Monday, August 26, 2013

Margaret C. Moore

Margaret C. Moore Building entrance, 1995
Let’s take a stroll through campus.  As you walk down the McIver pedestrian mall towards McIver Street, a red brick building stands on your left.  One of the Moore buildings.  To be exact, the Margaret C. Moore Building.  

Ms. Moore, like many names that grace our campus buildings, remains largely unknown to current students, faculty, and staff.   So here are some things you might like to know:

Margaret's senior picture at WC

Margaret Catherine Moore of Baltimore, Maryland, attended the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and biology in 1935.

While in school, Margaret was a member of the Adelphian Literary Society, the Athletic Association Cabinet, College Chorus, Playlikers, and the Student Government Association Judicial Board.

Margaret and her friends at Camp "Ahutforfun"

Evidence of  Margaret's activities while at the WC can be found in her scrapbook, which is part of the Margaret Catherine Moore Papers housed in the Special Collections and University Archives.   The scrapbook contains numerous notes, letters, programs, and photographs, making it easy to see how much she was involved with the activities (both social and academic) at her school.

After graduating from WC, Margaret attended New York University where she received her Master of Arts degree in guidance and counseling.  She then went on to receive a diploma in nursing from Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing in New York, and then a second graduate degree, a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Professor Moore, c. 1960
It was with her career in nursing that Margaret's life found meaning.  As Chancellor James Ferguson said of Ms. Moore, "She entered into a conscientious application of her understanding and energies to an expansion of knowledge of health and the means by which health service might be employed to lessen suffering, to succor the weak, and to sustain the strong."

Margaret served on the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill for six years, then returned to UNCG in 1967 as one of the first ten faculty for the newly formed School of Nursing.  The Search Committee was pleased to hire one of UNCG's own graduates as one of the members of the original faculty to teach

Margaret made significant contributions to UNCG's School of Nursing, particularly the School of Nursing building.  She served as Chairman of the Building Committee, contributing  her creativity and knowledge of learning needs to develop plans for the building.  The School of Nursing building was dedicated on Founder's Day (October 5th) 1969. 

Professor Moore passed away in 1975 at the age of 62.  The School of Nursing building was name in her honor during the tenth anniversary observance of the founding of the School of Nursing, held on October 5, 1976.

Monday, August 19, 2013

"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, August 12, 2013

1932: The Year of the Co-eds at Woman's College

Until it was made co-educational in 1964, Woman’s College (now UNCG) was pretty clear in the fact that it was a single-gender institution. Male students were allowed to enroll in summer school courses and graduate programs (at least until the 1950s and 1960s when the UNC system asserted limitations over male enrollment at the school), but they did so in small numbers. Undergraduate education, however, remained reserved for women only - with a single exception.

The Men of 1932: Undergraduate male students at Woman's College
During the 1932-1933 academic year, President Julius Foust decided to allow young men from the Greensboro area to enroll at WC. Parents and the young men themselves petitioned for admittance, citing dire financial constraints due to the Great Depression. Were they not allowed to attend WC, they might not be able to enroll in college at all that year.

In total 80 men enrolled at WC that year (48 freshman, 21 sophomores, two juniors, and nine others). With the exception of a hygiene course, these co-eds took the same courses as the female students. While they represented only a tiny fraction of the 1,556 students enrolled at the college at the time, these men met resistance upon their arrival. An October 13, 1932 letter to the editor in The Carolinian argued that the men were “so abominably conceited.” They weren’t allowed to wear their own swimsuits for gym classes; instead, they were required to wear the same baggy tank suits used by the women. 

The men did adapt to life at the Woman’s College, however. They founded their own Men’s Association, formed for the purpose of “dealing with campus problems and administrative relations peculiar to the men students.” Wyatt Taylor, a former standout basketball player at the University of Texas who was serving at the time as a swimming instructor at the local YMCA, was hired to manage an athletic program for these men.
Officers of the 1932-33 Men's Association at Woman's College

Part of the athletic program included an intercollegiate basketball team, known as the Tom Cats. Games were scheduled against Elon, High Point, Guilford College, and other nearby institutions. In January 1933, the team scored its first victory, with a 14-11 win over Liberty. The Carolinian noted that the team was “starting off well, and when they get in condition they are due to show the college some real basketball.” A swimming team and a football team were also developed for competition against local schools.

Although the Pine Needles yearbook stated that “it is believed now that co-education will be a permanent fixture on campus,” the experiment with co-education at the WC lasted only a single year. Indeed, president Foust strongly advocated for co-education. In a September 1933 letter to Frank Porter Graham, president of The University of North Carolina system, he wrote, “we can not justify from the standpoint of justice, right and consistency, the admission of girls to the Chapel Hill and Raleigh units without extending the same privilege to boys at the Greensboro unit.” Ultimately, however, the undergraduate population remained reserved for women until the institution officially admitted men to classes in the Fall of 1964.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Dr. McIver and the “first class [train] wreck”

Dr. Charles Duncan McIver, the founder and first president of the State Normal and Industrial School (now The University of North Carolina at Greensboro) had always wanted to see a “first class [train] wreck.” He got his wish on the night of August 25, 1902, when Southern Railway’s fast mail train No. 35 ran off the rails between Westminster, South Carolina and Toccoa, Georgia. Dr. McIver was on the train traveling to Atlanta, Georgia to speak at the Teachers’ Institute. The train, which carried the mail from New York to Atlanta, was running at the rapid speed of sixty miles per hour when it hit a sabotaged section of the track. The engine, mail car, baggage car, and coaches went careening off the rails and landed on their sides. Miraculously, there were no deaths and few injuries.

Wreck of Southern Railway's No. 35 Mail Train

Night trains were considered convenient, but somewhat perilous as they traveled at high speeds, with only a few stops. Mrs. McIver had been worried about this type of travel, as a letter that she wrote to her husband only a few weeks before the wreck attests. There had been a recent train wreck that occurred at night and she wrote that she preferred him to travel by day – even if it delayed his homecoming several hours. He noted her concern, but tried to ease her anxiety with this anecdote told by Mark Twain: An insurance man tried to sell Twain a policy as he was boarding a train. Twain told him, “No, I don’t want it. More people die in beds than on trains.” Mrs. McIver's fears were realized when her husband’s train went off the rails that August night. Luckily, he was able to wire his wife immediately, informing her of his safety.

Debris from the Wreckage

Dr. McIver made it to Atlanta and regaled her of his adventure in a letter that he wrote that evening from the “delightful room on the fifth floor” of his hotel. He described the general pandemonium after the wreck, especially the cries of “murder” from an older passenger. He wrote of the engine that “lay flat on the side and whistled mournfully for 20 minutes” and the wood which was strewn everywhere and eventually used for a bonfire. He even enclosed a piece of the wood in his letter as a “souvenir of the wreck.” His general tone was surprisingly cheerful and he closed with “No news – Love to you all.” Ironically, Mark Twain’s story would not hold true for Dr. McIver. He died  on September 17, 1906, after suffering a stroke while returning from Raleigh - by train.