Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Holidays!

The staff of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives wishes everyone a happy holiday season! We're taking a break this week, but please join us on Monday, January 5th for a new Spartan Story.

Residence hall decorating in 1955

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays!

The staff of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives wishes everyone a happy holiday season! We're taking a break this week and next, but please join us on Monday, January 5th for a new Spartan Story.

Christmas Tree in the Elliott University Center Terrace, December 1960

Monday, December 15, 2014

UNCG's Moravian Lovefeast

From the early 1960s until the mid-1980s, the UNCG campus hosted an annual Moravian Lovefeast and Candle Service during the first weeks of December. Music, scripture readings, and messages delivered by local ministers were featured during the services, which were typically held in the Elliott University Center's Cone Ballroom. The services drew students, faculty, staff, and community members.

It was on a December evening in 1963 that the first Lovefeast was held at UNCG. Two Winston-Salem students, Phyllis Snyder Bargoil (class of 1964) and Almeda Tesh Dalton (class of 1965) invited their hometown pastor, the Rev. Thomas Presley, to Greensboro to lead the celebration. Almeda's father made the wooden serving trays which were used in the UNCG service until at least the early 1980s.

Twenty-eight people attended this first gathering, including Dean of Students Katherine Taylor, who encouraged the students to plan another Lovefeast the following year. Rev. Presley returned the following year to lead the Lovefeast, which quickly grew in popularity. Around 1967, the Lovefeast expanded from a single night to two nights of services. Eventually tickets were required (at no charge) to control the number of worshipers who attended each evening's service. By 1977, three nights of services were held in order to accommodate the crowd. It was estimated that the 1985 Lovefeast services drew over 600 attendees.

One of the central activities during the UNCG (or any) Lovefeast was the breaking of bread, signifying the union and equality of the worshipers. In the UNCG services, this included the sharing of traditional Lovefeast buns and coffee. Female servers would distribute the buns, while male servers carried trays of coffee. A Moravian blessing was said and worshipers would eat while the choir performed. The December 11, 1974 service, for example, featured a performance by the University Women's Choir of "Gloria," arranged by Benjamin Britten.

After the delivery of a message by a local minister, the lights were lowered and beeswax candles were distributed to the attendees. Candles remained lit as the worshipers departed the service. While the lit candles represented the sacrifice and love of Christ, the students at UNCG adapted them for another purpose. According to an interview with Rev. Presley in 1979, "If you carry the lighted candle back to your room, the wish you make will come true." At UNCG these lit candles moving across campus also foreshadowed the luminaries display, which typically occurred soon after the Lovefeast.

The last reference found in University Archives to a campus-sponsored Moravian Lovefeast is found in the 1986 Pine Needles yearbook. In reference to the services held in December 1985, the article notes, "fighting against outside claims that the feast - in its presentation of a Christian message and hymns - violated the spirit of the separation of church and state, administration members asked those delivering the 'message' at the two nights of ceremonies to look for a more 'universal focus' in what they said." Rev. Ron Moss of the Wesley-Luther House and Father Jack Campbell of the University Catholic Center led those services.

The Pine Needles article concludes with a quote from a student attendee, who left from the Lovefeast to study for final exams in the library. "When I came to the Festival I thought it would just be a social or something - or maybe a church service. But it wasn't. It was just a lot of people getting together to enjoy something beautiful. Sure, I heard people talking about how it was wrong, and how it violated students' rights, but I can't help but think that something as beautiful as that was couldn't have done anything but helped."

Monday, December 8, 2014

Home Management Houses

One of our school’s earliest programs, domestic science, required students to live in Home Management Houses for a portion of their time while earning their degree. The earliest house (referred to as “The Cottage”) was located on Tate (then Lithia) St. and was used by the school from 1914-1916. It was located near the present Taylor Theatre and Brown Buildings.
By the 1920s, the Domestic Science program had morphed into Home Economics.

The school built a new Home Management House in 1922 on McIver St. The house was designed by Harry Barton, who had designed many other buildings on the campus. During this time, the catalog described the course’s goals as “(a) management of household operations, (b) management of income, (c) management of family and group relations, and (d) management in relation to community obligations to the home. The practical work will be given in the practice house where each senior is required to live for six weeks.” The course was listed as 33 and 34 in early years and 405 later in the Annual Catalogs.

Exterior and Interior views of the Home Management House located on McIver St.
As the Home Economics program grew, more houses were needed for students to live-in for their required resident course in Home Management. Houses on West Market St. were bought and remodeled over the years as Home Management Houses. Apartments and duplexes were also acquired and used as Home Management Houses.

Students Inside one of the W. Market St. Houses
By the 1970s, the Home Economics program was changing again. Increasingly there was less emphasis on Home Economics Education and home making. In the early 1980s, the Home Management House residence course was altered to a normal 3 credit hour course. By 1983, the course was gone completely from the catalog.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Lost Architecture of UNCG, part 2

In last week's Spartan Story, we looked at three of the original campus buildings that no longer exist -- Brick Dormitory, Wooden Dormitory, and the McIver House. This week, we will focus on other buildings that were constructed during the earlier years of the institution that are no longer around.

A view down College Avenue, 1913

The Students' Building

The cornerstone of the Students’ Building was laid in 1902. Contributions from students, faculty, and visiting speakers allowed the completion of the three story structure in 1906. It housed the Domestic Science and Manual Training departments, the post office and book store, society halls, a banquet hall, and a 700 seat auditorium.

In 1932, in a general reorganization of the campus the post office moved from the Administration Building to the Students’ Building.

The building was razed in 1950, but the cornerstone remains visible on College Avenue, in front of the current Elliott Student Center.

McIver Memorial Building

Not to be confused with the current McIver Building, which was built in 1960, the McIver Memorial Building was opened in 1908. Opened two years after his death, the building was named in honor of Charles Duncan McIver, founder and first president of the University. An east wing was added in 1920 and a west wing in 1922. Primarily, it served as a classroom space.

The McIver Memorial Building was declared unsafe in 1956 and razed in 1958.

Outdoor Gymnasium

The Outdoor Gymnasium, designed by Harry Barton of Greensboro, was opened in 1922. The open-construction building was located behind Rosenthal Gymnasium. It was approximately 91 feet long, 51 feet wide, and 20 feet to the top of the eaves.

In preparation for inclement weather, the Gymnasium was equipped with canvas “drops” which could completely enclose the building. In addition to physical education classes, the Outdoor Gymnasium became a popular spot for basketball, roller-skating, and rainy day activities. Located west of Shaw Residence Hall (near the site of the current tennis courts), the outdoor gymnasium was completed three years before the construction of the Rosenthal Gymnasium.

The outdoor space was used during bad weather and for overflow physical education activities until 1964 when it was torn down.


The YWCA Hut was built in 1918 at the end of College Avenue by the entrance to Peabody Park. A small group of students, known as the Carpenterettes, helped build the Hut because of the manpower shortage created by World War I.

The Hut was built in a bungalow style with a large central hall and open fireplaces. It was used for a variety of social functions. The YWCA secretary counseled students in her office in the Hut. The building was razed in the 1940s when North Drive was built.

Woman's Dormitory and Kirkland Dormitory

Both Woman's Dormitory and Kirkland Dormitory were craftsman style buildings designed by Hook and Rogers of Charlotte. Woman's Dormitory opened in 1912. Named in honor of the “Noble Women of the Confederacy,” it subsequently became known as “Senior Hall.”

Kirkland Dormitory, which opened two years later in 1914,  was named in honor of Sue May Kirkland, Lady Principal of the College from 1892 to 1914.

Both Woman's Dormitory and Kirkland Dormitory were razed in 1964. Currently, the Moran Commons and Plaza stands at the site that once housed the two buildings.

Park Gymnasium

This building, designed by McMinn & Norfleet of Greensboro, opened in 1961. From 1961 to 1964, it was called Curry Gymnasium. On February 24, 1964, the building was named in honor of Herbert W. Park, football coach of the Curry School Phantoms from 1936 to 1959.

Park Gymnasium was razed in 2004. This location is now the site of the Moore Humanities & Research Administration Building.