Monday, July 30, 2018

Campus Regulations Through the Years: Part I

When college students move onto campus, they may no longer be subject to their parents' house rules,but they now have a whole new set of regulations by which to abide. All rules are intended for the students' and the school's protection, but they change with the times. Prior to the late 1960s, colleges and universities operated with the policy of in loco parentis, which is Latin for "in the place of a parent." Students, especially female students, were restricted from doing many things that would be considered basic rights by students today. I have looked through UNCG students' handbooks through the years and want to share some of my favorite regulations.

The student handbook for academic year 1898-1899 does not specify any rules beyond don’t destroy school property and pay for the property you accidentally destroy, but it does note that students should have a pocket in their school dress and to BE SURE “to remember that fine feathers do not make fine birds, and that what you make of yourself in College you will be so long as you live.” Gulp.

Codified regulations first appear in the 1912-1913 handbook, and only for the Library! The first rule, considered so important that it is in italic type is: “Absolutely no promiscuous talking in the Library.”

  • “When necessary to speak to the Librarian, speak in a low tone of voice.” 
  • “A student may have two books charged to her at the same time, only one of which may be fiction.”


By 1917, the handbook specifies “Indoor Rules” (e.g. “The bathrooms and halls shall not be used for studying”) and “Outdoor Rules” (e.g. “Walking period shall be observed by every student every day except Saturday. During walking period every student must be on campus taking exercise, unless excused by College President or physician.)”

They were not kidding around in the 1924-1925 handbook! In that year the it was clearly printed on the title page of the Official Bulletin of Information: "Ignorance of the law does not excuse violation".

To dispel your own ignorance, I draw your attention to the following:
  • "No gasoline, or benzene, and no electrical fixtures except study lamps and standardized curling irons, may be used in the dormitories." I can still get behind the gasoline and benzene ban.
  • "Each student should make her bed by 9 o'clock in the morning." 
  • Although students were permitted "to go to the shoe shop or neighborhood stores until 7:30 p.m.", they were NOT "to stroll on the public streets at any time."

At the end of the Roaring Twenties, freshmen and sophomores were required to turn off their room lights at "10:30 on all nights except for Saturdays when they are to be turned off at 11 o'clock. Juniors must get 8 hours rest a day. They may use their own discretion in regard to lights. Seniors are to use their own discretion in regard to lights." I hope the seniors made wise lights-out choices.

Students' whereabouts continue to be strictly monitored. For example,"All students are to register accurately and promptly before leaving campus and upon their return, except when going to neighborhood stores, to Sunday morning church services and on hikes not lasting more than an hour." I have no idea what the extreme hikers were supposed to do.

Some highlights:
  • "No student is to drive nails or tacks into the walls or paste pennants or pictures on the walls." Which must have been frustrating as the handbook later describes how the campus "Ye Junior Shoppe" (which was run by the junior class) "carries college pillows and pennants and society stationary." How were they supposed to hang their North Carolina College for Women pennants?
  •  In the dining hall the food was served to each table. Students had to receive permission from the hostesses to have guests from other tables sit at their own table and also to leave the table before others have finished. With that being said, the stated preference was that a whole table should leave the dining room altogether.
  • And although this was more of an exhortation than a regulation, I must commend the handbook for "It is wise to spend at least a little part of every day in our library." Hear, hear!

For the first time there needed to be rules for telephone calls! All calls were connected by campus operators and calls made from and to dormitories were “strictly limited to three minutes. Operators are instructed to cut off service at expiration of that time.” I guess those students must have texted a lot?

This year's handbook contains fewer regulations than previous (and subsequent) ones, but it does include some excellent suggestions that are as relevant to today’s students, such as:
  • "Be sure to set aside some time each week for the folks back home. Write letters regularly of the interesting things you are doing on the campus. You will have many new interests here, but they must never crowd out the old relationships which are a part of you."
  • "That in being tolerant of other peoples’ ideals you have grown bigger and stronger."
  • "To make mistakes or you won’t have any reminiscences."

By 1942-1943, there were regulations about radios (“can be played anytime in a student’s room and in the parlors provided they do not disturb others”) and smoking (“Students may smoke on the terraces and in the residence halls, except in the parlors and entrance halls.)

“Social privileges” such as “entertaining a caller” were now based on academic standing. Students with a “C” or better average were allowed more weekend and evening “engagements.”

Regarding riding in automobiles, on horseback, and on bicycles required parental permission and there were different rules for each class. However, all students require special written permission to ride in airplanes.


Monday, July 23, 2018

Establishing the Katharine Smith Reynolds Scholarship Program

In 1962, one year before Woman's College was renamed UNC Greensboro and two years before men undergraduates were allowed to enroll, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation made an initial gift of $58,600 (over $482,000 today's dollars) to WC to establish a scholarship program that would be named in memory of Katharine Smith Reynolds. At the time, it was the largest scholarship grant the school had ever received.

Portrait of Katharine Smith Reynolds
Katharine Smith Reynolds was born on November 17, 1880, in Mt. Airy, NC. She attended the State Normal and Industrial College (now UNCG) from 1897 to 1899. After the 1899 typhoid epidemic on campus, she transferred to Sullins College in Bristol, Va., where she graduated in 1902. She returned home after graduation and began work as a secretary at the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in Winston-Salem. There, she worked with the company's founder (also her first cousin once removed), and they eventually married in 1905. After a honeymoon trip to Europe, she worked with landscape architects and designers to plan their grand Reynolda estate. She was a prominent local philanthropist and served as President of the Winston-Salem chapter of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) in 1917. On May 23, 1924, at the age of 44, Reynolds passed away due to complications of an embolism caused by the birth of her fifth child.

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation sought to honor her with a scholarship program that would provide an award for students entering WC as undergraduates. Reynolds Scholars would be chosen on the basis of scholastic ability and evidence of "moral force of character including truthfulness, courage, devotion to duty, unselfishness, and consideration for others." Leadership ability and financial need would also be considered.

In January 1963, letters were sent to principals in secondary schools throughout North Carolina announcing the first competition for the Katharine Smith Reynolds Scholarships. A Reynolds Scholarship Central Committee was formed to choose the award winners. This committee consisted of one appointee of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, one permanent member by request of R.J. Reynolds, Jr., four faculty members appointed by the Chancellor, and three alumnae appointed by the president of the Alumnae Association. Additionally, Reynolds Scholarship District Committees were formed to facilitate in-person interviews with applicants across the state.

The initial class of Reynolds Scholars
Out of an applicant pool over over 200, twelve incoming freshmen were officially named as the inaugural class of Reynolds Scholars in May 1963. As the report of Central Committee chair Anne L. Lewis noted, "we were searching, above all, for excellent scholars. We feel sure that we have twelve such young women. You will be interested to know in addition, however, that in every case there is evidence of real financial need in order for the girl to pursue her higher education." The report also names the scholarship winners and provides a brief biographical sketch to illustrate their academic skills and "moral force of character":
  • Rosalyn R. Fleming of Greenville was described as "very polite, neat, personable" and had directed the Vacation Bible School at her church.
  • Evelyn Brake of Rocky Mount was "a lot on the ball, yet very modest." She earned money for college by driving a school bus and writing a school news column for a local newspaper.
  • Shelby Jean Rice of Holly Ridge  was the oldest of seven children in a farm family. She also was top of her class and president of her student body.
  • Francine Johnson of Four Oaks was also from a farm family, and the committee "was struck by what this girl had accomplished and the promise she showed."
  • Jane Taylor of Wilkesboro was described as a "lovely girl, very modest about her achievements, stands up for her own ideas."
  • Susan Prince of Chapel Hill  was the daughter of a French professor at Appalachian Teachers College (now App State). She attended a National Science Foundation program for talented high school students.
  • Nancy Glazebrook Holman of Wilmington, the daughter of a WC alumna, graduated top of her class of 550.
  • Dorothy Crowder of Charlotte was described as having a "pleasant face, good speaker, a lot of poise."
  • Anne Presnell of Statesville was tagged by the Admissions Office as "the top student admitted for next fall." 
  • Martha Bridges of Boiling Springs was the daughter of two school teachers.
  • Sandra Cheek of Marion was described as "very neat and sweet looking with a quiet, pleasing personality."
  • Judy Ann Davis of Pfafftown received a special award for a students from either Surry, Stokes, or Forsyth County who intended to major in chemistry.
The Katharine Smith Reynolds Scholarships continues today (although, in a change from the original intent, men were first allowed to apply for the program in 1980). In 1997, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation pledged $5 million to the University over 10 years. Part of the funds were used to establish the Katharine Smith Reynolds Scholarship Endowment.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Happy Birthday to Us!: Celebrating 60 Years of University Archives

Annual Report of the College Archives Committee
Prior to 1958, there was no organized, formal method for acquiring, managing, and preserving the official records created by the Woman’s College (now UNCG). The need and importance of establishing such a process was brought to the administration’s attention in August 1956 in a letter from A.F. Kuhlman, Chairman of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, and E.C. Roberts, Director of the Southeastern Interlibrary Research Facility. In their letter, they noted that as colleges became more decentralized, “it becomes increasingly important that there be a central depository and an archival program for the official records of an institution.” They went on to explain that “only by a systematic program of collection and preservation of the publications and records of an institution can the full and true story of that institution’s development and endeavors be recorded.” The letter closes with a recommendation for the college to assume this responsibility and to start saving their history. However, it would be two more years before the school took any official action.

In the fall of 1957, North Carolina State Archivist, H.G. Jones, was invited to the campus to survey the archives. He was not happy with the current conditions of the archives as he “looked with considerable scorn” upon the cases that housed the archival materials in the Forney Building and Library Building. Following his visit, Jones wrote a letter to Chancellor Gordon W. Blackwell, giving detailed advice on some immediate and long term problems facing the college archives.

Charles Adams, 1951
In response to these recommendations, Chancellor Blackwell appointed current Librarian, Charles M. Adams, as the new Archivist, and Marjorie Hood as the Assistant Archivist.  In addition, he established the College Archives Committee in January 1958, whose charge was “to advise the College Archivist concerning selection of materials for the archives, proper housing of the archives, and other pertinent matters.” Other members of the committee, along with Adams and Hood, included history professors Richard Current and Blackwell Robinson. In May 1958, the committee traveled to Raleigh to study the state archives and ask for further advice on proper storage and care of archival materials.  One of the first priorities of the committee was transferring records located in the basement storage vault of the Forney Building to the Library Building as excessive temperature and humidity threatened to damage the materials.

The work of the College Archives Committee was the first step in developing a formal archival program with dedicated staff and storage space. Today, UNCG's University Archives continues to collect and maintain the campus's historically-valuable documents and records. These include paper records, as well as those produced in a digital format (including websites). The University Archives faculty and staff also present guest lectures on campus history in numerous undergraduate and graduate courses throughout the year. Additionally, through social media, online publications and exhibits, and digitization work done in the University Libraries, researchers can now dig into UNCG's long history from anywhere in the world. The University Archives ensures that the history of UNCG is remembered - now and in years to come.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Elizabeth "Libby" Holder: Bridging Woman's College and UNC Greensboro in the Library

On August 1, 1947, Elizabeth "Libby" Holder arrived at the Woman's College (now UNCG) campus to start work as the new Assistant Circulation Librarian. The library was housed in the Carnegie Library (now the Forney Building), which had been built in 1905. And many of the faculty members from the earliest years of the college remained either on staff or retired but still active in campus life, including Mary Channing Coleman, Edward J. Forney, and Cornelia Strong. But, during Holder's years as a librarian on the campus, she witnessed numerous changes that helped the university develop into the institution it is today.

Elizabeth "Libby" Holder
Holder was born on July 1, 1914 in Winston-Salem, and was the first baby born in the Ardmore neighborhood. Elizabeth Avenue in that neighborhood is named in her honor. After graduating from R.J. Reynolds High School, she attended Duke University for one year and then transferred to Salem College, where she graduated in 1935.

She began work at the Woman's College library with a strong background in librarianship, including work as Assistant Librarian at Salem College (1935-1937) and children's room librarian at New York Public Library (1937-1940). She had also worked as a reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal-Sentinel (1941-1943) and head of the children's books section at Straughans' Book Shop (1945-1946). When she began at Woman's College, she was offered an annual salary of $2200.

In addition to her library work, Holder studied art at Columbia University and enjoyed illustrating. In 1948, she illustrated the book Tell Me a Story by Katharine Boring Rondthaler (Bethlehem, Pa., The Comenius Press). This book featured children's stories about the early history of the Moravian church and the surviving costumes and traditions of the wife of the President of Salem College. Holder's illustrations were all done in pen and ink, but printed on a light blue paper. As Holder noted in a form submitted to the campus news bureau, "the costumes of the children and architectural detail are authentic, even though imaginatively interpreted." She also contributed illustrations to the 1955 book Old Salem and North Carolina Cookery and numerous other pamphlets and publications.

Perhaps one of the most exciting challenges during this time period, though, was a move of the campus library from the old Carnegie Library building to the new library building (now Jackson Library) in 1950. The move was a long and complicated process. As Holder noted in a 1990 oral history interview, the move was completed using campus laundry baskets. She notes, "they had a chute up to the second floor and our books were packed in the laundry baskets and sent there - the chute - into an awaiting truck. Then they were carted across over to the new library. And each stack was assigned a member of the building and grounds to help unpack." Initially, the library staff had hoped to do the move after commencement, but unfortunately, they had to do the move during exam time. She proudly noted, though, that the library was never inaccessible to students. She stated, "if you put in an order for a book in the morning, we guaranteed to find it for you by two o'clock in the afternoon. It might be in the truck. It might be in a basket. It might be in the new building. But we tried."

In 1955, Holder completed her master's degree in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her master's paper was a history of the WC library. Three years later, she left the Woman's College to serve as Librarian at Brevard College (Brevard, NC). But, in August 1963, she returned to Greensboro as Head Reference Librarian at UNCG. The school's name had changed since she had left, and, in one year, undergraduate men would begin enrolling.

The changes kept coming for both Holder and Jackson Library. After the retirement of Director of the Library Charles Adams in 1969, Holder served as the Acting Director until his successor James Thompson arrived in 1970. Then in 1973, the library tower addition opened.

Holder dressed in 18th century Moravian costume
On August 1, 1976, Holder officially retired as Head Reference Librarian. In an article in Library Columns (the Jackson Library newsletter), Director James Thompson wrote that "Elizabeth Holder has had a rich professional career which has earned her a reputation as one of the leading reference librarians in the country. A complete listing of the offices she has had in professional organizations, the papers she has read at professional meetings, and her published works would fill the rest of this newsletter ... Suffice it to say that the loss of Libby Holder to us in Jackson Library, to her University, and to her profession will be irreparable. Her wit, charm, good humor, and high standards of professional performance will be sorely missed."

After her retirement, Holder remained in Greensboro where she was an active member of the First Moravian Church and served as the congregation's librarian. She also frequently dressed in 18th century Moravian costume to do presentations for elementary school children. She also volunteered at the Greensboro Historical Museum, where she was honored with the Governor's Volunteer Service Award. Holder passed away on October 19, 2009 at age 95.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Farmerettes

On April 6, 1917, the United Stated officially entered World War I. With the institutional motto of “Service,” the women of the State Normal and Industrial College (now UNCG) sought ways to contribute to the war efforts. Students came together to observe meatless and wheatless days, take classes in food conservation, raise money for the War Relief Fund, and make surgical dressings.

During the summer of 1918, ten Normal women heeded President Woodrow Wilson’s call to increase American food production and reduce food waste by volunteering to work on a 300-acre farm just outside of Greensboro. Most of these Farmerettes had no experience with farm work. In fact, most were not from rural areas at all. But, according to one student – Marjorie Craig (class of 1919) – these women “volunteered for that phase of war work because there was so little else we could do to help win the war … We were told that all the food produced at home made possible a greater supply for the soldiers.”

The Farmerettes knew that their presence in the fields might not be welcomed. As Craig noted, “we had been warned beforehand that we would be laughed at and we had prepared to ignore it.” In khaki uniforms and straw hats, these Farmerettes performed all but the heaviest agricultural labor – hoeing corn, pitching hay, threshing wheat, harvesting vegetables, feeding pigs, milking cows, and performing numerous other farm tasks. Work days began at 8 a.m. and continued until 5 p.m., with a one-hour break for lunch.

Campus administrators lent a hand, with J.M. Sink, superintendent of buildings and grounds, supervising their work. Even President Julius Foust stepped in to drive the reaper to cut the wheat.

Ten years after this summer, Margaret Hayes (class of 1919) recounted her time on the farm: "Being a Farmerette I count as one of the most worthwhile experiences of my life. We were engaged in something that we felt was real and vital, not just puttering, as we suspected was the case with some of the war work."

There were tangible results: hundreds of cans of vegetables, as well as products that could not be canned. In total that summer, these students worked to produce 1100 bushels of wheat, 3000 bushels of corn, 2500 gallons of tomatoes, and 2000 gallons of beans. Most of these foodstuffs were used in the campus pantry the following semester. But perhaps more important than the resulting products, the ten Farmerettes united to fight misconceptions about women’s work abilities and contribute to the war effort in their own unique way.