major collection of Ivy’s work.


1 Lee Hall. Lecture delivered November 13, 2005 at Weatherspoon Art Museum on the occasion of the public reception for the exhibition, “Gregory D. Ivy: Making North Carolina Modern.” Gregory Ivy Bio Files, Special Collections and University Archives, UNCG Libraries. 
2 Ibid. 
3 Ibid. 
4 Lee Hall was the student artist who drew the male nude which graced the cover of the Fall 1954 issue of the Coraddi. In the ensuing controversy, The Coraddi staff was censured by Chancellor Edward Kidder Graham, resulting in the resignation of the magazine's staff. 
5  Lee Hall. Lecture delivered November 13, 2005 at Weatherspoon Art Museum on the occasion of the public reception for the exhibition, “Gregory D. Ivy: Making North Carolina Modern.” Gregory Ivy Biographical File, Special Collections University Archives, UNCG Libraries.   
6 Lee Hall, e-mail to Will South, 4 March, 2004. Gregory Ivy Bio Files, Special Collections University Archives, UNCG Libraries. 
7 The Carolinian, May 12, 1961. 
8 Ibid.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Birth of the Spartans

One year after the era of co-education was ushered in with the enrollment of male undergraduates in 1964, Frank Pleasants was hired to coordinate competitive athletics for male students at UNCG. Campus administrators saw a robust athletic program as a significant way of encouraging male enrollment.

UNCG men's basketball head coach Jim Swiggett
In 1966, Jim Swiggett, a highly successful coach at a nearby high school, was hired as UNCG’s first men’s basketball coach. His inaugural squad was developed from the existing student body, with open tryouts for players across campus. In October 1967, after the first two days of team practice, Swiggett reported 14 men participating in workouts. He stated, “We have some boys who have played some basketball, and some who haven’t,” adding he had “15 uniforms, and if these boys who are out want to play, we’ll carry them.”

Also in October 1967 after discussions with athletes and other students, UNCG athletic teams officially adopted the “Spartans” as their mascot. Pleasants noted they “were looking for a name which had a masculine ring, and one also which had associated with it a tradition of courage.” Additionally, they avoided duplicating names of other teams in the region, specifically veering away from “animal names,” like the Wolfpack, Catamounts, or Tigers, for that reason. Strong consideration was given to the “Generals” and the “Brigadiers” in an effort to honor Revolutionary War hero General Nathanael Greene. But Pleasants noted that Greensboro’s professional hockey team at the time was named the Generals, and argued that the Brigadiers “sounded a little too jazzy.”

Brian Emerson
With a roster and mascot in place, the first Spartans squad prepared for their opening game on November 20, 1967 against the College of Charleston. Days before the game, Swiggett noted, “The spirit on the team is excellent, and we’re really looking forward to beginning intercollegiate play. But actually, I don’t really know what to expect. We want to win, but we want to look good whether we win or lose.”

While the match with Charleston was a close one, ultimately a lack of height coupled with a lack of experience resulted in a one-point loss for the Spartans (80-79). The team lost its first seven games, with five defeats by a margin four or fewer points. The Spartans earned their first win against N.C. Wesleyan at home in Coleman Gymnasium by a score of 87-65. They finished their inaugural season with a 2-11 record, and secured their spot in the history books as the first in a long tradition of UNCG Spartans.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Darlinettes and Rhythmettes: Big Band Sounds at the WC

In 1942, big band music from the likes of Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, and Benny Goodman were all the rage, but local big bands were hard to find. Most of the musicians in these groups were male, and they were being drafted into military service during World War II. But a group of students at the Woman's College stepped in to fill the void, forming the Darlinettes and their four-member vocal group, The Rhythmettes, in 1942.

Practicing in the Brown Music Building
Many of the Darlinettes' and Rhythmettes' performances took place at Woman's College. They played many of the formal dances and "soldier dances" held on campus during and immediately after WWII. But the group was not confined to the WC campus. They played shows at the USO Club on North Elm Street, and they entertained troops stationed at the Army Air Corps' Overseas Replacement Depot in Greensboro. In 1946, they traveled to Asheville to provide entertainment at the 1st annual conference of the 191st District of Rotary International. Cleveland Thayer, General Chairman of the Distrct, wrote to offer his personal thanks to the Darlinettes for "the fine work of your orchestra."

The founding leader of the Darlinettes and Rhythmettes was Cherry Folger, who also played trumpet. Folger was reportedly the first trumpet major in the history of WC, and was quite the musician and leader. At the age of 14, she was fronting an all-male musical group in her hometown of White Plains, NY. According to a newspaper article from 1943, she "often hits high 'E' above high 'C' on the instrument, and has been known to touch high 'G.'" She formed the Darlinettes soon after arriving at WC in 1942 (she transferred after spending her first two years of college at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Rochester).

 

When Folger graduated in 1944, Doris Funderburk took over the baton for the Darlinettes. Under Funderburk's leadership, the Darlinettes continued their busy performing schedule. But they also found time to record an album, titled "Autumn Serenade." The 78 rpm records were made May 26, 1946, at the Vic Smith Recording Service in Greensboro. They featured 10 songs, including an original piece written and orchestrated by Funderburk called "You Don't Get it From Books."

The group continued performing, with membership swapping out with each graduation, through the early 1950s. Many of the Darlinettes took up non-musical careers after graduation, but a few continued in a musical path. Frances Stevens Snipe of Clemson, SC, sang with Greensboro band leader Burt Massengale's group for a number of years. Mary Sampson Irvin played trombone with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. And Doris Funderburk Morgan served as the organist at the old Charlotte Coliseum for many years, playing music to enliven crowds at the Charlotte Checkers ice hockey games.

In September 2002, several members of the Darlinettes were reunited at an event organized by Burt Bruton, the nephew of the late Sue Bruton, an original member and saxophonist in the Darlinettes. The following May, the UNCG School of Music declared May 2 to be Darlinette Day. They hosted an event featuring Darlinettes members and established a Darlinettes Artist in Residence Endowment Fund, aimed at bringing female jazz artists to the school.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Demise of the McIver Building and its Mural

The McIver Building is slated to be demolished in the spring and summer of 2018, making way for the new Nursing and Instruction Building. Designed by J. N. Pease and Company of Charlotte, North Carolina, when the McIver Building officially opened in October 1960, it was one of the few modern buildings on campus. It was also one of the first to be air-conditioned.  Named for Charles Duncan McIver, the founder and first president of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, it replaced the previous McIver Memorial Building, which stood in the same location until it was razed in 1958.
The “new McIver Building” was planned as a classroom space, but it was primarily meant to house the Art Department. In 1967, a wing was added to expand the department and to create the Weatherspoon Gallery. A kiln was constructed behind the building in 1966.

McIver Building
Opinions differ on the architectural merit of the structure, especially because of its juxtaposition to the historic Foust Building, but at the time of its construction, it was a cutting-edge design with an innovative art installation on its facade. Yet, from the time that the new structure was completed, it was controversial. While some welcomed the modern design, many felt that the new, contemporary edifice was reminiscent of a “penitentiary,” and missed the more conventional architecture of the old McIver Memorial Building. This opinion was echoed by Professor Randall Jarrell, who referred to the structure as “The Thunderbird Motel.”

McIver Building Dedication, October, 1960

The art installation on the western facade was also controversial. Architect J. N. Pease commissioned Joseph Cox (1915-1997), a professor at the North Carolina State University School of Design in Raleigh, to create a large “mural,” which would be featured above the western entrance of the building. Cox was a native of Indianapolis, Illinois, earning his B.F.A. from the John Herron Art School and his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He began working on large projects in his early twenties, including a commission sponsored by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to paint murals for post offices in Indiana and Michigan. In 1954, Cox took a position at the School of Design, and he taught there for twenty years, also fulfilling commissions for his art throughout the state. His interest focused on the use of interesting and diverse material, and capturing the light and shadow seen in nature.

"Mural" Created by Joseph Cox

He was asked to create the art installation for the McIver Building only a few years after he came to North Carolina. Although he was faced with financial limitations and unusual space restrictions, Cox created the modern design from a series of gray enameled panels that projected about three inches from the wall. This 35 x 20 foot sculptural facade was designed as an abstract “art piece” and was created to cast a changing pattern of light and shadow as the sun moved west during the day. In the morning, the mural would be hidden in shadows, and it would be gradually illuminated by the sunlight. At night, lights hidden behind the columns would create a green-silver sheen on the facade.
Cox’s continued interest in light and shadow can be seen in his “Color Wall,” which was created in the early 1970s for the D. H Hill Library at NC State University. This kinetic sculpture was designed to display constantly changing vertical patterns of color when lighted by twenty-three spotlights.  Although the Color Wall remains a part of the Hill Library, other of the artist’s art installations no longer exist. It is likely that the mural on the facade of the McIver Building will suffer the same fate, and be disassembled as part of the demolition of the structure, which will take place next year.

Monday, August 7, 2017

"Woodsy Paths" and "Ferocious Creatures" at Camp Ahuntforfun

Camping and outdoor recreation have been a staple of UNCG student life since the early 1900s. The student Athletic Association, soon after its founding in 1900, coordinated short hikes around campus. In 1922, a need for longer hikes and more outdoor recreational opportunities led faculty members and students to begin renting cabins around the Greensboro area for overnight excursions. Students who hiked at least 100 miles in shorter campus-based outings were allowed to attend these off-campus trips.

The log cabin at Camp Ahuntforfun
While this gave students the opportunity for outdoor recreation and education, issues arose which led students and faculty members to request the College purchase its own camp site. In the 1924 annual report for the Department of Physical Education, Department Head Mary Channing Coleman wrote that the Athletic Association would not be returning to their previous campsite as “the lodge has been broken into and the greater part of our meager equipment stolen.” Three years later in the 1927 annual report, Coleman argued a “college camp is urgently needed, not only as an item of our sports and recreation equipment, but as one factor in our teacher training.”

Fun times at Camp Ahutforfun
When the College did not purchase a camp, the Athletic Association began raising funds to purchase one itself. The group sold gym uniforms and swimsuits to fellow students in order to raise the $3,500 needed to purchase a camp site on Pleasant Garden Road, about five miles from campus. The two-acre site featured a log cabin with a large front porch and sleeping space, a well approximately 80-feet deep and a stream which the students hoped could later be developed into a swimming pool.

Students visiting Camp Ahutforfun
On Saturday, March 23, 1929, nine students and one faculty chaperone made the inaugural visit to the camp. Rain on the first day kept the campers near the cabin, where they entertained themselves with bridge, dancing, horseshoes and an Easter egg hunt. On Sunday, however, clear skies allowed the students to take what the Carolinian described as “a long hike through the woodsy paths and pastures, carefully avoiding those that were suspected of containing ferocious animals.”

The Athletic Association continued to grow their camp, adding a large outdoor fireplace, volleyball nets and other equipment. In 1932, after a campus wide contest, the camp was officially named “Camp Ahutforfun.” Students continued use of the camp site until 1943, when the Athletic Association purchased a larger tract of land near the Guilford Battleground site.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Early Years of Computing on Campus, 1959-1993

Roscoe Allen, head of
the campus's first computer center,
a position he held from 1967-1982
Computers seem ubiquitous on the UNCG campus today, that hasn't always been the case. While a campus network of computers wasn't in place until the 1990s, faculty and staff have made use of computers and computing services offered on campus since 1959.

In 1959, the Consolidated University of North Carolina opened its first computation center in Chapel Hill. This center was intended to serve faculty from all three Consolidated University campuses -- UNC, N.C. State, and Woman's College (now UNCG). On November 19, a six-week seminar for interested WC faculty and staff began. This seminar aimed to "provide training and experience which will enable each of us to determine the applicability of the computer for our own areas of interest, and to adapt our research problems to the machine."

In 1967, UNCG opened its own administrative computer center in the Petty Science Building. This computer center, headed by Dr. Roscoe Allen, former head of the commercial department, was primarily used to computerize the university's personnel records, as required by the federal government as part of an ongoing civil rights litigation.

That same year, the University also gained a teletype connection to a computer based at the Triangle Universities Computation Center (TUCC) in Research Triangle Park. This terminal, located in the Forney Building, allowed faculty and students to run programs (but at least half of the connection's allotted time was dedicated to sponsored faculty research). All data that was to be processed had to go through and be submitted by the designated Supervisor of the Terminal.

Campus computing, 1975
As demand for computer access grew, campus computing was divided into two separate offices in 1973 -- one focused on administrative computing and one on academic computing. Additionally, computer center staff began offering workshops to faculty, staff, and students. These workshops, meant to introduce the UNCG community to "the computing facilities and services and the various program and languages available," included sessions on statistical packages like SPSS as well as programming languages like FORTRAN.

By 1976, there were at least 13 academic computer terminals across campus allowing faculty, staff, and students to connect to the TUCC, but that fell far short of demand. Computer access had to be rationed until 1981 when UNCG acquired its first on-campus academic computer -- a new VAX machine installed in the new business and economics building. Although many faculty continued to dial in via remote access to the TUCC, the new VAX was quickly flooded with faculty and student users. Long waits, limited use time, and emergency deletion of files caused troubles for all campus computer users.

Some relief came in the early 1980s with the growing popularity of personal computers (then known as microcomputers). Several UNCG departments financed small microcomputer labs of their own, but, aside from the high cost of the machines themselves, many departments lacked the money and expertise to properly maintain and service the computers.

Jackson Library computer lab, 1995
Finally, in 1990, the administrative and academic computer centers were merged. Computers were upgraded, and new labs were added across campus. By 1993, most academic buildings were connected to the campus network, and soon after the network began to reach dormitories as well.


Monday, July 24, 2017

The McIver Statue: Memorializing a Founder

Charles Duncan McIver was born on September 27, 1860, to Henry McIver and Sarah “Sallie” Harrington McIver in Moore County, North Carolina. He entered the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill in 1877 and graduated in 1881. 

Charles Duncan McIver, ca. 1895
After graduating from UNC, he accepted the assistant headmaster position at the Presbyterian Male Academy in Durham, North Carolina.  McIver was elected principal of the newly established graded high school in Durham in 1882.  After two years, he resigned his position in Durham for a teaching position at the Winston Graded School in Winston, North Carolina, where he met his future wife, Lula Martin.  They were married on July 29, 1885 and had four children.

McIver accepted the position of head of the literary department at Peace Institute, a girl’s school in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1886.   While in Raleigh, he lobbied for a normal or teacher training school for women.
   
In 1889, he and Edwin A. Alderman were chosen by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to conduct a series of teacher institutes to instruct teachers and enlighten the public about the need for a normal school in North Carolina.
   
With an annual salary of $2,500.00, McIver was appointed the first president of the newly established State Normal and Industrial School in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1891.
   
The McIver Statue in front of the
McIver Memorial Building,ca. 1956
Unfortunately, he died on September 17, 1906, at the age of 45; however, he did see his dream of founding a college to educate women in North Carolina realized – that institution is now known as The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Shortly after McIver’s death, a committee was appointed by Governor Robert Glenn to raise funds to erect a statue in McIver’s memory.  Two bronze eight-foot statues of McIver was sculpted by French-born American artist Frederick W. Ruckstuhl in Paris, France, and cast by the Fonderie Nationale des Bronzes in Brussels, Belgium. The original statue costing $7,000 and was erected on the State Capitol grounds in Raleigh, North Carolina, and dedicated on May 15, 1912.  A duplicated statue costing $1,100 and was erected on the campus of the State Normal and Industrial College now The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  The statue was dedicated on Founders Day, October 5, 1912, and stood in front of the McIver Memorial Building.

The McIver Statue after restoration, 1990/91
After the McIver Memorial Building was razed in 1958 and the current McIver Building erected in 1960, the statue was relocated to the area in front of Jackson Library, a more central location on campus.  Starting in the late 1950s, students began to paint and decorate the statue, so by the 1980s, the statue was in disrepair due to the weather and being periodically cleaned with cleaning solutions.

In November 1990, the statue was shipped to Karkadoulias Bronze Art, Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio, to be cleaned and restored.  After the restoration, which totaled $7,500, the statue was returned to campus on May 10, 1991 in time for the university's centennial celebration.
   
Since its dedication more than 100 years ago, the McIver Statue has been and continues to be one of the most recognizable images on campus.


This post was written by Hermann Trojanowski.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Beating the Heat at Yum Yum

Nothing helps you get through the hot and humid summer quite like a tasty ice cream cone from Yum Yum! At UNCG, for over 90 years, students, faculty, and staff have been able to beat the heat with a tasty cone from the Yum Yum ice cream shop.

The original site of Yum Yum, with construction
on the Jackson Library tower in the background, 1973
This campus tradition dates back to 1921, when Wisdom Brown (W. B.) Aydelette opened his now-famous ice cream shop on the corner of Spring Garden Street and Forest Avenue. It sat at the edge of the campus then known as the North Carolina College for Women (now UNCG). Because the site what on the western edge of the Greensboro city limits at the time, the store was named West End Ice Cream Company.

At first, there were only a few flavors of homemade ice cream offered -- vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. But soon, the owner introduced a flavor he called "yum yum," an ice cream that is believed to have included soggy Grape Nuts cereal. According to popular tales, the flavor itself was never very popular, but the name was soon adopted for the store itself (although the formal "West End Ice Cream Company" remains).

Students at the Woman's College (as UNCG was known from 1932-1963) flocked to Yum Yum for its food as well as its atmosphere. In a 1994 interview with the Carolinian, alumnae Sharon Garrett remembered Yum Yum as a place to relax and escape from the restrictive residence hall lifestyle of the 1960s. "When we were there," she noted, "it represented some sort of freedom and just being together with your friends. It was like a breath of fresh air."

Yum Yum at its current location, 2002
In 1973, the building that housed Yum Yum was condemned and scheduled to be replaced with a new administration building (now the Mossman Building) for the expanding UNCG campus. Aydelette was able to acquire a building on the opposite corner across Spring Garden from his former site, and moved his operations across the street.

Aydelette passed away in 1984 at the age of 97, but his family continues his legacy today.

Monday, July 10, 2017

“A Noble Idea:” The History of Peabody Park (Part Three)



Have you ever wondered how and why UNCG has such a beautiful green space on the northern edge of its campus?  Well, the founding and development of Peabody Park is a fascinating story that reflects UNCG’s overall growth as a center of higher learning and a Greensboro neighbor.  Given the complexity of the story, the Park’s history is being told in three Spartan Story installments.  The third and final installment, July 2017, examines the evolution of the Park over the past twenty-five years.  The blog post will consider competing visions of the Park’s intended use that range from a nature preserve, to a sanctuary for quiet reflection, to an outdoor classroom, to space for physical fitness and education, and to an area for University expansion.

So, we pick up the Peabody Park story at the end of the 20th century.  With the projected growth of the school’s student body in the 1990s, University administrators evaluated the infrastructure that was required to support an expanding campus population.  The University’s assessment of its facilities led to the development of a Master Plan.  The Plan considered such challenges as the building of new dormitories, new classrooms, new parking lots, as well as the renovation of existing buildings to meet changing teaching and learning needs.

Discussions about the future growth (and needs) of the UNCG student body population were reported widely in the school’s student newspaper and in the local Greensboro press.  As one of the few remaining open spaces on campus, school administrators did consider Peabody Park as a possible area of future development.  As planning for the University’s Master Plan advanced, there were several articles published in the local newspaper expressing concern about the possible loss of campus green spaces.
 
In 1994, the University’s Board of Trustees considered several campus sites for the building of a new School of Music building.  The University’s Chancellor William Moran and his staff had proposed constructing the new music building on Tate Street between the Weatherspoon Art Museum and the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks.  However, the University’s Board of Trustees rejected this proposed building location.  At its February 10, 1994 meeting, the Board proposed to locate the building at the corner of West Market and McIver Streets.  It is in the northeast section of campus.  The Board felt that this location would better showcase the new $23.4 million dollar building and give the University a more visible presence on busy West Market Street.

As news of the decision to locate the School of Music Building in Peabody Park spread, a number of students and faculty expressed some misgivings about this proposed plan.  Their concerns ranged from the possible environmental impact on the wooded area, to access and safety concerns, as well as to upholding the vision of the Park’s founders.  In an effort to address these concerns, the University’s Board of Trustees in December 1994 issued a statement on the location of and planning for the School of Music Building.  In the document, the Board noted that the new music building would become “the anchor to development in the northeast corner of campus.”  The Board also stated that they were confident that this new location was in the best long-term interests of the University.  The Board went on to address two specific concerns that had been raised by UNCG community members.  The first concern was that there might be restrictions on the use and development of the land.  The area is part of a 112 acre tract that was purchased back in 1895.  The University Counsel reviewed the original purchase and concluded that there were “no restrictions in the deed limiting development of the area.”   The second concern was the preservation of the wooded area just west of the proposed Music Building.  In reviewing the school’s archival records, it was concluded that President Charles Duncan McIver’s original vision was to develop a park on a portion of the 112 acre tract.  The Board of Trustees reaffirmed its intention to “develop a safe and useful natural park area.”  The Board also stated that it was in the process of reviewing plans to “enhance” the park area and to retain as many of the mature trees as possible.
 
For some members of the UNCG community, this statement did not fully address their concerns about campus growth and its impact on Peabody Park.  Indeed, a student group organized and circulated a petition against the proposed site.  The organizers’ central contention was that the development of this fragile and diverse wooded area was environmentally wrong.  Moreover, they argued that it violated a 1901 “agreement” between President McIver and donor George Peabody.   
At a February 1995 Board of Trustees meeting, a number of students staged a peaceful demonstration and temporarily stopped the meeting by holding up signs and beating a drum.  Some students even wore gags to protest the lack of dialog.  The Board Chair informed the students that they had no plans to discuss the building at this particular meeting.  The protesters circled the meeting table and handed out a “statement of protest” to each Board member.  Chancellor Patricia Sullivan asked students to finish passing out their literature so the meeting could continue.  The protestors were invited to stay if they remained quiet.  They were eventually escorted out of the meeting.  Protests against this plan continued into the spring.  In March 1995, the student-run Environmental Awareness Foundation held a rally against the West Market Street project.  On a beautiful spring day, 75 students turned out for the rally.  Student opposition continued with news that a parking deck would be constructed next to the new School of Music building.  At the April 1997 groundbreaking ceremony for the West Market Street project, students from the Environmental Awareness Foundation held a silent protest. 
 
In an effort to respond to UNCG community concerns about proposed development and support campus dialog, Chancellor Patricia Sullivan formed the Peabody Park Committee in 1997.  The Committee’s charge was to help maintain and restore the Park’s woods.  The Committee played an active role in advocating for the protection of the wooded area as well as supporting educational uses of the Park.  In 2001, members of the UNCG community again raised concerns about the Master Plan and the idea of building a new residence hall in Peabody Park.  This campus-wide discussion of future development helped to elevate a discussion of the environmental richness and diversity of the flora and fauna in the Park.
  
In 2014, the Research and Instruction in STEM Education network began a discussion of the teaching value of Peabody Park and the idea of introducing wetlands to the campus.  A wetlands exploratory committee was formed to consider the feasibility of such a project.  UNCG faculty and students as well as members of the Peabody Park Committee joined this new group to consider location and possible educational programming for both the UNCG and Greensboro communities.  In 2016, the Wetlands Committee identified two sites in Peabody Park (south of the golf course and a site near Market Street) to serve as wetlands.  In March 2017, the two wetland sites were constructed to improve water quality, address run-off from athletic fields, as well as support biotic diversity with the use of native wetland plants.  The 2017 project both recognizes the importance of green spaces and ensures the long-term health of Peabody Park.  Moreover, it also embraces Charles Duncan McIver’s original vision of an “education park.”