Monday, November 25, 2013

Flashback 100 Years: Campus Life in 1913

One hundred years ago in 1913, Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated as president of the United States, the first automobile road to cross the U.S. (the Lincoln Highway) opened, and R.J. Reynolds introduced to the world its new Camel brand of packaged cigarettes. Also, in May, State Normal and Industrial College (now UNCG) celebrated its 20th graduating class. While the primary mission of the school (educating female teachers) remained the same, the school had changed and grown significantly since its founding in 1891.

College Avenue from Spring Garden Street, 1913
In 1913, Julius Foust was president of State Normal, leading a campus with approximately 60 faculty members and instructors. Among that teaching staff are names that might be familiar to individuals on campus today. Mary Petty (chemistry), Anna Gove (physiology and hygiene), Walter Clinton Jackson (history), E.J. Forney (stenography and bookkeeping), and new hire Harriet Elliott (political science) all have buildings on the current campus named in their memory.

Students at State Normal had a choice of five courses of study to follow towards an undergraduate degree: Bachelor of Pedagogy, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, or Bachelor of Science in Home Economics. Total expenses for a year at State Normal fell around $200 (those taking select science or music classes as well as non-North Carolina residents paid additional fees). The $45 tuition fee, however, was waived for any student who promised to teach for two years in public or private schools in North Carolina after graduation.

1913 Campus Map
Only a handful of buildings remain from the time, including the Administration (now Foust) Building which dates back to the campus's opening in 1892. Additionally, Spencer Hall and the Carnegie Library (now Forney Building) were in use in 1913. A new "model cottage" had just been constructed on Lithia (now Tate) Street to allow home economics students to gain practical experience in home management. Students in the model cottage worked under a monthly budget to plan meals, order groceries and supplied, and do their own cooking and housekeeping "systematically and scientifically." A "training school" (later known at the Curry School) provided pedagogy students with similar practical opportunities.

Campus life was highly restrictive compared to modern standards. A campus bell rang to alert students of meal times, class times, and other mandatory events. Dormitory rules required students to have a written permission note from their parent or guardian allowing visits from men. Additional permission notes were required if a student wanted to spend a night out of the dormitories. Rules also designated when students were to observe quiet times in the dorms (the University Archives has a note written to President Foust reporting two students "for being out in the hall conversing audibly at least five minutes after the seven o'clock bell had rung"). Prior to lunch each day, students were required to attend a campus-wide chapel meeting, where "prayers, with the reading of the Scriptures, and singing, are a part of each day's exercises." Additionally, a mandatory "outdoor walking period" required students to participate in some form of physical activity each day at the designated time.

Senior Field Hockey Team, 1913
Social life on campus revolved primarily around the school's two literary societies: the Adelphian Society and the Cornelian Society. Each student upon arrival at State Normal was assigned membership in one of the two literary societies. The societies sponsored debates, produced plays, held special luncheons, published the campus's bimonthly newspaper, and essentially served as the school's primary outlets for extracurricular activities. Campus did, however, also include a Young Woman's Christian Association (YWCA), a college chorus and orchestra, and a campus dramatic club. The campus Athletic Association also provided another venue for activity, with the classes competing against each other in sports like basketball and field hockey.

The Class of 1913
The 1913 graduation week activities truly exemplified campus life during this time period. Dr. S.C. Mitchell, president of the University of South Carolina, spoke on "The Value of Personality." The newly-formed dramatic club gave its first public performance, captivating the audience with its rendition of Booth Tarkington's "The American." The graduating class presented the school with a portrait of former governor and education advocate Charles B. Aycock (who had died in 1912) as its class gift. And, as a gift in return, Foust gave each of the seniors a ride in his car -- an experience most of the students had never before had.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Annie Petty, State Normal's First Librarian

The library room in the Administration Building, circa 1895
When State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG) first opened its doors in October 1892, it did not have a library or library books. Yet, founding president Charles Duncan McIver spoke adamantly of the “Library we are to have,” and he personally donated many of his books to begin the school’s first reference collection. Other faculty members followed suit, donating or lending books from their personal libraries in order to create a collection for student use. The school’s book collection continued to grow, and, in 1896, Annie Florence Petty was hired as State Normal’s first librarian.

Petty grew up in a Quaker family in the Bush Hill community, which is now part of Archdale, NC. Both she and her sister Mary received an early education at the New Garden Boarding School (although Annie graduated in 1894 after the school had already changed its name to Guilford College). Mary, who also completed a degree at Wellesley College, was the first of the Petty sisters to start work at State Normal, teaching chemistry at the school from 1893 through 1934. After a brief period teaching school in Red Springs in Robeson County, NC, her sister Annie arrived at State Normal in 1896 to manage the school’s burgeoning library.

Petty (second row, seated in front of tennis racket)
with other members of the Faculty Tennis Club, 1900
At the time of Annie Petty's arrival, the State Normal's library contained around 600 volumes and was housed in a small room across from the President's office in the Administration (now Foust) Building. Although her official title was “librarian,” Petty did much more than manage the book and periodical collection. She also received and sorted the campus mail, signed for package deliveries, and rang the campus bell to signal the change of classes every forty minutes.

After two years, Petty took a year’s leave of absence to attend the Drexel Library School in Philadelphia, where she gained additional professional training and developed a particular interest in reference services. Advanced professional training for librarians was not commonplace at the time. When Petty returned to her position at State Normal in 1899, she was the first professionally-trained librarian employed in the state of North Carolina.

State Normal's Carnegie Library building, 1905
Petty continued to develop the school’s book and periodical collection, and a dedicated library building was secured in 1905 when philanthropist Andrew Carnegie provided State Normal with a $25,000 grant to construct a campus library building (now known as the Forney Building). This was the first Carnegie grant to be given to construct a college library. Petty, her assistant, and a number of student workers continued to grow the collection and make the library a campus hub.

In addition to her work on campus, Petty was active professionally in the North Carolina Library Association (NCLA). She was a founding member of NCLA’s executive committee in 1904, and in 1908 she was elected as only the second president in the organization’s history. She served an additional presidential term from 1913-1915. She was also the first secretary of the North Carolina Friends Historical Society.

Mary and Annie (standing) Petty, 1952
In 1921, Petty left Greensboro for Raleigh, taking a position as Assistant Secretary of the State Library Commission. She continued her interest in reference librarianship, and was proud to be able to serve readers in her home county of Randolph by developing the state’s first traveling bookmobile. Petty remained at the State Library Commission for twelve years until her retirement. In 1933, she returned to Greensboro, where she shared a home with her sister Mary (who passed away in 1958).

After a long and successful career spent building libraries and library collections at State Normal and across the State of North Carolina, Annie Petty died in 1962 following surgery for a broken hip. She was 91 years old.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Computers on Campus: A History of Academic and Administative Computer Centers at UNCG

Today's Spartan Stories post was written by Sophia Kranz, a graduate student in UNCG's Library and Information Science department. In Fall 2013, Sophia interned in Special Collections and University Archives, processing a number of collections, creating finding aids, and developed an online exhibit on the history of computing on campus. Two of the collections she processed -- the Academic Computer Center Records and the Administrative Computer Center Records -- provided historical information for this blog post.

It is late June 1980 and the campus is busy with excitement for the arrival of UNCG’s first dedicated academic computer. The new computer system, the VAX 11/780, is the first high capacity computer on campus and is “considered the top of the line” as noted by the Director of the Academic Computer Center, Dr. Theodore Hildebrandt. The new computer cost a fortune -- well close enough at $319,980. The VAX was purchased from the Digital Equipment Corporation in Maynard, Massachusetts, and was installed in the new Business and Economics building in early July by the Digital Field Service Engineers. The VAX had all of the latest features, including:
  • Internal memory for over one million characters
  • Magnetic disk storage with a capacity of over 250 million characters
  • Card reader
  • Two magnetic tape drives
  • Capacity to serve over thirty simultaneous interactive terminal users

Roscoe Allen, first director of the Administrative Computer Center
Computing on campus began with the Administrative Computer Center, which was established in the fall of 1967. The center was located in the Petty Science Building and placed under the direction of Roscoe Allen. It was formed to serve the administrative staff as well as the academic and research needs of its faculty and students. The demands of the center were met by an IBM 1401 computer that utilized IBM cards. Soon after in 1971, a new computer was purchased, the RCA 70/35 Spectra, a disk operating system with 65k bytes of memory. The new computer helped campus administration manage admissions, registration, student billing, electronic transcripts, and payroll.

Due to an increased workload and growing demands on the facility, the Administrative Computer Center was reorganized in 1973 and split into two units -- the Academic Computer Center and the Administrative Computer Center. Campus administrators continued to use the existing campus computer, while faculty and students connected to the Triangle Universities Computation Center (TUCC) in Raleigh through a medium speed batch terminal connection.

Joseph Denk, founding director of the Academic Computer Center,
with student Donna Newman, 1974-1975
The Administrative Computer Center remained under the direction of Roscoe Allen. With the division, the center stayed in the Petty Building and quarters were expanded to provide a reception area, Director’s office, and space for programming and systems staff. In 1982, after fifteen years as director, Roscoe Allen returned to full-time teaching as a professor in the Department of Business and Distributive Education. He was replaced by Dr. Eddy H. Cheng.

During the mid-1980s, Dr. Cheng designed a University Management Information System which significantly improved the computing capabilities of UNCG. It allowed campus administrative offices to access the main computer through their personal terminals and no longer required staff to go to the Forney Building, the center’s current location, to use it. By 1987, the center consisted of a staff of twenty-nine including the director.

After the split in 1973, the newly-formed Academic Computer Center opened its doors on October 1 with its main office in the Graham Building and an additional two locations in the Petty Science Center. The center was placed under the direction of Dr. Joseph R. Denk, along with five permanent staff positions and eight student assistants. The primary function of the center was to support instructional computing.  The center held workshops to help faculty and staff become acquainted with the computer and what it could offer. These workshops provided introductions about the facility on services, policies, file and data management, and basics of computing.

After a year, Dr. Joseph R. Denk resigned to become director of the New Jersey Educational Computer Network. The center was place under an Acting Director, Dr. Terry G. Seaks of the Economic Department. On August 1, 1976, Dr. Theodore Hildebrandt was named director of the center. Along with its full time staff, the center also hired student workers. The students were divided into two types: Student Consultants and Student Attendants. The Student Consultants were hired to provide help with programming and debugging for the student and faculty users. The Student Attendants dealt with the operation of the medium-speed HETRA terminal, providing courier service, and other housekeeping duties.

Student making punch cards, 1978
In 1978, the administrative office of the Academic Computer Center was relocated from the Graham Building to the Petty Science Building and then again in 1979 to the new Bryan Building. The new facilities provided for a separate room for reference materials used by Student Consultants to aid in consultations. Dr. Hildebrandt led a campaign to gather funds to acquire their own computer for the center and succeeded in purchasing one in 1980. The new academic computer, the DEC VAX-11/780, allowed for the center to not only have their own computer and not have to share with the Administrative Computer Center, but enabled them to no longer have to connect with TUCC. The new computer resulted in the building of thirteen new interactive terminals and allowed access in three other buildings on campus.

After ten years of leading the center, Dr. Hildebrandt resigned in 1986 and returned to teaching and research in the Department of Mathematics. Dr. Gary Grandon became the new director and saw great expansion. By 1988, the center was responsible for maintaining and providing user service for twelve student labs on campus, five faculty self-service labs on campus, and training for faculty and staff in the McNutt Building. Workshops and seminars were given on such topics as introduction to word processing and spreadsheets, hard disk organization and maintenance, desktop publishing, and presentation graphics for faculty.

Student computer lab, 1989
With the need for a campus-wide computer network, the Administrative Computer Center and Academic Computer Center merged back into a single operation in 1990 becoming Computing and Information Systems. The new unit was placed under the control of Richard L. Moore as an interim director. He was replaced a year later by James Clotfelter. By this time, the campus had successfully completed installation of a broadband cable system. Also, a growing number of faculty offices had computers from which academics could access all of the computing and communications services offered across the campus. 

It is amazing to think how far technology has come in the last thirty years. The cell phones that we carry in our pockets are capable of doing ten times what the VAX 11/780 offered and cost just a tiny a fraction.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Music on Demand, Part 1: Marketing Music Education to the State Normal and Industrial School Curriculum, 1892-1912

Glee Club, 1895-96. The only music training
provided at this time was vocal. 

The first students to attend the State Normal and Industrial School in 1892 were greeted by a progressive curriculum, demanding competencies in many disciplines unfamiliar to women of that time. Charles Duncan McIver’s insistence that women educated in a liberal arts curriculum would remedy the state of education in the South acquainted these women with courses in classical languages, history, and literature, in addition to the expected training. With importance on providing education emphasizing a trade or skill set, however, how much support should be devoted to the fine arts? Was there a profit to providing these students with a music education?

Dr. McIver and the Board of Directors believed that at least a modest music education was of use to these future teachers and mothers, creating the Department of Vocal Music. Clarence R. Brown, one of three men in the original teaching faculty, was appointed by McIver, and Lina McDonald was hired as his assistant (McDonald died within a few months after being hired; she was hit by a train walking along west campus). Brown taught music privately in Winston-Salem, and in a letter to McIver, stated that he would not require a high salary, as he could use his trips to the School to recruit Greensboro students for individual instruction. As men faculty earned significantly more than women faculty (the rationale being men carried the financial burden of a family), Brown’s offer was both prudent and convenient. In addition to teaching classes in vocal music, Brown conducted the Glee Club, the first School music ensemble.

In the first annual catalog for the Normal and Industrial School, the Department of Vocal Music advertised itself based on three selling points. First, the department marketed itself by promoting the acquisition of a basic music education as an essential trend for Americans entering the workforce. Furthermore, the departmental mission insinuated that a lack of competency in music is detrimental to religious institutions, as the quality of a service would degrade. Since perpetuating Christian teachings was held as the responsibly of mothers and the female members of a congregation, vocal music instruction was deemed as especially critical for the education of women. Finally, the Music Department boasted itself as a democratic program in stating every student, “regardless of any special talent for music,” should have the opportunity to receive some form of music education. This advocating of music as a universally required skill for women was supported philosophically for all students, but only monetarily for future teachers.

The 1902 State Normal and Industrial School Orchestra
It did not take long for students interested in instrumental performance to petition for instructional support. In 1899, McIver, with agreement from the Board of Directors, hired Charles and Laura Brockmann (brother and sister) to form the Department of Instrumental Music. The Brockmann’s were familiar to the School, having operated the Brockmann School of Music on 410 East Market Street. Also, Brockmann students performed at campus events requiring instrumental music, fulfilling the role of the orchestra. Concentrating on piano and violin performance, the “Infant Orchestra” was introduced the 1900/01 academic year. While popular demand by students for an expansion of this music curriculum undoubtedly stimulated the creation of a new program, there was an additional motive. 

Because only classes for vocal music were offered by the School, students interested in instrumental tutelage sought out private instructors. In the Student’s Handbook for 1899-1900, of the ten advertisements featured in the back of the publication, half were offering services towards instrumental music lessons. All studios were near campus, and the prices listed ranged from $2.50-$4.00 per month per student. One instructor offered piano lessons in addition to the cost of board for convenient off-campus housing. Greensboro Female College (now Greensboro College) even paid to promote their voice and piano program in the handbook. Clearly, there was a market for instrumental music instruction, and the State Normal and Industrial School students appeared to be a solid customer-base, willing to pay extra for a more robust music curriculum.

The Department of Vocal Music and the Department of Instrumental Music existed primarily as self-subsidized programs; aside from faculty salary, little money was invested by the state for support. Music was categorized as a special type of class, requiring vocal students to pay an extra $20 in fees and instrumental students an additional $40 (unless they promised to serve as teachers for two years after graduation). Instrumental students brought their own instruments, with the exception of a piano, which under the $40.00 fee, rented the piano for one hour of practice per day. This meant that music students in the 1890s-1910s paid at least 20% more out of pocket to the School compared to other students.

Because music faculty earned income privately from independent students, their salaries were not comparably large. Aside from faculty salary and the purchase of $127.54 in sheet music in 1901, the Departments of Vocal and Instrumental Music were not only financially solvent as independent programs, but potentially profitable for the State Normal and Industrial School. The 1902 Board of Director’s report indicated that the Music Department earned $2,318.17, providing greater income for the campus than the campus farm or the Peabody Fund allotment.

The popularity of the music programs continued to increase. As of 1901, the School began to offer a music concentration within the Normal curriculum. The first Bachelors of Music degree was offered in the 1907/08 school year. Obviously, the special music classes not only were viewed as profitable to students as future educators, but to the institution, as well.

This is part one of a series of posts chronicling the history of music programs at UNCG. Part 2 on the early music curriculum will be posted on January 6th, 2014.