Monday, March 26, 2018

Dining at the Home Economics Cafeteria

From 1929 through 1982, the institution now known as UNCG hosted a unique and popular campus resource that served not only as a teaching laboratory but as a meeting and dining space for people across the University. The Home Economics Cafeteria allowed students in the School of Home Economics an opportunity to learn about "the scientific and artistic principles of cookery as they apply to quantity food production and service in a real situation."

Home Economics Cafeteria, 1951
Located in Home Economics (now Stone) Building, the cafeteria focused on providing lunch, initially only three days a week and then on all five weekdays. Beginning in 1973, the cafeteria also offered a 45-minute "coffee break" from 9:30-10:15 "to help brighten your morning." Students worked with a number of full-time employees to ensure that a variety of healthy meals were prepared in sanitary conditions.

Menus from the cafeteria demonstrate the wide range of foods prepared by the students and staff. Students in 1941 served a variety of soups as part of their work to assist in the revision of Army and Navy cookbooks. Often, the student cafeteria managers would select themes for the week's menu, and plan accordingly by researching and selecting appropriate recipes and soliciting comments for future planning.

The week of September 16-20, 1974, was deemed "International Week" in the Home Economics Cafeteria. Each day of the week featured food from a different culture. Monday was "German Day," and included red cabbage, sauerbraten, and reuben sandwiches. Tuesday was a celebration of Jewish New Year, and included potato soup, lox, and bagels. Italian cuisine was featured on Wednesday with lasagne, minestrone stoup, and garlic bread. "French Day" was Thursday, and included French onion soup, beef bourguignon, and broccoli almandine. And, finally, on Friday, the cafeteria returned to "American Day," with fried chicken, cornbread, and, of course, "Mom's apple pie."

Stone (previously Home Economics) Building
The cafeteria proved a success as a meeting place for University faculty members. Charles Adams, the head librarian at UNCG, noted that the cafeteria's "very friendly and open atmosphere makes it a good place to visit with colleagues." Augustine La Rochelle, a professor of Romance languages, declared "it's the best food in the city!"

In spite of its success, the cafeteria ceased operations on Wednesday, December 8, 1982, due to the increasing costs of operation. Much equipment was obsolete or in need of major repair, and administrators felt the cafeteria "no longer provided an up-to-date, relevant educational experience." Dr. Jacqueline Voss, dean of the School of Home Economics, stated that "we all recognize the significant role the cafeteria has played on campus. It has provided over the years a place where faculty and staff members from across the campus and from different disciplines could gather and talk and get to know one another. However, given the current restraints under which we are currently operating, it is no longer feasible for us to maintain the operation of the cafeteria."

Monday, March 19, 2018

The History of the College’s Yearbook Part II: 1930s to 1950s

As the college moved into the 1930s, it underwent transformations that reflected the unsettled economic trials of the country. The stock market crash of 1929 threw the nation into a financial crisis, resulting in a drop in enrollment and faculty pay for the North Carolina women’s college. Faculty took an additional hit when Greensboro banks failed in 1933. In the midst of these calamities, and under the watchful eye of President Julius Foust, the school officially consolidated with the University of North Carolina and the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Engineering, and was renamed the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina.

Students representing "Sportsmanship," 1931 Pine Needles

Yet during these tumultuous times, the Pine Needles yearbook maintained its high quality with a combination of photographs and interesting graphics. Most of the yearbooks from the 1930s had themes which gave the publications a visual focus. The 1932 edition featured the “melting pot” of American culture with chapter illustrations that represented various groups of North Carolina settlers. The theme of the 1933 yearbook was mysteries and superstitions, incorporating drawings of stylishly dressed young “detectives” who resembled the recently created heroine, Nancy Drew. This edition also reflected an unusual part of the college’s history when men were briefly admitted as day students during the Great Depression. It was during this time that Pine Needles began to consistently include photographs of the faculty and students; campus buildings; “superlatives;” class mascots; and societies, organizations, and clubs. Dedication and In Memoriam pages saw older faculty members and students remembered by the campus community.

Image from the 1933 Pine Needles

The 1941 Pine Needles ushered color into the annual publication and featured the 50th anniversary of the founding of the college. This yearbook, as well as the 1942 – 1946 volumes, covered the years when World War II was a major part of the daily life of the school and the country. Through the War Service League, the students and faculty, led by Chancellor Walter Clinton Jackson, contributed a great deal to the war effort. Yet, beyond the war, 1940s yearbooks also reflected the growth of the college, with events such as the Arts Forum and Social Science Forum and the founding of the Weatherspoon Art Gallery. At the end of the decade, the school was the largest women’s college in the United States and Pine Needles attempted to modernize its design by replacing quaint themes with a look to the future.

Chancellor Jackson with Woman's College Students, 1941 Pine Needles
 The 1950s brought a great deal of change to the campus. Chancellor Jackson retired in 1950 and many older campus buildings were replaced by more functional structures. The decade also saw the desegregation of the campus in 1956 with the admittance of JoAnne Smart and Bettye Ann Davis Tillman. Although JoAnne and Bettye were included in individual and dormitory group photographs, it would take years before African American students were truly represented in Pine Needles. As the college moved into the 1960s, enrollment was at an all-time high, but Woman’s College was facing many challenges which reflected larger national issues, such as Civil Rights and the Vietnam War. Part III of the History of the College’s Yearbook will cover the school’s move to co-education, campus activism, and the demise of Pine Needles.

JoAnne Smart in a Shaw Dormitory Group Photograph, 1957 Pine Needles

Monday, March 12, 2018

Dr. Gove Goes to War

When the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Dr. Anna Gove, resident physician at the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College (now UNC Greensboro), began preparing to become part of the effort.  Because female doctors were not allowed into the Army Medical Core, Dr. Gove looked for other opportunities to serve oversees.

By September 1917, Dr. Gove's personal papers show that she had purchased French textbooks from the Cortina Academy of Languages to prepare for European war work.  She had also sent a letter of resignation to Dr. Foust, President of the State Normal.  In his return letter, Dr. Foust expressed his hope that "after conditions become normal that you may yet find it possible to be with us again."

On January 29, 1918, a letter from the American Red Cross offered Dr. Gove a salary of $1800 a year for "general medical relief work among the refugees."  She was to set sail for France around March 1st.  Additionally, she was provided with a $200 stipend to purchase equipment and uniforms. "Goods to be bought a Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Mad. Ave. & 45th St., New York City."

List of equipment and uniform items to be purchased from Abercrombie & Fitch.  Not the handwritten list of addition items purchased by Dr. Gove.
Dr. Gove made the journey to France and was stationed at a clinic in Marseilles.  Her letters home paint a picture of her daily life and environment.  Marsielles, in the south of France, remained removed from front-line battle.  Dr. Gove writes, "With all this frightful struggle going on this city seems a place remote and unmoved by the fortunes of the contest."  She goes on to speak of the unsafe areas of the city where nurses cannot travel, the inflated prices of food and necessities, and the importance of having good shoes and clothing.

Dr. Anna Gove in American Red Cross uniform, ca. 1918

Gove spent her time in France with the Children's Relief Unit.  They worked with women and children fleeing the war in Eastern Europe.  Often, malnourishment and harsh travel conditions resulted in children arriving with serious and chronic illnesses.  Dr. Gove worked to educate mothers on the importance of hygiene to prevent sickness, an area that she continued to study after she returned from the war.

The armistice ending the war was signed on November 11, 1918.  Dr. Gove continued with the Red Cross.  She was sent to Aubenas, Ardeche, France to set up a dispensary, a small clinic to provide care for refugees.  In December, she wrote to her superior describing several unique and severely sick patients she had seen during the past month.  She finished the letter with a word about the rest of her cases that were "the usual run of people who never are well because they have never lived properly and are worse now from hard conditions."

Dr. Gove's service to the Red Cross ending in early March, 2019.  She took the opportunity to travel to Paris to sight-see. In April, Dr. Foust sent a telegram to Dr. Gove.  It simply read, "Expecting your return as physician need you salary exceeds two thousand write us." Rather than return to the States, Dr. Gove found work with the Smith College Relief Unit in Grecourt, Somme, France.  The Relief Unit was comprised of young students and alums from Smith College who wanted to volunteer for the war effort.  Gove continued to assist the unit with providing aid throughout the summer.  Her health took a turn for the worse, affecting her eye sight drastically.  In August, She went to her childhood home in New Hampshire and spent the Fall recovering.  She traveled to Greensboro in January 1920, helping out at the school part-time until her health returned fully.