Skip to main content

Full text of "Centenary College of Louisiana : sesquicentennial, 1825-1975"

See other formats

itv coixeGe of t 

^cerrrenniaL itf*^ 











f $ LABOR *o\ 

* OMNIA S } 

\ \A VINCIT js / 









1825 - 1845 

















li CE 







PI 1841 - 1845 





II 6- 








1846 - 1907 








































- 1888 

































. DR. FELpt R. HILL 


• 1913 

































;,.; v 

\ r ' "1 





To begin its celebration of the sesquicentennial of the College, the Centenary Alumni Association 
presents for its thousands of members and friends this pictorial survey of its history. Though few 
now living can recall the Jackson years, most Centenary people still are strangely drawn to this 
source where the life and spirit of the College were born. It is with this era, the Age of Andrew 
Jackson as well as the town of Jackson, that we begin. 

This rendition of Cen- 
tenary College of Loui- 
siana was published in 
New York to eommeno- 
rate the undertaking of 
the great Center Build- 
ing in 1856. The West 
Wing, at left, still 


Centenary College of Louisiana is the direct descendant of 
two institutions of higher learning, one public and one private. 
The Slate of Louisiana issued a charter establishing the Col- 
lege of Louisiana in Jackson as a state institution in 1825, and. 
with modifications, this charter remains in effect. In 1839, in 
celebration of the centennial of Methodism, the Conference of 
Mississippi and Louisiana founded a college named Centenary 
at Clinton, Mississippi. It was moved to Brandon Springs, Mis- 
sissippi, in 1840, and graduated its first class in 1844. Both 
colleges were located in isolated rural areas in accordance with 
educational policy of the period, and as a result had to struggle 
for funds and for students. The trustees of the state college, 
faced with the closing of the institution for want of support, in 
1845 agreed to transfer its charter to the Methodist Confer- 
ence, provided only that "Christian instruction and 
discipline" be always offered on a non-sectarian basis. The 
merged institutions, under the name "Centenary College of 
Louisiana," occupied the campus at Jackson until 1906. 

Centenary flourished until the Civil War, with an excellent 
physical plant, a fine faculty, and a large student body. Its 
annual commencement brought crowds of thousands to the 
small town to enjoy several days of academic festivities, and 
taxed the capacity of its auditorium, the largest in the state. 
Closed during the Civil War, the College failed to recover fully 
from the economic distress of the Reconstruction period, the 
bypassing of Jackson by the post-war railroad builders, and the 
competition of new, better-located, state-supported colleges. 
Toward the end of the century, the richer Mississippi Method- 
ist Conferences withdrew support from Centenary to found 
their own institution in Jackson, Mississippi. Now forced to 
seek ways to attract sufficient students and financial support 
from Louisiana alone, Centenary admitted women to its 
classes, and turned more and more toward emphasizing the 
religious aspects of its program and its relationship to the 
Methodist Church. But the student body continued to dwindle, 
and the magnificent physical plant deteriorated despite the 
heroic efforts of dedicated supporters. 

In 1906, a group of public spirited citizens of Shreveport 
determined to establish a college in the booming North Louisi- 
ana city. The Methodists there, convinced that Centenary must 
move from Jackson or die, persuaded these civic leaders to bid 
to become the new home for the old college. The city agreed, 
and the Methodist Conference, fully aware of the necessity for 
the move, gratefully accepted a gift of a campus site and sub- 
stantial financial support for the relocation. Centenary aban- 
doned the ghostly halls in Jackson for the more vigorous 
atmosphere of Shreveport in 1908. 

Even this transplantation failed to restore the College to full 
health. Plagued by limited financial resources and a weak aca- 
demic program, Centenary appeared doomed in 1921 when 
Dr. George Sexton assumed the presidency to make a last 
ditch fight for its survival. With full civic and church support, 
he began to revitalize it, emphasizing a stronger and more 
attractive academic program, the creation of an endowment of 
respectable size, and a football team which brought nationwide 
attention to the College. The football team died, a victim of 
World War II, but the modern physical plant, the rich aca- 
demic program, and the endowment envisioned by Dr. Sexton 
were brought into reality during the presidencies of Pierce 
Cline, Joe J. Mickle and Jack S. Wilkes. 

The mass of temporary structures constructed to meet the 
rapidly rising enrollments of the post war years gave way to 
permanent Georgian style brick buildings as the College cre- 
ated a virtually new physical plant. The size of the student 
body severely taxed even these buildings until 1970 when the 
nation's population growth slowed, and the costs of private 
education rose, hindering continued expansion. 

Now under President John Horton Allen, with a stabilized 
student population, Centenary stands ready for the future, 
firmly rooted in its historic past, yet with a youthful spirit of 
adventure and innovation. As the oldest chartered higher edu- 
cational institution west of the Mississippi River, its present 
status justifies the faith and sacrifices of the thousands who 
have given it 150 years of life. 

In 1825 the College of Louisiana established its headquarters in the former Feliciana Courthouse. Only the first floor of the former two-story building has been 

The first page of 
the Minute Book 
of the Board of 
Trustees of the 
College of 
indicates some of 
the problems 
faced by the 
Board in getting 
the College 


,^_.S iSt-ly/-*, . I ./**. -.^^.^.^ 

n~j.* JIha CL /ye'^oC oi. ■&.„, at- *~, 
t~-~ f— si. ~.~l~ v ^ OL. f~~6Ji*i&. t^iL. 

■ / ■ . . . 


■ ._ y r,r- S, 

. <S ;X- ,.- <■„,../.-,.*. 

'... ,<.,... Jmt. »„z- /< 

«-*"— «*) 

... «... JI~^C~.^-UL f 

^i - ;> .- •>. • «' -yite^M ■ - 

The West 
Wing of the 
College is 
all that 
remains of 

at Jackson. 

Dr. William Marbury Carpenter attended the College of Louisiana, was pro- 
fessor of natural history there from 1837 to 1843, and later professor of 
materia medica at the University of Louisiana. 

The College 
of Louisiana 


The first compilation of the College curriculum and student and faculty reg- 
ulations in 1839 placed rigid restrictions on entrance and discipline of stu- 
dents, which help to explain the small enrollment. 

Although the governments of the Territory of Orleans and 
the State of Louisiana early in the American period provided 
generously for higher education, their efforts by 1825 had 
come to little. The College of Orleans, the only remnant of the 
ambitiously planned University of Orleans, had failed to 
please the new English-speaking settlers pouring into Louisi- 
ana. The Legislature determined to create a new college in the 
American dominated West Florida area, leaving the College of 
Orleans to survive primarily on gambling house license sale 
revenues and private donations. 

In an Act approved February 18, 1825, the State granted a 
charter, created a Board of Trustees, provided financial 
resources, and spelled out the curriculum for a new institution 
to be located at Jackson and called the College of Louisiana. 
The Charter required that the curriculum include "the Eng- 
lish, French, Greek and Latin languages, Logic, Rhetoric, 
Ancient and Modern History, Mathematics, Natural, Moral 
and Political Philosophy." The American slant of the Legisla- 
ture's intent can be seen in that of the twenty-eight private citi- 
zen trustees appointed in the Act, twenty were of English 

The initial state appropriation of $5,000 plus additional 
revenues previously given to public schools in the Felicianas 
seems beggarly today, but the founders considered it quite 
adequate as an annual operating fund, especially after friends 

of the College pledged sums totaling $70,000 to defray open- 
ing expenses. 

The inaugural session of the Board at Jackson on May 2, 
1825, fell heir to the Feliciana Parish Courthouse, no longer 
needed for governmental purposes, rented buildings for stu- 
dent housing to supplement the courthouse space, and hired a 
president and a faculty. The College soon constructed several 
frame buildings to replace the unsuitable courthouse quarters, 
and later moved to a permanent campus nearby. 

Wrangling among the faculty, disputes between Board and 
president, a dearth of students, misapplication of funds, and 
inconsistent state policies kept the College in turmoil during 
the twenty years it operated as a state institution. No more 
than 80 students ever enrolled at one time, and most of these 
were preparatory students. The rigid academic requirements 
for entrance simply could not be met by any sizeable number 
of Louisianians, and the College had to prepare its own fresh- 
man class. 

Discouraged by the apparent failure of the College despite 
what it considered generous state appropriations, the Legisla- 
ture in Act 74, 1845, authorized the closing of the institution, 
the public auction of its properties, and the annulling of its 
charter. About the only permanent legacy of the state years 
was a beautiful brick building which still stands today. 





The first page of the Minute 
Book of the Board of Trustees 
of Centenary College, dated 
December 5. 1840, shows the 
indecision as to the final loca- 
tion of the campus. 

A, wv/v . 





; /,, 

The Methodists of the United States in 
1839 staged a variety of celebrations of the 
one hundredth anniversary of Methodism. 
The most permanent result of the round of 
ceremonies was the decision of the Missis- 
sippi Conference, which then also encom- 
passed churches in Louisiana, to create a col- 
lege to be called Centenary in honor of the 
occasion. Struggles to gather the necessary 
funding, disputes over the choice of site, dif- 
ficulties in acquiring property, and civic 
competition delayed until 1841 the opening 
at the final selected place, Brandon Springs, 

The properties utilized by the College had 
been developed originally as a resort built 
around reputedly healthful mineral springs, 
but financially unprofitable because of its iso- 
lation from the nearest population center, 
Jackson, Mississippi. Like the College of 
Louisiana, Centenary concentrated on the 
classics, attracted only a few students, suf- 
fered from poor planning, and soon fell into 
desuetude. Though it graduated its first class 
in 1844, its future appeared to be in jeop- 
ardy. Collections of pledges for College sup- 
port fell alarmingly, and authorities com- 
plained that the itinerant Methodist minis- 
ters, not yet known for their erudition, failed 
to appreciate the importance of the institu- 

The Reverend Benjamin M. Drake of Missis- 
sippi served many years on the Board of 
Trustees, and as its President, and in 1854 
for a short period as President pro lem of the 

Judge Edward McGehee signed the promissory 
note with which the Methodists purchased the 
College of Louisiana, and generously supported 
Centenary through its early years. 

William Winans, a pioneer Methodist minister 
in Mississippi and Louisiana, served as Presi- 
dent pro lem of Centenary College in 1844 and 
presided over the first meeting of the Board of 
Trustees of Centenary College of Louisiana in 

The failure of the College of Louisiana in 1845, together 
with the early decrepitude of Centenary College combined 
to create a fortunate opportunity to fuse two failures into 
one stable institution. Led by Judge Edward McGehee of 
Woodville, Mississippi, the Methodists determined to pur- 
chase the plant of the College of Louisiana, move Centenary 
there, and thus perpetuate their higher educational hopes. 
Judge McGehee was the only bidder for the Jackson prop- 
erty, and as the agent for the Mississippi Conference signed 
a note for $10,000, the minimum price the State would 
accept. He advanced in cash the sum of $166.66, the only 
payment ever made for the property, as the State never 
received payment of the debt. 

The union of the two institutions into Centenary College 
of Louisiana almost immediately proved efficacious, both in 
enrollment and quality. As the largest college in the two- 
state area, Centenary prided itself in rivaling even Har- 
vard's enrollment as nearly 300 students appeared for some 
sessions, although a large proportion of these were prepara- 
tory students. The College added a new dormitory wing, 
identical to the original constructed in 1833, and in 1856 
opened a huge "Center Building," which included a variety 
of classrooms, laboratories, a library, and debating society 
headquarters as well as a 3,000 capacity auditorium. 

The only major curriculum change made by the College 
allowed "in peculiar cases" the substitution of two modern 
languages for the requirement of proficiency in Latin and 
Greek. To emphasize the view of the Board and the faculty 
that such a program was less demanding than the Arts cur- 
riculum, they called the new arrangement the "Scientific 
Course," and worded the diploma awarded for completing 
it in English rather than Latin. Less than ten percent of the 
graduates pursued the Scientific Course. 

Centenary College 

of Louisiana 


The rornerstone of the Center Building, constructed in 
1856, noted on one face the Methodist relationship, and on 
another the State funding in 1825. Brought to the Shreve- 
port campus when the Jackson building was demolished in 
the 1930's, its present location is unknown. 



"^J^'a^^r^* K^V 








The massive Center Building, flanked by two identical dormitory wings, was designed by the 
architect G. W. A. Simpson. The acoustics in the large auditorium left much to be desired 
until the interior dome was sealed off about 1880. 

fi cctfvv. R cue ctj_ | 

, kovf 

, 1; u^ r .^c _.c.H^^ 

a \>t.ctx 

) ' io~vw*A- 0*+&» 

ft* tojtkX 

-&a.JhA i 

pC%^>^~^ H Al 

StbXL *\ 

Lc^^i^cU Ouj^^n^ 


In, 1% 6~ffr 

ULv^vj i**-c«uuv »*", l*~~*- ^^^ 


-tu *^c ,ftt~ rtzc <j £~~ 

JIMb Nik 


f -#* LL~hz.iL. StaX^, c^A^-*^- 

^m W 

-bU. CL^fcfc- f.{iJL . 


Curv-c*r~r>r O^ (JLl S"ti£C 



In exchange for the agreement of the State to forego pay- 
ment for the campus, the College agreed to accept annually 
ten State-nominated scholars without charge for tuition. 
The quota was seldom filled. 

While only a single photograph from Centenary before 
186] i- available in the College \rchives, the written records 
of it- activities abound in the Minute Books of the Hoard of 
Trustees and the faculty and area newspapers. 

The facult) met weekly, and devoted the major portion of 
its meeting time to disciplinary problems. Most of die students 
were sons of planters and professional men. and had been 
accustomed to an easy, way of life, with hunting, horse racing, 
dancing, and traveling shows to ease the rigor of preparatory 
Studies, and with servants to attend their physical needs. The 
transition to the rigidl) regulated life of die College, where the 
amenities were prohibited, and the academic day, was sched- 
uled from dawn through nine p.m. proved so exasperating to 
main of the young gentlemen that they engaged in repeated 
episodes of hi-jinks, ill-temper, fisticuffs, and rule-"breaking. 

The catalog for the 1857-58 session gives the College policy 
toward student discipline; 

The government is mild and parental, but consistent and firm: if 
a student is found to lie incorrigibly nanus or idle, he is at once 
dismissal. The punishments consist of demerit marks, private 
reproof public reproof, and suspension. The rewards consist of merit 
marks, and public honors on llw day of Commencement. So that by 
every incentive — by appeals to all the nobler rmnciples of . . . 
nature — by affeclionat^utreaty and friend l{Bkinse I — by the 
hSpe of distinction and thSfear of disgrace — the Faculty endeavor 
to maintain order and the purest morality. 

Portions of the Faculty Minutes recounting discipHnai 

sodes indicate the type of problem dealt with in faculty meet- 

P. Kear) having remained in the College, notwithstanding the 
direction given him b) the faculty to depart, and having committed 

an assault upon the President by presenting a pistol at him. and oth- 
erwise misbehaved, the Faculty agreed that the Steward and the 
Janitor should be asked to cooperate with the Faculty by refusing 
Mr. Keary accommodation in the College. (1833) 

Mr. John Keller was reported for gelling drunk, and molesting 
the citizens of Jackson, and especially for use of the most improper 
and indecent language such as is too obscene to be written on this 
Record. . (I till.) 

Joseph Johnson. John Line, and Calvin Roberts were indefinitely 
suspended for being out at night at an improper hour and throii ing 
brickbats at members of the faculty. (1854) 

With the records replete with such incidents, one might 
wonder what became of the graduates. Of the 209 graduated 
through 1861, seventy became lawyers, twenty-seven doctors, 
thirty-three planters, seven teachers, and thirteen ministers. 
The destinies of the other graduates cannot be found in the 
official records of the College^ 

The small number of ministers provided to the Church by 
the College in ante helium days indicates the rigid adherence 
of the Methodist Church to its agreement with the state that no 
sectarian dogmas should be taught, nor efforts at proselytism 




Pniici- direction of Profs: Knou. A I 

\\ EDNEsi)JY,"jiil } "25tir.1s55r~" 

.. Ci-HL.I Solo, for Cornel a 1'iston. In HEBESTBEET 
■ '•. Masse in tin- Cold Ground. 
J 4. Love Not: Quickstep. 
5. Grand Solo. :::::.:: by Knou. A houues. 
l>. .la'-kson I,n(|r's Waltz. : : : : by IIkkesiiikei. 
7. Oiiiml Silo for Kioto & Guitar, by IS. Mosps.t lino. 
-4*. Klonor Quickstep, :::::: by Heiikstuekt. 
Jordan, t ::::::: -j ;:: by 

W. kutv Darling, : : : : r : : : by llEBESTBBET. 

11. Quickstep, :::::::::: do. do. 

12. Grand Silo for Clai-iunotte, l.v Knou.. 

13. Baton Rouge Polka, : : : : by BkBHTRiRT. 

II. Quickstep, ::::::*.::: do. Jo. 

16. Grand Solo for Pluto £ Guitar by MosEtta Boo. 

III. Quiokxtcp, :::::::::: by 

17. Matilda Walt*, ::::::: ,1.'.. do. 

18. Sitohfl I'olka, :::::::: liv 
111. Hail Columbia and Vankc-r- Doodle 




Graduation Ceremonies 

Although the town of Jackson was small, 
each year at commencement it accommo- 
ted thousands of visitors who gathered to 
mp out on the College grounds and attend 
e several days of festivities. It was not unu- 
sual for the governors of both Louisiana and 
Mississippi, together with supreme court 
members of both states to be in attendance, 
for the ceremonies were the cultural peak of 
the year for the two states. For five days the 
air would resound with oration, declamation, 
sermon, and song as each of the graduates 
was exhibited in performance, and many of 
the visitors made formal addresses of an hour 
or so. As many as fifty formal addresses 
would be given during the week, some of 
them in Latin, to which the throng listened 
attentively lest their inattention mark them as 
ignorant. Professor J. C. Miller holds the 
record for length of speech, a six-hour Bacca- 
laureate in 1854, with the Rev. C. K. Mar- 
shall holding another record, nine formal 
speeches at one ceremony, the Commence- 
ment of 1856, which was also the occasion 
for laying the cornerstone of the Center 

A usual feature of the ceremonies was the 
granting of honorary degrees. The College 
made no prior announcement of such awards 
to audience or recipient, and the usual reac- 

, ,,..,..,, 

X- /<—-> -~— «>~- 

;„« r *~. 

f ~ -'- --■«/•'- 

- -«™— — - 

am .A • ..m^ . 

, ■ y~. /- „. 











Daily classes in both Greek and Latin bur- 
dened the Centenary students in 1859, and 
they sought relief. The Faculty refused their 
request for a schedule change. 

An Experiment in Student 

Shortly after the merger in Jackson, in a hurst of optimism and 
faith in human nature, the Board of Trustees voted to institute a new 
system for drafting "laws for the government of the students." Admit- 
tedly "startling" in its innovative ideas, the plan created the Board as 
the "Senatorial Branch of the Legislature," a twenty-one member stu- 
dent-elected "Representative Branch," while the faculty served as ihm 
"Executive." A veto by the faculty coui'd.'be overridden by a simple 
majority of both houses. 

- Put into effect in 1846, the plan soon tested the sanguinity of the 
Board. The first bill adopted by the students would have eliminated 
the requirement of the calculus for all students. The Board tabled the 
bill. Later, despite faculty protest, the Student-Board Legislature 
required faculty attendance at all College functions including the 
compulsory early morning and late evening prayers, chapel and 
church services and student debates. The act required the President 
to report to the Board the name of any faculty member who neglected 
this duty. The Board, however, failed to approve a student resolution 
to abolish morning and evening prayers on Saturday and Sunday. The 
College abandoned this system of government after it had so frus- 
trated two Presidents that they resigned their positions as untenable. 

tion of the new degree-holder was either 
llpolessed silence or an attack of garrul- 
ipilji Charles Gayarre, honored in 1852 
| with a Master of Arts degree, responded 
OH-th a one hour impromptu address of 
^appreciation. All graduates of the Col- 
■R were eligible for a Master's degree 
'nffiree years after achieving Bachelor of 
ftirts, if the graduate had performed 
„: ; well in his chosen career and applied 
£ for the additional recognition. 

One newspaper editor in 1852 found 
Baipecial enjoyment in the music for the 


The solemn charm of the occasion was 
•lot even broken by the. "'music. '" Usually al 
Commencements the first note of the scrap- 
ing bow quite dissipates the moral and the 
intellectual. Four or five red faces and 
greasy fiddles . . . have, lime out of mind, 
diluted the sauce of these literary 
feasts. On this occasion the exercises were 
relieved alternately by a choir of ladies 
ind students, an orchestra, and a brass 
band, both composed exclusively of College 
students, under the conduct of Mr. A. E. 
3lackmar. The orchestra consisted of nine 
violins, four flutes, and a clarinet; the 
brass band of twelve horns, a piccolo and 
. . The music was of admirable, 
ime and expression, though the students 
we been practicing only since February 


ipparently, the wonder of the occa- 
was not that the students played 
but that they could play at all. 




| <| 


32 2S3S, 


1 !'l 

ii r 


1 Si 


::| i 


tJ I 


'"' MBBET ' ..,. ,. ,. .„,,„,.,..,.. * 

4 1 


yoxottoswssi, ."■''■ 






T::"% r . r/^T-^'" 

::i *h 



v.2.J.<i;A-ii .!•:-■- 





This program for the Commencement exercise 
son. The College Band, orchestra and chorus 
parade of addresses. They were wildly applaude 

1856. is typical of the ceremonies at Jack- 
occasional numbers to break the lengthy 


Secret Societies 

The Franklin Institute debaters of 1882. Standing, C. C. Miller (later Presi- 
dent of Centenary), and Charles McDonald. Seated, B. J. Jones and R. H. 

The "Temple of the Wreath" chapter of the Mystic Seven was 
founded at Centenary in 1849 by Daniel Martindale, professor of nat- 
ural history, and an initiate of the order while a student at Wesleyan 
University. These three Centenary students holding regalia of the 
order are George Mayo, Harrisonburg, La., Thomas W. Compton, 
Vicksburg, Miss., and Robert J. Perkins, Thibodaux, La. All three 
graduated in 1856. 

It is not surprising to find that secret societies existed 
at Centenary, nor is it surprising that little about them 
can be found in official records. The Board Minutes of 
1859 indicate that, though the College officially recog- 
nized the existence of only two societies, the "Mystics" 
and the "Palladians," other rival orders were multiply- 
ing among the students. The Board found this growth to 
be "an evil calculated to engender dissatisfaction among 
the members of the Literary Societies and otherwise 
impair the usefulness of the College." Its threat to ban 
such societies was never carried out by the Board, indi- 
cating that the problems alluded to were satisfactorily 

One authority states that the Mystics, Palladians, 
Delta Kappa Epsilon, Chi Phi, and Phi Kappa Sigma dis- 
banded in 1861, not to be reorganized after the Civil 
War. New organizations, however, rose to take their 
places, and included Kappa Alpha, Kappa Sigma, and Pi 
Kappa Alpha. Numerous other orders for men have 
existed at one time or another in Shreveport besides the 
last mentioned which were transferred to the new cam- 
pus, but all the women's societies were Shreveport-born. 




-— r^ MDCCCXLJI1 -y - -— - 

M , rv .w^/^. RutUluis.S?. fates. !fc. 

iwroTTi ruiffiuai is cullkuio <h\tk.y\rio „,,«, ,,//,„/y„ m ,</,/, „//,>,„„,,„/' 

//,,„„„„ ,„„,„„„ /,„„/„/„„ .,/,„/„„„ ,/ / ,„„A,/,„, „/,/, ,/, >„„/, J,.„y, „,r,„» f»~/. rauu 

,M,S,W„, /.,„,/, /„.„./,,„,„ „, „/,y„. -,,,,,/,,,,/y,,, ./,„,M*,M,., ./,„/„,//,,„„/,„ ,,' 

/n,,^,,,../,,,,,,,.. />,./„/, .,„,.„, . ., /• 



The certificate of membership in the Franklin Institute issued to Rutillius P. 

The Union Literary Society debaters of 1882. Standing, S. J. Davies and M. 
A. Bell. Seated, James H. Fore and C. F. Smith. 


CoHtQti ertftriiarii, 


OinuibuN qui hoe Diploma » idebitis, Salutem 

Seiatia, quod Doni. ./ ■/. *.ftr4* 

Soeietatis Iniouiw Literatae, Collegii Centena- 
rii, causa promovendi litems et imbuentli pa- 
triae et virtuii* amore tuiimos ingtitutae, disuus 
Mx-iiis est fuilque; atque porro ornatur ex hoc 
et doitatur et eonflrmatur omnibus juribus et 
privib'siiM eidem pertinentibus, ut iisdem seni- 
piierne flruatur. 

in cuju* rei Te*1imonitim, hoc Sigtmm 
in I'olleffio, datum 
Anno Domini 


The certificate of membership in the Union Literary Society issued to Johan- 
nes W. Chevis. 

Literary Societies 

^.» w**m # 0?iV 

j.esf your prcserjce at li)eii> 

Tuesday, May 31st, 1887. 

■Compliments of 


Literary societies flourished on most American campuses 
during the nineteenth century. Primarily organized to give 
members experience in oratory and debate, they served as 
social clubs as well. Like political parties in the United States, 
only two could flourish at one time, for intense rivalry was a 
part of their mystique. 

The two societies at Centenary were the Union Literary 
Society, founded 1842, and the Franklin Institute, founded 
1843. In the 1850s when a dissident group formed the Lafay- 
ette Society to promote debate in the French language, the 
older organizations combined to root out the upstarts. 

Both societies maintained extensive libraries, had their own 
private quarters in the Center Building, and competed with 
each other in debate, oratory, and athletic contests. The Col- 
lege assigned one day of commencement week to each society, 
when each could "exhibit" its best orators and present a guest 
orator, usually an alumnus of the group. No intersociety 
debate took place because of the need to avoid possible public 

These organizations continued to function into the 1920's 
in Shreveport, and the Centenary Library today contains hun- 
dreds of volumes bearing the book plates of the two societies. 


- y - ' .*- 75C> >,j/ 


'-- ^ r -/,^-v 



The dwindling enrollment in 1861 recorded on the left side of the Faculty Minutes prompted the statement on the right. 

The Disruption of War 

In 1861, after Louisiana seceded from the Union, the student body and faculty melted away. Per- 
haps the most widely known page of Faculty Minutes is that inscribed in a bold hand, "Students' have 
all gone to war. College suspended. And God help the right!" 

An old legend, recounted many times in factual and fictional accounts of the War, states that the 
entire senior class marched away together, and all died in combat. That time and again the legend has 
been proved false does not dim its popularity. It is true that most of the alumni served the Confeder- 
acy, and it is true also that at least one alumnus died in a battle fought in 1863 on the College grounds, 
but many survived the long ordeal. 

The College came perilously close to destruction during the War. Neglected, captured and recap- 
tured, the buildings and equipment fell into disrepair. No direct battle damage seems to have occur- 
red, though a cemetery on the old grounds today contains the graves of those, both Union and Confed- 
erate, who died in battle on the campus. More devastating than the damage done by five years of neg- 
lect was the loss of all endowment, and the impoverishment of the area and the College clientele. 

The Last 40 Years at Jackson 


When the College announced on August 22, 1866, that it 
would reopen for the upcoming term, the announcement did 
not hint of the desperate conditions — that virtually all the 
former faculty no longer were with the College, that the build- 
ings and furniture which remained were badly damaged, that 
the library, museum, and laboratory equipment were virtually 
unusable, and that operating funds were non-existent. 

Never again in its remaining stay in Jackson did the enroll- 
ment approach that of ante bellum days. By ones and twos, 
students did appear, however, and creakirigly, the institution 
began to function. Bishop J. C. Keener of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South, served as President of the Board of Trus- 
tees for those years, and it was only his faith, work, and sup- 
port that kept the College alive. 

Often unable to pay the faculty, isolated from population 
centers, and unable to match the low tuition of the tax-sup- 
ported state university which moved to Baton Rouge, the Col- 
lege flickered and struggled for life. It tended more and more 
to concentrate on producing educated ministers for the Meth- 
odist Church. The need for trained preachers was great, and, 
though the Methodist Church had not in its early days cared 
much about ministerial training, it was beginning to change. 
Still, plea after plea of the College to the Church for more 
sustenance so that it might do its job went unanswered. 

The College could find no major donors to produce the nee- 


1 &I KOI ISilM. 

,..,, la was established b tb State ol 

Louisiana in 1823. an.! transferred to tho Mctho. 

list Episcopal Church South in L«4C I: 

i* now under the join! patronage of the Miasiesipi 

,i and Louisiana Conferences. 

Tin- College exercises were , werilj 

suspended during the war: but were 

regularly ro.uwed, after reorganization, on the 

oral Monday in October, 1800 The 

approaching session will open on the first W la; 

. -„( Ootobernast 

Tuition, *7fi pei annum payable semi-a. 

Boarding can bo obtained at from $20 to 

$25 per month. 

The Buildings, Uhraries, A,,,,, I, 

iboratory, and Societj Halt, the location 

. ,f :1 „, ,„.,„.„, , the Southern State. 

The part history of t»te College i» the pic 

dgc of its future prosperity. 

pa" to secure thorough education of yo. 

ing men committed to their care, in boti 

Preparatorj and Collegiate Department* 

The old students, alumni, and friends 01 

publicity to the full reorganization and opening o 

Jackson, La., A.ugust 22d, I860, 




& rr,l„ r ,, ,„■(/,, Faculty. 

essary funds, though the faculty often prayed for a Rockefeller 
or a Carnegie, and the College presidents were almost con- 
stantly on the road, seeking money from city and country 

In 1880, so desperate was the financial situation that at 
commencement the President took up a collection from the 
attending crowd to reimburse the faculty whose personal funds 
had paid for repairing the roof. They collected $9.87. The Col- 
lege lowered its tuition as the size of the student body dwin- 
dled, but to no avail. At one time the total cost of a year at 
Centenary, including room, board, fuel for a fireplace in the 
bedroom, laundry, tuition and books totaled $125. Even so, 
there were too few who could afford it. Enrollment ebbed and 
flowed, but even at best the student population rattled about 
the huge old buildings. 

Bishop J. C. Keener never lost faith, however, and contin- 
ued to raise money, send students, find presidents, and give 
them advice. To one new president, he wrote in 1896: 

It has come to my attention that some of the young gentlemen are 
stabling and feeding their horses in the rooms of the West Dormi- 
tory. This will cease summarily. 

The rumored closing of the College further depressed 
attendance and spirits at Centenary early in the twentieth cen- 

Centenary College was closed during the Civil War and the campus was 
occupied by Northern troops during the latter days of the war. When the 
College opened its doors again in 1866, this notice was sent to prospec- 
tive students. 

Bishop J. C. Keener from 1866 until his death in 1906 made Centenary 
College a prime concern. 

Centenary admitted women to its classes in the 1890's, but did not grant them degrees. Carrie and Willie Schwing, members of the class shown above, received 
"Certificates of Completion" in 1900, and were awarded degrees in 1947. 



The fence in the 1898 photograph above was built on the orders of Bishop Keener to keep free- Tennis was popular in 1899, but the formal attire 

roaming livestock out of the College buildings. Only the college mule, "Balaam," had quarters s,,,ms Grange today. The college prohibited the wear- 

within the fence. 


<> v i, or 1 si a H ;a. 
At Jackson, Louisiana, 

JULY II, 1877. 


These Trustees Minutes of June 6, 1906, marked the end of the Jackson 

Tiff Foster was one of the students at Centenary 
during Reconstruction. Born in DeSoto Parish, son 
of a poor farmer, at age twenty he was called to the 
ministry. He then went to Centenary, and took eight 
years to progress through the preparatory program 
to a degree in 1877. The subject of his graduation 
oration, shown in this program, seems prophetic. At 
the next Annual Conference, the Church assigned 
him to Moreau Street Church, New Orleans. In 1878 
a great yellow fever epidemic struck the city, and he 
was advised to flee for his life. He stayed, minister- 
ing to the sick of his congregation and the city, only 
to die in agony. He represents the true embodiment 
of the spirit of Centenary of the dark years. 


>f leather and heeled sh< 

is da i 


Sharp eyes may detect a tennis racquet, a baseball bat, and an open Bible in 
the hands of the Centenary gentlemen posed on the columns of the Center 

The Beginnings 
in Shreveport 



Bayou Pierre had a country aspect before the advent of Centenary. Here 
appears sleepy and almost silvery. 

VM ^// 01mnUni.nortriiui»^ituili.rilra.»«litfmi: 

The Rev. Albert Lutz, a Centenary graduate of 1899, received 

this M.A. degree in 1912 at the first graduation held in Shreve- w^" Centenary moved to Shreveport it occupied this developing property. 


Jackson Hall in its 
first incarnation. 
This was the first 
building constructed 
on the Shreveport 
campus, completed 
in 1908. Major 
repairs saved the 
structure once, but 
in 1940 the city 
condemned it as 
unsafe. The three 
top stories were 
demolished and the 
present structure 
erected on the stone 

Agitation to move the College to Shreveport began in 1903, 
evoked bitter resentment in the people of Jackson, and badly 
split the Board of Trustees. Bishop Keener sought to have the 
courts declare the transfer illegal, but his death in 1906 weak- 
ened the Jacksonians. The Church determined to move. 

The Board met for a final session in Jackson in June, 1906, 
to attend the commencement of the last two graduates there 
and to end its internal struggle over the transfer. President C. 
C. Miller and all Board members who had fought the decision 
resigned before adjourning sine die, thus creating vacancies 
which could be filled with Shreveporters. They left the College 
with liquid assets of $118.11. 

In Shreveport, the Rutherford-Atkins Realty Company 
donated a forty-acre site south of the city for the new campus. 
It was difficult of access until the local transit company built a 
trolley line to connect the institution with the downtown area, 
and the city paved the newly-named Centenary Boulevard 
which reached to the campus. Many business firms and indi- 
viduals in the city agreed to pay a voluntary millage property 
tax to Centenary for its maintenance during the readjustment 
period, and honored this arrangement though it was not legally 

If the struggle in Jackson had been to the death, prospects 
in Shreveport seemed almost as inauspicious. As the Jackson 
property rotted away, a new underfinanced Jackson Hall 
began to go up on the Shreveport campus at a contract price of 
$29,200. This three-story and basement building was designed 
to house the students, the faculty, provide classrooms, labora- 
tories, library facilities, kitchen, and dining hall — all in one. 
Construction delays forced postponement of the opening until 
the fall of 1908. Even then the building was more primitive 
than those abandoned in Jackson, lacking electricity, running 
water, and heat. In Jackson, at least, there were fireplaces in 
each room. It was years before these defects were remedied. 

The faculty remained small. The announcements for 1918 
listed only nine members, including President Wynn, a sum- 
mer school instructor, the librarian, the registrar, and two pre- 
paratory school instructors. Only forty-three students enrolled 
in 1921. It was obvious to all that a major effort at revitaliza- 
tion must be made. 

fc, ill 

t* 5 

5 i 

Si a 1 




Neatness obviously counted with the student body of Centenary College, the 
faculty, and the preparatory students, pictured by Jackson Hall in 1915. The 
baby held by the nurse near the center is not identified. 

Prompted by World War I, Centenary organized its first summer school in 
1918. Many of the students participated in military training and wore uni- 
forms to class. President Wynn can be seen at left, next to the well-armed 

The Centenary ladies of 1920 pose before Jackson Hall. 

Students and faculty about 1920 pose before the only campus building. 

The proper way to celebrate a victory in the early days was to organize a "snake dance" on the field. 

f^l*. . 

The Centenary Quartet of 1921-22 appears ready for a performance, with 1 
C. Taylor, 1st tenor, sporting the highest collar to go with the highest voice. 

&J J .-- 

It seems that to field a band in 1921-22, the College had to recruit from the 
preparatory school ranks. 

^^S^ff ■ 


** mr -~- 


The chemistry laboratories in the basement of Jackson Hall produced no Nobel laureattes, though one did visit there. 

The Sexton Years 

Centenary's first stadium was located near Centenary Boulevard. The watery 
area was a baseball diamond. The new chapel, almost completed is at left 
and a corner of Jackson Hall is visible at the far right. 

As part of Dr. Sexton's early building program, the new chapel at right and 
Colonial Hall at left are shown under construction. Each went through 
several metamorphoses before being replaced. The chapel became the Play- 
house. Colonial Hall, built for classes, became a women's dormitory before it 
was replaced by James Dormitory. 

Texas Street in Shreveport appears much busier in this early 1920's photo- 
graph than it does today. 

Though the Board of Trustees, the President, and the fac- 
ulty were utterly dedicated to their tasks in the early years in 
Shreveport, they had failed to give Centenary the dynamic, 
attention-getting leadership it required. The Board in a mood 
almost of panic in 1921 persuaded Dr. George S. Sexton, a 
remarkably successful clergyman and pastor of the First Meth- 
odist Church in Shreveport, to assume — at least temporarily 
— the Presidency of the College. He accepted, and gave the 
remainder of his life to the College. 

His accomplishments are legend. He greatly expanded the 
offerings of the College both quantitatively and qualitatively. 
Enrollment jumped almost geometrically year by year. For the 
first time, the College achieved a respectable endowment. In 
1925 the Southern Association officially accredited Centen- 
ary. The campus sprouted new buildings almost overnight. 
Most were temporary structures, but they served their pur- 

The magic factor in the transformation was publicity — 
publicity which stemmed from a remarkably successful foot- 
ball team, at first financed, not by the College, but by "inter- 
ested citizens" of Shreveport. The ambitious and loosely-gov- 
erned football program alarmed the accrediting associations, 
causing one prominent educator to say, "Centenary cannot 
hope to associate with decent folk, so long as those in authority 
there uphold the sort of thing that has made her name anath- 
ema in the world of college athletics." 

Sexton worked frantically to clear up the athletic deficien- 
cies, and with proper, rule-conscious direction, the team 
became not only respectable, but a terror among football pow- 
ers. With this problem under control, the horizon seemed 
unlimited. Then came the Depression, and in 1932 Dr. Sexton 

Moving the dining hall and kitchen to a wooden building made available much needed spac 
son Hall. 

for classes and dormitory rooms in the rapidly deteriorating Jack- 


j 1 




As part of a program to reconcile the die- 
hard Jackson supporters, and to rea- 
waken ihe sense of continuity between 
the old and new campuses, Centenary 
brought these columns to Shreveport 
from the old Center Building when it was 
demolished in 1935. They were 
destroyed when a tornado hit the campus. 

Centenary organized a night law class in 1925 
which operated for many years. Several of the 
members of the first class shown at right were 
admitted to the bar. 

The King and Queen of the "Y" Carnival Parade in 1925 were not amused by this less royal couple in the 
same parade. 

The ketchup seen on the tables of the old Centenary dining hall was The Centenary Glee Club, formed in 1922, was an all-male group. The lady in the 

probably a necessary amenity. center is the accompanist. 

M. I. V „•!>.-. II. 

.•i.l.l I ..i „■,(!,. 

Colonial Hall, built in the 1920's expansion program, was first known as the College Building. It 
became a women's dormitory, and was located on the site where James Dormitory now stands. 

Letters of prominent Shreveporters were printed to 
entice parents to send their children to the Centenary 
Academy, an adjunct of the College, in 1925. 

With this grassy performance of Rostand's "Romancers," the Centenary stu- 
dents honored the alumni and graduates in June, 1925. 

Some Greek organizations did not survive the transplantation from Jackson to 
Shreveport. This 1924 local fraternity posing on the steps of Jackson Hall even- 
tually won a recharter of Kappa Sigma. 

— \ 

Unlike modern U.S. Presidents who use many pens to sign important legislation. 
Dr. Pierce Cline. Bishop Hoyt M. Dobbs. and Dr. George Sexton are armed with 
just one apiece for this ceremon) . 

»•••♦ ^ 


The Crisis of 
the Depression 

The Great Depression of 1929-33 threatened to abort 
the progress the College had made in the 1920's. Enroll- 
ment declined as Centenary students found it difficult lo 
meet even the modest tuition charges. The College began 
accepting unsalable bales of cotton in lieu of cash. Bond 
issues necessitated by the expansion program could not 
be paid off, and even the interest was burdensome. The 
New Orleans Christian Advocate charged fiscal misman- 
agement and hinted at scandal in the College financial 
affairs, for which it later apologized. 

Dr. Pierce Cline, Professor of History, assumed the 
Presidency, and guided the College through the morass 
of problems, helped every step of the way by the counsel 
of Paul M. Brown, Jr., Secretary-treasurer of the Board, 
and Bishop Hoyt M. Dobbs, Board Chairman, who made 
Centenary almost their full-time concern during the 
years of crisis. The faculty, strong academically, was 
even stronger in its faith in the College. Paid in scrip 
redeemable in goods at cooperating stores, and with the 
use of campus housing, they survived. 

Perhaps partially in gratitude for the faculty's dedi- 
cated service, and certainly also because of a strong tra- 
dition, the Board and the College Administration stood 
united in support of academic freedom for students and 
faculty. Never has the College wavered on this issue. 

Through frugality, wise management, generous 
donors, and public confidence in its leadership, the Col- 
lege came out of the Depression stronger than ever, 
poised for new greatness. 



The scrip system developed by Centenary to tide it and its fac- 
ulty through the cashless days of the depression is symbolized 
by these scrip stamps which became a medium of exchange 
with cooperating business firms, banks, and the College com- 

Faculu Marshalls, such as George Reynolds, shown at left ready to lead the 
graduation procession of 1932, traditionally carried a shepherd's crook as a 
symbol of office in earlier years. 

Kollege Kapers, a project of Dr. S. D. Morehead, brought a Centenary 
student variety show to many a large and small town in the Ark-La-Tex 
during the depression years. 

Centenary and 
World War II 

The Second World War saw Centenary enlist — if an 
institution can do so — turning its strength, courage, 
and tradition to the nation's service. The College files 
overflow with personal stories of its graduates who 
served with distinction, and the roll of those who died is 
sobering. Regular academic work continued, but super- 
imposed on the curriculum were many war service pro- 
grams. Most evident of these was the Aviation Cadet Pre- 
Flight Program through which thousands of young men 
got at least a short taste of Centenary. Most of the cadet 
activities were housed in the newly acquired satellite 
campus, the former Dodd College, purchased and 
donated to Centenary by the Haynes family in 1943. 

Though getting through the war years was the primary 
College concern, vital planning for the uncertain future 
never ceased. The unexpected death of President Cline 
in 1943 thus made finding a capable successor a critical 
task for the Board and Paul M. Brown, Jr., its chairman 
since 1941. 

A Centenary alumnus marries a nurse on New Guinea in 1944. 

The Dodd College property, the main building seen above, a Baptist Jun- 
ior College lor girls, was purchased by the Haynes family for Centenary 
in 1943. It was used for the Aviation Cadet Pre-Flight Program during 
World War II, and later as an auxiliary campus for Centenary. It is now 
the site of First Baptist Church. 

This group of buildings, Vets Villa, was one of Centenary's heritages from World War II. These sur- 
plus buildings were moved to the campus to house returning veterans who entered the college. 

Centenary's most honored athlete, Paul 
Geisler was named to virtually every 
All-American team in 1933. Geisler 
played end for Centenary in 1931, '32, 
and '33. He died in a plane crash in 
World War II. 

A panoramic view of Centenary football stadium in 1932 where Centenary won over L.S.U. in an undefeated season which included victories over Texas, Ole 
Miss, SMI'. TVvas A&M. and a tie with Arkansas. Like the gymnasium, the stadium was the gift of Mr. Arch Haynes, an avid sports fan. It was located just south 
of the present Gold Dome. 

Manning Smith. Centenary's quarterback in its glory years of 1931- 
32-33. runs against Texas A&M in a 20-0 Gentlemen victory. 

f' s 



Dr. Sexton and Coach Norton exhort the 1922 Gentle 

Homer H. Norton, right, was one of the coaches of the last "pre-McMillan" team in 
1921. He stayed as an assistant to "Bo" to help with the "Gentlemen," as the team 
was rechristened by Dr. Sexton from their former name, "Ironsides." He produced 
back-to-back unbeaten squads in 1932 and 1933, after which he left for the top 
coaching position at Texas A&M. 

An action shot of the Centenary-Texas A&M game at Beaumont in 1934. The Gen- 
tlemen won 13-0. It was not unusual for the daring to play without helmets, or to 
accidentally lose them as this ball carrier has done. 

Bishop Keener, President of the Board of Trustees in 
the Jackson period, strongly opposed organized sports. 
Student attempts to play schedules of intercollegiate 
football and baseball ceased abruptly in 1898 when the 
Trustees resolved "that we will not countenance or per- 
mit students of this college or any professor to engage in 
any intercollegiate contests of baseball or football, or in 
any physical games outside of the college campus." The 
students had to be content with intramural games, and 
even these were hampered by a Board edict against "any 
ball play within a hundred yards of any building." 

In Shreveport, faculty and students early joined to 
play against high school and area amateur teams, and as 
sports enthusiasm grew, the College officially fielded 
football, basketball, and baseball teams. As strong a sup- 
porter of intercollegiate athletics as Bishop Keener had 
been an opponent, Dr. Sexton led the College into an 
unprecedented era of athletics. The College had teams in 
all basic sports, but emphasized football. Warmly sup- 
ported by the community both with funds and attend- 
ance, the Gentlemen, as the teams were christened by 
Dr. Sexton, brought national attention to the College. 

Centenary football especially was blessed for nearly 
two decades with outstanding coaches such as Homer 
Norton and Curtis Parker, outstanding players such as 
Paul Geisler and Manning Smith, supporters such as 
Arch Haynes and Bonneau Peters, and a hex on teams 
from the Southwest Conference. 

World War II and soaring costs ended the intercollegi- 
ate football program, but the College continues to play a 
major college schedule in many sports. Most interest is 
focused on baseball and basketball. The new Gold Dome 
athletic center is now the home for the Gentlemen, while 
Haynes Gymnasium is primarily used for intramural 


Sports at 

"Bo" McMillan, top left, persuaded Centenary to establish the "Mena Summer 
School" in 1922, where his team spent the summer in practice. This photograph 
shows Dean R. E. Smith seated left. Dr. Sexton at right and the 1923 team at 
"Camp Standing Rock" near Mena, Arkansas. This type of off-campus activity was 
part of the reason why the Southern Association in 1924 delayed accredidation to 

There are seldom any unoccupied seats when the Gentlemen play in Each class fielded a basketball team in 1925. These are the sophomores, 

the Gold Dome. 

The "new" gymnasium was one of Dr. Sexton's wooden wonders. It 
was replaced by Haynes Gymnasium, which in turn has been super- 
seded b\ the Gold Dome. 

Heating facilities in the wooden gym were primitive, as these Centenary athletes 
show in 1937. 

The Builders 

Dr. Joe J. Mickle, who succeeded Dr. Cline, was destined to 
hold the office longer than any Centenary president. Deep 
dedication to Methodism, administrative experience in a Meth- 
odist college in Japan, and a reputation as a scholar in interna- 
tional affairs were only his most obvious qualifications. 

The post-war veteran boom brought a spectacular surge in 
enrollment to Centenary, taxing every facility, crowding every 
classroom, overloading every professor, and forcing the 
erection of dozens of pre-fabricated structures on the campus, 
temporarily giving it the appearance of an army post. Then 
began the task of raising massive sums for endowment and 
permanent construction — dormitories, a cafeteria, a science 
center, a religious education center, a chapel, an expanded 
student center, a new library, a theater and a music building. 
Master plans were devised, revised, and revised again. Yet, 
while the construction continued, the endowment grew, and 
the faculty expanded and developed. Excellence in instruction, 
long the tradition of Centenary, became even more deeply 

When President Mickle retired and Board chairman Brown 
turned over his position to George D. Nelson in 1964, they 
had transformed the campus from a rather dowdy, temporary- 
appearing place into an efficient, modern plant of unusual 
beauty. Never was Centenary stronger. 

Destruction precedes construction, and appears to be more fun. 

Dr. and Mrs. Joe J. Mickle saw more Centenary alumni 
graduate than did any other presidential couple. 

■■" MW, WU»I Wt*^_ 


»' gi.*fl| 



The Science Building, shown 
underway in 1949, was the first 
major post-war project. It now 
bears the name Mickle Hall. 

Valuable and rare College volumes in the 1950's had to be stored in the attic 
of Rotary Hall because the library in the old Arts building could not house 
them. Today over 3.000 of these volumes from the old Jackson Centenary 
collection, including many books from the libraries of the Union and Frank- 
lin societies are housed in the new Centenary Library along with a collection 
of over 120.000 volumes. 

With the construction of Mickle Hall, the campus turned its face toward Woodlawn Avenue and began to 
take on an entirely new aspect. 

Impressively lined up on Woodlawn Avenue are the College buildings most visited by the public. 

R.O.T.C. had a short and controversial life on 
the campus in the 1950's. 

The mud pit between the tug-of-war teams was to be avoided at all < 

Building continued at Centenary under Presidents Jack S. 

\\ ilkc- and John Horton Allen as the College prepared for its 
L50th anniversary. Expanded dormitory and cafeteria facili- 
ties, a modern physical education center and an impressive 
administration building filled long-fell needs. 

Yet, unnerving crises developed as 1 ( )7() neared. New state 
higher educational facilities opened in Shreveport and drew 
off some enrollment which formerly could l>e counted on for 
Centenary. The population boom which inflated enrollments 
in the l ( K)0"s eased. Tuition had to be increased to meet new 
COStS, and. to protect students caught by the increase, scholar- 
ships had to be expanded. Main students were no longer con- 
tent to live in college-supen ised facilities, and left some of the 
new dormitory rooms vacant though the costs continued. Infla- 
tion was boosting costs while other factors were reducing 
income — a universal problem which higher education has yet 
to solve. The fall of 1974, however, saw the first enrollment 
increase in three years, innovative new programs proved popu- 
lar, and annual giving through the Great Teachers-Scholars 
Fund drive set a new record for any year. 

For 150 years. Centenary College of Louisiana has been 
committed to its role as an undergraduate institution empha- 
sizing the liberal arts. Its commitment remains firm. 

The Most Recent Decade 

bounders Day meant political speeches in Crumley Gardens in the I960'; 

Some College traditions die slowly but inevitably. Freshman hazing could 
not survive the 1960's. Present-day students can hardly believe the docility 
with which their predecessors accepted the indignities heaped upon them. 

The thirty-second president of the College in 150 years, John Horton 
Allen and students ponder the future. 

Paul M. Brown, Jr., a third-generation alumnus, congratulates his grand- 
son, a fifth generation graduate. 

Most students agree that registration is designed to discourage even 
the most dedicated scholar. 

After a wad from one shot of the KA cannon knocked loose the doors of 
James Dormitory and almost decapitated the housemother, and another 
round fragmented the windows in the automobile of the President of the 
Wesleyan Service Guild, the college ordered the cannon chained down. 

The College, the Public, and the Arts 

The Centenary College Choir whose musicianship and showmanship have 
made it an international favorite was born in the old music building, shown 

The most obvious relationship of Centenary to the 
public is the College's continued emphasis on public per- 
formances by its students and staff, both on campus and 
off. The traditions of good theater year-round in the Mar- 
jorie Lyons Playhouse, band and summer band concerts 
in Hargrove Ampitheater, vocal and instrumental per- 
formances in the Hurley Concert Hall and Brown 
Chapel, and exhibitions of permanent and traveling art 
collections in the Library Gallery are only a few of the 
ways the public is served by the College. Most artistic 
groups in the city have strong historic ties with Centen- 
ary, from the Shreveport Symphony which has its perma- 
nent quarters on the campus to the Art Guild which reg- 
ularlv meets there. 

The late Jean Despujol's works on Southeast Asia form the solid center of the Col- 
lege's permanent art collection. 


Sighs of relief and cries of joy from graduates, parents and faculty punctuate the spring air following Baccalaureate services. Brown Memorial 
Chapel symbolizes the 135-year relationship of the College and the Methodist Church. 

For 150 years, the Board of Trustees has 
been a vital, ever-renewed bulwark for the Col- 
lege. Not only have the members given direetion 
and guidance to the institution, but the mem- 
bers have ever been the most generous financial 
contributors to its support. Shown at left is the 
Board of 1968, in many ways typical of those 
which have served so well. The family names of 
many of its members appear on campus build- 
ings and sites, and date far back into the history 
of the College, for membership on the Board has 
become a family tradition, passed on to succeed- 
ing generations, not so much as a privilege but 
as a deeply felt obligation. Churchmen, bankers, 
lawyers, doctors, businessmen, alumni, civic 
leaders, and just plain citizens give generously 
of their time, talent, and worldly goods to per- 
petuate the ideals of Centenary College, often- 
times without public recognition. To account 
specifically in a work of this type for the gener- 
osity of donors, both on and off the Board, is 
impossible, but to ignore their contributions 
would be unforgiveable. 

Perhaps it was one of these teachers who set you on your course in life. 

Dean R. E. Smith 


Dr. Mary Warters 

Dr. John B. Entrikin 

Dr. Bryant Davidson 

ill. r M. Lowrey. layout design bj Margaiel Fis h« i 
Cmlmar) College Library, and the late Mr*. Kailil. 

I * jntli Ru-h. .mil phrjlo^raphy by Lav*renre Lea an 

i Marshall Owens. Published b) ihe Centenary Colle, 

Lulz. Jr.. Dr. J. Henry Bowdrn. Mr 

Centenary exists to serve society, and its alumni provide the 
measure of its success. The four groups below, photographed 
for the Yoncopin while students, typify the paths taken by the 
Centenary alumni. 

The 1968 Maroon Jackets include two college professors, one a linguist 
teaching in Korea, several Masters degree holders, and all are active in their 
family and community life. i 

Dr. John L. Scales, an 1892 alumnus, maintained his deep interest in Cen- 
tenary until his death in 1969 at the age of 97. He served almost fifty years 
on the Board of Trustees. 

From this group of 1958 officers of Sigma Gamma Epsilon, geological soci- 
ety, have come two professional geologists, two Ph.D. geology professors, 
and an executive of a major trucking firm. 

The faculty advisors and the officers of Alpha Epsilon Delta, honorary pre- 
medical fraternity, pose for the 1958 Yoncopin. The students are all now 
practicing physicians.