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Centenary College of 


The Biography 
of an American 


The history of Centenary College has been in 
the main a precarious one. The school itself 
is the merger of two failed institutions which 
for 15 years (1845-1860) actually flourished with a 
beautiful campus that included attractive buildings, 
a strong faculty and academic programs for students 
who had passed challenging entrance requirements, 
and a dedicated board of trustees. 

Once the two failed institutions of higher 
education, the College of Louisiana in Jackson and 
Centenary College of Brandon Springs, Mississippi, 
merged in 1845, the new private educational entity 
enjoyed a flourishing 15 years in the idyllic locale of 
Jackson in East Feliciana Parish. With handsome 
buildings, an outstanding faculty, challenging 
curricula, qualified students, and the support of the 
Methodist Church and a dedicated board of trustees, 
the future of the school looked bright indeed. It 
became an important center of culture as well as 
academic instruction. Debating societies played 
an important part of the College's commencement 
programs as did distinguished outside speakers, 
usually including the governors of Louisiana and 
Mississippi. These events often lasted three days and 
drew crowds of up to 3,000 persons. 

The Civil War put an end to that glowing 
era. A battle of the war and attendant vandalism 
seriously damaged buildings, classrooms, 
laboratories, library, and dormitories. Closed during 
the War, when the College re-opened, its existence 
was financially and physically precarious until 1908, 
when it moved to the bustling northwest Louisiana 
town of Shreveport. Even there, its situation was 
shaky until 1921. In that year, a dynamic new 
president, the Reverend George Sexton, launched 
the College on a path of athletic and academic 
achievement. The athletic heyday lasted until World 
War II, after which Centenary's renown derived 
primarily from academics. Even in the direst 
financial times of the 19 th and early 20 th centuries, 
the College consistently graduated noteworthy 
numbers of students who would be distinguished 
contributors in a variety of fields of endeavor. 
A cadre of outstanding professors through the 
years and the leadership of three of the strongest 
presidents in the College's history— Joe Mickle, Don 
Webb, and Ken Schwab- -have combined to enhance 
the reputation of Centenary in the chronicles of 
liberal arts education. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 

Centenary College of Louisiana, 


The Biography of an American Academy 

Centenary College of Louisiana, 


The Biography of an American Academy 

Lee Morgan 


Centenary College of Louisiana Press 

Shreveport, Louisiana 

Copyright © 2008, Centenary College of Louisiana Press, Centenary College of Louisiana 

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means - 

electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, mechanical, photocopying, recording 

or otherwise - without permission in writing from Lee Morgan or Centenary 

College of Louisiana Press, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review. 

Cover design by: Department of Marketing and Communications 
Centenary College of Louisiana 

ISBN: 978-0-9793230-9-6 

Library of Congress Control Number: 2008933313 

Printed by: Thomson-Shore, Inc. 

Published by: Centenary College of Louisiana Press 
Centenary College of Louisiana 
2911 Centenary Blvd. 
Shreveport, LA 71104 


Table of Contents 

Abbreviations ii 

Preface iii 

Acknowledgments v 

Dedication vii 

Chapter I The Beginning in 1825 1 

Chapter II Centenary College in Mississippi 1839-45 21 

Chapter III The Merger of Two Institutions: 

Centenary College of Louisiana 1845 27 

Chapter IV Centenary Survives War and Its Aftermath 41 

Chapter V The Waning Fortunes of the College 1880-1900 51 

Chapter VI Centenary Enters the Twentieth Century - 

and Finds a New Home in Shreveport 71 

Chapter VII The Struggle for Existence in Shreveport 1908-21 81 

Chapter VIII Centenary's Bid for a Firmer Foundation 1921-32 91 

Chapter IX Centenary Fights Depression Woes 1932-44 107 

Chapter X The Beginning of New Hope: 

The Mickle Years, 1945-64 129 

Chapter XI The Post-Mickle Era 1964-69: 

Accomplishments and Problems 183 

Chapter XII Skating on Thin Ice 1969-76: 

Period of Economic Peril 197 

Chapter XIII Recovery and Renewal: 

The Webb Years, 1977-91 227 

Chapter XIV The Ongoing Quest for Stability and Excellence: 

The Schwab Era, 1991- 265 

Appendix A Centenary Scrip Plan 289 

B Student Handbook (Honor System) 291 

C What is going on at Centenary? 304 

D Corrington Recipients 306 

E Presidential Selection Committee to Select a Successor 

to Dr. Jack Wilkes 307 

F Role & Scope Study 308 

G Presidential Search Committee to Select a Successor 

to Dr. John Horton Allen 326 

H Presidential Search Committee to Select a Successor 

to Dr. Donald A. Webb 327 

I Centenary College of Louisiana Alma Mater 328 

Bibliography 332 

Index 348 



Cent. Coll. Archives Centenary College Archives 

Cent. Coll. Cat. 


La. Conf. Min. 

Misc. Reg. Rec. 



Centenary College Catalogue 
(also Centenary College Bulletin) 

Faculty Minutes of Centenary College 

Minutes of Louisiana Annual Conference 

of the [United] Methodist Church 

(or some occasional variation thereof) 

Miscellaneous Registrar's Records 

North Louisiana Historical Association 

New Orleans Christian Advocate 


Trustee Minutes of Centenary College 



Sometime in 1999 - I do not have the exact date - President Kenneth Schwab asked 
me whether I would undertake the writing of a new history of Centenary College. The one 
by William Hamilton Nelson, A Burning Torch and a Flaming Fire, had been published in 
1931; and though it contains much valuable information, it is not a scholarly work, and 
the material it does contain is in serious need of correction, pruning, and re-presentation. 
Moreover, as I have indicated, it was then almost 70 years old. I agreed to take the project 
on, but I stipulated that the history covered would not go beyond 2000. 

At the time President Schwab approached me, I had just retired from 44 years of 
teaching English at Centenary and was finishing a book on T. L. James of Ruston, long- 
time trustee and patron of the College. I wrote to President Schwab in August 2000 that 
the project would take at least two years. I was off by only five years: it has taken seven. 
Dr. Bentley Sloane, a Methodist minister who was a life member of the College's board of 
trustees and historian of the board, had already done an enormous amount of research on 
the subject and had indeed composed a sizable narrative from it. He graciously made all of 
his work available to me and indicated that I could modify it in any way I saw fit. He and I 
had long been good friends, and until his death in January 2002 I profited immensely from 
fairly regular meetings with him, during which he furnished me with much anecdotal in- 
formation. I was not, however, able to utilize his manuscript, primarily because he had not 
conventionally and systematically documented it. Also, different writers will organize and 
emphasize and structure the same material differently, and I soon saw that I would have to 
make my own way through the material for just that reason. 

Much transpires in the life of a college over 175 years, and I will confess at once that 
I was very nearly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of material that I would have to sift 
through and choose for inclusion. Many readers will feel that I have omitted material that 
would have enhanced the narrative. They are right. But histories are, among other things, 
selective. They do not purport to turn an undifferentiating eye on the period they are 
chronicling. And that must be my answer to those who believe strongly - often from first- 
hand knowledge - that certain persons, events, and descriptions should have but did not 
find a place in this history. A historian must inevitably decide to leave out some interesting 
facts and episodes. 

What I have tried to do in this volume in addition to the purely factual account is to 
enable readers to see what life was actually like on the Centenary campus. What was the 


relationship between faculty and students, between students and administration, between 
the trustees and the campus? What was the caliber of the faculty? What were the problems 
the College faced? What effect did the cataclysmic happenings in the country have on the 
institution? What kind of educational experiences could a student have at Centenary in 
addition to those of the classroom? 

By the time I finished this narrative in the summer of 2007, I had reached my own 
answers to the questions above. My summary judgment is that along with struggles, prob- 
lems, frustrations, and disappointments came achievements, contributions, and successes. 
Centenary has always been and still is a good college, stronger at some periods than at oth- 
ers. It has historically stood for and promoted the ideals of academe, the search for truth 
by objective and honest investigation and presentation in the classroom, laboratory, and 
scholarly publication. There is every reason to believe that the College will continue to 
pursue this lofty goal. 

Lee Morgan 

Centenary College of Louisiana 

September 25, 2007 



Two people deserve special mention for their part in the preparation of this book. The 
first is Chris Brown, who was for six years my research assistant. In that role, he concen- 
trated primarily on the student newspaper, the Conglomerate; the College yearbook, the 
Yoncopin; the annals of the New Orleans Christian Advocate, and the minutes of the Loui- 
siana Annual Conference of the Methodist Church. Naturally gifted with an editor's and a 
scholar's eye, Chris did a superb job of mining these sources for relevant material. He was 
also an expert on the computer, a skill that allowed him to type the entire manuscript before 
he went off to library school at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on a graduate 
assistantship to take a mater's degree in library information science, specializing in archival 
work. It is not an exaggeration to say that Chris's work on this history was both invaluable 
and indispensable. 

The second person who made a significant contribution to the project was Patty 
Roberts, director of sponsored research and prospect management at the College. For 
thirteen years, Patty was secretary to the English Department, where she typed among other 
documents the manuscripts of four textbooks in which I had a part, one of which has had 
five editions. In 1998, 1 finished a biography of Henry Thrale, patron of Dr. Johnson; Patty 
typed that manuscript. After Chris went off to graduate school in the fall of 2007, Patty 
took over the typing of the final version of this book, and she and I have proofed it together 
more than once. In short, Patty is not only a valued colleague of many years; she has also 
long since been a dear personal friend on whom I have relied heavily. 

It is always good for a writer of any work - and especially one that purports to be 
accurate - to keep a systematic and meticulous record of those who have helped him or her 
in any way; so that they may be properly thanked in the work itself when it is finished. I 
have tried to do this because my debt to such persons is so great. I ask those whom I have 
unintentionally omitted to pardon me and attribute the oversight not to ingratitude but to 
galloping senility. Those who will probably be most miffed are they whom I pestered most 
on the telephone and via e-mail for all sorts of what may have seemed irrelevant informa- 
tion. As I indicate in the Preface, I owe a huge debt to Dr. Bentley Sloane, who was not only 
a source of much valuable information but was also an inspiration to me in the writing of 
this book. The people whom I am about to thank have done such things as lent me books, 
answered questions, told me about locations of long since vanished structures, provided me 
with anecdotes, proofread, given technical support, and furnished me with data in a host of 


fields from an earlier day (for example, business, economics, sports, student life, and so on). 
I appreciate and am grateful for all their kindnesses. 

Here, in alphabetical order, are their names: 
Will Andress 
Bill Ballard 
Donna Bartholomew 
Carol Bender 
Ernest Blakeney 
D. H. Boddie 
Eric Brock 
Charles Ellis Brown 
Bob Buseick 
Doug Cain 
Harold Christensen 
Jeannie Clements 
the late Willard Cooper 
Richard Cristofoletti 
Terry Ennis 
Kathy Fell 
Henry Fergus 
the late Clarence Frierson 
Judith Grunes 
Alton Hancock 
Connie Harbuck 
Ed and Del Harbuck 
David Havird 
Sherry Heflin 
Jeff Hendricks 
David Henington 
the late Gilbert Hetherwick 
Carolyn Hitt 
David Hoaas 

Dana Kress 
Earle Labor 
Joe Ben LaGrone 
Chris Martin 
Katie Matza 
Barbara Moore 
Taylor Moore 
Carolyn Nelson 
the late George Nelson 
George Nelson, Jr. 
Wishy Nolan 
Gale Odom 
Mike Pearson 
William Peeples 
Douglas Peterson 
John Prime 
Tom Ruffin 
Kenneth Schwab 
Steve Shelburne 
Betty McKnight Speairs 
Lynn Stewart 
Robert Ed Taylor 
Bill Teague 
David Thomas 
Grayson Watson 
David Williams 
Joyce Wilson 
Gary and Golda Young 



To all lovers of Centenary 


Chapter I 

The Beginning in 1825 

The history of Centenary College of Louisiana recounts the story of two early nine- 
teenth-century institutions - one of which failed and the other avoided failure only by 
purchasing the recently defunct school and relocating to its campus. The failed institution 
was the College of Louisiana in Jackson, a state school established in 1825 and preserved 
from extinction by being purchased by and merged with Centenary, a struggling Methodist 
college in Brandon Springs, Mississippi. The interesting, indeed surprising, thing is that 
the College of Louisiana was established for the same reasons and with the same educa- 
tional philosophy of such institutions as Amherst, Williams, Colby, and similar colleges, 
namely, to offer traditional liberal education. What makes it both surprising and interest- 
ing is that the "market" for such education was so small in Louisiana because of frontier and 
sometimes even more primitive conditions. The narrative of this merger, which resulted in 
Centenary College of Louisiana, now in Shreveport, describes the singular courage, dedica- 
tion, and determination of its trustees, administration, faculty, and alumni that the institu- 
tion should survive as a center of academic endeavor and achievement. 

By the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, attempts at establishing educational 
institutions had been made in several places in what is now the state of Louisiana. During 
the time when France and Spain controlled that vast expanse of North American terrain, 
little had been done in the way of any kind of education, collegiate or preparatory. This 
is hardly surprising in view of the time, the last quarter of the seventeenth century, and 
the general conditions, a continent inhabited by Pre-Columbian Amerindians and largely 
unexplored by any technologically advanced civilization. The story of the exploration, 
settlement, and subsequent development of what ultimately became the American state of 
Louisiana has been told many times and sheds much light on the educational as well as the 
social and political history of the area. 

The earliest French colonists in the first decade of the eighteenth century tended to be 
soldiers and adventurers and thus did not include many women. The French government 
wanted to promote family life and permanent settlement and to this end sent several poten- 
tial brides to Louisiana. But colonization proceeded slowly for a variety of reasons. Few 


of these settlers were literate; hence, education was not a high priority for them. Even the 
"proprietors" of the colony, wealthy merchants and entrepreneurs licensed by the French 
king to control and exploit the land commercially, were not overly concerned with educa- 
tional matters. 

However, once the Roman Catholic Church began to send priests into Louisiana to 
minister to the growing population, the prospects for education brightened. Historians, 
though they differ in some particulars, are in general agreement as to the time and the 
place of the earliest efforts to establish Catholic schools. Edwin Adams Davis in Louisiana: 
A Narrative History gives the credit to Father Cecilius de Rochfort, a Capuchin monk, for 
having opened the first school in Louisiana - for boys only - in New Orleans in 1723 (92). 
Light Townsend Cummins sets the year at 1725 and asserts that another Capuchin friar, 
Father Raphael of Luxembourg, "founded the first formal school in Louisiana" (47). But 
these twentieth -century historians concur that the Ursuline Sisters, a teaching order of 
nuns, arrived in New Orleans in 1727 and promptly set up a school for young women. The 
present-day lineal descendant of this establishment is the Ursuline Academy (Cummins 
46-47). For the next thirty-odd years, these early French educational "establishments" 
continued though Louisiana was no longer French territory. The Peace of Paris (1763) 
marked the end of the Seven Years' War in Europe (known as the French and Indian War 
in North America). It represented the defeat of France and Spain by Great Britain and 
resulted in Louisiana's becoming a part of the Spanish Empire; it remained so until 1800, 
when Napoleon Bonaparte forced Spain to return it to France (Davis 128). 

No significant educational endeavors took place in Spanish Louisiana. There was an 
unsuccessful attempt by the government in 1771 to start a public school in New Orleans 
with Don Manuel Andres Armesto as director. Those perennial problems of education, too 
few students and too little money, thwarted this initial attempt. Shortly before the turn of 
the century, Father Ubaldo Delgado was more successful with the same institution. But 
these endeavors were confined to New Orleans, and nothing like an educational system was 
tried anywhere else under the Spanish rule (Cummins, in Wall 75). 

Once the Louisiana Purchase was effected in 1 803 under President Thomas Jefferson, the 
picture began to change, albeit slowly at first. Jefferson appointed William C.C. Claiborne 
first governor of the Louisiana territory; Claiborne subsequently became the first governor 
of Louisiana after it was admitted into the Union in 1812. Other attempts were made to start 
up schools in this early period, but they were unsuccessful. France simply had not felt that 
Louisiana was important as a colony, an attitude that obviously prevailed until Napoleon 
finally sold it to the United States (Cummins, in Wall 83; Taylor, in Wall 91, 109). 

Even as territorial governor, Claiborne had a high vision for education in Louisiana. 
He recognized the crying need for it, and he decided to do something concrete to address 
that need. Modern-day folk can hardly conceive of a time when widespread illiteracy was 
the order of the day. They themselves take as a given a fair degree of literacy even among 


the most underprivileged in contemporary society. Claiborne was almost surely spurred 
on to act because of the growing number of Protestant Americans of British background 
in Louisiana. This increase began even during the Spanish period; once the United States 
took over the territory, it became significant. Under Claiborne's leadership, therefore, the 
territorial council chartered the College of Orleans in 1805, ostensibly a liberal arts institu- 
tion though according to historian Joe Gray Taylor only "a second-rate high school" (in 
Wall 104). The legislature established lotteries to finance it. However, because Claiborne 
opposed lotteries, this form of financing was revoked in 1807 (Fay 31 ). 

It needs to be pointed out that as territorial governor, Claiborne had virtually dictato- 
rial powers. Only the President and Congress could nullify any of his actions. But they were 
far away, and communication was slow. The Act creating the Territory of New Orleans (an 
area comprising essentially the boundaries of the present-day state of Louisiana) provided 
for a Legislative Council appointed by the President to assist the governor in making laws. 
But President Jefferson apparently signed blank appointments and let Claiborne simply 
fill in the names. Though he had reservations about the abilities of the citizens of French 
and Spanish descent to serve on the council, Claiborne nonetheless appointed a number of 
them (Taylor, in Wall 95-96). 

Jefferson obviously had a high opinion of the young Claiborne, who had been his pro- 
tege since meeting him in New York when Claiborne was only 16! A native Virginian from 
a poor family, Claiborne moved to Tennessee as a very young man, becoming a represen- 
tative to Congress and an ardent supporter of Jefferson. Jefferson rewarded him by first 
naming him governor of the Mississippi Territory, then co-commissioner for the Louisiana 
Purchase, and finally governor of the Territory of Orleans (Taylor, in Wall 91). 

Among its many virtues, Claiborne saw education as a way of uniting disparate ele- 
ments of the population - ethnic, religious, and political. As has been pointed out earlier, 
the first school to come into existence as a result of Claiborne's vision was the University of 
Orleans (later called the College of Orleans). Despite the high hopes which attended the 
1805 establishment of the University of Orleans, it did not succeed. In the strictest sense, it 
was neither a university nor a college: for example, it accepted boarding students as young 
as seven years of age (Davis, Pelican 134). Moreover, it never attracted enough students to 
justify the monetary appropriation it received from the regents. Indeed, Louisiana did not 
have the population to fill the institution, even after it gained statehood in 1812. 

The College, as it was known from around 1815 on, saw its finances more and more 
straitened. Faculty salaries were so low that trained instructors could not be hired. The 
institution limped on till the autumn of 1 824, at which time it had only 44 boarding students 
and 35 day students. Convinced of its failure, the legislature withdrew its financial support 
altogether, giving it instead to the College of Louisiana, one of three new public institutions 
of higher learning in the state. The College of Louisiana received its charter in February of 
1825 and was located in the village of Jackson in East Feliciana Parish. This was an English- 


speaking area, and in choosing it the governor and legislature gave a strong signal that they 
recognized and wanted to encourage the ever- increasing numbers and importance of this 
part of Louisiana's citizenry (Nelson 57-58, 64). 

Several factors account for both the larger numbers of "Anglos" and their obvious 
importance. Among them are the natural migration of pioneer settlers from the eastern 
part of the United States and the military victory at the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 
1812, in which volunteers from Tennessee and Kentucky formed the backbone of Andrew 
Jackson's forces. On May 2, 1825, three months after receiving the charter, the trustees of 
the College of Louisiana met for the first time after having been appointed by the legisla- 
ture. In their backgrounds, they reflected the principal ethnic distinction in the young state: 
twenty of them were of British extraction, eight French. This sort of division would remain 
apparent in Louisiana politics and other spheres of life for a long time to come. It was a 
distinguished group of men: three of the Frenchmen later served as governor of the state - 
Pierre Derbigny, Armand Beauvais (acting governor), and A. B. Roman (Nelson 67). 

This first meeting was held in Jackson at the home of John Crocker. Thirteen members, 
including Crocker, attended but not one of the Frenchmen. Whether this latter fact was 
significant, we have no way of knowing. In any event, those present elected Dr. Isaac Smith 
president of the board, Lafayette Saunders secretary, and Samuel M'Caleb treasurer. The 
president appointed a five-member committee of correspondence, which he charged to 
"obtain all of the information in their power of the most proper persons to fill the offices 
of the President and the Professors of this Institution and Teachers of the Grammar School, 
and report their proceedings to this Board from time to time" (TM 1825-51 1). Obviously, 
the charter authorized the establishment of a "preparatory department" - - hence, the refer- 
ence to the "grammar school." In that early day, it was common to have such an "academy" 
attached to a college or university, in no small measure because to ensure enrollments, 
institutions of higher learning had to grow their own future students. 

Board president Smith then named two more committees, one to arrange for buildings 
and fund-raising - apparently legislative appropriations would not be enough money to 
operate a college - and the other to draft a constitution for the institution. Official meet- 
ings of the board of trustees took place on the first Monday of March and August every year 
( TM 1825-51 2). At the August meeting in 1825, the "building and finance" committee was 
authorized to receive bids for renovation of the East Feliciana Parish courthouse, the build- 
ing chosen for the classes and offices ( TM 1825-51 3). 

This committee also deliberated on how much to charge students for board. At a later 
meeting, they fixed it at $2.00 a week (Fay 47). Tuition was to be $15.00 per session for the 
preparatory students, $20.00 for freshmen, $25.00 for sophomores, and $30.00 for juniors 
and seniors. Students not otherwise enrolled in the College or the preparatory school paid 
$20 per session for French and Spanish classes. The president's salary was set at a princely 
$3,000 a year, and faculty members were not far behind proportionately with professors at 


$1,500, tutors $1,000, and masters in the preparatory department $750 (TM 1825-51 72). 

There was no question that the College of Louisiana was to be a liberal arts institution. 
Edwin W. Fay, in his History of Education in Louisiana, states that the curriculum would 
comprise courses in English; French; Greek and Latin; logic; rhetoric; ancient and modern 
history; and natural, moral, and political philosophy. The degrees awarded were to be like 
those in any similar "university, college, or seminary of learning in the United States" (46). 
The first person elected - on August 1, 1825 - to a faculty position was Peter Dubaille, 
whose assignment - had he accepted the offer; he did not - would have been to teach Greek, 
Latin, Spanish, and French. Instead, on September 23 the trustees named W. Diego Morphy 
of New Orleans to the Professorship of Languages and a Mr. Lane of Ouachita to be tutor in 
the preparatory department (TM 1825-51 6). Two months later, no president having been 
chosen, the trustees, in effect, appointed Mr. Morphy to run the institution ( TM 1825-51 7). 
It may be inferred that this would have approximated the office of dean or provost. 

It was not until June 15 of the following year that the trustees finally selected a president. 
He was the Reverend Jeremiah Chamberlain, a Presbyterian minister who had been the 
second president of Centre College, a liberal arts institution founded by the Presbyterians 
in 1819 in Danville, Kentucky (Centre College Catalogue, 1996 224). Mr. Chamberlain 
received eight trustee votes out of eleven; the only other candidate was William Walker of 
Massachusetts (TM 1825-51 12). 

The College of Louisiana had opened in January 1826, some six months before the 
first president was chosen. The state legislature had voted in 1824 to fund the education 
of eight "indigent" students in the new college (Nelson 70). But the College of Louisiana 
board of trustees voted on November 30, 1825, to go considerably beyond that, increasing 
the number up to fifty at any one time, who could be educated free in either the College or 
the preparatory academy ( TM 1825-51 8). 

The first classes were to be held in the parish courthouse building, which was, though 
only ten years old, in need of substantial repairs; so on August 1, 1825, the appropriate 
trustee committee was authorized to "receive proposals for improvements to be made on 
the courthouse ... for the use of [the College]" (TM 1825-51 4). The committee was also 
charged to explore the feasibility of acquiring both a steward and a steward's house where 
students might be boarded. The courthouse was a two-story building about 30 by 60 feet 
and located on several lots in Jackson. But the College used only the first floor, having 
earlier purchased or rented several houses in the vicinity. These were, presumably, used in 
whatever way the College determined - classrooms, living quarters, dining hall, etc. Both 
the courthouse and the properties nearby, however, were only temporary, and their inad- 
equacy became increasingly apparent. 

But other business than the housing of the College's operations faced the trustees and 
the faculty in those first years. There were curricula to be designed, a constitution formu- 
lated, and rules of governance and discipline put into place. 


Though classes had begun in January of 1826, the trustees waited eleven months before 
laying down rules of conduct which the students of the College would have to follow. These 
will strike modern readers as both severe and repressive. The first such rules date from 
November 16, 1826, under the rubric of "By laws of the temporary government of the 
College of Louisiana." 

1 . It shall be the duty of the President, Professors, tutors and other 
officers of the several schools to watch over the morals of students and 
keep them under strict subordination. 

2. Every student shall observe the strictest decorum while attending 
the school neither doing nor countenancing anything which would incom- 
mode his instructor or divert the attention of his fellow students from their 
studies or improvements. 

3. No Student shall possess or exhibit any indecent picture or purchase 
or read in school any lascivious or immoral book and if any student shall 
be convicted thereof as of lying, profane swearing, or immodest language, 
playing at unlawful games, visiting a Billiard hall, or other gross immoral- 
ity, he shall be punished according to the nature of the offence. 

4. No student shall quarrel with or insult or abuse a fellow Student 
nor any person whatever. No Student shall go to a tavern or grog shop nor 
any other publick house for the purpose of entertainment or amusement 
without permission from an instructor, parent, or guardian, nor shall he 
associate with or keep company with persons of bad character. 

5. No Hollowing, loud talking, whistling, or jumping or other disturb- 
ing noise shall be permitted in the buildings of the school nor disorderly 
conduct in the town by a Student. 

6. If any student offending against the laws should presume to leave 
the school without a certificate from the faculty of his conduct & standing 
whilst there, it shall be at the discretion of the Faculty to make the name of 
Such offender public with the nature & degree of the offence. 

7. The Students shall treat all persons with whom they have intercourse 
with decency 8c respect and shall on all occasions observe the commands of 
the officers of the schools. A decent observance of the Sabath [sic] is required 
of all students, and it is expected as far as possible that they will attend to 
publick worship on that day. 

8. The Punishments of the schools are as follows: 

(a). Private admonition or reprehension - admonition before profes- 
sors and instructors 

(b). Admonition before the class of the offender or in the presence 
of a select number of persons 


(c). Public admonition & reprehension in the presence of all 

(d). Degradation in the class as to the lower class 
(e). Assigning a particular seat to the offender for a time 
(f). Putting the offender on a State of Probation 
(g). Suspension from the Privileges of the institution 
(h). Dismission from the School without expulsion 
(i). The application of the rod where it is absolutely necessary 
(j). Public expulsion except the first and second which may be 
applied by any instructor, the application of the other punish- 
ments according to the degree of the offence shall be made by 
the faculty or Trustees 
9. The Students shall diligently attend their studies at their respective 
School rooms from nine to one a.m. & from two to five p.m. ( TM 1825-51 
The trustees instructed the faculty to read these by-laws to their classes for five days. 
Readers might conclude, however, that the stringency of the regulations regarding 
deportment, which the trustees sanctioned, was amply justified in the light of the earliest 
faculty minutes of the College. In meeting after meeting, the only business that the faculty 
took up was the hearing and the adjudication of disciplinary infractions. Even allowing for 
the generally rougher conditions of frontier life and the concomitant behavior, students of 
the College of Louisiana seem to have been an uncommonly rowdy lot. These early records 
reveal them to have been brought up, found guilty, and punished for such breaches of 
proper behavior as fighting or abetting a fight; throwing stones, pieces of wood, or biscuits 
at a fellow student; using profanity; roughhousing in their rooms; frequenting taverns and 
"immoral parts of town"; skipping chapel; attempting to stab a fellow student; "presenting" 
a pistol at the president; going to horse races; and literally scores of lesser offenses. 

It is not always clear from the faculty minutes whether an offender was in the College 
or preparatory department, but it is surely safe to assume that older students committed 
the more serious and violent acts. The majority of these students were, of course, attending 
such a structured and highly populated educational assemblage for the first time. Many if 
not most were the sons of planters, a fact which may mean that their conduct was somewhat 
more free-wheeling, that they were indulged by slave mammies and house servants, if not 
by their own parents, hence were unaccustomed to strict and puritanical rules. 

These rules and the rigor of the daily academic regimen go far toward explaining stu- 
dent high jinks. Nothing, of course, can excuse threatening others with a pistol or pulling a 
knife and stabbing someone; but occasionally cussing, using biscuits as missiles, or shooting 
pool seem pardonable in boys who have a tough row to hoe in the daily schedule of class 
attendance and study time. 


The College bell pealed out at daybreak, signaling students to rise and get ready for 
prayers in the chapel at sunrise, heralded by a second tolling of the bell. It should also be 
pointed out that the president and other faculty were also required to be present for these 
early morning exercises every day except Saturday. The president conducted the service of 
prayers. The professor and tutor called roll and heard students recite their morning lessons. 
It is not clear what these lessons consisted of, but they were concluded by 7:00 a.m. The stu- 
dents then had an hour in which to eat breakfast and prepare for their regular daily classes, 
which lasted until noon. After a two-hour break for lunch, relaxation, or recreation, classes 
resumed and continued until 6:00 p.m. The College bell was rung again at 9:00 p.m., after 
which time students were expected to be in their rooms (TM 1825-51 18). 

The president and the faculty were affected almost as much as the students by this strict 
regimen since they had leading participatory and supervisory roles to play. One might 
reasonably assume that their academic and administrative duties were enough to keep them 
fully occupied. Not only did the president have charge of the college classes, he actually 
taught in the preparatory department. There were only two other faculty members, the 
professor of ancient languages and the professor of modern languages. Both men also 
taught in the College and the preparatory department. On April 14, 1827, as a result of 
an act of the state legislature, the College's board of trustees took on more responsibilities, 
this time "off-campus." They were granted certain police powers over the town of Jackson. 
They forthwith prohibited horse-racing, riotous conduct, unlicensed sale of liquor, billiard 
halls, and gambling with cards or any other "games of hazard" and levied fines for the viola- 
tion of these prohibitions (TM 1825-51 13-14). 

On August 9, 1827, a year and a half after classes had begun in January 1826, the trustees 
authorized the construction of the first "permanent" building on the courthouse campus, 
a two-story frame structure 60 feet long and 30 feet wide, costing $2,000 ( TM 1825-51 21). 
Some two years later, on June 12, 1829, the trustees empowered the committee to contract 
for yet another wooden building, this one to be one-story divided into two rooms approxi- 
mately sixteen feet square with a chimney in the middle. This building was intended to 
serve as an infirmary (TM 1825-51 54); but the plans changed, and it was never built. In 
November of that year, a board committee signed a contract to complete the steward's 
house and build a second college building ( TM 1825-51 63). 

An array of business claimed the attention of the trustees in the spring of 1827. 
Vacancies on the board occasioned by absence at meetings had to be filled; the details of 
college governance had to be spelled out for the president to enforce; additional land - in 
this case 209 acres - was purchased; library appropriations were authorized; various other 
items for College use were purchased, for example, a diploma plate, three stoves, and a 
bell; and finally, agents were employed to organize a lottery for fund-raising. These and 
a wide variety of other matters occupied the trustees during the balance of the year. The 
last involved the attempted stabbing of Professor Lane of the language department by one 


Thomas Bracken, a sixteen-year-old student. After a hearing before the trustees wherein 
eyewitnesses testified, Bracken was expelled. It would be several years before disciplinary 
infractions would form the staple of faculty meetings. In these early years, when the num- 
ber of faculty members was so small, the trustees routinely dealt with student misconduct 
and indeed virtually every other type of College business. The Minutes of the Trustees' 
Meetings for 1828 paint a picture of a problem-ridden presidency for the Reverend Mr. 
Chamberlain. Of course, problems deriving from money shortages constantly plagued the 
College: building construction, repair, and renovation; equipment purchases; street and 
road upkeep. Coupled with the foregoing were additional problems like non-performance 
of duties by the faculty and the janitor and strained relations between the president and 
the trustees. Student misconduct seemed to be escalating. Failure of students to pay their 
tuition and fees on time aggravated the increasingly strained fiscal situation. 

In the face of this deteriorating financial situation and doubtless disgusted or at least 
exasperated by a president and a faculty that were at odds among themselves and restive 
under duly constituted authority, the trustees on March 3, 1829, opted to form a retrench- 
ment committee to address key aspects of the problem. The most dramatic actions of the 
committee, taken the next day, involved annual salary reductions in the following amounts: 
the president's from $3,000 to $2,200; the professors from $1,500 to $1,200; the tutors from 
$1,000 to $800 ( TM 1825-51 59). (Whether the salaries of the "teacher of English School" 
and the "masters of the grammar school" were the same [$750] is not clear, but an attempt 
to make the salary of the former $650 failed.) 

Mr. Chamberlain's response on March 7 to this salary reduction was to resign as presi- 
dent of the College, effective immediately. We shall never know why Chamberlain could 
not do at the College of Louisiana what he had done as president at Centre College in 
Kentucky, namely, put the school on a solid economic and academic foundation. Both 
institutions were young and struggling in rural locations. Moreover, Chamberlain had 
excellent credentials. Born and reared in Pennsylvania, he took his baccalaureate degree 
at Dickinson College, then studied for the Presbyterian ministry at Princeton Theological 
Seminary, where in 1817 he was a member of the first graduating class (http://chronicles. 

Upon leaving Louisiana, he traveled to Mississippi and established his own academy 
but left in 1830 to become the first president of Oakland College, established in Lorman by 
the Mississippi Presbytery. There he remained until his murder in 1851 by a local planta- 
tion owner named Briscow. No motive was ever found, but it may have been Chamberlain's 
anti-slavery and pro-Union views. Briscow committed suicide out of remorse within a 
week of Chamberlain's death. Oakland College became Alcorn A 8c M in the 1870s, the first 
land-grant college for African-Americans in U. S. history ( 

The board promptly named Dr. Isaac Smith president pro tern. In this capacity he 


served without salary for a little over a month, when the board elected him president of the 
College. Smith declined the "honor" and went on to resign even the pro tern presidency. 
At this same meeting, April 25, the board named a search committee for a new president. 
Lieutenant H. H. Gird was one of the candidates for the presidency. When the vote was 
taken by ballot, Gird was chosen unanimously without even having been seen by the trust- 
ees. His credentials, his letter of application, and his letters of recommendation must have 
been impressive though no record of any of these exists. We know only that Gird was a 
graduate of West Point. The secretary of the board was ordered to notify Gird immediately 
of his election. They also elected Gird professor of mathematics ( TM 1825-51 67). 

By the time of the board's next meeting, on June 12, 1829, they still had not heard 
whether Gird would accept his appointment. Probably as an added inducement, the board 
voted that if he did accept, he would be designated Senior Professor of the College ( TM 
1825-51 70). 

The College was still without a president or, technically, a president pro tern, when 
it met on July 10, 1829. Whereupon it elected Thomas W. Scott to act in the latter office. 
Meanwhile, problems at the College began to mount. Two faculty members also resigned: 
Diego Morphy, Professor of Modern Languages, and John A. Fryor, Tutor of Ancient 
Languages. A ray of hope emerged, however, in the acceptance by Lieutenant Gird of the 
professorship of mathematics. While the negotiations for his appointment were still going 
on by mail in the summer of 1829, the board solicited and accepted on July 1 1 suggestions 
from him regarding improvements to already existing buildings on campus and completion 
of earlier authorized new ones, among them a two-story infirmary and dining hall. Gird 
also recommended the purchase of certain equipment; this the board authorized. And in 
a further demonstration of their confidence in the young officer, the trustees set aside five 
hundred dollars for library and laboratory purchases and put Gird in charge of the expen- 
diture (TM 1825-51 72-73). 

Actually, the trustee minutes are vague as to the official date of Gird's being named 
president of the College of Louisiana. Those for July 1 1, 1829, contain a "new" organization 
scheme following the resignation of Mr. Chamberlain as president. In that re-organization, 
the professor of mathematics also was to serve as ex officio president of the institution. A 
committee was named to inform Gird of his "presidential duties" to begin the first Monday 
in November 1829, and to "ascertain... whether he would accept" them as well as "select 
and procure suitable Professors under the new organization.. . ." This same set of minutes 
contains the committee's answer to their charge: Gird responded in the affirmative to all 
the trustees' mandates, subject only to his resigning from the army (TM 1825-51 74). This 
offer by the trustees can only be construed as the presidency itself, not any kind of pro tern 
or acting appointment since from here on there is no mention of either status in connection 
with Gird's name. 

In their November 28, 1829, meeting, the trustees spelled out a liberal arts curriculum 


and graduation requirements that reaffirmed earlier versions. It included English, French, 
Spanish, Latin and Greek, pure and mixed mathematics, natural philosophy, chemistry, 
natural history, geography, moral and political philosophy, ancient and modern history, 
and logic and rhetoric. The trustees also mandated instruction and "exercise" in penman- 
ship, drawing, public speaking, and gymnastics. In a provision of unexpected liberality, the 
trustees allowed students or their guardians to design their areas of concentration, "subject 
to the approbation of the faculty." Fulfillment of the requirements led to a degree; partial 
fulfillment led to a certificate of proficiency, which the faculty deemed just. Finally, the 
faculty was given the right to confer honorary degrees in the manner of other colleges 
with the approval of the trustees. By this time, Gird had been president less than a month. 
The board, presumably following his requests, appointed two more tutors and settled the 
accounts for the new scientific equipment ( TM 1825-51 61 ). 

Gird's presidency was a brief one - two years and five months. Nothing very remarkable 
transpired, and this is somewhat surprising in view of the seemingly bright future which 
the coming of this take-charge, idea man had presaged. The "forward-looking" curricular 
innovation took place almost co-terminously with Gird's arrival on campus wherein stu- 
dents or their guardians were allowed to choose their course of study if the faculty approved 
of it (TM 1825-51 61). Whether this measure was successful, we have no way of knowing. 
Faculty minutes began to be kept on a regular basis in 1828, and nothing there suggests that 
this departure from the curricular prescriptivism of the day resulted in improved academic 
performance on the part of the students. 

The College continued to struggle - primarily for buildings and operating funds. But 
the overall state of the institution was encouraging enough for the legislature to continue 
its support. To that end, it made in 1831 an annual grant of $5,000 to the College (Fay 
47). During Gird's tenure, the College also anticipated a technique of modern colleges: it 
advertised - in the newspapers of Clinton; St. Francisville; Woodville, Mississippi; and New 
Orleans. In the latter city, the notices were printed in both English and French. Enrollment 
topped 80 in 1831, and the faculty was strong, factors possibly explaining the legislature's 
willingness to continue state support. Good times stopped abruptly in 1832, when yellow 
fever literally decimated the ranks of the students, bringing the enrollment down to only 
twenty- five, five in the College and twenty in the academy by December of 1832 (Nelson 
86-87; TM 1825-51 104). 

In fact, Lieutenant Gird had resigned from the presidency some eight months earlier, in 
April of 1832, requesting that he be allowed to continue as professor of mathematics. He 
did agree to stay on as acting president until that office could be filled (TM 1825-51 98). 
We can only speculate as to the reasons for Gird's stepping down as president. A yellow 
fever epidemic may have hit campus before his resignation. As we have noted, the faculty 
minutes for this period are little more than a tedious recital of student misconduct, some 
of it violent and involving deadly weapons and occasionally directed toward faculty. The 


tedium is partly, but only partly, relieved by occasional bits of comedy. A West Pointer like 
Gird, accustomed to strict discipline and unquestioning obedience, may well have become 
exasperated or disgusted with the juvenile and dangerous behavior. On the other hand, he 
was willing to continue teaching in such a climate. He certainly did not shirk what he had 
undertaken: he would stay on until 1835 as acting president! 

Finding a successor to President Gird proved not to be an easy task. As early as June 
14, 1832 - Gird had resigned in April - the post was offered to the Reverend Dr. Wilbour 
Fisk, already a college president elsewhere. But the trustees, evidently, decided to play it 
safe by having other candidates' names ready for consideration in case Dr. Fisk declined to 
accept the offer. They were prescient. Exactly when he declined is not known, but it was 
December 16, 1833, before the trustees were informed of it. Two more clergymen were in 
turn elected as president but chose not to accept: the Reverend Philip Lindsley of Nashville, 
Tennessee, and the Right Reverend John D. Hopkins, Episcopal bishop of Vermont ( TM 
1825-51 151). 

On February 20, 1835, the trustees elected the Reverend James Shannon, a Baptist min- 
ister from Athens, Georgia, as the third president of the College of Louisiana, and authorized 
the secretary of the board to inform him of his election and request him to assume his office 
as soon as possible {TM 1825-51 172). A native of Ireland, Shannon had begun his career 
as a candidate for the Presbyterian ministry, but, coming under the influence of Thomas 
Campbell and Bison Alexander, both former Presbyterian ministers, Shannon began to 
think that denominational theology was seriously flawed and that any belief or practice not 
clearly enunciated in the New Testament should not be followed by Christians. He was sub- 
sequently ordained in the Baptist Church but left that denomination shortly after coming 
to Jackson and established a nondenominational church there. An accomplished preacher 
and polemicist, Shannon spoke in numerous churches espousing the "Restoration" theology 
of the Campbells (the "restoring" of the church to its New Testament purity). Alexander 
Campbell, it will be remembered, was the foremost among the founders of the Christian 
Church (Disciples of Christ), from which a conservative segment broke off in the early 
twentieth century to establish the Church of Christ (Poyner 23-56). 

At this same meeting, the trustees appointed a committee to seek the continued "patron- 
age" of the state legislature and to furnish that body with a "detailed statement of the con- 
dition and prospects of the College" (TM 1825-51 173). This action suggests at least two 
things: the College needed state funds for its operation and had confidence that the present 
condition of the institution would convince the legislature to act on the petition favorably. 

On May 9, the secretary reported that Mr. Shannon had accepted the presidency and 
would begin his duties in November. Also, the committee appointed to petition the legisla- 
ture for continued financial assistance reported that it had carried out that charge. Finally, 
the trustees authorized the building committee to advertise for bids on a "Principal College 
Edifice" ( TM 1825-51 173-75). This measure was undoubtedly prompted by a recent action 


of the state legislature which provided for a new appropriation of $15,000 for the College, 
to continue annually. This would guarantee salaries and allow the College to lower tuition 
and board charges (Acts of Twelfth Legislature 166). 

President Shannon's tenure began auspiciously. According to the Faculty Minutes for 
November 20, 1835, he had arrived - the exact date was not specified - "and entered upon 
the duties of his office." His inaugural address so impressed his auditors that the trustees 
had it published in English and French and made it available to the members of both houses 
of the legislature ( TM 1825-51 177). 

On the last day of 1835, trustee J. M. Bradford moved that one Mr. Lige, not otherwise 
identified, "have permission to keep a Dancing School in a room of the College," but the 
motion was voted down (TM 1825-51 181). No reason was given for the board's rejection 
of this proposal. As a state institution, the College could surely not oppose dancing on 
religious grounds; so it can only be speculated that reasons of economy or appropriateness 
prompted the board's action. 

A dispute arose in mid- winter 1835 (December) between the Reverend Mr. Hutchison, 
principal of the preparatory department, and President Shannon over who should have 
the final authority to supervise and generally set policy in the preparatory department. 
Each adversary maintained that he did. But, in fact, the trustees had already delegated 
that authority to the president, and in this instance they not only backed the president, 
they dismissed Mr. Hutchison. Hutchison was charged with not advancing "the interests 
of the institution" - he had crossed swords with the president on recruiting, hiring, and 
firing tutors and had allegedly advised students not to enroll in the preparatory department 
(TM 1841-1907 180-85). Both Hutchison and Shannon had sent official reports of their 
differences, and a trustee committee had been named to investigate the case. Hutchison 
attempted to refute Shannon's charges one at a time. But the verdict of the trustees was 
to uphold Shannon by dismissing Hutchison. The charters of nineteenth-century colleges 
gave the presidents of those institutions wide-ranging authority in the operation of the 
institution. Departments then did not elect their chairmen nor recruit and hire faculty 
members. In the case of an auxiliary department such as a preparatory academy, this would 
have been equally true. The president answered to a board already predisposed in his favor. 
The president was charged with "running the institution"; that he might do this, the board 
gave him the broadest executive powers. In a disagreement between this chief adminis- 
trator and the faculty, the board almost always supported the former. They did in the 
Hutchison affair. 

Trustee "business" in the early days of American higher education was a good deal more 
wide-ranging than it has since become. For example, all hiring and firing was done directly 
by the trustees - from the maintenance department to the instructional and administrative 
staff. Whether faculty members of a given department or discipline took any part in the 
hiring negotiations is not known, but the tenor of the minutes and, indeed, the times do 


not suggest it. Trustee minutes are also replete with the instances of student misconduct, 
faculty severity in applying discipline, and delinquency on the part of stewards and janitors. 
Trustees routinely dealt with minor matters or matters nowadays considered the province 
of the faculty or administration such as printing of diplomas and the purchase of inexpen- 
sive equipment. 

Likewise, college presidents either accepted or even initiated assignments for themselves 
which now regularly originate with the faculty. For example, President Shannon drew up 
a code of laws for the governance of the College, which was presented to the trustees at 
their meeting on June 27, 1836. The trustees referred it to a committee for further study 
(TM 1825-51 187). Since the president was also a member of the teaching faculty, always 
numerically small in those days, it may be assumed that the faculty was kept apprised of the 
president's code during its composition. 

One unexpected source of income for the College in 1836 was the judgment in an 
undescribed lawsuit against one Hezekiah Keller. This affair reached the Louisiana Supreme 
Court, which ruled in favor of the College. The trustees directed their treasurer to have the 
decree in the case recorded in the district court and to collect the amount (unspecified) of 
the judgment (TM 1 825-51 187). 

Almost a year later, in April of 1837, President Shannon's code of laws was still in par- 
liamentary limbo, action on it having been deferred again. The College seems to have func- 
tioned without any such regulations; however, the legislature approved its annual report 
and named a committee to visit the campus ( TM 1825-51 191 ). 

At this April 10 meeting, the trustees elected to the faculty one of the most distin- 
guished academicians of the day, Dr. William Marbury Carpenter, as professor of chemistry, 
geology, and natural history. Dr. Carpenter must have been waiting outside the door to 
hear this action: not only was he elected at this meeting, he was notified of his election, and 
his acceptance of the post was recorded (TM 1825-51 191). 

Carpenter's story, though a brief one - he died at age 37 - is fascinating. He was born in 
1811 near St. Francisville in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, where his family had settled in 
1773. The locale was also the home of John James Audubon, with whom Carpenter almost 
certainly went on naturalist expeditions in the surrounding forests. Carpenter's younger 
sisters attended a small school taught by Mrs. Audubon, and Audubon instructed his young 
companion in taxidermy. Some specimens of their collaborative efforts in bird mounting 
still exist and are considered quite good. These boyhood experiences fostered Carpenter's 
love of nature, and he became an avid collector of rocks and plants as well as birds though 
plants were his special love (Cocks 3-5). 

Carpenter started college at West Point - he met Poe there - and did outstanding work, 
but a rheumatic heart forced him to withdraw just before graduating. After guard duty one 
night during a freezing winter snowstorm, he became so violently ill that his father saw no 
alternative to bringing him home. By 1837, Carpenter had taken an M.D. degree in addi- 


tion to pursuing his botanical interests in depth, and he accepted the faculty appointment 
at the College of Louisiana - an impressive credential for a man only twenty-six years old 
(Cocks 5; TM 1825-51 191). His appointment to the College of Louisiana faculty was not 
Carpenter's first connection with the institution: according to the Reverend Dr. Grayson 
Watson, former Vice President of Centenary, he had graduated from the College's Matthews 
(preparatory) Academy before going to West Point (qtd. in Stewart 3). 

When Sir Charles Lyell, the founder of the science of geology, came to Louisiana in 
1846, he made a point of visiting Carpenter, who by that time had an international reputa- 
tion in geology (Cocks 6). These two men made two exploratory trips together, includ- 
ing one to the bluffs at Port Hudson, where Carpenter had some ten years earlier found a 
submerged forest, studied it carefully, and published a scholarly article on it. In his own 
journals, Lyell writes in glowing terms of Carpenter's broad and expert knowledge in sev- 
eral fields. When Carpenter left the College of Louisiana, he went to New Orleans, where 
he became professor of materia medica and later dean at the University of Louisiana, later 
Tulane (Cocks 6). 

Carpenter was also an accomplished botanist; several plants have been named in his 
honor. His early death was a serious loss to science in Louisiana. All of his children likewise 
died young, a daughter in childhood and two sons in the Civil War (Cocks 8). 

One significant economy, not to say educational policy, was effected during the first year 
of President Shannon's administration: students would be responsible for purchasing their 
own textbooks; the College would no longer furnish them gratis (TM 1825-51 186). Also, as 
the year 1836 was ending, students' board went up to $15 a month ( TM 1825-51 189). 

During this same period, the trustees approved the appointment of a librarian for the 
College at the unbelievably low salary of $50 a year, plus the library fees. The first person 
appointed to this position was James Edgar ( TM 1825-51 186-87). 

The board instructed its building committee in April 1837 to postpone any plans for 
building a "Principal College Edifice" and instead to let the contract for the "East Wing," 
similar to the barracks-like structure erected in 1833, an action which suggests that there 
was a serious need for living quarters for students and that the College did not have the 
money for a "Principal Edifice." Alexander Smith, the lowest bidder, was awarded the con- 
tract in the amount of $17,350 (TM 1825-51 192-93). 

In those pre-accrediting agency days, many institutions originally chartered as under- 
graduate colleges would elect to offer master's degrees. The College of Louisiana was no 
exception and in the spring of 1837 had a list of applicants for the M.A. degree. One can- 
didate on that list, Alexander M. Dunn, was a graduate of Transylvania University and was 
slated to take his graduate degree at Jackson at the next semi-annual meeting of the board 
(TM 1825-51 192). 

The age of ecumenicity was far in the future for area Baptists as far as the College of 
Louisiana was concerned. When Colonel S.M. Brian requested from the College's board 


of trustees permission for the Baptists to put up a church building on College property, it 
was denied ( TM 1825-51 196). Since money for the College was always in short supply, one 
might have expected the College to offer to lease or rent property to the Baptists. But they 
did not, deciding instead to postpone indefinitely even any discussion of the matter. 

Furthermore, a recent bill of the Legislature abolished all previous grants of lotteries 
and prohibited any money-raising schemes of that kind, thus exacerbating the financial 
shortage. The College's committee on lotteries had hoped to gain $20,000 in that way, 
but was now stymied. The board then, on February 5, 1838, authorized the committee to 
solicit the Legislature for a compensatory equivalent (TM 1825-51 199-200). Whether the 
Legislature acted favorably on the College's petition is not clear, but almost a year and a half 
later, President Shannon was still negotiating with one Jock Mead, a lottery broker, who 
wished to buy the "lottery privilege of the College" for $20,000 and pay for it in installments 
(TM 1825-51 215). 

In June of 1838, President Shannon placed in nomination to the board the name of 
the Reverend Alexander Carson of Tubbermore, Ireland, for the degree of Doctor of Laws. 
When the board referred the matter to a committee on June 1 1, President Shannon resigned 
conditionally on the next day in a letter which was read by the secretary. The board reacted 
instantly in a resolution declaring that Shannon's letter "imposes restrictions and conditions 
incompatible with the free exercise" of the board's duty. A "Committee of Conference" met 
with President Shannon "on the condition of the College generally." The honorary degree 
for the Reverend Mr. Carson was not mentioned specifically, nor did President Shannon 
offer to resign unconditionally. The board declared it would investigate "Alleged abuses" in 
the College, and Shannon requested permission to address the board in person. (Among 
the problems was an undescribed feud between Shannon and a faculty member named 
Wooldridge.) The upshot of Shannon's appearance was his unconditional resignation and 
the board's acceptance of it (TM 1825-51 221-23). Whether the board's refusal to rubber- 
stamp the honorary degree or their intention to investigate the presumably administrative 
abuses in the College prompted Shannon's resignation is not clear. After leaving, Shannon 
served as president of three more institutions - Bacon College in Harrodsville, Kentucky; 
the University of Missouri at Columbia; and Christian University in Canton, Missouri 
(later Culver Stockton College). He remained a somewhat controversial figure as a college 
administrator primarily because he spent as much time traveling and evangelizing for the 
Campbellite churches and espousing vociferous pro-slavery views as he did performing his 
college duties. Still, it says something about how he was perceived by his contemporaries 
that he was chosen to head four institutions of higher education (Poyner 69-121). 

Three days later, June 14, 1840, both Shannon and Wooldridge appeared before the 
board. Shannon had earlier "preferred charges" against Wooldridge, who now read to the 
board a written defense of himself. The board, mystified by the alleged abuses in the gov- 
ernance of the College - if there actually were any - found it impossible to adjudicate the 


affair and instead determined in effect to throw the case out and decline to consider if 
further (TM 1825-51 224-25). 

It was not until September 10, three months after Shannon's resignation that the board 
reconvened to elect a president for the College. Their choice fell on the Reverend Henry 
B. Bascom of Kentucky, later a bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, who 
answered their correspondence in such a manner that they interpreted it as a refusal. On 
December 18, 1849, they notified him to that effect (TM 1825-51 225-26). 

Apparently, even more serious financial problems were plaguing the College, for in the 
same meeting in which they voted to offer the presidency to the Reverend Mr. Bascom the 
trustees also appointed a committee to study the feasibility of reducing the salaries of the 
president and faculty and the "expediency" of setting the president's salary at $5,000 plus 
tuition fees, out of which amount he would run the College and pay professors and "other 
assistants" ( TM 1825-51 226). If they communicated this information to Mr. Bascom, a less 
ambiguous response would have been altogether comprehensible. 

But before adjourning that December 18, 1840, meeting, they unanimously elected the 
Reverend Dr. William B. Lacey to be president and instructed the secretary of the board to 
enter into correspondence with him. The January, March, and April 1841 meetings did not 
draw a quorum; and it was not until May 1 at a called meeting that the secretary rehearsed 
for the board what had transpired over the last four months with respect to naming a new 
president. Quite simply, it was this. Dr. Lacey declined the initial offer because the salary 
was too low. The secretary, however, and some other members of the board, alarmed at 
the delay in settling the matter, took it upon themselves to meet Dr. Lacey's terms for more 
money out of their own pockets. Lacey then accepted the amended offer, and the board, 
after some debate, approved the extraordinary action and even augmented it by granting 
Dr. Lacey a residence "as an equivalent in money not exceeding five hundred dollars per 
annum" (TM 1825-51 227-28). It is probably unnecessary to add that during the period 
when there was no president, mathematics professor Henry Gird served yet again as acting 
president. (He had, incidentally, also been elected librarian on June 15, 1840! Shades of 

Lacey thus became the fourth and, as it was to turn out, last president of the College 
of Louisiana. He was inaugurated on a Wednesday afternoon in June 1841, but just which 
Wednesday is not stated in the trustee minutes (229), and the faculty minutes make no 
mention of the event at all. This seems odd since commencement exercises were held at the 
very same time with the board's meeting, and presumably the faculty attended in a body. 

Lacey's term as president of the College of Louisiana was a stormy one from the out- 
set. The always precarious finances of the College had now become well-nigh desperate 
because of the absconding of the former treasurer, Joseph Nichols, after some highly ques- 
tionable accounting practices. Moreover, a majority of the trustees were now smarting 
over the high-handed and unconventional procedures, however well-intentioned, on the 


part of board secretary P. Fishburn and a few trustees in the hiring of President Lacey. In 
the December 14, 1841, meeting, the board's displeasure resulted in a long and undoubt- 
edly acrimonious debate over the date when Lacey 's salary was to have begun. Secretary 
Fishburn was censured, unofficially, in the discussion, among other charges for misrepre- 
senting the board's wishes in his letter to Henry Bascom, the board's first choice for the 
College presidency. Fishburn defended himself by producing the letters in question. The 
matter was finally resolved by the board's voting to approve Fishburn's actions in the whole 
affair (TM 1 825-51 229-35). 

Problems continued to be laid at President Lacey 's door, this time having to do with 
his Christian orthodoxy. Lacey, an Episcopal priest - he had conducted the first services at 
St. Andrew's in Clinton ( - had 
written a work on moral philosophy, which he had apparently begun using as a text in the 
classroom. Still in this lengthy December 14 meeting, Colonel Hamilton, a member of the 
board, charged that Lacey 's publication contained "doctrines inimical to Southern interests 
and institutions" (TM 1825-51 236-37). Though the trustee minutes do not specify what 
those interests and institutions were, the word "Southern" strongly suggests that slavery and 
moral questions arising therefrom might well be what Hamilton had in mind. It is certainly 
an early and clear instance of the fact of a "Southern identity" on the part of the Southern 
states of the Union. 

Before this meeting adjourned, the board had adopted on an 8 to 4 vote a resolution 
specifying that Wayland on Moral Philosophy and Paley on The Evidences of Christianity be 
"recommended to the President and the Faculty" as the textbooks for these subjects ( TM 
1825-51 237). 

The question of an honorary degree for the Reverend Alexander Carson of Tubbermore, 
Ireland, came up again in the board's April 29, 1842, meeting. This time, President Lacey 
nominated Mr. Carson and sent the board a supporting letter from the Reverend Archibald 
Clay of New York. On June 1, the board approved the conferring of the degree, thereby 
granting to President Lacey what they had denied to President Shannon. 

The fate of Matthews Academy, the College's preparatory department, came up for con- 
sideration at this time, and President Lacey proposed to the board that the College and the 
Academy be amalgamated, but the board voted to "postpone indefinitely" Lacey 's proposi- 
tion ( TM 1825-51 241 ). A year later, they voted to abolish the academy ( TM 1825-51 246). 

At this meeting, the board also debated the retrenchment committee report and settled 
on the following salary schedule - for the president, $2,500 a year; for each professor, $1,500; 
and for each assistant teacher of the academy, $1,100. 

At the time that it had voted to recommend texts by Ward and Paley on courses in 
moral philosophy, the board had named a committee to examine other titles. The Reverend 
John Montgomery of that committee now reported that the committee had done nothing 
officially on the matter but that he personally had studied and highly approved President 


Lacey's book on the subject. Whereupon, the board reversed itself and sanctioned Lacey's 
book as the official text (TM 1825-51 242). No mention is made of Colonel Hamilton's 
objection regarding Lacey's Southern "political correctness." 

On May 26, 1843, the board took an action which must in some degree have puzzled 
those persons sympathetic to continuing the role of Matthews Academy. Though one 
George McClelland had, the preceding December, in a communique to the board, charged 
William King, the rector of the Academy, with dereliction of duty, the board tabled the 
matter and later in the same meeting voted to return McClelland's communication to him, 
resolving further not to consider such charges or accusations unless some members of the 
board moved to do so. And, the board's absolute imprimatur seemed implicit in its adop- 
tion of the glowing report of the trustee committee appointed to examine the Academy, 
every phase of which was rated as excellent (TM 1825-51 243, 245-46). Thus, something 
akin to shock doubtless attended the board's resolution to abolish the Academy at the end 
of the present term (TM 1825-51 246). 

This action required a reorganization of the governance of the College; a two-man 
committee composed of President Lacey and Mr. Fishburn, the board secretary, was put 
in charge of carrying out this reorganization. One interesting change in assigned duties 
and personnel resulted: Mr. Gird's responsibilities as librarian were assumed by the new 
steward, Mr. Stephen Brown (TM 1825-51 249). This will strike some as a downgrading 
of the philosophy and raison d'etre of an academic library; a more likely explanation is 
that it represents one of a number of last-ditch economic measures in view of the College's 
precarious fiscal state, which was worsening every day. 

The semi-annual board meeting took place on Wednesday, December 13, 1843, and at 
least two of the items of business had serious implications. The first was the resignation 
of mathematics professor H. H. Gird. Gird had been a College stalwart, having served as 
president from 1835-40, as acting president on several other occasions, and as librarian - 
all this in addition to his teaching duties in mathematics. Since there was only one other 
faculty member, the professor of languages, Gird's resignation put the academic program 
in jeopardy and would unquestionably cause the state legislature to have reservations about 
further funding such an operation. Yet that is precisely what they were about to be asked 
to do: a committee was appointed to "memorialize the legislature for a continuance of the 
existing appropriation to the College" in the annual report to the state superintendent of 
public instruction (TM 1825-51 250). (Coincidentally, a legislative committee was on the 
campus that very day to exercise its function of examining the state of the College, much 
in the manner of a contemporary accrediting team.) The College's report, issued after the 
first of the year (1844), contained some unsettling statistics: only 46 students were cur- 
rently enrolled, and the faculty consisted of only two professors - one of whom had just 
resigned - and the president. The writers of the report no doubt felt that one part of their 
report would soften those unpromising figures. In their account of buildings and equip- 


ment, they could take some pride in the value of structures ($70,000), the 1,600- volume 
library ($4,000), "cabinets and collections" ($1,500), over 140 acres of land plus town lots 
($12,500), "apparatus" ($2,010), and "Founder's" monetary donation ($20,000) (Fay 48). 

No further meetings of the board took place until February 6, 1845, fourteen months 
after the last official gathering. President Lacey's letter of resignation was at this time read 
and accepted. Though other business was truncated, including the election of new trustees, 
there can have been little doubt that the College's days were numbered. Indeed, the last 
item of business on this day's agenda was the naming of a committee to determine the 
procedure for surrendering the College charter back to the State (TM 1825-51 253). When 
the board reconvened three weeks later, on Friday, February 28, that committee made its 
report in the form of eight resolutions. The essence of these was that the College had failed 
in its mission and that there was no reasonable hope that it would ever be able to fulfill that 
mission as a state institution, that they had elected to surrender the College's charter back 
to the State, and that the proper State officials be notified to this effect. The State was asked 
to defray any indebtedness of the institution. The trustees agreed to serve for the present 
as an agency to protect the College premises. The board unanimously adopted the report 
( TM 1825-51 253), and the College of Louisiana ceased to exist. 

In point of fact, the legislature had already, earlier in 1845, passed an act severing its 
connection with all the other institutions like the College of Louisiana at Jackson. These 
included the College of Jefferson, Franklin College, and a host of "subsidized academies," 
not quite bona fide colleges, most of which had significant numbers of indigent students. 
Since there were no fewer than 24 of these schools, not counting the colleges mentioned 
above (Fay 49-62), it is easy to see how costly it would be to the State to continue funding 
all of them. The concept behind their establishment and operation by the State was noble 
in the extreme and far-sighted, too: many of these academies were for girls, and one was 
co-educational. But it was simply an idea ahead of its time, and it failed for a number of 
reasons, among them insufficient funding; an overall paucity of students, which aggravated 
pointless competition; and inadequately prepared students. 

So, early in 1845, the State of Louisiana withdrew its support of all these institutions and 
in addition passed an act authorizing the sale of the College of Louisiana in Jackson, setting 
$10,000 as the minimum price, and stipulating that the buildings could not be diverted 
from school purposes (Fay 48). This information was presented to the board of trustees as 
a fait accompli at their March 12, 1845, meeting {TM 1825-51 256). It could hardly have 
come as a surprise. An "unlikely" buyer showed up in the form of a failing Mississippi lib- 
eral arts college called Centenary, looking for a new site in order to save itself. The history 
leading up to this transition is recorded in the next chapter. 


Chapter II 

Centenary College in Mississippi 1839-45 

While in the latter 1830s, the College of Louisiana was struggling to compensate for the 
loss of lottery income and was turning down the nomination of an Irish preacher for an 
honorary doctorate, the Methodists in Mississippi were preparing to establish a college to 
commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of John Wesley's organizing the Methodist 
societies in England (1739). Methodists had put down firm roots in colonial America; and 
by 1784 their number had reached 15,000, located mostly along the eastern seaboard. In the 
nine years between 1796 and 1805, Methodist membership grew from 56,664 to 119,945. 
The first Methodist missionary to Mississippi, Tobias Gibson, arrived in Natchez in 1799. 
Thirty years later, Mississippi Methodists and their significant influence had arrived at a 
point where they wanted to put into practice the educational philosophy of Wesley, the 
founder of Methodism, and establish a college (Vernon 1-2, 34-35). 

In 1838, the Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church - which 
included the state of Louisiana - voted to build and endow Centenary College. The 
Reverend Benjamin M. Drake, a prominent minister, proposed the measure, and the college 
was subsequently established in 1839 (Vernon 34-35). A number of events would transpire 
before the founders could settle on a location for the school and a president and faculty to 
lead it. 

In 1840, the conference named a board of trustees to govern the young institution. 
At their meeting on May 5, 1841, they designated themselves "The Board of Trustees of 
Centenary College," made up of the following members: John Lane, president; B. M. Drake; 
Preston Cooper; H. G. Johnson; I. M. Taylor; Thomas Owen; W. H. N. Magruder; John P. 
Ford; Thomas Ford; C. K. Marshall; G. M. Rogers; James P. Thomas; and D. S. Goodloe 
(Nelson 113). But even before this, a pressing problem faced the Conference: where should 
Centenary be located? To address the question, the Conference named a five-member com- 
mission to choose a site, stipulating that the choice not be made until 1841 since the compe- 
tition for the college was keen, and final agreement likely to be difficult (Vernon 35). 

While the question of where Centenary College should be located was still up in the 
air, the trustees were moving ahead on the business of finding a president and a faculty 


and attending to related matters for a preparatory department. They first elected David 
Patton of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, on January 7, 1841; but when they never heard from 
him, they looked closer to home and on May 5 chose Thomas Thornton of Washington, 
Mississippi (Nelson 111). Thornton, a native of Dumfries, Virginia, had been reared in a 
High Church Episcopalian home, but had become a Methodist at age 17 and by age 23 was 
an ordained minister in that denomination (Cain 269-70). 

These early patrons of Centenary had high aspirations for their new college. Even 
before the president was named or a permanent location was settled on, the Mississippi 
Conference unanimously voted to recommend that every Methodist contribute fifty cents in 
order to raise $25,000 for the establishment of an endowed chair, the Winans Professorship 
of Ancient Languages. This would honor the Reverend William Winans, one of the most 
outstanding of the early Methodist ministers in the Southwest and for a brief time a presi- 
dent pro tern of Centenary College. Indeed, Winans was held in such high regard that at this 
January 7, 1841, meeting, the trustees of Centenary resolved to raise yet another $25,000 for 
a second Winans professorship, this one in mathematics. These good intentions, however, 
apparently never came to fruition, for despite intensive fund-raising efforts throughout the 
Conference, there is no evidence that either chair was ever funded (Nelson 1 11-12). 

Five months later, in the meeting held on May 5, 1841, the trustees proposed two addi- 
tional professorships, one in natural science to honor John Lane, then president of the 
board, and one in moral and intellectual science to honor James Gwin, a minister of the 
Conference, for his long service to religion (Nelson 1 13-14). Two final examples will serve 
to illustrate the ambitions the trustees had for their embryonic institution: in their meeting 
of January 6, 1842, they voted to establish a law school and a medical school for Centenary. 
An interesting provision of this resolution stipulates that the law faculty (one professor) 
"not cost the Institution anything" (TM 1841-1907 13). In other words, a person already 
on the faculty would also serve as the professor of law. The same arrangement would hold 
true for the one-person medical faculty: that post would be held by the professor of natural 
sciences. A canny yet touching blend of noble dreams and academic naivete! 

The appointment of Judge - later, President - David O. Shattuck as the first law profes- 
sor was decidedly not a money-saving measure. Clearly at his own request, he was to be 
paid a salary like all other professors, and that salary was not contingent on the tuition of 
law students. Moreover, he was not required to pay rent for College property which he 
presently farmed, and any future rent would be reasonable. Finally, he was to have the 
privilege of practicing law in the Jackson, Mississippi, courts and those of adjoining coun- 
ties, provided only that he arrange for a qualified person to teach his classes in his absence 
( TM 1840-1907 25). Obviously, a jurist of Shattuck's stature could pretty much "write his 
own ticket" as an academic, even in tight economic times. 

In the meantime, four communities were vying for the new institution: Clinton, 
Sharon, Raymond, and Brandon Springs. Initially, Clinton was the commissioners' first 


choice since it was the site of the recently defunct state school Mississippi College. But the 
Mississippi legislature never responded to the Methodists' request for the charter of the 
failed college. The Centenary people had strongly hoped and fully expected to locate in 
Clinton; so they were forced to act quickly. Their choice - a most unwise one as it turned 
out to be - came at the October 12, 1841, meeting. It fell on Brandon Springs (Vernon 

Those who made the choice to locate Centenary at Brandon Springs may certainly be 
pardoned, for they were surely impressed not only by the Edenic beauty of the place but 
also by the attractive and serviceable buildings already on the grounds. Brandon Springs 
was like Hot Springs, Arkansas, a spa where people went to "take the waters." Mrs. Jane C. 
Thornton, possibly the mother of Centenary President Thomas C. Thornton, writes a letter 
on January 12, 1842, to a friend, extolling the virtues of Brandon Springs, located 18 miles 
from Jackson: 

The medicinal spring is handsomely enclosed with a dome and on the 
top a cupelo, with a gilt ball and a large leaf. A walk from the spring to a 
pavilion, elegantly enclosed with seats all around and all kind of trees with 
a lattice all painted white, from thence the walk continues to a botani- 
cal garden. You pass through the garden to a center building that is now 
called the dormitory; it has 42 rooms, two of them very large. Then on 
both sides are 24 cottages, painted white, some with three and some with 
four rooms and a little porch in front with lattice work. After passing the 
Dormitory there are five very large houses; the President's house has five 
rooms downstairs and 4 above; it is a very large two story house with gal- 
leries all around, handsome white pillars, a carriage house, stable, meat 
house, good kitchen, pantry, etc. In short they have every comfort (Quoted 
in Ross 10). 
Centenary opened in Brandon Springs in October 1841 with an enrollment of 60 male 
students. The inaugural ceremonies attracted thousands of spectators. There were two 
"departments," the collegiate and the preparatory. The students wore military uniforms. 
This was for economic and character-building reasons. The winter uniform was a gray, 
single-breasted coat with standing collar, three rows of black buttons on the front, a black 
stripe on the outside seam of the matching gray trousers, and stars to indicate the stu- 
dents' class standing. In the summer, white linen trousers were worn. The cap had a flat, 
blue crown with a broad band around it. Discipline was strict; report cards were regularly 
sent to parents and guardians; religious observances were compulsory (Ross 12, 15, 17, 18). 
The first commencement exercises were held on July 28, 1842, but there is no record of 
how many graduates there were. Three months later, 175 students enrolled for the fall 
term. This figure must have sounded encouraging for the new school and boded well for 
the future. 


They started at once "to burn brick" for new buildings at Brandon Springs and to put 
the already existing frame structures into acceptable shape for classrooms. The Mississippi 
legislature allowed them to continue using the buildings at Clinton to teach what few 
students were there while the campus at Brandon Springs was being readied (Nelson 1 14). 

At the January 7, 1841, meeting, the trustees had assumed Centenary would be located 
at Clinton, Mississippi. They proceeded to set the salaries for the various officers of the 
College, who had not yet been officially appointed. These salaries seem princely for the 
times. The president was to receive $2,500 a year, the professor of ancient languages $2,000 
(TM 1841-19071-2). Those figures would translate into $150,000 and $120,000 respectively 
in 21 st -century dollars. Again, they appear high for a small church- related institution not 
yet off the ground and possibly high even for well-established Eastern liberal arts colleges. 
They suggest that the trustees intended that Centenary should have administrators and 
faculty as well qualified and remunerated as any in the country. Furthermore, the salary of 
the preparatory school teacher--only one was named at this time--was fixed at $1,200 a year 
(TM 1841-1907 2). (Four months later, on May 5, 1841, trustees voted to "dispense with" 
the preparatory school "for the present" [TM 1841-1907 7]). Then, a puzzling minute of 
the board's October 12, 1841, meeting states that "Robinson was duly elected Principal of 
the preparatory department" ( TM 1841-1907 7). 

Tuition varied slightly for languages and "the higher branches of mathematics," $25 per 
session; spelling and writing, reading, English grammar, arithmetic, and geography, $20 a 
session; room and board, laundry, and lights and fuel $15 a month (TM 1841-19072). 

Still, like the College of Louisiana in Jackson, Centenary began to have many problems 
from the outset. To collect the $25,000 which the trustees had proposed to raise for the 
Winans Chair in Mathematics, two agents had been named to go out into the state for 
pledges. These men were C. K. Marshall and E. R. Porter, who for their efforts were to 
receive ten percent of everything they generated and collected and turned over to the trust- 
ees and five percent of whatever they collected on already existing pledges. This money, 
incidentally, was not for the Winans professor's salary: it was for tuition grants for sons of 
Methodist ministers (TM 1841-1907 3). Whatever such monies were for, they were often 
difficult to collect. Those who had pledged with the best intentions in the world frequently 
found themselves simply unable to pay in a timely manner. Moreover, in that early day 
and frontier setting, it was occasionally dangerous to be a financial "agent" on the road, 
even for such a worthy purpose as a church-related college. One of the Centenary agents, 
E. R. Porter, was robbed of $615 either by a highwayman or a less flamboyant thief (Nelson 

The year 1842 was more or less a frenzied round of activities for the Centenary trust- 
ees - incorporating the College; buying or leasing real estate and buildings; recruiting and 
hiring faculty, staff, and administrators; formulating by-laws; establishing fiscal solvency 
and ensuring its ongoing; filling vacancies on the board of trustees; responding to student 


petitions (for example, to have a company of military volunteers); etc. By mid-year, the 
financial situation had reached such near-crisis proportions that the redoubtable William 
Winans in a special commission report referred to it as an "embarrassed condition" and 
asserted that it would be "superfluous to urge the utmost economy" (TM 1841-1907 21). 
(A year earlier, the trustees had reduced the president's and the professors' salaries by $250 
[TM 1841-190722].) 

This increasingly hectic agenda of the College's affairs continued unstopped into and 
throughout 1843. At their July 26 meeting of that year, the trustees of Centenary adopted a 
set of by-laws for the governance of the College. One provision stated that trustees and fac- 
ulty had to be "acceptable" members of "the Methodist Episcopal Church" (TM 1841-1907 
25). (This is in sharp contrast to the practice of the College of Louisiana, which had num- 
bered Presbyterians and Roman Catholics among its officers.) Since they were acting as 
agents of the Mississippi Annual Conference, they no doubt felt this requirement was 

Board meetings in late July 1 844 reveal that the state of affairs was becoming desper- 
ate. Serious problems had been arising, chief among them methods of teaching and the 
handling of financial affairs. Morever, so much criticism of the College was directed toward 
President Thornton and, extensionally, the Mississippi Conference itself that Thornton 
resigned and was transferred to the Alabama Conference. To succeed Thornton, the trust- 
ees appointed Judge David O. Shattuck president pro tern. Shattuck was an extraordinarily 
able man who addressed problems sensibly and effectively, reorganizing the College into an 
essentially English and classical school. So for a time, the situation seemed to have righted 
itself (Ross 20-21 ). The trustees appointed a committee to study the "feasibility" of elimi- 
nating some faculty positions and reducing the salaries of those remaining. Also, in a move 
to raise operating capital and enhance the image of the College, the board asked President 
Thornton to go on the road, still retaining his office as president and his salary - which was 
to be reduced to $1,800 a year (TM 1841-1907 34-35). In this retrenchment period, only 
one professorship, that of English literature, came under the axe, and in the same move the 
trustees established a new position, the professorship of Latin language and literature. They 
also combined some disciplines; for example, astronomy and natural philosophy were put 
under the rubric of mathematics while the Winans professorship of languages was changed 
to include only Greek literature and language (TM 1841-190737). 

Before the Thursday, July 25, 1844, meeting was over, the trustees had reconsidered 
their earlier action on faculty salaries, which had been set at $1,200 a year, and raised them 
to $1,500. This meeting is particularly memorable because the trustees voted to approve 
the only degrees ever awarded to graduates of Centenary College in Mississippi. There were 
twelve: three received Bachelor of Law degrees, six the Bachelor of Medicine, and three the 
Bachelor of Arts (TM 1841-1907 35). 

The rapidly deteriorating condition of the College in Mississippi from this point on 


becomes all too clear. Too few students could be recruited from such a sparsely populated 
area - and a poor one, at that - and the very residents of the country itself were unaccount- 
ably "hostile" to the College (Ross 21-22). Never again did the board of trustees form a 
quorum. All business was transacted by the executive committee, which met on several 
occasions. At its December 2, 1844, meeting, the Conference appointed a special commit- 
tee to take action to preserve the College. Its decision was to move Centenary to Jackson, 
Louisiana, and buy the College of Louisiana from the State. Judge Edward McGehee acted 
for Centenary in this matter, purchasing the Jackson institution on June 5, 1845, for $10,000, 
payable in three annual installments. When the Centenary trustees met in July 1845 in their 
regular session, there was still not a quorum; so the special Conference-appointed commit- 
tee joined with the executive committee of the board to set the opening date for Centenary 
to begin classes on the Louisiana campus. This group named a special committee to super- 
intend Centenary's affairs until the Conference appointed a new board of trustees. To make 
nominations, the Conference named yet another committee. The report of this committee 
contained a number of specific recommendations as well as trustees' names. Hitherto, the 
excessively large number of trustees had often hindered the board's moving quickly and 
decisively at crucial times because it was difficult to get a quorum. The committee therefore 
recommended that there be only thirteen trustees. Moreover, they should live reasonably 
close to the College and have their community's "confidence" in their honesty and business 
acumen. There had been criticism in some quarters that too many itinerant preachers 
were trustees and that they lacked the requisite business knowledge necessary for this office. 
The committee would not admit this but said that there were other important reasons for 
preachers to stick to preaching: that was what they were trained and needed to do, and their 
travels would often render it difficult if not impossible to attend trustee meetings ( TM 

No doubt to ensure that the views of the Conference would always be "available" to the 
trustees, this Conference-appointed committee also recommended that a thirteen-member 
Board of Visitors from the Conference (that is, clergymen) be appointed to meet and vote 
with the trustees on all matters when the Visitors could attend the meetings. The Trustees, 
however, retained the power to transact business with or without the Visitors provided that 
the latter had been properly notified of the time of the meeting. The Conference adopted 
this report in its 1845 meeting (TM 1841-190739-40). The Methodists were thus poised to 
continue the existence of Centenary in a new home: southern Louisiana. 


Chapter III 

The Merger of Two Institutions: Centenary College of Louisiana 1845 

At their January 12, 1846, meeting in Jackson, Louisiana, the Centenary board of trust- 
ees and visitors lost no time in electing officers and appointing committees to draft a char- 
ter and by-laws for the newly located institution and to reconsider its fiscal affairs. The 
following officers of the College were elected: D. O. Shattuck, president; James B. Dodd, 
professor of mathematics; and W. H. N. Magruder, professor of ancient languages. N. K. 
Leslie was named a lecturer in natural science. Dodd and Magruder had been on the faculty 
in Mississippi. An interesting sidelight on this appointment was that one of Leslie's refer- 
ences was Dr. William Carpenter, formerly of the College of Louisiana, now a professor in 
the Medical College of Louisiana. To head the preparatory department, the trustees elected 
W. H. Potter with a Mr. Doremus to assist him (TM 1841-190740-43). 

Despite his unanimous election to the presidency of Centenary, Judge Shattuck refused 
the trustees' offer on January 13, 1846, but was persuaded to act in that capacity until the 
trustees could find a suitable replacement. And on the next day, the trustees voted to change 
the name of the institution from "Louisiana Centenary College" - it had been known by 
this name for a year - to "Centenary College of Louisiana." They also resolved quickly to 
declare the graduates of both Centenary College in Mississippi and the College of Louisiana 
in Jackson to be alumni of "Centenary College of Louisiana" (TM 1841-190748), an action 
which showed clearly that they considered the two colleges to have "merged." From that 
time on, the date 1825 has been cited as the year of the founding of the institution known 
today as Centenary College of Louisiana. 

For a man not interested in heading a college, President Shattuck certainly had some 
creative and novel ideas about how it ought to be done. One was decidedly ahead of its 
time, namely, the concept of students participating in their own governance. Shattuck's 
plan was for a bicameral legislature: the trustees and visitors would form the higher or sena- 
torial branch, while twenty-one students would form the lower or representative branch. 
These student legislators had to be over seventeen years of age, and their electors had to be 
over fifteen. These two branches together constituted the Legislature of Centenary College. 


The faculty could veto student bills but had to justify their veto to both "houses" of the 
legislature, which could override it. In non-legislative matters the faculty had all executive 
power, except that in cases where expulsion of a student was involved, only a jury of twelve 
other students over sixteen years of age and "chosen by lot" could try and expel (Nelson 

This version of student participation in college governance was decidedly ahead of its 
time, all the more so when one considers that it was almost a century later before students 
began regularly serving on most college committees. These antebellum Centenary young- 
sters flexed their legislative muscles early to propose such egalitarian measures as requiring 
faculty and tutors as well as students to attend chapel, church, "exhibitions," and recitations. 
The faculty were willing to go along with that resolution, but they drew the line at a more 
radical demand - the abolition of morning and evening prayers on Saturdays and Sundays. 
This was summarily rejected, but the student legislature did not give up the ghost until 
1849, having been in existence for the better part of three years (Nelson 129-32). 

The trustees and visitors must have discovered early on that there would be difficulty 
in paying the state of Louisiana the $10,000 they had agreed to pay for the buildings and 
grounds at Jackson. So on January 13, 1846, they instructed the committee on the char- 
ter to propose to the Louisiana legislature that the College would "educate in perpetuity" 
ten young men if the state would forgive the debt (TM 1841-1907 46). The Legislature 
did not respond to this proposal for two years, when, according to Nelson, "on its own 
action" it voted to relieve Centenary of the debt on condition that ten students be educated 
without charge (133). The College acquiesced in this arrangement, agreeing to pay only 
the first installment of the interest on the debt (TM 1841-1907 54). In 1853, Louisiana 
Attorney General Isaac Johnson ruled that the College could charge these students for 
board (Nelson 133). A pamphlet published in 1975 to commemorate the Sesquicentennial 
of the College states that the only payment ever made on the debt was $166.66 advanced by 
Judge McGehee when he acted for the Mississippi Conference in the purchase negotiations 
(5). This account, however, is not documented though it is firmly established in the folklore 
on the subject. 

Financial problems and recruiting qualified faculty continued to form the greatest chal- 
lenges to Centenary in those early years at Jackson. James B. Dodd resigned as professor 
of mathematics in the summer of 1846; W. K. Leslie was named as a part-time professor of 
natural science with a salary of $500 a year. A Mr. Trugis was named professor of modern 
languages at a salary of $500 a year (TM 1841-1907 51-57), a figure which strongly suggests 
that that was a part-time appointment. As late as July 1847, the trustees were still trying to 
fill professorships and find a principal for the preparatory department ( TM 1841-190759). 
When the treasurer of the College resigned, the trustees elected President Shattuck to fill 
that post. Shattuck immediately resigned, but the trustees refused to accept his resignation 
(TM 1841-190761). 


The record in the trustee minutes is replete with faculty resignations, changes in sala- 
ries, obligations to pay salaries that were in arrears, professions of thanks to teachers who 
had taught gratis in the preparatory school, and schemes for raising money. Whatever 
flourishing times lay ahead, the mid- 1840s were a time of stress and frustration for the 
struggling young college. 

Like the College of Louisiana, Centenary had high ambitions to be an excellent liberal 
arts institution. The earlier component, the College of Louisiana, had stiff classical entrance 
requirements for freshmen. They faced examinations in Latin (applicants had to be able "to 
read and parse Caesar's 'Commentaries,' Cicero's 'Select Orations,' [and] the first six books 
of Virgil's 'Aeneid'"). They were likewise tested on "Jacobs's Greek Reader or an equivalent" 
and had to demonstrate proficiency in "Penmanship, Arithmetic, English Grammar, and 
Geography" {Laws 6). 

It is reasonable to infer that the above requirement, set forth in 1839, or quite similar 
ones, continued in effect throughout the 1840s and certainly during 1844-48, the tenure of 
Judge Shattuck, the first president of Centenary College of Louisiana. The earliest extant 
catalogue for Centenary College of Louisiana, that for 1 852-53, shows pronounced similari- 
ties to these early formidable requirements. Entering freshmen in that year took examina- 
tions in "English Grammar, Geography, Arithmetic, Algebra, (through 4 chapters, Davies's 
Bourdon,) Andrews' and Stoddard's Latin Grammar, Andrews' Latin Exercises, Caesar, (4 
books,) Virgil, (6 books,) Cicero's Orations, Bullions' Greek Grammar and Lessons, Bullions' 
Greek Reader, Latin Prosody, and Mythology" (18). 

These demanding entrance requirements remained essentially strongly classical for 
bachelor of arts candidates throughout the nineteenth century. The 1897-98 catalogue 
illustrates this: Caesar, Virgil, and Greek retain their firm position; United States History 
was first listed in 1891. Freshmen who intended to pursue the bachelor of science degree 
did not need to know Greek {Cent. Coll. Cat. 1897-98 22), but aside from that, the require- 
ments for them were essentially the same. By 1901, even B.A. candidates were no longer 
asked to present Greek as satisfying the admission requirements for the "Classical Course." 
Examinations in French and German replaced the Greek requirement {Cent. Coll. Cat. 1901 

What seems equally amazing to persons of the twenty-first century is the rigorous cur- 
riculum these Centenary students faced from the first day of classes on. In 1852, freshmen 
in the classical course took Xenophon's Anabasis, Livy, and Algebra (Davies's Bourdon). 
First-year students in the scientific course were excused from taking Classical languages 
but substituted for them French and Spanish {Cent. Coll. Cat. 1852-53 19). Seniors in the 
classical course took differential and integral calculus, meteorology, moral philosophy, ele- 
ments of criticism, physiology, mineralogy, astronomy, mental philosophy, constitutional 
law, law of nations, and discussions and orations in various foreign languages. Seniors in 
the scientific courses took essentially the same curriculum, adding only political economy 


and dropping only mental philosophy (Cent. Coll. Cat. 1852-53 20, 22). 

The modern notion of a major field of concentration in the undergraduate years was an 
idea which was to come later in higher education. Though some schools had experimented 
with electives prior to the Civil War, Pulliam and Van Patton have noted that: 

[T]he real development of the college elective system came when 
Charles W. Eliot was president of Harvard. By 1894, Harvard required only 
French or German, English composition, and some work in physics and 
chemistry; all other courses could be selected by the students. Educational 
conservatives bitterly opposed the elective system, but leading universities 
soon adopted it to some degree, although a core of "disciplinary" courses 
was often required. The major effect of the elective system was to break 
the hold classics had on higher education and to allow the introduction of 
popular modern subjects such as history, sociology, psychology, econom- 
ics, and the sciences (134). 
Virtually all students at Centenary took the same courses with few exceptions; for 
example, classical course students took no modern languages; scientific course enrollees 
took no Greek and Latin. The president of the College, at least in that early day, conducted 
a class in Hebrew (Cent. Coll. Cat. 1852-53 22), which was surely optional. There is no 
indication that students could receive academic credit for it. Throughout most of the nine- 
teenth century, Centenary awarded only B.A. degrees. Even students in the scientific course 
received that degree. Not until the 1890s was the B.S. degree listed and defined. 

In 1880-81, for the first time, students in the scientific course could take German 
as one of their modern languages. The next year, for some reason, no Spanish was offered, 
but by 1888-89, it was back in the curriculum. Scientific course students in 1890-91 may 
have been stunned to discover that two demanding courses, Anglo-Saxon and the history 
of the English language, had been added to the sophomore requirements (Cent. Coll. Cat. 
1891 25). And then again, they may not have been. The idea of the well-rounded, liberally 
educated man was a good deal more prevalent in that day and age than it is today when even 
the best liberal arts colleges have so watered down core requirements that they can scarcely 
be said to exist. 

Judge Shattuck proved to be a singularly progressive administrator. As has been men- 
tioned earlier, it was he who conceived the experiment of student government. And Nelson 
gives him credit for the curriculum reform which allowed bachelor of science candidates to 
substitute modern languages for the classical languages hitherto required for all graduates 
(133). Despite these forward-looking educational innovations, Judge Shattuck's prefer- 
ence was for the law rather than for college administration. He had submitted his resigna- 
tion to the board of trustees on several occasions but had always been persuaded to stay 
on. In December of 1848, however, he convinced them that he was determined to resign. 
They accepted his resignation and proceeded immediately to elect Judge Augustus Baldwin 


Longstreet to head the College (TM 1841-190775). 

Longstreet was probably the most celebrated president in Centenary's history. He also had 
the shortest tenure of any who held the office. Given his record as an academic administra- 
tor and his colorful, even flamboyant, personality, it is tempting to speculate how Centenary 
might have fared had he stayed on there longer. He probably never intended to finish out his 
academic career at Centenary - he was fifty-eight when he became president. In his native 
Georgia, he had already attained considerable stature as a jurist, an author, an educator, and a 
leader in Methodism (he was also an ordained minister in that denomination). 

Born in Augusta in 1790, Longstreet was sent to a prestigious prep school, that of Dr. 
Moses Waddell in Willinton, South Carolina; there he took his meals with the family of 
John C. Calhoun. His education at Waddell's fitted him for entrance to Yale in 1811 as a 
junior. After graduating in 1813, he attended law school in Litchfield, Connecticut, oper- 
ated by Judges Tapping Reeve and James Gould and described at the time as "the greatest 
law school in America" (Wade 43). 

Returning to Georgia in the fall of 1814, Longstreet practiced law, became first a judge 
then a minister, and began writing Georgia Scenes, a series of sketches of Southwestern 
humor that would win the critical acclaim of Poe and ultimately win Longstreet a place in 
American literature. By the time he arrived at Centenary, he was a distinguished and well- 
known man. His first academic appointment was as president of Emory College in Oxford, 
Georgia, now Emory University. He resigned that post after seven years fully expecting to 
be named president of the University of Mississippi. When another man was chosen for 
that office instead, Longstreet, desperate for a job, took the first and only thing that came 
along, the presidency of Centenary; which he occupied for only a short time, "the five most 
tormenting" months of his life, he wrote to a friend (qtd. in King 107). The two most vexa- 
tious of those torments were his predecessor's giving unruly students too much say in the 
running of the college and the assaults of widowed mothers of students who wanted their 
precious darlings indulged more than Longstreet thought was good for them (King 107). 
Neither of these torments was lifted from him though he took some solace in satirizing the 
doting widow-mothers in a bildungsroman entitled Master William Mitten. The Centenary 
episode was so dispiriting that Longstreet resigned at commencement without even the 
prospect of a job in sight when he received word that he had been elected president of 
the University of Mississippi (Wade 295-96). He remained there until 1858, at the age of 
sixty-six, when he accepted the presidency of the University of South Carolina, where, as 
V. L. Parrington has written, "he ruled patriarchally till the school was closed by the [Civil] 
war" (2:168). 

Longstreet was an ardent secessionist and defender of Southern institutions gener- 
ally, and played an important role in the schism that resulted in the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South (King 27-32). 

Longstreet tendered his resignation from Centenary on July 23, 1849, and on the next 


day the trustees accepted it and named the Reverend Richard H. Rivers to succeed him. 
It was during Rivers's administration that the College began to make meaningful strides 
toward staff and enrollment stability, reaching in 1852 a total of 260 students, the second 
highest such figure in the nineteenth century. The faculty totaled nine, including President 
Rivers, who was also Professor of Mental and Moral Science. In 1888 - he had left Centenary 
in 1854 - Dr. Rivers wrote in the Central Methodist that Centenary was, during his tenure as 
president, actually at "the zenith of its prosperity" (qtd. in Nelson 140). This could not have 
meant "financial" prosperity, for money was just as tight then as it could possibly be. 

Still, with the increased enrollment, student fees may well have been contributing a 
respectable amount to the operating budget. The college catalogue for 1852-53 advertised 
that the tuition for a ten-month session was $50.00; room rent $3.00; "contingencies" (fuel, 
cleaning service) $3.00. There was also a $3.00 fee for using the library. The charges for 
the same term in the preparatory department were somewhat less: tuition $40.00 and con- 
tingencies $3.00. Students boarded and had their laundry done in the steward's hall or 
in private homes for about $10.00 a month. They had to furnish their own rooms in the 
dormitory and provide their own candles or lamps (22-23). Presumably, for the first time 
in the College's existence, the trustees, on July 29, 1850, passed a resolution to take out 
insurance on the buildings, library collection, and scientific apparatus ( TM 1841-1907 72). 
However, they unfortunately neglected to act on this resolution until November 8, 1850, 
some three months later ( TM 1841-1907 SO). In the interim, the "Southern College building 
commonly called 'Old College'" was virtually destroyed by fire on October 2, 1850. (This 
structure is uniformly referred to in all other records of the College as the "West Wing." 
Nelson, for example, uses that designation and describes it as a barracks-type brick building 
with a wooden roof [137].) The October 9, 1850, faculty minutes tell the story. The tragic 
fire started when a student threw a lighted paper into the fireplace which contained dry 
pine wood. The ensuing flame caused the soot in the chimney to catch fire and throw off 
sparks that soon ignited the wooden roof. Only two people were in the building; and before 
they could get help, the fire was out of control. Within twenty minutes, a wind out of the 
northeast, coupled with drought-like conditions, hastened the burning, and the wooden 
roof began collapsing; two hours later only the walls were standing, the interior walls and 
the contents having been totally consumed (FM Supplement 1828-38, 1850-52 1). 

It is not stated whether this building contained the library collection (3,000 books) 
or such scientific paraphernalia as a reflecting telescope (focal distance seven feet), a the- 
odolite, a sextant, a compass, a chronometer, an "electric machine," an air pump, a steam 
engine, batteries, and a cabinet containing mineralogical and geological samples. Since 
none of the above are mentioned in subsequent discussions of the fire, one can only assume 
that they somehow survived. 

The burning of a main campus building, however, was not the first firestorm that 
President Rivers had to contend with, but at least the first one was figurative. On July 31, 


1850, J. H. Muse offered to the board a resolution making it incumbent on any trustee to 
inform the board if he knew any "matter" reflecting on a faculty member (TM 1841-1907 
90). Muse may have heard rumors involving young Daniel Martindale, whose election as 
Professor of Natural Science on July 24, 1849, coincided almost exactly with the Reverend 
Dr. Rivers's being named president of Centenary (TM 1841-190790). 

A hearing was scheduled to take place at 3:00 in the afternoon. John A. Lane moved 
that the investigation take place behind closed doors, and the motion passed. Professor 
Martindale was asked to meet with the board to answer the charge against him, and at 3:00 
P.M. he appeared. A summary of the charges included drinking with students either in 
their rooms or Professor Martindale's; racing horses or witnessing horse races; attacking 
the Church, the episcopacy, Bishop-elect H. B. Bascom in particular, and the sermon of an 
unnamed faculty colleague because of its Trinitarian doctrine (Martindale was "accused" 
of holding Unitarian views); and disturbing "the harmony of the faculty" by divulging to 
students the proceedings of faculty meetings (TM 1841-190791). 

Martindale pleaded not guilty to all charges, and the Reverend Benjamin Jones, a mem- 
ber of the board of visitors, was appointed to act as prosecutor. After the inquiry was 
concluded, B. M. Drake moved to declare the chair of natural sciences held by Martindale 
vacant. The motion failed (TM 1841-1 907 9 1-92). 

At 8:00 P.M. of that same day, July 31, 1850, the board began its third session; the others 
had begun at 7:30 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. Martindale was exonerated on the charges involving 
drinking and horse-racing, but pending fuller discussion the board approved resolutions 
"highly disapproving" Martindale's conduct relating to the Church, its hierarchy, and its 
doctrine and his violation of the rule of confidentiality of faculty business in session ( TM 
1841-1907 92). Nothing is said of Martindale's defense - if he were allowed one - and the 
whole affair may bespeak an unexpected tolerance in a day when trustees possessed virtu- 
ally autocratic power in disciplining faculty. 

It is interesting to note that at the faculty meeting a year later, dealing with student 
drunkenness, Martindale offered a resolution prohibiting a student from buying or drinking 
liquor (FM Supplement 1828-38, 1850-52 16). A number of inferences could be drawn from 
this. Just as the original charge against him involving drinking was found to be groundless, 
the aspects of his conduct disapproved of by the board, unorthodox religious views, may 
have likewise been trumped up. President Rivers was obviously a well-wisher of the young 
professor, recommending in November of 1850 a salary increase for him because of "extra 
service"; the board turned it down (TM 1 841 -1907 101). In any event, Martindale resigned, 
apparently of his own volition, on October 8, 1851 (TM 1841-1907 103). Reflecting years 
later in The Central Methodist, on his Centenary years, President Rivers called Martindale 
"one of the very best teachers of elocution that had ever graced a professor's chair" (qtd. in 
Nelson 142). 

The Martindale affair did produce one piece of witch-hunt legislation. At this late 


evening meeting, J. H. Muse moved a resolution, subsequently adopted, that the president 
of the joint board of visitors and trustees annually appoint a committee of five charged 
with investigating the character and general conduct of every faculty member and to call 
for persons and papers necessary to the investigation. Any "incriminating" evidence would 
result in a Martindale-type hearing (TM 1841-1907 92-93). Presumably, the faculty did 
not protest this invasion of privacy, for the concept of academic freedom was not nearly so 
refined in that early day. 

In 1852, the trustees voted to establish a professorship in Hebrew "in connection with 
the President," but Rivers nor anyone else ever held it (TM 1841-1907 108). Indeed, Rivers 
had other things on his mind than taking on additional teaching duties. Despite the blow 
the College sustained with the burning of the West (South) Wing, he wanted to get on 
with the proposed new Centre Building. In the July 25, 1853, meeting of the board, Rivers 
offered a resolution to name a committee that would let the contract for the brick to con- 
struct the Centre Building. His resolution also stipulated that as soon as the students raised 
$5,000.00, construction could begin on the wings of the Centre Building, each to contain 
a literary society hall. The resolution strikes one as awkward and ill thought out, and the 
trustees must have had serious reservations. They amended and adopted it the next day 
minus any mention of bricks, students, or building wings (TM 1841-1907 111-12). 

In this same meeting, the board voted to use the interest from the endowment to repair 
the burned building. This action caused seven members to file a protest against using this 
money for anything except professors' salaries, its original purpose ( TM 1841-1907 112). 

Dr. Rivers resigned the presidency at Centenary on January 1 9, 1 854, in order to become 
president of LaGrange College in Alabama. The board immediately elected Henry Thweatt 
to succeed him ( TM 1841-1907 112). Rivers's presidency had been, on balance, a good one. 
Enrollment stood, as he left, at approximately 260, the highest figure it was to attain during 
the 1800s. Steady if slow progress was being made on realizing the dream of the long- 
projected Centre Building, and on repairing the burned administration-dormitory known 
as the West Wing or Old South College. Centenary continued to affirm the liberal arts val- 
ues its founders had articulated. The last catalogue (1852-53) issued during Rivers's tenure 
makes this clear: "The object of collegiate instruction is not to complete either a practical or 
professional education, but to lay the foundation of a character fitted to appear with honor 
and usefulness in any sphere of life" (23). Yet this lofty purpose did not blind Rivers or the 
trustees or faculty to the demands of the workaday world for many students. "Knowledge 
without application is unproductive. One great object of the instructor should be to make 
the scholar practical as well as theoretical" (Cent. Coll. Cat. 1852-53 22). 

On February 9, however, Mr. Thweatt declined the office which Rivers was leaving and 
John Barker, president of Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, was then unanimously elected. 
At their July 24, 1854, meeting, the trustees heard two letters from president-elect Barker 
and ordered them to be filed (TM 1841-1907 117). Mr. Barker may well have been origi- 


nally a back-up or indeed one among a number of back-ups which the committee of cor- 
respondence could overture in case a first choice declined. An "exhibit" of letters between 
the College and Mr. Barker was referred by the board to a committee. Whatever the content 
of Barker's letters, it was not reassuring to the trustees, who in the same meeting named 
the Reverend B. M. Drake president pro tern and "resolved to proceed to the election of a 
President of the College" ( TM 1 841-1907 1 19). We can infer the content of Mr. Barker's let- 
ters since a committee of correspondence had obviously already begun to solicit names to 
place in nomination for president of Centenary. No fewer than eleven men were mentioned 
as alternates in case a prior nominee declined. The executive committee of the board was 
actually directed to notify W H. Ellison that he had been elected. In any event, neither 
Ellison nor any of these other persons was ever elected. 

On March 14, 1855, over a year after President Rivers had resigned, Centenary finally 
named his successor, the Reverend John C. Miller, professor of mathematics, natural phi- 
losophy, and astronomy. As he took office, President Miller must have felt a degree of 
optimism about the immediate future of the college. Enrollment was high (260 students), 
and the College's liquidity seemed to have improved. At the January 23, 1855, meeting, 
the Louisiana Conference adopted a resolution that defined a way for Centenary to raise 
money, namely, by asking benefactors to buy Louisiana State stock certificates (bonds) and 
endorse them over to the trustees so that the annual interest could be used to defray the 
tuition of the donor's children, if he had any, at Centenary (La. Conf. Min. 1855 20). At 
this same meeting, the Conference also went on record as endorsing a building program at 
Centenary that would put it "on an equality with any other College in the United States." 
Finally, the Alabama Conference was invited to participate in the patronage of Centenary 
with the understanding that they would be represented on the board of trustees (La. Conf. 
Min. 1855 29). The board itself passed a resolution to commence the two wings of the 
Centre Building, to be used as "Society Halls, and other purposes" (TM 1841-1907 118). 
Moreover, concrete plans and details of the Centre Building were being discussed. The 
trustee minutes reveal votes on an amendment to add "a colonnade 12 ft. wide starting 
from the ground." Also the Centre Building would be 60 x 97 ft. "with a Grecian front" ( TM 
1841-1907 120). The building would be completed during Miller's presidency but not for 
three more years. It is ironic that so many notable achievements for the College took place 
while Miller was president when one considers that he was the very last person to whom the 
trustees finally turned to occupy the position. At the Commencement of 1855, Miller's first 
as president, 22 men took degrees, the largest graduation class in the history of the College 
at Jackson. One, Charles W. Carter, later became president of Centenary; and another, W. 
F. Norsworthy, became principal of the preparatory department (Cain 136). The fall of 
1855, however, brought a serious problem to the campus in the form of yellow fever, which 
had been ravaging towns up and down the Mississippi for several months. The Missionary 
Report of the Louisiana Annual Conference for December 12, 1855, mentions the epidemic 


at Centenary in its Miscellaneous Resolutions but expresses confidence that its effects will 
not be long-lasting or serious (38-39). 

Two years later, on February 4, 1857, the Missionary Report of the Louisiana Annual 
Conference (30-31) summarized President Miller's state of the College report, wherein he 
describes it as healthy and prosperous. One hundred fifty men had graduated, 230 students 
enrolled in the last academic year; the library contained 5,000 volumes; there was a cabinet 
with carefully selected geological and mineralogical samples; the faculty was strong and 
conscientious. And, the College could accommodate 300 students. All in all, an assessment 
that boded well for the young institution's future. Only the endowment left something to 
be desired: it was only $25,000, modest even by the standards of that early day. The board 
had plans to treble the endowment in order to place Centenary in the first rank of American 
colleges. The great Centre Building, so long in coming, was now under construction, and 
would cost in the neighborhood of $60,000, of which $45,000 had been raised. President 
Miller estimated the value of Centenary holdings as follows: 

"Land and Buildings, when the present center building 
is completed $110,000 

Endowment Fund 25,000 

Libraries - College and Society 6,000 

Cabinet - Mineralogical and Geological 3,500 

Apparatus - Chemical and Philosophical 6,500 

Total Amount $154,000." 

The Louisiana Annual Conference Missionary Report for December 16, 
1858, updated the foregoing account by announcing the completion of 
the Centre Building and the eagerness of Centenary to compete academi- 
cally with Northern colleges. This would mean a significant increase in 
the endowment, and the Conference's committee on education appealed in 
the strongest possible way to Louisiana and Mississippi Methodists. This 
impassioned sentence conveys the tone that permeated the exhortation: "It 
appears to your Committee that every man, true to humanity, to his chil- 
dren, to his Church and to his God will respond in the affirmative, and to 
the extent of his ability will assist to attain such a noble object" (35-37). 
What was even more pronounced in this report than the fervor for academic excel- 
lence and serious competition with the best liberal arts institutions in the nation was the 
evangelistic tone and goals of Centenary with respect to its mission as the following passage 
makes abundantly clear: 

Many of the young men are under the influence of God's Word and 
his Spirit, brought into the Church, and when they leave the College, they 
go forth to sustain and build up the Church throughout the bounds of the 
patronizing Conferences. Of the 169 graduates [alumni], 81 are members 


of our Church, and 6 are members of other Churches. Of the 16 who have 
died, 10 are known to have died in the triumphs of the Gospel. Six of 
the graduates are Ministers of the Gospel of Peace, and are calling men to 
repentance. Of the present number of students, over one-third are mem- 
bers of our Church. These facts are calculated to encourage us, while they 
show us that the Faculty have not failed to conduct a Christian College on 
Christian principles (34). 
In the meantime, the North and South continued on their collision course over the 
issue of slavery and related matters. (For a detailed study of the Centenary environs of 
this period, see Michael P. Howell, Journey to War's End: An Antebellum History of Jackson, 
Louisiana. Jackson, LA: Lockridge Cottage Press, 2004.) The Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South - it had separated from the main denomination in 1844 - left no doubt which side it 
was on. The Missionary Report of the Louisiana Annual Conference for December 16, 1858, 
concurred by a vote of 52-0 in an earlier action of the General Conference which expunged 
the rule of Discipline prohibiting '"the buying and selling of men, women and children, 
with an intention to enslave them'" (63). In view of the unanimity of church members and 
the general population on the advocacy of slavery, it is surprising that there are so few refer- 
ences to the subject in the College annals. Abolitionist fervor was pronounced in Northern 
colleges, according to Nelson, and seniors' graduate addresses there reflected the high feel- 
ings. The commencement addresses of the 1857 Centenary graduates, on the other hand, 
are singularly devoid of high-flown oratory espousing or defending slavery. The titles of the 
nine graduates' addresses may be cited in evidence: 
"Hope, Man's Greatest Incentive" 
"Ultimate Triumph of Republicanism" 
"Democracy of Letters" 
"The True National Conservator" 
"Liberty's Tide: Its Ebb and Flow" 
"Musings over the Past: The Guide to the Future" 
"The Emerald Isle" 
"Aims and Beauty of Astronomy" 

"La Vertu d'un Coeur Noble, est la Marque Certaine" (delivered in French) 
In 1859, one of the most important figures in the early history of Centenary died. He 
was the Reverend Dr. B. M. Drake, an outstanding minister who played a leading role in the 
founding of the College and at the time of his death president of the joint board of trust- 
ees and visitors, which memorialized him in an eloquent resolution in their July 24, 1860, 
meeting (TM 1 841 -1907 152-53). 

Meanwhile, the College was continuing in a generally flourishing condition. Enrollment 
was holding steady at over 200; the debt on the great new Centre Building had been reduced 
to $20,000; the endowment stood at $30,000; and the moral and religious life of the stu- 


dents was of a high character (Cain 256). This last item seems somewhat at variance with 
the disciplinary cases which formed the staple of business at every faculty meeting. 

A smallpox scare had resulted in a cancellation of commencement in 1860; so we can- 
not know whether the rhetoric of the occasion would have been more bellicose. With one 
exception, faculty minutes of 1860 and 1861 contain little or nothing to suggest the com- 
ing civil conflict. When a group of students requested "the privilege of forming a military 
company" the faculty approved the request on condition that the rules and regulations were 
acceptable to the faculty (FM 1840-90 244). But they meant to keep the student soldiers 
on a short leash as evidenced by their decision on April 9, 1861, not to let them travel to 
Clinton, Mississippi, for the presentation of a banner to another military company (250). 
Not two weeks later, the faculty passed a resolution "suspending College exercises for the 
present" - since there were only three students, but continuing the operation of the prepa- 
ratory school (251). 

In June, the board authorized President Miller to let the public know that the College 
would be open for business as usual in October and that the College would accept 
Confederate bonds or notes as payment for tuition (Cain 298). By October 7, however, 
the handwriting was on the wall, and the faculty took the final step recorded dramatically 
in these now famous words, "Students have all gone to war. College suspended; and God 
help the right!" (FM 1840-90 253). That last petition implies that there are two sides in the 
conflict and that the faculty who pray it are not Southern firebrands absolutely convinced 
that their cause is right and just and that of the enemy evil and oppressive. 

Throughout the remainder of 1861, the College attempted some semblance of normal 
operation, but under the exigencies of war little could be accomplished. There was a good 
deal of wrangling among groups on the question of the reorganization of the joint board 
of trustees and visitors (La. Conf. Mm. 1861 27). Once the War began in earnest, however, 
little of a formal or lasting nature could be done in this area. No trustee minutes exist for 
the period between July 22, 1861, and October 4, 1865. The same is true for faculty minutes 
between October 7, 1861, and October 9, 1866. Therefore, we have no way of knowing how 
long the preparatory department held classes after college operations were suspended. 

One thing seems certain: the preparatory department could not have been in session in 
the days immediately preceding and following August 3, 1863, because that is when the bat- 
tle of Jackson, Louisiana, was fought, largely on the campus of Centenary. The general area 
was important to both sides as control of the Mississippi River resided with whoever held 
the territory. This particular battle was fierce though it lasted but a day. The Confederates, 
numbering 500, appear to have won as larger Union forces (600) wound up retreating and 
losing 100 men to the Confederates' 12 (Confederate figures). Federal forces claim to have 
killed 40 and lost 78 of their own. There is an ugly racial sidelight to the minor confron- 
tation. Union General George L. Andrews had sent Lieutenant M. Hanham of the Sixth 
New York Volunteers to Jackson to recruit black soldiers for the Twelfth Regiment Infantry, 


Corps d'Afrique. Hanham's unit also included men from Massachusetts and Vermont. The 
entire outfit was made up of African American troops. The Confederate regiments included 
the 11 th and the 17 th Consolidated Arkansas Mounted Infantry. The Confederates were 
accused of murdering black Federal soldiers, who had been captured as prisoners of war or 
who were lying wounded and helpless on the battlefield. Confederate commanders denied 
the charges, claiming that the black soldiers had been trying to escape. No court-martial 
was ever conducted though Confederate generals were not averse, but there was no chance 
for a thorough investigation of the incident. The Confederate troops allegedly involved 
were ordered into Mississippi to try to halt General Sherman's Meridian Expedition. By 
September 14, General Andrews, the Union commander at Port Hudson, dropped all 
charges as hearsay ( 1-15). 

Centenary College made one of its contributions to the Southern cause - aside from 
its students who became soldiers - even before the battle of Jackson. Since there were no 
students in residence, local authorities, who had control of the College, turned it into a 
hospital for wounded Confederate soldiers. When Federal troops under General Banks 
later drove out the Confederates and captured Jackson, they too used some of the buildings 
as a hospital. The front part of the imposing Centre Building they used as headquarters; 
the back part served for stables. Far from being impressed by the classical grandeur of the 
structure, they exhibited pronounced vandalistic tendencies as they roamed through the 
upstairs, demolishing the furniture of the Franklin Institute, one of the two most promi- 
nent campus organizations. The other, the Union Literary Society, they left for the most 
part untouched, possibly because of its name (Nelson 180). 

When the War ended in the spring of 1865, it became apparent that despite the approxi- 
mately four years when no students were enrolled in the College and the devastation which 
faced it on all sides, the board of trustees had somehow remained intact and ready to resume 
operation once the hostilities had ceased and people's lives were relatively normal. The board 
met on September 15, 1865, and authorized the faculty to open the College on the first Monday 
of October. They renewed the salaries of Professors Wiley, A. G. Miller, and Potter at the pre- 
War figure of $1,500 a year and President J. C. Miller's at $2,000 ( TM 1841-1907 158). Given 
the grave economic conditions of the day, these salary figures sound like wishful thinking. 



Chapter IV 

Centenary Survives War and Its Aftermath 

We have no records about enrollment and classes in the fall of 1865 and the spring of 
1866, but the general picture can hardly have been encouraging. When the board met on 
March 14, 1866, they began some serious stock-taking. Committees were appointed to 
examine College finances, auditing practices, and the overall condition of buildings, faculty, 
and students and to report back the next day. Even before the committee dealing with the 
state of the faculty reported back, the board knew it had serious staff problems. President 
Miller resigned, as did professor of natural science A. R. Holcombe, professor of math- 
ematics James M. Pugh, and professor of Greek J. J. Wheat. Two other chairs were likewise 
declared vacant, modern languages and tutor in the preparatory department ( TM). 

Miller had been a loyal and faithful servant of Centenary College for twenty years, the 
first nine as professor of natural philosophy and astronomy. After becoming president in 
1855, he had continued to teach mental and moral sciences and did so until his resignation 
{Cent. Coll Cat. 1859-60 6; Cain 417). 

But finding a competent faculty to replace those who had recently resigned was only 
one of the myriad nagging problems that would face a new president. The financial 
committee found "a gross amount of liabilities" on the College's books. The faculty were 
owed back pay of $23,360; there was a significant but unspecified amount of debt which 
the College owed to creditors; and a comparable amount which was owed to the College 
and which the College was having difficulty collecting. Despite this daunting picture, the 
board formulated a plan to extricate the College from its perilous position and appointed 
committees and individuals with specific responsibilities. They filled vacancies on the 
board and unanimously elected the Reverend Dr. W. H. Watkins president of the College. 
Even before his election, Dr. Watkins, acting as agent for the College, had been assigned to 
take the College's assets and where possible settle its debts and also to collect monies owed 
to the College or promissory notes in lieu of money. He was also empowered to "make 
settlements and to bring suit" if necessary to collect debts owed to the College (TM 

In the year immediately following the end of the War, several things occurred to help the 


College from failing financially or otherwise. First, many of its creditors simply relinquished 
their claims on the College. Second, Dr. Watkins was moderately successful in collecting 
debts owed to the College. Third, some adjustments were made in faculty appointments 
that would relieve the budget. For example, the chairs of Greek and Latin were combined 
into one chair of ancient languages. Still, the board tried not to sacrifice academic qual- 
ity or integrity. President Watkins was authorized to fill vacant chairs by entering into 
negotiation with qualified applicants. The president's salary was fixed at $2,000 a year ( TM 
1841-1907 164-66), which, considering the "embarrassed" financial situation of the College 
and the bleak outlook under Reconstruction, seems generous in the extreme. 

Former President Miller presented two resolutions calculated to cut operational costs 
and enlist Methodist ministers as fund-raisers for the College. One was to do away with 
"gratuitous instruction" beyond the present recipients. The other was to give tuition to one 
son of any Methodist traveling preacher who raised $500 for the endowment fund. Neither 
resolution passed (TM 1841-1907166). 

In an obvious attempt to streamline the way they conducted business, the trustees 
"memorialized" the state legislature in July of 1 866 of their wish to change the charter of 
the College to the effect that the board of visitors was abolished. The trustees would still 
number twenty-six members, which must have seemed a sufficient number to carry on the 
affairs of the institution (TM 1841-1907 165-66). 

Among the thorniest problems to face the trustees over the years was the inability to 
guarantee professors that they would receive their salaries. Indeed, it was rarer for the 
faculty to be properly remunerated than not to. Hence, the many resignations of people 
who ought to have signed on for considerably longer periods of time. It is little short of 
miraculous that the tenure of faculty members who stayed was as lengthy as it was, given the 
erratic salary practices. To address this problem, the trustees drew up plans on July 9, 1867, 
to raise an endowment of $ 1 50,000 by selling scholarships primarily but not exclusively to 
Methodist laymen in the Mississippi and Louisiana Conferences. A ten-year scholarship 
would be funded by a donor at the rate of $100 a year for ten years. A perpetual scholar- 
ship would cost the donor $200 a year in perpetuity. The income from these "endowment 
scholarships" was intended to pay faculty salaries and by implication to fund some student 
grants as well (TM 1841-1907 168-69). 

In the meanwhile, President Watkins and two board members were on July 9, 1867, 
appointed as a committee to approach the Peabody Educational Fund to see whether 
Centenary might qualify for some kind of financial assistance. The president also headed 
a committee to approach one William Silliman of East Feliciana Parish about endowing 
a professorship at the College. Silliman's generosity toward "Literary Institutions" in the 
region was "proverbial" (TM 1841-1907 170-71). Even in this early day, college presidents 
were learning that an important part of their job was raising money from foundations and 
well-to-do individuals. 


But no kind of plan for financial stability could rescue Centenary from the multiple 
problems that it faced. By July 1868, the College's inability to collect debts owed it and "the 
general prostration of the Agricultural and Commercial interest of the States of Louisiana 
and Mississippi" (the aftermath of the War and the attendant universal confusion in virtu- 
ally every sector of life under Reconstruction) combined to delay for a century Centenary's 
ever completely recovering from the recent calamity (TM 1841-1907 172). The board 
immediately mandated a one-year suspension of all financial assistance, not only to sons of 
ministers but also to recipients at large. The executive committee was authorized to rent the 
steward's hall in order to bring in more income, and, in the same action, the Masonic fra- 
ternity was allowed to continue renting or to lease the upper story of the College building 
they were presently occupying. A year later, in July 1869, the board voted to do away with 
the preparatory department ( TM 1841-1907173). They would re-establish and abolish this 
department a number of times in the decades to come and indeed rescinded this particular 
action a year later, that is, July 1, 1870 (TM 1841-1907 174). 

On July 12, 1871, the trustees elected the Reverend Charles G. Andrews of Jackson, 
Mississippi, to be the eleventh president of Centenary College of Louisiana. Andrews 
brought to the office considerable strengths. A Mississippi aristocrat, he had been well 
educated and was, in fact, a graduate of Centenary. Moreover, he was at the time of this 
election already noted for his piety. Bishop Galloway said, "he was the holiest man I ever 
knew" (Hamilton 96-97). With attributes like these, it is small wonder that he had the 
strong support of the Louisiana and Mississippi Conferences throughout his eleven-year 
tenure. Resolution after resolution passed at the Annual Conference praised Andrews's 
accomplishments: important and needed repairs on buildings, the largest enrollment 
since the re-organization of the College after the War, a physical plant valued at $200,550. 
"Hearty endorsements" of this record, impassioned exhortations to Conference ministers 
to get their members behind Centenary in every way, and recommendations of Centenary 
as an outstanding institution appear in every issue of Conference minutes. 

Nevertheless, serious financial problems continued to plague the College despite the 
whistling-in-the-dark approbation of the Conference. In order to cut costs, the College 
had, on occasion, revoked scholarship grants to sons of Methodist ministers, to young men 
studying for the ministry, and even to all students on scholarships. But one kind of scholar- 
ship grant they could not get out from under. According to its Charter, Centenary agreed to 
educate ten young men from the State at large without tuition. Now for obvious economic 
reasons, the College wanted the state legislature to relieve them of that obligation by law. 
Nelson gives an interesting though not thoroughly documented account of how they went 
about it. He implies that Centenary had already received some money from the Peabody 
Fund (204), one of many organizations set up by George Peabody, the noted New England 
philanthropist. The Fund made grants to both white and black institutions - all schools 
were segregated by race (Fay 112-13) - and in the process played a leading role in helping 


establish public school education in Louisiana and the rest of the South. 

According to Nelson, one of Centenary's principal reasons for wanting a cessation of 
the College's obligation to educate ten students free was the fear that the carpetbaggers and 
black-controlled state legislature would insist that such students be black. Nelson prob- 
ably exaggerated the fears of Louisianans at large regarding racial integration at that time. 
Two unlikely political figures turned out to be Centenary's allies in the affair if Nelson's 
interpretation is credited. One was Representative G. W. Carter of Cameron Parish, a for- 
mer Methodist minister who, despite an unsavory character, had maintained an interest 
in the Church. The other was his crony Governor Henry C. Warmoth, who had actually 
had Cameron Parish created so that Carter could represent it! Warmoth was evidently a 
crook - carpetbaggers and their ilk looted the State during his administration - but he was 
interested in education, especially the state university though he was a well-wisher of any 
school and willing to help it, particularly if it did not cost the State anything. Against this 
backdrop, Bishop Keener and the Reverend B. F. White went to make the College's case for 
relief from having to educate ten students free; naturally, they approached Carter, whom 
they knew to be sympathetic to the Church. Carter was receptive and, as one of Warmoth's 
floor leaders, wrote the bill up and guided it through the House and the Senate. Carter 
then took it to the governor, who was temporarily incapacitated with a crippled foot and 
did not wish to sign the host of bills his floor leader had brought to him. But Carter wanted 
final action on this bill, so he told Warmoth that he would not pester him about any other 
bills if he would sign this one, which contained no payment of money on the State's part. 
Warmoth accordingly signed, and thus ended Centenary's commitment to educate ten stu- 
dents from the State at large without tuition (203-05). 

On July 13, 1871, to acknowledge their gratitude to Carter for his part in this affair, the 
board passed a resolution "tendering [their] sincere thanks" (TM 1841- 1 907 179). Strangely, 
no mention was made of President Watkins's resignation in the board minutes - Watkins 
was Andrews's predecessor - but the dates of his tenure are always listed as 1866-71. He 
re-entered the ministry after leaving Centenary, serving in that field until his death in 1880, 
while still the pastor of the Galloway Memorial Methodist Church of Jackson, Mississippi 
(Hamilton 103). 

As Andrews assumed the presidency, six years after the War had ended, much of 
the College was still in dire need of repair. The chemistry laboratory had been virtually 
destroyed; equipment in the departments of astronomy and physics had been stolen as 
had the geological specimens. The library was in an especially bad condition: books had 
been destroyed or lost and bookcases broken up. On the positive side, the fall term of 1872 
opened with 66 students, and this number increased throughout the school year, rising to a 
total of 120 students by the close of the session in June (Nelson 206). 

On July 10, 1872, the board passed resolutions requesting President Andrews to take 
all measures within his power to redress the lamentable conditions of the buildings, 


laboratories, and various collections. A similar charge was given to the librarian. The day's 
last resolution urged the faculty to exert their influence and authority to lead students to a 
"cheerful compliance" with curricular requirements and "an appreciation of the value [of] 
a complete classical and scientific education" ( TM 1841-1907 183). We might perhaps infer 
that students were chafing under the rigor of a classical education, no doubt having reser- 
vations about the "relevance" of such studies in the "real, workaday" world. In any event, 
no changes in the traditional curriculum were made at this time or for the duration of the 
College's location in Jackson. 

But in these troubled times of Reconstruction, it was financial problems that appeared 
again and again in board minutes as the most worrisome and potentially destructive of 
any that the College faced. Faculty salaries in particular were always in the forefront of the 
woes plaguing the board, whose dream it was to raise an endowment to pay them fully and 
promptly. But a resolution passed on July 10, 1872, reveals the desperation of the situation 
at this time. It would prove necessary during the coming school year to levy on tuition to 
pay on a pro rata basis faculty salaries ( TM 1841-1907 185). Oftentimes, niggling expenses 
interfered with the optimum functioning of the College as when the traveling expenses of 
persons representing Centenary at various professional and church conferences could not 
be defrayed because the budget simply would not permit it. In 1874, the board revived the 
plan of establishing an endowment, this one to be modeled on that of Kentucky University. 
Another source was supposed to raise $1,500 for professors' salaries. This was "The Ladies' 
Christmas Endowment of Centenary College." The board adopted this plan, but no further 
references to it exist in the Minutes; so we do not know whether it was a one-time affair or 
even whether it was successful in its initial effort ( TM 1841-1907 192-93). 

The dilapidated condition of the East and West Wings still remained on the trustees' 
agenda in their July 1875 meeting, the completion of much needed repairs delayed by 
lack of funds. "An extended and attractive advertisement" of the College having recently 
appeared gratis in the New Orleans Christian Advocate, the board expressed its thanks to the 
publisher, the Reverend Robert J. Harp ( TM 1841-1907 195). 

One has to admire the dedication of these board members to stick to their charge and 
see the College through trying times when most other men would have long ago aban- 
doned her. But these early guardians of Centenary rarely wavered in the darkest hours of 
the College's history. They seemed determined to see the bright side of every situation - a 
perennially tight budget, resignation of key personnel, problems in student recruitment, 
blighted hopes of a healthy and robust endowment - the list could go on. Unquestionably, 
much, perhaps most, of the inspiration and determination during this period came from 
Bishop J. C. Keener, who served many years as both member and president of the board. 
Bishop Keener's efforts on behalf of the College are legendary. There is scarcely a sphere of 
its operations in which he did not actively involve himself. 

The following passage dated July 10, 1877, will illustrate what has been asserted in the 


preceding paragraph: 

The Chairman of the Committee on Finance read a report of said 
Committee, showing a decided improvement in the Financial condition 
of the College, over the previous year; and reasonable ground for expect- 
ing yet further improvement in the immediate future; which report was 
received and adopted (TM 1841-1907201). 
Not only did the financial condition of the College seem to be improving; the moral 

and social tone had made progress. Those same July 10 minutes contain an encomiastic 

account of what had been happening in this area: 

The Committee on the State of the College beg leave to report, that 
the discipline during the session just closing has been remarkably good: 
the conduct of the students has been such that there has been no occasion 
for suspension, public repremand [sic] or infliction of any other penalty 
by the Faculty. 

For quiet and orderly deportment Centenary College stands unsur- 
passed. The Students are for the most part religious, and exemplary in 
their Christian profession. A gracious revival of religion in the Church 
has embraced the most of them in its saving influence. From the report of , 
the Faculty, we have every reason to believe that the examinations, which 
were conducted in writing were thorough and satisfactory. The purpose of 
the Faculty is to require a high grade of scholarship and to promote none 
to a more advanced standing until they have given sufficient evidence of 
their acquaintance with the studies previously demanded. The course of 
study prescribed is ample for a good classical and scientific education, and 
we have reason to believe is carried out as thoroughly as is possible with 
the number of Professors, we are able to employ. The Faculty are faithful, 
efficient, but are overworked. 

The College has never more fully enjoyed the confidence of the com- 
munity, and of the country at large: It is growing in public favor, and we 
regard the prospects as more hopeful than at any time within the last ten 
years. In conclusion your committee would speak in highest terms of 
commendation and approval of the manner in which the President and 
Professors have discharged their onerous duties. 
There is certainly nothing in the faculty minutes to dispute this. Indeed, they indicate 

that most faculty meetings consisted principally of prayers; oftentimes, little other business 


Especially during 1876 and 1877, there was a pronounced religious atmosphere 

at Centenary, of which the prayerful nature of the faculty meetings is but one evidence. 

Sometimes only the president and one other professor would pray; sometimes all the 


professors would pray. A revival took place among students in 1876 that resulted in thirty- 
five conversions and twenty-two accessions. An "accession" is simply another name for an 
"addition" to the church roles other than conversion and baptism or transfer from another 
church. The baccalaureate preacher in 1876 was the Reverend Dr. William Munsey, a widely 
known and respected orator of the day and for a number of years pastor of Rayne Memorial 
Methodist Church in New Orleans (Nelson 211). This commencement anticipated a return 
to those end-of-the-year spectacles of pre- War days, when the governors of Mississippi and 
Louisiana and a host of other dignitaries would participate in three-day-long commence- 
ment exercises. There were, however, no graduates in 1877 (Nelson 216). 

According to Nelson, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee were hit by a terrible yel- 
low fever epidemic in mid-summer 1878; and it affected Centenary's enrollment adversely, 
delaying the opening session till early November (216-19). Surprisingly, the trustee min- 
utes make no mention whatever of this information though the faculty minutes do (FM 

We can infer the strapped fiscal situation of the College in 1878 from the wretched state 
of the buildings. The East Wing was "entirely exposed" and thus "falling worse and worse 
into disrepair." Doors stood wide open for want of proper fastening. Livestock wandered 
in and out of the rooms. Windows were without sashes, and their frames and sills were 
rotting. The West Wing and Centre Building were likewise in a deteriorating state ( TM 

Equally as dramatic evidence that a scarcity of operating funds continually plagued 
Centenary are the lawsuits brought against the College by two faculty members, R. S. and 
A. R. Holcombe, to recover their unpaid salaries. The College's attorney had at once filed 
a "plea of prescription," an action that would have immediately rendered the Holcombes' 
suits unlawful on the grounds that they had waited too late to file them. In other words, a 
statute of limitations had already run out for such claims. However, the trustees declined 
to follow this course and in their July 5, 1878, meeting ordered their attorney to withdraw 
it and to defend the case on "equitable and not technical grounds." Some refined sense 
of honor may have prompted them to this decision; they must have felt they could win 
on "equitable" grounds, for they further instructed their lawyer to prosecute the appeal to 
the Supreme Court if deemed advisable. Finally, they authorized Bishop Keener to take 
all necessary steps to keep college properties, including bonds, from seizure or sale ( TM 

As it turned out, the College would have been well advised to oppose R. S. Holcombe's 
suit on technical grounds, for he won a judgment against the College in the Court of the Fifth 
Judicial District, East Feliciana Parish. This the College settled to his "full satisfaction" ( TM 
1841-1907 210-11). Despite their lack of success in this matter, the board decided to retain 
counsel and continue to "resist" the related claim of A. R. Holcombe (TM 1841-1907212). 

The school year 1879-80 seems to have been a singularly dismal one for Centenary. 


Jackson recorded no cases of yellow fever, but attendance was still low: only 25 students in 
the College and 32 in the preparatory department. Nor were they stellar scholars: a num- 
ber of them failed their examinations. To be sure, standards continued high, and exami- 
nations were tough, but that hardly explains the students' poor showing. Absolutely no 
improvements had taken place in the College buildings, which continued deteriorating at 
an alarming rate. Both East and West Wings were in markedly worse shape owing to bro- 
ken windows and doors and unrepaired sections of the roofs, all of which would result in 
serious damage from the weather. Even the once-magnificent Centre Building had serious 
leaks in its roof. In the trustee meeting of July 1, 1879, the building committee reported 
that it would take $5,000 to restore and preserve all structures (TM 1841-1907 214). This 
was not an encouraging figure since the College's income from all sources was only $1,605. 
The only positive aspects of this bleak situation were the faithfulness of the faculty in the 
performance of their duties and the exemplary deportment of the student body, only two 
not very serious disciplinary cases having occurred, and these did not involve public pun- 
ishment; "private reproof was administered" (TM 1841-1907 214). 

By July 6, 1880, the financial position of the College was desperate. Bishop Keener 
had personally settled the suit of A. R. Holcombe against the College for $800, which the 
board gratefully accepted with the understanding that Bishop Keener would have to be 
reimbursed. (He was - eventually. On May 27, 1881, the board authorized a payment of 
$1,075 to Bishop Keener for his having settled the Holcombes' suits [TM 1841-1907 218, 
223]. Presumably, R. S. Holcombe's claim was for $275 since A. R. Holcombe's settlement 
was for $800.) 

The College could ill afford an expenditure of this amount just at this particular time. 
The trustees had begun to spend endowment funds to meet current operating expense. The 
plight of the faculty could hardly have been worse: each member, including the president, 
had received only $470.70 for the past school year. The trustees were forced to employ a 
humiliating expedient: taking up a public collection to pay the faculty, a ploy that netted 
only $472 in cash and vouchers. The report of the finance committee puts it starkly: "It is 
a painful fact, our college is without finance." The report goes on to praise the dedication 
and self-sacrifice of the faculty and recommends the hiring of a fund-raiser ( TM 1841-1907 
217-18). This was not the first time Centenary would employ such a course of action, and 
it would not be the last. 

On July 7, 1880, at the conclusion of its three-day session, the board adopted a set of 
preambles and resolutions which summed up conditions at the College. With respect to 
the buildings, while some repairs had been made to the roof of the Centre Building, both 
it and the East and West Wings were in a deplorable state with no financial help in sight to 
address this problem. The moral and intellectual tone of the students and the quality and 
sacrificial devotion of the faculty remained high. A third concern which the board dealt 
with was to acquiesce in a request of the faculty that "certificates of graduation" be issued to 


students completing the requirements in certain departments of the College. The intention 
of the board seems clear enough: the somewhat elitist - and impractical? - nomenclature of 
a bachelor's degree in the classical or scientific curriculum is being superseded by the more 
marketable title on the diploma of departmental majors like commercial sciences, math- 
ematics, English, and the like. Presumably, these certificates of graduation would be the 
same as or the equivalent of the traditional bachelors' degrees. The faculty's justification for 
requesting this departure from customary practice was "the peculiar circumstances under 
which in the present impoverished condition of the people, all schools and Colleges are 
placed, resulting in the very few candidates for the higher degrees and practically limiting 
the studies taught in this College" ( TM 1841-1 907 219). It is an early instance of what would 
later plague many colleges: the seeming conflict between liberal and professional/vocational 
education. The problem was more acute for struggling institutions like Centenary than 
for the more financially sound schools in the Northeast, where recruiting students would 
be easier because the area would be more populous and more prosperous. There is no 
evidence in these Minutes that the requirements for graduation were being relaxed in kind 
or degree; the measure seems have been designed to make a Centenary graduate seem more 
immediately employable in bad economic times. It was a step in a direction in which most 
colleges and universities have long since followed though many of them paid lip service to 
the earlier classical ideal for years. 



Chapter V 

The Waning Fortunes of the College 1880-1900 

President Andrews, who had taken office in 1871, had managed with the help of the 
board and other constituencies and by his own considerable abilities to keep Centenary 
in existence through the troubled times of Reconstruction. But it was always a precarious 
existence, primarily for want of endowment and thus operating capital. The region did not 
have a tradition of significant educational philanthropy, and the Methodist Conferences 
were unable or unwilling to budget truly helpful assistance. Heroic and sacrificial efforts of 
the board and the faculty could not overcome obstacles of this magnitude. The measures 
they were forced to take were stopgap at best, simply going from one crisis to another, either 
trying to find money for faculty salaries or seeking means to repair a decaying physical 
plant. The miracle is that trustees, administration, and faculty refused to give up. Inspired 
undoubtedly by the example of the indomitable Bishop Keener, they persisted in trying 
to find solutions to the College's problems and in keeping alive the vision of an excellent 
institution in this place. 

The failure of Centenary to win the lawsuits brought by the Professors Holcombe served 
as a warning to the board that something needed to be done to secure College properties 
from judgments in favor of litigants against the College. To this end, the board adopted a 
resolution authorizing President Andrews to amend the College's charter so that its build- 
ings and grounds would be exempt from seizure for debt. The board took this action on 
May 27, 1881; a year later, this was ratified by the proper State officials as legal. An addi- 
tional part of their amendment stipulated that all future trustees elected to Centenary's 
board be subject to the approval of the Methodist conference in which they reside at the 
time of their election, a provision still in effect {TM 1840-1907223-24, 228-29). 

The worsening financial picture at Centenary led the trustees on May 31, 1881, to take 
a drastic step: they declared that tuition, fees, and free-will donations were the only sources 
of income for the College, that all salaries and expenses must come from those sources 
alone, and that no salaried faculty or staff member had any legal claim to salary except from 
those funds. President Andrews and Professors Wiley and Rush were present at this meet- 
ing and concurred in the board's action. Only two other members of the faculty were not 
present, the Reverend J. W. Lipscomb, professor of modern languages, and W. F. Norsworthy, 
principal of the preparatory department (TM 1841-1907 225). The minutes do not 


indicate whether Andrews, Wiley, and Rush were empowered to speak for their colleagues 
or whether they simply presumed to do so. But since the issue was so serious, it is reason- 
able to assume the former. That this faculty possessed an uncommon degree of dedication 
to the institution is attested to by the fact that they themselves made "some essential repairs" 
on the roofs, the students' rooms, the pillars of East and West Wings, and the museum and 
laboratory ( TM 1841-1907226). 

The dismal fiscal outlook for Centenary doubtless played a part in President 
Andrews's offering his resignation to the board on June 5, 1882. For eleven years he had 
fought the good fight, but no meaningful relief had ever appeared. He had to have been 
tired or possibly concluded that he might not be the right person for the job. In any event, 
the board postponed considering the resignation until its next meeting later that afternoon. 
At that meeting, the committees on the state of the College and College buildings praised 
among other things the loyalty and sacrifice of the faculty, deplored the shameful times 
wherein men of such high intellectual and moral stature should not be adequately compen- 
sated, and repeated the regular litany of woes regarding the campus buildings. But the most 
interesting part of the report is contained in the following passage: 

The inaccessibility of the college has been a serious drawback in the 
past. Patronage has undoubtedly been directed by the expenses and incon- 
veniences incidental to getting here. We have so long and so frequently 
been deluded by the flicker of the ignis fatuus of the promised railroad 
that we cannot readily attach much credit to the new indications of prog- 
ress in this direction. There is however good reason to believe that within 
the coming year a railroad connecting New Orleans with Memphis will be - 
built and that it will pass near to Jackson if not directly through it. Any 
reliable means of connecting with the outside world will of necessity result 
in an increased attendance upon the college (TM 1841-1907233). 
Here for the first time occurs the acknowledgment that the location of Centenary is 
disadvantageous to enrollment. It is in a sparsely populated region of the state and is not 
served by a railroad. Ever the eternal optimists, the committee closes its commentary on 
this liability by voicing the hope that a soon-to-be-constructed railroad connecting New 
Orleans and Memphis may come through or near enough to Jackson to help address this 
problem ( TM 1841-1907232-34). As time went on, advocates for moving the College would 
return to this point to strengthen their argument. 

When it became known that President Andrews had tendered his resignation, the stu- 
dents petitioned the board not to accept it. Their action certainly indicated the high regard 
in which Andrews was held, but it did not prevent the board from accepting the resignation 
anyway. In an eloquent resolution, the board thanked Andrews for his administration's 
"great success" under the most trying conditions and professed their lasting friendship and 
affection. One month later, the Reverend D. M. Rush, professor of mathematics and natural 


sciences, was elected to succeed Andrews (TM 1841-1907234-36). 

Little is known of Rush's life before he came to Centenary. He was born in Lamar 
County, Alabama, in 1845 and from there enlisted in the Confederate Army. After the War, 
he attended Southern University in Greensboro, Alabama, where he took the M.A. degree, 
subsequently becoming a minister in the Mississippi Conference. Rush suffered poor 
health throughout his short life - he died one week after his fortieth birthday (Methodism. . . 
Mississippi Conference 273-74); more of significance took place in such a short tenure than 
might have been expected. Total enrollment during this period was 93 in the first year of 
his presidency, 94 in the second, and 84 in the third (Misc. Reg. Rec). Enrollment topped 
one hundred only three times in the 1880s (Misc. Reg. Rec); during Rush's tenure it was at 
least respectable. 

Rush may have wondered at the trivial nature of some of the earliest tasks which the 
board laid on him. For example, he was instructed to discipline students for coupling the 
name "Centenary" with the Commencement Hop (dance) they were arranging in June of 
1883 (TM 1841-1907238). But the board obviously considered it a serious breach of deco- 
rum. A year later, they passed a resolution to have students sign a pledge not to drink liquor, 
play cards, or keep or own a firearm while at Centenary (TM 1841-1907 245). Nelson 
claims that this action resulted from a few boys "going down to the creek with a bottle of 
whiskey and a deck of cards... and... a shooting iron" (235). 

But Rush - and the board, for that matter - had more serious problems to deal with than 
the shenanigans of a bunch of high-spirited adolescent boys. Campus buildings remained 
in the most serious state of disrepair and deterioration, despite some efforts by President 
Rush to improve them. Such efforts could only be piecemeal and patchwork measures. 
Still, the board congratulated Rush on even these attempts, which may well have kept some 
buildings from absolutely falling down; but they also authorized him to go on the road - in 
both conferences - to raise money to save the structures (TM 1841-1907 246-47). 

Rush had his work cut out for him. It may have been the Gilded Age in the Northeast, 
but down South it was still post-Reconstruction, and the living was decidedly not easy. The 
middle classes, from which Methodism drew most of its members, were usually devout and 
generous, but they were not by and large an affluent society. In the August 7, 1884, issue of 
the New Orleans Christian Advocate, Rush published a letter calculated to prepare church 
members to be solicited for Centenary. He announced his appointment by the board to act 
as financial agent of the College. The letter is an eloquent and moving appeal to Methodists 
to support their college. In it, Rush relates an anecdote that should have had a powerful 
effect on his readership. During a recent district conference in Woodville, Mississippi, a 
collection was being taken for Centenary. The first contributors were the little twin daugh- 
ters of the late General John Bell Hood, a famous Confederate hero who had died in 1879. 
These children each gave one dollar, an example that was apparently inspirational, for it 
resulted in a contribution of $3,650 on the spot, an amount which was increased to $4,000 


by friends of Centenary in Jackson, Louisiana (5). 

On August 21, a second letter by Rush in the New Orleans Christian Advocate reminded 
patrons of the College of the imminent opening of school and touting the recently com- 
pleted Mississippi Valley Railroad Line that came within five miles of Jackson. Students 
could get off the train at McManus's flag station, then hire a coach or carriage to take them 
to Jackson. Rush advised students arriving on the train to write Mr. Kemp Mattingly, oper- 
ator of the hack line, notifying him what day they would arrive. A recent case of small pox 
in the Jackson area had caused a good deal of excitement among citizens. Newspapers had 
blown the story out of all proportion, and Rush obviously thought that he should allay any 
fears parents might have about sending their children to school in such an environment. 
It seems that Dr. Joseph S. Jones, professor of physiology and anatomy at the College, had 
contracted the disease by visiting "a negro patient four miles in the country." It turned 
out that the doctor's case was the only one - newspapers had it seem an epidemic - and 
a mild one at that, the medical term for it being varioloid. Dr. Rush also reports in this 
letter the addition of $1,750 more dollars to the Centenary endowment: $1,500 from the 
Vicksburg district and $250 from a camp meeting at Crystal Springs. He concludes the let- 
ter by exhorting Methodists to be determined, energetic, courageous, and prayerful in their 
endeavors for and support of Centenary (1). All in all, Rush comes across as enthusiastic 
and persuasive, emphasizing the necessity of participation and concerted effort even if an 
individual could give only one dollar. 

The story of Dr. Jones's attending his "negro patient" casts physicians in a most favor- 
able light, true to the highest ideals of their calling, which makes no distinction between 
races or inconvenience or risk. As Rush tells the story, he does not imply that there is any- 
thing at all unusual about it: the patient just happened to be black, just happened to live off 
the beaten track, and just happened to have small pox. There is no reason to think that the 
episode is anything other than typical. 

The Methodist Church, even in that early day, was in the forefront of the struggle 
to provide a college education for women. And there were female institutions in both 
Mississippi and Louisiana. Perhaps the best known of these was the Mansfield Female 
College in Mansfield, Louisiana. This institution became an official agency of the Louisiana 
Methodist Conference and continued so until it closed in 1930. It had a good reputation 
in its day and enjoyed considerable support by its friends and sponsors. It suffered as a 
result of the Civil War but nevertheless remained intact and, at times, even flourishing 
until the 1930s. The Great Depression put the finishing touches on its steadily deteriorat- 
ing financial fortunes. Yet the dominant view of the time was that educating males took 
precedence. In that August 7, 1884, letter to the New Orleans Christian Advocate, wherein he 
makes his pitch for financial donations to the College, President Rush closes by reminding 
readers that Centenary is the Methodists' only male college in the Mississippi and Louisiana 
Conferences. What was a barely veiled subtext in this passage had, two months earlier, been 


unblushing chauvinism in an article by the Reverend E. H. Mounger entitled "Methodism 
and Education." Mr. Mounger had written: 

Our female colleges need and deserve our help, and so does our only 
school for boys - Centenary College. After all there is nothing so impor- 
tant as the proper education of boys who are after awhile to be the real 
rulers of the world. Centenary College by its efficiency hitherto has proven 
itself eminently worthy, and it should have our affections and prayers and 
offerings (1). 
President Rush suffered a massive stroke on January 18, 1885, a Sunday, while preparing 
for the pulpit and died the next day. By sheer dedication and tireless effort, Rush did more 
than might have been expected, given the slim support from Louisiana and Mississippi 
Methodists during his presidency. In his death notice, the writer asserts that Rush raised 
$10,000 in the last year for the College's endowment (NOCA, vol. 31, no. 4, p.4), an out- 
standing achievement for that day. 

On February 4, 1885, the board elected the Reverend T. A. S. Adams president of 
Centenary College (TM 1841-1907 248). Adams had been in office only a little over a year 
when a June 1, 1886, report from the committee on the state of the College pointed out a 
number of recurrent problems that were growing more acute. Though the buildings passed 
muster - for the moment - and Adams's beautification project had spruced up the appear- 
ance of the campus, the College nonetheless found itself in "great stringency financially" 
because of a decline of income in tuition and fees. In his report to the board, President 
Adams attributed this decline in the number of students attending Centenary - the current 
enrollment was around 70 - to competition from state schools, the run-down condition 
of scientific and mathematical equipment, "and the inadequacy of our teaching force to 
the work required." This last factor, the incompetence of faculty members, the committee 
considered the gravest problem and recommended an overhauling and investigation and 
a re-organization of the faculty. Realizing that these problems were ultimately financial 
in nature, the board authorized President Adams to go on the road to raise money for the 
College (TM 1841-1907257-58). 

So shameful did the Methodists' support of Centenary seem to the Board of Education 
of the Fortieth Annual Session of the Louisiana Annual Conference meeting in January 
1886, that in its report it sternly rebuked churches and their members individually for fail- 
ing to support the College financially and to send their sons there. The report claimed to 
see nothing in Conference actions to encourage and sustain the faculty, labeling Conference 
contributions "pittances" and charging that they "dispute our sincerity and shame our lib- 
erality" (17-18). This condemnatory admonishment and that of the next year's session 
(17-18) bespeak the continued marginal existence of Centenary despite pleas for support. 
These sharply worded though well-founded criticisms of the Church's support of Centenary 
were much needed correctives to the usually rosy and upbeat annual reports from College 


administrators and Conference committees, which invariably covered up the near desperate 
plight of the school with false optimism. There is, unfortunately, no evidence that these 
stinging opinions produced their writers' desired effect. 

The "somewhat improved" condition of the buildings in June of 1887 was qualified 
by the report that they were still filthy ( TM 1841-1907 263). This defect was pretty much 
corrected by June of 1888 though there were still many significant repairs to be made. 
However, an extremely serious situation had arisen in connection with President Adams. 
As has been noted earlier, one of President Adams's special interests - and projects - was 
campus beautification and improvements on campus buildings. He was apparently a man 
of some means, for he expended personal funds for flowers, shrubs, and building repairs. 
To compensate him for these expenditures, the board on June 2, 1886, gave him the use of 
two College properties for ten years without charge on condition that such use be conso- 
nant with the interests of the College and not cost the College anything (TM 1841-1907 
258). One of these properties was a house called "Steward's Hall"; the other, a cottage actu- 
ally built by Adams. But a sharp disagreement arose about the rent of these houses, and 
Adams resigned abruptly in the fall of 1887 (Nelson 242). Bishop Keener asked George H. 
Wiley, professor of ancient languages, to serve as president pro tern (241-42). Inexplicably, 
there is no account of this episode in the board minutes. In the June, 1888, meeting, the 
report of the committee on the state of the College congratulates Wiley on his leadership 
"in the face of such adverse circumstances and in spite of the unexpected action of the late 
president and its paralyzing effects on the energies and interest of the institution." Nelson, 
relying on contemporary accounts, describes Wiley as looking like Robert E. Lee, albeit with 
a more highly developed sense of humor. He was also said to be an extremely methodical 
man, who took a precise number of steps to walk from his home to the College and the 
same exact number to return. He is reported to have been one of the best-loved men ever 
connected to Centenary (243). The report concludes by referring to "the embarrassment 
created by the withdrawal of Mr. Adams" (TM 1841-1907 267). The auditing committee 
report at the same meeting speaks of Adams's "hurried departure" (268). 

It is possible to infer from the board minutes of June 4, 1889, what may have happened 
to cause President Adams to resign so peremptorily and in such high dudgeon. When 
Adams built the cottage near Steward's Hall, he leased it to the Reverend D. P. Bradford, a 
local clergyman. He also borrowed money from the endowment, for what purpose is not 
clear. In any event, the College felt that the actions that Adams had taken were not in accord 
with the agreement which he and the board had entered into and that Adams owed the 
College money. Adams on the other hand considered that he had a claim on the College. 
The upshot was his resignation and a controversy which never reached the courts. Adams 
died in 1888, not long after leaving Centenary, and his wife recognized that he did in fact 
owe the College money on a loan from the endowment, which she agreed to pay, principal 
and interest (TM 1841-1907 278). It was a singularly bizarre case. Nothing in Adams's 


background suggested the remotest possibility of such an extraordinary situation. He had 
been a distinguished minister in the North Mississippi Conference. He had high goals for 
the College, especially but not exclusively in the area of campus beautifkation and improv- 
ing the physical condition of the buildings. 

On June 6, 1888, nearly a year after Adams's departure, the board elected the Reverend 
Dr. W. L. C. Hunnicut to be president of Centenary College (TM 1841-1907270). A native 
of Georgia, Dr. Hunnicut had been a chaplain in the Confederate Army. He served for a 
time as professor of ancient languages at Madison College in Sharon, Mississippi, where he 
was simultaneously president of that school and its sister institution Sharon Female College 
(Hamilton 90-91). Hunnicut found Centenary as financially strapped as it had been ever 
since the end of the Civil War. In his first annual report to the trustees, Hunnicut followed 
the example of his predecessors by putting the best face possible on a grim situation. In that 
report, he acknowledges the generosity of board member Christian Keener and his wife for 
giving over $500 for building repair. Other contributions by board members include funds 
for scholarship loans and the employment of a janitor. He also announced the addition of 
$25,000 to the endowment in the form of notes bearing six percent interest. He spelled out 
how imperative a larger endowment was to compete with other institutions for students, to 
recruit a competent faculty and pay them adequately, to expand laboratory equipment, to 
build houses on campus for professors, and to improve and preserve the physical plant. To 
achieve all this, Hunnicut maintained that the College needed an agent at once to travel and 
solicit funds for the endowment (TM 1841-1907273-74). 

President Hunnicut was obviously reiterating the needs that had plagued the College 
for a long time, but he has articulated them succinctly and concretely. He would soon dis- 
cover, however, that simply to recognize and define a problem and ways of addressing it is 
not the same as solving it or even of making meaningful progress. One year the committee 
on the state of the College would report that things were in relatively good shape (usually 
with substantial qualifications); the next year they would be in perilous condition. Perhaps 
the point to be made is that even through decades of adverse circumstances, the College and 
the preparatory department continued to function. Classes were taught; students passed 
examinations and graduated; faculty members somehow survived, often on half-pay. 

Meanwhile, the traditional classical and scientific curricula continued - rigorous and 
demanding. Moreover, English language requirements had been strengthened because in 
the view of the faculty most students were "lamentably deficient" in correct knowledge 
and usage of their native tongue (Cent. Coll. Cat. 1889-90 18-21). An item in the trustee 
minutes of June 5, 1889, leads one to wonder how often exceptions were made to the tough 
requirements for graduation. President Hunnicut recommended to the board that one 
Andy Spencer Tomb receive his degree, along with others in his class, with a note on the 
diploma "that he had failed to pass the examination in Mathematics" (280). The board 
acquiesced. Whether this was common practice at Centenary in those days we do not know 


with certainty. But since there are no similar cases in the contemporary records, it is prob- 
ably safe to assume that it was an extraordinary action. 

This relaxing of a mathematics requirement represented the exact opposite of the 
College's policy in English. There, the 1890-91 Catalogue states, the course requirements 
had been made "more thorough than heretofore" because of the "lamentable deficiency" of 
most students in "the correct knowledge and use of our language" (27). This strengthening 
of the English requirements may have meant more work for Benjamin M. Drake, professor 
of English language and literature, who petitioned the board of trustees to pay him $100 
more on his current salary and raise his salary for the next year to $600. The board declined 
the first part of his request but granted the second. They explained "courteously" that 
increasing a current salary at the end of a school year would set a precedent that they were 
unwilling to establish ( TM 1841-1907287). A year later, they initially budgeted $700 for his 
salary, then raised it to $750 before the annual meeting was over (TM 1841-1907 298-300). 
The further increase may have been owing to the fact that in addition to being professor of 
English language and literature, Drake was also acting librarian. 

Drake's action is just another instance of the nagging financial problems from which 
there seemed no escape for Centenary. On June 1, 1891, in response to the treasurer's 
reading the names of delinquent subscribers to the endowment fund, the board appointed 
President Hunnicut and Professor Wiley to write letters of special appeal to these persons 
to pay the interest on their pledges. The way this system of contributing to the endowment 
worked was as follows. Individuals would give the College a note ("endowment voucher") 
for, say, $1,000; and until they could pay the note in full, they would pay interest that would 
have been earned had that thousand dollars been invested. Such income was, thus, in a 
sense, endowment income and provided the College with operating capital. President 
Hunnicut in an "Address to the Public" actually expanded this concept by specially inviting 
"any who are able to do so" to make a pledge of not less than $20,000 for an endowed pro- 
fessorship and use the method described above of paying the interest on such pledges. This 
was a bold proposal, made, obviously, to the College's most affluent and loyal patrons. If 
successful, it would have placed Centenary on a "more stable foundation" and allowed it to 
reach its educational goals "more speedily and effectively." When Hunnicut's proposal came 
out of committee, it added to the original points one additional recommendation, namely, 
that two classes of scholarships be endowed, board and tuition scholarships at $2,500 and 
tuition scholarships alone at $1,000. Also, the professorships to be endowed were enumer- 
ated: theology and Biblical literature, ancient languages, astronomy, physics, mathematics, 
and English and history (TM 1841-1907287, 290). 

Perhaps President Hunnicut proposed the endowment voucher idea and the board 
endorsed it because the interest on other endowment notes was paid in a fairly regular 
manner, and with this enhanced new plan, potential donors might be inspired to be more 
generous. The endowment was at this time - June of 1891 - $61,000; and the income 


derived from it came nowhere near supplying the needs of the College. Though the build- 
ings were at least weather-proof, their appearance was seedy and unaesthetic. The East and 
West Wings could pass muster in affording sufficient space for students' actual living quar- 
ters but were in serious need of paint and plaster, and one corner of the West Wing exterior 
had actually lost a number of bricks. Other pressing needs included one additional faculty 
member (a professor of languages), books for the library, laboratory equipment, and fac- 
ulty housing. Yet, having presented this jeremiad to the board, the committee on the state 
of the College concluded with an amazingly optimistic summary: ". . .the foundation of the 
college was never stronger and her prospects never brighter" (TM 1841-1907291-92). 

However unpromising conditions seemed to be, the board gave a promising interpre- 
tation to selected facts and figures, particularly those with pronounced religious implica- 
tions. For example, twenty- two licensed preachers and fifteen sons of preachers had been 
enrolled during the school year of 1891-92. There had been an emphasis on Bible study and 
morning and evening prayers. President Hunnicut conducted Saturday morning prayer 
meetings, and a "powerful revival" had occurred among the students, many of whom were 
"soundly converted and... signally blessed" (TM 1841-1907292). But spiritual successes of 
this nature could not augment the endowment income and thus finance desperately needed 
physical improvements and faculty salaries. Nor could it increase enrollment, and this 
turned out to be, finally, a principal contributing cause to Centenary's failure at Jackson. 

In 1892, Major R. W Millsaps, a Mississippi philanthropist, gave $50,000 for the found- 
ing in Jackson, Mississippi, of a college that would bear his name. This meant the end of 
Mississippi Conference support for Centenary. It is surely significant that Millsaps College 
was established in the largest city in the state. Other towns had vied for it, but attitudes had 
begun to change regarding the location of colleges. Whereas it had long been thought that 
ideally they should be in virtually rural settings in order to protect the male students (the 
majority in those days) from the fleshpots of the city, it was gradually becoming apparent 
that they should be in population centers where students could be more easily recruited and 
where railway lines came through. Nelson, writing in 1931, considered the establishment 
of Millsaps "a body blow [to Centenary] from which it never recovered" (262). History has 
shown that Nelson was wrong, but in the short run he was right: the founding of Millsaps 
was to play a key role in Centenary's failure in Jackson. 

The report of the auditing committee to the full board on May 31, 1892, was ominous 
in the extreme. When total expenditures of $8,296.13 were subtracted from all cash col- 
lected, $8,313.98, the balance on hand was $17.85. Moreover, the College still owed their 
fund-raiser, the Reverend Robert Harry, $279.15. This amount they paid from endowment 
funds ( TM 1841-1907299-501), a practice generally as inadvisable in that early day as it is in 
modern times though often a painful necessity in order to keep an operation going. Since 
Mr. Harry had collected $21,600 in cash and notes the past year, the board reappointed him 
as agent for 1892-93 and fixed his salary at $100 a month (TM 1841-1907302). 


During 1891-92, the perennially tight money situation at Centenary of course cur- 
tailed or prevented needed repairs; the building of a gymnasium; the purchase of labora- 
tory equipment, books, and periodicals; and, naturally, the full payment of faculty salaries. 
President Hunnicut, in his May 31, 1892, annual report, as in all his annual reports, gave 
a prominent place to the spiritual health of the student body. He always highlighted the 
number of licensed preachers and ministerial students and the beneficial influence of the 
Y.M.C.A. Likewise, he stressed the formal assemblies where "[t]he reading of the Scriptures 
at morning and evening prayers is maintained with emphasis and the order and attention. . . 
have through stricter discipline been greatly improved." He could also boast that most 
students were church members ( TM 1841-1907303-06). 

It is not amiss here to reiterate the Christian character of the College throughout the 
century. It is reasonable to assume that there was some form of religious test imposed on 
prospective faculty members though that would be superfluous for a faculty that customar- 
ily numbered several clergymen in its ranks. And except for Henry H. Gird, a soldier, and 
David O. Shattuck, a judge, every president of the College had to this time been a minister. 
Evangelical piety was promoted as much as academic excellence. Students headed for the 
ordained ministry were singled out for special mention in the president's annual reports, the 
reports of the committee on the state of the College, and the reports to the Louisiana Annual 
Conference. All students' religion and morals were of primary importance. This should not 
imply that scholarship was neglected. The careers of the graduates would contradict that. 
But the revered Wesleyan dictum of uniting "knowledge and vital piety" was regarded by the 
Conference and the Centenary trustees as the raison d'etre for the institution. 

Dr. Hunnicut, in the manner of other Centenary presidents, did not neglect to report 
on the physical health of the student body. This was an age when an epidemic of dis- 
ease such as yellow fever could easily decimate a college population in a short time. It is 
hardly surprising then to find President Hunnicut exulting in the "remarkably good" health 
of students. The lone exception was one young man who died early in the school term. 
Hunnicut's comment: "[He] no doubt brought the seeds of disease germinating in his sys- 
tem" ( TM 1841-1907 303). Hunnicut was always scrupulous to absolve the College of any 
responsibility for any student's demise. A year earlier, he had reported the death of one B. 
R. Tanner, "who died it is believed in consequence of his own imprudence" (Cent. Coll. Cat. 
1891 34). This tactless observation must have been cold comfort to Tanner's family! 

On June 5, 1893, President Hunnicut, doubtless frustrated by the constant lack of 
operating capital, submitted his resignation to the board. His ostensible reason was that 
he thought another man might do a better job. In any event, on the next day the board 
unanimously declined to accept the resignation. Various stratagems were resorted to in 
an attempt to alleviate the financial crunch. For example, the board decreed that no more 
living timber could be cut from College grounds except for fuel in the classrooms. Later, 
they did away with tuition but required instead an annual admission fee of $30, payable in 


advance. The faculty were allowed to collect a $5 deposit from each student to pay for dam- 
ages to College property or "other contingent expenses." None of these measures seems to 
have had much effect. The deficit for the 1892-93 school year was $1,147.64, which would 
have "to be sustained by the. . .Faculty" if the board could not come up with the money ( TM 

But another serious problem, low student enrollment, elicited from Dr. Hunnicut an 
uncharacteristically somber warning in this annual report: "The reason for this falling 
off should be inquired into by this board." Only 78 students had been in attendance in 
1892-93. Since the students' request for a gymnasium - it was to have cost $300 - had fallen 
on deaf board ears, the president reported that students had fitted up one themselves with 
the consent of the board and that it had resulted in both physical and mental good ( TM 

There must have been times when President Hunnicut rejoiced to have problems which 
did not threaten the existence of the institution, however mundane they might be. For 
example, when listening to a report of the committee on the state of the College, it must 
have been a downright relief to him that Centenary's representatives would have to confer 
with the health officers of Jackson "as to the best means of disposing of the excrement in 
the college grounds." And it should have been little short of bliss when the board resolved a 
short time later that "two Privies be built for the use of the college and that the Janitor of the 
College be employed and it is a part of his business to keep them clean each morning and 
to cover up all excrement with fresh earth" (TM 1841-1907314, 317). If board members or 
administrative officers saw any incongruity in the juxtaposition of honorary degrees, waste 
removal, and the benediction by the president, there is no indication in the minutes. 

What may have troubled President Hunnicut as much as anything was the low enroll- 
ment, which in the last five years had declined almost fifty percent (Misc. Reg. Rec). The 
College had been operating during 1892-93 without a professor of English language and lit- 
erature, but the board resolved to authorize the hiring of one only if the enrollment reached 
120 by the fall of 1893. However, they were not compelled to follow this expedient. Instead, 
in the same meeting on June 7, 1893, they abolished the position of tutor, reinstated the 
chair of English language and literature, and elected the Reverend W. J. Roberts to fill it at a 
salary of $700 a year ( TM 1841 -1907 310-1 1 ). 

When President Hunnicut resigned on June 4, 1894, the board met the next day and 
elected the Reverend Dr. C. W Carter to succeed him (TM 1841-1907311,316). Carter had 
been editor of the New Orleans Christian Advocate and had the reputation of being a great 
editor and a great preacher (Nelson 267). Among the issues to arise in his presidency only a 
year after his election was a "memorial" to him from the faculty recommending the admis- 
sion of women into the College. The memorial was read to the board, who voted to table it 
"for the present" (TM 1841- 1 907 3 19). 

With the new College administration, the board continued its practice of budgeting 


quite respectable salaries ($1,500 for the president and $1,000 each for the faculty and the 
head of the preparatory department) and then including a proviso in the contracts that 
those salaries had to be paid out of tuition, fees, endowment interest, and conference con- 
tributions and that if these monies were not sufficient, the deficit was in no case to be 
considered a debt of the College ( TM 1841-1907 321). This course of action could hardly 
have been encouraging to a new president. 

But President Carter was one not easily daunted. Centenary was his alma mater. There 
he had graduated first in the Class of 1855, then entered Tulane University Law School, 
where he was valedictorian of the Class of 1857. Three years later, he entered the Methodist 
ministry. In short, he was a man of considerable ability excellently trained (La. Conf. 
Min. 1913 53-56). And he used all of his powers and natural gifts to advance the cause of 
Centenary during his presidency. His forensic skills - numerous commentators praised 
them extravagantly - apparently dated from his student days at Centenary, where he was a 
member of The Seven Wise Men, a secret society that stressed "literary work of a strict and 
high character." This activity doubtless led to his interest in style both in the written and the 
spoken word. He once said to a friend, "I have read every book on rhetoric and homiletics 
that I could lay my hands on" (La. Conf. Min. 1913 56). When the Annual Conference met 
at Jackson, Louisiana, late in 1895, a year after he had become president, Carter evidently 
pulled out all the oratorical stops, causing one reporter to enthuse: 

[Dr. Carter's] address surpassed even the most sanguine expectation 
of those who know him best. In phrase and fact, in word and worth, it 
surpassed anything that has been delivered before the Louisiana Annual 
Conference in these latter years ("Louisiana Conference" 4). 

Two months earlier in the New Orleans Christian Advocate, Carter had adopted a humor- 
ous but mildly professorial tone toward recalcitrant donors: "Now you who are indebted to 
us, don't forget that we very much need what you owe. You can get a postal money order 
anywhere, and that is one of the best ways to send money" (Carter, C. W, "Money" 5). 

Perhaps no president before him had worked any harder or with more passion than 
Carter. During 1895 and 1896, his letters and articles appeared with almost dogged con- 
sistency and unfailing vigor in trying to recruit students (Carter, C. W, "Boys" 4) or raise 
money for books, scholarships, salaries, and building repairs (Carter, C. W, "Books" 4). 
Sometimes he would appeal to donors to make good on delinquent notes (pledges). Or, 
he might be reporting on the good behavior of students, the conscientious work of both 
students and faculty, and the numbers of religious conversions among students. On occa- 
sion, there would be discrepancies in his evaluations, as when on one occasion he wrote of 
the campus buildings being "well equipped" (Carter, C. W., "Our" 1) and on another only 
four months later (Carter, C. W., "Centenary" 1) he declared it would take at least $2,000 
and more "to put [the buildings] in proper condition"! Dr. Carter's earlier pronounce- 
ment would appear to represent a harried administrator's attempt to put the best face on 


a troublesome problem in the hope that benefactors would draw the proper inference and 
respond accordingly. His latter reaction simply reveals an increasingly exasperated frame 
of mind when after two years of persistent and eloquent pleading for money to repair seri- 
ously deteriorating campus buildings, he finally disclosed the minimum dollars and cents 
figure necessary. 

By the time he had been on the job around a year and a half, President Carter had con- 
cluded that Louisiana Methodists were dragging their feet when it came to giving money 
to Centenary. Moreover, he did not disguise his irritability. In a letter from the College to 
Methodists in general, he wondered aloud why 30,000 of them could not raise $25,000 for 
an endowed professorship. He challenged the "good women" of the church, the youths in 
the Epworth League, and the preachers themselves to do more. Indeed, he opined that the 
preachers "by a little self-denying effort" could raise enough money for the endowed chair 
during the year. He ruled out any possibility of visiting the churches of the Conference on 
the grounds of not being able to pay for his traveling expenses out of a half salary, another 
not very veiled instance of upbraiding Methodists for their niggardliness (Carter, C. W., 

Months later to the same audience, President Carter revealed himself in one of his 
pricklier moods. The subject was the free tuition awarded to ministers and ministers' sons, 
specifically, who was to pay for it? Carter painstakingly - and somewhat condescendingly 
- explained to his readers the rationale for the "educational collection" in the Conference 
which the College had settled on to find money for this expense. The reluctance of Louisiana 
Methodists to respond positively to this appeal prompted Carter's rather scolding tone. 
And what exacerbated the problem in his mind was the fact that the Centenary faculty were 
making up the deficit caused by this expense. For example, the tuition costs for ministers 
and/or ministers' sons in the preceding session was $690. The educational collection netted 
only $335. The balance was paid by the faculty. Dr. Carter goes on to complain bitterly: 
. . .the six teachers in our college contributed $20 more to the education 
of ministers and ministers' sons than the 28,000 Methodists in our church. 
In other words, the teachers in our college contributed for the education of 
preachers and preachers' sons last year $59.16 apiece, while the members 
of our church contributed one cent and one-fifth of a cent apiece! Now, I 
ask, Why should each of these teachers be made to pay five thousand times 
as much for this object as other members of the church? The pastors and 
people surely do not see this matter as it really is. 

What is the outlook for the present session? Already the tuition for 
preachers and preachers' sons amounts to $800. If the collection does not 
increase this year, then each teacher will pay $75 toward the education of our 
preachers and preachers' sons. The injustice of this ought to be apparent to 


Brethren, if you desire this work of educating your sons and young 
preachers to go on, then take this unjust burden off our backs by bringing up 
to Conference enough money to pay the full amount of these tuition fees. It 
is a shame for the church to allow six men to do more in this matter than all 
the other members put together (Carter, C. W.,"The Educational" 1). 
Carter's parting shot in the fall of 1896 came in a letter dated October 25, 1896, and 
entitled "Do They Want It?" This was a singularly acerbic piece, in which Carter concluded 
that Louisiana Methodists did not really want Centenary College. He based this opinion on 
the shabby way they treated the institution. Not only were they not forthcoming with their 
money in the present crisis, they also refused to send their sons as students. The following 
sharply worded passage may be taken as typical Carter invective in this critical period: 
A brother wrote us that he "took great interest in Centenary and would 
rejoice in its success," and then sent his boys to a State college! Such inter- 
est as that is a pure humbug! That man ought to come here and let us teach 
him the meaning of some English words. We have up to this date enrolled 
sixty five students! If this enrollment is not in evidence that the Methodists 
of Louisiana do not want the college, what does it mean? 

In a former article I showed that the teachers in the college are doing 
more in the matter of money towards the education of preachers' sons and 
young preachers than all the church put together. Now, put these things 
alongside each other, and the question asked is answered negatively. Then 
why should three preachers and four laymen stay and work where they are 
not wanted (Carter, C. W 4)? 
The situation did not improve. At the end of his third year as president of Centenary, 
Dr. Carter wrote an annual report detailing the seriousness of the predicament which the 
College found itself in. The school year began in the fall of 1896 with 70 students and ended 
with 50. That was 24 fewer than the last year; the loss was primarily in the preparatory 
department, a fact that may have been attributable to a tuition increase there. But Carter 
saved his bluntest and most plaintive request for last: "I again ask you to do something 
toward putting the buildings in repair. The unsightly appearance which presents itself is 
working us harm and it is not a good thing to educate the young men in the midst of such 
sights" ( TM 1841-1907328). The advertising, public relations, and educational harm which 
these dilapidated buildings were causing seemed to have engendered in President Carter a 
feeling bordering on both alarm and disgust. 

On a more positive note, on June 2, 1897, the faculty sent the board a resolution "memo- 
rializing" that body to establish a committee of its members to visit College classes in ses- 
sion in order to gain a clearer and better understanding of the work done in the academic 
departments. The committee was duly appointed ( TM 1841-1907329). 

On June 2, 1897, the finance committee of the board reported a deficit of $1,436.05 in 


faculty salaries. Given that fact, one wonders why the same report should contain a recom- 
mendation to raise the president's salary to $1,772 and the professors' to $1,182. Of course, 
the same proviso in the last year's budget was included, namely, that salaries were to come only 
from tuition, endowment interest, and the annual conference and that the College was not 
responsible for salary deficits arising from inadequate funds from those sources ( TM 1841-1907 
329-30). It would be understandable if the faculty were less than thrilled at the proposed salary 
increases: it had been years since they received the salary stipulated in their contracts. 

President Carter's annual report on June 6, 1898, described a worsening situation on all 
fronts - enrollment, finances, and faculty. Once again a yellow fever epidemic cut into an 
already low enrollment for the fall 1897 term. Though a few students continued to trickle 
in after the Christmas holidays, the total number reached only a depressing 61. Because of 
the "scant amount" of endowment income and the "meagerness" of tuition income, it was 
necessary to reduce the number of faculty. This was doubly alarming when the Reverend 
W. J. Roberts, professor of English language and literature, left to accept an appointment 
from the Louisiana Annual Conference. His work load had to be picked up by the remain- 
ing professors. In late March of 1898, President Carter's son, the Reverend Thomas Carter, 
professor of Greek and Latin, resigned to accept a teaching position at Tulane. With no 
money to replace the younger Carter, the College was forced to use senior students to teach 
his classes. Apparently, despite the practice's being highly irregular, the work was done sat- 
isfactorily. Throughout the spring semester, four faculty members did the work of six yet 
did not receive even half their contractual salaries. Small wonder that the faculty felt the 
board "ought to make some provision to pay them the Salaries earned with double labor 
and much anxiety of mind" ( TM 1841-1907331). 

Four years of such precarious institutional existence were apparently enough for 
President Carter, who on June 7, 1898, resigned. At the same meeting, the board elected the 
Reverend Dr. I. W. Cooper of Moss Point, Mississippi, to succeed him (TM 1841-1907333). 

Whether the recent interest among the students in outfitting a gymnasium had sparked 
renewed and increased interest in athletics is not clear; but if it had, the trustees meant to 
nip it in the bud. On the same day that they elected Dr. Cooper president, they passed a 
resolution forbidding any student or faculty member from engaging "in any Intercollegiate 
contests, of Baseball, or football; or in any physical games outside of the college campus" 
(TM 1841-1907 335). This seems an uncommonly repressive policy, given the robust and 
exuberant physical spirits of most boys of the period, raised around horses, enjoying hunt- 
ing and fishing, and generally relishing athletic competition. Moreover, athletics were very 
much an official part of college life in the older institutions of the United States. 

Sports were hardly crowding out academic pursuits at Centenary. Though plenty of 
student high jinks had taken place through the ages, neither they nor sports, organized 
or unorganized, seemed to have interfered with the overall emphasis on academics. The 
two literary societies, the Union, founded in 1842, and the Franklin, founded in 1843, had 


flourished for over a half century and had exercised a good influence on the intellectual 
life of the College. The Lafayette Society, established in the 1850s to foster debate in the 
French language, lasted only a short while as the Union and Franklin united to force the 
parvenus out (Cent. Sesqui. 9). The questions which these societies debated often had a 
singularly modern practical relevance. For example, the topic for March 19, 1886, was "is 
the publication of the details of crime as now conducted by the newspapers promotive of 
public morality?" (Adams 1). 

These literary societies played a major role in the overall development of Centenary 
men. Each society had its own private room in the grand Centre Building along with very 
considerable libraries, collections that were distinct from the College Library. The purpose 
of the societies was to teach oratorical skills, the ability to think on one's feet, and a breadth 
of general information. Such experiences were excellent preparation for civic and profes- 
sional life. In 1900, Monday was a holiday at Centenary, and that was the day the two 
societies met, separately, to practice speeches. Perhaps ninety percent of the student body 
belonged to either the Union or the Franklin Society. Occasionally, there, Centenary men 
debated men from another institution, but the high point of the year in terms of excitement 
and rivalry was the contest between the Unions and the Franklins themselves. In those days, 
it was held on Washington's birthday or the Friday closest to it. Feelings were at a fever 
pitch, more like the partisanship of contemporary college athletics than the intellectual 
stimulation generated by wrestling with the challenge of whether "the United States should 
enter into reciprocal trade relations with all other countries," the debate topic for February 
1901 (Nelson 288-89). The College's commencement exercises also always featured public 
speaking contests between the Franklin and the Union. In the early days of the College, it 
had not been unusual for commencement exercises to last three days and to attract as many 
as 2,000 people. Distinguished platform guests had been common and regularly included 
the governors of Louisiana and Mississippi. One or more of these personages would address 
both literary societies. Public speaking at Centenary before the Civil War had been among 
the most popular student activities. Even freshmen and youngsters from the preparatory 
department had gotten into the act declaiming famous speeches from the classics of Greece 
and Rome (Nelson 145-51). The importance of the literary societies seems to have dimin- 
ished gradually in the first quarter of the twentieth century, so that they are not mentioned 
in College catalogues after 1927. 

Throughout the nineteenth century, secret societies and fraternities played much less 
prominent roles in college life than the literary societies if we can judge from the number 
of references to them. So far as is known, there were only three secret societies - The Mystic 
Seven, The Palladians, and the Seven Wise Men. The Temple of the Wreath chapter of the 
Mystic Seven had been founded in 1849 by Daniel Martindale, professor of natural history, 
who had joined the order at Wesleyan University (Cent. Sesqui. 8). In 1859, the board of 
trustees went on record as taking a very dim view of secret societies. They passed a resolution 


recognizing only the Mystics (The Mystic Seven) and the Palladians and actually deplored 
what they evidently thought was a proliferation of such societies as an evil that would ulti- 
mately "impair the usefulness of the College" {TM 1841-1907 146). In 1890, the Mystic Seven 
merged with Beta Theta Pi, founded in 1839 at Miami University of Oxford, Ohio. Because of 
the secrecy surrounding such groups, it is impossible now to know their numbers, names, and 
dates, but at least one, the Seven Wise Men, included among its members between 1851-54, C. 
W. Carter, who would later become president of Centenary (La. Conf. Min. 1913 56). 

The first fraternity to be chartered at Centenary was the Theta Chapter of Phi Kappa 
Sigma in 1855. The fraternity had been founded at the University of Pennsylvania in 1850. 
The 1856 amended constitution required the unanimous consent of all chapters before 
any new chapter could be approved. This effectively curtailed the establishment of a num- 
ber of chapters north of the Mason-Dixon Line since Southern chapters would block the 
application of schools with abolitionist sentiments. The Centenary chapter petitioned the 
other Southern chapters seeking their approval of a further constitutional amendment that 
would stipulate that the fraternity "be an organization for white men, and for white men 
only." After debate, this was voted down. In 1861, Centenary ceased to be an active chap- 
ter as did all the other Southern schools (; http:// 

In January 1858, Delta Kappa Epsilon became the second fraternity to be chartered at 
Centenary. It had been founded at Yale in 1844. A total of forty-nine members were initi- 
ated into Centenary's Zeta Zeta chapter between 1858 and 1862, when the entire chapter 
joined the Confederate Army. Fifteen of these were killed in action or died from wounds or 
illness. An attempt to revive the chapter after the War failed, and the charter was returned 
to fraternity headquarters at Yale. In 1923, it was re-issued to Louisiana State University 
in Baton Rouge (, 
chapters.html). Other fraternities which got their start at Centenary in the nineteenth cen- 
tury were Kappa Sigma (1885) and Kappa Alpha (1891) (Scales 13). 

President Cooper had hardly gotten settled into office when he had to confront a prob- 
lem that could have adverse consequences for enrollment at Centenary, namely, the prospect 
of a yellow fever epidemic in Jackson and its environs. When school opened in September 
of 1898, a quarantine was already in effect (Keener 1). And though some delayed their 
matriculation for various reasons, over one hundred students had enrolled by September 
26, and President Cooper was inviting students from "uninfected points" to get health cer- 
tificates, come to Jackson, and make up the work they had missed by getting a late start 
(Cooper, "Centenary" [Oct. 6, 1898] 2). By October 10, College officials had contacted 
parents and used public notices that doctors had pronounced the College and the town 
beyond any danger. Centenary continued, however, to restrict all access to the campus by 
non-College folk and forbade students to leave the campus. Other sanitary regulations, 
equally strict, were enforced; for example, clothes were not allowed to be passed to or from 


the campus and were vigorously laundered every Saturday on the College grounds (Sullivan 
5). The last mention of health conditions at Centenary that fall came in a public notice on 
November 7 by Dr. A. R. Holcombe, Parish and Town Health Officer, certifying that "There 
is no sickness of any kind among the students of Centenary College, and anyone can attend 
the College with safety" (Holcombe 5). 

A project especially dear to President Cooper's heart and one to which he devoted 
considerable time and energy was making a Centenary education available for poor boys. 
Higher education at a state institution was decidedly less expensive than at a private one, 
and Cooper was so convinced of the superiority of a church-related college education that 
he sought to make it as affordable as possible for boys of modest means. For example, 
he introduced in early July, a "mess hall" on campus, where board was only $7 a month 
(Chisler 2). When he preached out in the Conference, Cooper would appeal to congrega- 
tions for financial support for a loan fund for poor boys to attend Centenary (Davis, J. 5). 
During the Thanksgiving season of 1898, he exhorted Louisiana Methodists to contribute 
toward the $500 goal for his poor boys' fund to provide such students with the means to get 
a Centenary education (Cooper, "To The Methodists" 5). 

Earlier Centenary presidents had championed the cause of education in a church -related 
institution, but in the second year of his presidency, Cooper may be said to have made it a 
principal promotional focus - and he did not mince words. In his early published remarks 
on the subject, he makes the distinction clear between a state-supported and a church- 
supported education. A state college or university offers a secular education, designed to 
produce enlightened citizens. An institution of the church purposes to go beyond that and 
graduate a person of high moral character based on the Christian religion. The state school 
is staffed or authorized to teach religion. The church-related college by its charter seeks to 
protect students from immorality and guide and direct them into Christian living even as it 
trains them for careers in the workaday world ("Our" 1). 

Cooper was well aware of the fact that Centenary, as a liberal arts institution of the 
Church, was in competition with state schools. This meant that Centenary had to have 
good instructors and physical facilities. Cooper expressed his confidence that Centenary's 
faculty and curriculum were up to the mark but made it plain to lay persons out in the 
conference that their strong support would be necessary for Centenary to compete on all 
fronts (Cooper, "Our" 1). Proponents also liked to cite the records of Centenary students 
attending graduate school and seminary at Vanderbilt and compared them favorably with 
students from Emory College, later Emory University. Regular Sunday services and prayer 
meetings, the Epworth League, and the presence of the Y. M. C. A. - all these campus oppor- 
tunities for spiritual growth were held up as compelling reasons why parents should send 
their sons to Centenary for the well-rounded training of intellect and character (Cooper, 
"Centenary" [Sept. 28, 1899] 4). 

The 75 th anniversary of Centenary's history drew to a close as the 20 th century dawned 


- in the exact middle of President Cooper's four-year tenure. An unnamed lecturer at the 
College in late 1899 published a rosy view of the campus and its "extensive repairs and 
improvements," mentioning particularly the renovated chapel ("At Centenary" 4). The 
enrollment was certainly up: 151 students in the school year 1899-1900 (Misc. Reg. Rec). 
Still, there seemed to be no delivery from the financial plight which the College perpetu- 
ally found itself in; and though the buildings were frequently repaired, they too remained 
constantly in need of radical maintenance. 

It is interesting to note how little living conditions for students changed during the 
nineteenth century. Dormitory rooms in the East and West Wings were from their begin- 
nings spartan, and late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century accounts make this quite 
clear. Each room was about twenty feet square with a fireplace five feet wide and four feet 
deep, and, of course, that was the only heat. A mantel over the fireplace served as a book- 
shelf. Wood was cheap; a winter's - and half a spring's - supply cost only a dollar. The 
room for two boys contained a double bed, a wooden table, two chairs, a washstand with a 
bowl and pitcher, and a small table with a galvanized bucket on it. (This last amenity seems 
to have been a twentieth-century addition.) Water was carried to the rooms from a cistern. 
Of course, outdoor privies served as toilet facilities. For these accommodations, a student 
in the 1890s and early twentieth century paid $2 a year. Board ranged from $8 to $8.50 
a month (Scales 13; Nelson 281). This general situation obtained as long as Centenary 
remained in Jackson. 



Chapter VI 

Centenary Enters the Twentieth Century - and Finds a New Home in Shreveport 

As early as June 3, 1895, the faculty had recommended to the board that female stu- 
dents be admitted to the College. That business was tabled, however, and no mention of it 
occurs in board minutes for five years! Still, at some point women were obviously admitted 
because on June 2, 1900, the board "ordered" the faculty to give certificates to two sisters, 
Carrie and Willie Schwing, for having completed the Bachelor of Science course and to a 
Miss Dawson for the A. B. work in the School of English ( TM 1841-1907 344). Something 
must have prevented Miss Dawson from receiving her certificate because her name does not 
appear in any subsequent listing of alumni as the names of the Misses Schwing do. It should 
be noted that these women did not receive diplomas of degrees like the male graduates; they 
were awarded "certificates" testifying that they had done all of the work required for the 
degree. Another five years would elapse before the board would take action authorizing 
that women be admitted to Centenary as "regular matriculates," that they "receive diplomas 
and degrees on the same conditions as men," and that all women who had formerly received 
only certificates now be granted diplomas {TM 1841-1907 379). (On June 2, 1902, the 
faculty had recommended to the board that women receive degrees on the same conditions 
as men, that is, with diplomas worded in exactly the same way. But the board refused to 
accept the recommendation and, instead, continued the practice of awarding "certificates" 
to women until 1905 [TM 1841-1907356].) 

While under President Cooper, Centenary was taking the first steps toward bringing 
women students into full academic citizenship, it effected what many might construe as a 
puzzling action for a liberal arts college with Centenary's history, namely, the establishment 
of a commercial school. On June 3, 1901, the board received from Mr. Frank Herr, owner 
of the Jackson Railroad and a resident of Jackson, Louisiana, a proposal whereby he would 
furnish and equip with modern business machines a department at Centenary to be known 
as Centenary College Commercial Institute. Herr's proposal contained other "minor" con- 
ditions: the equipment could be used only for and in the Institute and would revert to 
the donor if the Institute should be discontinued or abolished; any student could take the 
commercial course only and not be required to take the traditional liberal arts curriculum; 
finally, the Institute was to be a department of the College, subject to the same control as the 
other departments. "Commercial Hall," the new name, would be located in the old chapel, 


now "ready for occupancy [and] modernly equipped" (TM 1841-1907 348-49). Students 
who successfully completed both the regular business curriculum and the Advanced 
Business Course received the degree B.C.S. (Bachelor of Commercial Science). This course 
included "Banking, Stock and Corporation Accounting, Science of Accounts, Railroading, 
Political Economy, International Law, Spanish, Penmanship, English, and Spelling" {Cent. 
Coll. Cat. 1903-04 33-34). 

The trustees lost no time in accepting Herr's offer and officially thanking him for it. It 
was an act of generosity on his part as well as the honest belief that such offerings would 
enhance the educational program at Centenary, especially in that they would provide an 
opportunity for even traditional students to acquire practical business knowledge. J. M. 
Reaser was named to head the commercial department. Mr. Reaser received his training at 
the "Patrick Commercial School and York College of Business, Penn." No academic degree 
follows his listing in the faculty section of the 1901-02 school year (Cent. Coll. Cat. 6); he 
apparently retained this position as long as the College remained in Jackson. There is no 
indication that either Mr. Herr or the trustees saw anything incongruous or academically 
inappropriate in having a commercial curriculum at Centenary. Indeed, the trustees almost 
surely saw Herr's gift as a way of increasing enrollment and thereby income. Money was 
always in short supply whether for salaries, repairs, library books, or equipment. 

This hand-to-mouth existence had serious consequences in higher church circles. The 
Reverend R. H. La Prade, a Centenary trustee and a member of the Methodist Church's 
General Board of Education, at the June 4, 1901, meeting informed the Centenary board that 
he had been instructed to tell that group that the General Board had received no report from 
Centenary for that year, hence could not give the College "a classification" (TM 1841^1907 
324). This probably involved some kind of accreditation though it is nowhere made clear. 
Presumably, Centenary addressed and corrected the problem with all due expediency. 

In June of 1901, a faculty committee made up of H. B. Carre, professor of Greek 
language and English Bible; C. N. Lynch, professor of Latin language and literature; and R. 
P. Linfield, headmaster of the fitting school (as the preparatory department had come to be 
known) petitioned the trustees to allow a Centenary baseball team to play a "reasonable" 
number of intercollegiate games. Among other reasons for this request, the committee 
cited a revival of school spirit and the high degree of divisive factionalism which intramural 
sports were causing. An amendment stipulated that the team not travel on Sunday and 
that the privilege be granted for one year. The board granted the request (TM 1841-1907 

A shortage of classroom space at this time prompted the faculty to seek trustee approval 
for pre-empting two Centre Building rooms long used by the Kappa Sigma fraternity and 
the Kappa Alpha Order. President Cooper suggested that the board appoint a committee 
to "confer" with those organizations. This the board did, but apparently it was not a matter 
of high priority, for a year elapsed before the committee reported its actions back to the 


board on June 2, 1902. It had "secured" the room formerly occupied by the KA's, paid them 
$20 for improvements they had made over the years, and converted it into quarters for the 
fitting school. Kappa Sigma was allowed to continue using their room at an annual rent of 
$25. A similar proposition was agreed to by Pi Kappa Alpha, which was not involved in the 
original discussion, with the annual rent being $15 (TM 1841-1907359). 

The board at this 1902 meeting ratified the faculty's election of J. M. Reaser to head the 
commercial department but stipulated in addition a number of conditions. Reaser would 
have to pay the College a seventh of all first-year student fees and a third of all second-year 
student fees plus $30 for "catalogue expenses" and $30 for coal. Finally, Reaser was respon- 
sible for paying his own assistants and all other expenses of the department. The monies 
referred to above were pure profit for the College; nor was the College "responsible for any 
debts or liabilities incurred by this department" ( TM 1847-1907 359). This insistence that 
the commercial department be totally self-sustaining in its personnel, its quarters, its equip- 
ment, its funding, its very listing in the College catalogue and that it be responsible for any 
debts and liabilities it might incur suggests a somewhat qualified acceptance of it by the 
trustees and the academic community in general, despite the trustees' initial enthusiastic 
gratitude to Mr. Herr, the philanthropist who had underwritten much of it. It should be 
remembered that Mr. Herr attached some strings to his benefaction in order to cut his own 
losses should the enterprise come a cropper. 

At a called meeting on June 4, 1902, President Cooper read what must have been the 
tersest resignation on record at Centenary: "I decided on last evening to offer my resigna- 
tion and hereby offer the same." What caused Cooper to resign so abruptly is not indicated 
in the trustee minutes. A day earlier, the trustees had "resolved" to elect Cooper president, a 
puzzling action since he was already president. They also recommended that he spend most 
of his time fund-raising off campus and that Professor H. B. Carre be elected vice-president 
to run the College in Cooper's absence. Nothing extraordinary appears in the minutes 
that might have triggered Cooper's dramatic and apparently unexpected resignation. The 
board accepted it in view of Cooper's insistence on resigning (TM 1841-1907358, 360). The 
minutes are silent with regard to this insistence or what might have prompted it. 

President Cooper seems to have been generally regarded as an effective administrator. 
He was a capable fund-raiser; some improvements were made in the physical plant during 
his tenure; that is, buildings did not fall in on the occupants' heads; women were slowly but 
surely becoming accepted as academic peers; and a commercial department was added to 
the instructional program. 

To replace Mr. Cooper, the trustees went to the faculty and named the Reverend Henry 
Beach Carre, professor of the Greek language and the English Bible (Cent. Coll. Cat. 19066). 
The exact date of the election of Mr. Carre to succeed Cooper is not recorded in the trustee 
minutes; but it must have been very shortly after the resignation. The first official refer- 
ence to Mr. Carre as Centenary president comes in the minutes of the trustees' executive 


committee at their New Orleans meeting on March 25, 1903, an occasion destined to have 
special significance in the re-location of the College to Shreveport (TM 1841-1907362). 

The Reverend Henry Beach Carre, seventeenth president of Centenary, was a gifted 
teacher and preacher who had an excellent academic background. The son of a wealthy 
New Orleans lumberman who was also a devout Methodist, Carre took his bachelor of 
arts degree at Tulane, where he was a member of Sigma Chi and earned a Phi Beta Kappa 
key. His bachelor of divinity degree was from Vanderbilt in 1898, after which he studied 
theology for two years at Berlin and Marburg. In the course of these studies he acquired a 
speaking knowledge of French and German. While serving from 1900 to 1902 as pastor of 
the Methodist Church in Jackson, Louisiana, he first taught Greek and Bible at Centenary 
before being named president. He had for some time interested himself in the College, 
at one point giving it $1,500 to be used as a student loan fund, an action made possible 
because of his having independent means. (In 1913, the University of Chicago awarded 
him the Ph.D.; his dissertation was entitled Paul's Doctrine of Redemption [La. Conf. Min. 

Carre's tenure as president of Centenary was brief, less than a year, in fact. One can 
only speculate as to his reasons for staying such a short time. Certainly, conditions at 
Centenary were bad enough. Though occasionally committees on the state of the College 
buildings would issue some report that might contain a glimmer of progress, in the main 
their findings were dismal recitals of ever- recurring problems. These would be dispiriting 
if not alarming to a man whose primary interests lay in subjects like Paul's doctrine of 
redemption. W. H. Nelson, who was a student while Carre was president, writes that he 
was a refined, cultured gentleman on whom coarseness "grated." An episode that illustrated 
this involved a group of younger students charged with putting axle grease on a classroom 
blackboard. Though evidence was strongly against them and President Carre urged them 
to confess, they refused to do so. Their gross misbehavior, along with their obduracy, both 
hurt and disgusted Carre. When he was offered the Chair of Biblical Theology and English 
Exegesis in Vanderbilt University, it must have seemed providential to the exasperated Carre. 
He later occupied the Chair of Old Testament Languages and Literature at Vanderbilt (La. 
Conf. Min. 1928 112). (It should be pointed out here that "a few years before 1900" a group 
of students led by S. L. Riggs was in favor of moving Centenary out of Jackson, going so far 
as to petition the Conference to do so [Nelson 306] ). 

Brief as Dr. Carre's tenure as Centenary president was, it marked the first formal 
attempt to move the College to Shreveport. On March 25, 1903, the executive committee 
of the board of trustees met in New Orleans at the Carondelet Street Methodist Church. 
Six men were present, including President Carre. An item of business which would have 
significant implications was the reading of a communique from the Reverend W E. Boggs, 
pastor of the First Methodist Church of Shreveport, in the form of a resolution addressed 
to President Carre. Boggs's letter, dated March 18, quoted an "offer" from the Shreveport 


Progressive League, to the Louisiana Annual Conference to finance the moving of Centenary 
from Jackson to Shreveport. It is not clear from the record whether the impetus to move 
Centenary originated with the League, which wanted to bring a college to Shreveport for 
civic boosterism purposes, or with the Louisiana Annual Conference, many of whose mem- 
bers had grave doubts about Centenary's ability to survive in Jackson. The Reverend Mr. 
Boggs acted on behalf of the Progressive League in subsequent negotiations between the 
League and the Conference. In substance, the city of Shreveport offered the Conference 
both money and land to re-locate Centenary in Shreveport. In most respects, it was an 
attractive offer. The city of Shreveport levied a two-mill property tax for ten years on a tax 
base of $2,100,234; this would have produced a revenue of $42,004.68 annually to be given 
to the Louisiana Conference if Centenary were moved to Shreveport. Also, the Methodist 
Church in Shreveport pledged another $5,250 (for one year only); so that the Conference 
had immediately available for the first year $47,254.68 if they voted to move Centenary to 
Shreveport (La. Conf. Min. 1904 53). 

On its part, the Conference had to assent to certain conditions, the first being that the 
Conference had to raise $100,000 in cash or endowment to be controlled and used by the 
College. Further, the Conference must agree that the College be located within three miles 
of the parish courthouse. Finally, the Conference had to secure the land and build the 
main building before the end of 1905. As may be imagined, there was opposition to this 
move, from the citizens of Jackson and from some College trustees and ministers in the 
Conference. Bishop Keener, the long-time president of the Centenary board of trustees, 
was the most vocal and the most determined opponent of the move. At the board's meet- 
ing on June 1, 1903, he ruled out of order the report of the meeting of the executive com- 
mittee of the board in New Orleans on March 25, directing that its minutes be eliminated 
because it was not a legal meeting as it lacked a quorum. Following a lengthy discussion, the 
board voted to postpone action until the afternoon session. At that time, the board voted 
against Bishop Keener's position, resolving to adopt the report of the March 25 meeting. A 
part of that report authorized President Carre to examine "the purport and scope" of the 
Shreveport offer and report to the Centenary board of trustees (TM 1841-1907361-63). 

The next day, June 2, 1903, Carre resigned as president of Centenary but as Conference 
secretary of education gave his report on the Shreveport offer to be the new location of 
Centenary. Bishop Keener ruled him out of order, but the board members voted 7 to 1 
against the decision of the chair; and Carre's report was received as information. In the 
meantime, the physical condition of College structures continued to deteriorate. Leaky 
roofs on the East Wing and the Centre Building were causing serious water damage. Gallery 
railings, stairs, banisters, pillars, plaster - all were in "very bad condition" and needed 
immediate attention. Despite this catalogue of problems, the committee on the state of 
the College concluded that buildings were "in a fair state of preservation" (TM 1841-1907 


One year later, apparently nothing had been done to remedy this situation, and the 
report of the committee describes a set of affairs that can only be denominated as deplor- 
able in the extreme, even shocking. A passage from that report indicates that it is no longer 
possible to imply that patchwork and stopgap measures can set things right: 

In the West Wing many of the rooms are in a wrecked condition - some 
of the windows have not one glass remaining in the sash, others have no 
remains of sash. Some of the doors are broken; the few blinds remaining 
present a tattered appearance. In many of the rooms now occupied the fur- 
niture is broken and unfit for use. The unoccupied rooms contain remains 
of broken furniture and an intolerable accumulation of filth, while the fire- 
place of one room has evidently been used as a urinal. The East-Wing 
is not quite so sad a wreck, but gives evidence of severe handling.-many 
glasses are gone from the windows, and several doors and window-blinds 
broken. In both wings there is much unsightly scribbling with chalk and 
pencil. One room bears the inscription above the door 'Hell No. 2\ another 
'Saloon'] The main building is in better condition, but there are many 
marks of bad treatment visible. Some plastering has fallen in the entrance 
of the hall-way and in the Chapel; there is unsightly scribbling on the walls 
and doors, especially about the main entrance. The reciting rooms, the 
rooms of the preparatory department in particular, are dirty and unsightly. 
We noticed many broken glasses in the windows; also absence of the glass 
panels in doors of Commercial room (TM 1841-1907 371). 
It is almost incomprehensible that Bishop Keener and the few trustees who supported 
him could have failed to see that Centenary at Jackson had finally come to the end of its 
rope. Decades of inadequate funding had resulted in an ill-paid faculty and a physical plant 
both unsightly and increasingly unsafe from deterioration and vandalism. The beautiful 
rural setting, once deemed an asset for the College, was so far removed from population 
centers that recruiting students had become a serious problem, aggravated by competition 
from state institutions. Had there been one ray of hope that financial salvation was on the 
horizon from the Church or private philanthropy, Bishop Keener's determination to keep 
Centenary in Jackson might have been applauded. But there was no such ray; so that what 
might have been considered courage in adversity in more promising circumstances now 
must have appeared, even to the Bishop's admirers and well-wishers, stubborn intransi- 
gence or sentimental blindness to reality. 

The annual meeting of the College's board of trustees in June of 1904 confirmed the 
dire assessment of the preceding paragraph. Enrollment figures, which superficially com- 
pared favorably with those of the last five years, are misleading. Of the 1 50 students total, 
only 23 were in the "College proper"; the remaining 127 were in the preparatory and com- 
mercial departments, and the projected college enrollment for the next year was 22 ( TM 


1841-1907 372), numbers not likely to gladden the hearts of officers and supporters of a 
college-level liberal arts institution. 

But the part of the committee on the student body report that blows the frostiest breath 
on the College's future is the description of the current milieu and ambience on campus: 
The morale of the student body is reported on all sides to have been 
excellent until some time after the intermediate examinations. Since this 
time a great deal of disorder and demoralization has prevailed. A num- 
ber of vicious students have made their way into the student body; these, 
combined with some outside influences have produced great disturbances. 
Gambling, and other disorders, have been notorious. We regret to report 
very grave derelictions upon the part of students who participated in the 
Inter-Collegiate games. We realize that there has always been more or 
less an immoral element in the College, but not for a long time have we 
been afflicted with so open and persistent irruption of lawlessness ( TM 
The utter hopelessness of the situation is explicit. The word "lawlessness" says it all. 
Chaotic is not too strong a term to describe the setting and the students' conduct. It would 
have taken several miracles to correct the woes that beset this once-proud and flourishing 
institution which after the Civil War had battled heroically to continue its educational mis- 
sion. But the odds against its prevailing now seemed overwhelming. 

The Louisiana Annual Conference had to have been aware of the desperately dete- 
riorating state of affairs at the Jackson campus. Several trustees were also ministers in 
the Conference and could have communicated a more accurate picture of things than the 
College's regular, often sanitized, reports to the Conference; also members of the Conference 
may have visited Jackson to see for themselves the shape of things. This assertion is not 
mere speculation. Just as soon as Mr. Boggs presented the Shreveport Progressive League's 
offer of a new home for Centenary, the Conference appointed a commission to investigate 
what "title, rights or privileges" the Church had in Centenary College and its property and 
to secure if possible a title in fee simple for the Conference, that is, absolute ownership 
without any limitation or condition. It seems clear that the Conference wanted the right of 
complete control of the College, its property, and its affairs in the event that a decision to 
relocate had to be made. 

The commission went to Jackson, investigated all the relevant documents, and in the 
December 1904 meeting in Lake Charles reported back to the Conference that the Centenary 
trustees in a June 7, 1904, resolution declined to transfer the Jackson property in fee simple 
on the grounds that they did not have the right to do so according to the charter, which 
vests full control of the College in the trustees and not in the Conference. They did express 
their willingness to transfer all rights whatsoever in the property to the Legal Conference of 
the Louisiana Annual Conference on condition that the Conference maintain the College 


in Jackson as it then existed (La. Conf. Min. 1904 27, 29). 

The effect of the Centenary trustees' action on the Conference may be gauged by this 
resolution in the minutes of their Lake Charles meeting in December 1904: 

Whereas, the Board of Trustees of Centenary College refuses to give to 
the Louisiana Conference a title to the property except under such onerous 
conditions as to render its acceptance by us out of the question, and whereas, 
in all law and equity there is no question as to the actual ownership of said 
property, and in view of the fact that we only ask a legal recognition of an 
already acknowledged ownership; 

Therefore, be it resolved, first, that it is the judgment of this Conference 
that to all intents and purposes the property in question belongs to this 
Conference, that it has been so recognized by the conference, as evidenced 
by annual appropriations made for its maintenance, and admitted by the 
Board of Trustees of the College, in that they have accepted these appropria- 
tions in the absence of any specific contract for work performed, and have 
reported to this Conference, and to no other body, the condition, prospects 
and needs of the College, and prayed the support of this Conference, and 
in these reports, through their president, acknowledged the ownership and 
control of the College by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, (see report 
of January, 1875). 

Second, that the Board of Trustees hold the said property in an official 
capacity as the property of the Church, and not as in their individual or col- 
lective capacity. 

Third, that notice be, and is hereby, served upon said Board of Trustees 
to the effect that if they fail to convey title of said property to the Louisiana 
Annual Conference at their next called or regular meeting the Conference 
will withdraw all financial aid from it, said withdrawal to date from the next 
meeting of the Board of Trustees; provided, however, that the Conference 
pay to the president of Centenary College the full tuition fees of every ben- 
eficiary of the Church for the term beginning September, 1904, and ending 
in June, 1905. 

Fourth, that in the event the Board refuse at its next meeting to transfer 
the title as they now hold it to the Louisiana Annual Conference, the Legal 
Conference is authorized and instructed to institute such legal proceedings 
as will be necessary to the transfer of the title to the Conference. 
The implication of this stern reaction containing the Conference's clear ultimatum to the 
trustees is that though Conference members might disagree about the location of Centenary, 
they were as a body strongly in favor of unconditional Conference control of Centenary. Each 
item of the Conference resolution was adopted; then the resolution was adopted as a whole 


(La. Conf. Min. 1904 48-49). 

Bishop Keener lost no time in responding to the Conference's demands. In February of 
1905 in the civil court at Clinton, he filed a suit seeking an injunction against the transfer of 
the title to Centenary College by the trustees to the Legal Conference of the Louisiana Annual 
Conference. The court granted a temporary injunction and thereby stayed all legal proceed- 
ings until the matter was finally adjudicated. Bishop Keener took this action without the 
consent of the trustees. They first were made aware of it officially at their annual meeting on 
June 5, 1905. Nine members voted to support the Bishop's action; three dissented. The next 
day a minority of the board presented a strong protest against the action of the majority on 
the preceding day: 

We protest against the bringing of the Injunction suit - It is an injustice 
to the church. It is an injustice to the Board. It ignores the expressed will of 
the Conference. It sets at naught its plainly declared purpose. It arrays the 
Board against the conference and places it in direct antagonism to it. 

The bringing of the suit does not appear to us to be in the interest of 
peace or harmony, but in the interest of a locality - It does not appear to us 
as an effort to advance the cause of Christian Education or the welfare of 
Methodism, but to thwart the conference, defeat its expressed purpose, and 
deprive it of its rights - 

We protest against the unusual methods employed in filling vacancies 
on the Board, and the unseemly haste of rushing them in to take part in the 

We protest against the suppression of opinion, so that being denied the 
right of debate, nothing is left us but the right of protest. 

We particularly emphasize our protest against the vote to reconsider by 
which we are denied any recourse whatever. We characterize it as unbrotherly, 
and partaking of the character of the actions of a ward politician, whose end 
is to gain his point (TM 1841-1907378-79). 
A momentous item of business followed the above protest. The board passed a resolution 
mandating the admission of women as "regular matriculates," the awarding of their degrees 
and diplomas on the same conditions as men's, and the granting of similar diplomas to women 
who had previously fulfilled graduation requirements ( TM 1841-1907 '379). The ratification of 
this long-overdue policy suggests that the legal quarrels on the board were not so acrimonious 
as to prevent them from getting on with other important business of the College. 

Bishop Keener's suit against the Conference was settled on November 28, 1905, as the 
result of a compromise between the two parties. The court ordered the trustees of Centenary 
to turn over the property and the control of the College to the Legal Conference of the 
Louisiana Annual Conference with the provision that the institution remain at Jackson (Deed 
of Transfer. . . 3-5). At first glance, it would appear that Bishop Keener had won his case. As 


it turned out, the Conference had made an end run. With the total control of Centenary, it 
was their right and duty to name the trustees. It was also apparently customary for board 
members to tender their resignations under such circumstances. This, seven trustees did 
on June 6, 1906, at their annual meeting in Jackson (TM 1841-1907 387). The remaining 
members followed suit in a matter of days. Whereupon, the Legal Conference, meeting in 
New Orleans on June 19 nominated a new board, one which would approve the move to 
Shreveport, and requested President C. C. Miller, who had conditionally resigned, to con- 
tinue in his office in order to make arrangements for the fall term (TM 1906-20 1). 

But the College was not destined to open the 1906-07 school year in Jackson. The situa- 
tion was simply hopeless. The physical plant was a disaster area. Only the president's house 
and the one next to it were in passable condition. The total attendance for the spring semes- 
ter just ended was only 33 students, and 22 of those were in the preparatory department; two 
students graduated in the class of 1906. The commercial department had not opened in the 
first term (September 1905) because of a quarantine for yet another yellow fever outbreak, 
as a consequence of which Mr. Herr, who had subsidized the program for the beginning, 
now requested the return of the business machines and all other equipment which he had 
provided in setting the commercial department up, according to the written conditions of 
the contractual agreement the College had signed with him. Acting for the board, President 
Miller asked Mr. Herr to "defer action" until it was obvious that the College would not open 
in the fall of 1906 ( TM 1841-1907383). Since the College did not open in Jackson in the fall 
of 1906, it may be inferred that Mr. Herr reclaimed his property. 

With this June 5, 1906, meeting of the board of trustees and the subsequent graduation 
of Eva K. Munson and H. L. Townsend, Centenary College's eighty-one-year existence at 
Jackson, Louisiana, came to a close. Despite the monumental problems that plagued the 
College daily from the time of the Civil War, over 350 students had graduated - teachers, 
planters, clergymen, physicians, lawyers, businessmen, editors, engineers, pharmacists, and 
professors; these were taught by a perennially well-credentialed faculty, who often num- 
bered among their ranks excellent scholars, church leaders, and future college administra- 
tors. The published memoirs of a number of alumni record the fondest recollections of the 
bucolic setting of the College, their classmates, their professors, and even those crumbling 
buildings so clinically and critically deplored in trustee minutes. The College itself through 
its officers sought to inculcate the highest moral values in its students, with some notable 
lapses on the part of the latter. For that remote part of the country, Centenary offered the 
principal opportunities for culture and religious activity, providing as it did musical con- 
certs, lectures on a wide range of subjects, and regular revivals. 

The Louisiana Annual Conference wisely concluded on the basis of strong evidence 
that Centenary could flourish only if it re-located to a more populous, more prosperous 
setting. The offer from the city of Shreveport to be that new home must have seemed like 
the hand of Providence. 


Chapter VII 

The Struggle for Existence in Shreveport 1908-1921 

Though Centenary's days at Jackson were over, it should not be concluded that its begin- 
nings at Shreveport were effected without delay. Not until its December 1906 meeting did 
the Conference finally decide to accept the offer of forty acres from the Rutherford-Atkins 
Realty Company as the new site for the College. The Company also agreed to donate $5,000 
to be paid in annual $1,000 installments. Ground was broken for the first building on the 
last day of 1906. The building was to cost $29,200, and it was to be ready for occupancy 
by the fall of 1907. It was not ready by that time; indeed, it was not ready for another year 
and wound up costing $33,000 (La. Conf. Min. 190611-12; Nelson 317). It would later be 
named Jackson Hall to commemorate the College's first home. The trustee minutes do not 
mention the exact date when the first president of Centenary in Shreveport was elected; but 
an article in the September 26, 1907, issue of the New Orleans Christian Advocate by Felix 
Hill, chairman of the presidential selection committee, mentions that Professor William 
Lander Weber had been chosen. Weber himself wrote an open letter to the Methodists of 
Louisiana, soliciting their help in making Centenary in Shreveport a success (4). Weber 
had excellent credentials. A son of the parsonage, he was born in South Carolina and had 
graduated from Wofford College in that state, going on to Johns Hopkins University and 
the University of Chicago for graduate study. Before coming to Centenary, he had taught 
English literature at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas; at Millsaps College; and 
at Emory College in Oxford, Georgia (La. Conf. Min. 1910 54; Cent. Coll. Cat. 1908-09). 

As school opened in Shreveport in September 1908, the faculty numbered only four, but 
they were well-trained. James Hinton, professor of Latin and Greek, held a master's degree 
from Vanderbilt and had "qualified as a Rhodes Scholar." Wightman S. Beckwith had stud- 
ied at Emory and Chicago and was professor of mathematics and astronomy. Milo J. Jones 
was educated at North Carolina and was professor of natural sciences and modern lan- 
guages. President Weber himself was professor of English (Cent. Coll. Cat. 1908-09). (The 
Trustee Minutes for January 3, 1908, show that Weber nominated one George L. Harrell to 
fill this post [1906-20 8], but Harrell's name never appears in the College Catalogue, whereas 


Beckwith's does.) The faculty members except for Weber were to be paid $800 a year plus 
board. The salary itself would translate into around $15,000 in 21 st -century money. While 
not munificent, those terms were far from contemptible in that day. The 1908 salary is 
comparable to what a starting teacher in the public school system might have expected. 

Enrollment records for this session do not exist, but, according to Nelson, there were 
few students. Nevertheless, on September 16, 1908, the trustees authorized a committee 
to "buy material and employ workmen to have several rooms in the upper story of the 
building fitted up for immediate use" ( TM 1906-20 9). Whether these rooms were to serve 
as a dormitory or classrooms is not made clear. But the apparent urgency of the mandate 
indicates that the trustees perceived the situation as a problem. It would have been only one 
among a number, most of them financial. Bills began to pile up. Students were not pay- 
ing their tuition and board charges. For the second time in a little over a year, the trustees 
authorized College officials to request Dr. S. S. Keener, last board chairman of Centenary at 
Jackson, to turn over to the finance committee any endowments, cash, bonds, collaterals, or 
securities and any information about them ( TM 1906-20 13, 3, 9). 

These vexing problems along with his heavy teaching and administrative duties and 
fund-raising chores were taking their toll on the health of President Weber, who was so 
near to a state of collapse that the trustees prevailed upon him to step down temporarily 
as president in favor of Dr. Felix Hill. Weber agreed and was put on half-salary for the rest 
of the term beginning February 2, 1910. Far from improving, President Weber's condition 
worsened; and when he resigned some months later, the board elected Hill on April 1 to 
succeed him (TM 1906-20). Unable to regain his health, Weber died six months later on 
October 1 (La. Conf. Min. 1910 54). 

In electing Hill, the trustees were choosing one of their own. Hill had been elected to 
the board in 1907 (TM 1906-20 4). Under the circumstances, it seems odd that he should 
have been named president. He was 67 years old and in declining health himself. Fitzgerald 
Carter, who wrote his obituary in 1917, described him as "a worn out man" when he took 
the reins at Centenary (La. Conf. Min. 191761). Moreover, he faced many serious problems. 
Bills had been piling up at an alarming rate and of serious amounts. At the same time, the 
enrollment was increasing, accentuating the need for more dormitory rooms and classroom 
space and more faculty (Nelson 320-21). As if these problems were not challenging enough 
for the new president, unspecified "unsanitary conditions" developed in Jackson Hall, the 
new College building. Though the conditions were unnamed, they were serious enough to 
cause several students to become "quite sick" and a number to leave school during the fall 
and winter. Also, student morale was at a low point because of the serious illness of former 
President Weber (TM 1906-20 17, 15). 

President Hill addressed the most immediate and pressing of the College's financial 
problems manfully and for the most part successfully. But these and the constant fund- 
raising activities which occupied him may have begun to aggravate his already frail health, 


and in April 1912, he submitted his resignation. The board asked him to re-consider his 
action, and he did, writing a letter to the board detailing the conditions under which he 
would withdraw his resignation and stay on for the 1912-13 school year. His letter is not a 
matter of record, but it apparently made no mention of any health considerations, demand- 
ing instead, apparently among other things, a raise in salary. The board lost no time in 
agreeing to Hill's terms and conditions and in authorizing the board chairman "to negoti- 
ate the necessary loans to carry out this agreement till the necessary funds can be collected 
from the City Tax" ( TM 1906-20 22-23). 

But not even an improved financial situation could restore Hill to the physical health 
necessary for his demanding presidential duties, and early in 1913, he once again resigned 
effective at the end of school in June, and on the 10 th of that month, the board elected the 
Reverend R. H. Wynn as his successor ( TM 1906-20 25, 27). 

A native Louisianan, Wynn was born in 1871 and entered the preparatory department 
at Centenary when he was 13. From there, he enrolled in Centenary College and graduated 
in 1889. He studied theology at Vanderbilt and subsequently became a Methodist minister 
serving a number of pastorates throughout the state and always with distinction (La. Conf. 
Min. 1932 77-78). At the time of his selection as president of Centenary, he was a member 
of the board of trustees. Indeed, on the very day he was chosen, he offered a resolution 
condemning hazing and supporting the faculty's disciplinary measures against the most 
recent instance of it. In other actions that day the board awarded the honorary doctor 
of divinity degree to Mr. Wynn and the title President Emeritus to Dr. Hill (TM 1906-20 
26-28). This was a somewhat unusual move since customarily only "honorably retired" 
persons are given the emeritus distinction. (To date, only three other Centenary presidents 
have received the title: George S. Sexton 1921-32, J. J. Mickle 1945-64, and Donald A. Webb 
1977-91 [TM 1932-439, 14, 15-16, 19; TM 1988-9592]. No record exists of the board's hav- 
ing conferred this status on President Mickle, but the 1965-66 Catalogue lists him among 
the other emeriti [157] ). 

In his first annual report to the board, delivered on June 9, 1914, President Wynn 
described a trying first year, especially for someone who had accepted the job with some 
trepidation, primarily for lack of experience and a strong affinity for the parish ministry. 
The main problems Wynn had to face were those perennial ones: inadequate operating 
funds, student recruitment, too few faculty members, and discipline. Newer problems were 
the popularity of state schools and the vogue for "practical" or vocational education "in 
opposition to the older ideals of liberal culture." To address certain of these problems, 
Wynn exceeded the budget. Only 87 students had been enrolled for the 1913-14 school year, 
and of these 52 were in the preparatory department. College instructors were stretched thin 
teaching the range of assignments there as well as in the academy's high school and gram- 
mar school. Wynn felt that a headmaster was desperately needed; he had presumably been 
doing that job as well, a job which, owing to these younger students' "deficiency in moral 


character," had required much of his time. He concluded his report by noting his encour- 
agement of the athletic program, though in his view it was looming too large in student 
life and had just "incurred serious indebtedness." In order to preserve the College's credit, 
Wynn paid a number of these obligations out of his own pocket (TM 1906-20 32-33). 

To this narrative, President Wynn attached both his own financial report and one 
by the treasurer of the College, J. B. Hutchinson, whose resignation was noted on this same 
day. Uncharacteristically, the board then authorized its chairman to name a committee to 
audit the books and "investigate [the] report" of President Wynn. Whereupon, Dr. Wynn 
offered to resign if the College wished to appoint someone better qualified. He then excused 
himself from the meeting, returning after the board accepted his report and declared his 
services to be satisfactory ( TM 1906-20 33-36, 30-3 1 ). It is worthy of note that at a special 
meeting of the board on June 19, 1914, the name of the Reverend George Sexton, later to 
become president of Centenary, is recorded as a "visitor." (He would "visit" a board meet- 
ing again on May 30, 1916; this time his attendance was recorded as that of "interested" 
visitor (TM 1906-20 36, 43). He was obviously invited to sit in on these trustee meetings 
because of his prominent position as pastor of the First Methodist Church of Shreveport. 
Subsequent events suggest that he may have been considered for the presidency even that 

President Wynn's report a year later - June 8, 1915 - reveals that financial problems 
continued to dog the College, making it difficult to know what course to follow. Some 
money and pledges were forthcoming from local supporters, and the Conference assessed 
the churches of Louisiana $6,000, hoping thereby that half that amount would come in. 
Wynn was not only fulfilling his administrative responsibilities, he was also teaching, fund- 
raising on the road, and keeping the books! 

The trustees must have realized that President Wynn was doing far more than he should 
have been, for on April 19, 1915, they authorized him to employ a dean to handle "the local 
management of the college" so that he could spend more time fund-raising. This, Wynn 
did, naming J. G. Sawyer, professor of mathematics and philosophy, to this post. However, 
the trustees made no provision for raising Sawyer's salary; and Wynn was forced to reduce 
his own salary from $2,500 to $2,000 in order to add $500 to Sawyer's. Trying to effect fur- 
ther economies, Wynn accepted part of his salary in kind by boarding his family of seven at 
the dormitory. Despite these sacrificial efforts on Wynn's part, the College still ran a deficit 
of $1,479 for the school year of 1915-16 ( TM 1906-20 37, 47). 

The desperate plight of Centenary during these early years in Shreveport is made abun- 
dantly clear in President Wynn's annual reports, which are thoughtful, detailed analyses. 
He saw his assignment as - with the help of God, the church, and the citizens of Shreveport 
- maintaining scholarly standards, molding Christian character, and conducting the opera- 
tion in a business-like fashion. But the unstable financial situation of the College, primar- 
ily in the lack of an adequate endowment was hindering him. The absence of significant, 


dependable annual income for operating expenses was creating problems of "real serious- 
ness." When the ten-year voluntary tax in Shreveport expired in 1916, an important source 
of College revenue ceased. Shreveport citizens and the Louisiana Annual Conference agreed 
on a plan which would renew the tax for another ten years and obligate the Conference to 
increase its annual appropriation. But the plan had not yet been put into effect, and so the 
College was still looking for enough money to operate for the fall 1916 term (TM 1906-20 

Furthermore, a number of other factors were making "the selling of Centenary" dif- 
ficult. The property on which the College then stood had not been given to the Conference 
in fee simple but with the condition that for twenty-five years Centenary would award 
the same degrees given in Jackson, that is, the B.A., the B.S., and the M.A. At Jackson, the 
trustees had often automatically awarded an honorary M.A. "to graduates who followed 
literary pursuits for a certain period of years." Wynn obviously wanted to stop that practice 
in Shreveport, and to that end he took occasion in his annual report of May 30, 1916, to 
explain to the board some important conventions of academe, one being that the M.A. 
degree was not automatically honorary but was usually earned. The implication of this was 
that irregular departures from standard academic practices could result in loss of recogni- 
tion of Centenary degrees and thus the reversion of Centenary's Shreveport property to its 
donors (TM 1 906-20 44-45). 

This was hardly an unfounded fear. The General Board of Education of the Methodist 
Church classified all of its educational institutions according to prescribed standards. 
Centenary was at that time in an unclassified status. To be considered a "B" grade college, 
Centenary would have to meet these requirements: a stable income of $5,000 a year over 
and above tuition receipts, at least six full-time faculty members teaching college-level work, 
laboratory facilities worth no less than $2,000, and minimum library holdings of 2,500 
books. Failure to meet these requirements would mean that Centenary degrees would not 
be recognized. The General Board extended the deadline for Centenary's compliance to the 
end of 1916; and though they had no legal authority to enforce such compliance, still the 
value of a Centenary degree would be diminished, and the institution's reputation would 
suffer (TM 1906-20 45). 

President Wynn closed this lengthy annual report of May 30, 1916, by submitting 
his resignation and urging the board to appoint a professional educator to succeed him. 
(The board seems not to have taken any action regarding this resignation because there is 
no mention of the matter in the minutes for the rest of the year. Near the end of summer, 
Dr. John Scales, the board chairman, borrowed $1,000 to pay President Wynn's salary and 
the College's insurance bills.) By this time, World War I had been going on in Europe for 
two years, and numbers of people must have felt that it was only a matter of time before the 
United States became involved. It is not surprising then to find the executive committee 
on August 24 deciding to form "a voluntary military company." Four months later, the full 


board ratified this decision and named Professor H. J. Smith to organize and conduct "a 
summer camp and military school" during the summer months only, but making it clear 
that the College could not be responsible for any expenses incurred in the operation ( TM 
1 906-20 48-50). 

On March 29, 1917, at a College meeting, the board heard President Wynn report the 
grimmest possible financial news: it would be "absolutely necessary to get more money for 
the college" if it was to remain open. President Wynn proposed using a professional fund 
raiser, A. E. Clement, to meet with the board to discuss the plan he would use for Centenary 
if he were named to take on this assignment (TM 1906-20 50-51). 

After hearing Mr. Clement in an April 6 meeting, the board's response was to hire him 
to put on the campaign in the Shreveport area for a couple of weeks, organize a group of 
volunteers, and then call on the prospective donors. The goal was $100,000 to be used for 
endowment. Clement would receive 5% of the amount raised ( TM 1 906-20 51). 

This campaign fell short of its goal, raising only $55,000 in cash and subscriptions 
after paying all expenses. Thus, money continued to be tight, and the board had to borrow 
from the banks to pay the back salary owed to the president, pay for past debts, and pay for 
current operating expenses such as improvements, repairs, etc. (TM 1906-20 52). At this 
June 6, 1917, meeting, the board elected to its membership the Reverend George Sexton, a 
talented and creative thinker who would now begin to play an important part in establish- 
ing Centenary College more firmly in Shreveport ( TM 1906-20 54, 55). 

The campaign would need such a talent. The financial picture at the College could 
hardly have been bleaker. At this June 1917 meeting, President Wynn reminded the board 
that for each of the three years preceding, there had been a $6,000 deficit. In addition, as 
of the present date, Wynn said he had received no funds whatsoever from the trustees for 
running the College ( TM 1906-20 56). 

For counsel not only on the financial problems of the College but the philosophical 
ones as well (for example, whether Centenary was to be a first-class liberal arts college), 
President Wynn asked Henry T. Carley, professor of English and history and a man with 
seven years' experience as a Centenary faculty member, to propose a program for the trust- 
ees' consideration to help Centenary to become "a first class college." At the February 26, 
1918, meeting of the trustees, Carley presented as "suggestions" the following items: a year- 
round campaign for endowment, construction, operational capital, and broad support; a 
plan for an endowment of $250,000 and new administration, laboratory, and library build- 
ings; a "separation" of the preparatory school from the College; faculty houses; and books 
and scientific equipment (TM 1906-20 57). 

These were all sensible and desirable actions. It is somewhat surprising that Carley 
failed to mention student recruitment. In some respects, this was the most pressing and 
potentially catastrophic problem the College faced. Immediately following Carley 's pre- 
sentation, Dr. Wynn rehearsed briefly a number of issues for the board. The enrollment 


was small: total of 80 students, 65 of whom were in the high school {TM 1906-20 51). The 
move from Jackson, Louisiana, to the more populous locale of Shreveport, had not signifi- 
cantly improved the most persistently nagging problems of Centenary College - too little 
money and too few students. To be sure, the potential solutions to the problems appeared 
to be in place - a much greater number of people, including Methodists; more wealth; and 
a progressive citizenry, aware of what a college could and would mean to a community 
economically and culturally. 

When Mr. Andrew Querbes of Shreveport offered the College the use of a sizable tract 
of land, rent free, for an agricultural department, the trustees accepted it with alacrity. 
Whether the trustees did not realize that liberal arts colleges generally do not have agri- 
cultural "departments" will remain a mystery. They may have thought that Mr. Querbes 
would allow some College use to be made of the land more commensurate with the liberal 
arts. This is certainly a possibility, for a three-man committee was appointed to study the 
"practicability" of an agricultural department ( TM 1906-20 58). Both President Wynn and 
Professor Carley must have felt particularly gratified when Carley's suggestions were for- 
malized into a policy of development by the board at this same meeting and were adopted 
with the stipulation that they be implemented as soon as possible ( TM 1906-20 59). 

On June 4, 1918, Dr. Wynn once again tendered his resignation as president of the 
College, this time setting a time frame for its going into effect - between December 1,1918, 
and April 1, 1919 {TM 1906-20 60). This would give the board ten months in which to 
find his successor. Wynn's last annual report to the board, recorded in the minutes for July 
29, 1918, is a catalogue of the serious problems which confronted the College - institution 
indebtedness, defaulting on contractual salaries, low enrollment, and inadequate labora- 
tory equipment being the most pressing. In the face of such a grave picture, one of Wynn's 
recommendations suggests his innocence and naivete in budgetary matters. "Some money 
should be invested in fencing and dairy equipment. We have nine young hogs of fine Duroc 
Jersey grade and four other hogs" ( TM 1906-20 62). Wynn had on a number of occasions 
expressed the opinion that he was not the man for this job, that the College needed a "pro- 
fessional educator," and not a pastor, an office for which he felt himself much more suited 
{TM 1906-20 48). That he had been unable to turn the picture around at Centenary must 
have confirmed him in his determination to return to the parish ministry. 

There seems to be little doubt that had George Sexton been "available" to serve as presi- 
dent - he had made it clear that he was not - he would have been named at once. Instead, 
on May 27, 1919, almost two months after Dr. Wynn's deadline for leaving office, the trust- 
ees elected W. R. Bourne president of Centenary at a salary of $2,650 for his first year with 
an increase of 10% for the second year. 

William Ross Bourne was only 36 years old when he was elected president of Centenary 
College. A native Tennesseean, he was decidedly the professional educator that President 
Wynn had thought would be much better suited to head Centenary than an "unworldly" 


clergyman whose administrative abilities lay primarily in running a church. Bourne held 
several degrees, among them an A.B. from the University of Nashville and a B.D. and a B.S. 
from Vanderbilt. He had also studied at Peabody College, had filled teaching or administrative 
posts in Tennessee and Texas, and had served four years as high school inspector for the State 
of Tennessee. He had taught sociology and economics at Ward- Belmont School for Girls (later 
Belmont College; now Belmont University) and at the time of his election to the presidency 
of Centenary was head of the department of "collegiate education" at Birmingham-Southern 
(Murray [KY] Ledger and Times, Friday, September 6, 1929, n.p.). 

Coupled with this pedigree of educational preparation and professional experience was 
impressive testimony by those who knew or had worked with Bourne. He was enthusiastic, 
witty, personable, even brilliant according to some (Murray [KY] Ledger and Times, Friday, 
September 6, 1929, n.p.). He embarked immediately on a program of repairing existing 
buildings and planning for a new one, of beautifying the campus, and of strengthening the 
curriculum and increasing the faculty (Cent. Coll. Cat. 1921-22 11). 

As President Bourne began his tenure at Centenary in early 1920, the College still was 
not "rated" by the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, as to 
whether it was a B grade or an A grade institution. Moreover, the board of trustees had 
never formally declared what grade institution it wanted Centenary to become. To qual- 
ify for the A grade classification, at this time, at least seven professors had to be teaching 
exclusively college-level work; the library had to have at least 5,000 volumes and an annual 
appropriation of $500; laboratories had to be valued at no less than $5,000. Finally, the total 
endowment of the College had to be at least $200,000 or an equivalent in income with not 
less than $100,000 invested endowment (TM 1906-20 72-73). 

At a meeting called by President Bourne on February 12, 1920, the trustees, after hear- 
ing Dr. Stonewall Anderson, Secretary of the General Conference Board of Education, 
elaborate the above requirements for an A grade institution, passed resolutions to maintain 
Centenary in this classification and to ask the Church's Commission on Education to grant 
Centenary and its academy $800,000 for endowment, buildings, and library and laboratory 
equipment. (This money would come from a $53 million campaign of the Church, of 
which $25,000,000 to $30,000,000 would go for the Church's colleges and universities [TM 
1906-20 72-73]). 

Bourne's presidency thus began with a flurry of activity, which, in addition to the 
financial and general academic upgrading, included new building contracts, the sale of the 
College's Jackson, Louisiana, properties, and paving projects around the College. It was cer- 
tainly the prevailing opinion of the administration and the trustees that the academy had to 
be continued. This is hardly surprising given the fact that from 1908 to 1922, Centenary's 
first fourteen years in Shreveport, the enrollment in the academy had usually exceeded that 
in the College; hence, the academy was the greater source of revenue. 

Considering the promising future presaged by this attractive young president's energetic 


beginning at Centenary, one is struck by the paucity of references to him in the trustee min- 
utes of his tenure. Over and over, the names of Sexton, Scales, Drake, Foster, and Clanton 
appear as leading discussants, movers and seconders, and committee chairmen. This should 
in no way suggest that Bourne had taken a back seat in overall matters or that the trustees 
were taking over the reins from this new "youngster." Quite the contrary. For example, 
the executive committee of the board went on record at their April 20, 1920, meeting that 
they were "pleased with the administration of Dr. Bourne and desire[d] the continuation of 
[his] contract" ( TM 1906-20 75). (The title "Dr." for Bourne is almost surely an unearned 
honorific at this time. Indeed, there seems to be no indication that an honorary doctorate 
was ever conferred on Bourne.) 

There is nonetheless some evidence that the board had acted unilaterally in at least one 
instance of the College's operation and had failed to communicate with President Bourne 
until after the fact. On May 18, 1920, Dr. Scales, chairman of the board of trustees, con- 
vened the executive committee to discuss the summer school. He read a letter recently sent 
to President Bourne informing him that the faculty committee of the board had decided to 
suspend summer school because it "would interfere with the work of the school." (Scales 
stated that that work would be "plans for reorganizing and building") But Bourne had 
already arranged for summer school to be held and had entered into a written agreement 
with two faculty members to conduct it. They were Mr. Roy Moore, A.M., B.D., professor 
of ancient languages; and Mr. J. Granberry Sawyer, B.A., M.A., B.D., dean of the College 
and professor of mathematics and philosophy. Learning of the board's decision to suspend 
summer school, these men visited board chairman Scales complaining of the hardship this 
imposed on them and presenting their written contract with President Bourne. The execu- 
tive committee immediately affirmed the faculty committee's action and thereby made it 
their own, referring the whole affair to President Bourne ( TM 1906-20 77). 

Bourne and the aggrieved faculty members were unable to reach a settlement, and the 
latter engaged attorneys and filed a suit against the board. The board responded by naming 
attorney John D. Wilkinson to represent them in the suit (TM 1906-20 79). There is no 
further mention of this matter in board minutes; so it must have been settled out of court, 
or the plaintiffs must have dropped the suit. 

One further minor controversy occurred involving President Bourne. It involved 
charges made by the Reverend S. A. Seegers, a member of the faculty who was not to be re- 
appointed, against Bourne, whom Seegers accused of mishandling Y. M. C. A. scholarship 
funds and mismanaging the athletic program. The board appointed a committee to inves- 
tigate the charges, and Mr. Sexton interrogated Mr. Seegers in detail. The committee wrote 
a report, and the board said they would be guided by the report. But there is no record of 
the findings of the committee, and no further mention of the matter occurs in the trustee 
minutes ( TM 1 906-20 80-81). 

President Bourne's overall strengths as an academic administrator and development 


officer had not gone unnoticed by the Methodist bureaucracy. Dr. John Hugh Reynolds, 
Director General of the Christian Education Movement, wrote the trustees asking for the 
"loan" of Bourne for six weeks "or longer" to assist in the comprehensive national cam- 
paign the Methodists were launching to raise truly massive sums for their colleges and other 
causes. In their November 15, 1920, meeting, the trustees granted Bourne a leave of absence 
as Dr. Reynolds had requested and promptly named Dean R. E. Smith as acting president 
(TM 1906-20 85). 

Bourne's duties in his new position involved "field work" and fund-raising. He was 
apparently initially successful and was persuaded to resign the presidency at Centenary to 
work full-time for the Christian Education Movement (Nelson 329). The Centenary trust- 
ees seem to have seen this action coming. Bourne's six weeks leave grew into three months; 
on February 21, 1921, his letter of resignation was read to and accepted by the board, who 
at the same meeting elected the Reverend George S. Sexton to succeed him ( TM 1921-32 3). 
A college president at age 36, Bourne seems to have been one of those men whose career 
peaked too early. He remained with the Christian Education Movement only one year, 
leaving that post to become director of the teacher training program at Winthrop College 
in Rock Hill, South Carolina. In 1925, he went to Murray State Teachers College, where he 
headed the department of education till his death in 1929 at only 46 years of age ("Host"). 

The election of George Sexton to the presidency of Centenary ushered in the most 
significant decade of the College's history to this point, the story of which will be recounted 
in Chapter VIII of this work. 


Chapter VIII 

Centenary's Bid for a Firmer Foundation 1921-1932 

For eleven years following the departure of Mr. Bourne, Centenary's fortunes were 
presided over by the Reverend George Sexton, an unusually gifted man viewed from most 
administrative perspectives. A native Tennesseean, his father had been a Confederate sol- 
dier. When young George was 15, he moved to Arkansas with his widowed mother and five 
brothers. There he worked hard on a farm, attended Hendrix College for only one year, 
1890-91, before dropping out for reasons of health (Nelson 336-37). Hendrix records do 
not show that Sexton ever took a degree there, and no Centenary records show that he ever 
received a baccalaureate degree. He did receive the honorary doctor of divinity degree from 
Kentucky Wesleyan College and the honorary doctor of laws from Southwestern University 
in Georgetown, Texas, and Centenary. When he was just 20 years of age, he was admitted 
on trial into the Little Rock Conference and served a number of pastorates in Arkansas and 
Texas before becoming assistant secretary of the Board of Church Extension. Following 
a brief stint at that post, he was named Field Secretary of the Washington City Church 
Commission (La. Conf. Min. 193797). By the time he was appointed senior pastor at First 
Church, Shreveport, he had accumulated a wealth of experience in both the parish ministry 
and the church bureaucracy, which included a period of service in the army chaplaincy. 
When in 1917 he was chosen to be a trustee of Centenary College, this rich background 
had already made him a man of considerable prestige and influence. Indeed, he was at the 
zenith of his career; and his election to the Centenary presidency must have seemed like a 
foregone conclusion to many who may well have regarded him as the savior of Centenary. 

In the interim between November 15, 1920, the date when Mr. Bourne took a leave of 
absence as president of Centenary, and May 31, 1921, when Dr. Sexton formally accepted 
the office, the Reverend R. E. Smith served as acting president and dean of the College ( TM 
1906-20 85; TM 1921-32 3, 10). Smith was and continued to be for many years a popular 
and much beloved teacher of Bible. Sexton had almost surely made up his mind months 
earlier that he would accept this new assignment for the Church. Members of his own 
congregation at First Church, Shreveport, as well as officials of the Louisiana Methodist 


Conference had urged, even pressured, him to do so ( TM 1921 -32 10). It only remained for 
him to attend to important matters in his own church before actually "reporting for duty." 
Moreover, it seems obvious that it was something he genuinely wanted to do. He had a high 
reputation in Methodism and in the city of Shreveport. He undoubtedly felt he was making 
a contribution to both his church and his community. 

Sexton was aware of the challenge that faced him as Centenary's president. He had 
been a leader on the board of trustees for some four years; he knew what the most imme- 
diately pressing problems were: too small an endowment and too few students. It was a 
hand-to-mouth operation because the endowment could not generate sufficient operating 
capital; and there was not a large enough student body to constitute a "critical mass." It is 
ironic that these same problems constituted the main arguments for moving the College 
from Jackson to Shreveport. 

These are not conditions that the faint of heart are equipped to deal with. But Dr. 
Sexton was anything but faint-hearted. It may be safely inferred that he had a take-charge, 
can-do attitude to analogous problems in the ecclesiastical realm, namely, how to increase 
church rolls and how to raise money for worthy causes. This is certainly the attitude that 
led the main well-wishers of Centenary to elect him president, and it is certainly the attitude 
he displayed once in office. 

As soon as he was elected president of Centenary, in February 1921 - he did not actually 
accept the office until three months later - Dr. Sexton spoke to the trustees about approach- 
ing the General Board of Education of New York, a Rockefeller foundation, for a sizable 
grant to the College. The trustees immediately authorized him to represent them in nego- 
tiating "a conditional gift" of a million or more dollars. He reported on his assignment on 
May 31, 1921, the day he formally accepted the Centenary presidency. He had managed 
to secure a "conditional appropriation" of $250,000 for the endowment of the College and 
"additional appropriations" for current expenses in the amounts of $8,000 for 1921-22, 
$7,500 for 1922-23, and $6,250 for 1923-24. The condition the College had to meet to 
obtain this grant was to raise $550,000 for the endowment (TM 1921-32 3, 18). Dr. Sexton 
did not at this time go into the details of how this money was to be raised, but one infers 
that it would have to be a major fund-raising campaign on the part of the College. 

But that spectral problem of Centenary, low student enrollment, President Sexton 
chose to solve in a highly dramatic way: through the introduction of big-time football at 
the College. Sports had not been very popular to this point in Centenary's history. Dr. 
John Scales, class of 1892 and long-time trustee, said there were no really organized sports 
at the Jackson campus, and in the 1890s the trustees banned all sports, specifying in par- 
ticular intercollegiate contests. The ban did not last long, and a football team was orga- 
nized in 1894. When the school moved to Shreveport in 1908, the team was dubbed "the 
Marooners"; in 1919, they became "the Ironsides" (Shoulders 22, 27). A precedent existed 
for small institutions entering major college football and achieving success. The most 


notable example at this time was Centre College of Kentucky, a Presbyterian men's school 
of just over 200 students. The Praying Colonels, as the football team was known because 
of its custom of praying in the locker room before every game, had captured the nation's 
imagination in 1920 by losing to the national champion Harvard Crimson, 31-14. The next 
year, Centre got its revenge by beating Harvard, undefeated the preceding four years, 6-0. 
The hero of the game was Ail-American Centre quarterback "Bo" McMillin, who scored the 
game's only touchdown on a 32-yard run (Akers 457-59). 

Arguably the most famous football player in the country in 1921, McMillin signed a 
three-year contract at the end of the football season to coach Centenary's team at "a sal- 
ary high enough to shock the major universities of the South" (Akers 458). (See p. 94.) It 
is difficult to believe that President Sexton and the Centenary trustees did not know that 
McMillin did not pass a single course his senior year and left Centre without a degree. In 
his three years at Centenary, McMillin's teams won 25 games and lost only 3. 

In conferring with McMillin about the upcoming 1922 football season, Sexton showed 
surprising savoir faire about advertising and public relations. Not satisfied with the current 
name of Centenary's football team, "Ironsides," Sexton wanted something at once unusual 
but reflective of character. He definitely did not want the name of any animal. ("Ironsides" 
was no doubt meant to imply toughness and impenetrability, like the Revolutionary War 
battleship or possibly Oliver Cromwell's formidable army in the Puritan Revolution.) The 
name he came up with was "Gentlemen" (Shoulders 27). Another significant name-change 
took place in President Sexton's early years: the student newspaper in 1923 officially adopted 
the title, The Conglomerate. Ever since its founding in 1890, it had been The Maroon and 

But despite the national prominence and increased enrollment McMillin brought to 
Centenary, his tenure caused academic embarrassment and scandal and delayed Centenary's 
accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. This is documented 
primarily in two pieces of correspondence between officials of the Southern Association 
and Centenary College. 

Apparently, Centenary had in the winter of 1 923 applied, not for the first time, for accred- 
itation by the Southern Association. In those days, regional committees of the Association 
examined an institution's application, then made its report and recommendation to the 
Association's executive committee of the Commission of Colleges and Universities. When in 
January of 1924, he had not yet received notice of the committee's decision, Centenary Dean 
R. E. Smith wrote regional committee member Alexander L. Bondurant of the department 
of Latin of the University of Mississippi to inquire the status of Centenary's application. On 
January 27, 1924, Professor Bondurant answered him in the following letter: 
My Dear Dean Smith:- 

Yours has just been received, and it gives me pleasure to enclose herewith 
a transcript of the action of the Executive Committee of the Commission in 


the Case of Centenary College: 

Report of the Regional Committee- 

"Centenary College- Your Committee feels, as it did last year, that 
Centenary College places undue emphasis upon athletics. Although the 
College is new, and has less than 300 students, it employs a Coach, the 
famous Bo McMillan, at a salary of $8,333.00 a year, although the President 
is paid only $7,200.00, and the Heads of the Departments only $3,600.00. 
Your Committee is strongly of the opinion that for the Association to 
encourage such over emphasis upon Athletics as is shown by Centenary 
College would be unfortunate, and it is therefore unwilling to recommend 
that the application of Centenary College be accepted. Nevertheless the 
Committee wishes to express its appreciation of the progress made by the 
college and of the spirit shown by its Faculty." 

After the reading of this report presented by the Regional Committee 
through its Chairman, Dr. Battle of the University of Texas, it was unani- 
mously (sic) voted by the Executive Committee of the Commission that 
the application of Centenary College be not accepted on account of undue 
emphasis upon athletics. 

Permit me to add that the Commission is much interested in the devel- 
opment which is shown in the Louisiana Schools, and I am sure that I 
express the sentiments of each and every member of it when I say that we 
hope that the conditions holding at Centenary may make it possible for us 
to welcome her as a member of the Association, 
Yours very truly, 
Alexander L. Bondurant 
This answer Dean Smith was apparently unwilling to accept as final, requesting and 
getting at some point in the months immediately following a meeting with representa- 
tives of the Southern Association in Richmond, Virginia. The meeting took place in the 
Hotel Jefferson. Those present included Centenary representatives R. E. Smith, dean of the 
College; Henry T. Carley, former professor of English and registrar and future trustee; and 
C. M. Hughes, headmaster of the academy. The Southern Association group was composed 
of President Dinwiddie, Dr. Duren, and Professor Walter Miller, dean of the graduate school 
of the University of Missouri (W. Miller). 

This meeting, though brief, was apparently stormy. Both Smith and Hughes vocifer- 
ously defended Centenary's football program and in the process offended the Southern 
Association officials, who upheld the earlier ruling against admitting Centenary to mem- 
bership. The following excerpt from Dean Miller's letter of June 25, 1925, to Hughes will 
illustrate the acerbity of this confrontation and the serious consequences of Centenary's 


program as it related to academic accreditation: 

President Dinwiddie inquired, in his characteristically gentlemanly way, 
who you [Hughes] were and what your official connection might be with 
Centenary College. Upon hearing, President Dinwiddie and I, in words 
that could have carried with them no possible reflection on your character, 
both expressed the opinion that you were not helping Centenary's cause. 
Neither was Dean Smith (and I frankly told him so), when he pursued the 
same line of defense of Centenary's position in athletics that you followed 
in your talk with me. 

Centenary's athletic record is notoriously a stench in the nostrils of 
decent academic folk. You defended it with even more ardor than Dean 
Smith did. My guess is that you were sent to Richmond for that very pur- 
pose. With the convictions I hold on the ethics of college athletics and the 
position athletics should occupy in academic life, you will readily under- 
stand that your enthusiastic defense of Centenary's athletic course was 
offensive to me. So was Dean Smith's. Neither of you could do Centenary 
any good with the Committee on Higher Institutions by defending or even 
condoning Centenary's position in athletics. And 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 anathema in the world of college 
athletics (W. Miller). 
The harshness of this Southern Association criticism did not prejudice Centenary's 
application for accreditation a year later in 1925, when the College was first admitted to full 
membership and has remained in good standing ever since. 

The price for all this, however, was the termination of Bo McMillin's tenure as football 
coach. His original contract was for two years and called for a salary of $8,000 a year and 
the option of a third year ( TM 1921 -32 19). McMillin took that option after two highly suc- 
cessful seasons, 1922 and 1923; his last season, 1924, was also successful; and it began some 
three months after the heated meeting between Centenary representatives and Southern 
Association officials. 

President Sexton, once so high on McMillin and the football program he built at 
Centenary, came to the inescapable conclusion that Centenary's failure to be accredited 
academically by the Southern Association and athletically by the Southern Intercollegiate 
Athletic Association was directly traceable to McMillin and the football program. At a 
December 10, 1924, meeting of the executive committee of the board, Sexton made a report 
to this effect, showing also a financial statement disclosing a loss of $3,180.76 in 1922-23, 
McMillin's first year; a loss of $5,703.80 in 1923-24, his second; and a loss of $7,199.72 for 
the football program in 1924-25, McMillin's last year ( TM 1921-32). Thereupon, the trust- 
ees authorized the president to offer McMillin a contract not to exceed $5,000 a year ( TM 


1921-32 79-81). Such an action was equivalent to firing McMillin, who interpreted it in just 
that way and resigned immediately. It may be safely inferred that McMillin's high salary was 
of somewhat less concern to the SIAA than the possibility of his using ineligible players. In 
any event, once he was relieved of his head coaching duties at the end of the 1924 season, 
the College was given full membership in the SIAA ("Centenary Loses" 1). 

(Centenary's football fortunes did not plummet after McMillin's departure. Homer 
Norton, later of Texas A 8c M fame, took over after McMillin left. Under him, Centenary 
achieved a national reputation for outstanding football teams. When he moved to Texas 
A & M in 1934 after seven years at Centenary, another outstanding coach, Curtis Parker, 
succeeded him and had strong teams till the years immediately preceding World War II. 
The College did not field a team during the war years but tried to unsuccessfully in 1947, 
after which it gave up the sport altogether as too costly an enterprise.) 

The year before President Sexton came to Centenary, the enrollment was 43. Why 
it had sunk so low in the thirteen years the College had been in Shreveport is not clear, but 
the trustees knew what they were doing when they persuaded Sexton to take over in 1921. 
He addressed the enrollment problem at once as has been described above - by inaugurat- 
ing a nationally acclaimed football program often criticized, sometimes unjustly, for play- 
ing ineligible players. It is some indication of how good Centenary football teams were 
over the next fifteen years to look at some of the major college teams that they beat some- 
times: Texas, Boston College, Iowa, Ole Miss, LSU, TCU., SMU, Baylor, Rice, Oklahoma 
A & M, Texas A & M, and Arizona. Sexton probably had to walk a fine line so as not to 
alienate entirely trustees who favored big-time football and other local athletic boosters 
who supported the College in numerous ways. Unquestionably, though an ardent fan him- 
self, he privately thought that football at Centenary was excessively expensive and that it 
was hindering the College's academic programs. Thus, the Southern Association's refusal 
to accredit the school academically and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association's 
denying it membership until the football program was cleaned up furnished Sexton all the 
argument he needed to persuade the trustees to get rid of McMillin and conform to the 
rules of these organizations. 

Among other factors, but largely as a result of the publicity garnered by the football 
team, enrollment at the College continued to rise, often dramatically. Though serious 
money problems have plagued every president in the history of Centenary, the endowment 
doubled - from $400,000 to $822,000 during his tenure, which it should be remembered 
included the first three years of the Great Depression. 

President Sexton sought to solve Centenary's enrollment and endowment problems 
not by football alone but by re-designing the business offerings at Centenary. Again, this 
was not a "liberal arts" way of addressing problems, but Sexton was less interested in the 
niceties of liberal arts purism than in attracting a sufficient number of students to make 
Centenary a viable enterprise. He was not the first to look upon business as a desirable 


curricular offering. In 1901, the trustees had leaped at the offer of a Jackson businessman 
to establish and fund a school of business. But this was a difficult period for the College, 
which closed its doors in Jackson in 1906; the business school had not succeeded in attract- 
ing an adequate number of students to keep the school open. In its first Shreveport cata- 
logue, the one for 1908-09, no commercial courses are listed, nor do any appear until the 
1921-22 number, Sexton's first year as president. The department of commerce, as it was 
called, listed only three offerings: the commercial course, the banking course, and the steno- 
graphic course. The content of each was strictly vocational as courses like bookkeeping, 
commercial English, commercial arithmetic, typing, and secretarial work suggest (Cent. 
Coll. Cat. 1921-22 44-45). This department seems to have been established in either 1919 
or 1920, two years for which there are no catalogues extant. 

No doubt capitalizing on his high reputation in the community and the Methodist 
Conference, President Sexton changed the name of the department to the "Sexton School 
of Commerce," and incorporated it into the other majors of the College. Whoever took 
the one- or two-year business or stenographic curriculum also had to take the standard 
offerings of a traditional major if he or she wished to receive a bachelor's degree. Those tak- 
ing only the one-year business course received a certificate of proficiency; those taking the 
two-year course, a diploma from the Sexton School of Commerce (Cent. Coll. Cat. 1922-23 
24-25). Like the football program, these offerings were calculated to increase enrollment 
and gain support and good will from the community. For some reason, the Sexton School 
of Commerce was denominated as such for only the one year; in 1923-24, it reverted to 
simply the department of commerce without the one- and two-year business courses that 
could lead to a certificate or a diploma. 

But Sexton's most impressive academic achievement was building the nucleus of a first- 
rate faculty by appointing highly credentialed persons from graduate schools all over the 
country. He initiated what has become the hallmark of modern Centenary, a cadre of 
academically cosmopolitan scholars who are at once excellent classroom teachers and in 
many instances productive, publishing researchers. A brief list of some of these persons 
from the Sexton era and the graduate schools where they took degrees will illustrate this 
claim. George Reynolds (M.A., Columbia, political science); I. Maizlish (B.S., M.S., M.I.T.; 
Ph.D., Minnesota, physics); W. C. Gleason (M.Ed., Harvard, education); Mabel Campbell 
(M.A., Wellesley, Engish); E. L. Ford (Docteur, Lyon, French); Katherine French (Ph.D., 
Columbia, English); R. E. Smith (A.M. Vanderbilt, Biblical literature); W. G. Phelps (M.A. 
Princeton, classical languages); S. A. Steger (Ph.D., Virginia, English); Pierce Cline (A.M., 
Emory, history); John A. Hardin (A.M., Chicago, mathematics); S.D. Morehead (Ph.D., 
Columbia, economics); Mary Warters (M. A. Ohio State; Ph.D., Texas, biology); Bryant 
Davidson (M.A., Columbia, history/philosophy); R. E. White (Ph.D., Texas, Spanish); John 
B. Entrikin (Ph.D., Iowa, chemistry); and Marvin Shaw (Ph.D., LSU, English). 

The point to be made in this enumeration is that in an era when it was all too often 


difficult for small Southern liberal arts colleges to recruit faculty outside the region and 
frequently outside the state, Centenary had managed to attract and retain instructors whose 
graduate work had been done at some of the leading universities of the time and under 
some of the most distinguished professors in those institutions. The last eleven of the 
above-named professors taught at Centenary until they retired, and all made lasting contri- 
butions. Cline became president in 1933 and served until he died in 1943. Hardin became 
dean in 1925 and occupied that office till his retirement in 1947. Both he and Cline had 
dormitories named for them. Campbell took on administrative duties as dean of women, 
and Morehead left the classroom to become treasurer of the College; his bust, sculpted by 
Arthur Morgan, rests atop a brick pedestal in front of Hamilton Hall; the surrounding area 
is known as the Morehead Memorial Concourse. Entrikin and Warters achieved fame for 
preparing pre-med students and other science students headed for graduate school. 

The policy of recruiting this kind of faculty, begun during President Sexton's adminis- 
tration, has continued down to the present day. Sexton's judgment in choosing football to 
increase enrollment, endowment, and publicity may be questioned, but his situation was 
desperate, and his strategy did achieve its immediate goals. But his establishing the practice 
of building a talented faculty trained in prestigious institutions and thereby strengthening 
Centenary's academic program has produced lasting good effects. 

The year 1929 began for Centenary on a singularly upbeat note for the most part. There 
was some discussion on the board for re-organizing the administration of the athletic pro- 
gram with more faculty participation on a joint committee of trustees and faculty, but this 
was scrapped on February 5 in favor of letting one trustee, Mr. F. T Whited, handle the busi- 
ness "in cooperation with the President, the Faculty, and Board of Trustees" (TM 1921-32 
131). Whited resigned a week later, fearing he would have to make too "many compromises 
to meet the views of the administration." President Sexton wrote Whited the next day after 
having discussed the matter with him and elicited from him a promise to reconsider his 
decision in a year when he would not have to be "hampered by the traditions and practices 
of the past number of years" (TM 1 92 1 -32 letters inserted between pp. 132 and 133). One 
trusts that this did not mean a license to return to the notoriously free-wheeling years of 
the Bo McMillin era! 

Dr. Sexton's annual report of June 2, 1929, dealt with more or less routine matters, things 
like the successes of the athletic teams, the YWCA's programs, and the men's and women's 
choral groups. Faculty and student spirit and morale were high. To be sure, the Greeks had 
been kicking over the traces, so much in fact that the president was recommending that 
they be banned from campus and a structured social policy implemented. Finances were in 
good shape: little outstanding debt; operations within budget (TM 1921-32 137-39). 

A month later in a "supplemental" report, Sexton presented an even more glowing account 
of where the College was. In a lengthy retrospective, he elaborated an across-the-board history 
of his eight-year tenure: academic accreditation, athletic superiority and program solvency, 


music school excellence, Conference good will and support, outstanding faculty, flourish- 
ing social fraternities and sororities (he had softened his earlier severity toward the Greeks), 
healthy financial condition, enviable enrollment picture - the buoyancy and optimism in 
the report seemed to indicate a future of boundless opportunity (TM 1921-32 143-48). 

The lone blip on this idyllic screen was the admission that the College "[did] not have 
the buildings and equipment necessary to meet fully" its instructional obligations and 
duties. This was only a blip, however: in the same sentence, he claimed that even this lack 
did not prevent Centenary's offering "instruction and training equal to any offered by the 
larger colleges and universities" (TM 1921-32 145). 

Notwithstanding President Sexton's revisionist boast on July 9, 1929, regarding the 
number of national social fraternities and sororities on campus, the trustee committee 
charged with the oversight of those groups decided to deal definitively with what they saw 
as the root cause of the disciplinary problems of the Greeks - dancing. Their decision: 
ban it on campus and elsewhere for students, and forbid fraternities, sororities, and other 
student organizations from sponsoring or attending dances. This sweeping resolution was 
adopted by the full board without any recorded discussion ( TM 1921-32 148-49). 

Centenary's main achievement during the era of the Great Depression, 1929-41, would 
be to survive intact as a financially viable educational operation. Much of that survival 
is attributable to the courage, determination, and heroic behavior of those most closely 
connected with the College - faculty, staff, and administration; trustees; and alumni, well- 
wishers, and general supporters. Paradoxically, it was, to some extent, also due to the 
economic lack of sophistication and consequent helplessness of certain individuals in the 
above-mentioned groups. Even experts in academe and the larger world of affairs under- 
stood precious little about the forces that had plunged not only the United States but also 
the rest of the world into this economic maelstrom. 

Shreveport was in many respects typical of other small cities of the time: businesses 
and banks large and small failed; men and women of all classes lost jobs, farms, homes, and 
savings; public and private agencies of charitable relief were strained to the breaking point. 
It was among the most catastrophic times in the history of the world. 

Out in the rural areas, conditions were just as bad or, if anything, worse. Planters were 
receiving such low prices for cotton (five and six cents per pound) that they could no lon- 
ger furnish tenants with the supplies necessary to farm their acreage. The late Clarence 
Frierson, a Caddo Parish planter who operated the plantation that has been in his family for 
over a hundred years, stated that his father rejoiced when cotton prices rose to 7<t a pound. 
Planters in the Depression were mortgaged to the hilt to the banks and thus had no more 
assets to secure their loans. The most miserable of the characters in this economic tragedy, 
the agricultural laborers and the sharecroppers, had no significant help until the election of 
Franklin Roosevelt and the implementing of his New Deal measures for immediate relief 
and recovery. 


Because Shreveport had become a center of oil and gas activity as early as 1905, when 
oil was discovered 23 miles northwest of Shreveport, the Depression may have produced 
slightly less dire consequences than were generally observable but not much. No fewer 
than seven Shreveport banks were saved from absolute failure by merging with or being 
absorbed by or acquired by some other banking entity. Among these were the American 
National Bank of Shreveport, the American Savings Bank and Trust Company, the Cedar 
Grove State Bank, the City Savings Bank and Trust Company, the Continental Bank and 
Trust Company, and the Exchange Bank and Trust Company. Only two banks in the city 
did not fail, First National and Commercial National in Shreveport, and the latter under- 
went significant restructuring (Updegraff 33). 

One contemporary commentator, whom we may assume to have been highly knowl- 
edgeable about the period, painted the gloomiest possible picture of Shreveport in the early 
Depression years. W. K. Henderson, founder and head of KWKH in Shreveport, one of 
the country's first radio stations, wrote a letter on December 23, 1932, to his friend N. B. 
Stoer, lamenting the failure of a number of businesses and agricultural enterprises and the 
marginal survival of others ("Message" 28). 

Among the establishments that had gone to the wall at the time of Henderson's letter 
were Victoria Lumber Company; Henderson Iron Works; Foster-Glassell Company (cotton 
factors); Crawford, Jenkins and Booth (planters and cotton business generally); W. F. Taylor 
Company; and George T Bishop (automobile dealer). In particular, Henderson regretted 
the loss of many of the smaller lumber companies. Moreover, the big companies that some- 
how contrived to stay afloat found themselves in low estate, having large supplies of stock 
for which there was no demand and which was rapidly deteriorating. The letter concluded 
with the direst prognostication: "...our City is not going to improve" ("Message" 28). 
Henderson's pessimism was widely reflected in many sectors of American society though 
he as a media executive might have been expected at least to hope for some alleviation of 
the general misery by the election of Franklin Roosevelt a month earlier and some of the 
corrective measures Roosevelt had promised in his campaign. 

There seems to have been broad agreement in Shreveport that the community suffered 
less from the Depression than most American cities and that its recovery was relatively 
speedy, both facts attributable to its overall economic diversity, the oil and gas industry, and 
a significant labor supply. This assessment seems to have been generally accurate, though it 
may contain a degree of Chamber of Commerce boosterism and bank advertising. 

There is certainly ample evidence that the Depression played havoc not only with the 
lives of individuals but with the running of municipal government. A. C. Steere, a nation- 
ally known millionaire real estate developer, committed suicide because of his financial 
losses shortly after the crash of 1929. He was apparently convinced that the banks would 
demand payment on the loans they had made him. The City of Shreveport was forced to 
cut personnel from both the police and fire departments in 1931 just to stay within its bud- 


get and on several occasions in the early 1930s had to negotiate loans in order to conduct 
business (Thomas 126-27). 

Despite the self-congratulatory tone of much of the commentary about Shreveport's 
courageous handling of the Depression, the facts are that the federal government played an 
important role in the city's economic recovery during this period. In 1935, federal funds in 
the amount of $30,000 built the Atkins Avenue Elementary School in the Cedar Grove area. 
Federal monies paid for almost half of the auditoriums in elementary schools without them. 
Some of the largest amounts of federal largesse came in 1931 in the form of $2,650,000 for 
the construction of Barksdale Field, later Barksdale Air Force Base. Before the project was 
over, the cost of the Barksdale project was $3,500,000 (Thomas 129, 131). 

There was by 1933 a nearly universal desire on the part of the American people for 
a change in the executive level of leadership in the federal government. The election of 
Franklin D. Roosevelt and the immediate implementation of a number of his New Deal 
measures brought much needed relief to thousands of individual Shreveporters and to local 
and area businesses; and while the economic malaise was not cured overnight, the climate 
and the outlook were decidedly optimistic (Thomas 133-35). 

But Centenary did not escape many of the serious effects of the Depression. In his 
annual reports for the school years 1929-30, 1930-31, and 1931-32 - from the time of the 
Crash till his retirement - President Sexton somehow managed to convey a hopeful, at times 
rosy, picture of the College's situation. His genuine fondness for football even in this period 
of national gloom prompted him to offer a $25 prize to the student who selected a song that 
everyone would remember to be sung at football games. The College's Alma Mater was the 
result. (See Appendix I.) This determinedly optimistic gesture could not have been easy. 
During this time, the College's financial situation had deteriorated precipitately. In the first 
board meeting of 1930, held on January 3, not two months after the Crash, the first hint 
of financial problems ahead was voiced: Dr. Sexton's discussion of the Conference's plan 
to retire $300,000 worth of educational bonds. The College apparently felt under some 
obligation to help the Conference out and seemingly felt financially able to do so. As a tem- 
porary investment, the board agreed to buy $25,000 worth of those bonds. Board member 
T. L. James worked out a plan involving annuity bonds to benefit the Conference in this 
situation and at the same time protect the College's investment ( TM 1921-32 151). 

Then at the trustees meeting on June 3, 1930, President Sexton heralded good news once 
more. A local citizens campaign resulted in pledges of $500,250, of which over $400,000 had 
already been received in cash or notes. The Rotary Club of Shreveport appears to have been 
the largest single contributor, pledging $100,000; over half that figure was paid in cash. Of 
their gift, the Rotary Club designated $25,000 for the endowment and $75,000 for a men's 
dormitory. But perhaps the best news was that monies from this citizens campaign enabled 
the College to complete its contract with the General Board of Education of New York and 
thereby receive from that Board $250,000 for the endowment, making that fund $850,201. 


Numerous improvements in the physical plant now became possible on account of the citi- 
zens campaign. For example, fire-proof roofs could now be put on the women's building 
and the chapel; an addition to the gymnasium provided dressing and shower rooms and 
athletic equipment for both men and women ( TM 1921-32 154-55). 

Still, embedded in Sexton's optimistic outlook were acknowledgments that Centenary 
had suffered a reduction in income, that unbudgeted expenditures had arisen, that 
retrenchments would be necessary, that there was a shortage in endowment income, that 
over $12,000 in earned interest had not been collected, and that income from athletics was 
down to $15,000. Nevertheless, the President's verdict was that "the College is now in an 
easy condition" and with full income from the endowment "should be able to carry on in a 
minimum way for the next year" ( TM 1921-32 155-56). 

Roughly a year after the Crash, the executive committee of the board met to hear 
President Sexton request that the bank indebtedness of the College be arranged "in a 
more satisfactory and business-like way" and also "to take care of some unpaid vouchers." 
Discussion then followed, after which T. L. James moved that the committee "issue deben- 
ture notes not to exceed $100,000, running for a period of two or more years." The motion 
was seconded and passed (TM 1921-32 165). This was hardly an alarmist measure, but it 
surely indicated that the College had begun to experience financial difficulty and needed to 
have a significant amount of ready cash. 

A year later, on June 2, 1931, President Sexton in his annual report asserted that the 
preceding year had been the most successful of his tenure. He characterized Centenary's 
financial woes as "worries and burdens" common to all American enterprises during this 
"unparalleled depression," but he maintained that the College was holding the line and cited 
the strong student enrollment, impressive budgetary savings, and noteworthy educational 
achievements, including a long list of distinguished visiting lecturers. All in all, he declared 
there was ample reason for "rejoicing" despite the "depressing conditions. . .in [the] . . .finan- 
cial world" ( TM 1921 -32 174-75). By September, the situation had deteriorated to the point 
that the College was accepting farm produce as payment for tuition. Such items included 
sweet potatoes, milk, eggs, and cotton ("Farm Products" 1). 

It will not be amiss in chronicling this "sea of troubles" to record an inspirational and 
reassuring event, the October 1931 founding of the Maroon Jackets, an organization elec- 
tion to which constitutes one of the highest honors that can come to a Centenary student. 
Originally there was a "pep squad" dimension to the group, but its principal function was 
always to serve as official hosts for every major Centenary function ("Girls Organize" 1). 
Until 1979, membership was open only to women students; since then, men have been 
eligible to be chosen. Perhaps the most heartening aspect of this episode is the eloquent 
testimony it bears to the high level of student morale and school spirit in a singularly dismal 
era in the nation's and Centenary College's history. 

Meanwhile, budget deficits continued to mount. When the budget committee of the 


trustees met for the last time in 1931, they asked the president to cut the budget so that it 
would not exceed $140,000. Whereupon, President Sexton reminded the committee of the 
current deficit of $26,464.95, and suggested that the committee prepare a recommendation 
for the full board to deal with this deficit ( TM 1921-32 190). 

By the spring of 1932, Centenary's grave financial situation was undeniable. Board 
meetings, executive committee meetings, and budget committee meetings were taken up 
almost exclusively with the rapidly worsening financial condition of the College. For the 
school year 1931-32, scholastic income had been $113,094.15; expenses, $121,698.79. No 
income was received from approximately $150,000 of the endowment funds. Deficits were 
continuing at a disturbing rate. The board had begun to budget deficits in the athletic 
program. The athletic committee had to borrow $1 1,000 to pay on its accumulated deficit, 
which was projected to be $20,000 for 1931-32. The trustees were willing to continue the 
athletic deficit budget on the strength of the athletic committee's assertion that it could 
keep that deficit under $25,000 ( TM 1932-43 1-2). It is difficult to see how the board could 
have believed that athletics, principally football, was that important to the health and well- 
being of the College. Sports apologists in smaller institutions have over the years offered a 
variety of reasons for these kinds of deficits: football brings revenue to the college, fosters 
school spirit, is an asset in recruiting students, gives scholarship aid to those who could not 
afford the small private school. Such arguments were apparently convincing to Centenary 
trustees, who continued in the darkest of economic times to authorize deficit budgets for 
the football program. 

The Sexton years were especially significant in the sense that a number of events may 
be cited to show that Centenary was on the road to becoming a very good liberal arts col- 
lege. Several disparate examples will serve to illustrate that claim. For example, in the fall 
of 1930, one of the greatest Shakespeare companies in the world, the Ben Greet Players of 
London, performed Hamlet in the Centenary amphitheater (now the Hargrove Memorial 
Amphitheatre). The director, Sir Philip Ben Greet, had only recently been knighted by 
George V for fifty years of distinguished contributions to drama ("Ben Greet" 1). 

The classroom as a place where ideas could be advanced, challenged, disproved, or 
authenticated was made in evidence at Centenary. The September 27, 1930, issue of the 
Conglomerate carried a letter from a junior literary studies major, W. F. Woodard, Jr., wel- 
coming freshmen to the campus and giving some unusual advice for that era about keeping 
an open mind in religion classes. Woodard, also president of Pi Gamma Mu, honorary 
social science fraternity, writes, "Many freshmen come to [Centenary] each year who were 
brought up in strict fundamentalist families where they were taught that every word in the 
Bible is true. Then somebody points out that the story of Jonah and the whale is only a 
myth to bring out a general truth; [or] that the first two chapters of Genesis give conflicting 
accounts of the creation... [D]on't think that because... this might be true that the whole 
Bible, God and religion is to be done away with" (2). 


The following spring, Centenary students and faculty heard four lectures on campus 
by Sir Herbert Ames, Canadian MP and former high-ranking League of Nations official. 
Sir Herbert was on a speaking tour on behalf of universal peace and the significance of the 
League of Nations ("Sir Herbert" 1). 

Beginning in the late 1920s, many colleges and universities began to establish "labora- 
tory schools" on their campuses, where the latest theories in progressive education could 
be put into practice. Centenary established one of these lab schools in 1931 and called it 
"the model school." It was open to students from grades one through seven. Much of its 
work was based on "projects," designed "to challenge the interest and attention of the pupil" 
("Centenary Model" 1). 

Also, in the fall of 1931, the Carnegie Endowment invited Centenary to establish 
an International Relations Club under its auspices. At that time, there were just over 170 
such clubs active on American campuses. Their purpose was "to promote knowledge of 
International Relations in community affairs" ("New Club" 1). 

The examples cited above are at once random and typical. Centenary was not in 
some kind of cultural backwash in a deprived region of the Deep South. Centenary stu- 
dents were regularly exposed to an array of mind- and spirit-expanding opportunities in 
theatrical performances, challenging religious instruction, lectures by internationally dis- 
tinguished figures, membership in organizations dedicated to studying current events on 
a world level, internships in the latest educational methods. Moreover, they were making 
impressive records after graduation. 

Sexton had taken the reins of a 96-year-old college perilously near extinction and in 
eleven years had turned it into a viable institution of higher education, not perfect by any 
means but with most of the components in place for future success. Much of Centenary's 
community support and overall standing in the community is attributable to Sexton. 
During his tenure, enrollment increased almost tenfold, from 113 to 1,108. The endow- 
ment more than doubled, from $400,000 to $822,000, despite the fact that the last years he 
was in office were among the bleakest of the Great Depression. A faculty of over 40 mem- 
bers was recruited with degrees from exceptionally strong graduate schools in this country 
and at least in one instance in Europe. The faculty committee system of college governance 
was established. Academic rank (professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instruc- 
tor) came into being. Finally, a multiplicity of extracurricular clubs and activities sprang 
up for students to participate in. To YMCA, YWCA, and the ministerial club were added 
organizations comprised of those specializing or interested in certain academic fields, for 
example, Zeta Alpha Kappa and Eta Sigma Chi (overall academic achievement), Kappa 
Gamma (Latin), El Club Castellano (Spanish), Le Circle Francais (French), Sigma Pi Sigma 
(physics) [there was also a separate Physics Club], Pi Gamma Mu (social sciences), English 
Club, Mathematics Club, Epsilon Chi Sigma (chemistry), Pi Kappa Delta (forensics) [plus 
a separate forensics association for women], and Pi Mu Sigma (pre-med). Other interest 


groups existed for students in drama, music, and publications; and social fraternities and 
sororities, which had long had chapters at the College, enjoyed a revival in the 1920s, some 
eleven being established in that decade. Also, women began to participate in a variety of 
sports such as basketball, archery, golf, tennis, and horseback riding. 

Centenary was by no means safe from the dangers of the Depression that lay ahead, but 
it had a board of trustees made up of some of the most distinguished leaders of the com- 
munity in a variety of fields, men who had financial resources of their own and whose con- 
nection with Centenary guaranteed for the College a strong line of credit with the banks. 
Other factors forecast survival during the troubled times - a long and honorable history, an 
excellent and dedicated faculty, and a numerically and academically healthy student body. 
Small wonder that morale on campus was high. 



Chapter IX 

Centenary Fights Depression Woes 1932-44 

Sexton resigned as president of Centenary in 1932 at age 65 and was immediately elected 
president emeritus by the trustees ( TM 1932-43 9), at that time only the second president in 
the history of the College to be so honored. Dr. Scales, chairman of the board of trustees, 
requested the privilege of voting with the rest of the board so that Sexton's election to that 
honor could be unanimous (TM 1932-43 16). Sexton was much admired and respected 
by the faculty, who in a resolution of July 4, 1932, petitioned the trustees to try to induce 
him to withdraw his resignation and stay on as president (TM 1932-43 14). Though this 
petition praised the board extravagantly and was couched in the most respectful terms, the 
board in a singular example of uncollegial behavior neither acknowledged the communique 
nor discussed it, though they had it in hand in the January 5, 1932, meeting, where, on the 
recommendation of the executive committee, they accepted Sexton's resignation. The pen- 
ultimate paragraph of the faculty resolution may explain the board's peremptory dismissal 
of the document. The paragraph begins, "The faculty has rejoiced at the inauguration of 
the new policy instituted January 1, 1932, which has resulted in the elimination of losses 
attributable to athletics, and we believe that the policy has every promise of continued 
success in preventing losses" ( TM 1932-43 between pp. 14 and 15). Sexton had spelled out 
in detail the losses of the athletic program, and the trustees may have been smarting from 
hearing about those incontrovertible deficits resulting from their refusal to take corrective 
action and therefore have been unwilling to accept any kind of advice (or left-handed com- 
mendation) from an upstart faculty! 

Two months after Sexton's resignation, the board named Dr. W. Angie Smith, pastor of 
the First Methodist Church of Shreveport, as acting president (TM 1932-43 19). Dr. Smith 
accepted his assignment willingly, and one of the first duties he had to perform was to sign 
promissory notes bearing six percent interest to faculty members who wanted them for the 
balance due on their salaries. The College planned to mount a general campaign to raise 
the money to pay these notes, but in any event, they were the obligations of the College 
(TM 1932-43 19). This is an all too graphic illustration of Centenary's precarious financial 


situation, yet the absolute depths of the Depression lay ahead. Smith tried to effect other 
economies, one involving increased income from dormitories. Freshman and sophomore 
girls were now required to live in the dorms, and faculty members without children could 
rent apartments there (TM 1932-43 18). 

Meanwhile, the College was continuing its big-time football program. Head coach 
Homer Norton and assistant coach Curtis Parker directed the Gentlemen of 1932 to an 
unbeaten season, marred only by a 0-0 tie against Arkansas. Among the Gents' victims 
that year were SMU, the University of Texas, Ole Miss, Texas A & M, and LSU. The 6-0 win 
over LSU in Shreveport was witnessed by Louisiana's notorious governor Huey P. Long. 
Though popular in North Louisiana - he was a native of Winnfield - Long was hated by the 
Shreveport oligarchy, and that included prominent Methodist layman and longtime trustee 
of Centenary, Randle T Moore. Moore was chairman of the board of the Commercial 
National Bank, perhaps the most important financial institution in Shreveport. The bank 
was certainly no favorite of Governor Long's. As a practicing attorney, he had won a big 
lawsuit against it in the 1920s. According to T Harry Williams, his biographer, Long ran 
into Moore one day on the streets of Shreveport shortly after taking some measure against 
the bank. Moore accosted him, shoved him up against a building, and threatened to cut 
his throat with an open knife. It seems to have been common knowledge that Moore had 
a fiery temper and had pulled a knife on other occasions. Nothing happened this time, but 
the episode illustrated the degree of violent hostility to Long on the part of the power elite 
in Shreveport (97). 

An interesting method of addressing the College's monetary woes was presented to the 
executive committee of the board at a called meeting on March 1, 1933. Dr. S. D. Morehead, 
head of the department of economics, explained a plan whereby the faculty and staff agreed 
to accept a significant portion of their salaries in scrip, that is, certificates issued by the 
College and backed up by a bank. Certain merchants in Shreveport agreed to accept this 
scrip as payment for goods and services. They could later exchange the scrip at the bank for 
regular United States dollars. The College could also pay its own debts to any participating 
agency, who could, after a prescribed period of time, exchange the scrip for cash at the bank. 
In lay terms, this was simply a method by which the College could borrow money from the 
bank for short-term use. The amount of scrip issued was never greater than the amount of 
cash the College had in the bank to redeem it. The modest contribution which merchants 
paid to participate in the program subsidized the printing of the scrip, the bank's service 
charge for administering the program, and some fraction of the interest Centenary had to 
pay to the bank for their loan. The plan is described in Appendix A. 

On April 20, 1933, Acting President W. Angie Smith told the board that he could no 
longer continue to serve as both pastor of the First Methodist Church and as interim presi- 
dent of Centenary and that they would have to elect a permanent president soon. He had 
only a short time earlier asked Paul Brown whether he would accept the presidency of 


Centenary. Brown answered that he would not and even mentioned the possibility that the 
College might not open in the fall because conditions were so bad (Lowrey 45). Smith then 
nominated Professor Pierce Cline, head of the department of history, to fill that post. Cline 
was subsequently elected ( TM 1932-43 25-26). 

So that as many students as possible could still afford to attend Centenary during the 
Depression, the College reduced most student charges, including tuition, room, board, and 
assorted fees and eliminated others altogether. At the same time, the trustees were having 
to negotiate with Dr. Sexton on paying his back salary. Money from the endowment had 
to be used to pay faculty salaries. President Cline proposed that the College place adver- 
tisements in the local papers in order to recruit more students. This is hardly surprising. 
During Sexton's last year as president, Centenary's enrollment had climbed to 1,108. It had 
dropped to 803 a year later while W. Angie Smith was acting president, and by fall 1933, 
Cline's first full year as president, had declined to 701 (Misc. Regis. Records). 

Low enrollment was only one of the problems facing the new president. In early 
October, the faculty had not been paid since the preceding March and had received only 
a fifth of their salary for that month. The athletic coaches were in a similar position. The 
board's explanation to both groups was that no funds were available. This did not pre- 
vent the trustees in November 1933, from hiring Curtis Parker as football coach at a salary 
of $3,600 a year (TM 1932-43 54, 58). Given the strapped financial situation they found 
themselves in, it is surprising that the trustees voted to remove the Pabst Blue Ribbon beer 
advertisement from the stadium fence ( TM 1932-43 56). If ever there was a time to swallow 
Methodist temperance pride, this was it. 

Nevertheless, while borrowing money from banks to operate as well as negotiating with 
faculty members over unpaid salaries occupied the principal part of the College's day-to- 
day financial affairs, academic and extracurricular activities went on for the most part as 
if no money crisis existed. Eloquent testimony exists that students never lost their ebul- 
lience during the Depression and World War II. Much of this was traceable to a student 
variety show that traveled throughout the region giving performances in schools, churches, 
community centers, army camps, and military hospitals for over a decade. The show was 
called Kollege Kapers, and it was the brainchild of Dr. S. D. Morehead, who established and 
directed the group in 1933, the first year of Pierce Cline's presidency. Indeed, Morehead, 
also chairman of the department of economics, may have come up with the idea as an 
antidote to "hard times" and thereby lifted student morale. It was wildly successful, and its 
benevolent and delightful influence was felt far beyond the walls of alma mater. 

The "cast" of Kollege Kapers included comedians, actors, artists, magicians, ventrilo- 
quists, band and orchestra, singers (soloists and ensembles), pianists, dancers (tap, ballet), 
and puppeteers. The quality of these performers was exceptionally high for amateurs, and 
critics consistently pronounced their level of excellence as professional. They auditioned 
for their parts, and the bar was set high by Dr. Morehead and maintained at that standard 


by B. P. Causey, College band director, who took over from Morehead in the early 1940s. 
Kollege Kapers was discontinued after 1947, but it played an important role in the history of 
this institution and the region. (It had a highly successful revival on campus in the spring 
of 2004; the School of Music has since made it an annual event.) 

Among the most important things to happen to Centenary in 1935 was the decision on 
the part of the General Education Board of New York to allow colleges which had received 
grants from this Rockefeller foundation to use those monies for any purposes deemed 
proper for the advancement of the institution. Centenary had received a grant of $250,000 
for its endowment and was obligated not to spend any of the money for any other pur- 
pose. This action on the part of the General Education Board allowed Centenary and other 
schools to make the best use of their grant money in this period of protracted economic 
distress (TM 1932-43 100-01). Centenary's board of trustees had voted on June 6, 1934, to 
contact the General Education Board for their consent to use the Rockefeller money to pay 
off the College's indebtedness ( TM 1932-43 88-89). Thus, the new policy was an answer to 
their prayers. 

The April meeting of the trustees that year marked the unanimous election of M. L. 
Bath, prominent Shreveport businessman to the board. This was a fortuitous action of the 
board's because in 1947, Bath established the M. L. Bath Rotary International Scholarship, 
which has brought and continues to bring students from all over the world to study at 
Centenary ( TM 1932-43 99). 

The amphitheater on campus, begun in 1934, was completed in 1935, but almost imme- 
diately President Cline wanted to apply to the federal government for a project grant to 
improve the structure significantly. To receive such a grant, however, the ground on which 
the structure stood would have to be leased to the city of Shreveport. A three-man com- 
mittee was named to negotiate with the city regarding this matter ( TM 1932-43 117). There 
is no official record that federal monies were ever sought or received for the amphitheater. 
It was a decade of building opportunity for colleges and communities since the federal 
government was actually soliciting projects that would put people to work. In the summer 
of 1936, the trustees, on learning of the possibility of acquiring a $105,000 grant from the 
Public Works Administration for a science building, authorized board chairman Bishop 
Hoyt M. Dobbs to execute the government requirements for such a grant. In fact, the city 
of Shreveport would have to apply for the grant after the College had leased to the city for 
99 years the ground on which the building was to be constructed (TM 1932-43 147). 

On May 26, 1936, in his annual report to the trustees for 1935-36, President Cline 
touched on a problem that was to bedevil Centenary through the years, namely, student 
retention. The College seemed to be able to recruit a good-sized freshman class year after 
year; then because of inadequate classrooms and laboratory equipment, many students 
would transfer to another college after the freshman or sophomore year. Such a situation 
meant that Centenary could not maintain a sizable enough student body to ensure income 


for an efficient economic operation. Cline summarized the minimum needs to address 
this problem: additional endowment of $100,000; new administration building with mod- 
ern, well equipped classrooms; money to liquidate the College's indebtedness. This would 
call for a fund-raising campaign. To direct the campaign, the board turned to Emeritus 
President George Sexton. They could hardly have chosen a better person. Sexton's abili- 
ties as a college administrator and fund-raiser were already legendary. He would have to 
complete his term of office as Presiding Elder of the Shreveport District of the Methodist 
Church in November 1936. The immediate goal of the campaign was $300,000; this would 
later be increased to $500,000. Sexton's compensation would be $300 a month, a cottage on 
campus, an office, a secretary, and traveling expenses (TM 1932-43 136-37). 

The prospect of Dr. Sexton's return to Centenary in a fund-raising capacity added luster 
to the $125,000 gift of Shreveport oilman W. A. Haynes for a new gym and physical educa- 
tion building. In the July 9, 1936, trustee minutes, no mention is made of Mr. Haynes as 
the donor of this handsome gift. But in the minutes a month later, he is identified by name 
(TM 1932-43 147, 149). Though there were some signs on the horizon that the Depression 
was letting up, times were still bad; so the combination of two such happy events as the 
aforementioned had to have been heartening to the trustees. 

This was not Haynes's first gift to Centenary. An avid football fan, he had in 1932 
donated the money for a 15,000-spectator capacity wooden grandstand called "Centenary 
Stadium" located across Kings Highway from the campus proper. It took the place of a 
much smaller though similar structure that stood about where Jones-Rice playing field 
(formerly Hardin) is today. Haynes's "Stadium" was demolished after World War II to cre- 
ate space for veterans' housing (Brock 65). 

On the last day of March 1937, President Cline reported a disturbing development to 
the trustees. He had learned of a move by the state to acquire Dodd College and turn it 
into a free junior college. After much discussion, the board authorized a committee of its 
own members and "influential citizens of Shreveport" to travel to Baton Rouge and meet 
with Governor Leche and "explain to him the existing conditions." Foremost among these 
conditions was the fear that the establishment of a free junior college in Shreveport would 
seriously cut down on enrollment at Centenary, thereby reducing tuition income and pos- 
sibly even jeopardizing the future of the College. Governor Leche assured them that there 
was no "immediate prospect" of such an eventuality (TM 1932-43 166-67). (It was to be 
almost exactly 30 years before Louisiana State University in Shreveport was founded.) 

Among the many incongruities that can transpire in colleges, none is more dramatic 
- or regrettable - than one observable at Centenary in the spring of 1937. At the very 
zenith of the school's major college football program - replete with all the attendant hoopla 
and steadily increasing budget deficits - six senior faculty members including the dean 
of the college and the heads of the mathematics, economics, English, history, and foreign 
languages departments wrote on April 7, 1937, the following letter to President Cline and 


Bishop Dobbs, chairman of the board of trustees. The letter was prompted by the grave 
financial situation at the College especially but not exclusively because of the intolerable 
salary picture. 

Dear President Cline and Bishop Dobbs: 

For approximately five years we have continued our work at Centenary 
College as efficiently as humanly possible under most discouraging condi- 
tions. Nevertheless, we have in cooperation with you striven to do our 
work without complaining, but the hope that has sustained us in the past 
should now be justified, we feel, by definite action on the part of the Board 
and College Administration. We cannot much longer continue under such 

The present school year is almost at an end, yet no definite informa- 
tion has been given us regarding salaries for the coming session, except 
the statement that some new salary policy would be inaugurated in June. 
Confronted with the necessity of making every effort possible to obtain 
that security to which experienced teachers are entitled, we are now also 
requesting definite information regarding your plans and purposes on the 
following matters at present jeopardizing our membership in the Southern 
Association of Schools and Colleges: 

First - Indebtedness of the College. With generally improved eco- 
nomic and financial condition, it is, we think, reasonable to expect now a 
complete liquidation of all past indebtedness. 

Second - Increase of endowment sufficient to provide an annual 
income such as to assure permanent stability of the College and salaries 
commensurate with the preparation and experience of the Faculty. 

Third - A building program. 

This letter represents the sentiments of the undersigned as individual 
faculty members, who, having been connected with the college for many 
years, are gravely concerned for its future (TM 1932-43 168-69). 

Given the dignified eloquence of the clearly stated, potentially ominous situation and rea- 
soned suggestions for a solution in the letter, one might have expected the president and the 
board to respond in kind. Instead, in their meeting a week later, they copied the faculty mem- 
bers' very same goals as the purpose of the fund-raising campaign to be spearheaded by Dr. 
Sexton. The only acknowledgment of the faculty letter was the following cavalier paragraph: 
It was reported by Bishop Dobbs, Doctor Sexton, and President Cline 
that the plans for the financial campaign were a satisfactory answer to the 
letter from the faculty, and they had been assured of this fact by certain 
faculty members (TM 1932-43 169). 


This episode is discreditable to both President Cline and the board in its discourtesy and 
the strong implication that the administration and the board do not understand their proper 
relationship to the faculty. It is not one of employer to employee; it is one of academic col- 
legiality. An occurrence of this kind could no longer transpire without the most serious 
consequences. Naturally, over the last 70 years, roles in academe are more clearly defined, 
and paternalism and administrative autocracy have been succeeded by collegiality. 

On May 17, 1937, scarcely a month after representatives of Centenary were assured by 
Governor Leche that there was no immediate prospect of the state's establishing a free junior 
college in Shreveport, the issue came up again, this time at a meeting of the Caddo Parish 
school board. Proponents of the plan wanted the school board to purchase the Dodd College 
property and give it to the state university system to operate a junior college. Rumor had it 
that the state was prepared to fund the project so that the junior college could open in the fall. 
In fact, nothing of the sort happened. The state attorney general had sent a letter to the presi- 
dent of the school board expressing the opinion that the board did not have the authority to 
initiate such an action; so the idea was dropped for the time being. A committee of Centenary 
trustees was named to meet with the sponsors of the junior college for the purpose of "per- 
fecting a program that would be mutually satisfactory" (TM 1932-43 173, 175). There is no 
account of these groups ever meeting. Centenary certainly had enough to deal with already: 
the half-million dollar fund-raising campaign was about to kick off. There were three stated 
aims: to pay off the College's debts and anticipated budget deficits - $75,000; to construct 
adequate science facilities; and to increase the endowment ( TM 1932-43 175). 

President Cline's annual report to the trustees on May 25, 1937, was a remarkable 
example of what is labeled in twenty- first century jargon as "spin." In a period of unremit- 
ting financial woes - an anticipated deficit of $75,000 for 1937-38 - Cline never once men- 
tioned that the College faced problems at all. Rather, in extolling the successful functioning 
of the College, he touted the 21% increase in enrollment over the previous year, the absence 
of "disruption and disturbance" on campus, the payment of all operational bills, the retire- 
ment of some debt, and a surplus in the bank. (It had been only a little over a month 
since the dean and the most senior members of the faculty had written to the trustees an 
unprecedented complaint about salaries and the dangerous financial state of the College.) 
Cline boasted that morale and student spirituality on campus were high and that scholar- 
ship and athletic programs were progressing satisfactorily. The threat of a junior college's 
being established in Shreveport elicited from President Cline a spirited defense of private 
higher education and an equally strong implication that public institutions are inevitably 
subject to politicization as the "first tools in the hands of dictators - witness Russia, Italy, 
Germany." He closed an unusually brief report by acknowledging the gift of the new gym 
and physical education building though he did not mention the donor, W. A. Haynes, by 
name (TM 1932-43 177-78). Haynes's original bequest of $125,000 had by this time grown 
to $151,000. 


No doubt Cline wanted the mood of the board to be optimistic what with the half- 
million dollar campaign in the offing. Any euphoria that the trustees may have felt was 
soon dispelled when Dr. Sexton died unexpectedly on July 4, 1937. The post of public rela- 
tions director, which had been created especially for him, was now vacant; so the immediate 
challenge facing the board was to find someone to head the fund-raising drive. They chose 
one of their own, T. C. Clanton, to chair "the second phase" of the campaign without having 
made altogether clear what the first phase was ( TM 1932-43 187). 

A number of important issues faced the College in the months following Dr. Sexton's 
death, One was the need for an updated charter, the original one then being over a hundred 
years old. Trustee B. F. Roberts was named to draft the new one. In an effort to render more 
effective Centenary's administrative organization, the board created the new position of 
executive vice president, then offered it to C. O. Holland of Minden at a salary of $5,000 a 
year. At the time of his appointment Mr. Holland was president of the People's Bank and 
Trust Company of Minden and the lay leader of the Methodist Conference (TM 1932-43 

But the most serious immediate problem the College had to deal with was the failure of 
the financial campaign. Up front, this meant Centenary could not fulfill a key requirement 
of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, namely, the liquidation of the entire 
indebtedness of the College by February 1, 1938. It meant additionally that some plan had 
to be devised for the early liquidation of the bonded indebtedness of the Louisiana Annual 
Methodist Conference. Finally, it meant that the most "restless" of the College's creditors were 
going to have to be paid at least 25% of what was owed them at once ( TM 1932-43 195). 

Just how Centenary got into these financial straits, which almost led to bankruptcy, 
may be traced back to 1924. In that year, President Sexton had begun to make significant 
strides in ensuring Centenary's success as an institution of higher learning. To accommo- 
date the burgeoning enrollment, major buildings and numbers of new faculty were needed. 
Furthermore, the College's still modest endowment needed healthy infusions of cash. At 
the annual meeting in late November of that year, the Conference's Board of Education 
recommended in their report that to commemorate the centennial of Centenary's found- 
ing, honor the contribution of the College to the Church and higher education, and assist 
Centenary in its own financial campaign, the Conference raise a sum of at least $5 per 
church member in Louisiana. President Sexton gave "a stirring address upon the history 
and future of Centenary College and the great need of making the centennial offering a suc- 
cess throughout the Conference" (La. Conf. Min. 1924 35). The report was adopted, and in 
1925 the Conference voted a bond issue of $300,000, of which $275,000 was earmarked for 
the Centenary endowment and a building program (La. Conf. Min. 1925 52-53). 

Shreveport banks purchased most of these bonds, but individuals purchased some 
and expected an interest income from them. The Depression made it very difficult for the 
College and the Conference to make payment on these bonds and the accrued interest. So 


impeded was the very cash flow at the College that early in 1934 President Cline had urged 
the trustees to use endowment funds not only to operate the institution but to pay interest 
on the bonds and on two bank notes. This can only be construed as an act of desperation 
and an extreme measure to keep Centenary from going under (Morgan 65-66). 

By 1935, bonded indebtedness had become such a burden to the College that some 
solution to the problem had to be found. A committee of nine was formed from the board, 
chaired by T. L. James and made up of representatives of Centenary, the Conference, and 
the Shreveport banks. For a good while, the committee worked hard but failed to come up 
with a solution. Finally, James devised a plan which the Conference approved on March 
12, 1938, and named James himself to direct the financial campaign that they hoped would 
bring an end to the monetary ills threatening the continued existence of the College. The 
plan to retire the total indebtedness was a joint venture involving "discounts from the banks, 
acceptances by the Centenary College Endowment Fund, special large gifts by individuals, 
and pastors and churches" (La. Conf. Min. 1938 55). 

In his annual report to the trustees on May 25, 1938, President Cline acknowledged the 
heroic efforts of those most closely involved with the campaign and expressed the hope that 
never again would the College have to use income to pay interest. He went on to make it 
clear that Centenary still faced problems of the first magnitude. Even though the current 
enrollment of 1,085 was one of the largest in the College's history, it was bringing to a head 
conditions with the direst implications for the institution's survival. Despite the fact that 
Centenary was presently meeting only the minimum standards of her accrediting agency, 
the Southern Association, in salaries and expenditure per student, her membership in that 
Association was conditional primarily because of inadequate library facilities and low per- 
manent endowment. Furthermore, the examining committee of the Southern Association 
found that Centenary relied too heavily on fluctuating student fees for operating income 
(TM 1932-43 203-04). 

The mixed blessing of large student enrollments becomes evident in the pressure they 
put on facilities. For example, Cline informed the trustees that only one-eighth of the 
student body could be seated in the library at any one time; whereas, there should have 
been seating for a minimum one-fourth. Laboratory facilities were equally unsatisfactory, 
indeed, if anything, worse: they were not only inadequate, they were also rapidly deteriorat- 
ing (TM 1 932-43 203). 

President Cline went on to tell the trustees that such difficulties, which increased 
enrollments were bringing, would necessitate studying the future of Centenary from a 
philosophical point of view. The College would have to decide whether to compete for 
enrollment with area state schools, which had begun "heavy building programs" or whether 
to concentrate on liberal education and a more select student body. Cline favored the latter, 
advising trustees to emphasize quality, not numbers, thereby training students for academic 
excellence and leadership rather than undertaking mass education. This may have been 


the first time such a perception of Centenary's mission had been so clearly articulated by a 
president of the institution (TM 1932-43 203). 

There are a number of points in Cline's report to suggest that he supported liberal 
arts colleges and their curricula not just for their intrinsic worth but that because they are 
"free," free of not being beholden to the "state" and its implied commitment to "party and 
factional bias." Cline mentions particularly "dictatorial governments abroad," by which 
he means German Nazism, Italian fascism, and Russian communism. The latter of these 
had first engaged the attention of Americans right after World War I and throughout the 
1920s and resulted in the hysteria known as the Big Red Scare. Cline asserted that church- 
related liberal arts colleges are the "freest" institutions in the country, hence are among the 
greatest "bulwark(s) to liberty" ( TM 1932-43 204). It is certainly true that these liberal arts 
institutions have indeed provided forums for the free discussion of ideas which many might 
consider dangerous and inimical to so-called American values. 

James conducted the campaign vigorously, and it was a success. When the Conference 
met in New Orleans on November 16, 1938, the announcement was made that Centenary's 
bonded indebtedness had been totally liquidated. James was called to the rostrum and 
given a standing ovation. The following spring at Commencement, the College conferred 
upon him the honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his many contributions to the institution 
(Morgan 66). 

The implications of this successful campaign must have given the trustees fresh cour- 
age to tackle what undoubtedly had seemed like insoluble problems. President Cline's next 
annual report to the board, delivered on May 23, 1939, continued the optimistic impetus. 
Again, previous enrollment records were topped. The combined totals of regular students, 
summer school, and evening classes came to 1,300. The financial situation, for once, was 
satisfactory; the operating account showed a surplus; and an increase in enrollment was 
predicted. In what may have been the first time ever, the College would have to limit enroll- 
ment in the sciences for 1939-40, primarily because of the urgent laboratory needs (TM 
1932-43 221). 

Following President Cline's report, Executive Vice President Holland submitted a more 
detailed report elaborating the points made by Cline. (The substantially improved financial 
picture at the College was a strong indication that trustee T. L. lames's plan was paying off: 
not having to pay interest on bonds freed up operating capital for the College.) The recently 
constructed student center cost $16,800. Over $7,000 of that amount came from a gift of 
the Louisiana Conference Board of Christian Education. The balance was to come from 
monies raised during the Sexton Campaign of 1937. (When the present Moore Student 
Center was constructed in 1958, the architect was able to incorporate this earlier building 
in its entirety into the new structure.) The College's somewhat improved financial situa- 
tion also allowed Holland to propose purchasing laboratory equipment and painting the 
frame buildings on campus, both of which actions, along with the new student center, would 


greatly enhance the quality of life and learning for students and faculty (TM 1932-43 223). 

As the last item of business at this May 23, 1939, meeting, the board repealed its sweep- 
ing 1929 action prohibiting Centenary students from dancing on campus and banning 
College organizations from sponsoring off-campus dances. Realizing that such stringent 
prohibitions had never been enforceable, the board voted to ban Centenary students from 
dancing on campus only. That dancing should have been such an issue may strike many as 
surprising. In the popular mind, opposition to dancing in the 1920s and 1930s came from 
religious groups other than the Methodist Church. But the fact is that the Methodist Church 
did officially take a dim view of dancing, and in deference to that view, the Centenary board 
of trustees in 1929 had made it official: Centenary would not sponsor dances on or off cam- 
pus or allow students to attend any off-campus dance sponsored by "a school organization," 
and the faculty was authorized to enforce the policy. 

Even in a day when students were a good deal more docile and compliant than they 
presently are, those of this era flagrantly danced off campus. So in 1939, ten years after 
the draconian policy was laid down, President Cline complained to the board that it was 
becoming impossible to enforce this strict rule against all dancing. Because many students 
lived off campus, there was no way the faculty could monitor their behavior. After dis- 
cussion, the board voted to repeal the 1929 policy and to allow dancing off campus (TM 
1932-43 225). Whereupon, the students gave up all pretence of not dancing and began 
openly scheduling dances in downtown hotels, the Broadmoor Club, and clubs on Cross 
Lake like the Forty-and-Eight Club, the organization of WWI veterans that took its name 
from the practice of French freight trains of putting 40 men or 8 mules in one box car. The 
faculty and administration were uneasy about the atmosphere at these places, and the stu- 
dents were, too. They wanted to have dances on campus to encourage school spirit (Mayo 
206). Two more years would elapse before the board would take definitive action on the 
question of dancing at Centenary. 

Six months into 1939, the executive committee met to hear a "comprehensive" report 
from J. B. Atkins covering the past several years, the gist of which was that it was becoming 
increasingly difficult to pay for athletics. The athletic committee proposed a solution: hire 
a full-time public relations secretary at a salary of $200 a month to promote the College and 
the athletic program. The executive committee approved the measure unanimously and 
then voted to have President Cline sign notes to purchase lighting equipment for night-time 
football games. Half of this expenditure was to be paid from gate receipts of the upcoming 
(1939) football season, and half from those of the 1940 season (TM 1932-43 227). 

When the executive committee met on December 15, 1939, they heard yet another 
report from the athletic committee presented by J. B. Atkins and George D. Wray. It was 
more bad news. Football gate receipts for the season just completed had been extremely 
poor: income was able to defray expenses only till December 1. Between $15,000 and 
$20,000 would be needed to pay for next year's athletic program. To deal with this 


exigency, the athletic committee proposed asking the full board to increase its membership 
in order to get more financial support for both academic and athletic programs. It was now 
obvious that student fees and endowment income would be insufficient to fund any athletic 
deficits. Nevertheless, the athletic committee was determined to sign Coach Curtis Parker 
to another one-year contract, provided the funding was there (TM 1932-43 227). 

Football, it should be remembered, did not cease being the "jewel in the crown" of 
Centenary athletics simply because Bo McMillin left as head coach and the Southern 
Association awarded Centenary full accreditation once its athletic program was "cleaned 
up." Far from it. Earl Davis succeeded McMillin but coached for only one year (1925), an 
unsuccessful one. Homer Norton, who had been athletic director since 1920, then took 
over and coached the next eight years. His teams became legendary, and in 1933, his last 
year at Centenary, the team was undefeated. Norton left to become head coach at Texas A 
& M, whom the Gents had beaten 20-0 in Norton's last year at Centenary (1934 Yoncopin 

Curtis Parker, Norton's successor, had been the head basketball coach and assistant 
football coach at Centenary since 1926. Under him, the school's policy of playing a major 
college schedule continued. In addition to the Southwest and Southeast foes that had 
become "traditional," the Gents began to take on such incipient powerhouses as Oklahoma, 
Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Arizona, Tulsa, and Louisiana Tech. But the days when small 
schools like Centre College of Kentucky and Centenary College of Louisiana could compete 
against much larger and infinitely better financed teams were rapidly drawing to a close. 
The decline began for Centenary in 1938 and reached a low point in 1939, Parker's last year 
as coach, when the team won only 2 games. In 1940, former Gent backfield star Jake Hanna 
was named head coach. But the losing trend was becoming a pattern. The 1940 team won 
only 3 games, and the 1941 team was winless though they did tie 2 games. Centenary did 
not field a team during World War II. (In 1947, the College tried to resume football, but it 
was not to be. In this final season of football at Centenary, the Gents could manage only 
one victory and one tie [1948 Yoncopin].) 

As World War II drew nearer, numbers of Centenary students left school to join that 
branch of the armed services that they preferred; many more were drafted. As early as 1939, 
Centenary was among the nation's colleges chosen to offer a course in aeronautics. Though 
government-sponsored, this program was for civilian students, not military personnel. 
Ground school classes were taught on campus by Claude Hamel, manager of the Shreveport 
airport. Flight training took place at the airport under the auspices of the Badgett Flying 
School. The program had no connection with the Army's Barksdale Field in Bossier City. 
Graduates of the program soon found themselves on active military duty as combat pilots, 
instructors, and "chauffeurs" ferrying bombers to Europe and Asia. Many subsequently 
became commercial airline pilots. Though the program was popular, it did not apparently 
have curricular status, hence did not count toward a degree. 


While World War II and changed conditions in American college athletics were helping 
to write the demise of football at Centenary, basketball was waiting to become the principal 
spectator sport at the College. Though the basketball schedule numbered several major 
colleges, it was for the most part made up of schools with enrollments and funding more in 
keeping with Centenary's. 

Besides the war already raging in Europe and the clouds looming on the horizon for 
America, turbulence of a different kind was coming to Centenary in early 1940. On March 
12, a tornado tore through the campus, demolishing the roof and top floor of lackson 
Hall. On May 13, the board learned that the city building inspector had condemned the 
structure, ordered that use of it be discontinued, and directed the College to take steps to 
demolish it. Two months later, the board adopted plans for the demolition and reconstruc- 
tion of Jackson Hall (TM 1932-43 239-40). In an action moderately fortuitous, the board 
had on July 1, 1936, approved a recommendation of the insurance committee to take out 
100% tornado coverage of all frame buildings on campus and 50% for all brick buildings. 
Prior to that time, the College had no tornado insurance except for "property on Centenary 
Boulevard," namely, the administration (or arts) building (TM 1932-43 143). 

Jackson Hall was so severely damaged by the tornado that only the basement remained 
intact. Construction engineers determined that it could be rebuilt by first demolishing 
everything above the top of the windows of the basement and constructing on top of that 
a two-story, fireproof, steel and concrete building with new exterior brick. Jackson would 
continue its multi-purpose use but would be primarily a science facility with up to fifteen 
laboratories and lecture rooms, a science library, and science storage rooms. Eventually, 
part of the building would serve as a men's dormitory. Cost estimates ran up to $45,000. 
Only $1,000 insurance money was awarded to help defray this amount. On July 22, 1940, 
the board authorized a million-dollar fund-raising campaign, the first $50,000 of which 
would be authorized for the Jackson Hall project. Whatever else was needed to complete 
the work could be borrowed from the endowment (TM 1932-43 249, 251). By the time 
September rolled around, the Conglomerate reported that the building would be ready for 
occupancy by December 15, and that the renovation would cost $70,000, a considerable 
increase over the original estimate ("New Science" 1). 

In December 1939, the board had voted to amend the College's charter to allow for 
more members in order to strengthen support for the institution. This may have caused 
the faculty to recommend that two women be elected to the board and to suggest the names 
of persons they considered eligible. The result of this communication was a resolution to 
the trustees from the board's nominating committee that two women not be elected. Why 
this form of negative response came from the committee is puzzling when the board might 
simply have answered the faculty that their recommendation would receive careful consid- 
eration. Surely the board knew that women regularly served as college trustees, especially 
if they could "pay their dues." 


At least as early as 1926, Centenary students began talking about their desire to have an 
honor system at the College, whereby all student affairs would be conducted in trust and in 
honor. Especially, but not exclusively, did this desire pertain to scholarship and examina- 
tions. The subject was bruited about literally for years with no substantive results. All the 
constituencies of the College took various stands on the issue. 

So it was not till early 1941 that renewed and more emphatic attention came to the 
subject. A Conglomerate editorial of January 17, 1941, entitled "Honor! Honor!" stated cat- 
egorically that students wanted an honor system because they wanted the right to manage 
student affairs. Opinion was divided among students themselves as to how an honor court 
should be selected and whether the names of its members should be made public. It is easy 
to see that key issues still had to be settled, that administration, faculty, and students were 
still far apart on the specifics of any system. Not until the fall of 1942 did the administra- 
tion approve and endorse the "tentative" honor system that the student senate presented 
to the student body. That plan was not compulsory; a student-elected proctor had the 
responsibility to report cheating on examinations; and the instructor remained in the class- 
room during the test period (Wieting 8). The honor system would undergo numerous and 
important changes during the rest of the 20 th century, but it remained in its essential form 
throughout the rest of the 20 th century and early years of the 21 st century. 

What seems clear is that the sub-text of the honor system controversy was the nature 
of student government itself ("War" 1). Though there had been such an entity for some 
years, students wanted more autonomy in their governance. And the faculty and adminis- 
tration were just as committed to the traditions of in loco parentis. Another ten to fifteen 
years would pass before the honor court would exercise such prerogatives as a failing grade 
or dismissal from the College for the most serious honor code violations. Though it has 
undergone changes - some significant - and varying degrees of fine-tuning and minor 
criticisms, the Honor System has remained for over 60 years an important and valued part 
of academic life at Centenary. (See Appendix B.) 

In 1922, the College for the first time had listed three pre-professional "courses" which 
students might elect: pre-medicine, pre-law, and pre-engineering. This was almost surely a 
market ploy, designed to appeal to parents and students more interested in the "practical" 
aspects of a liberal arts curriculum. It seems to have always been the case that students 
could be admitted to medical or law school after three years of study toward the standard 
bachelor's degree. But in the early 1940s, liberal arts colleges and schools of engineering in 
universities began "packaging" what were known as "Three-Two Programs," whereby stu- 
dents took basic engineering courses and liberal arts subjects for three years and were then 
admitted to the participating engineering school for the final two years of specialization. At 
the end of the fifth year, the student received two degrees, one from the liberal arts college 
and one from the engineering school. 

Apparently, at no stage of this curricular innovation did liberal arts purists raise strenu- 


ous objections. Early in President Sexton's tenure (1922), the College began offering short- 
hand, typing, and bookkeeping as regular courses in the curriculum, where the former two 
remained until 1968. In 1941, a major in home economics was instituted and remained in 
the course offerings until 1955. The October 3, 1941, issue of the Conglomerate carried on 
page 2 a glowing account of a new-record enrollment of 250 students in the College's night 
school, which had just inaugurated a policy of granting certificates to anyone finishing 60 
semester hours in secretarial training, general business, or accounting. The article asserted 
that Centenary was "one of the few major colleges in the country to adapt [sic] this policy" 
(Hughes 2). 

One can only speculate as to why the faculty would acquiesce in such a radical depar- 
ture from the liberal arts as the above-mentioned forays into unabashedly vocational/tech- 
nical training. Since the enrollment for 1941-42 was 903, it would not appear that such 
drastic curricular moves were necessary to ensure a viable enrollment. Other liberal arts 
colleges similar to Centenary in key ways seem to have been working for the coveted Phi 
Beta Kappa recognition, Phi Beta Kappa being that scholarship society which names as 
its members those students of high achievement in the liberal arts. The University of the 
South (Sewanee) gained their chapter in 1926; Birmingham-Southern theirs in 1937. But 
nowhere in the annals of Centenary College during this era (the 1930s and 1940s) is there 
any mention of trying to secure a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, though that organization, 
founded in 1776, had long been a benchmark of academic excellence in the United States. 

The alacrity with which the College has regularly turned to non-liberal arts solutions to 
enrollment and financial problems has caused many to question whether the administra- 
tion and faculty were fully committed to or even altogether understood the institution's 
raison d'etre. There is some justification for these questioners' concern inasmuch as none 
of these more vocationally oriented courses and programs ever provided any substantive 
improvement in the conditions they were created to address. (This problem of commit- 
ment to Centenary's liberal arts mission has continued to plague the College into the 21 st 
century, notably in core curriculum requirements.) 

In the spring of 1941, President Cline submitted his resignation, and on May 13 the 
board passed a resolution not to accept it. Cline's reasons for this action appear nowhere 
in the trustee minutes. An important step toward the final adjudication of the dancing on 
campus issue at Centenary was taken at this May 28, 1941, meeting. In his annual report, 
President Cline told the board that student social life had become "one of the most irritat- 
ing problems" of the College, primarily because dances could not be held on campus but 
only in the city in places where conditions were frequently unwholesome and beyond the 
control of the College. The Reverend B. C. Taylor (later vice president of the College) 
moved to allow dances only on campus and under strict faculty supervision. The motion 
passed 15-2; the opponents of the measure were both clergymen in the Conference who 
felt that dancing was sinful and therefore could not be allowed on College property ( TM 


1932-43 258). Once the trustees gave the green light, the students lost little time schedul- 
ing a dance for the following fall. On October 10, 1941, for the first time in the College's 
117-year history, students danced on campus. The affair was sponsored by the Centenary 
Women's Club; it was a "tag" dance and ran the gamut of styles from waltz to jitterbug 
("Women's" 1). 

And then the College received what might be thought of as help from an unexpected 
quarter. On December 7, 1941, John Ewing, the editor of the Shreveport Times, wrote a 
long article entitled "A Time for Courage," praising the board for its resolution allowing 
dancing on campus because it underscored the right of the College according to its charter 
- through its board, its administration, and its faculty - to govern the College. This was an 
important principle. Overwhelming majorities of the board, the faculty, and students and 
their parents had approved campus dancing. Against these voices in favor, 143 members of 
the Conference opposed it; 98 approved it; and 177 did not vote at all (1, 6). 

On December 12, 1941, the board dealt with the dancing issue definitively. President 
Cline offered a tactful and respectful resolution expressing appreciation for the spiritual 
and financial support of the Conference for the College but reaffirming the charter's vesting 
of authority in the board, the president, and the faculty "to establish curriculum, main- 
tain discipline, and regulate. . .student life" ( TM 1932-43 275). (In January 1945, the board 
agreed to an amendment of the charter adopted by the Conference a month earlier allowing 
the Conference to confirm or reject any nominee to the board of trustees [ TM 1943-4765]. 
Since that time, no nominee to the board has ever been rejected.) 

What began as a single-issue controversy involving broadly accepted social behavior 
had resulted in a landmark clarification of authority in the governance of Centenary and 
the election of members of the College's board of trustees. 

Another event transpired in 1941 that was also to have far-reaching consequences of 
the most positive kind for Centenary. That was the establishment of the Centenary College 
Choir under the directorship of A. C. "Cheesy" Voran, a young staff member in what would 
later be known as "student services." But Voran also held a B. M. degree from the Chicago 
Conservatory of Music and already was recognized as a talented choral leader. Voran inten- 
tionally created an innovative image for the new organization. Not only would the singers 
dress on occasion in tuxedos and evening gowns and formal morning attire - they would, 
of course, continue wearing vestments for church and chapel services - but they would 
also add a larger variety of music to their standard sacred music repertoire. The secular 
component included Broadway show tunes and other popular songs of the day, folk music, 
operatic selections, and assorted novelty offerings. 

The Choir became an instant success, singing for such disparate groups over the years as 
national quadrennial meetings of the United Methodist Church; Lions Club International 
Conventions; American troops in Korea, Japan, and Okinawa; and congregations and secu- 
lar audiences throughout the U. S., Europe, and Asia. At the invitation of two Presidents 


of the United States (William J. Clinton and George W. Bush), the Choir has also as of this 
writing given five concerts at the White House. (The Choir has had to date [2008] four 
directors - A. C. Voran, William Ballard, Will K. Andress '61, and David Hobson '98. Dr. 
Ballard led the Choir only two years before leaving Centenary to become conductor of the 
San Francisco Boychoir. Dr. Andress began his tenure with the Choir in 1974 and retired 
in 2007.) 

But as 1941 drew to a close, matters other than dancing on campus, the final authority 
of the trustees in the governance of the College, and the organization of a soon-to-be-world- 
famous choral group were going forward at Centenary. As has been mentioned earlier, in 
1939, around the beginning of World War II, the federal government granted contracts to 
colleges so that they could initiate courses to train young men to fly airplanes. Centenary 
was among the first institutions in the country to receive a contract for a civil pilot train- 
ing program (the agency later known as Civil Aeronautics Administration awarded the 
contract). By the time the United States formally entered the war, numbers of Centenary 
men had gone into the Army, Navy, and Marine Air Corps. Centenary's flying school was 
the third-ranked in the country, outclassing such universities as Texas, Duke, Dartmouth, 
and Louisiana State ("Centenary C. P. T." 1). Centenary also participated in a national 
defense program under the auspices of the United States Department of Education. In this 
program, Centenary men could take non-credit courses in engineering, physics, chemistry, 
office management, and production supervision as these areas related to national defense 
("Centenary Will" 1; "Centenary to Offer Defense" 1). 

At their regular meeting on Monday, December 8, 1941, the faculty passed a resolu- 
tion calling for the establishment of a unit of the Student Army Training Corps on the 
Centenary campus. The program, inaugurated during World War I, would allow male stu- 
dents to continue their studies while receiving military training ("Faculty Passes" 1 ). There 
is no indication that this particular organization ever materialized at Centenary though an 
Army Air Forces College Training Program (AIRCREW) did (FM 1920-44 331). (ROTC did 
not come to Centenary till 1952.) 

In its last meeting of 1941, the trustees voted to discontinue all intercollegiate athletics 
for the duration of the war, the only exception being basketball for the current school year. 
In early January of 1942, they approved the defraying for the spring semester of the athletes' 
board bill even if it meant borrowing money to do so ( TM 1932-43 277-78). 

Two important events took place in the history of Centenary in 1942. First, on May 
27, the trustees authorized the nominating committee to consider "one or two" women 
for membership on the board. Mrs. A. J. Peavy was the first woman elected to the board 
in September 1943. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, there were usually three or four 
women board members. (That number has gradually increased to five regular members 
and five life members in 2008.) The decision to let women serve as trustees has proved to be 
extremely important in the development of Centenary. It would be difficult to exaggerate 


their contributions in creative thinking, decision-making, leadership, and finances. 

The second significant event for Centenary in 1942 was the acquisition of Dodd 
College, located in the 500 block of Ockley Drive in Shreveport. The institution had been 
founded in 1921 as a junior college for girls, and it continued as such for a number of years. 
But ultimately, it did not succeed, primarily for financial reasons. Dodd College's board 
of directors and the members of the M. E. Dodd Foundation donated the College to the 
Louisiana Baptist Convention, which, on November 19, offered to sell it to Centenary with 
certain provisos for approximately $105,000. The new property was to be known as Dodd 
campus of Centenary, and part of the land was to be set aside for the later construction of 
a Baptist church. The sale almost surely did not come as a surprise to the general public, 
who had for four years watched the efforts of numbers of their fellow citizens interested in 
better educational opportunities for people of the area which such a consolidation would 
result in ( TM 1932-43 285; "Baptist" 1; "Dr. Dodd's" 2; "Dodd" 3). 

Inasmuch as the United States had now been at war for a year, there was some expecta- 
tion that the Dodd buildings might be used to expand army and navy training facilities. 
But the principal aim of Centenary was to establish more vocationally oriented science, 
technology, and business programs. One of the showcase offerings was to be "chemurgy," 
that aspect of applied chemistry dealing with the industrial use of organic substances. This 
departure from the liberal arts continued what was to become a pattern in curricular revi- 
sion at Centenary. 

The College learned early in 1943 that it was one of 281 schools in the country to train 
young men and women for the armed forces. At first, Centenary expected 750 cadets to be 
sent to the campus, only to learn later that the number would finally be worked out by army 
officials and College authorities. That figure turned out to be around 300 regular army 
troops who were billeted at the newly acquired Dodd College campus to receive basic air 
force training. The site was considered a military post with guards to prevent unauthorized 
coming and going. Soldiers took courses "on the base" and on the main Centenary campus 
in such subjects as history, English, geography, mathematics, and physics ("Centenary Is" 1; 
"Army Air" l;"Army Takes" 3). In early April of 1943, a second contingent of soldiers 
arrived from Sheppard Field, Texas, at Centenary, bringing the total number of cadets to 
500. This latter group was housed in Rotary Hall and the gymnasium and attended regular 
classes on campus ("Second Air Force Contengent [sic] Arrives" 1). For the fall 1943 term, 
enrollment had dropped to 366 although that figure did not include Army trainees, whose 
numbers remained confidential for military reasons (TM 1943-479). 

The College regularized its policy of faculty compensation on September 20, 1943, 
adopting a salary schedule that would apply to all full-time teachers in all ranks. Without 
such a policy, it had become increasingly difficult to appoint and retain adequate faculty. 
This was especially true in physics, a field where the demands of the war were prompting 
more students to major (TM 1943-475). 


Scarcely ten days later, the College adopted its first and so far only retirement plan. It 
was with the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA), which got its original 
funding from the Carnegie Foundation. TIAA was invested exclusively in high quality, 
virtually no-risk bonds. Shortly after its establishment, TIAA added a stock market com- 
ponent, the College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF). Centenary's participation was man- 
datory for faculty and administrators but was optional for most support staff. Members 
contributed 5% of their monthly salary, and the College matched it. (In 2003, Centenary 
College increased the College's portion of the defined contribution from 9.5% to 10%. The 
participant's mandatory portion of 5% remained the same, making the total non-elective 
deferrals for each participant 15% of his or her gross salary.) In addition, with each calen- 
dar year, participants can contribute in elective deferrals to the maximum dollar amount 
allowed under the IRS guidelines for a 403(b) defined contribution retirement plan. New 
employees are eligible after one year; after three years, the plan is mandatory for faculty and 
administration (TM 1943-47 10.) 

On October 25, 1943, President Cline died of complications from infections in a hos- 
pital procedure. He was much respected by his colleagues and the community at large and 
was consequently much mourned. He had guided the College through the darkest days 
of the Depression and was playing a key role in cooperating with the War Department in 
establishing training programs on campus for future soldiers and air corps personnel. He 
was instrumental in Centenary's acquiring the Dodd College property and in the construc- 
tion of a student union building and the outdoor theater. As has already been noted, a 
number of significant actions were taken during Cline's ten years as Centenary's president. 
The trustees voted to allow dancing on campus; the Conference agreed to the regulation of 
curricular and extracurricular matters by the faculty and administration and to the overall 
governance of the College by the trustees; and women began serving on the board. 

A little over a week after his death, the trustees passed a resolution memorializing 
President Cline for his character and achievements and named a committee made up of 
board chairman Paul Brown, Dean John Hardin, and Bursar W. G. Banks to run the College. 
At the same meeting, they passed a resolution proposing an amendment to Centenary's 
charter making clear that the board held legal title to and operated the College and that 
board members had to be nominated and approved by the Conference ( TM 1943-47 12-14, 
16-17). The main effect of this action would be that the trustees could nominate their 
successors and submit their names to the Conference Board of Education and that the 
Conference could elect or reject them ( TM 1943-4732). This would not be the last time the 
board was to discuss or take action on this subject. 

The College was in no hurry to name President Cline's successor, as a November 3, 
1943, Conglomerate article makes clear ("College Mourns" 1). By the end of the year, a 
search committee had not even been named. The board-appointed triumvirate was "run- 
ning the College," or the College continued to run pretty much on its own. 


Not until April 25, 1944, did the trustees authorize the formation of a search commit- 
tee for a new president of the College. A ten-man committee, made up of six trustees, the 
bursar of the College, and three faculty members, held their first meeting on May 18 and 
enumerated some salient criteria for the new president; he should: 

be between 40 and 50 years of age 

bring business administrative skills to the job 

have a good personal appearance 

be a salesman with fund-raising abilities 

be a professional educator, preferably a Southerner 

have high character, Christian ideals, and the ability to delegate 
authority and responsibility 

sympathize with the board's plan of growth for the College 

be worthy of a good salary 
The committee had already compiled data on some 25 possible candidates; they now 
indicated that they would continue their assignment ( TM 1943-49 36). 

The search, which went on through the summer, fall, and winter of 1944, eventually 
generated no fewer than 60 names; of this number, 13 were actually interviewed on the 

Meanwhile, the board had many affairs to deal with. The termination effective June 30 
of the contract with the War Department for the aircrew training program meant the end 
of a significant amount of operational money for the College. The prospective financial 
stringency was enough to make the board pass a motion to look for ways to increase stu- 
dent enrollment and decrease the average cost of instruction per student (TM 1943-4733). 
On July 28, 1944, one of the great figures in Centenary history died. T. L. James, longtime 
trustee, tireless worker, and benefactor extraordinaire of the College, died after a severe 
stroke. The T. L. James Chair of Religion and the T. L. James Dormitory memorialize him 
on campus; and his children continued this family philanthropy in their own right. And, 
in a matter that seemingly has no end, the board continued the seemingly endless negotia- 
tion with the Conference to amend the College's charter to give the administration and the 
faculty the final authority to govern the institution. 

At their May 9, 1944, meeting the first faculty retirements since the inauguration of the 
new TIAA-CREF plan came up in the trustees' meeting. Slated to retire June 1, 1945, were 
Classics professor W. G. Phelps, who would be 73 by that date; former dean R. E. Smith, who 
would be 70; and English professor Katherine French, who would be 70. Phelps would have 
taught 22 years, Smith 25, and French 21. The faculty and budget committee of the board 
voted not to recommend an extension of tenure beyond June 1, 1945, for these professors 
"if some provision for their retirement can be made at that time" ( TM 1943-47 35). 

It is not at all clear what kind of "provisions" the committee had in mind. The Social 
Security Act was passed in 1935; so that the faculty mentioned above could have been in 


the program approximately ten years if one assumes that college teaching was covered by 
the law. But with only the modest Social Security benefits of the day and whatever savings 
they had, Professors Phelps, Smith, and French were not in an enviable financial situation. 
When the matter next came up, at the May 24 meeting, the chairman of the faculty and 
budget committee of the board, the Reverend Dana Dawson, gave an oral report stating that 
it was the intention of the committee to make [adequate] provision as far as the position of 
the College at that time [would] allow" ( TM 1943-47 39). 

The retirement picture for those faculty members did not appear rosy. The College 
was in a period of financial stringency, partly because of the termination of its contracts 
with the War Department. Centenary had received significant funds from the government 
for the training of air cadets, funds that would now have to come from other sources ( TM 

In the fall of 1944, Centenary enrolled 158 members of the United States Nurse Corps, 
a federal agency that allowed participants to enroll as regular students in approved col- 
leges and universities. There, they received 18 weeks of training and college credit for such 
courses as chemistry, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, nutrition, psychology, and 
sociology, all taught by full-time faculty members. At the time, the program was intended 
to continue after the war ("158" [author's note: listed in bibliog. under "one"] 1, 3). 

Also, the earlier acquired Dodd College, now known as the Haynes Campus of Centenary, 
began its use as a women's dormitory. It had served as barracks and classrooms for military 
personnel stationed at the College until that program was terminated. Most of the liberal 
arts courses were taught in Haynes Hall; music, science, and secretarial courses remained on 
the main campus. A shuttle transported students back and forth, a measure which caused 
a degree of inconvenience ("Haynes Hall" 1,3). 

The United States presidential election of November 1944 found Centenary students 
overwhelmingly in favor of Democrat Franklin Roosevelt. In a straw vote held by the 
Conglomerate, 65% of the student body voted for Roosevelt, 35% for Republican Thomas 
E. Dewey. Ironically, in a Gallup poll of college students taken around the same time - some 
ten days before the election - those percentages were exactly reversed ("Donkey Brays As 
GOP Elephant Sobs" 1). 

Finally, on April 3, 1945, almost a year and a half after Dr. Cline's death, the search 
committee recommended, and the board elected Centenary's next president. He was Joe 
J. Mickle of New York City, a 46-year-old native Texan and Methodist layman and the cur- 
rent associate executive secretary of the Foreign Missions Conference of North America 
(the clearing house for the general mission boards of 123 denominations of the United 
States and Canada). A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Mickle also held an M. 
A. in history and political science from Columbia University. Additionally, while there, he 
took special work in the school of business, studying primarily accounting, foreign trade, 
and business law. From 1921 to 1941, he was professor of accounting and foreign trade at 


Kwansei Gakuin (Christian) University in Kobe, Japan. He became business manager of the 
university in 1930 and was a member of its board of trustees as well as a board member of 
other important educational institutions in Japan. 

By every conceivable measure, it looked as though in Joe Mickle, Centenary had found 
the right man for what was to be a watershed in the College's history. 


Chapter X 

The Beginning of New Hope: TheMickle Years, 1945-64 

When Joe Mickle visited the Centenary campus in early March of 1945 for his inter- 
view to be president of the College, he must have confirmed every endorsement that had 
come in for him. On April 3, the search committee made its report to the full board, and 
it recommended him unanimously. However, it may well have been Mickle's three-page, 
single-spaced letter of March 7 to board chairman Paul Brown that guaranteed the enthu- 
siastic unanimity of his nomination. In a singularly lucid and coherent statement, Mickle 
assessed the current situation at Centenary philosophically, academically, and economically 
and enumerated the specific qualifications a new president would have to have to realize the 
hopes and dreams of the institution. He was no doubt helped considerably by the detailed 
analysis of the New York firm of Marts and Lundy on a long-term program of growth and 
development for the College ( TM 1943-47 71). 

Mickle arrived on a campus where there was considerable intellectual independence, 
school loyalty and spirit, and pride in the College's history. For example, compulsory cha- 
pel was debated vigorously in the Conglomerate. So was the performance of the basketball 
team: when one student wrote an article labeling one game "downright discreditable" to the 
College, the team fired back in the next issue with an angry but reasoned rebuttal ("Open" 
1). The student senate was poised to propose a more efficient honor system. Twenty stu- 
dents dedicated to fostering toleration and ecumenism organized the Centenary Religious 
Association as one means of promoting world peace ("Centenary's Religious" 1). On the 
other hand, freshman hazing (except for veterans) was an official part of College life as the 
following quotation will make clear. 

Freshman Rules and Regulations 

Well, here they are, Freshman! Here are your mus'do's and mus'don'ts. 
These rules will be in effect for the entire first semester, unless you succeed 
in defeating the upper classmen in the event to be announced later which 


will decide whether or not you keep on. In other words, if you win, you 
don't have to keep your hair cut, etc. If the upperclassmen win, you must 
keep all the rules for the rest of the semester. 

First of all, freshman men must have their hair cut to a length of 
approximately one inch by September 24, and must keep it approximately 
so until told differently. As for girls, they must wear pigtails for the entire 
week of September 24-29. Also, they must keep up with the other rules for 
them which will be posted on the bulletin board at the SUB. 

Then, all freshman men must speak to upperclassmen whenever 
they meet on the campus, and must address upperclassmen as "Sir" and 
"Ma'am" when they speak. 

Every freshman will be required to know perfectly and be able to sing 
upon the request of any upperclassman the Alma Mater. At any time and 
at any place, any upperclassman has the right and privilege to require the 
singing of this song of any freshman. You may obtain the words from your 
student counselor. 

All freshmen must know all Student Body Officers. 

The entire freshman class will be required to wear the maroon and 
white freshman caps at all times on the campus, except when in classrooms 
and in Chapel. 

Freshmen also will be expected to be courteous at all times to upper- 
classmen, even to the extent of offering seats to them when the latter are 
standing and freshmen are seated. 

All freshmen must attend all student body functions. The plan is to 
hold some function every month, at least. In view, are bonfires, dances, 
and wiener roasts. 

Also, no freshman will be allowed to walk on the walk leading directly 
from the Arts Building to the SUB. Either the longer route by the Commerce 
Building will be used by freshmen, or they must walk on the grass. 

Any letter on sweaters or jackets representing other schools must be 
removed. This is Centenary, and must be remembered with unbroken 

This is about all for now. This set of rules has the approval of the 
Executive Council of the Student Senate and must be obeyed implicitly 
and to the letter. Remember, there are a good many upperclassmen here 
this year, so you'd better watch your step ("Attention Frosh!" 1). 

It is certainly not surprising that the survivors of combat throughout Europe, North 
Africa, and the South Pacific had no intention of submitting tamely to what must have 


seemed to them a lot of childish requirements, school spirit notwithstanding. (They could, 
incidentally, go through freshman hazing if they chose ["Vets" 1].) Veterans made up 
approximately one-sixth (80 to 100 students) of Centenary's total enrollment; all were, of 
course, studying under the G. I. Bill of Rights ("One-Sixth" 4). 

President Mickle's first formal report to the board came a scant six months after his elec- 
tion to the office, and it contained a frank appraisal of the College's financial predicament 
as well as a forecast of the upcoming development plans. Because of much needed repairs 
to the president's home (on the corner of Centenary Boulevard and Rutherford), which 
had for the past 12 to 15 years been used as a rooming house, and to Rotary Hall in order to 
ready it for use as a women's dormitory, some $13,000 had had to be spent. These unlooked 
for expenses, plus "the usual" $4,000 loss on summer school and the anticipated deficit for 
the 1945-46 academic year, brought the projected total deficit to approximately $30,000. It 
was obvious that the College was in serious need of additional operating capital. Part of 
the problem was that about 84.5% of the operating funds for the institution were coming 
from student tuition, a situation out of all proportion to similar colleges in the South and 
indeed in the nation. It was especially risky from a financial point of view because it made 
operating capital dependent almost entirely on enrollment. Mickle pointed out that until 
the permanent endowment could generate considerably more income, it was an economic 
imperative to raise significant sums through a living endowment or regular contributions 
to the budget of the College (TM 1943-4798). 

But neither the substance nor the implications of President Mickle's report were unre- 
lievedly somber. The enrollment picture was good: the current freshman class numbered 
296, the largest in the history of the College; likewise, total enrollment had broken all pre- 
vious records. In addition, the trustees voted to discontinue the building and grounds 
committee and to create in its place a planning and building committee charged with the 
future development of the College. The idea is almost surely the brainchild of President 
Mickle. It is implicit in his earlier mentioned letter to board chairman Paul Brown before 
he was actually nominated for president. By the time of this October 19, 1945, board meet- 
ing, the new planning group had already gotten underway and now made its initial report. 
This included the acknowledgment of the immediate need of structures and equipment 
on campus, specifically, a women's dormitory, a library, an administration and educational 
building, and a chapel. The committee suggested an $800,000 fund-raising campaign and a 
living endowment that would provide $50,000 annually (TM 1943-4795-99). 

Some two weeks later, the executive committee listened to a proposal whereby the 
College might acquire property and equipment that would vastly expand its traditional 
curriculum and radically alter its historic purpose. According to J. Pat Beaird of the Beaird 
Corporation, a government defense plant located across the street from the Beaird plant in 
Cedar Grove had recently ceased operations, after manufacturing 105 mm. shells during the 
last three years of World War II. It consisted of a modern building 80' x 360' with the most 


modern machine tools and equipment, virtually new and in splendid condition and valued 
at approximately three quarters of a million dollars. Mr. Beaird thought Centenary could 
purchase the building and the equipment for a relatively modest price under the Surplus 
Property Law for the nucleus of an engineering school and/or a scientific research labora- 
tory. With this purchase and similar ones from nearby defense plants, Beaird thought it 
possible that the College might develop an engineering school of national stature. This 
opinion was shared by N. C. McGowen, president of the United Gas Corporation (later 
United Pennzoil, now Pennzoil) ( TM 1943-47 102-04). 

Two years before this situation evolved, the Centenary science faculty had prepared 
syllabi for mechanical, electrical, chemical, and petroleum engineering courses. The pos- 
sibility of expanding the existing "pre-engineering" program into attracting more students 
undoubtedly prompted these planned courses. There was as yet only one "engineering" 
professor, who taught only the most basic courses like drafting and surveying. 

But the heady economic climate in America in the immediate post- World War II years 
encouraged hard-headed industrialists like Beaird and McGowen (known well-wishers of 
Centenary) and academic visionaries on campus, to entertain ideas which to observers sixty 
years later might seems like pipe dreams. But neither the long-shot nature of the proposal 
nor reservations about the radical departure from liberal arts education deterred President 
Mickle and the board from deciding to explore fully the possibilities of the matter. Mickle 
was given the authority to make a tentative application to the New Orleans office of the 
Reconstruction Finance Corporation to buy the one and three quarters acres of land, the 
building, and the tools and equipment located thereon. When this application was turned 
down, the board applied to Washington through Shreveport Congressman Overton Brooks. 
Brooks got the RFC to re-consider the application, and Mickle was empowered to negotiate 
the purchase (TM 1943-47 107-08). 

Mickle's inauguration on January 21,1 946, as the 25 th president of Centenary was the first 
time the College had marked such an occasion as a kind of academic gala. Representatives 
of America's colleges and universities and learned societies and associations were invited to 
participate in the procession in their regalia and to line up in the order of their institution's 
founding, Harvard, of course, being first ( 1636). Methodist Bishop Ivan Lee Holt of the St. 
Louis Area gave the principal address. Former Governor Harold Stassen of Minnesota had 
been invited to be the speaker of the day but could not come. Stassen was best known at 
the time as a kind of "boy wonder" of reform state politics, being the youngest person ever 
to serve as governor of Minnesota. Later, he was to become even better known for his per- 
sistent though futile attempts to gain the Republican nomination for president. The other 
celebrity who was invited to be the main speaker at Mickle's inauguration was Edgar Guest, 
a writer for The Detroit Free Press. Guest was enormously popular for his voluminous 
output of folksy, homespun verse. His invitation to be the speaker on this occasion could 
possibly have been an embarrassment for the College since his verses were characterized by 


literary critics in and out of the academy as banal, saccharine, and monotonous. 

Mickle traveled to Washington in early 1946, and in his report to the board on February 
28, he stated that the Cedar Grove property had not even been evaluated and that the gov- 
ernment would not consider Centenary's application to purchase it until some valuation 
had been placed on it. His description of the situation led to a consensus on the board that 
there was little likelihood of the College's acquiring this property (TM 1943-47 113). The 
trustee minutes for the remainder of 1946 make no further mention of this matter. 

In the meantime, President Mickle's ambitious plans were off to a most encouraging 
start, so much so that in his November 5, 1946, report to the board he was emboldened 
to say that "in some respects we have practically a new college." The burgeoning enroll- 
ment of 1,335 students had necessitated new and expanded housing facilities, primarily 
for single and married veterans including those with children. The estimated cost of this 
was $400,000, all donated by the federal government. The faculty had been increased by 
70%. Some 4,200 sq. ft. of space was made available in the basement of the gym. Two 
additional faculty houses were constructed on or adjacent to the campus. Seventeen lots for 
faculty houses were purchased from the Noel Estate. And Centenary's Dodd College cam- 
pus was leased to the Veterans Administration. In July 1946, the Carnegie Foundation for 
the Advancement of Teaching made a significant grant to Centenary. It consisted of annual 
cash awards of approximately $4,000 for five years, to which the College added $ 1 ,000 each 
year and dispensed the money to faculty members who applied for it to assist them in their 
scholarly projects. In the first year of the program, nineteen Centenary professors received 
grants totaling over $6,000 ("Nineteen" 1). President Mickle presented a request to the 
General Education Board of New York for a conditional grant of $200,000. (The College 
had earlier been the recipient of a large grant from this agency.) Student life was receiving 
increased attention in such areas as choir and band, drama, and intramural and intercol- 
legiate athletics (TM 1943-47 142-45). In short, things were humming with the advent of 
this new, energetic, and multi-talented president. 

The one discordant note in this paean to the bright future of Centenary came in the 
last page and a half of Mickle's report. It was his decision to request the board to consider 
resuming intercollegiate football at Centenary. With his customary analytical thorough- 
ness, he outlined the rationale for this request. But his reluctance and his misgivings about 
football are implicit in every line. The material points are quoted below: 

In addition to these activities, I am today requesting the Board of 
Trustees to consider the future football policy of Centenary College. 
From almost every quarter, except from the faculty, there comes a 
demand for intercollegiate football. Some of this demand comes from 
those who seem to imagine that the sole purpose of the college is to 
produce a winning football team. I do not at all share in this feeling. 
However, after studying the situation for months from many angles and 


after interviewing many college presidents across the country, I have 
reached the conclusion that for the sake of student morale and also in 
order to interest the people of Shreveport and the surrounding territory 
more completely in Centenary College we would do well to consider 
resuming intercollegiate football from September, 1947. I make this rec- 
ommendation to you fully conscious of the many headaches a football 
program brings to all college administrators. I also make it subject to 
operation under the following conditions: 

First, the management and control of the football program 
should at all times be exercised by the college itself and not by any 
outside agency or group. 

Second, the football program should be financed outside the 
yearly operating budget of the college and handled in such a way 
that deficits are underwritten from outside sources rather than out 
of the regular college budget. 

Third, that the entrance requirements and scholastic standards 
of football players be the same as for other students. 

It is my belief that these conditions can be met by the following: 
First, the committee of control and management of the football 
program should be a committee of seven composed of the follow- 
ing: The President, the Dean, the Business Manager, two faculty 
members nominated by the President, and two members of the 
Board of Trustees appointed by the Chairman of the Board of 
Trustees. This committee should be responsible to the Executive 
Committee of the Board of Trustees and should take the place of 
the present Athletic Committee of the Board. 

Second, that the above committee of seven should be requested 
to submit a proposed budget for football in 1947 to the Executive 
Committee of the Board of Trustees as soon as possible, but not 
later than January, 1947, and that in the preparation of this budget 
the committee should explore all possible means of underwriting 
the program from outside sources. 

Third, that any new student applying for a grant-in-aid from 
this committee should, first of all, receive the approval of the col- 
lege officer responsible for college admissions. 

Fourth, that if a supporting organization of any kind is orga- 
nized among alumni and friends, the work of this organization 
shall be confined to the sale of tickets and other financial support. 


The above suggestions are in line with the recommendations of 
College Athletic Conference Representatives made at a meeting held in 
Chicago July 22-23, 1946, and representing some 200 colleges across the 
country. It is also in line with the policy of other institutions somewhat 
similarly situated, such as, the University of Chattanooga and Oklahoma 
City University. I believe it is the only policy under which the best interests 
of the College can be fully safeguarded. 

Undoubtedly, in discussing the financial requirements for such a pro- 
gram, you need to know that the city is now planning a stadium of large seat- 
ing capacity at the Fair Grounds, thus relieving us of the expense of building 
a practically new stadium. Also, I should like to go on record as opposed 
to the employment of a so-called "big-time" coach at a salary which dwarfs 
all other salaries in the College. Such action would be placing the emphasis 
where it should not be placed and would result in intense dissatisfaction. It 
would not be placing first things first in our educational program. 

It is with these recommendations that I submit to your consideration 
of our future football policy (TM 1943-47 146-47). 

It is not difficult to see why President Mickle endorsed even in such a tentative way the 
resumption of football at Centenary: the board was overwhelmingly for it; there was only 
one dissenting vote ("Football Plans" 1). It is less easy to see why the board should have 
so strongly wanted the return of football: the program had lost thousands of dollars over 
the years and been the source of academic headaches. Certainly, local media ballyhooed it, 
obviously looking toward a return to the glory days of Centenary football and almost surely 
reflecting the general sentiment of the community. Two enthusiastic articles appeared in 
The Shreveport Magazine, recalling the Gents' gridiron history, profiling in detail the new 
coaching staff and exulting in the numbers of varsity prospects from five surrounding states, 
advance ticket sales, and a renovated Fair Grounds stadium ("Football Back" 32; "'Boom 
Boom' Football" 7). Whatever explanation can be offered for the resumption of the sport, 
it turned out to be a colossal mistake, and the executive committee of the board voted on 
December 15, 1947, to discontinue subsidized football, citing insufficient funding as the 
reason for the action (TM 1947-50 1). 

But there was academic good news to counterbalance the football fiasco. The College 
established three new majors: geology, physical education, and speech and dramatics. All three 
departments were to make valuable contributions to the education of Centenary students. 

Given the subsequent fame of the program of one of these new majors, it will be in order 
to comment on it at greater length. The naming of Joseph Gifford to head the department 
of speech and dramatics proved to be a watershed in Centenary's contribution to culture. 
Under Gifford's direction of the productions at the College theatre, the program quickly 


achieved a level of excellence and professionalism that made it widely known. For 12 years, 
Gifford's plays were staged in the "chapel," a frame auditorium with serious limitations 
in space and dramatic properties. They were, despite these handicaps, first-rate offerings, 
which earned Centenary critical respect and admiration. Then, in 1958, a generous gift 
from the Charlton Lyons family enabled the College to build the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, 
a beautiful and functional brick theatre, and to continue the reputation for high quality that 
Gifford had established. (Gifford's immediate successor, Orlin Corey, a student of the leg- 
endary Paul Baker of Baylor University, introduced among other contributions, innovative 
staging, make-up, and costuming techniques [the latter two being primarily the province of 
his wife Irene] during his nine years at Centenary. But it remained for Robert Buseick, who 
would direct the Playhouse for 35 years, to bring drama at Centenary to its full potential 
with outstanding presentations of classical and contemporary drama, often controversial 
owing to the highly charged social, political, and psychological subject matter.) 

Still, it was necessary in the fall of 1947 to provide a theater that would meet the pro- 
gram needs of Centenary's new speech and dramatics department now under Gifford's 
direction. Therefore, the old frame chapel was remodeled into a playhouse. The stage was 
enlarged, and the ceiling raised for drops and lights ("Chapel Building" 1). 

The steadily increasing enrollment - it would reach 1,400 in fall 1947 ("Centenary 
Opens" 1 ) - put intense pressure on the College to find space for dormitories, classrooms, 
general college assemblies, and library facilities. Enrollment in night school topped 500, 
and 65 nursing students began their studies at the College. The space problem would take 
a number of years to address effectively. In the meanwhile, President Mickle's plans for 
Centenary began taking shape. It is some indication of how slowly campaign goals are 
often realized when one examines the completion dates of the various buildings on campus. 
Though plans for a new science building were announced in 1947, it was not until 1950, 
five years after Mickle arrived on campus, that the facility finally opened its doors. In early 
1949, the J. B. Atkins family of Shreveport gave to the College the beautiful gateway which 
still marks the main entrance to the campus. It also presaged the era of building construc- 
tion that would be forever associated with President Mickle's name. When Mickle arrived 
in Shreveport in 1945, there were only 12 structures on the Centenary campus - and three 
of those were faculty cottages. Haynes Gym, the arts and sciences (administration) build- 
ing, Rotary Hall, and Jackson Hall were the only brick buildings on campus. Another ten 
years elapsed before the chapel, a gift of board chairman Paul Brown and his brother Perry 
to memorialize their parents and brother, was available for worship services and certain 
assemblies. The architectural style of the building was New England Meetinghouse. 

The decade of the 1940s saw the issue of compulsory chapel, indeed the very nature 
of chapel itself, become one of contention. Students were increasingly complaining about 
required attendance and the religious content. If they had to go, they wanted a broader 
variety of programs, including secular speakers. 


The argument was perhaps most heated in the fall semester of 1946, when in two sepa- 
rate rallies students protested the alphabetical seating arrangement in chapel - for checking 
attendance - and a Conglomerate editorial protested the compulsory nature of chapel. Such 
a requirement violated the "personal adult freedom" of individuals by "regimenting" them 
and cramming worship or secular programs down their throats. Undoubtedly, some of 
the resistance came from veterans age 2 1 and over, who constituted over half of the stu- 
dent body and were not keen on more regimentation after their military service ("Chapel 
Seating" 1,2). 

The first significant change came in the fall of 1947, when the opening fifteen minutes 
of Wednesday morning chapel were dedicated to worship and the remainder to speak- 
ers and concert presentations. It is interesting to note that immediately after the worship 
service, the altar, cross, and candelabra were removed so as to ensure a clear distinction 
between sacred and secular parts of the program ("Chapel Programs" 1). (The question 
was resolved without serious incident or prolonged discussion: chapel would remain com- 
pulsory until 1970.) 

President Mickle, however, evidently felt the subject was still worth discussing, for he 
addressed the first such assembly of 1949-50 on the topic "Why Chapel?" His major point 
was that true education needed to be a blend of spiritual endeavor and intellectual attain- 
ment. He also observed that "leadership" in America had been developed in church-related 
colleges, as evidenced by Who's Who surveys ("Mickle Asks" 1). 

In early 1948, the first editorial on civil rights appeared in the Conglomerate, prompted by 
President Truman's upcoming conference with Southern governors. (Truman tried unsuc- 
cessfully to get civil rights legislation through Congress which would have guaranteed equal 
job opportunities, ended poll taxes, outlawed lynching, and ended discrimination in public 
transportation.) The Conglomerate editorial was emphatically against civil rights bills and 
for strict segregation in the South. Most Centenary students agreed with this position. But 
three who did not wrote spirited rebuttals, charging the editors with "appealing to vulgar 
prejudice" and using "archaic cliches" (Gleason 2; Anderson, George 1, 6; "Letters" 2). 

Centenary students regularly heard speakers from foreign countries during the Mickle 
years. Often these individuals were hosted by the International Relations Club, as in the 
December 8, 1949, appearance of Mr. Yosef Azab, a distinguished Egyptian agriculturalist, 
at a campus fraternity house. Only a week later, a survivor of the Hiroshima atom bomb 
attack addressed the student body in Haynes Gym. He was Takuo Matsumato, president of 
the Hiroshima Girls School, whose wife and 300 students lost their lives as they were leaving 
chapel services when the bomb hit ("IRC" 1, 3; "Survivor" 1). The morality of dropping 
the atom bomb continued to be a subject much discussed in post-war America. Mickle's 
long tenure in Japan had put him in touch with many Japanese Christian educators. Mr. 
Matsumato's story is a tragically dramatic one. 

The fall 1949 opening of school witnessed the moving of the Centenary library from 


what is now the Meadows Museum (then the arts and sciences building, which also housed 
administration) to the third floor of Jackson Hall, which had been totally refurbished for 
this purpose. Some 31,000 volumes were put in specifically made boxes, each of which held 
100 lbs. of books. Eight boxes were moved and unpacked every six minutes. Two teams of 
male students began this strenuous work as soon as summer school was out in order for the 
new library to open for business in September (Hay 1). 

An episode occurred in the early part of 1950 that might well have de-railed Mickle's 
plans and vision for Centenary and, given the cultural and social climate of the community 
and the racial attitudes of the trustees, might easily have ended his presidency only five 
years after it began. 

The episode had its origins in Stillwater, Oklahoma, in 1949 on the campus of Oklahoma 
A & M, at a regional meeting of the International Relations Club, an organization of college 
and university students who met in regional and national conferences to discuss interna- 
tional questions of the day. Delegates presented papers, heard distinguished speakers, and 
discussed issues. Members of Centenary's chapter were at the Stillwater meeting and with 
the help of President Mickle managed to secure the highly competitive honor of hosting the 
next year's conference. Some 64 institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas 
would send around 600 delegates. 

On March 2, 1950, the Shreveport Journal, an evening paper, ran a long, thorough, and 
highly complimentary editorial on the conference that would begin the next day. The same 
issue of the newspaper carried a feature article giving a chronological listing of events, busi- 
ness and social; titles of papers; names of round-table chairmen; and projected registration 
figures. African Americans had attended the Oklahoma A & M meeting without incident or 
comment; but when three registered and attended the Shreveport meeting, four Centenary 
male students went to the Shreveport Journal and protested the "mingling" of the races. The 
March 3 issue of the Journal ran the headline "Whites and Negroes Mingle at IRC conference 
at Centenary." The four student protesters cited the unsegregated presence of blacks at a bar- 
becue luncheon, a dramatic workshop presentation, and the assemblies of the conference. 
Among the approximately 600 delegates in attendance, only these four Centenary students 
protested the presence of African Americans. The Journal, a fiery segregationist publica- 
tion, sought to sensationalize the story. President Mickle recognized this and in a prepared 
response criticized the newspaper for misreporting and distorting his initial telephone com- 
ments on the conference ("Dispute" 1,2). Mickle was not exactly a naif in international 
political affairs as his shrewd response to the Journal's rabid reportage makes clear: 

I have lived abroad long enough to know the pernicious use which 
Communism makes of such incidents [racial prejudice], and I regret that 
one of our local papers has supplied Russia with additional propaganda for 
use against democracies. 


Given the extreme anti-Communist sentiment of the nation at this time, Mickle's 
charge in the eyes of many placed the newspaper on the defensive. Nevertheless, the shrill 
tone of the Journal articles unquestionably caused the African American delegates not to 
attend either the main meeting of the IRC on Friday evening or the dance which followed 
at the Washington-Youree Hotel ("Special" 1, 3). 

Mickle's resentment at the inaccuracies of the JournaFs version stemmed mainly from 
the fact that the reporter had contacted him by phone and told him his remarks would be off 
the record. Mickle's "inflammatory" comments included his stating that he saw "no harm 
in having educated and cultured members of the colored race [on campus]," adding that 
some of them were better educated than he himself, that he had had earlier associations with 
blacks and other races, "and that they had contributed much to his way of thinking on some 
subjects." He concluded by observing that the "negro delegates were human beings, inter- 
ested in foreign relations, and that he saw no objection to having them attend the conference 
and exchange ideas with them." The reporter was obviously pressing Mickle about blacks 
eating with whites and noted that Mickle ate with them, declared that he had done so in the 
past, and saw no harm in doing so. In his final question, the reporter succeeded in getting 
Mickle's views on segregation: "Shreveport can try to make a vacuum out of itself if it wants 
to, but it can't. We can't draw a line around Shreveport. The world is moving too fast for us 
along those lines." Sensing no doubt that the reporter meant to print the interview despite 
his assurance it was off the record, Mickle predicted "that whatever the newspapers did about 
it, it would not change the thinking of the world. . ." ("Whites" 1A, 5A). 

The response of the executive committee of the board of trustees to this affair gives a 
good idea of the racial climate of the day. It is not surprising to find that all of the trust- 
ees favored segregation and were decidedly opposed to admitting African Americans to 
Centenary either as students or visitors to campus events. On March 4, the next day after 
the JournaFs story about the "mingling" of the races at Centenary, the College's executive 
committee scheduled a special 2:00 P. M. meeting on Saturday, March 5, to "investigate" the 
affair. Board chairman Paul Brown declined comment before the meeting, saying it would 
be "premature." To be sure, the trustees were in a difficult situation. They did not want 
to alienate the community by endorsing a gathering that was in violation of state law as 
well as against their own principles. At the same time, they did not want to lose a dynamic 
president who had in five years accomplished much for the College and gave promise of 
doing much more. 

On March 6, in a strongly worded, three-page letter to the executive committee, 
President Mickle clearly indicated that he hoped the board would support his own actions 
and at the same time decry the vicious sensationalism of the Shreveport Journal, which had 
portrayed the College as an "open violator" of state law. The paper had also printed, with- 
out investigating, the slanderous charges made against the College by four academically 
marginal students. Implicit in Mickle's letter was his disappointment that the executive 


committee had not been more prompt to this point in defending the College. Indeed, his 
tone in the letter was decidedly lecture-like: "[T]he real issue is... whether four discredited 
and disgruntled students. . .not able to make their grades in college, are going to be permit- 
ted to link themselves with this vicious type of journalistic behavior in a determination 
of the policies of this institution." "Failure to [make a clear statement] will... encourage 
this kind of sensational journalism. . . [and] other disgruntled students. . .and [will] under- 
mine administrative authority." He continued in the admonitory vein: "I have already told 
you. . ." and concluded, using strong language but stopping short of an ultimatum: 
Some members of this Committee are hesitating to make any state- 
ment to the public for fear that it will alienate certain financial support. To 
these I would say two things. First, it should be beneath the dignity and 
the Christian principles of the College to accept financial support which 
is based upon the assumption that this college in any way approves the 
position taken by Judge Armstrong in his offer of financial aid to Jefferson 
College. In the second place, prospective financial donors will be reassured 
by unanimity of opinion at the college, whereas silence upon the part of 
this Committee will be interpreted as disapproval of the position of the 
administration, the faculty, and the student body and will alienate financial 
support. It is my hope that this matter can be dealt with this morning 
firmly and finally, and that we may pass on to our more constructive task, 
which is the building of a great college in this community, based upon 
Christian and democratic ideals (President's Archives). 
Mickle's allusion to "Judge" George Armstrong referred to Armstrong's offer to give 
Jefferson Military College of Washington, Mississippi, $50,000,000 on condition that it 
would never admit Africans, Asians, and Jews. After brief but Byzantine negotiations, the 
college refused Armstrong's offer (Sudduth). 

Mickle's eloquent, principled argument did not persuade the trustees to his point of 
view. Instead, they issued a statement of policy which the Journal printed on the front page 
of its March 7 edition, where they reaffirmed the College's traditional practice of racial seg- 
regation, stating that the presence of African Americans was "wholly unexpected" and that 
the administration's handling of the affair had been "a sincere effort to give offense to no 
one. ... It is not now, nor has it ever been, the policy of the college to permit social equality 
between the white and negro races. We are of the South and are keenly conscious of her 
traditions." Nineteen trustees signed the statement ("Centenary Trustees" 1). 

Thus, while not supporting Mickle's attitude on segregation, the board did praise the 
way in which "the administration" handled the situation. Student reaction on campus 
clearly favored Mickle's stand. Ironically, National Brotherhood Week, an annual celebra- 
tion sponsored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, was held on the campus 
the very next week. The Jewish speaker, the Rabbi David Lefkowitz of B'Nai Zion Temple 


in Shreveport, received "thunderous applause" in remarks obviously praising President 
Mickle for his recent actions ("Rabbi" 1,3). Lefkowitz was an outstanding community 
leader, much respected and much beloved. Centenary awarded him an honorary Doctor 
of Divinity degree in 1956, and for a number of years he taught a class on Judaism in the 
department of religion. 

President Mickle was under tremendous personal strain throughout this whole trying 
affair. Mrs. Mickle had been almost killed in a car wreck the day before the story broke in 
the Journal. She was on her way to a speaking engagement in Magnolia, Arkansas, when 
the car she was driving overturned just south of Homer, Louisiana. She suffered a fractured 
pelvis, fractured ribs, and a crushed chest ("Mrs." 3A). Despite the seriousness of her inju- 
ries, Mrs. Mickle made a full, if slow, recovery and lived to be 92. 

Despite the potentially disastrous nature of this racial episode for the College, it had 
no harmful effect on imminent financial campaigns, on long-term goals, or on President 
Mickle's personal standing with the board or with the community. It certainly did not 
deter W. A. "Arch" Haynes, Shreveport oilman, from leaving the College approximately 
$2,000,000 in his will, trebling the endowment, and bringing it to over $2,800,000 ("Haynes 
Leaves" 1). 

In the fall semester of 1950, the scholarly interests of the Centenary faculty received for 
the third consecutive year encouraging financial support from the Carnegie Foundation. 
Nine members were awarded grants-in-aid totaling $4,225 for research projects in a vari- 
ety of fields ranging from historical studies of Civil War topics to gene and chromosome 
mutations in the fruit fly. The melding of teaching and scholarly research by faculty has 
continued to be a distinguishing feature of Centenary's educational philosophy. 

In the fall of 1950, one of the most bizarre episodes in the history of Centenary College 
occurred. It had its origins in an October 17, 1950, report which President Mickle gave to 
the board. In deploring the fact that the endowment was so small, he gave as his opinion 
that the reason for this was that there needed to be more intensive cultivation of prospec- 
tive donors with substantial wealth, that the entire responsibility for this could not rest 
on his shoulders alone, and that the College should appoint a qualified vice president for 
development to play a major role in this effort. The board unanimously passed Mickle's 
recommendation that a committee be named to search for such a person and request the 
bishop to appoint him to the post (TM 1950-54 6-8). 

In point of fact, the new vice president had already been identified. He was the Reverend 
George Ivey, associate pastor of Noel Memorial Methodist Church. Ivey was an unusually 
attractive and multi-talented young man who, while a chaplain at Barksdale Air Force Base, 
had taught a popular men's Sunday School class at Noel, the largest such class in the state. 
After his discharge from the military, he was named associate pastor at Noel. There, he 
made such a strong and favorable impression on two influential members, Centenary board 
chairman Paul Brown and John D. Carruthers, that the Centenary board and President 


Mickle were convinced to urge Bishop Paul Martin of the Louisiana Arkansas Methodist 
Conference to appoint him to this new post at Centenary. In particular, Ivey would have 
fund-raising responsibilities though he was also entrusted with other administrative duties 
(Mickle 67-68; "Ivey Vice President" 1, 4). 

There is no record of his having secured any major gift to the College, but he was cer- 
tainly one of the institution's best advertisements. Heavily involved in community activi- 
ties, often as an inspirational speaker, he gave Centenary excellent visibility on a variety of 
fronts. When President Mickle went to a two-month-long conference in Oxford, England, 
in the summer of 1951, Ivey chaired a committee that ran the College. Thus, his reputation 
as an administrator, public speaker, and civic leader was increasing daily. So well known 
did he become in church circles that one of the leading Methodist churches in Dallas invited 
him for an interview when they were searching for a pastor (Mickle 67-68). One other 
source maintained that that interview was for the vice presidency of Southern Methodist 

But questions about George Ivey's earlier career began to crop up. Relatively early in 
his tenure at Centenary, he made some claims that could not be corroborated. One story 
according to the memoirs of President Mickle's widow, was that during his time in the 
military, the Army Air Corps arranged for him to fly to various places around the world to 
hold meetings (of an unspecified nature). Something about this account raised doubts in 
President Mickle's mind; so he traveled to Washington to check it out: the Army knew noth- 
ing about either Ivey or such flights. Mickle also wrote the Methodist Chaplaincy Office 
to inquire about this claim. In his letter, Mickle asked the Chaplaincy Officer to check on 
whether Ivey had been wounded in the Philippines, a query that suggested Ivey had told 
this as a part of his record. Why Mickle did not ask Ivey for an explanation at the time is a 
matter for speculation. Indeed, he later sent him on an important fund-raising assignment 
to some wealthy people in Houston. Ivey returned and reported that he had been highly 
successful. Again, when Mickle contacted the prospective donors, they had never seen or 
heard of Ivey (Mickle 67-68). 

Apparently, the last straw came when Ivey asserted at his Dallas interview that Centenary 
had awarded him the Doctor of Divinity degree. Bishop Martin called Mickle to see whether 
this was true. It was not. Nor were other of Ivey's credentials, including all of his higher 
educational background, the A.B. from Alabama State Teachers College and the M.A. from 
the University of Alabama ("Ivey" 1). Confronted with the facts, Ivey resigned in 1953 for 
reasons of health and subsequently entered a rehabilitation facility in Florida, where the 
cost of his treatment was defrayed by some members of Noel Church. Ivey evidently com- 
pleted the therapy and re-entered the Methodist ministry. 

He was on sabbatical leave in 1954 and must have taken a college degree during that 
time; he was listed as a student in 1955. He later re-entered the Methodist ministry and 
served churches in the North Arkansas and Little Rock Conferences (Springdale, Fort Smith, 


Camden, and Hot Springs [Arkansas 511]). 

The Shreveport newspapers carried only a story of Ivey's resignation for reasons of 
health, giving no details of illness or treatment. According to a retired faculty member who 
was present at the March 1953 meeting, President Mickle rehearsed the entire affair for 
the faculty; the volume containing that year's faculty minutes is missing from the archives. 
Thus, the story was known in the Centenary community and Methodist circles but never 
publicized, possibly because it was thought that Ivey's problems were psychological in 
nature. This would certainly appear to be a reasonable conclusion in view of his long ser- 
vice in the ministry, ending with his retirement in 1981. 

On January 10, 1954, three members of Centenary's board of trustees - J. B. Atkins, Sr.; 
R.H. Hargrove; and Justin R. Querbes, Sr. - were killed in a tragic plane crash that also took the 
lives of nine other community leaders, including J. P. Evans, Randolph Querbes, E. Bernard 
Weiss, Christopher Abbott, Thomas E. Braniff, W. C. Huddleston, Louis Schexnaydre, Edgar 
Tobin, and Milton Weiss. These men are memorialized by a bronze plaque placed atop a 
monument of red colonial face brick and Indiana limestone. The monument is located east 
of Centenary Boulevard at the northwest corner of the Meadows Museum and in a line of 
twelve live oak trees planted on the west side of the campus. Known as "Memorial Row," 
the trees honor the victims of the crash ("Memorial" A-3). 

In 1958, Centenary joined a growing number of American colleges and universities 
which were involving faculty members more and more in the decision-making processes of 
the institution. On April 18, the faculty elected the school's first faculty personnel commit- 
tee, which was charged with advising and consulting the president and the dean and making 
recommendations in matters relating to tenure, dismissals, retirements, appointments, and 
promotions. Though the committee's recommendations are only rarely not followed, the 
president and the board are not legally or procedurally bound - according to the charter 
- to accept them. The members of this first committee were Dr. John B. Entrikin, Dr. E. L. 
Ford, Dr. Lee Morgan, Dr. W. W. Pate, Dr. W F. Pledger, and Dr. Mary Warters (FM; Faculty 
Handbook 1957-58). 

Though only the science building had been constructed since Mickle assumed the 
presidency of Centenary in 1945, the rest of the 1950s saw major building construction on 
the campus at an accelerated pace, all of it dictated by needs related to increased enrollment 
and imperative improvement of facilities. For a number of years before 1956, students 
had been eating their meals in a surplus army mess hall, the earlier frame dining hall hav- 
ing been virtually destroyed by fire ("Large" 1). The new modern cafeteria was finished 
in 1956 and in 1974 was named Bynum Memorial Commons in honor of Robert Jesse 
Bynum, New Orleans businessman and generous benefactor of the College. The T. L. James 
Residence Hall was a gift of the James family of Ruston, Louisiana, in 1957 to honor the 
memory of Mr. James, Centenary board member and philanthropist. And the John A. 
Hardin Memorial Residence Hall, built in 1958, honored a former dean and professor of 


mathematics. Also, as mentioned above, in 1958, Centenary's drama department received a 
splendid new home in the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, the gift of the honoree's family. The 
student union building (SUB) was constructed in two stages: the first in 1938, a modest, 
one-story brick structure; the second in 1958, a vastly expanded three-story, modern brick 
building, fully equipped with ping-pong and pool tables, and other recreational facilities, 
lounges, offices, a bookstore, and a post office. Named the Randle T. Moore Student Center, 
it memorializes the trustee whose family's generosity made it possible. 

Mickle's vision was being realized, and all segments of the Centenary community rec- 
ognized it. The trustees had granted Mickle the final authority in negotiating most financial 
matters and in making other important decisions, as board minutes of the era will show. 
This was impressive testimony as to the high esteem in which the trustees held Mickle's 
administrative skills inasmuch as their own number included bank presidents, corporation 
executives, and other successful businessmen. 

Before his retirement in 1964, President Mickle had realized his dream of transform- 
ing the Centenary campus by the construction of handsome brick buildings. The 1960s 
began with another dormitory, named in memory of Dr. George Sexton, Centenary presi- 
dent from 1921-32. This was quickly followed in 1962 by the dedication of a building to 
house the departments of religion and philosophy and the district offices of the United 
Methodist Church as well as an auditorium. This structure memorialized former dean and 
religion professor R. E. Smith. The auditorium in this building bears the name of Nellie P. 
Kilpatrick, a distinguished member of the board of trustees and benefactor of the College. 
Among the most significant building achievements during President Mickle's tenure was 
the John F. Magale Memorial Library, erected in 1963. Mr. Magale was a Shreveport oilman 
and major contributor to the College. The same year witnessed the building of yet another 
dormitory, the Pierce Cline Residence Hall, named for the late president ( 1933-43). 

President Mickle had been frank to admit that during his tenure he had concentrated 
on changing the face of Centenary, primarily by the construction of beautiful, modern, 
and utilitarian buildings. He did not neglect the recruitment of faculty though he did not 
do much toward the improvement of instructional salaries. In his May 26, 1961, report to 
the trustees, Mickle had announced a new salary scale, wherein the highest paid professor 
would make $8,500 a year, and the lowest paid instructor would get $4,200. In justifying 
this budget increase, Mickle had declared it "absolutely essential. Our salaries had dropped 
far below the level of other educational institutions, making an increase imperative" ( TM 
1959-63). A year and a half later, November 30, 1962, President Mickle conceded that 
instructional salaries took a back seat to buildings and endowment over the past 17 years 
and that for Centenary to become a truly superior liberal arts college, that situation had to 
be remedied, that is, professors' salaries had to be increased. He acknowledged that "Year 
after year our operating account has been forced to bear too much of the burden of our 
building program. Funds which might have been used for higher teachers' salaries have 


gone for building construction." The gravity of this picture became particularly ominous 
when he noted that in the last four years the percentage of Ph.D.s on the faculty had declined 
15%. Other institutions had raided the Centenary faculty and lured away professors who 
might have stayed at Centenary for adequate salaries. Centenary now had to replace these 
professors by competing in the open market, a fact which made higher salaries a must. On 
a visit to the Dallas meeting of the Southern Association, the College's accrediting agency, 
President Mickle and Dean Bond Fleming learned from officials of the Association that this 
had now become a serious problem in Centenary's accreditation (TM 1959-63, November 
30, 1962). 

This neglect of the high priority of adequate salaries is a striking illustration of an insti- 
tution's exhibiting the "edifice complex," the dangerous belief in some circles that bricks 
and mortar and equipment can for a long period of time take precedence over the caliber 
and quality of the faculty. President Mickle had been acutely aware of what he referred to 
as the "financial distress" of the faculty as early as September 21, 1951, when he reported to 
the trustees that the "take-home pay of the faculty was very low," and he urged immediate 
steps to alleviate the problem (TM 1950-54). Eight months later, he stated to the board 
that though very modest increases in salaries had been made "since it had become abso- 
lutely necessary that. . .faculty. . .receive some financial relief," they were not nearly enough 
to reach the level needed ( TM 1950-54, May 24, 1952). 

Almost eight years to the day later, President Mickle's annual report made it clear the 
salary picture at the College had not markedly changed, and this time he connected the low 
salary situation and the progress that Centenary was making toward achieving its goal. He 
referred the trustees to a 1959 survey by the University Senate and the Board of Education 
of the Methodist Church that confirmed the College's historical commitment to becoming 
a superior liberal arts college. But this time, he stressed the fact that this goal was altogether 
unattainable without good faculty salaries. Commenting on the immediate need for two 
doctorate holders to head departments, Mickle explained Centenary's dilemma: "We can 
employ less capable men at lower salaries, but a superior college is not built in this way." 
His next point is one not often made by administrators, especially by one with such a stellar 
record of building construction as Mickle: 

This brings me to the statement that the most critical part of our pro- 
gram today is not the need for a new library or any other new building - 
although these are badly needed - but an adequate salary scale which will 
permit us to employ new teachers of first quality. The class room is the 
pay-off in education; and the pay-off does not take place without a teach- 
ing staff of high quality ( TM 1959-63, May 20, 1960). 
Mickle's superlative record as a builder of edifices could easily overshadow his other 
significant achievements at the College. One is that during his tenure, Centenary began to 
be perceived in the larger community not only as an academic and cultural resource but 


as a forum for the free discussion of complex or controversial subjects. Given the ultra- 
conservative, not to say reactionary, general climate of Shreveport during this era, this per- 
ception meant that liberal or left-wing ideas were being propounded and advocated at the 
College. Mickle's endorsement of the attendance of African Americans at the International 
Relations Club conference in 1950 may have been the first time any Centenary official pub- 
licly espoused a position so at odds with community sentiment though altogether in keep- 
ing with Constitutional values and principles outside the South. 

In 1958, eight years after Mickle's first brush with demagogic journalism, the College 
was called upon to defend the political freedom of eight Centenary professors who had 
signed an ACLU petition protesting the Louisiana legislature's passing a package of segre- 
gation bills, one of which would have abolished the state's entire public education system 
in the event that one school district was integrated. The Centenary signers were Dr. E. M. 
Clark, Dr. Lee Morgan, Dr. John Willingham, Dr. Jack Teagarden, Professor Leslie Burris, Dr. 
Bryant Davidson, Dr. W. W. Pate, Dr. E. L. Ford, and student Hoyt Duggan. (Duggan would 
soon after become the College's first Rhodes Scholar, go on to take a Ph. D. in English at 
Princeton, and have a brilliant career as a medievalist at the University of Virginia.) When 
the professors and the one Centenary student who had signed the petition were attacked in 
the local papers, board chairman Paul Brown issued a statement reaffirming the College's 
endorsement of academic freedom as defined by the American Association of University 
Professors, a position defending the right of professors as citizens to take whatever side of a 
political question they chose ("No Integration" 1-A, 6- A). Brown did, however, emphasize 
that Centenary had always been a racially segregated institution and that he felt that if the 
question came before the College's trustees, they would vote overwhelmingly to maintain 
segregation. Americans of the 21 st century take the right of free expression of political 
viewpoints not only as self-evident but as Constitutionally guaranteed. However, colleges 
and universities of the mid-20 th century Deep South were swimming against the political 
current, and it took a combination of courage and wariness to be true to academic principle 
and the instinct of institutional survival and in extreme cases of physical safety. It is hardly 
surprising, therefore, that Centenary College could be viewed in such a context as a hotbed 
of "liberalism." 

Fifty-nine faculty members at LSU who had signed the same ACLU petition as the 
Centenary professors likewise found themselves smeared in the newspapers and, to boot, 
"investigated" by the state legislature ("LSU Officials" 1-A, 8-A). In a public statement, 
General Troy Middleton, the president of the University proclaimed himself a staunch segre- 
gationist but asserted his determination to comply with the law mandating integration ("LSU 
President" 4-A). The Shreveport Journal became even more notorious for racist and right- 
wing extremism during the legislative witch-hunt that followed the LSU professors' signing 
the ACLU petition, publishing two editorials fanning the flames of hatred and irrationality. 
The first, which came out on June 2, 1958 (p. 4-A), was entitled "Whose Schools? Ours or the 


NAACP's?" The second, "Clean- Up Due at LSU," appeared June 10, 1958 (p. 4-A). 

But reactionary forces in the community were seizing on every opportunity to attack 
any expression of progressive thought, and a college becomes a natural target in such a 
war. That Centenary had already come under fire from these enemies of academic freedom 
is clear in President Mickle's supplement to his annual report to the trustees on May 26, 
1961, wherein he defends free inquiry into all subject matter and criticizes those in the city 
who continue to "whisper... that our library should be examined" for subversive materials 
(TM 1959-63 1-5). It was almost as if he expected the upcoming school year to be rife with 
assaults on academic freedom at the College. He turned out to be prescient. 

Barely two months into the 1961-62 school year, a firestorm of criticism, as unfounded 
as it was venomous, burst over the College. The occasion was the October production of 
Arthur Miller's The Crucible at Centenary's Marjorie Lyons Playhouse. The play deals with 
the Salem, Massachusetts, witch trials of 1692 and was interpreted by many as an allegory 
for McCarthyism and the Red Scare of the late 1940s and the 1950s. (Miller himself had 
been indicted by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in 1956 for refusing to name 
"leftist" associates; he was sent to jail for a short time as a consequence.) The nation as 
a whole was fearful of Communists and tended to see them behind every bush; in that 
respect, Shreveport was like many other American communities. In the local newspapers, 
one critic praised the Centenary production (Crenshaw 8B); the other panned it but did not 
mention any Communist overtones (Alexander 5B). Letters to the editor mainly attacked 
Miller as an avowed left-winger (LaVigne Nov. 2, 1961, p. 6- A) and an anti- American not 
only in The Crucible but in other of his works. Some writers criticized the College for 
producing such a play (LaVigne Oct. 27, 1961, p. 8-A). Three organizations protested The 
Crucible in news articles published before the play actually opened: the National Petitioning 
Committee for Constitutional Government, the local post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 
and the National Organization for Whites ("NOW" p. 1-B; "Petitioners" 12). Orlin Corey, 
director of the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse and chairman of the department of speech and 
drama at the College, vigorously defended the choice of The Crucible as a play with high 
artistic merit (Corey 6A). 

This was simply another problem that colleges of this period had to face from people 
determined to see threats from Communism as especially menacing in academe. Centenary 
weathered the storm, and the stage of the Playhouse continued to treat with insight and 
sensitivity the toughest, most explosive questions about individuals and societies. 

As rambunctious as the 1960s were on American campuses and as agonizing and peril- 
ous as they were for civil rights advocates and activists and other political progressives, none 
of the turmoil at Centenary dimmed recognition of Mickle's achievements, which were 
praised unstintingly by the trustees and the local press. One last significant difference of 
opinion that Mickle had with board chairman Paul Brown surfaced on November 30, 1962, 
and was the only cloud in an otherwise cordial relationship of the 17 years during which the 


two men had been associates. It came at a board meeting on that day when both men read 
reports to the trustees. Brown presented his report first and made it plain that despite the 
progress that had been made in buildings, grounds, and endowment, he felt that the College 
had not taken full advantage of a 1958 survey of its goals and philosophy. Implicit in his 
remarks was a strong criticism of liberal arts purism. Brown here directly took issue with 
one of Mickle's oft-repeated caveats: "Centenary cannot be all things to all people," the sub- 
text of which was that the college should focus on its liberals arts, undergraduate mission 
for high quality, attainable educational goals as well as for economically realizable reasons. 
This, Brown labeled "a negative excuse for lack of action... [which] should be discarded," 
adding that Centenary can and will be as many things to as many people as its potential 
will permit..." The bluntness of Brown's diction did not prevent Mickle's reiterating his 
position when he presented his report later in the same meeting. Mickle never said it in 
so many words, but he clearly thought Brown's reasons unconvincing and unworkable, the 
result of boosterism and a faulty understanding of educational philosophy, history, and 
current practice. 

Though every earlier description of Centenary had spoken of a "superior liberal arts 
college," Brown asserted that such a goal as the board was presently pursuing it, was too 
restrictive, that the College should look to the future and emphasize science and technol- 
ogy in order to serve industries and businesses already in Shreveport and those that might 
locate here if Centenary offered the courses their employees needed. In the first group, he 
mentioned Universal Oil Products, United Gas, American Machine Foundry, and the Beaird 
Corporation, saying that the presidents of these corporations all stated that Centenary did 
not offer the courses their companies needed, for example, in chemistry and chemical engi- 
neering. In the second group, which might build plants in Shreveport, Brown cited I T & T, 
General Dynamics, Lockheed, and Sperry Rand, among others. 

Brown felt that the future of colleges lay in the areas of science, technology, graduate 
work, and the extent to which the educational institution could serve its local community 
by primarily vocational training. Such a conclusion is somewhat paradoxical in view of 
Brown's own background: a son of the parsonage - his father had graduated from Centenary 
- his undergraduate degree was in English; his master's was in classical languages; and he 
taught classical languages for a year at his alma mater before going off to World War I. It 
might reasonably be inferred that Brown would have been high on liberal arts education as 
beneficial for the world of work since he was himself a successful banker and businessman 
and an outstanding philanthropist. 

Despite Brown's disclaimer that he intended no criticism of the current administra- 
tion, Mickle was stung by this assessment, which seemed to him to be a repudiation of his 
own accomplishments and Centenary if not of the very concept of liberal arts. Though 
it is something of a balancing act to run a college on the model of a business, Mickle was 
well qualified to perform it: both his bachelor's and master's degrees were in history and 


political science, and while at Columbia University he took special work in the school of 
business, chiefly in accounting, foreign trade, and business law. In 1927 while home on fur- 
lough from Japan, he received his C.P.A. certificate and worked for a time at a large public 
accounting firm (TM 1943-47 76). Mickle must have thought that Brown was departing 
radically from Centenary's longtime, oft-stated goal of becoming a superior liberal arts col- 
lege, thereby changing the intention of the charter of the institution. 

At this meeting, Mickle gave his report after Brown's, but he must have read Brown's 
beforehand because many of his own points address Brown's specific criticisms and solu- 
tions. Mickle took the traditional view that liberal education is essentially broad and intel- 
lectual, not vocational or professional. To achieve excellence in this field necessitated a 
highly competent faculty receiving compensation commensurate with their training and 
ability. For such a faculty to achieve their potential, they would have to be furnished with 
a library, laboratories, and ancillary facilities and equipment. When a college had attained 
unquestioned excellence on the undergraduate level, it could then consider the desirability 
and feasibility of offering graduate work. Mickle did not think Centenary had yet reached 
such heights; he was thus at this time opposed to graduate programs. When joint com- 
mittee meetings of faculty and trustees were held, no consensus was reached on these and 
related problems. The board opined for economic reasons that there were too many and 
too small classes; the dean and the faculty responded unanimously that both these policies 
were necessary. This general difference of opinion can crop up in academe at any time. It is 
essentially the question: who fixes the curriculum, regulates student social life, and oversees 
the day-to-day operations of the college? Both Brown and Mickle agreed that it was the 
administration and the faculty; both also agreed that policy-making is the responsibility of 
the board of trustees. But on this point, Mickle grew testy, asking the board, "'What policy 
do you wish to make?' At no time in my seventeen years has our Board made known to me 
any specific policy, and the only instruction I have received is that I am to cooperate with 
the board in building a superior liberal arts college" (TM 1959-63 77). 

In this difference of opinion the executive committee lined up with Chairman Brown. 
In the annual meeting of the board on May 31, 1963, Mickle reminded the board that in less 
than a month he would reach age 65 and thus thought that he should not continue much 
longer as president and that the board should begin to look for his successor. Because of 
the upcoming financial campaign, he offered to stay on one more year if the board should 
wish him to. The matter was referred to the executive committee for consideration. Mickle 
interpreted that committee's failure to take any action for a month as an indication that 
they had reservations about his remaining an extra year. In a letter read at the executive 
committee's meeting on July 3, 1963, he tendered his resignation effective May 31, 1964 
(TM 1963-67). 

President Mickle can hardly be characterized as a civil rights activist, nor did he have 
an agenda of any kind on the subject, which did not regularly arise until the presidency of 


John F. Kennedy. But when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Mickle scheduled a 
memorial service in Brown Chapel, where he pointedly condemned the atmosphere of hate 
that pervaded the nation. He praised Kennedy for trying "heroically to. . .enable the Negro 
to elevate himself from a state of poverty and ignorance. . ." (Mickle, Dr. Joe J., "Campus" 1). 
Both in content and tone, this was a courageous address in a city where numbers of people 
young and old openly rejoiced that the President had been murdered. It should be pointed 
out nonetheless that Mickle's speech was in no way a partisan attack: he was especially care- 
ful to criticize extremists on both ends of the political spectrum. But implicit in content 
and tone was the implication that right-wing fanatics bore the most responsibility for the 
climate of hate and violence. 

In late February of 1964, an event took place on Centenary's campus which should have 
exhibited nothing more than student exuberance. Instead, it turned into an ugly example 
of police brutality and increasingly strained town-gown relations. For a number of years, 
Centenary students had demanded a holiday when the basketball team beat Northwestern 
State University or Louisiana Tech, the Gents' rivals in the mythical Pine Cone competition. 
After the game, Centenary students would gather en masse on President Mickle's yard, spill- 
ing onto Centenary Boulevard and Rutherford Street, occasionally blocking traffic, more 
often disturbing the neighbors. They would chant "We want a holiday" until Mickle would 
come out on the porch, "negotiate" for awhile, then always grant the holiday. 

This particular night was different. The Mickles did not go directly home after the 
game but stopped by Dean Bond Fleming's house for a brief visit. By the time they got 
home, a somewhat larger and more vociferous group had congregated at the Mickles' and 
in the streets, and the police had responded, probably to a complaint by a nearby resident. 
George D'Artois, the then commissioner of public safety, came out and ordered the police 
to break up the "demonstration." This they did with what students and College officials 
regarded as "excessive force." They shot tear gas into the crowd, presumably for not mov- 
ing fast enough, brandished night sticks in a menacing way, and followed students into the 
dorms. The police denied having entered the dorms, but Conglomerate pictures showed 
them doing so. Two women students were hospitalized as a result of the tear gas, and 
some thirty other students reported to the hospital for observation. One male student was 
arrested; two others were taken into custody. Police used racial epithets and obscenities in 
addressing students and a housemother (Fackler 2). 

Though President Mickle went on television to tell Commissioner D'Artois that 
the excessive force used by the police had been a mistake (Mickle 66), and though the 
student senate voted to send a letter of protest to the police (they subsequently rescinded this 
action) ("Student Senate Minutes" 2), nothing further in the nature of a formal action was 
ever taken by the College. The commissioner's authorizing the use of tear gas and enter- 
ing dormitories as well as the obscenities of the police officers strongly imply motivation 
altogether different from simply dealing with student high-jinks. 


In April and May of 1964, only weeks before his retirement, President Mickle com- 
pleted one of his last acts of development for Centenary College. This consisted of secur- 
ing the loan of 14 paintings by Spanish old masters from the collection of Dallas oilman 
Algur Meadows. Meadows had given the paintings to Southern Methodist University and 
could authorize their leaving Dallas on traveling exhibitions. Meadows had taken evening 
division courses at Centenary in 1926; these enabled him to pass the bar in Louisiana. He 
subsequently grew rich and became president and chief executive officer of the General 
American Oil Company (Rogers 142). 

Mickle must have learned of Meadows's wealth, prominence, and Centenary connec- 
tion in 1957 because he wrote him a letter on February 25, 1958, requesting a meeting 
with him. In December of the same year, Meadows followed up a 1957 similar gift by 
transferring 100 shares of General American Oil stock, worth $3,500 to Centenary. From 
1957, then, till his retirement in 1964, Mickle cultivated Meadows's interest in Centenary, 
never by explicit solicitation but by periodic detailed letters describing the College's special 
needs, financial campaigns, aspirations to be a superior liberal arts institution, and prog- 
ress reports. Meadows made other generous gifts to Centenary during Mickle's tenure. In 
1963, he also wrote an article entitled, "Knowledge Is Ally of Liberty" for This Is Centenary, 
a publication of the alumni office, in which he heaped special praise on such programs as 
the College's evening division. The gifts of money to this date and the loan of the paintings 
by the Spanish masters would not be the last or the most lasting of the contributions that 
Meadows was destined to make to Centenary. 

Between the years of 1945 and 1964, Centenary had come of age as an institution of 
higher education. The campus had been transformed from a somewhat dowdy agglom- 
eration of frame buildings and a few brick ones to a well-planned, impressively designed 
assemblage of structures that served admirably the principal functions of a college. Less 
immediately visible but no less important was the number of highly talented scholars, fac- 
ulty, and students, recruited to Centenary during this period primarily by the academic 
departments, among them some of the most distinguished professors and graduates in the 
history of the College. Finally, Centenary established itself as a bastion of free and inde- 
pendent academic inquiry, undaunted by the generally reactionary and often concomitant 
anti-intellectual climate of the community and the region. Despite these latter two nega- 
tives, the College had accumulated a not contemptible endowment of over $13,000,000 and 
won the general respect, not to say affection, of a number of her natural constituencies. 
Though problems remained, all in all the future looked promising as Mickle retired. 


Historical Photos of People and Places 

■mi I.— wr ii u i m i i »vm i ftm iiiMi n 

mmm Left: 

William Young Dixon, 
' Centenary student, 1862, 
Hunter Rifles 4th LA, 
Confederate Army 

Right: The Rev. 

S.L. Riggs, in front of the 

Jackson columns, on the 

Shreveport campus 

Above: The class of 1890, top row 2nd from right, Paul Marvin Brown, Sr., later Methodist minister, front row 2nd 
from left, Thomas W. Fuller, grandfather of Tom Ruffln '47 and great-grandfather of Rebecca Ruffin Leffler '90. 
Front row 3rd from right, Oramel Simpson, only Centenary graduate to become governor of Louisiana, (photo 
courtesy of Charles Ellis Brown, Sr. '48) 


Above: Centenary College in Jackson, LA (from an early print) East Wing, West Wing, and Centre Building. 

Below: Football team, 1912-13. Pictured are (left to right, front row) an unidentified player, I. B. Robertson, T. }. 
Rogers, Ellis H. Brown (center), three more unidentified players, and (back row) Truman Wilbanks, Earl "Dick" 
Whittington, McVae Higginbotham, Perry Brown (fullback), Paul M. Brown (quarterback) and an unidentified 
player. (Photo courtesy of Charles Ellis Brown, Sr. '78) 


Above: "Getting' down" 

Right: Patricia Matthew '91 (left) and 
Lorin Anderson '88 

Below: Coach Homer Norton and the 1922 basketball squad 


Mac Coffield '91 

(left) and Heath 

Elliott '93, Student 




G.W. "Bill" James H'84, 
trustee and benefactor 

Below: "First Ladies': left -right: Maida Mickle H'70, 
Annette Wilkes, Sidney Allen, and Renee Webb H'88 

Ed Crawford H2002, trustee 
and benefactor 

Below: Board of Trustees, Spring 2000 


Above: Centenary College Choir with Nancy Carruth, trustee and choir benefactor, and WillAndress '61, choir 

m, • 

Barrie Richardson, dean, 
Frost School of Business 

Betty McKnight Speairs H'87, 

Brad McPherson H2006, 


Playhouse/Chapel, 1950 

Left: Dr. Theodore Toulon "Ted" Beck, French 

Below: Frost Memorial Fountain and students 


Clyde Connell H'87, artist, (left) and Eudora 
Welty H'91, writer, and recipient of the first 
John William Corrington Award for Literary 

Former First Lady 

Barbara Bush H2000 

at Commencement 

Above: D.L. Dykes, Jr. '38, trustee 
and visionary 

Left: Dr. Virginia Carlton '39, math 

Left: R. Zehntner Biedenharn '31, 
trustee and benefactor 

Above: Dr. Charles Beaird 
'66, philosophy professor, 
trustee, and benefactor 


Left: Meadows Museum (formerly Arts/Administration 

Below: Jean Despujols, artist, whose works are part of 
the permanent collection of the Meadows Museum. 


Right: Brown Memorial Chapel 

Below: Brochure cover 



Above: Robert Parish (top row, center player) played with Centenary College in the 1970s and later went on to play 
for the Boston Celtics. Coaches (left) Riley Wallace '64 and (right) Larry Little 

Below: Gold Dome was completed in 1971 



Left: Fountain and arbor in 
Crumley Gardens 


Right: Robert Buseick H'94, theater 

Below: Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, completed in 1957 


Right: (left to right) Trustees 

Hoyt Yokem H '85, Sam Peters '39, 

and Harvey Broyles '36 

Below: (left to right) President Jack 
Wilkes and trustees Paul Brown, Jr., and 
George Nelson, Sr. H'70 

M Above: Trustees Daryl Mitchell and 
Bill Anderson '84 

Left: (left to right) Mary Amelia 
Whited-Howell '88, Mary Amelia 
Douglas Whited, and Edwin Whited 
'43 of the Frost Foundation, benefactors 
to the College and the Frost School of 


Leroy Vogel, dean and 

Bruno Strauss, German 

Ralph White, Spanish 

W. Ferrell Pledger, 

Elsie McFarland, zoology 

Orvis Sigler, athletic 
director and coach 

Mabel Campbell, English 
and dean of women 

Katherine French, 

Don Brown, art 



Right: Centenary student pilots preparing for 
World War II, (left to 
right) Bill Steger '41, 
Henderson Dowling 
'41, Bob Magers '43 


Left: "Scrip," paid to 
the faculty and staff 
during the Depression 

Robert Jesse Bynum, philanthropist and 

Left: Dodd College 
(formerly Haynes campus 
of Centenary College, 
now home of First Baptist 
Church School) 




Above: Centenary College Choir in Brown Chapel at the 175th 
anniversary of the College 

Below: Students process in front ofMickle Hall of Science, completed 
in 1950 


Above: Austin Sartin '59, geology 

Right: Beth &Ed Leuck, biology 

Above: Trustees Sam Peters '39 (left) and Austin 
Robertson, Jr. '89 (MBA) 

(Left to right) Centenary Hall ofFamers Virginia Shehee 
'43, James Dean '41, and Charles Ellis Brown, Sr. '48 


, C 

Right: Marvin Shaw, English 


Left: Dennis Boddie '81, voice of the Gents 
& Ladies since 1981 

Right: In 1997, Centenary students visited the 
old campus in Jackson, Louisiana 

Left: Homecoming Court 


Above: Jackson Hall and outbuilding, 1920s and 1930s 

Right: Centenary College Historical Marker 
in Brandon Springs, Mississippi 


Below: Haynes Gym 


Webb Pomeroy '44, religion 

W. Darrell Overdyke, history 

Joseph Gifford, theater 

Above: (Left to right) George Nelson, Sr. 
H'70, Dorothy Gwin H'91, and Eudora 

(Left to right) Carolyn Nelson, 

George Nelson, Sr. H'70, Nell Nelson, 

and Don Webb H'88 


B.P. Causey, 

band and 

tennis coach 


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Above: Hargrove Memorial Amphitheatre 

Above: Courtney McLaughlin '95, Patricia 
Ellis '95, and Jayne Trammell-Kelly '78 

Right: Bryant (history and philosophy) and 
"Tip" H'77 (physical education) Davidson 


Left: Hurley Memorial 
Music Building 

Below: Old School 
of Music Building 

Gale Odom, dean, Hurley School of Music 


Above: T.L. James Memorial Residence Hall 

Below: Sexton Hall 



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Above: The Sydney R. Turner Art Center 

Below. Hamilton Hall (Administration Building) 


Above: Bill Anderson '70, Chairman of the Board 
and President Kenneth Schwab H2008 

Above: Carl Stewart H'98, trustee 

Below: Pre-tornado Jackson Hall (with 4th floor intact) 


John A. Hardin, 
dean and math 

E.L. Ford, French 

Right: John Entrikin, 

Left: Earle Labor H'90, 
English and Harold 
Christensen, economics 

Walter Lowrey, history 


Charles Hickcox, 



Above: Bynum Commons 

Below: Rotary Hall, renovated in 1997 


Right: Ron Dean, music 

Above: E.M. Clark, English 

Above: Alton Hancock '54, 

Above: Betty Friedenberg, art 

Right: Robert Hallquist, 

Right: Otha King 
Miles, psychology 

W.W. Pate, economics 

Right: Arnold Penuel, Spanish 

Left: Lee Morgan H'96, English '£?gi$l§ &V' $ * ; -A - 


T. L. James 

A Biographical Memoir 

Above: Basketball during the Robert Parish years 

By Lee Morgan 

Above: T.L. James, trustee and benefactor 

Below: Centenary College Choir, circa 1973 


Willard Cooper '47, art 

Charles E. Vetter, sociology 

Orin Wilkins, biology 

William Teague, music 

*t lit! 

Mary Warters H'71, biology 

A.C. "Cheesy" Voran H'69, 
founder and director of 
Centenary College Choir 

Robert Ed Taylor '52, religion 
Left: Rosemary Seidler H2006, chemistry 


A Gallery of 



Henry B.Carre 1902 

Benjamin Drake 1 854 John Miller 1 855 

yilliam Winans 1844 A.B. Longstreet 1848 

/illiam Weber 1907 

George S. Sexton 1 921 Angie Smith 1 932 Pierce Cline 1 933 

Joe Mickle 1945 

Jack S. Wilkes 1 964 John H. Allen 1 969 Donald A. Webb 1 977 Kenneth L. Schwab 1 991 


Chapter XI 

The Post-Mickle Era 1964-69: Accomplishments and Problems 

To succeed Joe Mickle as president and carry on the good work he had so successfully 
begun, the trustees chose a man with a remarkable set of credentials. Forty-six-year-old 
Jack Wilkes was the son of a Methodist minister and was himself a Methodist minister who 
had served a number of churches in Oklahoma. An outstanding athlete in high school, 
Wilkes had played football at LSU and the University of Chicago, before finally enrolling 
at Hendrix College in his native Arkansas and taking his undergraduate degree there. He 
subsequently earned his divinity degree at SMU. During World War II he served as a Navy 
chaplain. After pastoring Methodist churches for a number of years, he entered the field 
of college teaching, where he earned such a high reputation that Oklahoma City University 
named him president in 1957. So outstanding were his achievements in the six years that 
he was there, among them securing a two-million-dollar grant from the Ford Foundation, 
that he was drafted to run for mayor of Oklahoma City on a reform ticket. He swept the 
election, beating his opponent by a margin of 2 Vi to 1. While in this post he was tapped to 
be president of Centenary ("Centenary's 31 st " 17, 37). 

It is certainly significant that when a reporter interviewing Wilkes asked him "whether 
Centenary shall continue to function purely as a liberal arts college, or branch out in other 
directions," he left the door wide open to change, qualified only by adequate financing ( TM, 
Mar. 16, 1964; "Centenary's 31 st President" 17). He had obviously been asked the question 
by the Centenary trustees and had given them essentially the same answer. No one, it seems, 
was any longer desirous of or content with Centenary's being a superior liberal arts college, a 
position that strongly suggests that the concept was not truly understood or that the trustees 
were simply no longer sympathetic with it. It was an issue that was to come up repeatedly in 
the years to come. Publicly, as Wilkes's inauguration drew near, Centenary remained com- 
mitted to becoming a "superior liberal arts college." But in the very same article containing 
that proclamation, College officials announced that the new $2.5 million "Campaign for 
Excellence" included "immediate plans for a graduate school" ("'Superior'" 1 1-A). 

There is some reason to believe that Wilkes's apparent acquiescing in such a significant 
departure from the superior liberal arts ideal did not represent his best realistic appraisal 
of this goal. He went on to say in this interview that "...any change in purpose must be 


surveyed very carefully, and should be adequately financed. Anything less would be to court 
disaster." Three sentences earlier, he had asserted that "...Centenary should not regard its 
purpose as static... Centenary must stand ready to change" ("Centenary's 31 st President" 
37). It would, perhaps, be unfair to characterize Wilkes as a trimmer in these statements. 
Trustees may pursue their visions till they can be shown that it is impossible to realize them. 
"Psychologizing" is a more charitable construction to put on Wilkes's modus operandihere. 
He would have other occasions to employ the technique. 

It should be pointed out that through the years there was considerable discussion among 
the faculty as to whether Centenary was or ought to be a liberal arts college. This seems 
strange in view of the history and official claims of the school. It had never pretended to 
be anything other than a liberal arts institution. But a significant number of faculty mem- 
bers, primarily in the sciences and business, regularly raised the question. They seemed 
unhappy with the very terminology "liberal arts" and what they erroneously presumed to 
be its exclusion of the hard sciences and business. They voiced a strong preference for "lib- 
eral arts and sciences," an unidiomatic phrase rarely used in academe and certainly not by 
the oldest and most distinguished such colleges. Such critics wanted Centenary to be more 
scientific or technical and vocational in its curriculum and its goals. One argument for this 
view was that it would attract more students. That students could get such courses at public 
institutions at a fraction of private college tuition was an argument that apparently car- 
ried little weight with vocationalists. Programs and even departments adopted names that 
would make the vocational emphasis more prominent at the expense of traditional liberal 
arts nomenclature, for example, industrial technology, petroleum land management, nurs- 
ing, medical technology, occupational therapy, and speech pathology. Some of these were 
short-lived and were dropped when they failed to attract students. Others can be found 
in current catalogues. (In defense of these departures from liberal arts orthodoxy, it must 
be pointed out that by the end of the twentieth century there were so many career options 
that contemporary education would virtually insist that liberal arts colleges make clear the 
vitality, even necessity of their tradition to intellectual, cultural, and professional life.) 

In early 1966, Dean Bond Fleming resigned to return to his native Georgia, where he 
became dean at Oxford College of Emory University. His successor at Centenary was a young 
administrator and English professor with a most impressive record. This was Thad Norton 
Marsh, a Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Kansas and a PJiodes Scholar. Marsh had been 
assistant to the president of Rice University and came to Centenary from Muhlenberg College, 
where he had been dean. The appointment of this talented young academic leader and the 
progress that President Wilkes was making in dealing with the challenges of integrating 
Centenary and making use of federal funds in addition to the bright outcomes of the annual 
Great Scholar Teacher campaign all heralded an era of accomplishment for the College. 

When in the fall of 1966, the Conglomerate interviewed Marsh, it carried an account of 
that interview in its September 30 issue, where Marsh is quoted as follows: 


[Centenary is] never going to be a large college. This means inevitably 
that in spite of excellent support. . .we are always going to be limited in our 
resources. My ideal is that we try to be the best possible liberal arts college, 
but not all things to all men. I want Centenary to concentrate all its artil- 
lery on doing the best possible job of what it does well and that is being a 
private college devoted to the liberal arts and sciences ("New Deans" 4). 
Less than five months later, the faculty approved the recommendation from the 
curriculum committee to delete all shorthand and typing courses from the business offer- 
ings. These vocational courses had been in the Centenary curriculum since 1920 and were 
retained by Dr. George Sexton in the Sexton School of Commerce, a division of the College 
which he, as the new president, established to increase the near-extinction enrollment. Why 
the next 40 years of administrators and faculty did not remove them as inappropriate in a 
liberal arts curriculum, it is not easy to understand. But it certainly raises the question as 
to whether the concept of liberal education was fully understood even after the school was 
on a firm footing in Shreveport. 

In any event, Dean Marsh was certainly stating the official definition of Centenary, the 
only one that had ever been promulgated in its bulletins (catalogues) and other documents 
of record. 

Important as this point in Centenary's raison d'etre was, by far the most delicate - and 
potentially explosive - problem President Wilkes had to deal with early in his administration 
was the racial integration of Centenary College. This had not been a problem for Wilkes at 
Oklahoma City University, which had been integrated since 1955, two years before Wilkes 
became president there, but the conservative atmosphere of Shreveport posed serious dif- 
ficulties from both the Centenary board of trustees and the larger community. Nine years 
after Brown vs. the Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court decision striking 
down segregation in the public schools, there had been no significant attempts by African 
American students to enroll at Centenary. Indeed, as a private institution, Centenary would 
not have been bound by law to admit anyone it did not wish to. There would, of course, 
have been moral, public image, and economic considerations that would arise as a result of 
such an exclusionary policy. 

Students began in earnest in the fall of 1964 to question school policies that seemed to 
endorse racial prejudice. The student senate established a forums program to bring speak- 
ers on campus to discuss the major issues of the day. Interestingly, athletics provided the 
impetus for dealing with problems arising from integration. Up to spring 1965, Centenary 
had not played against integrated basketball teams. Coach Orvis Sigler reported to the 
executive committee of the board that he had not been able to formulate an adequate home 
schedule without playing integrated teams. He added that this problem had been grow- 
ing more acute for the past few years. After discussing the matter, the board moved to 
allow Coach Sigler to schedule whatever teams he needed to play ( TM, Mar. 10, 1965). The 


College began at once scheduling integrated teams, and in 1967, Steve Pitters became the 
first African American to try out for a varsity sport at Centenary. Pitters went out for the 
freshman basketball squad. The next year, Jesse Marshall, an area high school basketball 
star, became the first African American to start for the Gents. 

Situations analogous to the one in athletics began to come from other directions. 
Should Centenary's science fair, gymnastics clinic, and debate tournament - all cam- 
pus activities - be open to black participants? The College's AAUP Chapter (American 
Association of University Professors), which included the overwhelming majority of fac- 
ulty members, addressed a resolution to the President calling for the admission of students 
on a racially non-discriminatory basis. Wilkes notified the board of this resolution in a 
singularly bizarre way. In his report, he stated that "the resolution was passed in a closed 
meeting and no publicity was given to it" ( TM, May 27, 1965). Such organizational meet- 
ings are generally closed - like those of the board - and are not routinely publicized. In this 
case, the communique was addressed directly to the College president; the action showed 
circumspection and good will. Wilkes noted that in unofficial discussions in integrating 
Centenary, board members expressed the desire that the College handle "the problem" and 
not "outside groups." Wilkes seemed to lump the faculty with outside groups, strongly 
implying that the faculty was meddling in College policy almost in defiance of reasonable 
and high-minded trustee and administrative concerns. It was one thing for Wilkes to wish 
to use tact and discretion to bring a notoriously conservative board to sanction integra- 
tion. It was quite another to impugn the faculty's right or motivation for giving its studied 
opinion in this highly charged question. 

There was nothing in Centenary's charter to exclude a qualified black student from 
seeking admission or being admitted. It had simply never been done. When in the early 
1960s, Centenary offered classes on Barksdale Air Force Base, black students were admitted 
to the program without the board's voting on the matter. The College's participation in a 
new nursing program at Confederate Memorial Hospital (now LSU Health Sciences Center) 
obligated Centenary to admit qualified nursing students who might be black. Wilkes, argu- 
ing for efficiency and the avoidance of adverse publicity, suggested that the board not vote 
any policy stance, that instead it let the question be handled by the administration ( TM 
1963-67, May 27, 1965). 

After a full discussion by the board, Chairman Paul Brown ruled that the matter of admit- 
ting an integrated class was strictly administrative, that the board should and would sup- 
port the administration in whatever decisions it made, and that this was the consensus of the 
board. Mr. Brown then invited challenges to his ruling, but there were none (TM 1963-67, 
May 27, 1965). In plain terms, this action allowed the integration of Centenary College. 

With absolutely no fanfare or even media publicity, in the fall of 1965 the first African 
American enrolled in two evening division courses, freshman English and freshman math. 
He was Carl Matthews, a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School of Shreveport and 


an employee of Western Electric. In January of 1969, Mary Celeste Reagan, a music educa- 
tion major, became the first African American student to graduate from Centenary. 

The trustee meeting of May 27, 1965, was important for another reason: the resigna- 
tion from the board of Paul Brown, Jr., after 33 years of outstanding service, 25 of them as 
chairman. His personal integrity and his remarkable dedication and contribution to his 
alma mater made him to all who knew him the very model of a college trustee. He offered 
a number of reasons for resigning at just this time. He was almost 72; he felt he had grown 
less mentally alert and physically robust; and he wanted to do some things while he was still 
able that he had never been able to do before. 

Brown's strong opposition to Centenary's accepting federal money either in the form 
of loans or outright grants was reflected in his last official statement to the board. He 
referred to such funds as "temptations" and described participating in them as "follow [ing] 
the mirage of easy affluence" and predicted that involvement with the government in these 
programs would plunge Centenary into a "bog of dependence." He was convinced that 
private philanthropy was sufficient to operate the College (TM Oct. 21, 1965). Still, at the 
last meeting that he presided over, Brown acquiesced with the board in granting Wilkes the 
authority to accept federal funds for the College. 

This allowed the President of the College to sign a Certificate of Compliance required 
by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in order for Centenary to receive 
government funds only for student loans, research, and expendable items. For permanent 
improvements, such as buildings, trustee approval was necessary. This compliance also 
required that Centenary not discriminate in its admissions policy on the basis of race, color, 
or national origin (TM Oct. 21, 1965). And trustee approval for borrowing federal money 
for permanent improvements was not long in coming. Within a year, Centenary would 
accept a government loan of $600,000 to help fund the construction of the new physical 
education building (the Gold Dome) and an administration building (Hamilton Hall). 

In the highly charged political and racial situation of these times, it is often easy to 
overlook the noteworthy academic and extracurricular activities of Centenary students, 
faculty, and organizations. But important gains in these areas had been made in the first 
half of the 1960s. Orlin Corey, director of the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, was taking stu- 
dent actors all over the world in spectacular stage adaptations of The Book of Job and 
Romans by Saint Paul. In 1961, the production of The Book of Job in the mountains of 
Kentucky drew rave reviews. The New York Times hailed it as "An Artistic Success!" and 
proclaimed it "An awesome and most majestic rendition. The imagination is stirred - the 
eye magnetized" (Program). In 1964, Job went to the New York World's Fair, to Coventry 
Cathedral in England, to the Dublin Theatre Festival, and to Capetown, South Africa ("'Job' 
to Go" 4; "Book of Job Sails" 4). For sheer spectacular national publicity, the Centenary 
Choir deserves special praise. It performed for nine weeks during the summer of 1961 at 
New York's Radio City Music Hall - four shows a day! The group was originally booked 


for four weeks but was so enthusiastically received by audiences that it was asked to stay an 
additional five ("Centenary Choir" 4). 

The impressiveness of the College's achievements in the arts was matched by those 
in academics. English major Hoyt Duggan started the 1960s off by winning a Rhodes 
Scholarship to Oxford, where he took a B.A. and M.A. at Pembroke College before return- 
ing to the United States and earning a Ph.D. at Princeton. A random sampling shows Dr. 
Virginia Carlton winning the first of her two Fulbright professorships to Africa in 1963. 
In 1957, using a 25-million-dollar grant from the Ford Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson 
National Fellowship Foundation expanded their program that subsidized the doctoral 
studies of undergraduate students who were interested in college teaching to include 1,000 
students annually. Centenary seniors were quick to compete - and win, the first in 1961. 
In a few short years, they had won fellowships to Wisconsin (2), Harvard, Columbia, and 
Stanford (2). Indeed, in 1964, three English majors won such awards, and the National 
Director of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Hans Rosenhaupt, flew down to Shreveport 
to make the presentations in chapel. (Rosenhaupt returned to Centenary in the spring of 
1966 to deliver the Commencement Address and received an honorary doctorate.) 

The radical student unrest, much of it unseemly and violent, that transpired on many 
American campuses in the 1960s, was never much in evidence at Centenary. At that time, 
Southern students were generally more docile and genteel than their counterparts in other 
parts of the country. This is not to say, however, that they were not concerned about the 
issues of the day which were provoking riots at Berkeley, Columbia, and Madison. Their 
religious, political, and generally traditional social backgrounds simply impelled them to 
less obstreperous means of addressing issues. 

Though Conglomerate editorial writers would occasionally scold their classmates for 
apathy about issues such as racial injustice or the Vietnam War, the fact is that Centenary 
students demonstrated their antagonism toward segregation and other expressions of racial 
intolerance as well as the Vietnam War by numerous letters to the editor taking the College 
and the Church to task for their slowness in addressing these important problems. The 
editors of the Conglomerate strongly protested the brutality of the Alabama state troopers 
toward the civil rights marchers in Selma, calling it "another chapter to the almost unbe- 
lievable history of the South's reaction to the Negro demands for full citizenship" ("Uncle 
Tom" 1 ). Conglomerate editors wrote sweeping and stinging denunciations of Southerners 
across the board - students, teachers, preachers, politicians, the general populace - for their 
hypocrisy and cowardice on civil rights justice as evidenced by their timorous, shameful 
silence on these issues ("Just Whistlin' Dixie" 2). 

But Centenary students also took positive actions themselves to improve race relations 
and educate people about them. One especially noteworthy program involved 40 Centenary 
students tutoring African American enrollees of Shreveport's Notre Dame High School in 
basic English and science courses. Also, both advanced and remedial classes were offered at 


the College in literature, grammar, biology, chemistry, and mathematics ("Student Tutoring 
Project" 1). 

One significant student government initiative finally bore results after a shaky start. In 
the fall semester of 1964, the student senate organized a forums committee whose purpose 
was to bring lecturers to campus to talk about subjects like politics, literature, and public 
affairs. The administration approved the program, but students and faculty complained that 
too many of the early speakers were Southern conservatives ("In Speaking" 2), among them 
Louisiana Democratic Congressman Joe Waggoner (who, parenthetically, altogether mod- 
erated his views on the race question and subsequently became a much valued Centenary 
trustee), United States Senator Allen Ellender (D-La.), and Mississippi Governor Ross 
Barnett (Clinton 2). The students' complaints were exacerbated when the administration 
forced the forums committee to rescind its invitation to James Farmer of the Congress of 
Racial Equality (CORE) (D. D. 2). Regarding the Farmer incident, one angry student letter 
to the editor demanded to know "How long must Centenary 'rubber-stamp' the prejudice 
of Shreveport?" (Clinton 2). A comparable article in the same issue sarcastically contrasted 
the University of Alabama's withdrawing its invitation to jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong 
with Centenary's "white Christian higher education" action toward Farmer (Carroll 3). 

Despite the skepticism and exasperation of many students as they contemplated the 
forums picture, good and challenging speakers did come to Centenary on that program 
during its early existence. One was Dr. T. W. Cole, president of Wiley College, an all-black 
Methodist institution in nearby Marshall, Texas. Cole's appearance on the forums plat- 
form followed hard on the heels of segregationist and states' rights advocate Governor Ross 
Barnett of Mississippi ("States' Right [sic] Champion" 1). Though he certainly lacked the 
firebrand reputation of James Farmer, Dr. Cole did not mince words about racial injustice 
and the attendant evils which the nation suffered because of it when he gave his forums 
lecture on March 2, 1965 ("Prejudice Limits" 1). Eight months later, another distinguished 
African American, Dr. Harold Lett, spoke to a forums audience on "Race Relations in 
Metropolitan Communities." Lett had long been a leader in race relations in communities 
and labor-management contexts and was currently lecturing for the National Conference 
of Christians and Jews ("Second Forums" 1). Among the forums speakers to visit and lec- 
ture at Centenary during the mid- to late 1960s were Colin Wilson, British novelist, critic, 
and philosopher; Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Richard Hofstadter; and Miller Williams, 
internationally acclaimed Arkansas poet who would later read at President Clinton's 1997 
inauguration ("Spring Forums" 1). 

Few forums lectures during this era stirred up the locals and - to a much lesser degree 
perhaps - the College establishment more than Saul Alinsky, radical organizer and advo- 
cate of the poor ("Alinsky" 3; "How" 3; "Social" 3); the Reverend William Sloane Coffin, 
Yale chaplain and leading participant in the March to Selma and in the "freedom rides" 
("Speaker" 1; "Yale" 3; Appendix C); and United States Senator George McGovern, (D-SD) 


and a strong critic of the Vietnam War (Shuler 1). 

Not all the visiting speakers of the period were as controversial as the above-named 
persons though they were highly talented and culturally stimulating. One of the most dis- 
tinguished men of letters in America, Mark Van Doren, spent October 21-22, 1965, meeting 
classes and giving public lectures. Van Doren, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, made an inter- 
national reputation as a scholar- teacher and literary critic at Columbia University, where he 
taught English for 39 years. He also edited The Nation magazine for four years (Fiser 1). 

A month after Van Doren's visit to Centenary, another nationally important aca- 
demic came to the campus as a forums speaker. This was Edgar Z. Friedenberg, native 
Shreveporter and Centenary alumnus of 1938 and one of the most noted sociologists in the 
country. Friedenberg had been a child prodigy, graduating from Centenary in chemistry 
at the age of 17 and going immediately to Stanford, where he took a master's. At age 25, he 
received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. His principal works were Coming of Age 
in America, The Vanishing Adolescent, and The Dignity of Youth and Other Atavisms. Other 
literary visitors to the campus in the spring of 1966 included John Ciardi, poetry editor of 
Saturday Review ("John" 1); Pulitzer Prize nominee Jack Gilbert, winner of the Yale Younger 
Poets Award for that year ("Noted" 6 A; "Gilbert" 1 ); and Centenary graduate John William 
Corrington '56. An English major, Corrington went on to take advanced degrees in that 
field (M. A., Rice and D. Phil, Sussex) before taking a law degree from Tulane. His career 
turned out to be an extraordinary one - English professor, practicing lawyer, head writer 
(along with his wife Joyce) for a number of television series, and much published poet 
and fiction writer. With colleague Miller Williams, Corrington co-edited a seminal work, 
Southern Writing in the Sixties, which prominent writer Ernest Gaines praised when accept- 
ing the Corrington Award for Literary Excellence in 1992. 

(Three years after Corrington died of a heart attack in 1988, the Centenary English 
Department established this annual award in his memory. Eudora Welty was the first recip- 
ient in 1991, when she read her short story "A Worn Path" at Centenary's Commencement. 
Since that time, winners through 2007 have included some of the best contemporary writ- 
ers in America [See Appendix D]. These persons met students both in and out of class and 
gave a public lecture during their visit to the College.) 

Among the most nationally recognized celebrities to lecture at Centenary in 1966 
was Vance Packard, the best-selling sociologist and sharp critic of American consumer cul- 
ture. His two most widely acclaimed books, The Hidden Persuaders and The Status Seekers, 
have become recognizable phrases in our everyday vocabulary ("Noted" 6A). 

Centenary students were sometimes criticized by their peers on the editorial pages of 
the Conglomerate for an alleged lackadaisical attitude toward the hot-button issues of the 
day, such as the Berkeley riots and anti- Vietnam War protests ("Page Three" 4). But when 
one examines the pages of the Conglomerates of the 1960s, he or she is likely to discover 
that in most ways, Centenary was a fairly representative American campus. A number of 


students were passionate about race, riots on campus, and Vietnam. More were interested 
in schoolwork and careers, sports, dating, and campus issues - as the Conglomerates of 
the mid-1960s clearly show. Some editorials are clearly hawkish ("Viet Nam" 2). Still, no 
one view of the Vietnam War seems to predominate on the pages of the Conglomerate. In 
mid-May of 1965, the student senate sent a letter to President Lyndon Johnson "concern- 
ing the Viet Nam issue" - it is not clear whether it was pro- or anti-war - which prompted 
considerable discussion ("Student Senate Holds" 3). Six months later, Centenary philoso- 
phy instructor James Shea circulated a petition supporting United States involvement in 
Vietnam. Shea was motivated, he said, by the "serious imbalance of [national] publicity" on 
the subject, which he believed did not reflect the opinion of most Americans ("Centenary 
Students" 1). 

Students' criticism of government policies on racial injustice and the war in southeast 
Asia was complemented by their dissatisfaction with the prevailing policies of colleges and 
universities in both academic and social life. American college students were clearly feeling 
their oats, and those at Centenary were no different from the others, albeit their method of 
protest was not violent. It had to have been galling to professors unaccustomed to having 
their styles and methods of teaching called into question being told in the student newspa- 
per and in the pronouncements of the student senate that teachers needed to have syllabi 
and that teachers needed to be evaluated and that teachers needed to keep up more with the 
scholarship in their fields ("Urgent" 2). Such seeming impertinence must have been little 
short of shocking to professors in a section of the country where deference toward adults 
generally and academics in particular resulted in the universal use of "Sir" and "Ma'am" in 
all encounters and exchanges. (It should be pointed out that this latter practice continued 
to be observed then and continues to be widespread now in most Southern institutions.) 

There were other complaints relating to teaching. Many, perhaps most, professors did 
not provide students with syllabi, the standard procedure, at least in the humanities and 
social sciences, being to make reading assignments on a daily basis and test announce- 
ments with appropriate notice. This practice was fast being perceived as old-fashioned, and 
Centenary students in the era's general spirit of questioning authority or anything perceived 
as old-hat began to lobby for change (Carroll, "Self-Study" 2; Carroll, Letter 3). 

By the fall of 1964, this very public flexing of student muscle had begun to evidence 
itself with the advent of the new president, Jack Wilkes. A veritable sea change in protocol 
and the way things were done was clearly discernible. As we have suggested, throughout 
the greater part of President Mickle's term of office, Centenary students were almost uni- 
formly mannerly and with few exceptions tended to regard professors with respect and in 
many instances deference. They accepted the educational philosophy of in loco parentis, 
whereby the institution acted in the place of a parent. Though they may have disagreed 
with a number of policies and regulations which they saw as arbitrary, they endured them 
as the way things were. But the academic climate of the country in the 1960s taught them 


that in their newspaper they could register sharp criticisms of the South's racial policies, the 
nation's foreign and domestic policies, their college's rules and regulations, and their own 
shortcomings such as apathy about the foregoing. Moreover, they were fairly successful 
in raising campus awareness of these significant issues. They demanded - and got - guest 
speakers, often celebrities, on campus who presented varying points of view, frequently 
quite liberal, that mirrored those of college and university students all over the country. 
And they inaugurated through their student government association forums committee 
programs like Issues and Opinions - modeled after LSU's Free Speech Alley - which gave 
students a platform from which to voice their own opinions. "Student involvement" came 
of age in the mid-1960s, and students were both conscious and proud of it. An editorial 
in the April 29, 1966, Conglomerate boasted that "it knocked down thirty years worth of 
dusty outdated ideas and practices. . .and was instrumental in bringing about sorely needed 
campus programs to Centenary" (2). 

Yet another discernible feature of Centenary during the 1960s was the change in what 
might be called the daily appearance of the College. Until 1 964, Centenary had been primar- 
ily a commuter school: only about 25% of the students lived on campus. By 1968, that figure 
had risen to 60%. This change was deliberate on the part of the administration, whose aim 
was to create a close-knit academic community and a climate especially conducive to social, 
physical, moral, and intellectual development of students and to foster a sense of pride in 
and esprit de corps at their alma mater. The new buildings and the emphasis on landscap- 
ing were the most visible manifestations of this new direction. Similarly, the attracting of 
foreign exchange students from a wider geographical area helped to enhance a more diverse 
and cosmopolitan campus population. The steady increase in the number of faculty mem- 
bers with doctoral degrees resulted in more scholarly activity. Because the College is pri- 
marily a teaching institution, a high quality of classroom instruction was mandatory. But 
though scholarship and professional participation had long been valued, the constraints of 
traditionally heavy teaching loads and committee assignments in College governance had 
vetoed extensive publication for most Centenary faculty. Two exceptions to this situation 
were John B. Entrikin, distinguished professor of chemistry and longtime chairman of the 
department, who co-authored in 1947 Semimicro Qualitative Organic Analysis, which by 
1965 was in its third edition and had reached the status of a reference work; and history pro- 
fessor Darrell Overdyke's Duke doctoral dissertation, The Know -Nothing Party in the South, 
published by the LSU Press in 1950. This had begun to change in the mid-1950s with an 
influx of young Ph.D.s in a number of departments who began presenting papers regularly 
at regional meetings. In 1966, four professors in the English Department - Wilfred Guerin, 
Earle Labor, Lee Morgan, and John Willingham - brought out a text entitled A Handbook of 
Critical Approaches to Literature. (This book has been considered by many a classic on the 
subject. Now published by the Oxford University Press, it is at this writing, 2008, in its fifth 
edition. Jeanne Campbell Reesman '77 became the fifth co-author in 1992.) Also in 1966, 


Professor Earle Labor published the first of several books on American author Jack London. 
(Labor would go on to become an internationally recognized authority on London's life 
and works and to publish the author's definitive biography.) 

In the spring of 1967, Centenary instituted an important curricular innovation - pass/ 
fail courses. The rationale for these was to allow juniors and seniors to enrich their educa- 
tions by taking work outside their major and minor without the pressure of studying for an 
A or B. Later, sophomores could elect such courses. At first, only two grades were given, P 
and E C-level work was the minimum required to receive a P. Subsequently, a third grade, 
D, was a possibility. It carried hour credit but also lowered a student's gpa. At the time of 
Centenary's implementing the program, it was highly experimental; only around 20 col- 
leges and universities had it. It originated at Princeton ("Dean Marsh" 1) but has since 
spread throughout academe. 

In the fall of 1967, President Wilkes and Dean Marsh attended in Nashville a meet- 
ing of liberal arts colleges within a 500-mile radius of Vanderbilt University. The purpose 
of the meeting was to explore the possibility of establishing a consortium of the best lib- 
eral arts schools in the region which would cooperate in programs, the use of facilities, 
and the exchange of faculty and students of the participating institutions {TM 1967-69, 
Oct. 23, 1967). The consortium was in fact subsequently established and incorporated 
as the Southern College University Union in 1969, and Centenary was among the found- 
ing member institutions. (In 1991, it expanded its membership and is now known as the 
Associated Colleges of the South. It is comprised of sixteen distinguished liberal arts col- 
leges and universities, all nationally recognized institutions located in the South. They 
include Birmingham-Southern, Centenary, Centre College of Kentucky, Davidson, Furman 
University, Hendrix, Millsaps, Morehouse, Rhodes, Rollins, Southwestern University 
[Georgetown, Texas], Spelman, Trinity University [San Antonio], University of Richmond, 
University of the South [Sewanee], and Washington and Lee University.) This organiza- 
tion interprets to many publics the nature, vitality, and importance of liberal learning. Its 
members exemplify the highest quality of liberal arts institutions. The ASC program which 
has enrolled the largest group from Centenary is British Studies at Oxford, a summer ses- 
sion at St. John's College, Oxford University, wherein Centenary students take seminars in 
British history, politics, music, literature, and art, while Centenary professors often teach 
such seminars. Both groups hear daily lectures by British academics and other authorities 
on British culture. A different historical era is the focus of every summer. 

Other enrichment opportunities became available to Centenary students and faculty in 
the 1960s. Among the most important was the Harvard- Yale-Columbia Intensive Summer 
Studies Program (ISSP), the purpose of which was to groom select Southern students for 
graduate study in top universities. Such students would spend a summer at Harvard or 
Yale or Columbia taking seminars taught by the faculty of those institutions. All expenses, 
including travel, living accommodations, and books were paid for by the host institutions. 


A number of Centenary students from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences 
participated in the program and had rewarding experiences. 

(To complement the opportunities for students, these same Ivy League schools inaugu- 
rated a comparable Visiting Faculty Program to allow professors in schools like Centenary 
who customarily had heavy teaching loads to spend a summer taking courses and working 
on research projects of their own. Again, generous stipends were provided so that profes- 
sors could bring their families. Centenary faculty from English, history, and art all attended 
Harvard on the program.) 

Two significant financial gifts were made to the College in the fall of 1968. One was for 
$100,000 to the Centenary Choir, given by Mrs. G. M. Anderson in memory of her husband. 
The Andersons had long been generous supporters of the Choir. The other gift was in the 
amount of $500,000, pledged by Mr. and Mrs. D. P. Hamilton to construct a new adminis- 
tration building. Mrs. Hamilton, the former Lucile Atkins, was the first woman to graduate 
from Centenary in Shreveport. She was a member of the Atkins family who gave the land 
on which the College now stands ("Hamilton" 2). 

In January of 1969, the board was still not altogether comfortable with borrowing or 
accepting federal money for buildings or programs, but the realities of the times made such 
actions necessary. For example, though the grant from the Hamiltons had been pledged 
in September of 1968 and the projected building was by December of the same year being 
referred to as Hamilton Hall, no money had actually been received from the Hamiltons. 
Centenary was having to borrow $1,350,000 from Shreveport banks and an additional 
$600,000 from the federal government to cover the costs of Hamilton Hall and the physical 
education building, later named the Gold Dome because of the geodesic roof covering the 
arena. C. L. Perry, comptroller of the College, in a memo to the board of trustees, comments 
on a letter from Mr. Emmett Hook, president of the Commercial National Bank, wherein 
the banks agreed to lend the money to the College. Hook's understanding is that $500,000 
of the loan "was to cover the Hamilton grant if not paid by Mr. Hamilton in advance" ( TM 
1969-72, Dec. 9, 1969). At the meeting of January 16, 1969, the trustees authorized President 
Wilkes to act for the College in borrowing from the government $476,000 for an addition to 
James Dormitory (TM 1967-69). A similar action was taken a month later. This time the 
amount of the loan was $600,000 to go toward the construction of the new administration 
building and the new physical education building ( TM 1967-69, Feb. 3, 1969). 

Some time around the middle of May 1969 - College records are not clear - Dr. Wilkes 
resigned from the presidency of Centenary to become vice president of Southern Methodist 
University. At its May 19 meeting, the faculty passed a resolution commending Wilkes for 
having "served with distinction" and wishing him well in his new position (FM 1968-69). 
Four days later, the trustees passed a similar resolution ( TM 1969-72). Wilkes's move caught 
many in the Centenary community by surprise. He had done a highly creditable job under 
the most trying of circumstances. Specifically, he had presided over the desegregation of 


the College with calmness, efficiency, and absence of fanfare or adverse publicity - all with- 
out losing for the most part the College's base of financial support and good will among the 
trustees and in the city. Even 1 5 years after Brown vs the Board of Education, Shreveport 
remained a highly conservative place - many would say reactionary - still largely segre- 
gated in schools and public accommodations. In guiding this integration peacefully, Wilkes 
paved the way for Centenary to receive federal monies in loans and outright grants, thereby 
ensuring both the physical and academic growth of the institution during a period when 
the endowment remained virtually static. To do this, he had to bring the board of trustees 
along with him. (He had the support, cooperation, and good wishes of the faculty all dur- 
ing his tenure.) Many members of the board were steadfastly opposed to accepting federal 
funds because of the so-called strings attached. Those, of course, had to do with integra- 
tion, civil rights, and equal opportunity. On the personal side, Wilkes, in the opinion of 
many, was a difficult man to talk to, one on one. Some thought he was actually shy and 
that this accounted for his reserve and seeming aloofness. But in a group he was expert in 
persuasive communication, a skill he had had to exercise as mayor of Oklahoma City and 
president of Oklahoma City University. Wilkes did not accomplish these goals at Centenary 
without help. One source, as we have seen, had come from an unexpected quarter, board 
chairman Paul Brown. George Nelson, who succeeded Brown, also played an important 
role. Few people have been better equipped temperamentally, socially, and professionally 
than Nelson for his role in an educational institution during a difficult time in its history. 
Though a member of the Shreveport Establishment, he had none of the reactionary, right- 
wing ideology that generally characterized that group. He had married into a prominent 
Shreveport family, was a devout Methodist, and had become a successful insurance executive. 
Among his personal characteristics were a winsome personality: gracious and charming, he 
was, in colloquial terms, laid-back and, in most situations, absolutely unflappable. He was 
also possessed of great good humor and common sense. In his new capacity as chairman 
of Centenary's board of trustees, he would need every one of those qualities, especially 
when he had to serve as a lightning rod for conservative patrons of the College, disaffected 
by integration, controversial dramas at the Playhouse, and liberal speakers on campus or 
liberal professors in the classroom. There is no telling how many potentially explosive 
situations Nelson personally defused or how much money he preserved for Centenary by 
pouring oil on the troubled waters of philanthropy and unpopular College policy. 

Wilkes had drawn up a 10-year plan for the College shortly after he became president. 
It envisioned, among other things, a student body numbering 1,500, a higher percentage 
of male students, a higher percentage of resident students, a higher percentage of Ph.D.s 
on the faculty, and an endowment approaching $20,000,000. These were ambitious goals, 
nowhere near having been reached when Wilkes left Centenary. The endowment, that 
perennial problem, had under Wilkes remained stable, even growing slightly. At the end of 
his first year at Centenary, it was around $5,250,000. When he resigned in 1969 after five 


years in office, the book value was just under $7 million, market value $9 million. 

The College had thus come through the trying decade of the 1960s without the trauma 
of disruption either on campus or abandonment by its supporters unsympathetic with much 
that was going on at the institution. A healthy enrollment had been preserved; the faculty 
somewhat strengthened; the endowment maintained even if not spectacularly increased; 
and the scholarly performance of students and faculty highly satisfactory, even enviable. 

Centenary was losing its president 1 , but there were good reasons to believe that the 
institution was poised to enter a period of achievement and distinction. 

1 In a sad example of irony, Dr. Wilkes had barely assumed his duties at SMU when he 
was stricken with a massive heart attack on November 8, 1969, in Bryan, Texas, while 
attending an SMU-Texas A&M football game. He died almost instantly. 


Chapter XII 

Skating on Thin Ice 1969-76: Period of Economic Peril 

The trustees lost little time in naming a new president. Between the last meeting of 
Wilkes's tenure, May 23, 1969, and the July 30 meeting some two months later, they had 
named a selection committee to find and nominate Wilkes's successor (see Appendix E), 
heard that committee's report, and nominated and elected the committee's selection ( TM, 
July 30, 1969). 

The president-elect was John Horton Allen, a native of Homer, Louisiana, then serving 
as dean of the University of Southern Mississippi. Allen held the Ph.D. degree in sociology 
from Pennsylvania State University; so he was only the second Centenary president to this 
point to have an earned doctorate, the first having been Henry Beach Carre, who served as 
president in 1902 and 1903 but who did not earn his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago 
until 1913. Since then, both of Allen's successors, Donald Webb and Kenneth Schwab, have 
held earned doctorates. Allen, a much decorated combat pilot in World War II, had had 
teaching experience in sociology, anthropology, and economics before becoming an admin- 
istrator (Hutcheson, "Centenary" 1A, 18A). His duties at Southern Mississippi did not 
allow him to assume his new office at Centenary full-time until December 1, 1969 {FM, July 
30, 1969). 

Even before Dr. Allen officially assumed the duties of his office at the aforementioned 
date, the trustees adopted a resolution in their November 5 meeting which had ominous 
overtones for the new administrator. Acting on the advice of their attorney, Mr. Robert 
McL. Jeter, the board authorized using income from the College's endowment for current 
operating expenses. Both Jeter's opinion and the action of the board regarding it require 
elaboration. When Jeter referred to "the principal of the endowment funds," he meant 
surplus funds given to the College by donors who were willing that such funds could be 
spent for operational purposes if necessary to meet the College's financial obligations. This 
money was in the endowment but was not restricted: it could be spent at the board's discre- 
tion, a point emphasized by trustee Emmett Hook, president of the Commercial National 
Bank, in the board meeting of April 13, 1970. At this time the book value of the endowment 
was $7.2 million, and the market value, $9.7 million. Later, this unrestricted money was 


officially designated gwasz-endowment. This was in some respects an unhappy description, 
for it implied that the money was mainly endowment, not unrestricted (surplus) funds, a 
more accurate description. As it had to be used numerous times in the next seven years, 
some people thought the board was using "smoke and mirrors" to dip into the endowment 
for operating capital, something it was legally and morally obligated not to do. In fact, the 
board's action was legal and under the circumstances probably the only live option, fore- 
boding as the implications may have seemed. 

The first levy on the quasi-endowment during John Allen's presidency came on October 
28, 1969, two months before he actually arrived on campus to begin his duties. The board's 
endowment and investment committee passed a resolution to transfer $380,000 from the 
quasi-endowment to the current operating fund. College officials reviewed this transac- 
tion and the amended budget deriving from it with President Allen, so that he knew what 
the fiscal problems at the College were (TM 1969-72, Nov. 14, 1969). He would undoubt- 
edly have learned at that time what became official in mid-February of 1970: the College 
would embark on a capital funds drive in the spring of 1970, the goal of which would be 
$1,500,000 toward re-paying the loans for the construction of Hamilton Hall and the Gold 
Dome as the new field house had been christened ( TM 1969-72, Feb. 17, 1970). 

This alarming situation led Allen to take an innovative and in this case an apparently 
wise step. In the January 26, 1970, faculty meeting, roughly a month after his arrival on 
campus, he was frank to state that his study of files and reports regarding the College's goals 
and plans was "not particularly rewarding." He proposed, therefore, a Role and Scope study 
by the faculty to help him address institutional problems. He envisioned the task not as a 
comprehensive self-study of the kind required by the College's accrediting agency. Rather, 
he wanted a report that would be diagnostic, advisory, and succinct. He hoped to have 
the report by the end of the semester. On February 3, Dean Marsh appointed a steering 
committee to conduct the study: Lee Morgan, English, chairman; W. W. Pate, econom- 
ics; Rosemary Seidler, chemistry; Rufus Walker, physics; Frank Carroll, music; and Charles 
Beaird, philosophy. The president and the dean served as ex officio members (FM 1969-70, 
Jan. 26, Feb. 3, 1970). 

The steering committee went immediately to work, named six sub-committees (which 
included student members), and by April 30 turned in to President Allen a completed 
12-page document (see Appendix F) that contained a preface, synopses of committee 
reports, recommendations of the steering committee, and working papers (attached only to 
the President's copy). At the last faculty meeting of the year, May 15, 1970, President Allen 
thanked the faculty for the Role and Scope report, which he said he was "digesting and put- 
ting to use as rapidly as possible." No mention of the report - or its commissioning - occurs 
in board minutes, and the report is not referred to in any subsequent official College policy. 
The report was at once candid and concrete, but its tone was civil and constructive. Some 
of its recommendations were implemented; others were not. But the consensus among the 


faculty was that it did exactly what it was supposed to do, and most regretted that it was not 
more systematically utilized. 

The financial situation of the College during 1969, 1970, and 1971 could hardly have 
been more grave. Trustee minutes of these years are replete with accounts of borrowing 
from banks, the federal government, and the quasi-endowment (this last source of funds, 
as has been noted, technically legal but risky business practice). Added to these woes was 
the failure of significant pledges to come in, notably that of the Hamiltons. Made in 1968, it 
had, inexplicably, still not come in two years later 2 , though from the first public announce- 
ment of the bequest, the administration building for which the gift was made was regularly 
referred to as Hamilton Hall in all official College documents. Furthermore, the interest on 
all these loans simply aggravated the budget deficit. 

On December 16, 1970, Comptroller Perry wrote in a letter to President Allen of the 
"financial plight" of the College, informing him that despite taking $780,000 from the 
quasi-endowment since Allen's arrival at Centenary, another $380,000 would be needed 
to meet the 1970-71 budget. Perry estimated that the College would operate in a deficit 
of $600,000 in 1971-72! He concluded this alarming summary by saying that the problem 
could be solved but not by "a continued invasion of Endowment Funds" ( TM 1969-72). It is 
interesting to note that Perry does not use the term "quasi-endowment," a word-choice that 
clearly suggests his serious concern about the practice, legal though it might be. President 
Allen had expressed the same concern in an August 31, 1970, letter to the chairman of both 
the executive and the endowment and investment committees: "...though this [practice of 
using quasi-endowment funds for operating capital] is considered to be a sound business 
practice, it is my hope and intention to stop doing so as soon as possible" (TM 1969-72). 

Though the economic inflation of the day was an important factor in Centenary's 
financial difficulties, the consensus on the board seems to have been that the decline in 
enrollment was the primary reason. Going from a full-time equivalent of 1,200 students 
in 1967 to the present low of 822 had been little short of catastrophic. The trustees were 
forced then to transfer $408,000 from endowment to current operating funds ( TM 1969-72, 
Jan. 21, 1971). A September 18, 1970, Conglomerate headline had proclaimed a 13% drop 
in enrollment at the end of President Allen's first year ( 1 ). 

Between 1961 and 1971, the quasi-endowment had appreciated by several million dol- 
lars, but withdrawals from it had amounted to $1.5 million over the last two years. The 
endowment and investment committee reported emphatically that "none of the corpus of 
our Endowment has ever been spent" (TM 1969-72, Jan. 21, 1971). Comforting as this 
information may have been to the financially innocent, it was unsettling, even ominous to 
the bankers and other economic savants on the board, who persuaded their colleagues to 

A "Current Project Financing" report of September 3, 1970, refers to the Hamilton 
pledge as a "future gift." 


join in a unanimous decision to declare that a financial emergency existed at the College 
and to authorize the chairman of the board and the president of the College "to terminate 
the employment of a sufficient number of non-tenured and tenured faculty members as 
will reduce the operating budget of the College without injury to the College's scholastic 
position..." (TM 1969-72, Jan. 21, 1971). 

This was a most serious step but one which the trustees and administration had the 
right to take according to guidelines set by the AAUP. As it turned out, no such draconian 
measures were taken though deficits and enrollment problems continued to mount. 

A number of schemes for increasing enrollment and income were advanced early in 
Allen's administration. Trustee Charles Ellis Brown presented on April 13, 1970, a for- 
mal recommendation to the board to establish a private four-year high school to be oper- 
ated by the College on campus. This would be a money-making venture and would allow 
Centenary to "grow" annual crops of potential students. Brown's proposal contained the 
details of his rationale, but when the question was put to the board for a vote, it failed 20-1 1 
(TM 1969-72). 

President Allen himself revised the adult education program by opening all courses 
to the public on a non-credit basis with reduced tuition. Under this plan anyone could 
audit any course in the curriculum for $75 per course per semester with no other entrance 
requirements and no course requirements of any kind ("President Allen" 1,3). Dr. Charles 
Beaird proposed asking current students to act as recruiters for the admissions office, point- 
ing out that a small California college had increased its enrollment by 100 students in the 
fall of 1971 as a result of this kind of campaign (Beaird 2). 

While this grave financial and enrollment situation at the College seemed almost to 
explode as soon as Allen arrived on the scene, things were humming on campus. Students, 
continuing their insistence for dramatic changes in the educational philosophies of the 
1960s, demanded even more innovation. Much of what they wanted related to colleges 
and universities abandoning their traditional in loco parentis attitudes. Students wanted to 
participate more in college governance. They wanted the freedom to choose their forums 
speakers without administrative permission, input, or pressure. They wanted fewer restric- 
tions in their social lives, fewer requirements generally, especially compulsory ones such as 
chapel and class attendance. This desire for more freedom extended into curricular mat- 
ters. They wanted more electives, a reduced core. 

The faculty and the administration were by no means unsympathetic to many of these 
demands and began to address them immediately. Some of this may be attributable to 
the generational change in the composition of the faculty itself. Those professors born 
in the last decade of the 19 th century and the early years of the 20 th either had retired or 
soon would retire. To be sure, those born in the 1920s and 1930s would share many of 
the educational opinions of the older generation; they would also naturally be somewhat 
more open to new attitudes across the board than their immediate predecessors had been. 


Moreover, Centenary students were following accepted procedure in calling for change. 
They were using the student government to pass resolutions and to petition the adminis- 
tration. Or, they were holding open, orderly meetings to discuss issues. One such meeting 
was the October 9-15, 1969, Vietnam Week, held in the SUB, to debate and discuss and 
study printed material related to the Vietnam War ("Thursday" 1 ). They were also writing 
editorials and letters to the editor in the Conglomerate. By 1969, students were also serving 
on most faculty committees. 

In the fall of 1970, the College announced in the catalogue a new core curriculum 
that the curriculum committee had worked on for a year and a half before presenting it 
to the faculty. Students had for some time chafed under a relatively hefty and prescriptive 
core. The new core was the answer to their prayers. Among several other casualties was 
the English Proficiency Test. This test was given to juniors and seniors and consisted of a 
short essay written on a topic assigned by the English department. The test helped ensure 
that students' writing skills had not lapsed since they finished their core English require- 
ments. Students who failed the test received tutoring from the English department and 
had to take the test again and pass it. Long a graduation requirement, the test had become 
a sore point with students. The curriculum committee rationalized doing away with this 
requirement by stating that in all courses "the quality of English used by the student will be 
considered. ... Failure to meet recognized standards of English composition may result in a 
lower grade in any course" (FM, Mar. 10, 1970). But the most dramatic changes in the core 
curriculum came in the hour requirements, which were reduced from 60 to 45. Students 
were no longer required to take the sophomore survey of British literature, Old and New 
Testaments, a year of laboratory science, two years of a foreign language, and public speak- 
ing. Under the new core, they had to take only one literature course, English or foreign. 
They might take two courses in religion or philosophy or vice-versa. It would under this 
new curriculum be possible for students to graduate without having taken a course in art, 
music, theatre, political science, economics, sociology, or psychology. In short, they would 
have not only a reduced core, but they would also have more options. The older core sought 
to ensure breadth of learning by mandating a larger number of courses. The new core by 
allowing them more responsibility hoped that students would choose wisely and well in 
selecting areas of liberal learning. 

This seemingly radical change in the core is a clear signal that the faculty had deter- 
mined to follow at least one of the recommendations of the steering committee of the Role 
and Scope study commissioned by President Allen: 

The Committee feels that the policy of "in loco parentis" is outmoded 
in our society. It recommends that steps be taken to abolish those practices 
and regulations which have been fostered by this principle and that this 
change of attitude be given wide publicity (Appendix F, p. 8, no. 6). 


This Role and Scope report emboldened students to identify and militate against other 
specific in loco parentis regulations at once. For example, compulsory chapel attendance 
was abolished effective fall 1970 ("Chapel Required" 1). When students were also given 
much more leeway in choosing forums speakers, they promptly contracted (for $1,000) 
Dick Gregory, the black comedian and civil rights activist, to speak on February 1, 1970, at 
a forums convocation ("Senate" 1). New president John Allen had endorsed the students' 
right to pick not only the forums speakers but also faculty advisers for all student commit- 
tees with the approval of the senate. At the same time, he was quoted as saying ". . .it would 
be a disaster to bring Dick Gregory here" ("Allen" 1). Coming fresh from Hattiesburg, 
Mississippi, Allen would understandably be reluctant to begin his presidency by endorsing 
the campus appearance of anyone as controversial down South as Dick Gregory. Allen's 
own intimate knowledge of the racial climate in his native haunts, North Louisiana, not 
markedly different from that of Mississippi, would make him all the more cautious about 
offending the sensitivities of conservative Shreveporters. Less than a week after President 
Allen's stated opinion about the folly and danger of bringing Dick Gregory to speak, the 
forums committee brought to campus Robert Scheer, the brilliant young editor of the left- 
wing magazine Ramparts ("Your Obligation" 6). Scheer would go on to become famous as 
a longtime reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He is a contributing editor for The Nation 
and is a regular on the National Public Radio program "Left, Right and Center." 

Centenary students were decidedly testing the boundaries in their choices of contro- 
versial speakers in the early months of 1970. Hard on the heels of Dick Gregory came 
Roxanne Dunbar, a prominent figure in the modern women's liberation movement that 
was just getting into high gear in a region not noted for its sympathetic reaction to feminist 
philosophy. She drew an overflow crowd at the Hurley Auditorium ("Women's Liberation" 
1; "Feminist" 4). 

Coterminous with the appearance of controversial speakers on campus, demands of 
uppity students for radical curriculum changes, non-compulsory chapel attendance, and 
liberalized social regulations was a sensational dramatic production at the Marjorie Lyons 
Playhouse. This was the highly publicized Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat 
as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum ofCharenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de 
Sade. The play had opened in Berlin in 1964 and was immediately acclaimed as a significant 
occurrence in world drama. Its theatre of the absurd and theatre of cruelty qualities made 
it particularly difficult for amateurs to undertake. It may also have been the first instance 
of onstage nudity as the audience was treated to a brief view of actor Michael Hall's bare 
backside as he strode offstage in his role as Jean-Paul Marat. But Robert Buseick, the new 
director at the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, chose the play as the second offering of his first 
year at Centenary (1969-70), and the production presaged a long and distinguished tenure 
for Buseick (Crockett, Mar. 6, 1970, p. 4D; Mar. 13, 1970, 10C). A significant curricular step 
was taken in the fall semester of 1971: Centenary offered its first black history course, the 


History of the Negro in America. It was an upper-level offering carrying three hours credit 
and was taught by Mr. George P. Hendrix, M.A., an African American teacher in the Caddo 
Parish School System ("Black" 1). 

Among the most sweeping - and at the time breath-taking - measures initiated by 
students in their attempts to get rid of in loco parentis regulations and attitudes was a mani- 
festo in the fall of 1969 from the student senate in the form of a list totaling nine proposals 
in all, ranging from the desire to have community service projects initiated for academic 
credit to the wish to have coed, all-hours dorms and "open" visitation in dorms. Virtually 
all of these demands would be recognized in the years to come, some later than others. 
Two that were not involved alcoholic beverages. The student senate advocated not only the 
sale and consumption of beer in the student union building in accordance with the liquor 
laws of Louisiana and Shreveport but also the possession and consumption of alcoholic 
beverages on campus again in accordance with the liquor laws of Louisiana and Shreveport 
("Statement" 2). At that time, the legal drinking age in Shreveport and Louisiana was 18. 
In these proposals, the students received help from what many might consider an unex- 
pected quarter - the faculty. First, the student activities committee, made up of five faculty 
members and five students, submitted a report to the faculty on October 19, 1969, which 
contained recommendations favoring student responsibility regarding visitation policies in 
the dormitories and the deletion of sections in the student handbook specifically forbid- 
ding alcoholic beverages on campus. The report went back to committee for further clari- 
fication, and a month later, the committee returned a slightly expanded document. The 
essence of the committee's proposals was to give each dormitory, the IFC (Interfraternity 
Council), and Panhellenic the responsibility of determining consistent visitation policies 
and to remove from the student handbook any specific prohibition of alcoholic bever- 
ages. To make clear the rationale for the deletions, the following sentence was added to the 

...the following kinds of misconduct are expressly forbidden: row- 
dyism, pugnacious behavior, the threatening or intimidation of persons 
attempting to obey or enforce College regulations, and noise or conduct 
which would hinder studying or the educational process generally (attach- 
ment to FM, Nov. 16, 1970). 
The measure passed in the faculty by a vote of 37-21, a fact that will surprise many 
inasmuch as alcoholic beverages continue to be banned on campus. (They may be served 
in fraternity houses, the Symphony House, and The Canterbury Club [Episcopal Student 

On December 14, the last faculty meeting of 1970, President Allen responded in a 
prepared statement to the report of the student activities committee regarding alcohol on 
campus. In it, he said that he was not swayed by arguments that the policy would result 
in more drunkenness, more disturbances generally, decreased enrollment, and lowered 


financial contributions. His feeling was that the issue would complicate "the problems of 
group living, and on [that] basis he would decline to present the faculty action to the board 
of trustees." A discussion ensued in the meeting as to whether the president of the College 
has the right to refuse to take faculty action to the trustees and as to whether some actions 
must be communicated. At the conclusion of the discussion, President Allen said he would 
refer the faculty's action to the proper committee of the board with his recommendation 
to kill (FM). 

During the spring semester of 1971, the Conglomerate ran a number of pieces on the 
issues of drinking on campus and dormitory visitation. Some were straight news stories, 
including reports of open meetings between students and President Allen. Others were 
editorials criticizing Allen's actions and his reason for them. One additional related request 
that came from students concerned coed dormitories. The student senate, having recom- 
mended drinking regulations already vetoed by the president, proposed "an experimental 
co-ed dormitory." Both requests went to the student activities committee ("Senate" 1). 
Nothing further happened at this time about a coed dorm, apparently for lack of student 
interest. A writer in the Conglomerate sought to revive that interest in the fall of 1971 
(Parrish 2). 

The forums committee continued to ensure that Centenary students were exposed to 
radical points of view by presenting in a March 18, 1971, lecture Professor John Froines, a 
member of the notorious Chicago Eight, a group of radicals from a variety of organizations 
opposed to the Vietnam War. Besides Froines, the group included Abbie Hoffman, Jerry 
Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Ronnie Davis, Lee Weiner, and Bobby Seale. They 
were the leaders of several thousand protestors, massed in Chicago's Lincoln Park, bent on 
violently disrupting the Democratic National Convention. The charges included conspiracy 
to riot, rioting, and crossing state lines with the intent to incite a riot. The trial technically 
became the Chicago Seven Trial when the judge severed Black Panther leader Bobby Seale 
from the case for his obstreperous courtroom behavior and sentenced him to four years 
in prison for contempt. Froines, himself non-violent and a Yale Ph.D. in chemistry, was 
ultimately acquitted of all charges; so were the other defendants by an appellate court. In a 
question-and-answer session with students, Froines discussed the Chicago Eight trial and 
also described an upcoming, five-day anti-war demonstration in Washington, D.C., to take 
place May 1-5 and explained what preparations prospective Centenary attendees might 
make (Linder 1-8; Hutcheson CI). The Vietnam War, it will be remembered, was far from 
over in 1971, and the debate over it continued throughout the country as well as on college 

One policy that American students were campaigning for was the ombudsman system. 
In academic settings, an ombudsman - the word is of Swedish provenience - is one who 
investigates complaints of students, reports findings, and attempts to ameliorate disputes 
equitably. At Centenary, instead of a single person to fill this position, a student senate- 


appointed committee would act as the mediator between the disputants ("Ombudsman 
System" 1; "Ombudsman Act" 25). A degree of excitement among some students was atten- 
dant on this new avenue of challenging authority, but the phenomenon turned out to be 
trendy and short-lived. 

In May of 1969, shortly before John Allen was named president, the College received 
a handsome gift from Algur Meadows, the Dallas oilman who had lent valuable paintings 
and made generous donations to Centenary since the mid-1950s. His latest bequest came 
in the form of 360 paintings by the distinguished French artist Jean Despujols and a pledge 
to build a gallery to house them. 

The story surrounding this benefaction is a fascinating one. Despujols was a classically 
trained artist who, while still in his twenties, had received prestigious awards, including the 
Premier Grand Prix de Rome, the Gold Medal of the Salon des Artistes Francais, and the 
Prix de la Ville of the City of Bordeaux. A highly decorated combat infantryman in World 
War I - he was a machine gunner - Despujols later became a professor at the American 
Academy of Fine Arts in the Palace of Fontainbleau. In 1936, Despujols was commissioned 
by the Societe des Artistes Coloniaux of Paris to go to French-Indochina to paint the coun- 
tryside and the various ethnic and cultural groups. Employing an academic technique and 
following the tenets of the French Academy, Despujols executed his commission brilliantly. 
That area would later become, after independence from France was achieved, the countries 
of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Much of the beauty and distinctiveness of the region that 
Despujols was able to capture on canvas has since vanished, a casualty of the long Vietnam 
War. His collection of 360 works ranging from pencil sketches and water colors to oils 
survived the German occupation of France during World War II. Despujols had emigrated 
to the United States and settled in Shreveport at the suggestion of Mrs. Allen Rendall, who 
had studied with him in Paris. In shipment from Europe, his paintings were lost for three 
years, finally surfacing in a Naval Depot in Mobile ("J. Despujols" 1; "Exhibit" 5). 

Despujols's paintings were kept in a Shreveport bank vault until his death in 1965. 
They were then purchased from his heirs by Meadows for $250,000 and immediately given 
to Centenary. Meadows gave an additional $200,000 to the College to renovate a building 
that could serve as a gallery and a permanent home for the works (Montgomery, "Cooper" 
7-B; Montgomery, "History" 14-F). That facility became a reality in 1975, when the new 
Meadows Museum of Art opened in what had been the arts or administration building. 

But grave issues still confronted the College. The continued, serious decline in enroll- 
ment during the early 1970s led the College to take a number of measures to address the 
problem. One was a new degree in the fall of 1971, the associate of science in business, a 
two-year evening division program designed for recent high school graduates and young 
military veterans who aspired to a career in business but could not afford a full-time, four- 
year program at a private college and for more mature people who needed further education 
to advance in their respective business fields. The College hoped to be more serviceable to 


the community by inaugurating this program, both to people who would enroll in it and to 
employers ("Centenary to Offer" C-l). 

Yet another attempt to make Centenary more appealing to students and thereby attract 
greater numbers to enroll was "interim studies," so called because they were offered in a new 
three-week open period between semesters. These courses covered subjects not regularly 
or ever offered in the fall and spring semesters or in summer school and were designed to 
enrich a student's education. Those 1-99 courses, as they were known, were concentrated 
studies regardless of the subject matter. So, the readings could be heavy and the activi- 
ties intense. Many interim courses, possibly most, were off-campus, and a number were 
in foreign countries. Typical offerings could be theatre trips to New York or London, art 
history trips to Chicago or Paris or Madrid or Florence, literary or historical excursions to 
the United Kingdom or Mexico or Germany. Students might go to Nicaragua to study rain 
forests or to Hawaii to study volcanoes. Every Centenary student had to take one in order 
to graduate. (The dates of the interim program changed from January to early May in 1986, 
and the program from that time on has been called "The May Module.") 

The 1969-70 catalogue describes a curricular innovation which it was hoped would 
prove attractive to particularly gifted students. This was the special program for indepen- 
dent study, open to sophomores who had a 3.8 gpa in their freshman year at Centenary. 
Such students could, with the recommendation of their faculty adviser, apply for permis- 
sion to design their own course of study for the remainder of their degree program. They 
would not be subject to core or major requirements but would with the advice and approval 
of their faculty adviser choose whatever courses they pleased. In its sixteen-year history, 
only a very few students opted for this program. Its last year in the catalogue was 1985-86. 

In many respects, the 1970s at Centenary were a continuation of the 1960s where stu- 
dents were concerned. The era of World War II and the 1950s was over with its comfort- 
able acceptance of traditional values revolving around patriotism, the family, religion, and 
education. A new day had been dawning for over a decade, shaped in large measure by 
unpopular wars, the Cold War, the so-called sexual revolution, the emergence of feminism, 
the civil rights movement, and the unmistakable beginnings of what has been called by 
many the post-Christian era. At Centenary, students rejected the old in loco parentis ways 
and sought freedom and independence on virtually every front. Issues of curriculum, dor- 
mitory regulations, chapel attendance, and guest speakers on campus have been touched on 
before. And in a number of individual cases in these areas, faculty sided with students in the 
search for change. Also, as has been mentioned earlier, Centenary students opted for "due 
process" in seeking these broader freedoms: they wrote editorials in the Conglomerate; they 
wrote letters to the editor; they convened open meetings and invited faculty and adminis- 
trators to attend. When they did not carry the day in their demands, they did not resort to 
unlawful or blatantly inappropriate behavior. 

A number of these '60s issues surfaced again in the '70s. College Chaplain Robert Ed 


Taylor accompanied Conglomerate editor Taylor Caffery and Women's Student Government 
Association president Jeanne Pruden to a Radio Station KWKH session of "Party Line," a 
notorious right-wing call-in show, where they answered questions about coed dorms on 
campus ("Coed" 1). An early instance of feminine criticism of Centenary's "Gentleman" 
mascot appeared in the March 17, 1972, issue of the Conglomerate, where six women 
students "respectfully" protested the chauvinistic and social class implications of the old 
Gent as unrepresentative of the student body ("Weekly" 4). 

A more potentially incendiary problem arose in March 1972 after the staging of a 
student-directed, stream-of-consciousness drama at the Playhouse entitled The Serpent. 
The student reviewer of the play in the Conglomerate wrote a stream-of-consciousness 

critique in which the f word appeared (Fahey 9). This apparently provoked no 

serious controversy in the community but did so on campus, where the publications com- 
mittee voted to censure the editor and warn him that any further use of such an offensive, 
unwarranted vulgarity could result in his suspension from the newspaper (Caffery 4). That 
kind of censorship no longer exists at the College: the Conglomerate has First Amendment 
protection as all media and citizens have and is subject to College oversight only to the 
extent that it must adhere to conventional journalistic ethics and responsibility as other 
newspapers do. Thus, the Conglomerate is in effect practically immune from censorship. 
(Nowadays, the media committee at Centenary can fire an editor for poor performance or 
dereliction of duty but not for expressing an unpopular opinion or allowing tasteless locu- 
tions by staff writers.) 

Freedom of the press and an official College policy of openness of communications 
between students and the administration led to a frequently exhausting airing of opinion 
regarding topics ranging from dormitory visitation hours to abortion advertisements in the 
Conglomerate. In open meetings with students in the SUB and interviews with the editor 
of the Conglomerate, President Allen found himself being grilled about low enrollment, 
his attempt to "stifle" the democratic process, errors and mistakes regarding the choice of 
A. C. "Cheesy" Voran's successor as director of the Choir, dorm sit-in protests, and panty 
raids (by both sexes!), to mention only those covered in some depth by the Conglomerate. 
The exuberant passion of some student writers on the existence or nature of God resulted 
in their launching virulent attacks on Webb Pomeroy, a member of the religion depart- 
ment and adviser to the student publications committee, who had joined the Conglomerate 
discussion in a number of courteous letters on the subject. The episode was regrettable 
not because a very few students found themselves on opposite sides of a question from 
a professor but because they chose to use language which was slanderous and libelous in 
characterizing him and his arguments. 

But scholarly enrichment opportunities presented themselves to Centenary students in 
the 1970s as well as opportunities for pursuing their emancipation from the in loco parentis 
policies of the College. Two popular authors of the day visited the campus in the fall of 


1972. Harlan Ellison, the science fiction writer, lectured in a number of English classes 
and other settings; and Anthony Burgess, famous for A Clockwork Orange, his novel of 
violence set in a futuristic Britain and made into a widely acclaimed movie directed by 
Stanley Kubrick, spoke on the forums series ("Kind" 1, 8; Hill 1). Under President Allen, 
the College continued its practice of having outstanding commencement speakers. In 1970, 
T. Harry Williams, the distinguished Civil War historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning biog- 
rapher of Huey Long, addressed the graduates. In 1971, it was Howard K. Smith, chief 
Washington analyst for ABC News. Smith was a native Louisianan and a Rhodes Scholar 
from Tulane. And in 1972, Cleanth Brooks, who with Robert Penn Warren had revolution- 
ized the study of literature by their advocacy of the New Criticism, gave the commencement 
address. (Brooks's father had been the pastor of the Noel Methodist Church in Shreveport 
when Cleanth himself was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford.) All these persons also received 
honorary doctoral degrees from the College. 

Yet another bright spot in this list of good things happening at the College was the 
establishment of the Cornelius D. and Florence Gillard Keen Chair of Physics in August of 
1972, Centenary's first endowed chair. Dr. Louie Galloway was the first incumbent (TM, 
Aug. 31, 1972). The story of Cornelius Keen's association with Centenary and the subse- 
quent establishment of the chair in physics that bears his and his wife's name is a fascinat- 
ing one. Keen, a native Hollander, had taken his undergraduate degree in Delft in 1909 
and immediately went to work for an oil company in Romania. Coming to America a 
few years later, he settled in Shreveport and entered into a partnership with William C. 
Woolf, wherein he was vice president and treasurer of the Keen and Woolf Oil Company 
from 1919-29. After graduate study at the Colorado School of Mines in 1931, he enrolled 
in the University of Chicago, there receiving the Ph.D., specializing in the cosmic ray field 
of physics. Returning to Shreveport, he continued research in his own laboratory, and in 
1938 was named "acting-professor" of physics at Centenary. It was the beginning of a fine 
relationship between Dr. and Mrs. Keen and the College. He accepted no salary for his 
teaching and donated his library and laboratory to Centenary. He also had the College 
telescope mounted on a cement base at his own expense. Both he and she hired students 
and thus helped them finance their education. They also gave generously to the annual 
Great Teachers-Scholars Fund. In 1943, Dr. Keen became head of the Centenary physics 
and engineering department though he was primarily a distinguished lecturer rather than 
a traditional departmental administrator. When, in 1956, the Keens moved to California 
so that Dr. Keen might study nuclear engineering, they gave their home on Robinson to the 
College. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Keen's health began to fail, and they returned to Shreveport. 
When Centenary offered to return their house to them, they refused to accept it; instead, 
they bought it back from the College at a higher price than they had originally paid for it 
(Centenary Bulletin 1934-40, 1943-44; "Trahan" 9, "Scholar" 2). 

This glowing picture of generous philanthropy, of scholarly achievement on the part 


of Centenary students and faculty, of creative curricular innovations, of exciting tensions 
as the College moved away from its historical educational philosophy of in loco parentis, 
of the campus as the marketplace where new and challenging ideas could be presented 
and debated - all this is in stark contrast with the ever-worsening financial and enroll- 
ment situation facing the trustees and the administration and documented in the trustee 
minutes. From the time of President Allen's arrival at Centenary in late 1969, the omens 
were not good for the immediate future. Board meetings from 1970 on were taken up with 
larger and apparently inexorable deficits, which required levying on unrestricted ("quasi-") 
endowment funds in order to operate the institution. Steadily decreasing enrollment - it 
once sank as low as 660 full-time students - aggravated the financial crisis as did the failure 
of pledged bequests to come in for buildings already constructed. C. L. Perry, Centenary 
comptroller, sent President Allen a memo on July 23, 1971, reporting that the combined 
debt on Hamilton Hall and the Gold Dome was $1,350,000 and that new notes on this debt 
had just been executed at 8% ( TM). 

All kinds of economies were attempted in this struggle for financial solvency. Between 
1970 and 1972, the faculty was reduced from 74 to 58 (TM, Oct. 11, 1972). Except for 
maintenance vehicles, the College stopped furnishing automobiles for any use whatever by 
faculty or staff, cut funds for all publications, and reduced departmental budgets ( TM, Apr. 

One item of athletic news almost too good to be true occurred on May 1, 1972. It 
was the signing of Robert Parish to play basketball for Centenary. Parish, a seven-foot All 
American center from Woodlawn High School in Shreveport, finally made up his mind to 
go to college in his hometown. As perhaps the top prep player in the country, he had been 
courted by major powers in university basketball circles ("Parish" 6). Centenary fans were 
ecstatic when he decided to become a Gent. Centenary well-wishers were no doubt relieved 
to have word of something besides budget deficits and dwindling enrollment. The elation 
created by Parish's signing was destined to be somewhat dissipated within a year because of 
alleged violations of NCAA rules by Centenary and an ensuing court battle. 

At the annual board meeting on May 11, 1972, President Allen painted a generally 
rosy picture at the College in spite of the serious problems it faced. The faculty exhib- 
ited a "degree of enthusiasm"; student morale had improved; the Great Teachers-Scholars 
Campaign was going well; and the College had been the recipient of recent legacies and 
bequests. But another deficit of over $600,000 negated whatever optimism might have 
arisen from the few positive aspects of Allen's report. 

Indeed, not two months later Allen declared himself frustrated by the financial plight 
of the College and saw "no immediate way to alleviate the situation." Expenses had been 
cut to the bone; further reductions could jeopardize the academic program. Endowment 
and gifts were projected to be down as was enrollment. Nor had trustee giving increased 
significantly. Allen asserted that he considered himself to be a competent administrator 


but that given the perilous financial situation at the College, the board might feel that a 
"development expert" was "the greater need." The board apparently retained confidence in 
Allen: they did not even discuss the option he had given them, choosing instead to name a 
planning committee to work on increasing the endowment; they also authorized withdraw- 
ing $200,000 from the quasi-endowment to fund the summer school (TM, July 6, 1972). 

The end of the 1972-73 school year did not promise any relief for Centenary's fiscal 
woes. On the contrary. The projected budget for 1973-74 was $940,000 (TM, Apr. 17, 
1973). At the annual meeting of the board on May 10, 1973, President Allen put the best 
spin he could on the grim picture then obtaining at the College, praising the various seg- 
ments and expressing gratitude for the "relaxed and happy atmosphere" on campus. But 
there is more than a touch of desperation in the possibilities mentioned for enhancing pro- 
grams at Centenary. Allen mentioned in particular a semester at Vanderbilt or Oxford for 
all students and the establishment of a law school and masters' degrees in business, music, 
and education. He also requested the formation of a planning and budgeting system for the 
College which would involve participation by "trustees, administrators, faculty, students, 
and staff." Dr. D. L. Dykes moved the appointment of a special committee on admissions to 
be chaired by Bishop Finis Crutchfield. The motion carried. 

This committee completed its report on November 6, 1973, and presented it to the 
board on the 16 th with some controversial recommendations. One was a decrease in tuition; 
another advocated lowering the predicted gpa used to admit freshman applicants from 2.0 
to 1.6; and a third proposed using all high school grades in figuring gpa's, not just those of 
college preparatory courses. But the most disturbing suggestion urged a specific restate- 
ment of the reasons for Centenary's existence because " one at [the College] had a 
clear understanding of [its] rationale and goals." Many faculty members felt that this asser- 
tion was shocking, disgraceful, and false all at the same time and boded no good for those 
who understood perfectly Centenary's liberal arts role in higher education, a goal clearly 
articulated in the printed, official purpose of the College. There had, to be sure, always been 
some faculty members unsympathetic to academic excellence and the liberal arts and much 
more attuned to vocational education. But this was the first time their point of view had 
been expressed by a group of trustees. Some liberal arts loyalists mentioned a number of 
reasons that aggravated the so-called failure to understand the liberal arts and their tradi- 
tion at Centenary. They cited a superficial kind of boosterism both off- and on-campus, 
which advocated graduate programs before unquestioned excellence in undergraduate 
studies had been achieved and which saw vocationalism as the primary if not exclusive 
raison d'etre of the College. The trustees were not without their critics among the liberal 
arts traditionalists, who could not understand the board's obsession with big-time athletics 
and its dubious economic value to the College along with the academic problems it seemed 
naturally to give rise to. 

At the November 6, 1973, meeting of the executive committee, Dr. D. L. Dykes pre- 


sented a detailed study he had made about the possibility of establishing a school of church 
careers at Centenary. He repeated his presentation to the full board on the 16 th , when he 
explained that the school would train people not headed for seminary to serve on church 
staffs of all denominations in youth ministries, education ministries, lay leadership, and any 
church vocation not requiring seminary training. The trustees voted to approve the general 
concept and refer it to the administration for "expeditious handling." In meetings during 
the rest of the year and into 1974, the faculty expressed concern that the board would pro- 
pose a policy that should have come from the faculty. Yet when on March 18, 1974, the final 
proposal came from the educational policy committee in the form of a recommendation 
for a B. A. degree with a major in Christian education, the faculty approved it unanimously. 
This was the School of Church Careers, also known later as the Church Careers Program 
and subsequently the Church Careers Institute. Today, its title is the Christian Leadership 
Center. The faculty did not follow the trustee committee's recommendation on lowering a 
freshman applicant's gpa from 2.0 to 1.6. 

Centenary's sports coup in recruiting Robert Parish, the nation's top high school pros- 
pect, turned to ashes when the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ruled 
Parish ineligible to play. To be eligible to play sports in college, a high school graduate 
must score high enough on entrance exams to predict that he or she would make a 1.6 
grade point average. The customary test used was the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), but 
until 1970, the NCAA accepted American College Test (ACT) scores if by using a conver- 
sion table they predicted a 1.6 gpa on the SAT. But in 1970, the NCAA abolished the use 
of conversion tables. Still, Centenary used the tables to predict Parish's score on the SAT. 
When the NCAA declared Parish and four other basketball players ineligible for violating 
the rule, the five players sued the NCAA in federal court in Shreveport on April 4, 1973, but 
lost the case. The NCAA showed that in June of 1972 it had notified Centenary athletic 
director Orvis Sigler, head basketball coach Larry Little, assistant coach Riley Wallace, and 
Centenary president John Allen that the use of conversion tables had been abolished in 
1970. The NCAA claimed that Centenary had knowingly and in defiance of this fact used 
a conversion table to predict Parish's college gpa. Arthur Carmody, the attorney represent- 
ing the NCAA, argued that the federal court had no jurisdiction in the matter since there 
had been no irreparable or probable damage to the five athletes, who could either play 
at Centenary or transfer to another school. U. S. District Judge Ben Dawkins ruled that 
this was in effect the case and that the NCAA was entitled to impose whatever it chose 
on Centenary College. The NCAA then placed Centenary on indefinite probation. This 
penalty meant that College teams could not participate in post-season play-offs or share 
in any national television series; nor would any Gent achievements and results be a part of 
NCAA records. Granted that Centenary was in violation of the rules, the penalty seemed 
unduly harsh in view of the fact that only days after the NCAA slapped Centenary with 
this severe probation, it did away with the rule mandating that high school graduates score 


high enough on the SAT exams to predict 1.6 gpa for their first year of college. Instead, 
the new ruling stipulated only that a student athlete have a minimum high school gpa of 
2.0 ("Gents" 1-C). Nevertheless, Centenary would remain on probation for a total of six 

On April 30, 1973, President Allen announced that the position of athletic director 
at Centenary had been eliminated. This post had been held by Coach Sigler since 1958. 
The reason given for this cutback was the serious financial situation at the College and the 
consequent need to economize. According to Sigler, the president and "a couple of board 
members" told him it had nothing to do with the court case against the NCAA ("Sigler" 10). 
Whatever the reason, the position was quickly restored; the very next catalogue (1973-74) 
listed Larry Little as athletic director. The position has remained in the College table of 
organization ever since. The trustee minutes make no mention of the entire affair. 

Yet another personnel change occurred when Dean Thad Marsh confirmed on May 2 
that he would resign as dean affective June 1 in order to return to the classroom as profes- 
sor of English ("Dean Marsh Resigns" 2). Dr. Theodore Kauss, professor of education, was 
named only days later to succeed Marsh. Kauss's bachelor's degree was from the University 
of Wisconsin, his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Evanston. He came to Centenary 
from a management consulting firm (Caffery and Wiggin 1). Marsh's plan to return to 
teaching changed within weeks when he resigned from Centenary to become provost at 
Sewanee (the University of the South) ( TM, July 26, 1973). 

The purpose of the history of a college is not to record the minutiae of its daily life except 
insofar as it reflects the larger, more significant picture at any given period. Curriculum 
changes at an institution as old as Centenary illustrate this assertion. Most of them qualify 
as minutiae, even important ones. But some deserve special mention because of the con- 
troversy or approbation they engender on campus. An example of such a course was Great 
Issues, a general education, interdivisional seminar required of all seniors for graduation. It 
was a large lecture class dealing as its name would imply with significant contemporary top- 
ics that concern the college graduate. Examples include ethics, totalitarianism, comparative 
religion, propaganda, conformity, education, homosexuality, civil liberties, individualism, 
nationalism, and internationalism. Both faculty and students argued about the merits of 
the course, students, perhaps, questioning its value most vigorously. Ironically, alumni 
when polled praise the course extravagantly, some going so far as to say it was the most 
interesting course they had in college. The course was last offered in 1972 - 73. 

Beginning in the fall of 1971, Centenary had abandoned the "semester hour" and 
adopted the "course" as the unit of college credit. In the spring of 1973, however, the fac- 
ulty voted to return to the semester hour system, citing as the main reason for doing so the 
difficulty of transferring credits as only a very few American institutions used the course 
credit system (Daiell 2). 

Also, in its April 30, 1973, meeting, the faculty approved a new major, liberal arts. This 


program was designed especially for students who come to college without specific careers 
in mind and thus want a broader array of courses rather than the typical disciplinary spe- 
cialization (FM). 

As the fall 1973 school term rolled around, Centenary found itself still plagued by four 
straight years of serious budget deficits and the attendant raiding of the quasi-endowment 
needed to keep operating. Prompted by the crisis arising from the embargo on Arab oil and 
by President Nixon's request to the nation to save energy, Centenary officials implemented 
a number of measures including reduced library hours, reduced computer lab hours, the 
lowering of campus thermostats to 68° F for the winter months and turning them off during 
long holidays, and a variety of other energy-saving procedures (Anderson 3). Continued 
low enrollments exacerbated the financial woes of the College. Full-time students totaled 
640 for the 1973 fall semester, down 69 from the preceding fall ("Enrollment" 3). 

New Dean Theodore Kauss gave the principal address at the September 6, 1973, 
President's Convocation, and it was a wide-ranging speech calculated to inspire Centenary 
students into recognizing the private liberal arts college's importance and potential in try- 
ing times. He strongly criticized the Louisiana legislature's misplaced financial priorities, 
citing as a prime example the appropriation of $161 million for the Superdome and no new 
money for hospitals and higher education (except when racetrack funds came in) - this in 
a time when Louisiana was at the bottom of states in national educational attainment. His 
clear implication was that church-related liberal arts colleges offered more opportunity for 
academic excellence and creativity as well as character training than an educational system 
dependent on politicians and gamblers. He proposed expanding the Honor System and 
establishing senior internships for credit as well as a career counseling center. But perhaps 
the most daring of his proposals was for the College to study the feasibility of graduate 
degrees and a law school. Virtually everything Kauss enumerated was destined to come to 
pass, excepting only the law school (Caffery, "The Harder" 1 ). 

In 1972, the Louisiana legislature made eighteen-year-olds legally adults, thus antici- 
pating the federal government's Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 
also known as the Buckley Amendment by two years - and sparking keen interest among 
Centenary students as to how they would be affected. Not much in key respects as it turned 
out. As a private institution, the College could pretty much require whatever it wished as 
long as it informed students what such regulations were. For example, students still had 
to live in the dormitory, obey the ban on alcohol on campus or at College functions, and 
follow similar rules impinging on personal behavior. 

Throughout the fall 1973 semester, numerous spin-offs of this further lessening of the 
in loco parentis philosophy appeared in the school newspaper. Women students opposed 
the double standard in residence halls: certain groups of men could live off campus; no 
women could. The Women's Student Government Association (WSGA) was abolished in 
a campus-wide vote primarily on the grounds that it had served its purpose and was no 


longer needed (Payne 4; "Norton" 3; "Referendum" 5). 

Centenary regulations for women dorm students in fall 1973 still demonstrated that 
in loco parentis attitudes die hard: housemothers in the women's dorms reminded students 
that they should be sure to close their blinds after dark (Wiggin 4). But however protective 
the College sought to be where the modesty or virtue of women students was concerned, 
a Conglomerate reporter was busy researching a front-page article describing in detail her 
visit to the local Family Planning Clinic, which included a physical examination, lecture, 
and slide presentations on birth control; instructions about using birth control pills; and 
information about getting them - free (Anderson, "Day" 1 ). Parents who sent their daugh- 
ters to Centenary under the illusion that Victorian ideas about sex constituted school policy 
must have raised their collective eyebrows that such explicitly "liberating" information 
would appear in the student newspaper. 

Conglomerate editorial writers continued to lambaste the College's ban on alcohol on 
campus, calling it hypocritical and asserting that it was toadying to the Methodist Church 
despite denials to the contrary. On September 25, 1973, while the student senate was pro- 
posing that College regulations be changed to allow drinking on campus (Guerin 3), the 
communications committee was voting not to publish ads for alcohol in the Conglomerate 
(Wiggin 6). 

There is little question that the first half of the 1970s was a turbulent period for 
Centenary, what with the constant financial crises of the first magnitude and the clamor of 
students - certainly a national phenomenon - for more freedom both academic and social. 
So sensational and widely publicized were the issues that they seem at times to overshadow 
the main business of the institution, education and scholarship. 

Yet not only were Centenary students continuing the long tradition of scholarly achieve- 
ment, the faculty also and the College were engaged in activities and programs of the most 
prestigious kind. In the fall of 1973, English Professor Earle Labor became the second 
Centenary faculty member to be awarded a Fulbright Professorship. (Virginia Carlton in 
mathematics had been the first.) Labor's took him to the University of Aarhus in Denmark, 
where he lived with his family for a year. His experiences there led him to design an 
exchange program between Aarhus and Centenary in which both students and faculty from 
the respective schools could participate. The program was inaugurated in 1976 and has 
continued ever since. Labor had been serving for some years as editor of the publications 
of the College English Association, the only national organization devoted exclusively to the 
concerns of the college English teacher. The first of these journals, both bi-monthly, was 
The Critic, which published articles and reviews; the other was a newsletter, The Forum. In 
Labor's absence, Professor Lee Morgan, chairman of the English department, assumed the 
editorship; Mrs. Ruby George, at the time secretary to the English department, continued 
to serve as assistant to the editor. The headquarters of this distinguished journal remained 
at Centenary for a number of years. 


In September 1973, the Lilly Endowment of Indianapolis made a grant of $1,000,000 to 
the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation to administer a program designed 
to bring the campus and the non-academic world closer together. This initial grant 
would cover three years and would bring distinguished persons from business, industry, 
finance, government and diplomacy, conservation, journalism, and other professions to 
the campuses of fifty select liberal arts colleges. These experts in their fields were originally 
called Woodrow Wilson Senior Fellows, a designation soon changed to Visiting Fellows. 
Centenary was chosen in this initial group of colleges along with institutions like Bowdoin, 
Colby, Williams, Davidson, Cornell, Carleton, Kenyon, Grinnell, Middlebury, Pomona, 
and Colorado. Visiting Fellows spent a week at these schools giving lectures in classes and 
college-sponsored public forums, holding conferences with students, and appearing in the 
media. Perhaps no other program of its kind has had the impact on American academe that 
the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program has. At Centenary, that impact has been 
incalculable. By getting in on the program early, in 1974, and remaining in, Centenary has 
hosted more Visiting Fellows than any other participating institution, 54 at this writing, a 
number which includes other Woodrow Wilson-sponsored figures like German Marshall 
Fund Fellows, Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writing Fellows, and Woodrow Wilson Public 
Service Fellows. Under the program an impressive number of celebrities have come to 
Centenary, among them United States Senators, British diplomats and M.P.'s, a nuclear 
physicist, top executives from business and industry, noted American journalists and for- 
eign correspondents, lawyers, judges, novelists, State Department officials, city planners, 
and a metropolitan symphony president. 

Centenary's relationship with the Woodrow Wilson Foundation actually goes back to 
the mid-'50s, when this unique organization received a grant to devise a program to remedy 
the short supply of college teachers. The Woodrow Wilson Foundation itself has no money, 
no endowment. Instead, it has designed some of the most imaginative and effective edu- 
cational programs in the history of our nation - and has allowed foundations, institutions, 
or individuals to provide the funding. The fellowship program to educate students to be 
college teachers began at Princeton in 1945 to honor the memory of Woodrow Wilson. It 
became national in scope in 1952. During the nineteen years of its existence, nine Centenary 
seniors won fellowships to some of the leading graduate schools in the country. 

At their January 24, 1974, meeting, the executive committee heard Vice President 
Grayson Watson present a working paper from the planning and development committee, 
the purpose of which was to create a long-term master plan for development. The com- 
mittee was to meet with a professional from Dallas the next day to discuss a strategy for 
stabilizing both the financial and the academic condition of the College. One feature of 
the project was to attain an endowment of $20 million, which would result from a renewed 
program of planned giving led by the trustees ( TM). 

February 5, 1974, marked the arrival of the first of three Woodrow Wilson Senior Fellows 


who would spend a week lecturing in classes and public forums on Centenary's campus and 
meeting with students in informal dormitory settings. The first was Harllee Branch, Jr., a 
1927 history graduate of Davidson College. Branch had recently retired as chairman of 
the board of the Southern Company, one of the nation's largest utility holding companies; 
he remained on the boards of U. S. Steel and General Motors. As the graduate of a small 
Southern liberals arts college who had succeeded in business and industry, Branch was 
particularly qualified to relate liberal learning to the world of work. The second Wilson 
Fellow was Walton Butterworth, a career diplomat who had been minister to China and the 
United Kingdom and ambassador to Sweden, the European Communities, and Canada. In 
addition to his classroom appearances, Butterworth requested an office in the library, where 
he could meet with smaller groups of students for more informal discussions. The third 
and last Fellow of the semester was Milton Viorst, well known political journalist. A gradu- 
ate of Rutgers, with master's degrees from Harvard (history) and Columbia (journalism), 
Viorst had published in the leading newspapers and magazines in the country, among them 
Esquire, Saturday Evening Post, Harpers, The Washington Post, The Economist, The Columbia 
Journalism Review, and The New York Post. He also authored a number of popular books, 
including Hostile Allies: FDR and de Gaulle and Hustlers and Heroes: An American Political 
Panorama (Wiggin, "First" 3; Wiggin, "Ambassador" 2; "Viorst" 3). 

Centenary students have throughout the years enjoyed the intellectual and aesthetic 
stimulation usually found only on the campuses of great universities. And the Wilson 
Fellows constituted only one source of such visitors. The forums speakers underwritten 
by the student senate enhanced this extracurricular asset even more as they demonstrated 
the myriad careers open to students of the liberal arts. One such speaker was Tom Jarriel, 
White House Correspondent for ABC News and a 1952 graduate of Shreveport's Byrd High 
School. Jarriel first gained national recognition for his coverage of the civil rights move- 
ment and was the only network correspondent covering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the 
night of his assassination. He was also a regular on ABC's "20/20" TV news program. 

Two issues especially engaged the attention of the Centenary community during the 
spring of 1974. The first had to do with the mission and purpose of the College, which 
would soon add for the first time in its official statement a new emphasis on professional 
and pre-professional programs within the liberal arts framework. To many on campus, and 
especially to the editors of the Conglomerate, this seemed like a retreat from the liberal arts 
ideal that had been Centenary's raison d'etre for 150 years. John Hardt, the editor and a 
senior English major, quoted an authority who spoke of such a retreat as giving in "to the 
university's shrunken vision of undergraduate education" wherein "every subject [receives] 
a technical character and pre-professional definition" (4). 

A week later, John Wiggin, the managing editor and also an English major, wrote 
another editorial, speculating on the reasons for the faculty's adopting the purpose state- 
ment emphasizing the career value of a Centenary education. Commenting on the national 


trend in declining college enrollment, the current economic crunch, and the shrinking job 
market, Wiggin interpreted the faculty's March 14 vote de-emphasizing liberal arts - at 
least by implication - as approving a survival strategy for the College ("Selling" 1). At the 
request of the educational policy committee, this revised purpose statement was written by 
a team, established in the fall of 1973, to formalize planning cycles for the College. When 
it came to the faculty for a vote, the educational policy committee had already approved it. 
The faculty obviously agreed with the rationale that career education is a more marketable 
concept with its clear vocational claims as opposed to the broader, more abstract, intellec- 
tual, and idealistic goals of liberal arts. 

The other issue much bruited about at the same time as the de-emphasis of liberal arts 
involved a revival of the criticism of the school of church careers. Though the professional 
character of this program was again noted, the main thrust of the front-page story of the 
May 2, 1974, Conglomerate was the precipitate manner in which the program had been 
presented to the faculty and, in the words of one professor, "crammed down our throats." 
Taylor Caffery, the business manager of the Conglomerate, decried "the hasty compilation 
of an organized college major" and claimed that many students and faculty were suspicious 
of the program because of this haste. Others worried that the projected special housing 
and social activities areas of church careers participants would separate them from the rest 
of the student body rather than integrating them into the full life of the College. Certainly, 
one of the most serious apprehensions of the CSCC critics was that Centenary would be 
perceived by the public as a "Bible College," with all the negative qualities which that term 
connotes ("Why" 1-3). Miscommunication in advertising the program caused a number 
of these problems, particularly concerning the amount of scholarship and tuition money 
available to students as well as their ignorance of the liberal arts components of the cur- 
riculum (Wiggin, "Growing" 5, 8). 

The fall 1974 semester also brought a number of distinguished guests to Centenary. 
The first was John J. Powers, Jr., recently retired board chairman of Pfizer, Inc., the phar- 
maceutical giant. Another of the Woodrow Wilson Senior Fellows, Powers was here for 
a week, explaining the nature and contributions of multinational corporations. Himself 
a liberal arts graduate (Georgetown), Powers related his views on the connection of that 
kind of education to the globalization of big business, now taking center stage in the 
world economic theatre (Campbell 2). Powers's panegyric to Big Business did not go 
unchallenged. John Wiggin, Conglomerate editor, wrote a front-page article in the paper's 
October 3, 1974, issue entitled "Multinationals - Scourge or Salvation?", which raised seri- 
ous questions about the alleged benefits of the new international giants. The page-one 
illustration accompanying the article showed a globe of the world topped by an octopus 
dubbed "Multi-Nationals" with tentacles reaching into all quarters. Powers defended his 
position - he also had a law degree from Yale - but he was obviously impressed by how 
thoroughly Centenary students had done their homework, and he took their arguments 


seriously. His visit was a casebook illustration of what the Woodrow Wilson program 
could do on a college campus in stimulating intellectual discourse. 

Another visitor to Centenary in fall 1974, brought to campus by forums, was a bona 
fide American hero, 1936 Olympics star Jesse Owens. The legendary black athlete, whom 
Hitler refused to shake hands with, won four gold medals, breaking or equaling eleven 
records in the dashes, broad jump, and 400-meter relay. Owens subsequently made a career 
of community service especially in the needs and problems of young people everywhere 
(Clark, "Owens" 2). 

Another high honor came to Professor Earle Labor for the school year 1974-75. The 
National Endowment for the Humanities named him a Senior Fellow, the most prestigious 
award it could bestow. This fellowship allowed him a year's leave of absence, during which 
he wrote the first book-length critical study of Jack London, later brought out by Twayne 
Publishing Company. 

The intellectual dynamic triggered by campus visitors which had become a hallmark of 
Centenary was augmented by the appearance of one of America's foremost theologians and 
church historians, the Reverend Dr. Martin E. Marty of the University of Chicago, who spoke 
to Centenary students and faculty and members of the general public in Brown Chapel on 
October 31, 1974, on "American Religion and the Identity Society" (Clark, "Marty" 2). 

A variety of other concerns occupied the Centenary community in the last quarter of 
1974. The question of bringing back ROTC to Centenary was debated, and the decision 
was reached not to revive the program. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare 
(HEW) ruled that American colleges would have to equalize dorm regulations so far as they 
relate to men and women. At Centenary, this meant liberalizing the rules for women so that 
they would be the same as those for men. 

However conservative the rules governing student behavior still seemed to be, in at 
least one area Centenary students were in the mainstream of national college high jinks 
- even if only briefly. There were a few instances of "streaking" on campus - there had 
been a number the previous year - but there was no epidemic because in an interview with 
local television stations, the dean threatened streakers with expulsion. "Streaking," it will 
be remembered, involved naked students sprinting from one spot on campus to another, 
often covering wide expanses of territory. This particularly zany form of activity swept the 
country but was, fortunately, short-lived. Students felt that the administration came down 
especially hard on this example of undergraduate exuberance because it might alienate pro- 
spective donors to the College, particularly local ones (Wiggin, "Students" 5). 

In early October 1974, eight months after first discussing the need for a major effort 
to increase the endowment, the board authorized a campaign to raise $20 million for that 
purpose. This campaign was to be known as The Fund for Independence. It would imme- 
diately follow the annual Great Teachers drive. The trustees would not only be expected 
to lead the way in contributions but would also involve themselves in coming up with the 


names of prospective donors and with the actual solicitation (TM 1972-75). 

January 1975 marked the beginning of the renovation of the old administration/arts 
building, which would become the Meadows Museum and repository of the work of painter 
Jean Despujols. The fund which Meadows had given to finance the renovation had reached 
$320,000. Meadows now gave an additional $150,000 to endow the upkeep of the building 
(TM, Jan. 16, 1975). 

Some much needed good financial news came to the board at its March 4, 1975, meet- 
ing. President Allen announced that the Brown Foundation of Houston was giving the 
College $400,000 to establish a chair in engineering sciences (TM). Also, at its August 18 
meeting, the board learned that the College would receive $481,792 from the estate of John 
F. and Joanna Magale with the possibility of a contingency gift that would raise the total of 
the gift to over $500,000. Allen pointed out that contributions to the College over the last 
year exceeded the combined gifts of the last six years. Moreover, the Louisiana Methodist 
Conference announced a new high of $156,000 in their giving to the College. Finally, in 
this meeting, the board passed a resolution naming the music school the Gladys F. Hurley 
School of Music to honor Mrs. Hurley as a longtime supporter and the largest benefactor 
in the School's history ( TM). 

In February 1975, the campus hosted one of the most distinguished persons in the 
Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program, former U. S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith 
(R-Maine). Independent thinking and personal courage characterized Senator Smith's 
32-year career in Congress as illustrated by her opposition to the Vietnam War, President 
Ford's pardon of President Nixon, and McCarthyism, and her early support of the Equal 
Rights Amendment and giving 18 -year-olds the right to vote (John and Sissy Wiggin 1). 

Freedom of the press became a hot issue on campus during the spring of 1975. When 
local television Channel 3 fired three newscasters for airing a story on commissioner of 
public safety George D'Artois, the Conglomerate also ran a piece about the episode. The 
communications committee and the adviser to the Conglomerate criticized the paper for 
alleged inaccuracies in the story and indicated that censorship was a possibility when a 
student editor was journalistically irresponsible, that is, failed to check the accuracy in a 
Conglomerate account. This touched off an acrimonious exchange of letters and editorial 
commentary during March and April. Related issues of censorship involved the use of 
obscenity in Conglomerate articles. When the editor of the paper wrote President Allen 
requesting a statement of policy regarding "good taste" for the publication, Allen answered 
in a letter making two specific points: "we cannot print words that are commonly defined 
as obscene" and the Conglomerate must be sensitive in defining obscenity so as not to offend 
readers whose definition may be significantly different from that of the editors and report- 
ers (5). 

The school of church careers continued to find itself alternately attacked and defended 
in the pages of the Conglomerate. Critics complained that academically deficient students 


were being admitted to the program, that some instructors and some courses were not up 
to Centenary standards, that the liberal arts component was weak, and that the program 
did not prepare students for graduate school (Hesser 5). Apologists responded by correct- 
ing erroneous criticisms and pleaded for patience, "creative struggle," and cooperation to 
achieve excellence for the fledgling program (Taylor 5). 

Centenary's attempt to have NCAA-sanctioned intercollegiate men's soccer after a 
period of club soccer ran afoul of the federal government's Title IX, which required equal 
support of women's sports. For economic reasons, the College's analytical review commit- 
tee voted not to recommend the intercollegiate athletic committee's proposal to fund the 
soccer program (Overly, "Middle" 1, 10, 11). Though Centenary's basketball team contin- 
ued its winning ways, the 1975-76 season marked its fourth year on probation in the NCAA 
(Weaver 11). 

Other matters of moment engaged the attention of the campus community during the 
fall of 1975. The College completed its second 2-year-long institutional Self- Study for the 
Southern Association, an action that would lead to complete reaffirmation of Centenary's 
accreditation (FM, Aug. 29, 1975). The forums committee brought black comedian and 
civil rights activist Dick Gregory back for a second appearance at the College. This time, 
however, he drew more attention and comment for his off-the-wall conspiracy theories 
(such as the one that held that 26 super- rich families such as the Rockefellers and DuPonts 
control the country through the CIA and FBI) than for discussion of racism or civil rights 
(Couhig 1, 6, 7). President Allen, embarrassed by local criticism of Gregory's fanciful, even 
paranoid, material, told the student senate that to avoid future problems he would like to 
know in advance what speakers forums meant to invite. The senate strongly expressed the 
opinion that Allen overreacted to the criticism (Christopher 4). 

There was, it is pleasing to report, no controversy surrounding the next speaker on 
campus. She was Marion Stephenson, Vice President and General Manager of NBC Radio, 
and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. Herself a graduate of a small liberal arts college 
(Antioch), Ms. Stephenson connected well with Centenary students as she discussed that 
kind of education and its relation to administration in the large corporation and related 
topics (R.Miller 1). 

The last celebrity visitor to the campus during fall 1975, was Pulitzer Prize- winning 
reporter Seymour Hersch of The New York Times. The 38-year-old Hersch, appearing as a 
forums speaker, was at the zenith of a brilliant career. He had exposed the My Lai Massacre 
in Vietnam (later writing a book about it), Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's wiretap- 
ping his aides, President Nixon's secret bombings of Cambodia, and the CIA's violation 
of its charter by engaging in domestic spying on anti-war and dissident groups during the 
Vietnam era to mention only the most sensational stories ("Investigative" 3). (In 2007 at 
age 70, Hersch was still contributing regularly to The New Yorker on military and security 


On February 9, 1976, the faculty approved graduate degrees for the first time at 
Centenary College. These were master's degrees in business administration and education. 
They were the product of the departments involved, the planning team, and the educa- 
tional policy committee. The rationale for creating these programs was that they would be 
financially profitable. Some faculty members expressed the fear that these programs would 
not be academically up to par and that the College's reputation for excellence in liberal arts 
undergraduate education would suffer. But the majority did not share these reservations or 
apparently thought the necessity for increased revenue was a more pressing consideration. 
Students voiced these same concerns lamenting the fact that pre-professional and voca- 
tional training were threatening to supersede the time-honored, proven, intellectual value 
of a liberal education. Paul Overly, the editor of the Conglomerate sought to allay these 
faculty-student fears for the College's liberal arts integrity by pointing out that the gradu- 
ate programs, taught principally in the evening and the summer, would hardly affect the 
mainstream of academic life. Also, the increased income from the programs would cause 
Centenary to stay solvent and to be perceived as a more thriving enterprise, a fact which 
might encourage donors in their philanthropy ("Editorial" 4). The upshot of the matter 
was that graduate study came to Centenary with only a modicum of criticism. 

Centenary's practice of having outstanding and interesting speakers continued strong 
in the spring semester of 1976. Two were Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows. The first was 
Lord Caradon, the former Sir Hugh Foot, a career British colonial administrator (Palestine, 
Cypress, Jamaica, Nigeria, Trans-Jordan), diplomat, U.K. representative to the U.N., and 
special ambassador for the U.N. to Africa and the Middle East. Raised in a prominent 
Methodist family - his father Isaac Foot was a Liberal M. P., President of the Liberal Party, 
and vice president of the British Methodist Conference - Lord Caradon was educated at St. 
John's College, Cambridge. His Methodist upbringing was obvious in the topics he lectured 
on to Centenary students: the moral dimensions of political action; politics and religious 
faith; religion and violence; and race, poverty, and population. Lord Caradon's impressive 
achievements led Centenary to award him the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters 
for "his outstanding efforts for international peace, his distinguished and continuing con- 
tribution to American higher education, his deep and abiding concern for the moral and 
spiritual dimension of world issues, and his unflagging optimism in an area traditionally 
marked by cynicism." 

Scarcely a month after Lord Caradon's February 1976 week at Centenary, the College 
hosted yet another Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, F. William McCalpin of St. Louis, 
one of the most distinguished lawyers in the nation. Educated at St. Louis University and 
Harvard Law School, McCalpin served on many American Bar Association (ABA) commit- 
tees which dealt with important national projects. (One of these was the much publicized 
Shreveport Project, which served as a prototype in the nation for pre-paid legal services.) 
McCalpin's special interests were legal and indigent defendants ("McCalpin" 4). 


Also in March 1976, the Frost Foundation continued its largesse to Centenary by spon- 
soring, in conjunction with the College, a conference on the free enterprise system and its 
future (Edwin Whited, president of the Foundation, was a Centenary alumnus and had 
served on the College's board of trustees.) The conference featured a number of nationally 
well-known conservative speakers, among them Clinton Morrison, chairman of the board 
of the U. S. Chambers of Commerce; D. M. Roderick, president of U. S. Steel; and William 
A. Rusher, publisher of The National Review. The Conglomerate, while conceding that the 
prestige of hosting such a conference would probably give a boost to Centenary's new MBA 
program, still had harsh things to say about it, calling attention to "the lack of any real 
critical viewpoints concerning free enterprise, and the monolithic conservative bias of the 
panel," which "seemed somewhat dismaying." The authors of the article concluded that 
"the whole affair appeared to be little more than a giant pep rally for big business" (Camp 
and Young 1, 5). 

One of the most amazing and heart-warming stories about exchange students who 
have attended Centenary concerns Ekkehard Klausa, a young German man who spent the 
school year 1961-62 at the College on Fulbright and M. L. Bath Rotary Scholarships. An 
outstanding scholar, Ekkehard threw himself wholeheartedly into the life of the campus, 
even attending with Centenary classmates a conference on student government at Texas 
A & M. Returning to Germany after his year at Centenary, he went on to take a Ph.D. in 
the sociology of law and taught at the Free University of Berlin. He returned regularly to 
Centenary - he had numerous friends on the faculty and in the local community - and 
gave lectures there and at the most prestigious American universities, including Harvard, 
the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Florida, Rutgers, the University 
of New Mexico, and, of course, Centenary. On May 10, 1976, he delivered a lecture at 
Centenary entitled "Towards a Sociology of Legal Scholarship and Law Professors"; the lec- 
ture was jointly sponsored by the Goethe Center in New York and the Centenary Pre-Law 
and Social Science Clubs ("Klausa" 3). For 18 years, he was director of memorial centers 
in Berlin, including museums of the German Resistance to Hitler and the Victims of the 
Holocaust. His older son, Johannes, attended Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport 
for one year and also took his freshman year in college at Centenary. Dr. Klausa's ties to 
Centenary are many and close. 

This spring also marked the formal designation of the library as the "Magale Memorial 
Library" and the main hall in the Smith Building as the "Nellie P. Kilpatrick Auditorium" to 
honor generous benefactors of the College (TM, Feb. 24, 1976). 

But the most dramatic news of the semester was the surprise resignation of President 
Allen, effective August 1, 1976. Allen had actually submitted his written resignation to 
board chairman George Nelson some months earlier but requested that it not be made 
public until he named the day, which turned out to be April 16, 1976. Allen also exercised 
his option as a tenured professor of sociology to return to the classroom. Whereupon, the 


board named him to the Trustee Chair of Sociology, stipulating that one third of his time 
be spent in the development office of the College (TM, April 16, 1976). 

On July 27, 1976, the trustees announced that Dean Theodore Kauss would act as 
president of the College until a new one could be named. A number of factors may have 
influenced Allen's decision to resign the Centenary presidency. Undoubtedly, the most 
important was the annual deficit operating budgets, some amounting to close to a million 
dollars and the failure of the endowment to grow. These, coupled with static or decreasing 
student enrollments, had driven the institution to a critical financial situation, one which 
Allen was unwilling to deal with further. The trustees did not immediately initiate the pro- 
cess to find Allen's successor; but by September 16 the Conglomerate carried a story of what 
happened. (The board minutes make no mention of it.) According to the Conglomerate, 
Centenary ran an ad in The Chronicle of Higher Education seeking a Ph.D. with college 
teaching experience and a record in college administration. Such a person would have to 
represent Centenary in the community and have skills as a fund-raiser. Centenary's presi- 
dential search committee consisted of one student, four faculty members, ten trustees, and 
a representative from the alumni association. Between 35 and 40 applications had been 
received by September 16 (Warner 7; Appendix G). 

Meanwhile, life on campus continued apace. After four years of trying and countless 
delays, Centenary finally got its FCC-approved campus radio station, KSCL, in the fall of 

The question as to whether Centenary was living up to its stated goals as a liberal arts 
college surfaced yet again in the Conglomerate in fall 1976. Criticism of the core curriculum 
was serious and detailed, not, the critics claimed, as a renewed reaction to the new emphasis 
on careers programs but to limit them and return to the College's stated goals (Warner, 
"Liberal" 1). Yet an editorial on this lead article in the same issue of the Conglomerate makes 
it clear that it is the dilution of liberal arts courses in the core that is under fire. Indeed, the 
editorial writer states that Centenary has one of the weakest liberal arts core curriculums in 
the state (Wiggin, "Editorial" 4). 

Centenary students and faculty got their intellects and their moral and ethical senses 
stretched on October 7 in an open forum sponsored by the United Methodist Student 
Movement. The "stretcher" was Dr. Joseph Fletcher, controversial author of Situation Ethics, 
Morals and Medicine, The Ethics of Genetic Control, and a host of other thought-provoking 
publications. Dr. Fletcher was at this time 72 years old and the Robert Treat Paine Professor 
Emeritus at the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as 
Visiting Scholar in Medical Ethics at the University of Virginia. The forum dealt with such 
thorny issues as homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, and the nature of God (Bricker 1,6). 
Fletcher was a formidable polemicist and relished exchanges with those whose views dif- 
fered from his own. 

The last two visitors to speak on campus in the fall of 1976 represented important areas 


of science. The first was Tom Horton, executive producer of the television series, "The 
Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau." Cousteau, the great French explorer and expert on 
marine life, was already a household word throughout the world as a result of television 
coverage. The focus of the new 12-episode series by the Cousteau Society, which featured 
Cousteau, would deal with the protection and improvement of the environment, making 
use of Cousteau's vast knowledge of the sea. Horton lectured and presented slide shows 
and movies during the week-long Cousteau series. This program was jointly sponsored by 
forums and the SGA (Bricker, "Up from the Sea" 1,6). 

The last speaker of the term was world-famous physicist, Dr. Harold Agnew, the 10 th 
Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow to spend a week lecturing and interacting with students 
outside class. A University of Chicago Ph.D., Agnew had worked with Nobel Prize Winner 
Enrico Fermi and had been instrumental in developing the first atomic bomb. Indeed, he 
was on the scientific team which in an accompanying plane flew with the "Enola Gay" when 
it dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. He was currently Director of the Los Alamos 
National Laboratory. Agnew did not confine himself to military uses of nuclear energy 
though he discussed these at great length. He possessed a special ability to discuss highly 
technical and scientific information so that a lay audience could understand it and see its 
implications in, for example, medicine, agriculture, transportation, and the production of 
electricity (Bricker, "Dr. Agnew" 1,5). 

The most spectacular news of the fall 1976 semester was the announcement on October 
7 that the Frost Foundation was giving Centenary $1,038,000 to establish a school of busi- 
ness. The grant would expand and enhance both the undergraduate division of the business 
department and the M. B. A. program in scholarships, faculty, and equipment in addition to 
providing special services to local businesses ("Million" 3-5). 

As 1977 rolled around, two serious problems faced Centenary: the continued woeful 
financial picture and the seemingly stalled search for a new president. At its February 4 
meeting, the executive committee discussed a number of ideas and goals for the College 
resulting from a series of budget meetings. Several members of the committee submitted 
lengthy and detailed suggestions. As of January 21, the presidential search committee had 
interviewed two applicants on campus (TM). Mrs. Lea Wheless Hogan in the executive 
committee meeting of February 4 emphasized that a president should be named as soon as 
possible, adding that the failure to have done so to this point was "a source of dismay among 
the faculty." 

It is some indication of how grave the College's financial condition was to read in the 
April 22 minutes of the executive committee that the discontinuance of faculty tenure was 
actually discussed at length "as a fiscal safeguard." Though an institution can legally take 
this step "for financial exigencies," it is a severe measure, one which would, among other 
undesirable results, render the recruiting of faculty virtually impossible. The committee 
voted instead to freeze tenure effective immediately. 


The projected deficit in the 1977-78 budget was $652,264. The restricted endowment 
was $3.5 million, and the total endowment including non-restricted funds was $6 million. 

This generally gloomy financial picture was partially relieved by the announcement that 
the William C. Woolf Foundation was giving $400,000 to the College to establish a chair 
in geology that would bear the donor's name (TM, May 6, 1977). Woolf was a Shreveport 
oilman who had died in 1956. His foundation was administered by a board of trustees 
who made philanthropic grants to educational and other worthy causes. Dr. Nolan Shaw, 
chairman of the Centenary geology department was the first incumbent of the Woolf Chair 
("Dr. Shaw" 8). 

On May 6, 1977, the long search for a new president of Centenary came to an end. 
Trustee J. C. Love, chairman of the search and selection committee, reported that the com- 
mittee, after sifting through more than 60 applications, was placing in nomination the 
name of Donald A. Webb. Whereupon, the trustees elected Dr. Webb unanimously. It was 
an action that would herald the dawn of a new era in Centenary history, one which would 
include the rescue of the College from imminent disaster and put it on the high road to 
stability and greater achievement. 




Chapter XIII 

Recovery and Renewal: The Webb Years 1977-91 

Donald Webb, the 28th president of Centenary College, was a native Briton who emi- 
grated to the United States with his wife and children in 1958. He majored in English at 
Ohio Valley Wesleyan College, took a Master of Divinity degree at the Methodist Theological 
School in Delaware, Ohio, and received a Ph.D. in Literature and Theology from Drew 
University. In 1968, two years after taking his doctorate, Webb returned to the Methodist 
Theological School, joining the faculty of theology and literature. In 1975, he was named 
vice president and chief development officer at the School. He was, in virtually every way, 
the ideal person to lead Centenary at this critical time: a Methodist minister and outstand- 
ing orator, an academician steeped in the liberal arts, and an experienced development offi- 
cer. In addition to these very real accomplishments, Webb had a winsome personality and a 
head filled with creative ideas and a take-charge attitude. He arrived on campus on June 1, 
1977, and was introduced by Bishop Kenneth Shamblin to the Louisiana Conference, then 
in their annual meeting, where he made an impressive and eloquent address. This was not 
merely fortuitous: Webb saw as an important part of his assignment the strengthening of 
the bonds between Centenary and the Conference. He began this by persuading Bishop 
Shamblin, who then persuaded the Conference, to raise $450,000 for the College if the 
College would commit itself to raise $500,000. Webb next met with Edwin Whited of the 
Frost Foundation, for whom he outlined a plan to renovate Jackson Hall to be the home 
of what would later be known as the Frost School of Business ("Dr. Donald" 2-3; TM, Aug. 

President Webb also saw the curtailing of expenses at Centenary as a high priority; so 
he took immediate steps in that direction - in key areas of the College's operations. Feeling 
that the present administrative structure impeded his developing new plans for the College, 
Webb asked the executive committee for sweeping authority "to re-structure administrative 
titles, job descriptions, [and] changes in personnel [and ] to adjust salaries as he thinks 
necessary." The committee concurred unanimously in his request ( TM, Aug. 11, 1977). 

On September 12, 1977, President Webb announced that Dean Theodore Kauss had 


resigned to become Vice President and Executive Director of the Frost Foundation. Until a 
search committee could nominate a new dean, the trustees acquiesced in President Webb's 
request to have Professors Dorothy Gwin, Robert Ed Taylor, and Earle Labor serve as a kind 
of troika to carry out decanal duties. 

Further discussion of the budget in the August 11, 1977, meeting revealed that two 
programs had become "problem areas" in Centenary's operations, the school of music and 
the athletic department. Basketball expenditures alone last season amounted to $221,000. 
Mr. Hugh Watson, chairman of the executive committee of the board of trustees, appointed 
a subcommittee to analyze athletic expenditures as they "relate to the best interest of the 
College" {TM). When the executive committee next met on October 20, the subcommit- 
tee reported that they had decided to wait till after the Great Scholars-Teachers campaign 
for $100,000 was over before bringing in a conclusive report. President Webb had been 
meeting with this subcommittee and thought their study was thorough. There was general 
agreement between the president and the executive committee that Centenary should have 
an athletic program that it could afford. Also, Webb suggested that Coach Wallace meet 
with the executive committee so that he might discuss future development. The College's 
deficit at this time was $1,284,000 (TM). 

As mentioned earlier, President Webb had made a balanced budget one of his immedi- 
ate objectives. This resulted in a flurry of activity in the administrative and business offices 
in Hamilton Hall. E. E. Armstrong, a leading Shreveport C.P.A. and prominent Methodist 
layman, volunteered to observe current business practices at the College and make needed 
recommendations. Also, two other financial experts - Jeff Stewart, a successful business- 
man, and Sam Sharp, an engineer with Swepco (Southwestern Electric Power Company) 
- volunteered to come on campus to make a technical evaluation of ways to improve the 
College's business operations. These latter two men were also Methodist laymen. Austin 
Robertson, Sr., was named trustee treasurer. Robertson, also a C.P.A., was to study the audit 
and financial statements and make periodic reports to the board. Finally, Mr. Tom Thomas, 
a local C.P.A., was invited by executive committee chairman Hugh Watson to explain the 
principles of "fund accounting" to the board. According to trustee minutes, "(t)his is the 
procedure by which resources for various purposes are classified for accounting and report- 
ing purposes into funds that are in accordance with activities or objectives specified" (Nov. 
3, 1977). One of the main objectives of all this financial analysis was to end the practice of 
using quasi-endowment funds for operating purposes. 

In the December 20, 1977, minutes of the executive committee, "President Webb 
reported that the Athletic Task Force was hard at work meeting two and three times a week 
and making great progress." No reference to such a group exists in prior minutes. Yet 
in the January 12, 1978, minutes of a special called meeting of the executive committee 
and the athletic committee, President Webb told those assembled that in November he 
had appointed an athletic task force that would study the total athletic program "from an 


affordable standpoint." Task force members were Dr. Dorothy Gwin and Dr. David Thomas 
of the faculty, Mr. Howard Sutton of the Gents Club, and Mr. James Patterson, a trustee 
of the College. Webb worked closely with the Task Force as they deliberated on a num- 
ber of issues in the athletic department "that needed immediate attention," among them 
budgeting problems and compliance with Title IX requirements. (Title IX was a federal 
mandate that prohibited all discrimination based on sex in institutions receiving federal 
aid.) Though the law affected many areas of college life, its greatest impact was on women's 
athletics. Centenary had been slow in naming a Title IX committee but was now moving in 
the direction of total compliance ( TM; "Title IX," 5). 

President Webb then read a "letter of intent" from Coach Wallace, following which 
he read the report of the Task Force recommending the immediate termination of Coach 
Wallace as head basketball coach and athletic director with full pay for the remainder of 
his contract and the appointment of Tommy Canterbury to take his place. President Webb 
announced his intention to follow the recommendations of the Task Force but stressed 
that in no way should his action "reflect on Coach Wallace's character or his ability as a 
coach" (TM, Jan. 12, 1978). Wallace's summary firing in the middle of the season for very 
vaguely expressed reasons provoked criticism in the press and among Centenary students 
and alumni and other supporters. 

Webb also sought to increase the influence of the College in the community and in the 
state of Louisiana and thus enhance the school's public image. To do this, he proposed to 
the board the naming of a President's Council made up of twelve young outstanding com- 
munity leaders outside the board who would act only in a consultative and advisory capac- 
ity. Again, the board acquiesced in the president's request ( TM, Aug. 24, 1977). 

Fall 1977 was a memorable semester for a variety of reasons. The board unanimously 
elected the first two black trustees to its membership, both Methodist ministers. Dr. W. 
T. Handy was chairman of the board of ministry of the Louisiana Conference and vice 
president of the Methodist Publishing House in Nashville, and Dr. Alfred Norris was dis- 
trict superintendent of the New Orleans-Houma district ( TM, Aug. 24, 1977). The College 
voted to establish a school of business with Dr. Hugh Urbantke as its dean. And, the top- 
ranked female gymnast in the country, Kathy Johnson, enrolled at Centenary. Kathy had 
finished high school in Shreveport, moved to Atlanta for a brief period, then returned to 
Belcher, Louisiana, to be under the tutelage of Vannie Edwards at his Olympia Manor train- 
ing camp. Edwards joined Centenary's physical education staff in 1964 and was a veteran 
women's gymnastics coach, having prepared and accompanied the U. S. women's team to 
the Olympics in Tokyo (1964), Mexico City (1968), Munich (1972), and Montreal (1976) 
("Centenary's Edwards" 1). 

But nothing was more important this fall than the effect the new president had on 
the College and all facets of its operation. It was not merely the self-assured and hopeful 
aura that he projected; it was the energy and focused activism that accompanied the aura. 


Students picked up on it at once as evidenced by an early editorial in the Conglomerate. 
"Dr. Webb seems to have given the college a new feeling of... confidence in itself... College 
personnel are now trying to find problems to solve, instead of attempting to avoid problems 
that are staring them in the face" (Newton-Cole 4). 

Reference has been made to Webb's role in getting the Louisiana Methodist Conference 
to pledge $450,000 to Centenary contingent upon the College's raising a half-million dol- 
lars to match it. This pledge was made official on September 10 in a special session of the 
Conference called by Bishop Shamblin (Carter 4), and it would be difficult to exaggerate the 
practical and morale-boosting impact on the school. This was a sorely needed bit of good 
news inasmuch as the current budget deficit was $1,284,000 ( TM, Oct. 10, 1977). 

Centenary's ongoing relationship with the Woodrow Wilson Foundation brought Mr. 
William Dyal to the campus as its eleventh Visiting Fellow during the week of October 
16-21. Dyal was president of the Inter- American Foundation, an independent government 
corporation which made grants to non-governmental groups in Latin America that were 
trying to solve their own social and economic problems. Dyal had impressive credentials 
for this job. He had been a Baptist missionary to Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Argentina 
and had been director of the Peace Corps in Colombia, North Africa, the Near East, and 
South Asia ("Wilson" 3). His presentations in classes and other forums were at once infor- 
mative and inspirational to students and afforded them new and fresh insights into global 
problems arising from imperialism and colonialism (Harrison 1). 

When in early 1975 the Brown Foundation of Houston gave Centenary $400,000 for 
an endowed chair in engineering, the name of the chair had not been chosen. Almost 
three years later, the Foundation requested that the chair bear the name of the late Gus S. 
Wortham, a distinguished Houston business and civic leader. The College promptly named 
one of its own faculty members, Dr. Warren White, as the first incumbent and installed him 
in the chair on February 16, 1978 ("Wortham" 2). Dr. White had come to Centenary after a 
career of high-level engineering experience with the Chrysler Corporation Space Division, 
Aerospace Corporation, and the Convair Division of General Dynamics Corporation ("The 
Inauguration" 3-5). 

Centenary inaugurated its own Quiz Bowl for area high school students in February 
1978. Modeled on the popular College Quiz Bowl that appeared on national television for 
many years, the Centenary production was sponsored by Fabsteel, a company owned by 
Centenary trustee Fletcher Thorne-Thomson that produced fabricated steel products for 
oil refineries and chemical plants. The program aired on CBS affiliate KSLA for five con- 
secutive Sundays during winters. The winning school received a $300 Fabsteel-Centenary 
scholarship, and the runner-up a $200 scholarship ("Enrichment" 6; "Quiz" 2). 

In February 1978, Centenary forums leaders ran afoul of Centenary administrators 
again on the issue of controversial speakers. The forums committee, with the early encour- 
agement of the student senate, had contracted with the notorious Dr. Timothy Leary to 


speak on campus. But President Webb, acting dean Robert Ed Taylor, and vice president 
for development Darrell Loyless felt that Leary was so controversial a figure that he would 
jeopardize Centenary's fund-raising efforts. (Leary, it will be remembered, had used and 
strongly advocated the use of LSD for therapeutic and spiritual benefits. Countless instances 
of bizarre behavior and some deaths were attached to his name. It is understandable that 
college officials in ultra-conservative communities would draw the line at having such a 
potentially dangerous or disruptive personage on their campuses). Centenary students 
tried an end run around their own officials by seeking to have LSU in Shreveport sponsor 
the event while Centenary would foot the bill. But the scheme failed to come off, and the 
student senate, acting on the persuasive case put by the administration, canceled the con- 
tract with Leary (Harrison, "Leary" 4). 

To be sure, there was a suspiciously circus-like rationale by forums in choosing Leary. 
Still, a principle was at stake, and Mark Keddal, a student writing in the Conglomerates 
"Speaker's Corner" in the March 1, 1978, issue, criticized the administration harshly for 
its stand. Acknowledging that certain donors to the College might reduce or cut off their 
contributions, Keddal argued: 

[A] dangerous precedent has been set. I ask now what further mea- 
sures will be taken by the administration to insure the approval of these 
demanding donors? Perhaps the most ironic fact of the whole affair is that 
the administrators don't exactly know just what is acceptable. By play- 
ing this subservient game, Centenary policy makers must run scared and 
attempt to second guess what will be acceptable to these quietly menacing 
men. They must use their own estimation of general conservative stan- 
dards and hope that their guess is correct. Granted the school is in deep 
financial trouble but this present development may kill whatever is left 
of liberalism and openmindedness at Centenary. I would now ask just 
what is the 'Centenary Image'? What is the purpose of Centenary as a 
liberal arts institution if not to combat authoritarianism and promote the 
free interplay and development of ideas? Dangerous inroads are being 
made on intellectual freedom at Centenary and the justification for these 
inroads is apparent. Before administrators and alumni proudly present the 
'Centenary Image,' I would ask them to first remember that the 'Centenary 
Image' is not a promotional device but the actual impact this college makes 
on its students and its environs. And if administrators are going to bow in 
slavish submission to narrowminded, bigoted, petty and selfish interests, 
then I do not think that they can in good conscience call Centenary a lib- 
eral arts institution (4-5). 
In early March, the College hosted its Third Free Enterprise Conference, featuring 
another line-up of corporate business executives. J. Fred Bucy, president and CEO of Texas 


Instruments, was the first speaker. The essence of his message was that businessmen "can 
and must do something about government intervention in the market." The next speaker, 
Harold C. Gordon, Director of Special Studies of the Educational Foundation of the U.S. 
Industrial Council, "attacked the government agencies responsible for most of the problems 
facing business." He cited especially the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
and the Environmental Protection Agency. The last speaker on the agenda was conservative 
columnist Jeffrey St. John, who criticized Congressional bills that increase labor's and the 
government's power over business. President Webb himself implied what these speakers 
might say when in his welcoming remarks he stated that he was deeply concerned that 
America could lose "what principles of free enterprise it has left." He added "that one of the 
reasons he and his wife left England was because of what the Labour Party had done to the 
English economy" (Caldwell 1). Webb's implicit endorsement of such blatant right-wing 
economic policies disturbed perhaps a majority of the faculty, but they held their tongues at 
least officially, apparently in the vain hope that huge infusions of ultra-conservative money 
would come to the College. 

Less controversial than Timothy Leary were the next two Woodrow Wilson Visiting 
Fellows, Leo and Agnes Gruliow, who spent a week on campus in early April. The Gruliows 
were two top American experts on the Soviet Union. For over 30 years, Mr. Gruliow 
reported on Soviet affairs, both as founder and longtime editor of the Current Digest of the 
Soviet Press, a weekly publication of Ohio State University (originally located at Columbia 
University) and as Moscow correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. Mrs. Gruliow's 
special interests were Russian arts and culture generally (Graf 1 ). Though the Cold War was 
still going on, relations between the United States and the Soviet Union were less adversarial 
at just this time, the Gruliows' informed picture and balanced assessment of Russia was 
particularly valuable for Centenary students. 

Kathy Johnson, Centenary's ace gymnast, helped foster better feelings toward Russia 
when she returned in mid-April from an international meet behind the Iron Curtain having 
won a gold, a silver, and two bronze medals ("Kathy" 7). 

Meanwhile, the financial deficit at the College continued. For a decade, beginning in 
the late 1960s, Centenary began experiencing steadily increasing budget deficits of more 
than 7% annually. Thus, when President Webb arrived on campus, expenses were running 
over $4.5 million while income was only $3 million. Speaking to a crowd of over 70 stu- 
dents on the evening of April 18 in the lobby of Cline Dorm, Webb outlined his plan for rec- 
tifying this situation. It consisted of breaking the $1.5 million deficit into three equal parts 
and assigning responsibility for removing them to the Methodist Conference, the Great 
Teachers-Scholars Fund, and President Webb himself. If the plan succeeded, it could cut the 
deficit to $250,000. When questions came up in the meeting regarding the consumption 
of alcohol on campus and 24-hour visitation rights for students, Webb said the student life 
committee had reviewed both questions and felt that the time was not right to advocate for 


them lest important constituencies like trustees, parents, and alumni "would abandon" the 
College (Graf, "State" 1, 3). 

Commencement on May 21, 1982, marked the return of Lord Caradon to the campus 
to deliver the principal address and receive an honorary doctorate. 

The big news on campus when school opened in late August 1978 was that for the first 
time in ten years the College's budget was balanced. Everyone agreed that the chief agent 
in bringing this to pass was President Webb. He conceived the plan, and he carried it out. 
Impressed by his energy, his eloquence, and his vision, the Methodist Conference led by 
Bishop Shamblin played a significant role in this fiscal rejuvenation as did the trustees, 
alumni, and other supporters of Centenary ("Centenary's Budget" 1). This accomplish- 
ment did not end the institution's financial needs, but it helped level the playing field in a 
host of ways. More good news came in an announcement by the NCAA that Centenary's 
six-year long probation had been lifted and that the College "had been restored to full rights 
and privileges... effective September 1" ("Probation" 7). 

The death of Dallas oilman Algur Meadows on July 12 saddened the Centenary com- 
munity. Meadows, an alumnus, had been a major benefactor of the College, having donated 
approximately $750,000 to buy the paintings of Jean Despujols and renovate the former 
administration building to house them ("Centenary Benefactor" 2). 

September and October brought three outstanding visitors to campus: Dr. Bruno 
Bettelheim, Dr. Randolph C. Miller, and Dr. Eugene Beem. Bettelheim, a longtime fac- 
ulty member at the University of Chicago now teaching at Stanford, was one of America's 
foremost psychoanalysts and child psychologists and the author of a number of widely 
known books, including The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy 
Tales. His work popularized him among parents and students of myth and Freud. For 
twenty-nine years, he directed the University of Chicago's Orthogenic School for severely 
disturbed children, social psychology, child rearing, and student radicalism. Born in 1903 
and raised in Vienna, Bettelheim was a refugee from Hitler's Third Reich. After his release 
from a concentration camp, he came to America in 1939 (Brown 1-2). (Author's note: 
Not until after his suicide in 1990, following several strokes and the death of his wife, did 
a number of troubling facts about Bettleheim emerge as a result of research on the part of 
journalists and his biographers. The most serious of these were charges of abuse of children 
under his care - some unsubstantiated - and fabrications regarding parts of his educational 

Religion scholar Randolph C. Miller, Horace Bushnell Professor of Christian Nurture 
at Yale, was the second of a distinguished series of speakers at Centenary this fall. Among 
Miller's special interests were theology and education, and one of his favorite topics was 
"The Theology of Jazz." (He owned an extensive collection of jazz records.) Miller had 
authored thirteen books and numerous articles (Conglomerate, Oct. 25, 1978). 

Eugene Beem, vice president for economic and corporate development of the Sperry 


and Hutchinson Company, rounded out the trio of campus lecturers for the first semester. 

Beem appeared as Centenary's 14 th Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. Himself a graduate 

of the College of Wooster, a historically Presbyterian liberal arts institution in Ohio, Beem 

took his Ph.D. in economics at the Universtiy of Pennsylvania and taught there for four 

years at the famous Wharton School of Finance. Other teaching posts included Kalamazoo 

College, where he chaired the economics department, and the University of California at 

Berkeley. He had been a trustee at two liberal arts colleges, his alma mater and Pikeville 

(Kentucky). He had an especially productive week at Centenary, where his background in 

teaching, college trusteeship, and business caused him to be popular in all those forums. A 

quote from Dr. Beem eloquently expressed the underlying philosophy of his life and work: 

My deepest interest currently is in becoming a more nearly whole and 

a more fully loving person, myself, and in contributing what I can toward 

a more humane society. For both tasks, I believe that the challenges are 

awareness and then the courage to act on that awareness. The frontiers of 

awareness are not in any specific academic discipline, but at the boundaries 

where these disciplines meet. The skills, for example, of the economist or 

the businessman are quite sterile unless they are applied in context with 

the skills of the psychologist, the sociologist, the political scientist, and the 

theologian. All of our important problems, individually and socially, are 

interdisciplinary ("Woodrow" 3). 

Beem's high-minded statement gives a good indication of the caliber of person whom the 

Woodrow Wilson Foundation tapped to be Visiting Fellows. When one considers Dr. Beem's 

corporate responsibility - forecasting and monitoring changes in the general economy and 

society that create opportunities or threats for his company - such a thoughtfully holistic and 

philosophical credo seems an ethically reassuring position for college students to hear about, 

particularly those possibly disillusioned by a great deal of corporate misbehavior. 

In mid-November, Dr. Dorothy Gwin, chairman of the department of education and 
psychology, was named dean of the College. She had since the fall of 1977 been acting 
dean, having succeeded the troika initially appointed when Dean Kauss resigned. She thus 
became the first woman in Centenary's 154-year-old history to hold this office ("Dorothy" 
1). Centenary students also broke with tradition early in 1979 by electing the College's first 
African American Homecoming Queen, Vondel Smith ("Smith" 1). 

In the year that he had been on the job, President Webb had done much to put Centenary 
on a sounder financial footing. However, much remained to be done, and he pressed on, 
employing his considerable talents of energy, creativity, and persuasiveness. He presented to 
the trustees in their September 8, 1978, meeting "a plan to equip Centenary for the future." 
He called it "E. Q. U. I. P. S.," an acronym for 
E - Every church, a paid student. 
Q - Quality of student life, unsurpassed. 


U - Urgent austerity. 

I - Increase of enrollment to 1200. 

P - Program for $20 million endowment. 

S - Self-sustained budget. 

After Webb's explanation of the plan, the board unanimously adopted it ( TM, Oct. 19, 

In balancing the budget the previous year, a number of economies were effected, the 
largest saving being the freezing of faculty salaries, alas, the first expedient college budget 
makers invariably choose and the most highly questionable from an educational perspec- 
tive. This year, the College would raise the cost of tuition and room and board. At a 
sparsely attended meeting in the lobby of James Dorm, President Webb discussed the neces- 
sity for these increases, explaining that students paid only a fraction of the $5,000 which it 
then took to educate a student for a year. He said enrollment would have to be increased 
to 1,200 and that real emphasis had to be placed on raising the endowment to $20 million. 
Finally, he described a strategy of promoting with more money and publicity a half-dozen 
programs thought to be stronger and more attractive as recruiting ploys. These were geol- 
ogy, pre-med, business, church careers, fine arts, theatre, and pre-engineering ("State" 1). 
The selection of these areas strongly suggests an emphasis on professional and vocational 
education rather than on the more traditional liberal arts offerings. Whether the strategy 
paid off in terms of significantly increased enrollment is questionable. 

At least one student, writing anonymously in the Conglomerates "Speaker's Corner" of 
March 8, 1979, p. 1, thought the salary freeze played an important part in nine professors' 
leaving Centenary since the spring of 1976. Chaplain Robert Ed Taylor, an eighteen-year 
veteran, who had served a brief stint in the dean's office, answered this letter in one of his 
own pointing out that in academe it was not at all unusual to find faculty moving fairly 
frequently within the profession and even leaving it for a variety of reasons, and that in this 
respect Centenary was fairly typical (Taylor, "Letters" 4). Whatever the reasons for the pro- 
fessors' departure, the trustees in their December 21, 1978, meeting voted to end the freeze 
by giving the faculty and staff a 5% increase effective January 1, 1979. 

The Centenary endowment received a massive injection on March 29, 1979, when the 
James family of Ruston, Louisiana, gave the College $ 1 ,000,000 with no restrictions on how 
the gift could be spent (Doss and Echols 1). The Jameses were longtime, generous benefac- 
tors of Centenary, having earlier given the T. L. James Dormitory and the T. L. James Chair 
of Religion. Mr. James had been chairman of the board of trustees, and various members 
of his family had also served on the board. 

During the week of March 26-30, the fifteenth Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow spoke 
on campus in classes and a variety of other forums. He was Mr. Godfrey Sperling, Chief of 
the Washington News Bureau of the Christian Science Monitor and author of a weekly syn- 
dicated column, "The Washington Letter." Specializing in domestic politics, the American 


presidency, the Washington scene, and the relationship between the press and government, 
Sperling was one of the most distinguished journalists in the country. He founded and 
hosted for many years "Breakfast with Godfrey," a meal where "prominent newsmen ques- 
tioned the leading government and political personalities of the day." Centenary students 
had a week of meeting at close quarters a veteran reporter who had traveled with President 
Ford to Tokyo, Seoul, and Vladivostok for the "Summit" with Soviet Premier Brezhnev 
("Woodrow Wilson Fellow," Mar. 14, 1979, 2). 

The College budget continued to be balanced, but the enrollment goal was not met. Fall 
1979 enrollment was 769; whereas, ultimately, the president had wanted a total of 1,200. The 
trustee committee studying the feasibility of a master's degree in Christian education had rec- 
ommended against going ahead with the program because of the cost (TM, Oct. 23, 1979). 

Of particular interest at this October 23 meeting is the first recorded interest of trustee 
Harry Balcom '34 in campus beautification. Mr. Balcom wanted the campus to be a place 
of natural beauty. An initial step was to be the restoration of Crumley Gardens "as a main 
attraction in the City." The landscape committee of the board was immediately commis- 
sioned to come up with a plan to beautify the campus. 

In its September 4, 1980, meeting, the board considered seriously for the first time 
a proposal for faculty sabbaticals. As early as 1970, according to the Faculty Handbook, 
the College was "actively seeking" some system of sabbatical leaves (11). But it was not 
until 1981 that a clearly outlined program was put in place, again according to the Faculty 
Handbook (15). It may strike some as strange that as late as the 1980s a college purporting 
to be both selective and superior should not have sabbaticals for its professors, but the fact 
is that at least in the South a number of good liberal arts colleges found themselves in just 
that situation. 

This winter, the Centenary Choir traveled behind the Iron Curtain to Poland and the 
Soviet Union, where they toured and performed for three weeks beginning December 27, 
1979, and ending January 17, 1980. In Poland, where over 90% of the population is Roman 
Catholic, they sang mostly in churches, but in Russia most churches were closed so the 
Choir's concerts were in factories, auditoriums, and other public halls. 

In February, the College hosted its 1 7 th Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, novelist Nicholas 
Delbanco. Writer-in-Residence at Bennington College, Delbanco held a B.A. from Harvard 
and an M.A. from Columbia. One of America's finest young writers, Delbanco would go on 
to publish 15 highly acclaimed books of fiction and poetry, win a Guggenheim Fellowship, 
and direct the Creative Writing Program at the University of Michigan ("Novelist" 1). 

The spring semester of 1980 was an exciting one in sports for Centenary. Basketball 
fans were elated when the Gents won the Trans America Athletic Conference (TAAC) title in 
late February, beating Northeast Louisiana at Monroe 79-77. Then in March, the American 
Intercollegiate Athletic Association (NAIA) held its women's gymnastics championship 
competition in the Gold Dome (Wautlet 1). 


The student government association's forums committee continued its well-established 
practice of bringing interesting speakers to campus by arranging the appearance of Ike 
Pappas, CBS News Pentagon Correspondent, on April 8. A veteran newsman and recipient 
of many journalistic awards, Pappas had covered wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia 
as well as civil rights hot spots such as the protest march from Selma to Montgomery, the 
riots attendant on the admission of James Meredith to Ole Miss, the assassination of Martin 
Luther King, Jr., and the racial crisis in Birmingham, to mention only a few of his more 
sensational assignments ("Ike" 1). 

Founders' Day, April 24, 1980, was a memorable occasion for Centenary. The featured 
speaker was John William ("Bill") Corrington '56, one of the most versatile and accom- 
plished graduates in the history of the College. An English major here, Corrington took his 
master's degree at Rice and his Ph.D. at Sussex (England). In a career that included notable 
achievements in academe, law, and creative writing, Corrington's earliest work experience 
was in journalism. He was a reporter/photographer for the Shreveport Times and later a 
European correspondent for the Houston Post. He taught at Rice; LSU at Baton Rouge; 
Loyola University, New Orleans; and the University of California at Berkeley. After finish- 
ing graduate work in English, he took a law degree at Tulane and was licensed to practice 
before the U.S. Supreme Court. Throughout his adult life, Corrington was a fine creative 
writer, publishing several novels and volumes of short stories and poems. He also wrote 
numerous scripts for movies and television. Bill kept his connections to his alma mater 
close and warm. He died of a massive heart attack on Thanksgiving Day 1988. Three years 
later, the College established the Corrington Award for Literary Excellence in his memory. 
It "is presented annually to an established writer who has earned the critical esteem of read- 
ers who distinguish artistic accomplishment from commercial success." The award takes 
the form of a bronze medal designed by internationally renowned Louisiana sculptor Clyde 
Connell. A presentation box, designed and crafted by Centenary art professor Bruce Allen, 
accompanies the medal. Eudora Welty was the first recipient in 1 99 1 . (For a list of the other 
recipients, see Appendix D.) 

The Centenary community was saddened by the death on May 29 of Professor Walter 
Lowrey, chairman of the department of history and government. Colleagues and students 
were unanimous in pronouncing him one of the most admired, respected, and beloved 
figures on campus. A Vanderbilt Ph.D., Lowrey 's forte was classroom teaching. There, his 
warm, friendly personality, his wise insights into his subject matter, and his genuine interest 
in his students were most in evidence. 

Fall 1980 marked the installation of the author of this history as the first incumbent 
of the Willie Cavett and Paul Marvin Brown, Jr., Chair of English. To endow the Chair, 
Mr. and Mrs. Brown gave the College $500,000. It represented the fifth endowed chair at 

Three distinguished Americans came to Centenary in September and October 1 980, two 


of them political figures. First Lady Roselyn Carter spoke in the Gold Dome on September 
29, and Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan spoke on October 22. An enthu- 
siastic crowd estimated at over 4,000 greeted Reagan inside the Gold Dome while outside 
several dozen demonstrators protested his stands on the equal rights amendment and mili- 
tary issues and his cutting of social programs. Five days later he debated President Carter in 
Cleveland (Berryman and Harrison 1). The third distinguished guest at Centenary during 
this fall was Carlos Moseley, longtime president of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra 
and the 18 th Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow to spend a week on campus. During Mosely's 
long tenure as head of the orchestra, notable progress was made. In addition to securing 
Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta respectively to conduct the orchestra, Moseley inau- 
gurated such events as free concerts in the park in New York City ("Moseley" 1). 

The spring semester, which began in January 1981, marked a significant milestone in 
student volunteerism. Open Ear, Centenary's crisis intervention center (hotline), celebrated 
its tenth anniversary of outstanding service, having handled over 70,000 calls or approxi- 
mately 300 a month. The volunteers who staffed the program were screened and trained 
and dealt with such problems as alcoholism and drug abuse, family and relational issues, 
severe depression, and sexual issues (Henley, "Open" 1). 

The College continued to schedule interesting persons in widely varying profes- 
sions. During the week of February 16-20, a Boston lawyer, Mrs. Gene Dahmen, was the 
19 th Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow to talk to students in classes, public meetings, and 
individual encounters. A Phi Beta Kappa from Randolph Macon Women's College, Mrs. 
Dahmen took a master's degree at Johns Hopkins and a law degree at the University of 
Virginia. A partner in a leading Boston firm, Mrs. Dahmen was at this time a director 
of the Boston Bar Association, the Crime and Justice Foundation, and the Massachusetts 
Correctional Legal Services. Her topics at Centenary included law as a profession, domestic 
litigation, careers for women, abortion, capital punishment, and prison reform (Honley, 
"Lawyer" 1). 

The enrollment picture at Centenary appeared to be bright as the spring 1981 semester 
began though President Ronald Reagan's cuts in the loans to middle-class students and in 
grants for low income students would eventually dim that picture significantly. In pro- 
posing to the trustees a 12% across-the-board increase in faculty salaries, President Webb 
conceded that for too long the faculty had borne the brunt of the College's financial dif- 
ficulties and that this had resulted in low morale and a loss of good professors. This factor 
had, therefore, been the chief cause in the shaping of the current budget. The board then 
approved the budget (TM, Mar. 11, 1981). The endowment added $2 million this year 
thereby bringing the total to over $13 million (President's Report 1980-81). Unquestionably, 
the overall position of the College had vastly improved under Donald Webb's leadership. 

On February 19, the Centenary community heard an address by Dr. Jeffrey Trahan, 
chairman of the department of physics, when he was installed as the second incumbent of 


the Cornelius D. and Florence Gillard Keen Chair of Physics. Dr. Trahan emphasized the 
need for science in society, especially in the lives of people at large who must deal with 
public issues such as, for example, the fluoridation of water systems. Even more important 
than these is the fact that the study of science helps an individual become more of a whole 
person (J. S. Harrison 1). 

Meanwhile, the forums committee indicated it would on April 9 present Leonard 
Nimoy, television, movie, and Broadway star as the main speaker at an assembly program 
in Kilpatrick Auditorium. Best known as Mr. Spock in the TV series "Star Trek," Nimoy also 
was scheduled to meet informally with theatre students (Honley, "Nimoy" 1). 

Especially good news this semester came in the announcement from the registrar's 
office that enrollment at the College rose to 1,176, the largest number in 11 years ("Final" 
1 ). And it was a banner year for athletics. Centenary's women gymnasts won their 4 th con- 
secutive AIAW championship (Mrdga 1) while the men's golf team won the TAAC title for 
the 3 rd time in a row (Reynolds 6), and the women's tennis team won the Division II State 
Championship (Mrdja 8). 

A discordant note was struck, however, in an otherwise relatively harmonious school 
term. The Conglomerate ran a blistering editorial criticizing the College's 6 th Free Enterprise 
Conference for relentlessly featuring right-wing speakers whose sole purpose seemed to be 
government-bashing. In the Conglomerate's opinion and that of a student writing a let- 
ter to the editor, the Free Enterprise planners had outdone themselves this year by having 
the two most notorious right-wing ideologues in the country officially appear as princi- 
pal speakers. They were Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly and Illinois Republican Congressman Philip 
Crane. President Webb's appearance on the platform implied to one student commentator 
a College endorsement of the extreme views expressed by these persons. These student 
commentators regretted the apparent necessity for kowtowing to conservative donors and 
also expressed the strong opinion that by doing so Centenary abandoned its position as 
"the open market for the exchange of ideas" and that "in a liberal arts college, any indoc- 
trination... no matter how subtle, well-intentioned, or slanted is fatal to the free flow of 
opinion and speech." The editorial suggested that the Conference ought to balance the 
ticket by having someone like John Kenneth Galbraith, the distinguished Harvard econo- 
mist and former U.S. Ambassador to India. Mrs. Schlafly in particular drew the ire of the 
Conglomerate editor, who called her "unqualified" and "polarizing" ("Free" 4; Morn 5). 

These right-wing advocates evoked no other reaction on campus, possibly aside from 
some grousing in the faculty lounge, and certainly none from the trustees. Whatever com- 
plaints arose from President Webb's participation in this event were apparently offset by the 
job he was otherwise doing at the College. One signal achievement was that under him, 
the endowment had quadrupled to over $13 million (TM, May 6, 1981). The College also 
added during 1980-81 another 3-2 program, this one in computer science with Southern 
Methodist University. The geology department augmented its offerings with a program in 


petroleum land management (one of four in the South) in conjunction with the school of 
business (President's Report 1980-81). 

As the school year drew to a close, in other areas of the College more immediately 
under the purview of the dean and department chairmen, things were going well. Students 
and some faculty were participating in the Oak Ridge Science program, the Washington 
Semester, British Studies at Oxford, the London International Economics Program, the 
University of Aarhus (Denmark) Exchange, and the Council for the Development of French 
in Louisiana (CODOFIL) Program in Angers and Montpellier (TM, May 6, 1981). 

School opened on a positive note in fall 1981: enrollment was up for the third year in a 
row to 1,248 including graduate students; the endowment reached $15 million (President's 
Report 1981-82, 1); and ROTC returned to campus after a 20-year absence ("ROTC" 3). 
But liberal arts standards were seriously set back when the faculty rescinded its action of 
a year earlier requiring one or two years of a foreign language of all students except those 
in pre-engineering and social studies education (Bateman and Harrison 1). Though the 
requirement would have affected only those taking a B.A. degree, there was strong faculty 
opposition even to that, and the educational policy committee decided by a one-vote mar- 
gin to defeat the requirement (Harrison, "One" 1). The action was significant in establish- 
ing a course of steady erosion of traditional liberal arts core requirements, especially in the 

Centenary's well-established tradition of hosting interesting speakers got off to a rous- 
ing start this fall with two vastly different TV personalities, Edward P. Morgan and Allen 
Funt, each a celebrity in his own right. Morgan, the veteran journalist and distinguished 
news commentator (20 years with ABC News), spent the week of November 16-20, as the 
College's 20 th Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. He discussed right-wing religionists and 
their impact on politics, the regrouping of Democrats and liberals, terrorism, and the perils 
of neglecting the Third World ("Morgan" 1). (Twenty-seven years later, that is, in 2008, 
these very issues are still front and center of political issues and foreign policy.) 

Opting for the lighter side, the forums committee secured Allen Funt, emcee of the 
highly successful "Candid Camera" television series. Though famous primarily for its com- 
edy, the program occasionally focused on serious subjects, often enough to get Funt many 
invitations to lecture as a sociologist ("Funt" 1). 

Fall 1981 also marked the advent of a new graduate program at Centenary, the master's 
degree in secondary education. Heretofore, master's degrees were offered in elementary 
education, elementary and secondary school administration, and supervision of instruc- 
tion (Weeks 3). 

On October 15, 1981, the board approved President Webb's Campus Master Plan for 
current and long-range College objectives and let the contract for the Plan to Townsley 
Schwab Associates for $34,500 (TM). 

One of the most important academic steps in the history of Centenary was taken by the 


College during the school year 1981-82. This was the long overdue establishment of a sys- 
tem of paid sabbatical leaves for the faculty. (See p. 236 above). Such leaves were awarded to 
full-time faculty members who had completed six years of service to the College. Recipients 
might choose to take off a semester at full pay or two semesters at half-pay, during which 
time they engaged in scholarly research or the creation of an original work of art. Their 
research should lead to publication or the enhancement of their teaching or intellectual 
development through a program of reading and study. Professor Alton Hancock of the 
department of history and political science received Centenary's first sabbatical leave and 
went to Marburg, Germany, where he continued his research on the Reformation in Hesse 
(President's Report 1981-82 2). 

On October 22, 1981, Centenary's most beautiful campus landmark was dedicated in 
honor of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Balcom. It is in the form of a red brick and hand-cut lime- 
stone marker which reads "Centenary College of Louisiana Established 1825." Located at 
the northeast corner of Centenary Boulevard and Kings Highway, it is decorated with two 
stone pineapples symbolizing hospitality and friendship and overlooks a perennially beau- 
tiful flowerbed. Mr. Balcom was chairman of the trustees' campus improvement program 
and led the campaign to renovate and beautify the campus. He was also the principal donor 
to an endowment of $380,000 designated for campus beautification (TM Oct. 22, 1981; 
"Dedication" 3). 

The Centenary community was treated to an array of internationally known figures dur- 
ing the spring 1982 semester. Two visiting lecturers whose topic predicted events that would 
explode on the world scene in the coming years were Dr. William Graham of Harvard and Dr. 
Mahmoud Ayoub of the University of Toronto, two renowned scholars on Islam. Graham, 
a Christian, and Ayoub, a Muslim, were brought to the campus to lead a seminar on "Islam 
Today" with the aim of interpreting the Muslim faith and its implications for Westerners who 
are Christians and Jews. Among the subjects to be discussed were "Understanding Islam," 
"Conflicting Images of Islam," and "Islam and the West" ("Islamic" 1 ). 

On February 3 and 4, 1982, Centenary also hosted a leading patron of art in the United 
States, Mrs. Olga Hirshorn. Mrs. Hirshorn, owner of the largest private art collection in 
the United States, came here to open an exhibit of sculpture, painting, and prints on loan 
to the College from the Smithsonian Institution's Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden 
in Washington, D. C. ("Novice" 7). Other notables coming to Centenary this spring were 
Mr. Seisi Kato, chairman of the board of Toyota, longtime friend of President Mickle and 
special benefactor of the Centenary Choir, and John F. Bookout, president of Shell Oil and 
former Centenary student, who delivered the 1982 Commencement address at the College 
(President's Report 1981-82). 

Summer 1982 was an especially busy and exciting time for two Centenary professors. 
Michael Hall, chairman of the English department, and Royce Shaw, assistant professor of 
political science, who spent five weeks at St. John's College, Oxford, teaching in the British 


Studies at Oxford program. This was one of the programs of the consortium of which 
Centenary was a member, the Southern College University Union (now Associated Colleges 
of the South). Hall, a Johns Hopkins Ph.D., taught a seminar in Chaucer; and Shaw, Ph.D. 
Virginia, taught "Evolution of Law and Government in Medieval England." Ten Centenary 
students also attended the program (Lee 5). 

The U.K. connection continued into the fall 1982 semester as George Thomas, Speaker 
of the House of Commons, delivered the main address at the President's Convocation. 
Thomas, a Welshman, had had a long and distinguished career in British politics, the lon- 
gest period being as M.P. for Cardiff and later as Speaker. As Secretary of State for Wales, 
he was responsible for the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon 
Castle; and as representative of the non- Anglican churches of England - he was a Methodist 
lay preacher - he read the New Testament Lesson at the wedding of Prince Charles and 
Lady Diana Spencer. Because of Thomas's long and storied career and his prominence as a 
Methodist layman - he was vice president of the British Methodist Conference - Centenary 
conferred the Doctor of Divinity degree upon him at this convocation (Bellegarde 1). Upon 
his retirement from the Commons, Queen Elizabeth II created him Viscount Tonypandy 
(the name of the Welsh village where he grew up). 

In late September several members of the Centenary English department were working 
hard to finish a third textbook, LIT: Literature and Interpretive Techniques. In 1966, Wilfred 
Guerin, Earle Labor, Lee Morgan, and John Willingham had brought out A Handbook of 
Critical Approaches to Literature, a slender volume published by Harper and Row. The 
success of this text emboldened the authors to edit a companion work in 1970, which they 
called Mandala (the Sanskrit word for "circle," specifically a circle enclosing a square and 
implying the unifying integrity of great literature). 

The debate about the core curriculum was perhaps the most important academic issue 
facing the College at this time. In 1980, President Webb, responding to the opinion of 
the most respected American educational philosophers that "general education" was being 
seriously neglected in the nation's colleges and universities, appointed an ad hoc committee 
to study the situation at Centenary. Ordinarily, the faculty's educational policy committee 
would have dealt with this issue, but Webb felt their regular day-to-day business would 
prevent their devoting the kind of in-depth attention this problem would demand. The 
ad hoc committee was composed of three faculty members from the educational policy 
committee - representing the three divisions - an elected representative from each of the 
divisions, the dean, the associate dean, and the vice president of the College. The commit- 
tee was charged with proposing a revision of the core curriculum which would strengthen 
core requirements ("Ad Hoc" 5). By definition, general education comprises those studies 
which are essentially cultural and intellectual and are designed to give students a breadth 
of knowledge to make them better informed citizens and more rounded human beings. 
General education complements major studies, which give students primarily pre-profes- 


sional, professional, and vocational skills. 

In the turbulent 1960s, Centenary pretty much eviscerated its core curriculum, reduc- 
ing it from 60 hours to 36. This action was almost surely in response to demands from 
students not really interested in a liberal arts education and also to indifference to liberal 
arts from faculty more interested in the vocational and professional requirements of their 
own academic specialties. The debate was heated in the Conglomerate, in open meetings, 
and in faculty meetings. Every conceivable argument from folk unsympathetic to the aims 
of liberal education was advanced: that the proposed core would have an adverse effect 
on enrollment, that it would overburden students with heavy major requirements, that it 
would unduly penalize transfer students, and on and on. None of these arguments took 
into consideration the aims of liberal education: to introduce students to a broad spectrum 
of traditional disciplines in the arts and sciences in order to make them better informed 
citizens, better able to contribute in their vocations, and to help them to live richer, fuller 
personal lives. When on March 14, 1983, the faculty finally voted on the new, heftier, more 
prescriptive core, they rejected it 39-21 (FM). 

There is simply no question that this was a defeat of the first magnitude for the liberal 
arts at Centenary College. It has created a situation that still (in 2008) obtains. It is at this 
writing possible for a student to graduate from Centenary without taking a history or a lit- 
erature course; and only B.A. candidates must take a foreign language. How this deplorable 
condition has come about is complex, but it mirrors what is happening to education and 
culture in the United States. The abandonment of high literacy standards, the embracing of 
trendy, soft disciplines in place of traditional rigorous ones, the fear of liberal arts colleges 
that they may not survive in the present world and the consequent dumbing down of the 
curriculum - all these and other factors play a part in what is happening in this branch of 
higher education in America. 

Campus life as a whole continued to be enriched with a convocation address that 
underscored Centenary's reputation as a beacon of religious toleration and ecumenism. 
The address was given by Thomas J. Gumbleton, auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic 
archdiocese of Detroit. Bishop Gumbleton was a leader in many organizations, including 
the Pastoral Ministry to the Handicapped Office for Hispanic Affairs and the Office for 
Black Catholic Affairs. He was also president of Bread for the World, a Catholic/Protestant 
organization dedicated to alleviating hunger in the world. Bishop Gumbleton traveled to 
Vietnam to investigate the situation of political prisoners and to visit American hostages 
("Bishop" 4). Also this spring, the College hosted its 21 st Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, 
J. Robert Schaetzel. Schaetzel had spent 27 years in the State Department, where he special- 
ized in Western Europe, particularly the European Community and its foreign economic 
policies. He also served as U.S. Ambassador to the European Community. Mr. Schaetzel 
studied at both Pomona College and Harvard and wrote books and articles primarily on 
the economic side of State Department affairs but also on disarmament and atomic energy 


("Centenary College to" 4). 

In early February 1983, Centenary's extensive search for a new dean of the school of 
business came to an end with the appointment of Barrie Richardson to that post. Richardson 
presented excellent credentials: B.A. in history from Carleton College in Minnesota, one 
of the premier liberal arts colleges in the country; M.B.A. and doctorate in business and 
economics from Indiana University; and teaching and administrative experience at Hope 
College in Michigan and Bethany College in West Viriginia, both church-related institu- 
tions. He was, moreover, a popular and nationally known inspirational speaker at corpora- 
tion conferences, clinics, and workshops (Brown and Weeks 1). At Centenary, he promptly 
inaugurated a vastly enhanced graduate program leading to the Executive M.B.A., which 
has achieved wide recognition and high regard. 

Former United States Senator Dick Clark (D-Iowa) got a warm reception from the 
Centenary community when he gave a series of lectures during the week of March 21-25 as 
the College's 22 nd Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. Clark used his extensive Congressional 
experience to discuss such subjects as American foreign policy, the workings of Congress, 
the power of special interests in politics and government, and international education 
("Clark to Speak" 3). 

The campus beautification program, spearheaded by trustee Harry Balcom, received a 
significant addition this spring, when another trustee, G. W "Bill" James, donated $ 120,000 for 
a rose garden to memorialize his mother, Maggie Hodges James, and his grandmother, Addie 
Reynolds Hodges. James was a member of the family who built the T. L. James Dormitory and 
established the T. L. James Chair of Religion. The memorial, to be known as the Hodges Rose 
Garden, is located between Hamilton Hall and Bynum Commons (Weeks 2). 

In April of 1983, the College received $500,000 to endow a chair in business from the 
family of Samuel Guy Sample to honor his memory. Mr. Sample was a pioneer in the early 
twentieth-century business world of North Louisiana. This was the sixth endowed chair 
established at Centenary ("Centenary Receives" 1). 

As if to underscore the appointment of a new dean for the school of business and the 
new endowed chair in business, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation sent Jane Pierotti, out- 
standing American businesswoman, to be the College's twenty-third Visiting Fellow. Mrs. 
Pierotti was vice president of hotel group human resources for Holiday Inns, Inc., the first 
female officer of that organization. Prior to joining Holiday Inns, she was with IBM in a 
number of posts. Among her special interests was the education of tomorrow's business 
leaders, a topic which she highlighted in discussions on careers, management, marketing 
strategy, and current trends in business. Mrs. Pierotti's academic training spoke eloquently 
to the utilitarian dimensions of a liberal education: she graduated from U.C.L.A. with a 
Bachlor of Fine Arts degree ("Pierotti" 1). 

History was made in May 1983 when students elected Thurndottte Baughman, the 
College's first female president of the student government association. It was a clean sweep 


for the women as all SGA officers were women (Carter 1). And an enrollment record was 
set this year with 972 undergraduates and 530 graduate students. Indeed, the 1982-83 
school year had in many ways been a singularly good one. The theatre/speech department's 
production of "My Sister in this House" was selected as one of 24 plays in the nation to be 
acted in the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The Centenary 
Choir sang to enthusiastic audiences in four major cities of the People's Republic of China. 
The college's athletic teams had one of the best years in history. Top women's gymnasts 
and men's basketball and track team members received special recognition. Two faculty 
members - Webb Pomeroy, Ph. D. Edinburgh, and Lewis Bettinger, Ph. D. Ohio State - won 
a Mellon and an NEH award respectively to study at Vanderbilt, and three students attended 
St. John's College, Oxford, to study Renaissance literature, history, and the arts (President's 
Report 1983). 

In the summer of 1983, President Webb informed the executive committee of the board 
of the possibility of the gift of a sizable private library to the College. The library belonged 
to Mr. J. S. Noel, Centenary alumnus and Shreveport businessman, and consisted of two 
hundred thousand volumes, including many classics of English Renaissance and 18 th -cen- 
tury literature. After discussing the matter, the committee authorized Webb to continue 
the negotiation with Noel. The library was at the time housed in the old Texas and Pacific 
railroad station, then on North Market. Noel was seeking a building on campus to house 
the collection, bear his name, and allow him office space to work with the books ( TM, Aug. 
18, 1983). But Centenary could not meet Noel's conditions for the gift: build a library bear- 
ing Noel's name, staff it, and agree to let the collection revert to the Noel Foundation if ever 
Noel himself or his Foundation saw fit. Therefore, Noel gave the collection to Louisiana 
State University in Shreveport, which agreed to the conditions. The collection is thus "on 
permanent loan" to LSUS. 

The spring of 1984 witnessed the establishing of two new endowed chairs at the College. 
The Ed E. and Gladys Hurley Chair of Music was provided by Mrs. Hurley's will. The 
Hurleys had already built the School of Music and through the years had funded its pro- 
grams generously. The Mary Warters Chair of Biology, the first to honor a former professor, 
was funded by public subscription, primarily by Dr. Warters's former students, but also by 
other Centenary patrons and friends. Dr. Warters, among Centenary's very greatest teach- 
ers, taught biology for 44 years ("Two Chairs" 1) and was, along with John B. Entrikin in 
chemistry, instrumental in establishing the modern science program at Centenary. Professor 
Bradley McPherson of the Centenary biology department was installed on September 6, 
1984, as the first incumbent of the Warters Chair ("Dr. McPherson" 1). 

Good things were also continuing to happen in women's athletics. The Lady Gymnasts 
won their first NAIA Championship, team member Margot Todd Evans was named Gymnast 
of the Year, and Ladies coach Vannie Edwards won the Coach of the Year Award ("Ladies" 
1). Unfortunately, at the same time, students were protesting the President's decision to 


abolish the women's basketball team for budgetary reasons ("Student Protest" 1; TM, Apr. 
19, 1984). The sport was restored in the 1999-2000 season. 

After a number of years of budgetary stability, the financial picture at the College 
devolved into the most serious state since President Webb assumed office. A number of 
factors accounted for this situation: decreased enrollment, a depressed local economy, 
extraordinary expenditures arising from the fire in Mickle Hall, and the deteriorating ceil- 
ing in the Gold Dome to mention only the major problems. The August 30, 1983, fire in 
Mickle did extensive damage, destroying the entire attic, which had been renovated into a 
loft where the Centenary Choir could practice. Particularly serious was the loss of irreplace- 
able choir memorabilia dating back to 1942 (Canter 1). Still, there were campus improve- 
ments to counterbalance the aforementioned downside. Most spectacular was the $333,000 
renovation of Haynes Gym, $25,000 of which came from the Community Foundation of 
Shreveport-Bossier and the remainder from seven private donors ("Haynes" 8). 

This seems to have been a semester for general building and grounds upgrading. The 
Smith and Hurley Buildings each got a new roof, the Hargrove Bandshell was refurbished 
and landscaped, and a new arboretum was created by Dr. Edwin Leuck of the biology 
department to display Louisiana trees and plants for study and aesthetic enhancement 
(UfertFeb. 7, 14,28). 

Centenary's 25 th and 26 th Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows came at a particularly timely 
point this spring in that their expertise was in urban, regional, and institutional planning 
and development. The two visitors were a husband-wife team, Malcolm and Goldie Rivkin, 
who had their own research and consulting firm. Among their clients was Princeton 
University. So Centenary administrators took full advantage of those experts while they 
were lecturing to faculty in various settings during their March 18-22 visit ("Malcolm" 1). 

At its March 25 meeting, the faculty, apparently not happy with their action on the core 
curriculum - they had voted not to strengthen it - determined to increase it from 45 to 55 
hours, a change that would ensure that students took physical activity, foreign language or 
literature, history, religion, speech, English literature, mathematics, and science. The new 
core would guarantee that students had a strong common intellectual and cultural back- 
ground as well as enhanced communication skills. The faculty voted overwhelmingly for 
this change (FM; Wiggins, Theresa 1). 

Centenary's interest in film studies as part of the curriculum derives from the appoint- 
ment of Frederic Jefferson Hendricks '75 to the College's English department in 1983. 
Hendricks, an Illinois Ph.D., had also studied abroad at Canterbury and at Marburg 
in Germany and was especially interested in criticism and theory. He re-organized the 
Centenary Film Society in the spring of 1984 and immediately included many foreign films 
in the first season. He also offered in the spring of 1985 the first course at Centenary about 
film. He was prescient in articulating the rationale for film study generally and foreign film 
in particular: to expose students to the daily life of a foreign culture and thus allow them 


to perceive the many similarities of our own culture and that of "the other" and thereby 
develop empathy and to do this in a powerful medium that actually has them "trapped" in 
a dark auditorium in a "collective" experience (Parra 1). (Twenty-three years later, many 
Centenary students major in communications, where they can specialize in a film "track." 
They are also no doubt interested in the fact that the Hollywood Establishment has chosen 
Shreveport as a site for many new movies.) 

The 1985 Free Enterprise Conference took a different form from earlier such events. 
Dr. William Gibson, chief economist of Republic Bank Corporation in Dallas and a stu- 
dent of Milton Friedman, was the featured speaker, and his topic at the May 13 event was 
"Deregulation: Banking in the Brave New World." (Gibson was the youngest person ever 
to earn a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Chicago.) But this year, Gibson faced a 
panel who would respond to his address. The panel of local businessmen and academicians 
included Dr. Charles Beaird, publisher of the Shreveport Journal and adjunct professor of 
philosophy at Centenary; Beaird's colleague at Centenary, Dr. Harold Christensen, associ- 
ate professor of economics; and Mr. James Burt, president and chief executive officer of 
the Commercial National Bank of Shreveport ("Economist" 1). The exchange of ideas that 
transpired shed more light than heat on the subject, and the departure from a chorus of 
corporation types and right-wing ideologues was a welcome change to many observers. 

The issue of homosexuality on American campuses and indeed in society generally 
had for a number of years been a hot topic. But it received its first journalistic treatment 
at Centenary in a May 9, 1985, article in the Conglomerate. Susan LaGrone, the writer, 
presented a calm, reasoned, and sympathetic (to gays) treatment of the subject. Apparently, 
gay students at Centenary were never subjected to overt "bashing," but they did encounter 
subtle forms of discrimination and some not very widespread ostracism and humiliation 
(1). (In 1998, an organization called Outreach would come into existence specifically to 
increase information and understanding about gay issues and create a place where they 
could be discussed. Two years earlier, Professor Rodney Grunes of the department of politi- 
cal science began regularly offering a May Module on "Gay Politics," which examines gays 
and lesbians as a political movement from a legal perspective.) 

The school year of 1 985-86 began officially at the President's Convocation on September 
12, when Dr. Barrie Richardson, dean of the school of business, was installed as the first 
occupant of the Sample Chair of Business Administration, the sixth endowed chair at the 
College ("Richardson" 1 ). This very positive news item would prove to be a welcome begin- 
ning for the next term, which was destined to have its share of serious problems, primarily 
financial. President Webb summed those up in his official report for 1985-86: 

. . .back to last. . . July. . .the state abolished all financial support both for 
independent colleges and...P.I.P.s [Professional Improvement Program, 
which paid Louisiana teachers a stipend while they took post baccalaureate 
courses; the stipend became permanent after 5 years in the program] , deci- 


mating our budget and cutting 500 public school teachers from our enroll- 
ment. Salaries [for Centenary faculty] were frozen, and yet another 5% 
chopped from expenditures. The budget called for us to raise the largest 
annual fund in the College's history - in the midst of a collapsing energy 
market and a distressed local economy. 

Somehow in the midst of such dire circumstances, the College managed to have an overall 
good year. Enrollment was up for the second semester in a row, and 130 students signed up 
for the new M.B.A. program, which also had a waiting list to get in ("Enrollment Increases" 
1). Additionally, the College again received impressive national recognition. A nation-wide 
poll of college presidents named Centenary one of America's best colleges; U.S. News and 
World Report published these poll results in its annual issue on higher education. Edward 
Fiske, education editor of the New York Times, listed Centenary among 221 institutions in 
his Best Buys in College Education ("College Named" 1 ). And for the third consecutive year, 
Petersons Competitive Colleges named Centenary among the top 17% of American colleges 
and universities with the most challenging admissions situations ("College Listed" 2). 

Centenary received two benefactions during the awful financial year of 1985-86 which 
helped to take the sting out of the most painful setbacks. One was a $900,000 gift from the 
Frost Foundation to renovate Jackson Hall. This was the largest single gift for building reno- 
vation in the history of the College. In addition to housing the departments of English and 
foreign languages, the "new" Jackson Hall would headquarter the school of business, estab- 
lished by another Frost grant in the 1970s. Edwin Whited '43 headed the Frost Foundation, 
and Theodore Kauss, former Centenary dean, was its executive director ("Frost" 1). 

The second significant gift was from another Centenary alumnus, Sidney Turner, 
who gave the College $400,000 to renovate the former president's home on the corner of 
Centenary Boulevard and Rutherford Street. When completed, the renovated structure 
would house the art department and would include classrooms, offices, studios, darkroom, 
print lab, gallery space, auditorium, and slide library (Smith 5). 

The spring 1986 semester at Centenary was considerably enlivened by a half-dozen 
interesting speakers, including two academics, a politician (and Centenary alumna), the 
CEO of a major oil company, an expert in international management and women in busi- 
ness, and a convicted felon. The academics were John Boles and Paula Treichler. Boles, a 
Rice faculty member and Southern history specialist, spoke on the origins of the Bible Belt. 
Treichler, then a linguistics professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, spoke 
on A Feminist Dictionary, which she had just co-edited. Placing women at the center of lan- 
guage, the Dictionary examined the development and use of English from different feminist 
perspectives. The Conglomerate called it a "massive undertaking, a distinctly political work, 
and an invaluable guide to women who want to know more about themselves and their 
history" ("Author" 3). 

The politician in this array of visiting speakers was Mary Jane Hitchcock Gibson, a 


native Shreveporter and 1954 Centenary graduate, currently assistant majority whip 
in the Massachusetts House of Representatives (she later became Speaker of that body). 
Ms. Gibson had been invited to give the Founders' Day Convocation address on April 17 
("College To Celebrate" 1). Centenary's 11 th Annual Free Enterprise Conference provided 
the representative from the corporate world as a fourth speaker that spring. He was L. M. 
Cook, CEO and chairman of the board of Atlantic Richfield (ARCO), a major American oil 
company ("ARCO" 7). Yet another prominent business figure was featured in Centenary's 
annual Women in Management Seminar in early April. This was Judith Anderson, vice 
president of INDEVO, a multinational strategic management consulting company based in 
New York City. Ms. Anderson spoke on "Women as Entrepreneurs" ("Entrepreneurial" 1). 

But by far the most notorious of spring 1986's visiting speakers was G. Gordon Liddy, 
staff assistant to President Richard Nixon and right-wing fanatic. For his role in master- 
minding the infamous Watergate break-in, Liddy served almost five years of a 21 -year sen- 
tence before President Carter commuted the sentence. Liddy appeared at Centenary under 
the auspices of the student government association ("Watergate" 1). When the 300 people, 
mostly Centenary students, gave Liddy a standing ovation after his talk, Professor David 
Throgmorton of the sociology department was moved to write the Conglomerate register- 
ing his horror that such outrageous ideas as Liddy promulgated could be acknowledged 
with such a favorable reception. (Liddy once boasted that he would kill his grandmother if 
his president told him to, and he told this audience that he would kill newspaper columnist 
Jack Anderson for the same reason.) Throgmorton was not trying to stifle free speech. He 
was lamenting the fact that he and his colleagues had apparently not done all they could 
to help students recognize and analyze dangerous and corrupt ideas or "garbage" as Dr. 
Throgmorton labeled it (Throgmorton 5). 

Harper and Row, Publishers, brought out this spring the third textbook by Centenary 
English professors. Lee Morgan and Earle Labor added Michael Hall and Barry Nass to the 
first quartet of authors, which had included Wilfred Guerin of Louisiana State University 
in Shreveport and John Willingham of the University of Kansas, both former Centenary 
professors. Nass, a Princeton Ph.D. in Renaissance literature, had left Centenary for a posi- 
tion at Long Island University before the book was finished. The new book was another 
anthology entitled LIT: Literature and Interpretive Techniques. 

The strained financial picture at the College continued during the school year 1986-87. 
Scholarship funding was cut by $87,000, almost two-thirds of that amount from athletics. 
The projected reduction in other student aid would have resulted in large measure from 
President Reagan's asking Congress to slash work study and loan programs (Anderson, L. 1; 
Knight 1). Fortunately for Centenary, and higher education generally, this prospect never 
eventuated as Congress refused to endorse Reagan's plans. 

Several factors played a part in the College's response to budgetary problems. A 5.15% 
increase in enrollment provided some assistance as did a tuition freeze, which guaranteed 


students the same tuition cost for four years as that which was in effect their freshman year. 
New curricular offerings, an applied science major and a master's degree in geology, were 
inaugurated. The three-week-long January Interim was changed to an early May Module 
of the same length (Knight, "Interim" 1). The stated purpose of these programs was "the 
enrichment of the liberal arts curriculum by concentrated study... on topics of general or 
specialized interest not normally offered in courses" (Cent. Coll. Cat. 2005-06 58). At the 
outset of the Interim/Module program, students were required to take two such courses; 
this was later reduced to one. The change from January to May was primarily to allow 
students to enter the summer job market earlier. To enable them to make career choices 
and think more intentionally about first jobs, the College established a career planning and 
placement office. The counseling helped students demonstrate clearly the many ways liberal 
arts education qualifies students for a wide variety of occupations (Knight and Matthew, 
"Centenary's career" 1). 

During the week of February 16-20, 1987, Centenary hosted its 27 th Woodrow Wilson 
Visiting Fellow. He was William Rodgers, vice president and one of the founders of the 
Social Democratic Party of Great Britan. Mr. Rodgers took his Honours Degree in History 
at Magdalen College, Oxford, and went immediately into politics. A Labour M.R for 21 
years, Rodgers was the Party's principal spokesman on defense and security matters. After 
leaving Parliament in 1983, he held posts in various offices of the Labour government, 
among them the Treasury, Foreign Office, and Defense Department. Rodgers spoke not 
only to classes in history and political science but also to classes in sociology, modern British 
poetry, and business and economics and to several student honors societies. 

In the spring of 1987, the College once again received reaffirmation by its accrediting 
agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as a result of its institutional 
self-study. This was the in-depth analysis of every phase of the College's operation, which 
had taken two years to complete. It was the third such self-study the College had compiled, 
the others being in 1962-64 and 1973-75. Every member of the faculty and most trustees 
served on at least one committee of the study. 

Early in June, the Choir began their summer tour of the Far East and England, giving 
concerts in China, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, and London. 

The College officially began its 163 rd year at the President's Convocation on September 
17, 1987, where the principal speaker was Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court 
John A. Dixon, Jr. A Centenary alumnus, Dixon took his law degree at Tulane and practiced 
law in Shreveport until 1957, when he was elected district judge. In 1971, he was elected to 
the Supreme Court and became Chief Justice in 1980 (Willis 1). 

Though enrollment was up by 3% this fall semester, it appears to have been the result of 
"packaging" some new program or other rather than students opting for a superior liberal 
arts education. Throughout the years, Centenary has had to struggle for students, often by 
offering more professional courses. It has never been clear why this should be true, though 


various demographic explanations have been offered. At least since the 1960s, the College 
has set 1,500 students as the optimum number at which it could operate economically. But 
it has never managed to attract that many. It has been a baffling problem, given the beauti- 
ful campus, educational facilities, excellent faculty and staff, enrichment opportunities for 
students in academic and extracurricular offerings, and records of achievement by students 
and faculty. 

Among the important support groups in the community which contribute to student 
life are the Centenary Muses, a group of professional women whose purpose is to improve 
student life. In the fall of 1987, they inaugurated an annual Friends of Centenary Book 
Bazaar. People in the region donate books to the project, and the Muses sell them and use 
the proceeds for student causes. Muses money has been used to build sundecks on James 
Dorm and Rotary Hall, to remodel the foyer of Jackson Hall, and to furnish the Choir with 
robes (Stuckey 3). 

Other good financial news for Centenary came when President Webb released his annual 
report showing a balanced budget for the tenth straight year and a $2.5 million increase in 
the College's endowment. During Webb's tenure the endowment increased from $6 million 
to $27 million (L. Anderson and Kirst 1). 

The soccer team took the spotlight for a time in campus discussions and the Conglomerate 
as a result of six star players from the Netherlands leaving after only one semester. No 
NCAA rules of any kind were violated. The Dutch athletes seemed to have wanted only to 
play ball for a season and then go home. It did appear that they thought they would receive 
more scholarship aid and that when they became aware that was not possible, they left. 
They were not much interested in academics, attending classes very infrequently. Indeed, 
some never bought textbooks and left without taking their final exams. An editorial in the 
Conglomerate sharply criticized the College's recruiting of such "student athletes," clearly 
implying that nothing was done to ascertain their educational goals. But what they lacked 
in scholarly discipline and a serious pursuit of learning, they made up for in stellar soccer 
skills. The team won 20 games, lost 1, and tied 1 while they were here. The team's only loss 
was to Georgia State in the conference championship final (Matthew and Wallace 1). 

Other issues engaging students' attention this spring were the need to increase minority 
recruitment, the lack of a clinic/infirmary and health care for students on campus, and the 
desirability of liberalizing dorm visitation policies. (At that time, students could visit oppo- 
site sex dorm rooms from noon till midnight from Sunday to Thursday and from noon 
till 2:00 A.M. on Friday and Saturday.) Some students, unhappy about political apathy on 
campus organized SPAD (Students for Political Action and Discussion) (Matthew 6; O'Neal 
5; Kelsey 5; Kelly 5; "No clinic" 6; McDonald, "Dorm" 1, 5; Cline 3). The issue, however, 
that received the sharpest student criticism was the cost and content of the May Module, the 
three-week-long required enrichment class. In the regular town meeting forum sponsored 
by the SGA, students voiced their complaints to the president, registrar, and deans, who 


explained the rationale for the course and the administration's handling of it. This town 
meeting was not limited to attacking the May Module. The inadequacy of the library's 
holdings, the shortcomings of the cafeteria, the un workability of the committee system, 
and College policy on giving honors credits were among the more contentious topics dis- 
cussed (Matthew, "Students" 1, 4). Centenary students have apparently never been bashful 
about making the administration aware of their grievances. 

One non-controversial event of the spring 1988 semester was the campus appearance of 
Centenary's 28 th Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, Arlin Adams. Adams, a former judge on 
the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals and currently a senior partner in a distin- 
guished Washington, D.C., law firm, was one of the most popular Fellows in the Woodrow 
Wilson organization. Among a variety of related topics, Judge Adams talked to Centenary 
students about First Amendment cases, human rights, the legal profession, and the judicial 
system (McDonald, "Judge" 3). 

The physical plant underwent a number of renovations over the summer of 1988; so 
the campus looked vastly improved as school opened for the fall semester. The main proj- 
ect had been the "new" Jackson Hall, which had been virtually rebuilt, the result of the 
$900,000 Frost grant. Other recipients of the "make-over" were Bynum Commons (the 
cafeteria), Magale Library, the Moore Student Center, and the dorms. The changes were 
both cosmetic and utilitarian (Townsend 1). 

Tuition for 1988-89 went up 8.7% - the national average was 9%. It was not clear what 
effect this had on the 5% decline in enrollment at Centenary. Caroline Kelsey, director of 
admissions, thought a number of factors accounted for the drop, among them increasingly 
high academic standards, a decrease in the number of transfer applicants, stricter limita- 
tions on students seeking trial admission, and increased competition from state universities 
(Parker 1). 

Also that fall, the College received a bequest of $600,000 from the estate of a prominent 
Louisiana business woman, Mrs. Velma Davis Grayson, to establish a chair in chemistry 
that would bear her name. Mrs. Grayson's son Sam was a member of Centenary's board 
of trustees. The state legislature had passed an act in 1983 establishing a competitive pro- 
gram that could award $400,000 to any college in the state which had raised $600,000 for 
an endowed chair. The resulting $1 million would then be used to establish an Eminent 
Scholars Endowed Chair ( TM, May 4, 1989). When the state matched the Grayson gift with 
$400,000, it became the College's tenth endowed chair (President's Report 1988-89 2). 

In October of 1988 occurred one of the most significant achievements in the annals 
of Centenary scholarship. Dr. Earle Labor's three-volume edition of Jack London's letters 
was published by Stanford University Press and drew high praise from the New York Times. 
Labor's co-editors on the project were Dr. Robert Leitz, curator of the Noel Library at LSU 
in Shreveport, and Mr. Milo Shepherd, London's great-nephew. The Letters drew lengthy, 
appreciative articles in numerous publications, including front-page coverage in the New 


York Times Sunday Book Review, the London Times Literary Supplement, the Washington 
Post, and American Literature, the premier academic journal in that field. Labor, an inter- 
nationally renowned London scholar, delivered the President's Convocation address on 
September 22, when he was installed as George Wilson Professor of American Literature 
(Townsend 1). 

Racial discord in Shreveport had flared up in the summer of 1988. The riots in the 
Cedar Grove section of the city sparked discussion on campus about issues of race at 
Centenary. An editorial writer in the Conglomerate noted that the riots made little impact 
on students other than to reinforce the prejudices of some. The writer cited the Choir's 
singing of "Dixie" at last year's Scholarship Luncheon and the flying of the Confederate 
flag by one of the fraternities as instances of racial insensitivity. The writer also found 
"disturbing" the low number of racial-ethnic minorities at Centenary ("Centenary escapes" 
6). The same issue of the paper criticized the Choir for having no black singers (Hoekstra 
7). Three weeks later, Professor Jefferson Hendricks in a guest column in the Conglomerate 
voiced similar opinions about race and Centenary, which he characterized as a "specter of 
unreflective political and social conservatism," wherein many students accept unquestion- 
ingly the most intolerant and generally objectionable racist views of the region (6). 

In other areas of campus life, a few students were boycotting the cafeteria and urging 
classmates to follow their lead. Their demands: unlimited second helpings, use of meal 
tickets to purchase any menu item in the Juke Box Cafe (now called Randle's Place after 
the trustee whose family gave the Moore Student Center), and the right to carry over to 
the next week any unused portion of their meal tickets. The caf acceded to all but the last 
demand (Matthew, "Students boycott" 1). The soccer team won its first Trans America 
Athletic Conference championship on November 4 by beating Georgia State 3-1. It was 
a particularly sweet win for the Gents since Georgia State had beaten them in last year's 
championship finals. The Gents were supposed to have had a bad season after losing 13 
players including the six controversial Dutchmen (Nash 8). The fall marked a new era 
for women's athletics at Centenary, too. The Ladies gymnastics team, defending national 
champions of the NAIA, entered Division I of the NCAA and thus would compete in a 
much tougher league (Rogers 9). 

Important sports news continued to break on campus as the spring 1 989 semester began. 
Head basketball coach Tommy Canterbury resigned after directing the team for eleven years 
and was succeeded in the post by assistant coach Tommy Vardeman. Vardeman in turn 
chose former Gent star Willie Jackson as his assistant coach (Townsend, "Canterbury" 1). 

The financial picture at the College for the past two years had been generally good. The 
budget for 1987-88 was balanced for the 11 th year in a row but by only $400 (Norman 3). 
Still, as the President's annual report showed, the school year 1988-89 proved to be better 
primarily as a result of severely curtailed budgets, increased gift income, and the continued 
success of the Fulfill the Vision capital campaign (2). Nevertheless, it is simply a matter of 


record that Centenary has always operated financially on the razor's edge. 

One of Centenary's most accomplished and loyal graduates, John William "Bill" 
Corrington '56, died on November 24, 1988, of a massive heart attack at his home in 
Malibu, California. Many of his papers, much memorabilia, and his correspondence, most 
notably that with Beat writer Charles Bukowski, whom Corrington recognized and cham- 
pioned early in Bukowski's career, are housed in the Centenary College archives. (In 2008, 
Corrington's widow Joyce gave Centenary his entire library of over 5,000 volumes. It is by 
any standard a magnificent collection of books on philosophy, religion, theology, history, 
literature, psychology, and music - all reflecting Corrington's catholic interests and tastes in 
matters intellectual and aesthetic.) 

In February 1989, Centenary continued its tradition of hosting annual meetings of 
the various scholarly organizations of which the College was a member. Indeed, the South 
Central Modern Language Association (SCMLA), the regional affiliate of the national orga- 
nization, was founded on the Centenary campus in November 1940. The South Central 
Renaissance Conference met at Centenary in 1970. The plenary speaker was Professor 
Roland Bainton of Yale, perhaps best known for his biography of Martin Luther, Here I 
Stand. At Centenary his address was entitled "Women in the Reformation," an essay which 
he later published as a book. The second Renaissance Conference that Centenary hosted 
took place in April 1978. This time, the featured speaker was Professor Richard Sylvester of 
St. Louis University, editor of the Yale Edition of the Works of Thomas More. 

One of the most outstanding scholarly conferences ever held at Centenary was that of 
South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies on February 16-18, 1989. The schol- 
arship papers on the program dealt with all phases of 18 th -century life and culture, including 
literature, art, history, music, science, politics, economics, religion, and recreation. Professor 
Albrecht Strauss of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill gave the principal 
address. Strauss had a strong Centenary connection: his father, the late Dr. Bruno Strauss, 
had been on the Centenary faculty from 1939-64; and his mother Bertha was related to the 
Bath family in Shrevpeort. The younger Strauss had been a college student during that time 
(Oberlin B.A., Tulane M.A., Harvard Ph.D.), but he called Shreveport home and had taken 
some summer courses here, including a course in Milton from Dr. Stewart Steger, chairman 
of the English department. Albrecht Strauss was one of the editors of the monumental 
Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson. In addition, what made this conference espe- 
cially memorable were the musical, dramatic, and art offerings from the Hurley School of 
Music, the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, the Meadows Museum, and the Shreveport Symphony. 
Gale Odom, coloratura, and Horace English, bass-baritone, both professors in the School of 
Music, performed Pergolesi's comic opera, "La Serva Padrona"; and Contance Knox Carroll, 
artist-in-residence, also at the Hurley, played Mozart's piano Concerto in D-minor with an 
ensemble from the Shreveport Symphony under the direction of Maestro Peter Leonard. For 
this occasion, the Meadows had an exhibition of the College's Piranesi prints along with rare 


eighteenth-century books from the private collection of Centenary alumnus James S. Noel, 
and the Playhouse mounted a production of Moliere's Tartuffe (Norman, "College" 1). 

To complement this embarrassment of riches in the fine arts, important political speak- 
ers were contracted to visit the campus during this school term. The first was a well-known 
Southerner, Hodding Carter III, son of a legendary journalist father who had won a Pulitzer 
Prize for his courageous editorship of the Delta Democrat Times of Greenville, Mississippi. 
The paper's consistently liberal views on the race question earned the editor many death 
threats. The younger Carter thus grew up in a liberal household, attended Princeton, grad- 
uated summa cum laude, and returned home to work in the family newspaper. He worked 
in Jimmy Carter's first presidential campaign and subsequently became Assistant Secretary 
of State for Public Affairs. In 1979, Iran seized the American embassy in Tehran and held 
approximately 70 American hostages for 444 days. Hodding Carter III became the State 
Department spokesman, appearing on television every night for eight months and earning 
the respect of reporters across the board for his honesty and forthrightness. He spoke at 
Centenary on February 2, 1989 (Wilson 1). 

The second speaker never materialized because of a bizarre set of circumstances that 
pitted SGA's forums committee against the administration, and especially, as the students 
viewed it, against President Webb. The speaker was New York Governor Mario Cuomo, 
being at the time mentioned as a possible Democratic presidential candidate. Because of 
his record of achievement in New York and his national political prominence, Cuomo was a 
hot property. His fee was $10,000, and the SGA had agreed to the figure because they hoped 
to sell tickets to the public - students, faculty, and staff were to attend free - at the relatively 
modest price of $3 a person. To do this, they would need a larger auditorium than Brown 
Chapel, which seated about 750 persons. They needed the Gold Dome, which could hold 
around 3,500. But President Webb, for unstated reasons, refused to let the Gold Dome be 
used for Cuomo's appearance. Additionally, Webb, again according to Brian Leach, forums 
chairman, said the College would not even publicize the event or help sell tickets. SGA was 
thus stuck with an expensive popular speaker and a hall too small to allow it to recoup some 
of its hefty expenses. Cuomo's address was scheduled for April 16, and it appeared to be a 
done deal. But it turned out that Cuomo himself had to cancel his visit because of some 
state of emergency in New York (Johnson 1; "College blows" 6; Henderson 3). 

In January 1989, the Conglomerate began a six-part series of articles on liberal arts 
education by staff writer Shelly Thomas. Ms. Thomas defined the subject and traced its 
purpose (intellectual development as opposed to vocational preparation) and history, par- 
ticularly at Centenary. She explained that a central feature of liberal education derives from 
its function as "alma mater," the fostering mother, and illustrated how Centenary plays this 
role as it relates to students. Another point Ms. Thomas elaborated was the value liberal 
education, which "frees" the mind, puts on diversity - in opinion, ethnicity, and interests. 
All this encourages breadth of outlook and toleration and better enables the recipients of 


such an education to confront the real world (Thomas, "Six Articles"). 

Also this spring, Sigma Xi, chemistry research society, began sponsoring an annual stu- 
dent research forum to allow students to present reports on their independent research. 
Projects were judged, and prizes were awarded. The forum was so successful that over the 
years it has grown to a two-day event involving many other departments. 

In April 1989, two longtime professors at Centenary, Willard Cooper and Webb 
Pomeroy, announced their retirement. Both were alumni of the College and were out- 
standing teachers. Cooper chaired the art department from 1958 to 1989, and Pomeroy 
the religion department from 1953 to 1989 (Norman, "Two" 1 ). Pomeroy was also the first 
incumbent of the T. L. James Chair of Religion. 

When, in September 1988, the trustees approved a three-year Fulfill the Vision 
Campaign to raise $13 million in capital funds, they were surely expressing their hope in 
the future of the College in perilous financial times. Indeed, beyond this "base" goal, the 
trustees agreed to have a "challenge" goal of $21,500,000 (President's Annual Report 1988-89 
3). Trustees Harvey Broyles and Bill James co-chaired the campaign, Sam Peters and Bill 
Anderson co-chaired the trustee division, and Virginia Shehee and Nancy Carruth headed 
the alumni and church campaigns respectively (TM, Dec. 15, 1988). Then, on February 
23, 1989, to underscore their belief in and commitment to the College, the board adopted 
a plan to build a Jack London research center and a music library. Any conflict that might 
have arisen over the fact that the annual Great Teachers Scholars Fund drive was to go on 
simultaneously was resolved by putting all monies designated for Great Teachers into the 
capital campaign then earmarking them along with other funds for Great Teachers ( TM). 

It was ambitious to say the least for the College to enter into these projects at just the 
time when the local economy was so depressed. Moreover, the total indebtedness of the 
College to banks and the federal government amounted to $719,438. This figure included 
money owed for the telephone system and notes on the Gold Dome and Hamilton Hall and 
Rotary, Hardin, and Sexton dorms. This daunting fiscal situation may well have inspired 
the trustees and the Hurley Foundation to pledge over $8.8 million toward the Fulfill the 
Vision Campaign ( TM, Mar. 16, 1989). It is not at all clear why the College should have still 
been paying on the Hamilton note. Colonel Hamilton had died seven years earlier and in 
his will left Centenary over a million dollars. There is some reason to believe that he had 
paid the note off earlier but that the College opted to invest the money and make a much 
higher rate of interest than they were paying on the note. The note almost surely carried a 
low rate of interest since the presidents of the Shreveport banks were all on the Centenary 
board of trustees. 

This week was special on campus as a result of Centenary's 29 th and 30 th Woodrow 
Wilson Visiting Fellows, Charles and Marion Corddry. Mr. Corddry was the longtime 
defense correspondent for the Baltimore Sun. It was, however, his role as regular panelist 
on the much respected television program "Washington Week in Review" that made him 


a recognizable figure to millions of Americans. Mrs. Corddry was a well known public 
relations consultant and free-lance writer whose special subjects of interest were art, the 
humanities, and health matters. The Corddrys spoke not only to students and faculty in the 
customary classroom and auditorium settings but also to Centenary trustees, whose regular 
meeting coincided with their visit. 

On April 6, 1989, the board officially decided to build the Sam Peters Building on 
Centenary Boulevard, next to the Meadows Museum (TM). More good news came to the 
College in the form of an anonymous gift of $600,000 to fund an Eminent Scholars Chair 
of Liberal Arts. Professor George Newtown of the English Department subsequently was 
named the first occupant of the chair (TM, May 4, 1989). 

The 1 989 Commencement Address was delivered by Governor Charles "Buddy" Roemer, 
who also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Roemer, a native of Bossier City, was 
educated at Harvard (B.S., M.B.A.) and elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from 
northwest Louisiana, serving from 1980-87. He resigned that office to run for governor. He 
won that post and was in office from 1988-92. In 1991, he switched from the Democratic to 
the Republican party ("Gov. Roemer" 9). 

As the fall 1989 semester began, the College community was saddened by the death of 
Dr. Webb Pomeroy, T. L. James Professor of Religion and for many years chairman of the 
department. Pomeroy was a much beloved and respected figure on the campus. Dr. Robert 
Ed Taylor, chaplain of the College, was chosen to succeed him as department chairman 
(Blair 1; Toups 3). 

In the November 9, 1989, issue of the Conglomerate, occurred the first mention of a 
type of crime wave to hit the campus. It took the form, in most instances, of young, black, 
off-campus males usually on foot, confronting Centenary students on campus and harass- 
ing them, sometimes beating them, and stealing their valuables (Toups and Townsend 1-2). 
The "wave" lasted off and on for a couple of years and included a security guard's getting 
stabbed. It subsequently forced the College to make changes in security policies and stu- 
dents to adopt behavior patterns that would help protect them and their property. 

More upbeat news at the College celebrated the Gents soccer team capturing their sec- 
ond straight TAAC championship. The win was not, however, enough to gain Centenary a 
bid to the national tournament (Anderson 7). On the academic front, the faculty approved 
a new minor in communications that might be taken with any major. They also approved 
a new English major "with an emphasis on communication" (Davis 1). Both these tracks 
would enable students to take a traditional liberal arts major and acquire media skills con- 
currently. (Within four years, communications would be a major in its own right.) 

Spring 1990 will go down in history as a singularly memorable one. It began with the 
accomplishments of senior English major Karen Lunsford, an early admit who completed 
high school requirements and the freshman year in college at the same time. In August 
1989, USA Today began a search for outstanding students in American colleges and univer- 


sities. These students were to be recognized nationally for academic, extracurricular, and 
community service achievements in addition to a unique academic project. Karen's project 
was indeed unique, especially for an English major. It involved using photomicrography 
to enhance instruction in biology. Karen also had three minors: biology, philosophy, and 
Spanish. In stiff national competition, Karen earned the honor of winning a place on the 
USA Todays All-USA College Academic Second Team. There were initially 759 applicants 
of whom 152 made it to the finals. Then, three teams of 20 students each were selected as 
winners (Fern 1 ). It was a high honor for Karen and for Centenary. (Karen went on to win 
a Mellon Fellowship to the University of Chicago. She took her Ph.D. at the University of 
Illinois and presently teaches at the University of California at Santa Barbara.) 

Much was going on at Centenary during the spring semester of 1990. Maya Angelou, the 
distinguished black author and civil rights activist who grew up in Stamps, Arkansas, paid a 
two-day visit to the College, where she received a warm and enthusiastic reception at every 
speech she gave (Toups, "Angelou" 9). SGA President Mac Coffield played a leadership role 
in Centenary's building bridges with the students of Southern University in Shreveport, 
who received a special invitation and attended Ms. Angelou's appearances in large num- 
bers. In the same week as Ms. Angelou's visit to Centenary, former Congresswoman Shirley 
Chisholm spoke at the Strand Theatre in Shreveport as part of the nation's annual celebra- 
tion of women. Chisholm was the first black woman elected to Congress. In 1972, she made 
history as the first black woman to campaign for the Democratic nomination for President 
of the United States (Grunes 7). The fact that two such distinguished black women had 
spoken in Shreveport in the same week may have inspired one Centenary student to write a 
sharp criticism of the College for not offering any women's studies courses. Tricia Matthew, 
a senior English major and Conglomerate staffer, saw her campaigning for women's studies 
pay off: in the fall semester of 1990, Dr. Samuel Shepherd taught a course entitled "Women 
in History" (Matthew, "Women's" 8). The Centenary Sports Hall of Fame inducted two 
former great athletes, Cal Hubbard and Tom Kerwin. Hubbard, the only player ever to be 
inducted into both the Major League Baseball and Major League Football Hall of Fame, 
starred in football and basketball for the Gents from 1922-24. Kerwin, a New Jersey native, 
earned the nickname "Captain Hook" for his highly effective hook shot while playing for 
the College from 1963-66 (Henderson, "Centenary" 9). The 1989-90 Gents basketball team 
confounded pre-season predictions by winning the TAAC regular season championship 
but losing in the tournament to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). For the 
season, they reached the twenty-win mark (22-8) for the first time since the Robert Parish 
era (Anderson 9). 

Among the celebrity visitors to Centenary during the 1989-90 school year were two 
highly respected and gifted media figures, Charles Kuralt and Bob Edwards. Kuralt had 
a long television career at CBS with his popular "On the Road" segments on "The CBS 
Evening News with Walter Cronkite." Centenary awarded him an honorary LL.D. degree, 


and he gave the principal address at a special evening convocation on December 14, 1989. 
Edwards was the first host of National Public Radio's flagship program "Morning Edition" 
and held the post from 1979-2004. He came to Centenary to speak at President Webb's 
annual luncheon for the media, at which he credited his own liberal arts background as 
contributing so richly to his interviews and news features {President's Report 1989-90 9). 

Also in 1989-90, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation sent two outstanding academics 
to the College. The first was Bryan Magee, a German Marshall Fund Fellow, who came in 
October. Magee, a writer, critic, broadcaster, former Member of Parliament, and Oxford 
don, spent a week on campus lecturing on a wide variety of subjects in fields as varied 
as philosophy, music, politics, and economics. Oxford University Press published two 
of his books - The Philosophy of Schopenhauer and Aspects of Wagner - and the British 
Broadcasting Corporation ran 13- and 15-part radio and television series respectively on 
the contemporary scene in British and world philosophy, both later published as books. 
The German Marshall Fund was created in 1972 by the German government in gratitude 
for the Marshall Plan, which re-built Germany after World War II. This was done by send- 
ing German professionals to American colleges and universities to lecture and exchange 
ideas on a broad spectrum of topics. The German Marshall Fund is administered in the 
United States by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. The impact of the Wilson and Marshall 
Fellows' visits to Centenary and indeed the community of Shreveport can hardly be exag- 
gerated. The Fellows frequently spoke off campus, and the public was regularly invited to 
their convocation addresses. Trustees and patrons also frequently hosted dinners for these 
visitors, who in addition to being experts in their fields, in many cases also served as a type 
of ambassador. 

The second distinguished academic was Dr. David Thomasma, 32 nd Woodrow Wilson 
Visiting Fellow to spend a week lecturing on campus. An internationally renowned medi- 
cal ethicist, Thomasma was Director of the Medical Humanities Program at Loyola [in 
Chicago] University Medical Center. Among the topics he discussed were euthanasia, bio- 
ethics, care of elders, AIDS, and in vitro fertilization (Toups, "Speaker" 1). 

It seems that perennial and serious financial problems never significantly affected the 
high quality of Centenary's instructional program or the rich and varied intellectual and 
cultural opportunities available to students and faculty in the form of guest artists and 
lecturers. A case could be made for the College as a model for how institutions of higher 
learning can expand their members' overall awareness of ideas that have mattered and con- 
tinue to matter in human affairs. 

The school year ended with the installation of Robert Ed Taylor '52, chaplain of the 
College and professor of religion, as the second incumbent of the T. L. James Chair of 
Religion. Taylor, who joined the faculty of Centenary in 1961, earned his doctorate at the 
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and aside from his duties as chaplain and teacher 
had also served the College as acting dean, assistant to the president, director of church rela- 


tions, and director of church careers ("Taylor" 2). 

The fall 1990 semester began with a visit to the campus by Ross Perot, the maverick 
Texas billionaire (Electronic Data Systems; later sold to General Motors). Perot spoke to 
a packed Gold Dome to launch Phase II of the College's $21.5 million Fulfill the Vision 
Campaign (Wilson 1). Perot would run for president of the United States in 1992 and 1996 
as an independent. One student professed perplexity at Perot's speech, which mentioned 
Fulfill the Vision only two or three times in a lengthy oration on advice to different aca- 
demic groups, American society as a whole, and his formula for success. This student also 
raised the question about why Maya Angelou and Mario Cuomo were denied the use of 
the Gold Dome while Perot was permitted to use it ("Visit" 4). The College administration 
explained the choice of Perot to headline the campaign on the grounds of his celebrity and 
willingness to speak at no charge and his drawing power for potential donors and prospects, 
on whom Perot's endorsement would not be lost. In the case of the Dome versus some 
other site for Angelou and Cuomo, the College simply made a judgment call based on the 
projected audience (Webb 5). 

The stated goals of Phase II of the Fulfill the Vision Campaign were six in number: a $4 
million social science building to house the psychology, sociology, history, political science, 
and education departments; a $4 million modernization of Mickle Hall of Science; a $3.5 
million endowment fund to improve faculty salaries; a $1.5 million refurbishing of student 
facilities, especially Rotary Hall; an increase in scholarships; and $1 million for the Great 
Teachers-Scholars Fund. These goals, unfortunately, turned out to be too ambitious for the 
time, and none was realized in its entirety. 

The brutal August 1990 murders of five University of Florida students, four female 
and one male, led Centenary College and many other institutions of higher education to 
increased safety and security measures (Blair, "Florida" 3). (Ironically, the killer, Danny 
Rolling, was from Shreveport. He was captured, tried, and found guilty in 1994 but was not 
executed until 2006.) 

Considerably less horrifying on one level for Centenary students and the public gener- 
ally than the University of Florida murders but equally as ominous was the candidacy of 
David Duke for United States Senator from Louisiana in the fall of 1990. Duke, a notorious 
racist, who employed Nazi symbols, uniforms, and regalia, had founded the Louisiana- 
based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in 1974 shortly after graduating from LSU. He had held 
the offices of Grand Dragon and Imperial Wizard in Klan organizations. In 1989, Duke was 
elected as a Republican to the Louisiana House of Representatives. In this 1990 Senate race, 
he was defeated by the incumbent, J. Bennett Johnston, a Democrat, of Shreveport. Though 
the race was talked about a great deal on campus - most people were against Duke - only two 
letters to the editor appeared in the Conglomerate, one for Duke and one against him, both 
in the October 4 issue. One student faulted the editor of the Conglomerate for not refuting 
the pro-Duke letter. It was proper, of course, to print the letter, but the Conglomerate had 


an obligation to take a stand on an issue as serious as this (Neff 5). 

Duke's polar opposite, Howard Zinn, spoke at a forums-sponsored meeting in Kilpatrick 
Auditorium on October 19, 1990. Zinn, one of the most noted academics in the country, 
a historian (B.A., M.A. New York University; Ph.D. Columbia), had recently retired from 
the faculty of Boston University but was continuing his career-long practice of speaking on 
college and university campuses (he had lectured at over 200). A widely published author 
of scholarly works - his best known A People's History of the United States -he had also con- 
tributed many articles to Harper's, The Nation, The New Republic, the New York Times, and 
Saturday Review. He was a dedicated activist in both the civil rights movement and the anti- 
Vietnam War campaign. Zinn's topic at Centenary was "Civil Disobedience" ("Guest" 11). 

Later in October, Sister Margaret McCaffrey spoke at the Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) 
convocation (Blair, "Local" 3). Sister Margaret was the Catholic nun who came to Shreveport 
in 1970 to work among the poor. She established the Martin Luther King Health Center and 
Christian Services, an interfaith organization funded by local Christians of all denomina- 
tions and by members of the local Jewish temples. (For her humanitarian work, Centenary 
awarded Sister Margaret the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1976.) 

Meanwhile, other campus activities occupied student interests. The soccer team contin- 
ued its winning ways by capturing its third TAAC championship in a row, thereby becom- 
ing the first conference team to do so ( Swear ingen 7). 

An outdoor exhibit of ten avant-garde sculptures on campus this semester provoked 
strong mixed reactions among students. Upon learning of the increasing number of such 
exhibits at numerous colleges and universities, the Centenary art department was able to 
arrange with five American sculptors who had shown their work throughout the country 
to bring their sculptures to Centenary without charge simply to have the exposure. Some 
students objected to the non-representational, untraditional form of the works, pronounc- 
ing it garish, repulsive, and detrimental to recruiting. Others said the art would strengthen 
Centenary's image as an excellent liberal arts college and center of culture and the image of 
its students as mature enough to respect art whose aesthetic qualities they may not recog- 
nize or appreciate (Triche 1). 

Interest in including more women's studies in the curriculum continued on campus, 
and the department of religion responded by scheduling a selected topics course entitled 
"Women and Religion" for the spring 1991 term to be taught by Dr. Robert Ed Taylor and 
the Reverend Jayne Trammell- Kelly, who later succeeded Taylor as chaplain. Among the 
themes the course would treat were pre-patriarchal religion of the goddess; biblical tradi- 
tions about women; views of women in Jewish and Christian theology; ethical/religious 
decisions surrounding women in the 1990s such as abortion, sex discrimination, and wom- 
en's leadership roles in church and society ("New" 2). 

The Gulf War that broke out in January 1991 elicited considerable discussion on cam- 
pus and in the Conglomerate. Students wrote letters to the editor both supporting the war 


and criticizing America's getting into a conflict about what many labeled as an adventure to 
ensure a continued supply of oil to the United States (Neff, "Oil" 4; Robertson 4; K. Davis, 
"Bush" 5; Bonnette 5). On January 14, 1991, members of the student body and the faculty 
attended a prayer service for peace conducted by Dr. Robert Ed Taylor. The service was sug- 
gested by sophomore senator Erin Hatch and was held in the meditation chapel of Brown 
Chapel, but so many people attended that the crowd spilled over into the main sanctuary 
(Blair, "Crisis" 1, 6). 

Among the last items of business passed by the trustees in 1990 was the establishment 
of three endowed funds in the amount of $60,000 each for professorships in the social 
sciences, the humanities, and the natural sciences. As soon as these endowed funds were 
completed, the College would become eligible to apply to the State of Louisiana for $40,000 
in matching funds for each endowed professorship, thereby making each worth $100,000. 
The Louisiana Board of Regents approved the guidelines for this program, which is known 
as the Louisiana Education Quality Support Fund for Endowed Professorships. Centenary 
was eligible to apply for at least two such grants per year ( TM, Dec. 13, 1990). At this same 
meeting, President Webb announced that he would retire on June 1, 1991, having reached 
the age of 65 in that year. By any yardstick, Webb's presidency had been one of the most 
important in the history of the College, and the man himself was responsible for some of 
the most significant achievements. His energy and enthusiasm, his buoyant optimism, his 
eloquence, and his indefatigability were only the most obvious of the qualities which he 
brought to the task of helping save the College from financial disaster and continuing it on 
the road to general excellence. He was able to forge a relationship between the Church, the 
trustees, the alumni, and the community which ensured that the College would survive and 
push ahead in its mission. 

On the athletic front, Centenary faced an ultimatum from the NCAA: in order to remain 
in Division I of the organization, the College would have to sponsor one more women's 
sport ("NCAA" 8). Centenary complied by adding women's softball ("Centenary adds" 7). 

The second semester of 1991 brought one of the most distinguished musicians in 
America to Centenary as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. He was Charles Wadsworth, 
founder and recently retired artistic director of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. 
The highlight of his Centenary visit was a full-dress concert of chamber music in Hurley 
Auditorium, where he accompanied Professor Gale Odom, coloratura soprano, in a Schubert 
piece and performed a Faure suite with then artist-in-residence Constance Knox Carroll 
and numbers with members of the Shreveport Symphony who were also on the Centenary 
faculty - Andrew Brandt, Ruth Drummond, Laura Crawford, Sally Horak, Thomas Phillips, 
and Theresa Zale Bridges (Williams 10). 

In February of 1991, the Women's Endowment Quorum of the College contributed 
$125,000 toward the renovation of Rotary Hall, an undertaking that would eventually cost 
$1.6 million. In early 1985, a group of women interested in Centenary formed the Women's 


Endowment Quorum to build up the endowment through gifts of their own, creative proj- 
ects, and the encouragement of potential donors. Since its formation, it has been and con- 
tinues to be one of the strongest and most effective support groups of the College. Each 
member's annual contribution is $1,000, but many women exceed that figure voluntarily. 
The endowments they have established are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the 
income from which has funded besides the present Rotary improvement such projects as 
a summer research fund for faculty and students; the renovation of the lobbies of Sexton, 
Rotary, and Cline dormitories; gifts to the Choir; books for the freshmen to have read 
during the summer preceding their matriculation at Centenary; copies of Maya Angelou's 
/ Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in preparation for the author's visit to the campus; and 
multiple campus furnishings. 

On Founder's Day, April 11, 1991, Dr. Stanton Taylor, chairman of the chemistry 
department, delivered the main address and was installed as the first Grayson Professor of 
Chemistry (Cook, "Dedicated" 1). 

Two very famous but very different literary figures rounded out the visiting speak- 
ers roster of the College this spring. The first was internationally known Beat poet Allen 
Ginsberg, brought to the campus by the forums committee. Considered a controversial 
writer in many circles, Ginsberg burst onto the literary scene with the publication of his 
poem "Howl" in 1950. According to Ginsberg himself, the main influences on him were the 
works of William Blake, Walt Whitman, and William Carlos Williams and Buddhism and 
Hinduism. Other influences included the anti-Vietnam War and civil rights movements 
and "all forms of personal liberation." Ginsberg and the equally notorious Timothy Leary 
also experimented with "the poetic effects of psychedelic drugs" (Kapinus 3). 

The second speaker was at the opposite end of the literary spectrum. Eudora Welty, 
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short story writer, came to Centenary for three reasons: 
to be the first recipient of the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence, to 
deliver the 1991 Commencement Address, and to receive an honorary Doctor of Humane 
Letters degree. As long ago as 1974, the Centenary faculty had voted to award Miss Welty 
this degree, but her schedule had never permitted her to come and receive it. Her name re- 
surfaced when Professor David Havird of the English department nominated her to receive 
the Corrington Award. (Havird had been instrumental in the creation of this award.) The 
honorary degrees committee decided to enlist the help of trustee Paul R. "Bob" Davis, who 
had grown up just around the corner from the Welty home in Jackson, Mississippi, and 
who knew Eudora well. Indeed, as a close friend of her two brothers, Davis had, in his own 
words, "probably spent as many nights in the Welty home as I did in my own." Davis then 
sounded her out and ascertained that Miss Welty, then 82 and severely crippled by arthritis, 
would accept the honor (Cook, "Glorified" 1, 6). Professor Lee Morgan of the English 
department made it official in a follow-up phone call letting Miss Welty know that he, Bob 


Davis, and Davis's daughter Janie would drive over to Jackson to fetch her for the event. 
Davis was fond of saying apropos Morgan's call that Miss Welty called him back and said, 
"Bobby, I like Dr. Morgan. He talks like we do." Morgan, a native Arkansan, said it was the 
highest compliment he ever received about his accent. As the commencement address, Miss 
Welty read her highly acclaimed short story "A Worn Path." 

Sometime between December 13, 1990, when President Webb announced his decision 
to retire, and January 21, 1991, the trustees named a search committee to find his successor. 
There is no record of such a meeting, but it was a fait accompli by the January 2 1 meeting 
of the faculty, when a sheet containing the names of the committee members was distrib- 
uted. The committee, which had already met for the first time on this day, consisted of ten 
regular members, of whom only three were faculty members, and five ex officio members. 
(See Appendix H.) Since AAUP guidelines called for more faculty representation on such 
a committee, the faculty adopted a resolution recommending to the chairman of the board 
of trustees that three faculty members chosen by the faculty be added to the presidential 
search committee (FM). This resolution was presented to the executive committee of the 
board, who declined to accept the recommendation, stating that the various constituencies 
of the College were already adequately represented (TM, Feb. 4, 1991). Like the faculty, the 
SGA felt there should be two student members added to the presidential search committee, 
and they passed a resolution recommending that to the board of trustees ("Student input" 
4, "Involvement" 4). But that recommendation fared no better than the faculty's similar 
request. There is no record of any official response to the SGA proposal. 

The presidential search committee took two principal measures to identify candidates 
for the office: the placing of an advertisement in The Chronicle of Higher Education and the 
engaging of a Washington, D. C, search consultation service (TM, Feb. 4, 1991; Apr. 25, 
1991). In early April, Centenary faculty and staff were invited to meet with representatives 
of the consultation service, and on July 21-23, 24-26, and 28-30, the three finalists of the 
search visited the campus for interviews ( FM, July 10,1991; July 15,1991). On August 7, the 
board named Kenneth L. Schwab the 29 th president of Centenary College (TM). 


Chapter XIV 

The Ongoing Quest for Stability and Excellence: The Schwab Era 1991- 

Ken Schwab grew up on his family's Indiana dairy farm, where he did a lot of manual 
labor, working with animals and baling hay. It was there, he said, that he learned the value 
of teamwork and the necessity of everyone's understanding and fulfilling his or her role 
in order for things to work. At Purdue University, he majored in economics and became 
a campus leader, earning the title of Outstanding Senior. It was the overall experience 
at Purdue, which included visiting other campuses of the Purdue system, acting as stu- 
dent president of Purdue's Centennial Celebration Committee, and serving on Purdue's 
alumni board that attracted Schwab to university administration. Three years after finish- 
ing Purdue, Schwab earned a master's in education at the University of North Carolina at 
Greensboro and in 1978 the doctorate in education at Indiana University. From 1970-86, 
Schwab worked in the administration of Guilford College, a Quaker-affiliated institution 
in Greensboro. There he served as dean of students and assistant to the president for insti- 
tutional planning and community relations. Immediately before coming to Centenary, he 
was at the University of South Carolina, where he was executive assistant to the president 
for institutional planning and later executive vice president for administration. Two of 
the most important issues facing Schwab at Centenary were enriching the financial base 
that President Webb had established and making sure that the quality of their experience 
kept students at the College. Planning, Schwab pointed out, combined with continuing 
dialogue, is a continual process (Trice 1). 

President Schwab sought to implement this philosophy immediately by reactivating the 
board's development and public relations committee with whom he planned to work closely 
on the College's annual fund drive ( TM, Oct. 10, 1991 ). The efforts of this group paid off as 
is evidenced by increases in the number of donors and the amount of contributions, which 
made the drive the most successful in College history (President's Report 1991-92 6). 

A number of other problems confronted the new president, some of which would 
test his fund-raising ability, and others his student-oriented administrative skills, and still 
others involving a more efficient system of college governance. To address this latter issue 


at once, Schwab picked up on a suggestion from the search firm that had helped bring him 
to Centenary. That suggestion was to invite a respected leader in higher education, Dr. Sam 
Spencer, President Emeritus of Davidson College, to critique the Centenary governance 
process and make recommendations as to how it might be improved. Dr. Spencer spent 
September 22-24 on campus meeting with a wide variety of groups and individuals to help 
him in his analysis and assessment of institutional governance at Centenary (FM, Sept. 9, 

Spencer wrote a keen and incisive 20-page report divided into three main sections - 
trustees, faculty, and administration, concluding with seven recommendations. He did not 
include specific comments on the SGA primarily because students are necessarily tran- 
sient members of the campus community, but he acknowledged their strong stake in it and 
asserted that their concerns needed to be taken seriously. He simply thought this could 
"normally be done with the guidance and support of the Student Services staff and the 
Committee on Student Life" {FM, Sept. 9, 1991; Oct. 1, 1991). The appropriate groups at 
the College studied the report and incorporated a number of the recommendations into its 

How to make a Centenary education more affordable by making student loans more 
available had become a serious problem. This, despite the College's being ranked as one of 
the best college values by Money magazine for the second year in a row and one of the best 
buys in college education in Fiskes Guide to Colleges, compiled by Edward Fiske, education 
editor of the New York Times ("Centenary ranks" 4). To address this problem, the board 
approved Centenary's participation in the Louisiana Independent Colleges and Universities 
Alternative Loan Program, which would also assist students and parents in defraying col- 
lege costs (TM, Sept. 3, 1991). 

A quite different type of serious problem faced the Centenary community in the fall of 
1991. This was a crime wave that seemed almost to engulf the campus though a number of 
other areas of the city were hit. These were typically robberies of students on or near cam- 
pus by armed perpetrators carrying a variety of weapons such as sawed-off shotguns and 
semi-automatic pistols. Increased cases of date rape gave rise to campus and community 
workshops, clinics, national organizations, and other forums where students could become 
more informed about crime issues and develop a keener sense of crime awareness ("Crime 
wave engulfs" 1; "Crime Wave: Centenary" 4; Thomason 1; Frentress 3). 

Students writing in the Conglomerate this semester expressed dissatisfaction with the 
College's racial policies by pointing out that very few black students attended Centenary 
and that no black faculty members taught here. To achieve cultural diversity and thus bet- 
ter mirror the larger world, some students felt the College should recruit minority students 
and professors more actively (Thomason 3). 

Fall 1991 marked the advent of a new educational concept at Centenary. Denominated 
the Centenary Plan, it was an academic program designed to enhance "the educational 


experience at the college" by adding three common components to graduation require- 
ments: 1. a community service project wherein each student would choose and complete 
at least one such project from organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Latchkey Kids, and 
the Northwest Louisiana Food Bank; 2. an intercultural experience that allowed students 
to interact with another culture, locally or abroad. Examples might include working on an 
Indian reservation or an inner-city urban renewal project in Chicago; 3. the career explora- 
tion program (self-explanatory), principal ingredient an internship arranged by the stu- 
dent's adviser (Borders 5). 

In July 1991, a signal honor was bestowed on Dr. Earle Labor, Wilson Professor of 
American Literature. The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) named him 
Louisiana Humanist of the Year. An internationally recognized jack London scholar, Labor 
was also known for his dynamic classroom teaching, which had inspired many students 
to enter the field of college English teaching; for his publication of widely used textbooks; 
and for his heavy professional involvement, primarily with the College English Association 
(Gomillion 3). 

The College announced in early October 1991 a gift of $1.2 million to fund its 14 th 
endowed chair, this one in philosophy. The gift came from Dr. Charles T. Beaird, adjunct 
professor of philosophy at Centenary, businessman, and publisher of the Shreveport Journal 
This chair, to bear the donor's name, was only the latest in a long list of generous bequests 
by Dr. Beaird to his alma mater (Gomillion, "Faculty" 3). 

The College closed its fall 1991 guest speaker season when on November 11 its 34 th 
Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow began his week-long stay on campus. He was Frank C. 
Breese III - nickname "Kim" - vice president and chief administrative officer of Dow Jones 
and Company, owner and publisher of the Wall Street Journal, Barron's, and 23 other daily 
newspapers. Breese was, in a very real sense, "coming home": he grew up in Monroe, gradu- 
ated from Louisiana Tech, and took a law degree at LSU. He joined Dow Jones in 1970 in 
Princeton as an attorney specializing in labor relations, and six years later, at age 32, he was 
named national production manager with responsibility for all Wall Street Journal printing 
plants and for satellite operations and construction. At Centenary, in addition to meetings 
in economics and business courses and with graduate students, he lectured in classes in 
philosophy (ethics), communications, pre-law, engineering, and religion. His convocation 
address was entitled "How the Liberal Arts Enrich Business and Other Careers" (Most 3; 
Bowen and Powell 23 A). Breese's credentials and experiences were a strong validation of 
both the utilitarian and intellectual values of liberal learning and a Centenary education in 

Another highlight of the fall 1991 semester was the celebration of the Choir's 50 th anni- 
versary and the establishment of the A. C. "Cheesy" Voran Choir Scholarship Fund. Voran, 
who founded the choir, participated in the Rhapsody in View concert in the Civic Theater 
on November 2-3, along with 425 Choir alumni ("Choir" 12). Two months later, the famed 


choral group sang at quite a different venue: the inauguration in Baton Rouge of Louisiana 
Governor Edwin Edwards. The performance was at St. Joseph's Cathedral as part of an 
interfaith worship service for new leaders of the state (Fentress 1). 

The campus was surprised in January 1992 when Dr. Dorothy Gwin announced that 
she would resign as dean of the College after 13 years in that post. Appointed in 1979, she 
was the first female to hold that office ("Dean Dorothy" 1; Triche 1). She returned to teach 
in the department of education, where she had been a full professor. 

The issues of race, integration, and diversity as they affect Centenary practice and pol- 
icy were raised in the Conglomerate throughout this semester. Some students and at least 
one faculty member objected in editorials, letters to the editor, and articles to such events 
and practices as the College's sponsorship of the Homecoming Dance at the Shreveport 
Country Club, which had no black members ("Policy" 4, Neff 4); refusing to seek a more 
racially and ethnically diversified faculty and student body to achieve the aims of liberal 
education; and ignoring the sensitivities of black students by celebrating Old South Day 

Among the most significant changes at the College in modern times was the initial 
computerization of the library. Because of the tremendous expense involved and the need 
to be judicious in choosing rapidly changing software systems, Centenary did not rush into 
this new technology. But it is certainly safe to say that it revolutionized research, scholar- 
ship, and instruction on campus for students, faculty, and staff. James Marcum, director of 
library services at this time, played a key role in the process of change. Marcum, a Chapel 
Hill Ph.D. in Russian as well as a professional librarian, was well suited to help achieve quick 
and efficient operation of the new system. 

The last two months of the spring semester of 1992 were busy and important ones at 
Centenary. Kenneth Schwab was formally inaugurated as the 29 th president of the College 
on April 9. Dr. William Rogers, president of Guilford College, delivered the main address 
(Borders, "Schwab" 1). A number of faces were red at the College because every bit of 
publicity about Dr. Schwab had stated that he was the 34 th president of the College, when it 
was discovered that designation resulted from the College's having incorrectly included six 
pro tern presidents, one of whom, Henry Gird, was an actual president. Schwab was in fact 
the 29 th president. (On the bronze plaque in the lobby of Hamilton Hall which contains the 
names of the Centenary presidents, Henry Gird is still incorrectly listed as a president pro 
tern. He was in fact the second president of the College (See pp. 9-11). 

Less than a week later, the distinguished Louisiana African-American writer Ernest 
Gaines was on campus to receive the second Corrington Award for Literary Excellence. 
Gaines was among the fifth generation of his family to have lived on the River Lake 
Plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Born in 1933 in old slave quarters on the 
plantation, Gaines grew up impoverished, the eldest of 12 children. At age 15, he moved to 
California, where he joined his mother and step-father and enrolled in San Francisco State 


University. After graduation, he won a writing fellowship to Stanford. Currently writer-in- 
residence at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, he has for many years divided his time 
between there and San Francisco. Two of his best-known works, The Autobiography of Miss 
Jane Pittman and A Gathering of Old Men, have been adapted for television. (All freshmen 
at Centenary this year read A Gathering of Old Men.) 

Gaines's and Corrington's literary paths had crossed some years earlier when Corrington 
and colleague Miller Williams, the distinguished American poet, had edited for the LSU 
Press a collection of fiction called Southern Writing in the Sixties. This reprinted an earlier 
Gaines story entitled "Just Like a Tree," which had first appeared in The Sewanee Review, 
then edited by Andrew Lytle. In his Centenary remarks, Gaines paid tribute to Corrington 
and Williams for their encouragement of young but promising unknowns. Corrington's 
mother was present to see Gaines receive his award ("Gaines" 9). 

The semester closed on a high note at Commencement on May 2, 1992, when Ernest 
Boyer, president of the Carnegie Foundation and former U. S. Commissioner of Education, 
gave the main address ("Ernest" 10). Schwab's first year as president had been marked by 
significant achievements. The College had raised over $4 million, a 19% increase over the 
last year's total, including the largest amount ever in an annual campaign in the history of 
the College ( TM, Oct. 15, 1992). Schwab would match and exceed that record a number of 
times in the years to come. 

Centenary students and faculty returned to the campus in September to find a new 
academic dean to lead the College. He was Robert Bareikis, a Harvard Ph.D. in German 
Language and Literature with impressive administrative credentials from California State 
University at Long Beach, Mount Vernon College, and Indiana University. In addition to 
the computerization of the campus, Dean Bareikis's immediate goals included fleshing out 
and formalizing ideas originating with students in a class of Dr. Barrie Richardson's that 
developed into the Centenary Plan, the main points of which were voted in by the faculty 
in 1991 (Wilson, B., "Changes" 1) . 

One of the first Centenary professors in humanities to take advantage of campus com- 
puterization to enhance his classroom teaching was classicist Stephen Clark. Clark, a Yale 
B.A. and an Iowa Ph.D., had been for a number of years following the progress of a University 
of California at Irvine project called Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG). Its goal, completed 
in 1988, was to compile all the Greek literature from Homer through the Byzantine period 
onto one CD, which Clark acquired a copy of to make easier his own research and the stud- 
ies of his students. Though the CD was in Greek, Harvard came out with a CD of its own 
called Perseus that carried the English translations plus over 2,000 visual images, including 
color photographs of major artwork and ruins as well as maps - all this plus a small Greek/ 
English lexicon. This software increased teaching possibilities exponentially, and Clark and 
English professor David Havird soon began team-teaching a course entitled The Classical 
Heritage (Blodgett3). 


Across the campus in Mickle Hall of Science, physics professor Juan Rodriguez '80 was 
making use of computer equipment acquired from a grant a year or two earlier to secure an 
$82,000 award from the National Science Foundation to study optical heating (Wilson, B., 
"Professor" 3). To go with the specialized software to be used in Rodriguez's project were 
computers for every station in the physics lab. 

From 1992 to 1997, the incorporation of computers into the library, classroom, and 
laboratory was fairly rudimentary. From 1997 on, however, the computerization of both 
the instructional and the staff programs has been steady and in many cases dramatic and is 
continuing. Curricular offerings as varied as The Golden Age of Latin Prose to Intermediate 
Economic Theory to Cyberculture to Psychopharmacology utilize to the fullest the latest 
technological advances. The Frost School of Business has also capitalized on the degree and 
sophistication of computer use on campus, having a system that would compare favorably 
with those of the leading business schools in the country, an achievement rarely found in 
small liberal arts colleges. The functions of the College's business office are computerized 
as are those of facilities services (physical plant), cafeteria, and department of public safety 
(security). Much of the funding for the computerization of the College has come from 
government and foundation grants, but perhaps the greatest individual contributions came 
from the late Dr. Charles Beaird '66, former trustee and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy. 
Beaird, an outstanding philanthropist, made numerous timely and generous gifts to his 
alma mater in this area. 

This winter the College received a $277,000 bequest from Mrs. Hannah Seymour Lehde 
of New Orleans to be used for training future ministers in public speaking and to endow a 
lectureship on the subject in memory of her mother, Hannah Seymour Graham. Students 
planning to go to seminary would be required to take a course in oratory and would be 
awarded scholarship aid for doing so. 

Centenary's athletics program came in for its share of attention this fall. To remain 
in good standing with the NCAA, the College had to add a seventh women's varsity sport. 
It chose soccer. Since the team totaled only 15 players and 11 had to be on the field, the 
women had to stay healthy and hopefully uninjured (Vreschzgin 7)! 

Another outstanding American journalist spent the week of November 9-13, 1992, on cam- 
pus as Centenary's 35 th Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. Henry ("Hank") Trewhitt, a native 
Tennessean, took a bachelor's degree at the University of New Mexico, then studied at Harvard 
on a Nieman Fellowship. Currently teaching journalism at his alma mater, Mr. Trewhitt had a 
brilliant 40-year career as a reporter and news analyst. His talent was so pronounced that the 
Baltimore Sun in 1961 sent him to the Bonn bureau, where he covered NATO, the European 
Economic Community, and the Berlin crises of that period. He also worked at different times 
for Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, and National Public Radio's "Washington Week in 
Review." At this time, Trewhitt had interviewed every U.S. president from Truman on and was the 
only correspondent to have been on two presidential debate panels. 


Dr. Jeff Hendricks of the English Department spent this school year as a Fulbright 
Lecturer at the University of Aarhus ("Jeff" 9), thus becoming the third Centenary profes- 
sor to win such a prestigious award. Dr. Virginia Carlton in mathematics had Fulbrights to 
both Ghana and Liberia, and Dr. Earle Labor, also in English, preceded Hendricks at Aarhus 
on a Fulbright award. 

In late 1992, Earle Labor and Lee Morgan, together with former Centenary professors 
Wilfred Guerin and John Willingham and Centenary alumna Jeanne Campbell Reesman 
brought out the third edition of A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature, first writ- 
ten in 1966. The textbook, which has been adopted in colleges and universities throughout 
the world, has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish 
("Oxford" 4). The first two editions were published by Harper and Row, the third by Oxford 
University Press. It was a wise decision by the four original authors to bring in for this edi- 
tion a very accomplished young scholar. Jeanne Reesman had graduated from Centenary in 
1977, then taken an M.A. at Baylor and a Ph.D. at Penn. An American literature specialist, 
she was also interested in and highly knowledgeable about modern critical theory and the 
latest developments in that field. (Dr. Reesman is at the zenith of a brilliant career at the 
University of Texas at San Antonio. Her scholarship and professional leadership have led 
to her being chosen as a co-editor of the Norton Anthology of American Literature, long the 
foremost such collection in that field.) 

Centenary had a special bonus from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation in January of 
1993. Lis Harris, veteran staff writer for The New Yorker and currently professor of journal- 
ism at Columbia University, came to the campus as a Lila Wallace- Reader's Digest Writing 
Fellow. Centenary was one of 15 institutions in the United States to be selected for this 
grant. A graduate of Bennington College, Ms. Harris was to come for two stints, January 
12-24 and March 29- April 10. She would teach a regular, formal, intensive course in cre- 
ative writing; participate in composition and literature classes to discuss her own work; and 
meet with Sigma Tau Delta, the College writing society ("First-" 5). 

Three other important figures came to the campus this semester: one in political sci- 
ence, one in literature, and one in medicine. The political scientist, Dr. Brian Feeney, spent a 
week on campus as a German Marshall Fund Fellow, discussing political issues in Northern 
Ireland and the development of democracy in central and eastern Europe. Feeney was 
Principal Lecturer in History at Queens College, Belfast ("Brian" 4). 

The writer was James Dickey, poet-in-residence at the University of South Carolina, 
and one of America's most renowned poets and novelists. He came to Centenary in early 
April to receive the Corrington Award for Literary Excellence, the third writer to be so 
honored. Dickey, then 70, had taught at and been writer-in-residence at a number of col- 
leges and universities including Rice, Reed, and Wisconsin. He had also served as poetry 
consultant to the Library of Congress and had read his poem "The Strength of Fields" at 
the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter in 1977. Dickey is probably most famous for 


his 1970 novel Deliverance, which was made into a movie in 1972, starring Burt Reynolds, 
Jon Voight, and Ned Beatty. Dickey himself wrote the screenplay (Mazziotti 9). His visit 
to Centenary was additionally a reunion for Dickey with English professor David Havird, 
whose teacher he had been at the University of South Carolina. 

The other celebrity was the distinguished heart surgeon and medical researcher 
Michael DeBakey, chairman of the department of surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine 
in Houston, Texas. A native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, DeBakey took his M.D. degree at 
Tulane, after which he took his residency at the University of Heidelberg in 1936. During 
World War II, he was assigned to the Office of the Surgeon General, where he became chief 
of the general surgery branch of that division. (It was Dr. DeBakey who proposed a series 
of Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals or M.A.S.H. units that proved highly successful dur- 
ing the Korean Conflict and became the subject of the popular and long-running televi- 
sion show of that name.) DeBakey first visited Centenary in 1979, when he spoke at the 
President's Convocation and received at that time the honorary degree of Doctor of Science 
("Excellence" 3). He was now invited back in 1993 to deliver the Commencement Address 
and receive a second Centenary honor, the Doctor of Humane Letters degree ( Jarecki 3). 

Technology continued to enhance classroom instruction at Centenary. By the early 
1990s, even such a bastion of pedagogic traditionalism as the English department had 
established a writing lab with 20 computer stations and was teaching freshman composi- 
tion using the interactive software program Daedalus. In the late 1980s, the foreign lan- 
guage department had acquired a satellite which allowed students to see foreign television 
programs and movies and to listen to foreign music stations (Knox 1). 

The summer of 1993 was an eventful one for several Centenary folk. President Schwab 
was one of 28 American and Canadian educators chosen as delegates to the European 
Community's Visitors Programme. The group would study educational issues arising from 
the globalization of the economy ("Dr. Kenneth" 1). Chemistry professor Rosemary Seidler 
was honored as an Advisor by the National Recognition Program for Academic Advising, 
sponsored by American College Testing and the National Academic Advising Association. 
Both for the number of her advisees and the quality and results of her advising, Dr. Seidler 
had long enjoyed a high reputation on campus. She had, moreover, popularized a course 
entitled Chemistry, Science, and Man, designed by former chemistry chairman Dr. Wayne 
Hanson '51 for the non-science major and focusing on science, especially chemistry, and 
"other enterprises of the human spirit - education, society, government, philosophy, and 
technology" along with related problems of these areas ("Rosemary" 3). It has remained 
a popular offering throughout the years. Understandably, it is now called Chemistry and 

The versatility in the interests of Centenary faculty was illustrated by sociology profes- 
sor Charles Edward Vetter in his book on General William Tecumseh Sherman, entitled 
Sherman: Merchant of Terror, Advocate of Peace. Vetter had written a history master's thesis 


and had long been a Civil War buff. A speech to the North Louisiana Civil War Roundtable 
revived his interest in Sherman and led to his turning his thesis into a book in 1992. In 
the summer of 1993, Daniel Pearl, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, wrote an article 
about the revisionist portrait of Sherman that had been emerging in the South in recent 
years, and he quoted Vetter as an example of the phenomenon (Pearl 1,5). (Pearl, it will be 
remembered, was the journalist beheaded on February 22, 2002, by Al Qaeda terrorists in 
Karachi, Pakistan.) 

Among the top student achievers in the second semester of the 1992-93 school year was 
senior biology major Fred Divers, who received one of the nation's most prestigious under- 
graduate awards in mathematics, engineering, and natural sciences. This was a Barry M. 
Goldwater Scholarship, established by Congress in 1986. Divers was the second Centenary 
student to win the award, the first being Allen Skees, a physics major who won in 1991 
("Fred" 5). 

The College acted this spring to honor the memory of one of Centenary's most gener- 
ous and faithful alumni. President Schwab announced the establishment of the Paul Marvin 
Brown, Jr., Society, membership in which would be open to persons who had remembered 
the College in their estate planning. Such planning could include naming Centenary in 
their wills, establishing a trust fund for the College, or naming the College as the beneficiary 
of an insurance policy. Charter membership was open through January 1994 ("Charter" 6). 
(As of May 2008, there were 123 members.) 

Thanks to a $250,000 grant from the Frost Foundation, Centenary College accelerated 
its progress on the "information highway" at well-nigh dizzying speed. It modernized and 
expanded its computer capacity for student access in classrooms, laboratories, the library, 
and the business office. Two new labs - in Mickle Hall and Magale Library - have some 
of the finest state-of-the-art equipment in the world, plus scores of software programs all 
linked to the internet. This equipment links Centenary users to every college and university 
in the world ("New" 3). 

February 1994 was Black History Month at Centenary, and it was marked by numerous 
articles in the Conglomerate, most of them highly critical of race relations on campus - in 
the curriculum; the profile of faculty, students, trustees, and staff; socializing; and organiza- 
tions (Johnson, T., "Student Challenges" 3). From the commentators' points of view, there 
were too few courses dealing with blacks or black issues and too few blacks in all phases of 
the College's operations except in menial positions (Johnson, T., "Student demands" 3). 
And, women students saw the Centenary mascot, the Gent, as not only the embodiment of 
Old South values and attitudes but also as the epitome of institutionalized sexism (Blodgett, 
"Student" 3 ) . In point of fact, Black History Month at Centenary was replete with a number 
of high-profile events. The first of these was an address by the Reverend Clarence Glover, 
Director of Multicultural Education at SMU during a February 4-5 visit to the campus. 
Glover, an African-American himself and a native of Shreveport, focused on the struggle 


for justice not only for African-Americans but for Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans, 
women, and homosexuals in this country (Blodgett, "Glover" 6). A month later, under the 
auspices of the forums committee, one of the most popular, respected, and controversial 
intellectuals in the country spoke to a packed audience in Meadows Museum. He was 
Dr. Cornel West, then Professor of Religion and Director of African American Studies at 
Princeton. West is an African-American, who took his bachelor's degree at Harvard and his 
master's and doctorate at Princeton. Parts of his resume are very Establishment: he taught 
at Harvard, Yale Divinity School, Union Theological Seminary in New York, Haverford, and 
the University of Paris. But he claimed as important influences in his thinking the Baptist 
Church, the Black Panthers, a biography of Theodore Roosevelt, black theology, and black 
rage (Knox, "Cornel" 5;; www.dart- (West later held a distinguished university 
chair at Harvard but got into an argument with Harvard President Lawrence Summers, 
who thought West's work was not sufficiently academic, and insisted that West meet with 
him regularly to keep him apprised of his scholarly production. Angry, West resigned and 
returned to Princeton, where he has remained.) 

On February 24, Centenary Students for Cultural Diversity held their annual program 
in the Hargrove Amphitheatre. Entitled "An Evening of Poetry and Jazz," it commemorated 
the history of African Americans with readings of the poetry of Maya Angelou, Langston 
Hughes, and Naomi Long Madgett and a presentation of jazz pieces by Centenary student 
John Mahoney. A special feature of the evening was the appearance of Nancy Neuman, 
the College's 36 th Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. Mrs. Neuman was a distinguished lec- 
turer, political commentator and activist, and former President and CEO of the League of 
Women Voters of the United States. On this occasion, she spoke of her experiences as an 
election observer under the auspices of the United States Information Agency in South 
Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, and Kenya. On these African assignments, she also met 
with many women to discuss their lives and politics (Blodgett, "Students celebrate" 3). 

Two Arkansans, a poet and a leader in business and government rounded out the array 
of visiting speakers at Centenary during spring 1994. The poet was Miller Williams, direc- 
tor of the University of Arkansas Press and University Professor of English and Foreign 
Languages at the University of Arkansas. Williams was on campus to receive the fourth 
annual Corrington Award for Literary Excellence and to read from his poetry. A much 
respected and much honored poet, he would read his poem "Of History and Hope" at 
President Clinton's 1997 Inauguration. Williams had been a colleague of Corrington in 
the English department at both Loyola University in New Orleans and LSU, and they had 
collaborated as editors of literature anthologies ("Corrington" 9). The business and gov- 
ernment leader was Mack McLarty, White House Chief of Staff in President Clinton's first 
administration, former Chairman and CEO of Arkla Inc., and former president of Arkansas 
Louisiana Gas Company. McLarty was a lifelong friend of Clinton, whom he met in 


kindergarten in Hope, Arkansas. McLarty gave the Commencement Address on May 7 and 
received the honorary degree Doctor of Laws ("White" 1). 

In June 1994, Mrs. Alberta Broyles continued the philanthropy of her family to 
Centenary by giving the College $600,000 for the family's third Eminent Scholars Chair, this 
one in memory of her late husband Harvey Broyles, former trustee and longtime benefactor 
of the College. Additionally, she gave $250,000 for a Harvey and Alberta Broyles Centenary 
Choir Endowment Fund. Two Centenary professors were installed in Broyles Chairs at the 
President's Convocation on August 30, 1994. Thomas Ticich of the chemistry department, 
Ph. D. Wisconsin, became the Mattie Allen Broyles Inaugural- Year Research Professor. That 
chair honors the late Mr. Broyles's mother. Dr. Alton Hancock of the history department 
became the Arthur and Emily Webb Professor of International Studies. That chair hon- 
ors the parents of President Emeritus Donald Webb. At the same ceremony, Mr. Delton 
Harrison, Shreveport business, civic, and cultural leader, was named an Honorary Alumnus 
for his local and national service to the arts and to philanthropy ("Centenary Installs" 3). 

The College learned in late January 1994 that the State had awarded geology depart- 
ment professor Scott Vetter, Ph. D. South Carolina, a $127,000 grant to implement his Earth 
Science Teacher Enhancement Program. Governor Edwin Edwards announced that the 
grant was a part of the Louisiana Systemic Initiatives Program (LaSIP). Vetter was to direct 
the in-service six- week summer institute for K-12 teachers assisted by education professor 
John Turner ("Dr. Vetter" 5). Dr. Vetter 's work with the LaSIP programs has continued to 
this day and expanded to include math. 

The establishment of a new endowed professorship in chemistry, the John B. and 
Minnie Sue Entrikin Professorship, was announced in the fall of 1994. Family and friends 
of the honorees contributed $60,000 to the funding while the state contributed $40,000, 
thus making the total endowment $100,000 ("Entrikin" 13). This is on the analogy of the 
state's Eminent Scholars Chairs program. The perennially strong chemistry department at 
Centenary may be said to have begun with Entrikin's appointment to the faculty in 1929. 

The week of October 31 -November 4, 1994, found Centenary welcoming Dr. Bernd- 
Georg Spies as a German Marshall Fund Fellow. Dr. Spies, a much-published economist, 
was a managing director of a large German holding company. At Centenary, he spoke in 
business, German, philosophy, economics, and education classes as well as at a general col- 
lege convocation and downtown business gatherings (Maker 5). 

As 1994 ended, the College was the recipient of a number of handsome bequests. The 
Rudy and Jeannie Linco Eminent Scholars Chair in Business Administration and the Allen 
Harvey Broyles Eminent Scholars Chair in Computer Science and Mathematics were estab- 
lished by the estates of the donors; both were fully funded in early 1995. The A.P. and 
Mary C. White estate gave $600,000 to establish an endowed music scholarship ( TM Dec. 8, 
1994). (In his February 17, 1995, report to the trustees, President Schwab announced that 
the total value of the scholarship was $828,000). 


The spring 1995 semester got off to a good start at Centenary with a much needed new 
foreign language lab, which contained a number of state-of-the-art technical improvements 
(Maher, "Centenary" 1 ). Also, the firmly established tradition of hosting outstanding speak- 
ers in literature and the arts continued, the first being Lee Smith, author and writer-in-res- 
idence at North Carolina State University. Ms. Smith was appearing on February 8 under 
the auspices of the forums committee to receive the Corrington Award. She read selections 
from several of her highly popular novels and short stories such as Fair and Tender Ladies, 
Cakewalk, Family Linen, and Me and My Baby View the Eclipse (Brown, A., "Lee" 1). On 
March 21, world-renowned science fiction writer Ray Bradbury was on campus as a part of 
the College's Project Space exhibition featuring the space paintings of Robert McCall. Both 
the speaker and the artist were sponsored by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities 
and the forums committee. Bradbury's most famous books are The Martian Chronicles and 
Fahrenheit 451. His talk at Centenary was entitled "One Thousand and One Ways to Solve 
the Future" (Brown, A., "Bradbury" 1). 

One of the most important advertising executives in the world was the next Woodrow 
Wilson Visiting Fellow to spend a week on campus. He was Joseph P. Mack, recently retired 
chairman and CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi, British-based and at that time the largest adver- 
tising agency in the world. A graduate of the University of Rochester, Mack had begun 
his advertising career as a management trainee and had come up the ranks having senior 
account responsibilities with Proctor and Gamble, Sara Lee, Wendy's, Nabisco, and General 
Mills ("Forums" 3). It will enhance Mr. Mack's liberal arts background to mention that 
before joining Saatchi and Saatchi, he was for four years an officer in the navy and for a time 
taught English and American literature at the U.S. Naval Academy! 

Two prominent members from the world of politics and government spoke at the 
College during April. John Dalton, Secretary of the Navy in the Clinton Administration, 
was a native Shreveporter, who graduated from Byrd High School and later from the U.S. 
Naval Academy. Brought to Centenary by the forums committee and Shreveport-Bossier 
Community Renewal, Dalton was deeply committed to community renewal, subsequently 
chaired a fund drive for the National Center for Community Renewal, and along with his 
wife Margaret Ogilvie Dalton, also a Shreveporter, served on the NCCR's Advisory Board 
(Brown, A., "Secretary" 1; "National"). 

Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisc.) came to the College to help celebrate Earth Day - 
the official date is April 22 - which he had conceived the idea for. Senator Nelson discussed 
a number of environmental issues, including the population explosion, birth control, and 
the sustainability of the planet; the encroachment on the wilderness; and the economic 
interrelatedness of all these problems (Blodgett, "'Father'" 5). 

Commencement 1995 was singularly notable. George D. Nelson, Sr., retired as chair- 
man of Centenary's board of trustees after 35 years in that post and a total of 48 years on 
that body. Prominent in business, civic, and religious circles in the community, Nelson pre- 


sided over the affairs of the College during a period of challenges, problems, and achieve- 
ments. His personality and character stood him in good stead. Whether it was criticism for 
Centenary's liberal stand on a variety of hot-button issues or the grave financial problems 
that regularly beset the College, Nelson's calm and rational approach to solutions defined 
his leadership. During his tenure, the endowment grew from $7 million to over $45 mil- 
lion. He remained on the board and was given the title of chairman emeritus. Nelson was 
succeeded as board chairman by Roy S. Hurley, Shreveport business and civic leader. Also 
retiring was J. Hugh Watson, longtime vice chairman of the board and chairman of its 
executive committee. Watson had been president and chief executive of Shreveport's First 
National Bank and thus possessed strong financial attributes for the business interests of 
the College ("George" 1). 

Former U.S. Representative Lindy Boggs (D-La.) delivered this year's Commencement 
Address and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for her outstanding public ser- 
vice. She was the first woman from Louisiana to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. 
Mrs. Boggs, who served nine terms in Congress, was the widow of Congressional House 
Majority Leader Hale Boggs (D-La.), whom she succeeded in the House after the plane car- 
rying him over Alaska disappeared in 1972 ("Lindy" 3). 

Orientation in the fall 1995 semester featured something new and special. Thanks to 
a grant from the Women's Endowment Quorum, every freshman received a copy of Reed 
Massengill's Portrait of a Racist, a book chosen by the orientation committee. The work 
chronicled the life and motivations of Byron De La Beckwith, the convicted murderer of 
civil rights leader Medgar Evers. Massengill delivered the main address at the President's 
Convocation and spent a week on campus talking to classes about racism as well as about 
journalism and the research and photography connected with it (Blodgett, "Portrait" 1 ). 

Centenary took on a decidedly international flavor also this semester as students 
from the following 13 foreign countries enrolled: Singapore, Brazil, Israel, Uruguay, the 
People's Republic of China, the Netherlands, Korea, Russia, the former Yugoslavia, Canada, 
Denmark, France, and Mexico (Shafer 5). 

Two distinctions came Centenary's way this fall. First, Petersons Guides named the 
College as one of the nation's top 200 schools with outstanding science and mathemat- 
ics programs. The selection was made from among 1,500 colleges and universities. The 
analysis was based on the number and percentage of bachelor's degree holders who earned 
doctorates in each of the basic sciences and mathematics from 1988-92; undergraduates 
who earned bachelor's degrees in each of the basic sciences and mathematics during the 
same years; and bachelor's degree holders who were awarded National Science Foundation 
Fellowships in the sciences and mathematics from 1990-94 ("College Chosen" 2). Second, 
the College was chosen to participate in The Pew Charitable Trusts Higher Education Round 
Table at the University of Pennsylvania. President Schwab led a group of 30 administrators, 
trustees, faculty, and students to the two-day program ("College Chosen" 2). 


During the week of October 30-November 3, Centenary's 37 th Woodrow Wilson Visiting 
Fellow, Sara Fritz, met with classes and individuals and gave public lectures and a convoca- 
tion address. Ms. Fritz, a veteran journalist, was the investigations editor for the Los Angeles 
Times and had also served as their national correspondent, Washington reporter, and senior 
Congressional reporter. One of her principal interests was corruption in government and 
its pernicious influence in society at large. Ms. Fritz had covered every Democratic and 
Republican presidential conventions since 1972 as well as such major stories as Watergate, 
the Iran-Contra affair, the Keating Five scandal, the ouster of House Speaker Jim Wright 
(D-Tex.), and the Whitewater investigation. She had also appeared on such television pro- 
grams as Meet the Press, Face the Nation, and Washington Week in Review ("Sara" 7). 

In January 1996, President Schwab announced a gift of $600,000 from Edwin Whited 
'43 to establish an Eminent Scholars Chair in Neurobiology to honor his late wife Mary 
Amelia Douglas-Whited, who, like her husband, made a career of philanthropy. With a 
$400,000 matching grant from the State, Centenary now had yet another million-dollar 
chair. Mrs. Whited's academic training was in physics (B.S. Hollins College) and psychol- 
ogy (M.A. Goddard College), a fact that makes the designation of the chair in neurobiology 
particularly appropriate ("New Eminent" 1; "Eminent" 1, 2). 

The issue among students that evoked a substantial amount of discussion was whether 
to change the College mascot/athletic team name from Gentleman/Gentlemen to some- 
thing else. Those who favored keeping the Gent cited tradition and distinctiveness, which 
often drew considerable media attention. The idea of Gentlemen originated with President 
Sexton, who wanted the mascot to be more suggestive of character than roughnecks, a term 
frequently applied to Centenary's gridiron gladiators of the early 1920s. But other students, 
principally feminists, decried the overt male chauvinist bias of the Gent and the illogicality 
of a male mascot for women's athletic teams. Some critics saw racial overtones in such a 
mascot with its apparent evocations of the Old South (Braden 4; Blodgett, "Anachronistic" 
4). Some 65% of Centenary students, however, voted to retain the Gent as the College mas- 
cot when the question was put on the ballot in mid- April (Blodgett, "Mascot" 4). Feminist 
and other arguments bowed to the traditionalists, who obviously felt no compulsion to 
espouse the politically correct position here. 

Centenary had, however, long ago taken steps toward equal rights for women. Indeed, 
the College in March 1996 celebrated the 100 th year of women at Centenary with a series of 
receptions and "career conversations" featuring successful women alumnae. 

Other issues related to the marking of a century of women students at the College 
included a revival of the demand by most residential students for coeducational dormito- 
ries. The SGA approved a proposal to be sent to President Schwab thence to the trustees 
which would give the option of living in a coed dorm to juniors or seniors with a gpa of 3.0 
or higher and no past record of misconduct (Blodgett, "Co-Ed" 1). 

Feminists had the last word this semester when forums brought to campus as a speaker 


Mary Daly, "the world's foremost radical feminist philosopher." It was a title many thought 
was richly earned. "Theologian" might have been added to it, for Ms. Daly had a total of 
three earned doctorates in sacred theology, philosophy, and religion - two of them from 
the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, the other from St. Mary's College at Notre Dame 
in South Bend, Indiana. For 32 years, she taught theology and feminist ethics at Boston 
College, a Jesuit institution. She published a number of feminist books, among them The 
Church and the Second Sex, Beyond God the Father, and Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of 
Radical Feminism. Centenary students were somewhat familiar with Ms. Daly, having read 
her essay "The Qualitative Leap Beyond Patriarchal Religion" in their freshman English 
reader. She claims that not only men have oppressed women throughout history but so has 
the church with its inherently sexist myths and symbols. At Boston College, Daly refused to 
admit male students to some of her classes because, she said, they would inhibit class dis- 
cussion. (At Centenary, she allowed male students into class but wouldn't let them speak.) 
The Boston College administration consistently reprimanded her and finally removed her 
tenure for violating Title IX of federal law ("About Mary Daly" 
edary/dalyinfo.html; Nunn, "Mary" 1). 

Daly's appearance at Centenary may have been provocative, even offensive, to some 
people, but it was eloquent testimony to the College's commitment to free speech and intel- 
lectual combat. 

At Founders' Day on March 2 1 , the College inaugurated the Charles T. Beaird Chair of 
Philosophy and installed Dr. Kenneth Aizawa as the first holder of it. Aizawa had been edu- 
cated at the University of Chicago (A.B.) and the University of Pittsburg (M.A., Ph.D.). On 
the same program, two other professors were installed in already existing chairs: Professor 
Ernest Blakeney (Ph.D., University of Texas) became the second incumbent of the Velma 
Grayson Davis Chair of Chemistry; and Professor Scott Vetter was named to the William C. 
Woolf Chair of Geology ("Founders" 1). 

This year's Corrington Award was presented on March 19 to Paul Auster - novelist, 
poet, screenwriter, and translator. Once the English department and the forums com- 
mittee decided to "expand the focus" of the award beyond Southern authors, Auster's 
name was among the first mentioned. He was also at age 49 the youngest person to be so 
honored. This spring semester freshman English students read Auster's first novel, City of 
Glass (Nunn 1). 

The fall semester of 1996 got off to an exciting start on August 26, at the President's 
Convocation, where Dr. Michael Guillen, Harvard professor and science editor for ABC 
News, spoke on the subject of "Change," the year's theme for the College. Educated at 
UCLA (B.S.) and Cornell (M.S., Ph.D. in physics, mathematics, and astronomy), Guillen 
is the author of Five Equations That Changed the World. Every new student at Centenary 
received a copy of the book, which was discussed in classes and during orientation activi- 
ties. Guillen, who traveled literally all over the world, appeared regularly on ABC's "Good 


Morning America" and "Nightline" ("ABC" 1). 

A signal honor came to President Schwab early in the school year when he was elected to 
the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. 
The organization represents the member institutions on public policy issues with the vari- 
ous branches of the federal government ("President Schwab" 4). 

The College's first female chaplain was appointed in fall 1996. She was the Reverend 
Jayne Trammell- Kelly '78. She succeeded Dr. Robert Ed Taylor, also T. L. James Professor of 
Religion, who had retired in the spring after serving as chaplain for 35 years. The Reverend 
Ms. Trammell- Kelly, whose Master of Divinity degree was from SMU, was also named 
director of the School of Church Careers ("Robert" 11; Larson 4). 

Presidential politics came to Centenary when Republican vice presidential candidate Jack 
Kemp visited the campus on September 24 and spoke to a large crowd in the Gold Dome. 
Coincidentally, Vice President Al Gore spoke a few hours later to an ecstatic crowd of cheering 
Democrats at Shreveport's Regional Airport. As Air Force II rolled onto the tarmac, hundreds 
of supporters including Centenary students and faculty waved "Clinton-Gore 1996" posters 
while the PA. system blared forth with the "Macarena," the song - and the dance - that became 
associated with Gore during the campaign. Gore was accompanied by U.S. Senate candidate 
Mary Landrieu, whom Gore praised and endorsed. The rally ended some two hours later 
with Gore walking around the perimeter of the crowd shaking hands (Shafer, "Gore" 3). 

Internationalism was decidedly in the air at Centenary when 40 Danish high school 
English teachers arrived on campus on October 5 to be hosted by the College for two 
weeks. During that time, they would hear lectures by Centenary professors about all things 
Southern - writers, themes in literature, history, politics, and culture. Among the highlights 
of their visit was a reading by poet and novelist George Garrett, Hoyns Professor of Creative 
Writing at the University of Virginia. Appearing under the auspices of the College's convo- 
cations committee, Garrett had received many honors and awards for his work, including 
the T. S. Eliot Award for Creative Writing and the PEN Bernard Malamud Award for Short 
Fiction. His best known work is Death of the Fox, a Book-of-the-Month Club main selec- 
tion (Shafer, "Cultural" 2; Shafer, "Author" 1). 

Coincidentally maintaining Centenary's "Danish Connection" was German Marshall 
Fund Fellow Allan Silberbrandt, Head of the Current Affairs for the Danish Broadcasting 
Corporation, where he specialized in U.S.-European Relations, defense, and the media 
(Procell 3, 8). Silberbrandt spent a week on campus lecturing to and interacting with stu- 
dents and faculty. 

Spirits were high on campus this fall when the Howard Hughes Foundation awarded 
Centenary a four-year $600,000 grant for medical education and research. Only a few such 
awards are made annually - applicants must be invited to compete - and the competition is 
keen. The Foundation is named for the eccentric Texas billionaire whose fortune was made 
primarily in oil. 


At the board's December 5, 1996, meeting, President Schwab announced that Bill 
Anderson and Ed Crawford would co-chair the Comprehensive Campaign Cabinet, among 
the goals of which was to raise $90 million ($70 million in cash) for capital funds, the 
annual fund, endowment, and buildings. This multi-year campaign (officially "A Vision for 
the Future: The Campaign for Centenary") was enabled to get off to a good start as a result 
of a $125,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation to fund campaign costs (TM, 
Oct. 17, 1996). The momentum continued as board chairman Anderson revealed that $62 
million in cash had been secured before publicly announcing the campaign. This was fund- 
raising on a level hitherto unknown in Centenary's financial history. (On March 30, 2001, 
the College would announce that the amount raised for the campaign was $102.8 million, 
thereby exceeding the goal by almost $13 million ["Celebrating" 10, 11].) 

From January 19 to March 9, Centenary's Meadows Museum presented an exhibit 
of historic significance. It was entitled "Shouts From the Wall: Posters and Photographs 
Brought Home from the Spanish Civil War by American Volunteers." That war (1936-39) 
began as a rebellion against the lawful republican government of Spain by fascist insurgents 
led by Generalissimo Francisco Franco, the ally of Hitler and Mussolini in World War II. 
Over 2,800 American volunteers calling themselves the Abraham Lincoln Brigade went to 
Spain to help the Spanish republic. Ernest Hemingway wrote a famous novel, For Whom the 
Bell Tolls, about the war. During this exhibit, the Playhouse staged "The House of Bernarda 
Alba" by the famous Spanish dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca, and English professor Jeff 
Hendricks gave a lecture entitled "American Communists and Other Radicals: The Search 
for Utopia," which actually introduced the exhibit (Procell, "Meadows" 1 ). A short time 
later, Hendricks published Madrid 1937: Letters of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade from the 
Spanish Civil War ("Hendricks" 2). 

Two talented, well-known, and hard-working Washington, D.C., journalists, Bob and 
Jane Levey, spent the week of January 27-31, 1997, on Centenary's campus as the 38 th and 
39 th Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows. Mr. Levey's long career at the Washington Post - 
over 30 years as both columnist and editor - had covered the waterfront: sports, police 
and courts, politics, and human interest. He had also written for Time, Fortune, and Sports 
Illustrated and been a weekly commentator on National Public Radio and freelance com- 
mentator on "All Things Considered," an NPR news program. Mrs. Levey had since 1991 
been the managing editor of Washington History: Magazine of the Historical Society of 
Washington B.C. She had also worked for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the 
Brookings Institution, and the Carnegie Endowment. The Leveys' convocation address at 
Centenay was entitled "The Future of the Media" (Procell, "Centenary Hosts" 2, 8). 

In February, Harlan Ellison, prolific and often controversial writer of science fiction, hor- 
ror, and fantasy stories, made his fourth appearance at Centenary. In his first visit (1972), he 
engaged audiences with his free-wheeling, no-holds-barred, confrontational speaking style. 
Some of his work contains pronounced ethical and social activist themes (Stevens 1,3). 


The seventh annual Corrington Award went to Mississippi novelist and short story 
writer Elizabeth Spencer. Her best known work is a novella entitled The Light in the Piazza, 
which has been made into both a film and a stage play. Two earlier Corrington winners, 
Eudora Welty and James Dickey, have heaped high praise on Ms. Spencer. 

Centenary's campus sculptures were augmented in April by the gift of a work by the 
internationally known artist John Raimondi. The stainless steel sculpture, entitled "Grace," 
is of a stylized angel 1 1 feet, 4 inches tall, which is set on a four-foot red granite pedes- 
tal, and is situated in the Frost Memorial Garden. The work is a gift to the College by 
H. S. "Beau" Bogan in memory of his parents Lucile Foster and Harney Skolfield Bogan, 
prominent Shreveport residents ("Centenary to Dedicate" 1). "Grace" looks out from Frost 
Garden toward "La Fuerza," a sculpture created in 1974 by internationally known Mexican 
artist Victor Salmones. "La Fuerza," which stands more than six feet tall, was donated to 
Centenary by Mr. and Mrs. Barney Rickenbacker in 1995 in memory of Mrs. Rickenbacker's 
daughter, Camille Chappell Sample ("Centenary receives sculpture" 3D). 

Founders' Day this year fell on March 13, and the principal address was given by Dr. Lee 
Morgan, Brown Professor of English, who was retiring after teaching 43 years at the College. 
His address was entitled "Homage to Centenary in an Era of Change." Morgan's field of 
scholarly concentration was 1 8 th -century English literature, in particular the authors Samuel 
Johnson and James Boswell, but he also had a keen interest in the history of the English 
language and in biography. He collaborated with colleagues on a number of textbooks and 
wrote the life of Henry Thrale, one of Dr. Johnson's patrons, and a biographical memoir of 
T. L. James, Ruston businessman, philanthropist, and Centenary benefactor. 

Two important government figures rounded out the roster of campus speakers for 
1996-97. Richard Jones, United States Ambassador to Lebanon, gave two public addresses 
on the Middle East, and Daniel Goldin, chief of the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration (NASA) gave the Commencement Address on May 3 and received an hon- 
orary Doctor of Science degree ("Richard" 2; "NASA" 1). 

The fall semester of 1997 was truly one to remember in the history of Centenary 
College. On October 16, Dr. Schwab presided over the official dedication of Rotary Suites, 
the result of a $2.4 million renovation. The new Rotary was to be a coed living facility - the 
College's first with three floors of apartment-style suites, an attic with studio apartments, 
and a basement with conference facilities. Most apartments have two bedrooms and two 
baths, living and kitchenette areas, and outside balconies. Each suite is completely wired for 
television, computer, and telephone lines ("Rotary" 1,4). On this same occasion, President 
Schwab announced that the College had just received an anonymous gift of $10 million, the 
largest single donation in the history of the school. This was a part of the Comprehensive 
Campaign for $90 million discussed on pp. 280 ff. The Campaign itself was still in the so- 
called "silent phase," a period of strategic planning before officially announcing a drive of 
this sort ("$10 million"!). 


On December 4, President Schwab announced the establishment of three more 
Eminent Scholars Chairs by three families who had been longtime patrons of the College - 
the Biedenharns, the Jameses, and the Sklars. The Bill and Sarah James Chair in Psychology 
was given by the honorees' sons Thomas D. James and G. W. James, Jr., and their fami- 
lies to memorialize Bill James '29, longtime member of the board of trustees, and his wife 
Sarah, active in Methodist and Centenary circles. The R. Zehntner Biedenharn Chair in 
Communication - Centenary's first and to this date only $2 million super chair - was estab- 
lished by the Biedenharn Foundation and the Biedenharn family in honor of the late Coca 
Cola executive and long-serving Centenary trustee. The Albert Sklar Chair in Chemistry 
was donated in memory of Mr. Sklar by his widow Miriam, a member of the Centenary 
board. Mr. Sklar, a pioneer Shreveport oilman, served over 30 years as a Centenary trustee 
("Biedenharn" 1,2). These three gifts brought the total of endowed chairs at the College 
to 19. 

The mid-October announcement that the Nobel Prize in Physics had gone to Dr. Steven 
Chu of Stanford University caused Centenary faculty and students to stand a little taller. 
Dr. Chu had given two lectures here a year earlier ("Newest" 3). Centenary students were 
impressed not only with Chu's scientific brilliance but also by the fact that he lunched with 
them in the cafeteria and was a most cordial meal companion. 

The world-famous Centenary Choir added another to their long list of stellar achieve- 
ments: on December 5, they sang for President and Mrs. Clinton and 600 diplomats and 
other special guests at a White House Christmas reception. After the performance, the 
Clintons asked the Choir to sing for them personally. The Choir received their invitation 
to sing in an interesting way. The parents of Jerry Don Killian of DeQueen, Arkansas, 
the Choir's accompanist, were active Democratic Party members and friends of President 
and Mrs. Clinton. At a post-game party after a University of Arkansas basketball game, 
Jerry Don was talking with Mrs. Clinton about the Choir's international reputation. Mrs. 
Clinton expressed a desire to see them perform, and an invitation was not long in coming. 
At the close of the evening, Mr. Clinton visited with Choir members and shook hands with 
every one ("Choir Sings" 1,2). 

One of the most distinguished writers in America received this year's Corrington Award 
for Literary Excellence. On November 18 in Bynum Commons, Pulitzer Prize- winning 
poet Anthony Hecht gave a reading of his work and became the eighth recipient of this 
honor. Thirteen days before coming to Centenary, Mr. Hecht won the 1997 Tanning Prize, 
a $100,000 award given by the Academy of American Poets. He has also written major 
criticism including a study of the works of W. H. Auden and a translation of the Greek 
dramatist Aeschylus's Seven Against Thebes (Bruce 1). 

The spring semester opened on a very high note when the College appointed Mark 
Zeltser, world-renowned pianist as professor of music and artist-in-residence at the Hurley 
School of Music. Born in the Soviet Union, Zeltser and his family were exiled to Siberia in 


1949 during Stalin's anti-Semitic regime. A child prodigy taught by his mother, Zeltser made 
his orchestral debut at age 9 performing concerti by Grieg and Hayden. He later studied at 
the Moscow State Conservatory, earning a doctorate there in 1972. He has won numerous 
international prizes and has performed with the most prestigious orchestras in the world, 
among them, in Europe, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Orchestre Nationale de France, the 
Royal Philharmonic (London), and the Moscow Philharmonic and in the United States 
the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Los 
Angeles Philharmonic ("Famed" 1). 

The College's 41 st and 42 nd Woodrow Wilson Fellows were on campus for a week in 
early February. They were husband-wife writers Margaret Gibson, a Canadian, and David 
McKain ("Wilson Fellows" 5). Also, thanks to the Muses, Elizabeth Spencer, winner of the 
1997 Corrington Award, returned to Centenary during Celebration of Women Week to be 
the main speaker at the spring Literary Studies Series ("Award-" 2). 

Centenary basketball player Herb Lang '98 gained national sports media coverage for 
the College by winning the NCAA Final Four Slam Dunk Contest broadcast on ESPN from 
San Antonio on March 26, 1998 (Mosura 1). Herb, a native of Brinkley, Arkansas, signed 
with and has been playing for the Harlem Globetrotters ever since. 

Commencement 1998 brought to campus one of America's finest radio journalists, 
Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition. Simon has covered stories all over the world 
and has won prizes and awards for doing so. He gave the Commencement Address and 
received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. 

Expansion and security measures moved to the fore in fall 1998. The Gateway Project 
to move the campus one block eastward over the next ten years began in earnest. In the first 
phase of the project, roadblocks were put up to close Woodlawn, Oak, East Washington, and 
East Columbia as through streets. A new entrance sign similar to the one at the corner of 
Centenary Boulevard and Kings Highway was to be constructed at the corner of East Kings 
Highway and Oak Street. The College had already acquired Centenary Square (formerly 
Lewis Pharmacy and the Sanders Clinic) and the adjacent shopping center and torn down 
one abandoned building there. (In addition to public safety, the departments of psychology 
and sociology are now located there.) Future plans envision other buildings there, includ- 
ing a new science hall. There will also be a pedestrian mall of gardens, monuments, and 
benches in the area across Woodlawn in front of Magale Library (Everson 1). 

Magale Library underwent numerous changes during the summer and fall of 1998, one 
of which was the switch from the Dewey Decimal System to the Library of Congress system 
of classifying books. But perhaps the most significant change was the quantum leap into 
the most advanced technology. Centenary students and faculty now had 24/7 access to the 
most important databases in the world. That is, they could access from on or off campus, 
by virtue of their Centenary e-mail, books, articles, and bibliographies from general or 
specific databases, material on, for example, law, economics, education, science, literature, 


etc. Put simply, this meant that folk at Centenary have basically the kind of research pos- 
sibilities available to their counterparts at the finest academic institutions in the country 
("Library" 4). 

The spring semester of 1999 marked a number of milestones for the College. Two 
long-serving faculty members retired. Dr. Alton Hancock of the history department 
brought to a close his 35-year career at Centenary. His specialty was European history, 
especially the Reformation in Germany, a fact that particularly enriched his courses in 
Western Civilization. In addition to his academic contributions, Hancock played a key role 
in College governance, serving on numerous committees, where his work helped ensure the 
increased and continuing importance of the faculty personnel and economic policy com- 
mittees in the decision-making processes involving those areas of institutional life. 

Dr. Arnold Penuel, professor of Spanish, also retired this semester after teaching 27 
years at the College. Penuel was broadly educated, having earned his B. A. from the Uiversity 
of Tennessee in psychology and his M. A. and Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of 
the Americas (Mexico) and the University of Illinois respectively. He was the author of 
numerous articles and books, many of which dealt with Benito Perez Galdos, the great 
Spanish realist novelist, considered by many second only to Cervantes. Dr. Penuel was also 
much respected by his colleagues, who elected him to several terms on the faculty personnel 

On February 18, Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), national leadership honor society cel- 
ebrated its 50 th anniversary at Centenary. Founded in 1914 at Washington and Lee, the aims 
of the organization have been to recognize excellence and cooperation in a variety of areas 
among students, faculty, and administration and to bring them together regularly on a basis 
of mutual understanding and helpfulness. 

The College honored yet another Pulitzer Prize winner March 19,1 999, when it bestowed 
the ninth annual Corrington Award on poet Richard Wilbur. Wilbur had had an illustrious 
career. He had written many volumes of poetry, two of which earned him Pulitzer Prizes, 
Things of This World (1957) and New and Collected Poems (1989). Wilbur was collaborator 
with Lillian Hellman and Leonard Bernstein in the latter's comic opera Candide, based on 
Voltaire's masterpiece. Wilbur has been recognized for his translations of other French 
classics, and for his 1963 translation of Moliere's Tartuffe he won the prestigious Bollingen 
Prize. In 1987, Wilbur succeeded Robert Penn Warren as Poet Laureate of the United States, 
only the second person to be so honored ("Poet" 6). 

Also in March, the College broke ground for the long-awaited $9-million fitness center 
and swimming pool. Haynes Gym was gutted and then doubled in size for the state-of- 
the-art project, which was to include - besides the 24-meter, 6-lane pool - a spa; sauna; 
running/walking track; dance and aerobic rooms; free weight and exercise areas; and courts 
for squash, racquetball, and basketball ("College Breaks" 1). 

On May 8, the featured speaker at the last Centenary Commencement of the 20 th 


century was Sara Fritz, managing editor of C[ongressional] Q[uarterly] Weekly. (The next 
year's speaker, to commemorate the College's 175 th anniversary, would be Barbara Bush, for- 
mer First Lady.) It was Ms. Fritz's second visit to Centenary in four years. On the first occasion, 
she came as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. In addition to being one of the top reporters in the 
country (14 years at the Los Angeles Times, 5 years at U. S. News and World Report), Ms. Fritz 
had written numerous books about the American political scene, lectured at colleges and uni- 
versities all over the country, and won a number of prestigious journalism awards, including 
the Everett Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting on Congress and Harvard University's 
1996 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. In recognition of Ms. Fritz's outstanding 
contributions to journalism and the public discourse on political affairs, Centenary awarded 
her the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters ( Watkins 4). 

A special kind of high point for Centenary was reached this spring on May 12, when 
Joby Ogwyn '97 climbed to the summit of Mount Everest, thereby becoming the youngest 
American (at age 24) to achieve that feat. Six days later, the famed Count Basie Orchestra 
got the year-long observation of the College's 175 th anniversary off to a swinging start with 
a program of incomparable Big Band music in the Hargrove Bandshell ("Count" 1). It 
was an auspicious beginning to an event-filled year planned by a special 175 th Celebration 
Committee appointed by President Schwab. Trustee Katherine Turner Cheesman '47 served 
as volunteer chairman, working with senior alumni director David Henington '82 and Lynn 
Stewart, director of public relations (Ruffin 3). 

The fall of 1999 marked a milestone in the Vision for the Future fund-raising cam- 
paign begun privately in 1996. On October 7 the College formally announced the public 
phase of the multi-year campaign, which contained a number of projects that would greatly 
enhance Centenary's ongoing mission of providing excellent educational opportunities. 
Among these projects were a $15-million renovation of Mickle Hall of Science (this has 
been changed to a new science building); an $8.7-million renovation and expansion of the 
Moore Student Center; a $26.4-million Arts Complex that would include a performance 
hall and convocation center, and major additions to the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse and the 
Hurley School of Music Building; a $7.5-million relocating of the Meadows Museum; and a 
$9.5-million expansion of Haynes Gym into a Fitness Center and Natatorium ("Centenary 
announces" 3). (Some of these projects have been realized; others, altered or deleted.) 

As the 20 th century drew to a close and Centenary College prepared to celebrate the 
175 th anniversary of its existence, all of its constituencies could take pride in the record 
which the institution had made. We can only imagine the difficulties that faced the earliest 
trustees, administrators, and faculty of much of the institution's precarious existence. Their 
principal accomplishment is that they kept it alive, no mean feat when one considers the 
number, kind, and degree of problems they faced. From very tentative beginnings in the 
early years of the nation's founding through epidemics of yellow fever; a civil war that almost 
destroyed the young school; and financial crises that would have crushed less dedicated, 


less determined faculty, staffs, trustees, Methodists, other patrons, and alumni, this hardy, 
sorely tested academy somehow managed not only to survive but also to achieve stability 
and respect. Currently (2008) embarked on a financial drive that will improve instruction 
and research facilities, services, salaries, and benefits, the College has 17 endowed chairs, 
99 endowed professorships, an outstanding faculty (over 90% hold the doctorate or termi- 
nal degree), a sabbatical system firmly in place, membership in a consortium of excellent 
liberal arts institutions with multiple opportunities for enriched study abroad and in the 
U. S., an active and supportive alumni base with many notable achievers in a host of areas 
- in short, Centenary is poised to confront the 21 st century and to continue its long and 
honorable record of educational service. A crucial ingredient of this enterprise will be the 
current assemblage of talented faculty, carefully recruited and screened for their teaching 
and research abilities. Already they are proving themselves worthy successors to those who 
preceded them in establishing the College's strong academic identity. 

The future can be bright for Centenary. This grand old institution can continue the 
good work it has done for so long, can indeed go on to greater achievements toward fulfill- 
ing that Wesleyan dream of "uniting knowledge and vital piety." The mission for liberal arts 
colleges is not becoming easier. It is becoming increasingly difficult. Figuratively speaking, 
a college like Centenary must run to stay in place. Enabling it to do its job and do it well 
places a tremendous burden on all its constituencies. The coming century will be no time 
for the faint of heart where private higher education is concerned. Those who nourish 
feelings of gratitude and loyalty to their alma mater will be called upon to demonstrate 
that gratitude and that loyalty in the very strongest terms. Those trustees, who have under- 
taken one of the noblest offices in our civilization, the guidance and direction of an institu- 
tion of learning, must remain generous and faithful in their support with time, talent, and 
resources. Other lovers of higher education in the community and this region and beyond 
will want to register their appreciation of the intellectual, aesthetic, and civic contributions 
of Centenary since 1825. When all these groups unite in their devotion and dedication in 
this cause, they will ensure not only the continued existence of Centenary but also its high 
position as a beacon and a bastion of enlightenment of the human mind and spirit. 



Appendix A 

Centenary Scrip Plan 

Centenary College will have printed scrip certificates in denominations of $1.00 each. 
These certificates will be paid out by the college to faculty members and certain merchants 
whom the college owes. When the certificates issued to merchants or faculty members have 
been redeemed the college debt has been paid. 

The reverse side of each scrip certificate will have spaces for 35 three cent Centenary 
stamps. These stamps are sold by a bank acting as trustee to merchants who agree to accept 
the scrip. Each time a purchase is made with the scrip certificate a stamp is attached by the 
seller and paid for by the purchaser. After the scrip certificate has changed hands 35 times 
and contains 35 Centenary stamps it may be taken to the designated bank and exchanged 
for $1.00 in U.S. Money. The number of the certificate is recorded and the certificate is 
retired. For each $41.00 certificate containing 35 stamps $1.05 is in the special fund at 
the bank. Redemption takes $1.00 of this amount and the 5$ is used to defray expenses of 
printing the stamps and the certificates. After each certificate has been retired Centenary 
has completed payment of one dollar of its indebtedness to the person originally receiving 
the certificate from the College. 

The amount of scrip issued will never be greater than the amount of cash in the bank 
for redeeming it. Each $1.00 scrip certificate containing 35 stamps has a one hundred cents 
redemption fund at the bank. 

The college has, for example, $2,000.00 worth of scrip printed and $2,100 worth of 
stamps. Both the scrip and stamps are turned over to the bank. On the day the plan began 
operating merchants would buy these stamps from the bank. The bank would then turn over 
to Centenary the scrip. Centenary would issue the scrip to teachers and merchants in pay- 
ment of past due accounts. There would be then $2,100.00 cash in the bank and $2,000.00 
worth of scrip for circulation. As the scrip was spent merchants would run short on stamps 


and buy, for example, $2,100.00 worth more. Then the bank would turn over to Centenary 
another $2,000.00 in scrip to be paid out again to teachers and merchants. 

Centenary College would profit by the total amount of scrip issued minus expenses 
above 5<t per dollar issued. 

Centenary teachers and merchants Centenary owes would profit by the amount of 
scrip issued to them by the college minus 3%. 

Shreveport would profit as a whole by the new business resulting from the expendi- 
ture of each $1.00 issued 35 times plus the added value of Centenary College to the 
city in dollars and cents and otherwise. 

This plan would accomplish the same result of a successful campaign for funds but 
has the added appeal of more business which the scrip plan would make necessary. 

The plan is to have the scrip accepted by retailers, wholesalers, filling stations, news- 
papers, garages, electric and gas companies, and others. 

Banks could use scrip for local expenditures and for partial payment of salaries to 
employees willing to accept it. Many other business concerns could do likewise. 

Members of the Mothers Club, for example, and others would be asked to ask for 
some of their change from merchants in Centenary scrip. Persons making pur- 
chases in stores accepting scrip would be asked to procure scrip from the bank or 
elsewhere and buy with scrip. 

Hotels might accept scrip for Rotary luncheons, etc. 

The plan enables Centenary to discharge its past due obligations in a way that 
increases business. The scrip must be spent - it naturally will not be hoarded. 
Doctors, merchants, banks, filling stations, etc. all would get new business by help- 
ing Centenary. Directly and indirectly benefits would accrue to all groups. 
The plan gives the merchant or others new business in exchange for the 3<t pay- 
ments which go to help Centenary and Shreveport. The 3<t payment is just 14 more 
than the 2<t tax on a one dollar check and the entire 3<t goes to Centenary and the 
profit on the business transaction goes to the merchant {TM 1932-43 22-23). 


Appendix B 

Student Handbook (Honor System) 

Article I. Honor Code 

Each student who enrolls in Centenary College undergraduate classes becomes a part 
of the Centenary Honor System and is responsible to the Honor Code in both day and night 
classes. The Honor Code of Centenary College is founded on the idea that honor is that 
intangible quality which, if it pervades all phases of campus life, will tend to foster a spirit 
of dignity and personal integrity. Inherent in the system must be the premise that students 
will not tolerate a violation of the Honor Code. With such a goal, the Honor System is 
established with the realization that honor must be fostered and not forced, and with the 
awareness that it will be successful only through the combined and cooperative efforts of 
faculty, administration and students. 

Article II. The Pledge 

Students are required to write the following pledge at the end of any examination or 
piece of independent work: "I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this ex- 
amination (paper), nor have I seen anyone else do so." If the student has received aid or has 
suspicion of a violation of the Honor Code, the following clause is to be added to the pledge 
"...except as I shall report immediately to the Honor Court." 

The complete pledge will be written out in hand by the student, shall not be abbrevi- 
ated, and should never be written until the test or paper has been completed for submission 
to the professor. Any violation shall be reported immediately to the Honor Court. 

Article III. Organization Of The Court 
Section One: Composition 

The Honor Court shall consist of 10 (ten) student members nominated by the faculty 
and student body. Five (5) members of the Court shall vote on each case. The Court shall 
be advised by two (2) faculty members. 


Section Two: Nominations 

Nominations shall be made by the student body and the faculty to fill any vacancies in 
the Honor Court. The Court shall then choose sufficient names from the list to fill vacan- 
cies on the Court. The new Court shall assume its duties upon election. In the event that 
vacancies on the Court should develop at a time other than the end of the school year, the 
vacancies shall be filled by the Court. 

Section Three: Qualifications 

The members of the Honor Court shall: 

1. Be of junior or senior standing at Centenary College at the end of the semester 
during which the office is to be assumed. 

2. Be enrolled in at least their second semester at Centenary College. 

3. Not hold any elected office to the Student Government Association, membership 
on a judicial board, or membership on the Conduct Review Sub-Committee. 

4. Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above at the time of election. 

Section Four: Term of Office 

Terms of members of the Honor Court shall be from the time of selection until gradu- 
ation, impeachment, or voluntary withdrawal from the Honor Court or the College. 

Section Five: Permanent Officers of the Honor Court and Duties 

1. Chief Justice 

The Honor Court shall elect the Chief Justice from its members before the end of the 
spring semester of each year. The term of office of the Chief Justice shall be one year. The 
Chief Justice may serve more than one term. The Chief Justice shall: 

1 . have overall supervision of the work of the Court; 

2. call sessions of the Court as the need arises; 

3. preside over the court; 

4. appoint an unbiased member of the Honor Court as Investigating Officer for 
each case; 

5. approve the selection, by the accused, of an unbiased member of the Honor 
Court to represent the accused; and 

6. determine from the remaining members who shall serve as the voting members 
for each case. 

The Chief Justice, if present, will always serve as a voting member unless he/she dis- 
qualifies him/herself. 

2. Associate Justice 

The Associate Justice shall at the same time be elected from the membership of the 
Court. The Associate Justice shall serve in the place of the Chief Justice in the event of ab- 


sence or inability to serve. In case of a vacancy in the office of Chief Justice, the Court may 
at its discretion elect a new Chief Justice or elevate and replace the Associate Justice. The 
Associate Justice, if present, will always serve as a voting member unless he/she disqualifies 

3. Clerk 

The Court shall at the same time select from its membership a Court Clerk who shall be 
responsible for maintaining the necessary records. In the absence of the duly elected Clerk, 
the Chief Justice shall appoint one of the Court to serve in that capacity. The Clerk, if pres- 
ent, will always serve as a voting member unless he/she disqualifies, him/herself. 

SecnoN Six: Other Members and their Duties 

1 . Investigating Officer 

The Investigating Officer, appointed by the Chief Justice on a case-by-case basis, Officer 

1 . investigate suspected violations for the Court; 

2. present the information gathered at the arraignment; and 

3. clarify initial reports and question witnesses at the hearing. 
The Investigating Officer shall not be a voting member of the Court. 

2. Representative for the Accused 

The representative, as selected by the accused and approved by the Chief Justice shall: 

1. be present at the arraignment as an observer; 

2. represent the accused during the Honor Court proceedings by hearing all testi- 
mony and questioning witnesses; 

3. maintain the confidentiality of the accused. 

The representative shall not be a voting member of the Honor Court. 

3. Voting Members 

The appropriate number of voting members shall be appointed by the Chief Justice for 
each case. The voting members shall fully participate in the proceedings. 

This participation will include hearing all testimony, questioning witnesses, deliberat- 
ing, and voting. 

4. Non-voting Members 

Any remaining members may participate in the case proceedings. This participation 
may include hearing all testimony, questioning witnesses, and deliberation. The non-voting 
members shall not have a vote in the decision or penalty. 

Section Seven: Faculty Advisors 

The Honor Court shall select annually two (2) members of the full-time faculty to serve 
as faculty advisors. At least one advisor will be present at all proceedings. The advisors may 


hear all testimony, question witnesses, and participate in deliberations. Faculty advisors are 
not voting members of the Court. 
Section Eight: Impeachment Proceedings 

1. Any member of the Honor Court may be removed from office by a 2/3 vote of the 
student members of the Honor Court for: 

1. consistent failure to discharge duties; 

2. conviction of an Honor Code offense; 

3. breach of confidentiality; or 

4. giving inappropriate advice to the plaintiff or accused. 

2. The member under consideration for removal may not vote in the removal proceedings. 

Article IV. Orientation Procedures Of The Honor System 

Section One: Responsibility for conducting all phases of Honor System orientation shall 

rest upon the current honor court. 

Section Two: Presentation to the Faculty 

1. At the Faculty Orientation Workshop of each new school year, the Faculty shall be 
briefed on the Honor System by the current Chief Justice of the Honor Court, or a rep- 
resentative of that body, given constitutions, and made aware of their responsibility. 

2. The responsibilities of the faculty as outlined in this Constitution, shall be stressed 
as being an integral part of the Honor System. 

Section Three: Presentation to New Students 

The current Honor Court shall be responsible for explaining the purposes and opera- 
tions of the Honor System to all new students at orientation. However, it is the students' 
responsibility to familiarize themselves with the Honor System. 

Section Four: Presentation to the Student Body 

Each semester an effort shall be made by the Honor Court to impress upon the student 
body the purposes and mechanics of the Honor System. 

Section Five: The Signing of the Code Card at Registration 

As a part of the registration procedure, each student will sign a statement agreeing to abide by 
the Honor Code of the College, which will be included on the general registration form. 

Article V. Faculty Responsibilities 
Section One 

As a member of the Centenary Community, each faculty member is responsible for 
reporting all cases of suspected cheating on tests, plagiarisms, and other violations of the 


Honor Code to the Court, rather than handling the case and penalty personally. 

Section Two 

Faculty members shall abide by the decision of the court in grading the student sus- 
pected of the violation. 

Section Three 

Faculty members shall: 

1. Inform students of regulations that apply to academic integrity in their courses, 
and make clear to what extent collaborative work or exchange of aid and infor- 
mation (studying together, tutoring, proofreading of papers) is acceptable. 

2. Constructively admonish students who they feel are drifting into questionable 

3. Explain directions on examinations and inform students of their whereabouts 
during an examination should questions arise. 

4. Instruct students to write and sign the pledge on each test and each piece of 
work that is to be done independently. 

5. Impress upon students their responsibility to report all suspected instances of 
cheating, plagiarism, or other violations of both the Honor Code and the class 

6. Explain all requirements for take home tests. 

Article VI. Student Responsibilities 

1 . Every effort should be made by the students to place themselves in the classroom 
seating arrangement so as to minimize the suspicion of a violation. 

2. Students should remove all notebooks, textbooks, and other written material from 
their desks. Only exam material should be within view. 

3. Students should check with professors concerning any questions about papers. 

4. Permission for combined work on projects and assignments does not necessarily 
imply authorized collaboration on resulting papers and reports. 

Article VII. Grounds For Conviction For Violation Of The Honor Code 
Section One: Cheating on Tests and Examinations 

The following constitute cheating on tests and examinations: 

1 . Using notes, the textbook, or reference material during a test or examination un- 
less students are specifically authorized to do so by the instructor of the class. 

2. Looking on the test paper of another student in the class. 

3. Giving or receiving unauthorized aid verbally or in writing. 


Section Two. Cheating on Papers 

The following constitute cheating on papers: 

1. Plagiarism, which is defined as borrowing phrases, ideas, or other material (e.g., 
maps and charts) from any source without giving adequate credit; 

2. Having papers proofread, or edited, by anyone other than the author, unless 
specifically authorized by the instructor; or 

3. Submitting any work which has been submitted for credit in another course 
without permission. For courses during the same semester, permission from 
both instructors is required. 

Section Three: Failure to Adhere to Specific Requirements of Professors 

Students are responsible for finding out a professor's requirements for examinations, 
papers, written homework, lab reports, tutoring, and all other work, and how these require- 
ments are governed by the Honor Code. Failure to adhere to these requirements is a viola- 
tion of the Honor Code. 

Clarifications and Exceptions 

1. On papers professors may: 

1. grant that a paper be proofread by parties other than the author; 

2. prescribe limitations on the sources to be used; 

3. make special stipulations concerning crediting of sources; 

4. grant permission to any student to submit any work which they have, or another 
student has, submitted for credit in any other course; and/or 

5. prohibit the use of computer programs which check spelling and grammar. 

2. On written homework and laboratory reports, students may: 

1. work together provided that each member of the group understands the work 
being done, and the instructor has authorized this procedure; and/or 

2. report their individual data as observed in their experiment. 

3. On written homework and laboratory reports, professors may: 

1. require that all or part of the assignment be done by each student individually; 

2. require that secondary sources consulted be credited. 

4. Tutoring: Students must find out from a professor what kind of help may be received 
from a tutor on assigned work. 

Section Four. Failure to Appear 

If the accused fails to appear, or fails to submit an adequate excuse to the Court 
prior to the hearing, they shall receive an Honor Court conviction. If the accuser, or called 
witness(es) fail to appear, they shall be referred to the Conduct Review Committee for 
obstruction of proceedings. 


Article VIII. Reporting A Suspected Violation 

Anyone suspecting that a violation of the Honor Code has occurred, shall report this 
suspicion to either the Chief Justice or one of the Faculty Advisors. All communications 
with the Honor Court must be written and signed. All communication shall be confidential 
and known only to the members of the Honor Court, including the name of the accused 
and the accuser to be kept confidential. The Court shall be pledged to keep all information 
received confidential. 

Article IX. Procedures 

Section One: Preliminary Actions 

1. After receiving notice of a suspected Honor Code violation, the Honor Court shall 
have three (3) regular class days to send written notice of the violation to the ac- 
cused. A regular class day shall be defined as any day during the Fall or Spring semes- 
ters that classes are in session. 

2. From the date the notice is sent, the accused shall have at least three (3) regular class 
days, but no more than five (5), to prepare for the arraignment. The accused has the 
right to waive the preparation period. 

3. During the preparation period a representative for the accused, as requested by the 
accused, will be appointed by the Chief Justice after notification of the choice of the 
accused by the Investigating Officer. 

Section Two: Preliminary Review 

1. The accused shall be called before a closed panel that shall consist of the Chief Jus- 
tice, the Clerk, the Investigating Officer, a Faculty Advisor, the Accused, and the Rep- 
resentative for the Accused. 

2. At this hearing, the Investigating Officer shall present the case to all present. After 
the case is presented, the Chief Justice shall ask the accused to enter a plea of either 
NOT GUILTY or GUILTY. In the case of a guilty plea, which is binding, the Chief 
Justice shall advise the accused of their right to make a statement to the Court. 

1. If the accused wishes to make a statement at that time, the statement shall be 
tape-recorded by the Clerk to be played before the entire Court during penalty 

2. If the accused wishes to make a statement in person to the Court, he/she shall be 
advised as to when the Court will meet for deliberation. He/she shall make his/ 
her statement before the Honor Court at that time. 

In the case of a not guilty plea, the Chief Justice shall set a date for a full hearing to be held. 


Section Three: Honor Court Proceedings 

1 . The Honor Court shall meet at a time and place specified by the Chief Justice. A complete 
list of witnesses shall be provided to the Court by the Investigating Officer at least twenty- 
four (24) hours prior to the proceedings. The hearing shall be closed and those participat- 
ing in the hearing, in any capacity, have the responsibility to maintain confidentiality. 

2. All students and faculty members shall appear before the Court when requested to 
do so. The Chief Justice shall determine in what order witnesses shall be called from 
the witness list. 

3. Procedure of the Hearing 

1. Those present for the entire hearing shall include the counsel for the accused, 
investigating officer and the voting members of the Honor Court. 

2. The Investigating Officer shall present any new information pertaining to the case 
and the Chief Justice will then ask if the accused wishes to change the original plea 
of not guilty. Unless the plea is changed, the hearing will proceed as follows: 

1 . witnesses are called by the Chief Justice one at a time 

2. questioning shall begin with the Investigating Officer, then the repre- 
sentative of the accused, and finally the members of the Court. 

3. after all witnesses are heard, the Investigating Officer, representative of 
the accused, and witnesses are excused while the Court deliberates. 

4. conviction of any student shall always require the vote of four (4) mem- 
bers in favor of conviction. 

3. As soon as a decision is reached, the accused shall be verbally informed of the 
decision made. The accused shall receive written notice within three (3) regular 
class days of the decision except under very exceptional circumstances. 

4. The Honor Court shall prepare a report of the decisions rendered in the previ- 
ous semester for publication in The Conglomerate at the start of every semester. 
In such reports, facts shall be omitted which would lead to the identification of 
the principal parties involved. 

Article X. Penalties 

1. For conviction on the first offense, the Honor Court has the option of the following 

1 . no further penalty. 

2. the option to redo the work. Students may redo the work with no grade assessed 
to the original work. The new work shall be submitted to the professor for a 
grade. Should the student fail to submit the new work within a time limit agreed 
upon by the student and the professor, the work shall receive a grade of zero (0). 

3. "F" on the work. 

4. zero (0) on the work. 


5. "F" in the course. 

6. "F" in the course with a recommendation to the Dean of the College for suspen- 
sion for a semester. 

7. "F" in the course with a recommendation to the Dean of the College for dis- 
missal from the College. 

The numerical value of the "F" in the above penalties shall be determined by the teacher 
of the course with the stipulation that the "F" be less than any honestly obtained "F" on the 
work by any member of the class (or group of classes). 

2. Any piece of work on which the Honor Court makes a ruling may not be dropped 
by a professor. 

3. Conviction on subsequent offenses will result in an automatic penalty of "F" in the 
course and referral to the Provost with a recommendation of dismissal from the 
College. If the Provost disagrees with the recommendation, the recommendation 
will be referred to the Conduct Review Committee for further review. A decision 
by the Conduct Review Committee may be appealed to the President of the College 
who has final authority. 

Article XI. Appeals 

1 . The Chief Justice must advise defendants of their right to appeal and to whom the 
appeal should be addressed. Only the faculty advisor(s) to the Honor Court may 
provide guidelines to defendants on the appeal process, the writing of an appeal, or 
possible outcomes of an appeal. 

2. Appeals shall be addressed to the Provost, in written form, within seven (7) regular 
class days of written notification of conviction by outlining the reason(s) for appeal. 
If the Provost considers the request justified, the appeal will then be heard by the 
Conduct Review Committee, and their decision shall be final. 

Article XII. Finals Week, Module, And Summer Sessions 

Section One. Finals Week Reports of violations during final exam week shall be processed 

as follows: 

1. The student will receive an "I" for the course. 

2. Within seven (7) working days after the conclusion of finals the student will be in- 
formed, in writing, at the mailing address found in the student directory by certified 
mail and through campus mail, of the alleged violation. 

3. An arraignment hearing will be held within ten (10) regular class days after the start 
of the next regular (Fall or Spring) semester and the student will be notified of the 
hearing date, time, and place no later than the fifth (5) regular class day. 

4. Depositions shall be taken from those who do not return for the next semester (fall 
to spring, spring to fall) to be used as official testimony. 


Section Two. Module and Summer Sessions Reports of violations during Module and 
Summer Sessions shall be processed as follows: 

1. The student will receive an "I" for the course. 

2. Within seven (7) working days after the conclusion of finals the student will be in- 
formed, in writing, at the mailing address found in the student directory by certified 
mail and through campus mail, of the alleged violation. 

3. An arraignment hearing will be held within ten (10) regular class days after the start 
of the next regular (Fall or Spring) semester and the student will be notified of the 
hearing date, time, and place no later than the fifth (5) regular class day. 

4. Depositions shall be taken from those who do not return for the next semester (fall 
to spring, spring to fall) to be used as official testimony. 

Article XIII. Amendments 
Section One. Proposal 

Amendments to this constitution may originate with either the Honor Court or the Student 
Government Association. Suggestions for amendments may be submitted to either body. 

Section Two. Ratification 

1. Proposed amendments to the Honor Court Constitution originating in the Student 
Government Association shall be approved by the Honor Court with a 4/5 vote. 
Amendments originating in the Honor Court must be approved by the Student 
Government Association with a 2/3 majority vote. 

2. Amendments must be approved by the faculty and, in general election, by 2/3 ma- 
jority of the voting student body to become a part of this constitution. Approval may 
be made first by either body. 

3. The amendment shall take effect immediately upon ratification. 

Guidelines for the Honor System 
Advantages of the Honor System 
We of Centenary College are proud of the fact that our students govern their own aca- 
demic performance through an Honor Code which they helped to write, and which they 
themselves administer. A national survey has shown that cheating occurs more often on 
campuses where no joint honor system is in effect and where enforcement of honesty is left 
up to faculty alone. It occurs least often among students in colleges where both students and 
faculty participate in a functioning honor system. Our Honor System is a classic example 
of growing student participation in self-government and responsibility for administrative 
affairs on campus. The increased freedom it affords gives those who participate in it room 
to grow in maturity and responsibility and to strengthen qualities of honesty and integrity. 
Sharing with the student body in the observance and administering of the Honor Code also 


benefits the College faculty. Faculty and students become partners in striving toward a lofty 
goal, and their common striving builds an atmosphere of trust and confidence. Faculty mem- 
bers are also relieved of the necessity of filling the role of policeman. The Centenary College 
Honor System was developed because the students proposed the idea to the College faculty 
and asked that the faculty join in writing and administering a workable code. The Code was 
tried on an experimental basis in some departments of the College in 1953, and soon thereaf- 
ter the present Honor Code was adopted as binding for all regular students of the College. 

Requirements and Procedures 

Basically, the Code provides that a student will neither cheat nor will he/she tolerate 
cheating on the part of others. If you have registered at Centenary, you have signed a pact 
which automatically includes you as a part of our Honor System, binding you to its terms and 
committing you to uphold its principles and its provisions. You have agreed to present work 
for credit which is wholly and only your own. When exams are given or when you present 
written work and research papers, no professor or proctor should be required as a policeman 
to insure that the work is your own, although a teacher may do so in incidents of suspected 
violation of the Honor Code. Your own personal integrity is your proctor. We administer the 
Code through a student court composed of five members and two alternates who are chosen 
from among nominations made by the student body and the faculty. One member is elected 
to preside as Chief Justice. At least one faculty member serves as advisor and liaison officer. 
The Constitution of the Honor Court provides that all violations of the Code shall be referred 
at once to the Court. It also provides for hearings, suitable penalties upon conviction, and ap- 
peal of conviction. Aconviction before the Honor Court for violation of the Honor Code may 
result in one of the following penalties: Conviction with further penalty, Honor Court F on 
the work, Honor Court F in the course, suspension for one semester or permanent expulsion 
from Centenary. Every student should thoroughly familiarize him/herself with the Honor 
Court Constitution printed in the preceding section of The Centenary College Student Hand- 
book in order to understand exactly what his/her responsibilities are under the Honor System. 
If you suspect that a violation of the Honor Code has occurred, it is your obligation to inform 
a member of the Honor Court of this fact as soon as possible. Names of the members of the 
Court will be posted in each classroom. If you do not know any of these students, you may 
send written notice to the Faculty Advisor, Honor Court, through campus mail. The Honor 
Court Constitution and the Honor Code are printed in full detail in the preceding section 
which all incoming students are expected to read carefully. The Honor System is also ex- 
plained to new students during formal orientation each fall. 

Research Papers and the Honor System 

Most commonly, violations of the Honor Code concern plagiarism. In the interest of 
clarification, these guidelines are offered. Plagiarism in any work done under the Honor 


System is a violation of the Honor Code, and is a serious offense. You will be plagiariz- 
ing if ( 1 ) you are not accurate in indicating direct quotations from any source, including 
textbooks, or (2) you do not completely reword when you paraphrase. Rewording includes 
using your own language and your own sentence structure. A paraphrase should sound like 
you, not like the source with the words shifted around. Both quotations and paraphrasing 
require documentation. Any plagiarism, intentional or not, casts doubt on the honesty of 
all your statements. A Short Guide to Manuscript and Documentation Form, by Allen and 
Colbrunn, found under 029.6, AL53s, and the MLA Style Sheet, found under 0-29, M72s, 
are both on permanent reserve in the library for your reference use. These pamphlets, along 
with the freshman English textbook and this explanation, should indicate what is not prop- 
er credit and the correct form for giving credit. Borrowing an author's ideas and putting 
them into your own words is paraphrasing and requires that credit be given for the ideas 
by means of a footnote or other clear procedure. Neither quotation marks nor indentation 
is used for paraphrasing. If you present another person's ideas as your own, by not giving 
credit, you are plagiarizing. When in doubt, footnote! Borrowing an author's exact words 
is quoting and also requires a footnote or other clear credit to the source. Quotes must be 
placed in quotation marks, and if the quote is long, it should also be indented and single 
spaced. If you quote an author and do not put the quote in quotation marks or indent, your 
are plagiarizing even if you do give a footnote! You are borrowing not only the author's 
ideas but are presenting the words as your own. You still are not giving full credit and thus 
are plagiarizing. Usually, two or more distinctive and sequential words from the source 
should be placed in quotation marks. Following is a reproduction of part of page 208 of 
Recent American Literature by Donald Heiney (Great Neck, New York: Barron's Educa- 
tional Series, 1958). Following this reproduction are examples of three students' use of this 
reference in research papers. Two of the students, A and B, have given improper credit and 
therefore are guilty of plagiarism. Student C has given proper credit. 

The Original Passage 

Awarding of the Nobel Prize to Faulkner in 1950 has brought home to the American 
public the fact that in Europe he is considered the foremost living American author; today 
many American critics are inclined to agree in this judgement. The distinction is one to 
which he is well entitled. He is sometimes considered an agrarian naturalist in the man- 
ner of Erskine Caldwell; actually he is more meaningful and profound, as well as more 
artistically original, than any of the American naturalists with the possible exception of 
Hemingway. His novels are generally laid in rural settings, but the problems they treat are 
psychological and moral rather than physical. His great subject is the decline of the South; 
its economic sterility, its moral disintegration, and its struggle to resist the progressive and 
materialistic civilization of the North. 


Student A's Paper 

The awarding of the Nobel Prize to Faulkner in 1950 has brought home to the Ameri- 
can public the fact that in Europe he is considered the foremost living American author. 
His naturalism is sometimes compared to that of Erskine Caldwell. Faulkner's naturalism 
is illustrated by his use of rural settings in his novels. His great subject is the decline of the 
South; its economic sterility, its moral disintegration, and its struggle to resist the progres- 
sive and materialist civilization of the North. 

Student A has plagiarized both ideas and words by presenting them as his own without 
any footnotes at all. He/she has violated the Honor Code. 

Student B's Paper 

The awarding of the Nobel Prize to Faulkner in 1950 has brought home to the Ameri- 
can public the fact that in Europe he is considered the foremost living American author. 
His naturalism is sometimes compared to that of Erskine Caldwell. Faulkner's naturalism 
is illustrated by his use of rural settings in his novels. His great subject is the decline of the 
South: its economic sterility, its moral disintegration and its struggle to resist the progres- 
sive and materialistic civilization of the North. 1 

Student B has given credit for the borrowed ideas by his footnotes, but not for the 
words, which are also borrowed in places. Although a few words are changed, there are 
still complete sentences lifted intact from the original work without giving credit for the 
author's words. Student B also has violated the Honor Code. 

Student C's Paper 

Faulkner's great talent has made him "the foremost living American author" to Eu- 
ropean critics. 1 The rural settings of many of his novels illustrate his naturalism which is 
often compared with that of Erskine Caldwell. The central theme of Faulkner's novels is the 
decline of the South. 2 

Student C has given credit for both the phrase "the foremost living American author" 
and for the ideas borrowed. He/she has given proper credit. 

A Final Reminder 

If you have any questions, it is your responsibility to ask your professor exactly what he/ 
she requires in a paper that requires research or documentation. Let us remind you that this 
applies to all full-time and part-time undergraduate students whether in day or night classes. 

'Donald Heiney, Recent American Literature, (Great Neck, New York: Barron's Educa- 
tional Series, 1958) p. 208. 
2 Ibid. 


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Appendix D 

Corrington Recipients 

EudoraWelty 1991 

Ernest Gains 1992 

James Dickey 1993 

Miller Williams 1994 

Lee Smith 1995 

Paul Auster 1996 

Elizabeth Spencer 1997 

Anthony Hecht 1998 (Pulitzer winner) 

Richard Wilbur 1999 (Pulitzer winner) 

Eleanor Wilner 2000 


Appendix E 

Presidential Selection Committee to Select a Successor to Dr. Jack Stauffer Wilkes 

Bishop Aubrey G. Walton 

Dr. D. L. Dykes 

Mr. James C. Gardner 

Mr. Douglas Attaway 

Dr. Walter Lowrey 

Dean Thad Marsh 

Dr. Lee Morgan 

Mr. William C. Teague 

Dr. Mary Warters 

Dr. Wayne Hanson 

Dr. Webb Pomeroy 

Mr. George D. Nelson, Chm. 

Student Advisers: Don Wills, Priscilla Rice, Richard Colbert, Alys Gilcrease, Fred Miller 


Appendix F 

Role & Scope Study 


April 30, 1970 

President John H. Allen 
Centenary College of Louisiana 
Shreveport, Louisiana 71104 

Dear President Allen: 

The following report on the Role and Scope of the College 
is not one in which the College congratulates itself on having 
achieved its principal goals and now wishes only to enjoy its de- 
servedly high reputation. Quite the contrary. The report deals 
with some of the most important aspects of a college community and 
finds that at this particular juncture of Centenary's history they 
all contain problems, several of them serious in the extreme. By 
attempting to spell out these problems and formulate possible solu- 
tions for them, the report may be a significant initial step in their 

Many of the problems which presently beset Centenary are 
attributable to a single crucial cause: the lack of perceptive, top- 
level leadership. This report implies as much in its examples of 
unplanned faculty growth, poor public relations, unassigned responsi- 
bility, faculty and student frustration with ill-defined policies, 
and general lack of clarity in purpose, coordination, and methodology. 
Even adequate communication is frustrated by the lack of job descrip- 
tions defining function and responsibility. It is clear to this Com- 
mittee that, at least in recent years, the College has not consciously 
pursued well-defined objectives. Thus the Committee addresses directly 
and explicitly to you its concern for the lack of effective adminis- 
tration and urges immediate reorganization to provide the necessary- 
leadership and definition of policies and objectives. In the absence 
of this action, this report will have been in vain, and the future of 
the College, in the eyes of the Committee, in real jeopardy. 

There is plain talk in the report. It may appear in places 
abrasive in its criticisms. But plain and abrasive as such criticism 
may be, the report was not composed and is not presented in a spirit 
of acrimony. The Committee who wrote the report assumes on the part 
of every member of the College community good will for the ideal that 
is Centenary. 


President John H. Allen -2- April 30, 1970 

The Committee is aware that the report is on its face 
gloomy. But if the problems delineated herein can be solved even 
partially, there is every reason to believe that Centenary can 
continue to do good things for academe. It has recently inaugurated 
programs and effected changes designed to enhance excellence on the 
campus. To mention only the most striking, there are the interim 
program and the new curriculum, the pass-fail system and independent 
study, the new philosophy in secondary education and in economics and 
business, the policies of open dormitories and non-compulsory class 
attendance, the opportunities for the junior year abroad and the 
Washington semester, honors programs and the substitution of courses 
for hours. In every instance cited, the intention has been to foster 
and emphasize intellectual challenge, freedom, responsibility, and 
maturity. The College will almost surely investigate soon — where it 
has not already done so — such new items as interdisciplinary science 
courses, changes in the grading system and examination policies, in- 
novative teaching techniques, and increased involvement in problems 
of the society, again to mention only a few. 

The fact that the report embodies recommendations evidences 
the Committee's belief that there are solutions to the problems of the 
College if the College will address itself to them. An institution 
that had only endured since 1825 would merit some effort to preserve 
it; an institution like Centenary that has not only endured but also 
made noteworthy contributions deserves every effort on the part of its 
supporters to make it prevail. 

The Steering Committee would like to suggest, President Allen, 
that the first three parts of the Report be made available to faculty 
and students (the last part, 'Working Papers," to you only) and that 
they be limited to campus circulation. 

Very truly yours, 


Lee Morgan 

for the Steering Committee: 
Rufus Walker 
Charles Beaird 
W. W. Pate 
Rosemary Seidler 
Frank Carroll 




Preface i 

Synopses of Subcommittee Reports 1 

The Student Body 1 

Finances 2 

The Academic Program 3 

The Faculty 4 

The Public Service Role of the College 5 

The Image of the College 6 

Steering Committee Recommendations 7 


List of Committee Membership 
Working Papers (for President only) 



On January 26, 1970, President John K. Allen announced to the Faculty of 
Centenary College of Louisiana that he was commissioning a study of the future 
Role and Scope of the College. Ke cited three reasons for this action: (1) as 
the new chief executive officer of the College, he felt that he needed information 
and direction; (2) the College was at the mid-point between institutional self- 
studies for its accrediting agency; (3) there were obvious and insistent pressures 
from various segments of the College for assessment in terms of the dramatic 
changes which have taken place in American higher education in the past decade. 

President Allen made it clear that he did not '/ this to be an institutional 
self-study, that he understood the pressures of time under which the task had to 
be accomplished, and that rather than an in-depth analysis which a lengthy self- 
study normally produces, he intended the report to be diagnostic, advisory, and 
succinct. He also explained that he thought such a study could be best carried 
cut by the members of the Faculty and that he would within a week appoint a 
steering committee to conduct the study in whatever manner it deemed best. It is 
with these specific directives in mind that the Steering Committee attempted to 
implement the study. 

The Steering Committee defined three broad questions which it felt had to be 
answered in the course of the study: 

1. What should a good liberal arts college be in mid-twentieth century 
America, and what should it be pointing toward? 

2. Where is Centenary in regard to that ideal? 

3. Is the ideal attainable for Centenary ir terms of 

(a) enrollment, 

(b) finances, 

(c) faculty, 

(d) curriculum, 

(e) a significant role in the community and in American higher education? 
To answer these questions, the Committee appointed subcommittees on the student 
body, finances, the academic program, the faculty, the public service role of the 
college, and the image of the college, each empowered to study, report, and make 
recommendations on its assigned area. The names cf all committee and subcommittee 
members appear in the appendices of this report. 

The report which follows is the result of these several studies. The Com- 
mittee is willing to answer question one in this preface. A good liberal arts 
college in mid-twentieth century America should still concentrate on a broad, 
general education in the arts and sciences, one which emphasizes intellectual de- 
velopment rather than vocational skills and soon-to-be-outmoded technology. It 
can, however, perhaps for the first time conclusively, point to the utility of such 
education in solving the problems of contemporary man. No longer are the fine arts, 
humanistic studies, social and abstract science reserved for aesthetes or intel- 
lectuals; nor do such studies exist in a vacuum. They are now demonstrably useful 
in virtually every serious problem that confronts human beings — the search for 
meaning and value in life, the dehumanization and depersonalization of all phases 
of life, the problems of physical and psychical survival, automation. On a less 



philosophical plane, their value in the lives of people whose daily work is rela- 
tively routine becomes more apparent. Without abandoning its traditional primary 
purpose, the liberal arts college can in a variety of ways prepare many of its 
graduates for certain vocations — and should do so- 

The answers to questions two and three are implicit in the report, which the 
Committee offers in the hope that it will fulfill the President's original com- 
mission and that it will afford the College a kind of instant analysis, a picture 
of what the present situation is, some possible courses of action, and some pin- 
pointing of key problems that need more detailed st-idy. 

The Report is organized into four parts: the Preface, Synopses of Subcom- 
mittee Reports, Recommendations of the Steering Committee, and Working Papers 
(attached only to the President's copy). The Steering Committee elected not to 
compose an expository statement comparable to the Subcommittee s}Tiopses, preferring 
instead to let the Recommendations mirror their best interpretation of the data 
which they studied. 



The synopses which follow constitute the Steering Committee's attempt to 
present in expository form the essence of the Subcommittee reports , some of which 
contain statistical information. They do not necessarily represent the opinions 
of the Steering Committee, which are officially reflected only in the Recommen- 
dations section of this Report. 

The Student Body 

The student body in a liberal arts college in this part of the United States 
would seem in the opinion of the Subcommittee to be taking on increasingly heter- 
ogeneous characteristics, and necessarily so. Liberal arts education, generally 
speaking, goes on in private colleges, and it is non-vocational in nature. Those 
who elect it, still speaking generally, tend to come from homes where respect for 
cultural values can be afforded. Thus, liberal arts education is expensive and 
not obviously and immediately practical, though it is considered by those any way 
sympathetic to it as a superior type of education. 

The liberal arts college cannot assume that its student population will appear 
automatically — even if it is an institution of high quality. Although demographic 
studies indicate that the total college-age group will increase in numbers, one 
cannot conclude that the student population of liberal arts colleges will increase; 
current projections indicate that most of the increase in college enrollment will 
occur in public institutions. The two-year institutions — gaining rapidly in both 
prestige and numbers — deserve special attention if only because of their effect 
upon enrollment in the relatively economical, lower-level courses in a four-year 
institution. It appears that liberal arts colleges such as Centenary will in the 
future be competing for a relatively small number of potential students. Those 
colleges which survive will almost certainly do so by means of quality education 
and effective promotion. 

These facts, coupled with the financial straits all colleges find themselves 
in today, make it well-nigh imperative to recruit students for Centenary from 
middle-class, suburban households, who can afford to pay for the kind of education 
Centenary has to offer. The Subcommittee would wish to make perfectly clear in 
this regard that it is not recommending any discriminatory practices or any criteria 
in recruiting irrelevant to the educational function. This is a practical obser- 
vation which suggests where recruiting emphases ought to be. At the same time, the 
College needs desperately to give scholarships to outstandingly qualified students 
whether they need financial aid or not. Today, all colleges are having to "buy" 
brains . 

Admitting that the foregoing paragraphs impose some limitations on recruitment, 
the Subcommittee thinks it is nonetheless true that a selective admissions policy 
not only insures a higher quality of student but also enhances the image of the 
College. And one of the most critical needs at this time in recruiting is the pro- 
jection of an accurate image of the College, its programs, and its student body. 
Decidedly less emphasis should be made on "Church-r elatedness" and the College. Too 
much of cur promotional literature stresses unduly the religious aspects of Centenary. 


It should rather stress those curricular and extracurricular features which are 
innovative, challenging, exciting, unique, stimulating, truly educational — and 
different, especially from what a student is likely to find in state schools. 

Although student recruiting is primarily the responsibility of a professional, 
many segments of the College community should be enlisted — faculty and students in 
particular — and virtually all College programs are recruiting devices. 

The present physical plant of the College could accommodate an enrollment of 
1500 students, a number which the Subcommittee is willing to recommend. There is 
a need for a new science building because the present facility is outmoded, and the 
Subcommittee therefore recommends its construction and points out its recruiting 
as well as its educational value to the College. 

Students seem reasonably well satisfied with the curriculum and the faculty. 
They are less happy about the small number of social activities and the large 
number of "in loco parentis" regulations. Like the faculty, students have their 
communications problems — with their fellow students, the faculty, and the adminis- 
tration. For the sake of student morale as well as tc correct a problem, the Sub- 
committee recommends immediate improvement in this area of student life. 


The financial situation of Centenary presents a crisis of the first magnitude. 
The amended budget for 1969-70 shows that the College anticipates a deficit of 
$380,000 in current operating costs and has actually budgeted for 1970-71 a de- 
ficit of $401,124. The Subcommittee feels that both of these figures are low by 
about $50,000 for 1969-70 and $100,000 for 1970-71. Obviously, the College will 
have to go to the General Endowment for funds in these amounts, an extremely 
dangerous fiscal practice for colleges. 

Several factors account for this grave picture. Because enrollment has de- 
clined alarmingly, income from tuition and fees is low when measured as a percentage 
cf total income. But it need not have been as low as it is. Centenary's tuition 
appears entirely too low when it is compared with that of ten similar Southsrn 
institutions. Furthermore, the United Methodist Church does not support the Col- 
lege adequately, especially when one compares the income other church-related in- 
stitutions receive from their sponsoring denominations. For example, Southwestern™ 
at-Memphis receives $211,000 annually from the Presbyterian Church, St. Andrew's 
College $252,000 from the Presbyterian Church, and Louisiana College $415,000 from 
the Baptist Church. Centenary budgets $80,000 annually from the United Methodist 
Church but last year received only $77,000 of that amount. Annual support from 
alumni and the community is substantially better, but still should be much increased. 

Also Centenary's income from government grants and foundations is low. Al- 
though universities seem to be the chief recipients of such monies, they are 
available to small colleges who know how to go after them. 


Auxiliary enterprises (dormitories, bookstores, cafeterias, etc.) may never 
again be the source of profits to colleges which they once were. Careful planning 
can, however, prevent a deficit such as we are now experiencing. 

Turning from the income of the College to its expenses, the Subcommittee finds 
an equally grim picture. Instructional costs appear out of line at the present. 
We have a faculty capable of handling an enrollment of 1200 en a 15-1 ratio of 
students to faculty, and a student body which numbers only 800. Administrative 
and general costs are continually rising with the increased costs of doing business. 
Finally, the costs of operating and maintaining the physical plant will continue to 

It will not be easy to raise admissions standards, tuition, and enrollment 
all at the same time. The Subcommittee infers from statistics, however, that it 
may be easier to raise tuition than the SAT average of entering freshmen, assuming 
the College holds the present enrollment level or even increases it to some extent. 

The only bright spots in this dark assessment are connected with the endowment, 
which is the largest of all the colleges studied, and that includes several which 
are ranked higher than Centenary on the basis of selectivity of student body. As 
might be expected then, Centenary's endowment income as a percentage of total in- 
come is one of the highest of the schools studied. 

The Academic Program 

In general, the academic program at Centenary is a sound one. Neither the 
number of majors offered nor the number of courses listed in the College catalog 
appears excessive when compared to those of colleges of similar size and character. 
There are departments, however, where the enrollment at either the major or iche 
service level seems economically questionable. Nevertheless, the consensus of the 
Subcommittee is that they should be retained for the present because some are new 
(or necessary) for a liberal arts college, and liberal arts colleges are not in- 
tended primarily to be "profitable." 

Average class enrollments in the 100-200 level courses in the spring cf 1970 
were uncommonly low in ten departments, ranging from 4.1 in Engineering Sciences 
through 12.2 in Chemistry (higher than 10 because of 27 in Chemistry 105) to 14 in 
Physical Education. And the picture is more serious in the 300-400 level courts, 
where in eighteen departments the range was from .66 in German to 9 in Mathematics 
and Speech. In thirteen of these eighteen departments, the average was less than 
6 per class. 

On the other hand, the average class enrollment on the 100-200 level seemed 
high in Sociology (25.1) and Religion (32.1). 

The status of the Evening Division is grave indeed. From fall 1967 to fall 
1S68, enrollment declined 30% (from 727 to 505). From fall 1968 to fall 1969, the 
drop was much sharper, 71% (from 505 to 144). Spring enrollments fell even more 
drastically: between spring 1968 and spring 1969, the decline was 37% (from 750 
to 471); between spring 1969 and spring 1970, it plummeted 90% (from 471 to 66). 


These statistics are unquestionably related to the establishment of an evening 
division at LSU-S, where the increase in enrollment from spring 1969 to spring 1970 
was 200$ (170 to 400); to the fact that Southern University, Louisiana Tech, and 
Northwestern all have evening programs in Shreveport (no statistics available); to 
the fact that all of these schools offer introductory instructional salaries several 
times larger than those offered by Centenary; and to the fact that tuition in Cen- 
tenary's evening division is presently $35.00 per semester hour and will go to $50.00 
per hour in fall 1970. 

Prospects for a strong and profitable summer school are brighter, and need 
only thoughtful attention and imaginative planning to become a reality. The Shreve- 
port market potential is good* Students home for the summer from other colleges 
should be more interested in the quality of the work they can get at Centenary than 
merely in hours and degrees . The increasing difficulty which students face in 
finding summer employment in Shreveport should help our market. 

The Faculty 

The faculty is an asset to the College in terms of quality, but presents a 
financial problem at the present time because of reduced enrollment. Approximately 
50$ of the faculty hold the doctorate, and the list of institutions where such de- 
grees have been earned is impressive. Faculty members make the presence and in- 
fluence of the College felt in the community in a variety of public service ways as 
well as by scholarly endeavors. Although there is at present a surplus of faculty 
in some departments, most chairmen, somewhat understandably, seem unwilling yet to 
function with reduced staff. The Subcommittee thus feels it would be premature, 
given the present uncertain enrollment projection and the new core curriculum, to 
recommend cutting back in faculty. 

The present student-faculty ratio of 10-1 has come some three years earlier 
than the Self-Study of 1962-1964 called for, a fact which has implications in 
finance, duties and responsibilities, and morale. It need not, however, have alto- 
gether negative implications . In the immediate future, while the enrollment picture 
becomes clearer, those faculty members with lighter teaching responsibilities could 
be used in planning innovative educational programs, in student recruitment, and in 
ether projects on behalf of the College. 

If the faculty are to fulfill their roles as scholars and officers of an edu- 
cational institution, several crucial needs should be met. First, a sound sabbatical 
program is needed in order for the continued scholarly growth and development of 
faculty members. The Self-Study of 1962-64 recommended this, but the College has 
failed to come up with anything more than some modest summer grants. Second, the 
need for full-time secretarial and technical help in some departments is critical. 
Music in particular badly needs full-time secretarial assistance. The sciences need 
technical help and at least student secretaries. Music, Physics, Chemistry, Foreign 
Languages and audio-visual aids need maintenance contracts badly; in all of these 
areas costly equipment is deteriorating because of inadequate maintenance. The 
faculty also needs some relief from excessive coranittee work. A partial solution 
would be the utilization of younger faculty members; not only would this equalize 
the committee work load, but it would allow junior faculty to develop leadership 


potential and imagination and in some instances exercise that which they already 
have. Finally, the faculty needs to be provided regularly with accurate information 
from the administration on matters of long-range planning and development , recruit- 
ment, grant possibilities, and other matters which would enable them to go about 
their work with more understanding. 

The Public Service Role of the College 

Like any other institution of higher learning, Centenary College has an obli- 
gation to society at large and to the community wherein it is located that goes 
beyond its primary role of academic instruction to its own students. That obliga- 
tion is to provide cultural and intellectual leadership, stimulation, and oppor- 
tunities by making available to the general public whenever possible its personnel 
and its facilities. This is not only an altruistic ideal; it is an excellent form 
of public relations . Centenary has traditionally met this obligation in a variety 
of ways; it can continue to meet it and even improve its effectiveness in this role. 

Because of the establishment of several other state-supported college and 
university evening schools in Shreveport, Centenary's adult education program must 
be reorganized, emphasizing those offerings in which the College specializes and in 
which its competitors do not, for example, new and different cultural and technical 
courses, non-credit in nature and variable in length. These should be financially 
profitable to the College and would surely enhance its image if they were feasible 
and successful. 

A community fortunate enough to have a good college always looks to the faculty 
to speak at various programs. Here, the College is not doing nearly enough. This 
is ran* liable by a reactivation of the Speakers Bureau. Scholarly expertise could 
also be valuable to the community, particularly in its elementary, junior high, and 
high schools. 

Related to the speaking possibilities are those of writing, for example, special 
articles and book reviews for local newspapers. 

Perhaps it is in the fine arts that Centenary has been best known for its 
service to the community. The School of Music, the Department of Theater/Speech, 
the Department of Art, and the Library have not only provided aesthetic and intel- 
lectual enrichment for the community in terms of concerts and recitals; productions,' 
tournaments, and workshops; exhibits; and books; but they have also made their 
physical facilities available to groups in the community as meeting-places. The 
College serves the community and region generally by hosting professional, scholarly,, 
religious, and youth organizations in other of its buildings as well as in those 
mentioned above. 

Significant as these services have been in the past, they can and should be 
improved and increased. More consideration should be given by the College to 
cooperative ventures with other institutions, such as cultural exchange programs 
and sharing of personnel, facilities, and costs in securing outstanding programs 
of benefit to students, faculty, and community. 


The burden of gathering and coordinating information about all of the afore- 
mentioned services, interpreting it and presenting it to the public in a manner 
and form that will benefit college and community falls to the lot of the Public 
Relations Department. It is not an easy assignment. And, to the Subcommittee, 
the conclusion seems inescapable that the College's public relations, especially 
with reference to volume and quality of information and accuracy of image, need 
serious and immediate attention. 

The Image of the College 

The Subcommittee appointed to study this phase of the Role and Scope of the 
College found that it had drawn the most difficult of assignments, difficult be- 
cause of the nebulousness of the concept of "image" itself, the many psychological 
nuances remaining even when the concept had been defined, and the virtual impossi- 
bility of completing the survey within the prescribed time limit. Ascertaining the 
image of a college involves disseminating to a variety of constituencies question- 
naires devised and processed by professionals. The College numbers among its 
faculty, members who possess the expertise to do this. Because of the extreme 
importance of "image" in contemporary society, particularly where it relates to 
private colleges, the Subcommittee strongly urges that the College make use of its 
resident professionals as soon as feasible to conduct a study which will provide 
this information. And, even more to the purpose, it seems highly desirable that 
these experts confer with the proper officers of the College, such as the Directors 
of Recruitment, Public Relations, and Alumni and the Dean to correct erroneous 
images and promulgate accurate ones. 



Once more, a word of caution and clarification with respect to the following 
recommendations is in order here. They represent the consensus of the Steering 
Committee and are not necessarily the same as those made by the individual Sub- 
committees. As might be expected, however, there is not wide divergence, and where 
the Steering Committee went counter to a recommendation of a subcommittee, it felt 
it had good reason to do so. In all cases, recommendations, though they may appear 
minor, were considered important enough by the Committee in their impact on the 
overall College program to warrant inclusion in this report. They are offered in 
a constructive spirit in the hope that they will be useful in providing solutions 
to those problems to which this report addressed itself. 

The Student Body 

1. The Committee recommends that recruiting policies should present the College 
effectively and realistically and wishes to point out that recruiting, in 
addition to bringing students to the campus, is an important part of public 
relations. Recruitment efforts and the dissemination of information should 
be concentrated in those areas in which Centenary excels. They should stress 
those curricular and extracurricular features which are innovative, challenging, 
exciting — and different, especially from what a student is likely to find in 
state schools. Particular prominence should be given to the new curriculum, 
the interim program, the pass-fail system, opportunities for independent study, 
and honors programs in the area of the academic and to such facets of student 
life as the active participation of students in the governance of the College 
(including emphasis on the role of the Student Senate and of student voting 
members on all College committees), the President's Conferences on Student life; 

... the Honor System, and the Forums program. 

2. Recruiting and cultivation should be under the direction of a qualified pro- 
fessional; however, the job cannot be left entirely to him. The Committee 
recommends increased involvement of faculty and students in the recruiting and 
cultivation efforts of the College; in particular, the role of students should 
be expanded. Activities — such as forensic tournaments — in which the entire 
College can cooperate to present the College to prospective students are highly 

3. Recruiting efforts should not be restricted arbitrarily in geographic scope; 
however, they should be directed toward those students most likely to enroll. 
The Committee recommends a "selective nati on-wide " recruiting effort concen- 
trating upon metropolitan suburbs where those with interest in liberal educa- 
tion and the ability to pay for it are most likely to be found. 

4. The present undue concentration in recruitment effort directed through the 
United Methodist Church appears to the Committee to be relatively unproductive. 
The Committee therefore recommends that the College drastically decrease the 
emphasis in this area and shift this effort to the areas suggested above. 



5. The Committee recommends that highly desirable students be offered scholar- 
ships to encourage their enrollment at Centenary, without regard to need. 
While this policy is presently in effect with respect to athletes , it must 
be extended to all desirable students. "Desirable" here means that, within 
the limitations of predicted academic viability, the students which the Col- 
lege wants may exhibit the potential for excellence in scholastic achievement, 
leadership, athletics, or other aspects of student activity.. 

6. The Committee feels that the policy of "in loco parentis" is outmoded in our 
society. It recommends that steps be taken to abolish those practices and 
regulations which have been fostered by this principle and that this change 
of attitude be given wide publicity. 

7. The two-to-one ratio of men to women students projected by the "Climax 75" 
program seems unreasonable to the Committee; it therefore recommends that this 
goal be abandoned in favor of a "no-discrimination" policy of admissions. 

8. The Committee recommends that acceptance of the ACT be discontinued and that 
the requirement that applicants present SAT scores as part of their appli- 
cation be uniformly enforced. 

9. The Committee recommends a firm spring cut-off date for normal applications 
and a substantial nonrefundable deposit required of all students indicating 
the intention to enroll. 

10. The Committee recommends no major changes in the athletic program. Like all 
other aspects of the College, it should be subjected to continuous scrutiny 
to insure that its practices remain consistent with the philosophy and goals 
of the institution. 

Finan ces 

1. The Committee hopes that tuition can be raised annually until the College is 
charging fees comparable to those of other good, small, liberal arts colleges 
in the South. This, of course, means that the College must "catch up" — 
approximately from $400 to £700. The Committee recommends that admissions 
standards be raised to an average SAT score of 1100 with a ceiling of 1100 
Full -Time Equivalents (students). Hoxvever, this is a long-range recommendation* 
for the immediate future, the College should follow the policy on tuition and 
admissions outlined below: 

Enrollment Level Folicy 

Below 800 FTE Tuition: Raise only in keeping with 

increases by other colleges. 

Admissions Standards: Reduce slightly as 
required to obtain 800 students . 






Enrollment Level 

800-900 FTE 

900-1000 FTE 

1100 FTE 


Tuition: Increase tuition on a slow 
"catch-up" program. 

Admissions Standards: Hold steady at 
present level. 

Tuition: Increase tuition at a moderate 
"catch-up" pace. 

Admissions Standards: Attempt to raise 
to 1050 SAT average. 

Tuition: Raise to competitive rates. 

Admissions Standards: Raise to 1100 SAT 
average and put ceiling on 
enrollment . 

The Committee recommends that instructional costs be adjusted with the ob- 
jective of maintaining approximately a 15-1 student -faculty ratio. For the 
present, this will require a reduction in the size of the faculty, difficult 
though this may be. In the future, contracts issued and faculty recruited 
should be based upon current enrollment and not upon "hoped-for" figures for 
the upcoming year. 

The Committee recommends that the College seek substantially increased fi- 
nancial support from the United Methodist Church. Such support appears 
both imperative and fair. This recommendation is made specifically taking 
into account the statement of the United Methodist Church ( Book of Resolu- 
tion s , p. 34) concerning its related colleges. 

The Committee recommends that grants from governmental sources be sought 
actively; an appropriate administrative structure should be set up to seek . 
grants. A faculty member could be employed during the simmer with a reduced 
load for the fall semester in order to do this work. 

The Committee recommends that a careful study be made to determine whether 
the College can utilize part of the excess dormitory space for married 
students. Dormitory costs should be reduced in keeping with lower enrollment, 
if possible, through closing down entire dormitories. 

The Committee recommends that the business office hire a qualified consultant 
to investigate the College's utility rates and attempt to recover past excess 
charges, if any. 

The Committee recommends that General and Administrative expenses be investi- 
gated in depth through a comparative study with friendly and cooperative 
colleges of like size. 



8. The Committee recommends that tuition remission for children cf faculty and 
staff should be charged to Staff Benefits rather than Student Aid. 

S. The Committee recommends that the business office change accounting proce- 
dures to conform to those specified in Volume I of College and University 
Business Administration published by the American Council on Education. 

10. The Committee recommends that in accordance with No. 9 above, all "endowment" 
funds should be classified as Endowment, Term Endowment, or Qua si -Endowment 
in order that the College may know how far it can legally and morally go in 
invading "endowment . " 

11. The physical plant of the College is essentially complete except for a 
science building, which may be expected to follow from the normal course 
of benevolences or grants. In any case, there is no pressing need for new 
construction. Therefore, the Committee recommends that the development 
emphasis be shifted from "bricks and mortar" to endowed chairs and scholar- 
ships . 

The Academic Program 

1. The Committee recommends that each department examine its position in view 
of the newly adopted limitation cf twelve major courses and attempt to cut 
course offerings to a maximum of 14-16, excluding introductory courses. A 
department of a liberal arts college is necessarily limited in the specialists 
it can afford and should therefore avoid an attempt at offering all the 
courses which the same department in a university might offer. 

2. The Committee recommends that each department carefully examine the enroll- 
ment in its current offerings, since many courses at all levels show too few 
students for optimum operation. It urges departments to poll current students 
as a guide to the number of sections and courses which should be scheduled 
and to offer some courses in alternate years. 

3. The Committee recommends that Engineering Science be dropped as a maj^i" 
field because of the very .low enrollment and the fact that it does not fit 
the general pattern of a liberal arts college. If the cost is not prohib~ 
xtive, the College should maintain the 3-2 program in engineering. If the 
cost is too high in view of the very small enrollment, the program should 
be dropped. Other 3-2 programs might be investigated on the same basis ac 
suggested for the engineering program. 

4. The Committee recommends that the Evening Division be abolished. Courses 
should continue to be offered in the evening hours but should be administered 
in the same manner as other courses, through the Dean of the College and the 
various departments. No differentiation should be made between classes 
whether they are offered at 7:50 in the morning or 8:30 at night. 
offered during the evening hours should run either fifty minutes per meeting 
or, preferably, seventy-five minutes per meeting. There should be so 



distinction between admissions policies for a part-time student taking only 
evening courses and those for a full-time day student. The Committee be- 
lieves that classes offered during the evening hours should be aimed at 
those students now enrolled in Evening School in a degree-seeking status, 
and that no attempt be made to force regular day students into classes 
scheduled during evening hours. 

5. The Committee recommends that Summer School be continued with more adminis- 
trative attention than has been given it in the past. Fresh new approaches 
should be tried in curricula and session length. Faculty salaries should 
be brought into line with those of other colleges as a minimum. 

6. The Committee recommends that the College cooperate with the Southern College 
University Union. 

The Faculty 

1. The Committee recommends that the College establish a clearly defined yet 
flexible policy on teaching loads so that faculty members may be free to 
develop courses, do research, or engage in projects on behalf of the College 
and have such work constitute the equivalent of classes in the teaching lead. 
No faculty member should have to teach an underenrolled class at the elemen- 
tary level. It is further recommended that the College reduce committee work 
generally for the faculty; that more leadership in this area be exercised on 
the part of the administration, the Committee on Faculty Organization, and 
committee chairmen themselves; and that more of the younger faculty members 
be placed on committees, thus equalizing the work load and injecting new 
ideas into the committees . 

2. The Committee recommends that the College inaugurate at the earliest: possible 
date a strong sabbatical program as well as continue and improve the progrssi 
of grants as a means of upgrading the faculty. 

3. The Committee recommends that the annual report of faculty publications, 
research, summer study, and comparable professional development required by 
the Faculty Handbook be disseminated by the Dean of the College, particularly 
to the Faculty Personnel Committee, the Director of Public Relations, and the 
Recruitment personnel. 

5. The Committee recommends timely communication between the administration and 
the faculty so that the latter may be kept informed about important happening;; 
in recruitment, finance, scholarship policies, and student social regulations. 

The Public Service Role of the College 

1. The Committee recommends that the College study the feasibility of establishing 
a non-credit Continuing Education Program. 



2. The Committee recommends the reactivation of the Speakers Bureau with a pub- 
lished list of available faculty and the topics on which they can speak. 

3. The Committee recommends that the College cooperate actively with area colleges 
in such endeavors as cultural exchanges and the sharing of libraries and dis- 
tinguished lecturers, all of which would be available to the community. 

4. The College's present level of support cf the Library should be continued in 
order for the Library to grow and better serve the community as well as stu- 
dents and faculty. The Committee further recommends that the Library maintain 
its policy with regard to community use. 

5. The Committee recommends that the School of Music and the Department of Art 
expand their offerings to the community in the area of concerts, recitals, 
exhibits, tours, and instruction provided that they are essentially self- 

6. The Committee recommends that every effort be made to utilize the expensive 
new Physcial Education Building in order that the operational costs of this 
facility may be minimized, particularly since athletic events should not be 
expected to account for its total use. 

7. The Committee recommends that the College encourage and assist student partici- 
pation in the solution of community problems. 

8. The Committee recommends a reorganization of the Public Relations Department 
so that a new, up-to-date, and accurate orientation and functioning of that 
office may be effected. The Committee also recommends that there be in this 
office a concentration on the image of the College as exemplified in attractive 
and innovative programs, outstanding achievements, grants, community service, 

9. The Committee recommends that the College continue its relationship with chs 
United Methodist Church but stresses that this relationship should not be over- 
emphasized in the projection of the image of the College. 

The Image of the College 

1. The Committee recommends that the College authorize a professional study of the 
image of the College to be made by faculty members whose special competence 
qualifies them for such an undertaking. 

2. The Committee recommends that any information submitted to the various publishers 
of college handbooks and other reference material used by prospective students 
be approved by the academic dean before submission. 




Steering Committee: 

Rufus Walker 



W. V. Pate 


■ Seidler 

Frank Carroll 

Lee Morgan, Chairman 

Subcommittee on the Student 


Subcommittee on the Faculty: 

Jim Shultz 

Willard Cooper 

Orvis Sigler 

Johnson Watts 

Darrell Loyless 

Al.;on Hancock 

Jimmy Smith 

Wilfred Guerin 

Pamela Sargent 

Leroy Vogel 

Alys Gilcrease 

Rosemary Seidler, Chairman 

Don Uills 

Rufus Walker, Chairman 

Subcommittee on the Role of the College: 

John 3erton 

Subcommittee on Finances: 

Charles Harrington 

Roy Pearson 

Nolan Shaw 

C. L. Ferry 

Rober : : 3d Taylor 

Charles Beaird, Chairman 

Robert Buseick 
Liddell Smith 

Subcommittee on the Academic 

. Program 

Steve Mayer 

Robert Deufel 

Frank Carroll, Chairman 

Ronald Dean 

Dorothy Gvin 

Subcommittee on The Image of 

the College: 

Lynn Home 

Walter Lowrey 

Richard Watts 

Hughes Cox 

W. W. Fate, Chairman 

Virginia Carlton 
Stan Taylor 
Fergal Gallagher 
Mike Cothren 
Theresa Morgan 
Gary Murphree 

Lee Morgan, Chairman 


Appendix G 

Presidential Search Committee to Select a Successor to Dr. John Horton Allen 

Dr. Alton Hancock 

Dr. Nolan Shaw 

Dr. Earle Labor 

Dr. Dorothy Gwin 

Mrs. G. M. Anderson 

Mr. John B. Atkins, Jr. 

Mr. Douglas F. Attaway 

Mr. Charles Ellis Brown 

Dr. D. L. Dykes, Jr. 

Mr. George Nelson 

Mr. Don Raymond, Jr. 

Mr. J. Hugh Watson 

Mr. Eugene W. Bryson, Jr. 

Mr. Rick Ryba, student member 


Appendix H 

Presidential Search Committee to Select a Successor to Dr. Donald A. Webb 

Bishop William B. Oden 

Dean Dorothy Gwin* 

Dr. Austin Sartin* 

Dr. Robert E. Taylor* 

Mr, George Nelson, Sr. 

Mrs. Virginia Shehee 

Mrs. Nancy Carruth 

Mr. J. Hugh Watson 

Mr. Edward Crawford III 

Mr. William Anderson 

Reverend Kenneth Fisher 

Mr. Richard Ray 

Mr. Charles Ellis Brown, Chm. 

Ex officio members: Mr. Mark McCrocklin (president of the Alumni Association), 
Mr. Heath Elliott (president of the Student Government Association) 

* faculty members; other names are trustees. According to President Schwab's files, 

there were ten trustees on the committee. 


Appendix I 

Centenary College of Louisiana Alma Mater 

Ronald N. Bukoff, Director of the Hurley Music Library and Associate Professor of Music 
Chris Brown, Archivist, Centenary College 

Centenary College of Louisiana Alma Mater (1922) 
Words by James Church Alvord 

Where the sleepy, silver bayou 
Gleams among the pines. 
Watching o'er the throbbing city 
Alma Mater shines. 


Forward, forward Centenary-- 
Time and tide may fail, 
But our hearts shall love thee ever- 
Centenary Hail! 

Like a wave the mighty city 
Surges Wound thy feet. 
Guide it, train it, teach it wisdom 
Alma Mater sweet. 


Green the boughs that rustle 'round thee 
On thy stately crest: 
Greener is our mernry ofthee-- 
Alma Mater blest. 



The Centenary College Alma Mater is based on the song "Annie Lisle." "Annie Lisle" is 
the name of an 1857 ballad by Boston, Massachusetts, songwriter H. S. Thompson, pub- 
lished by Oliver Ditson & Co. It is about the death of a young maiden, possibly from tu- 
berculosis, or "consumption"; but this is speculation. The song might have slipped into ob- 
scurity had the tune not been adopted by countless colleges, universities, and high schools 
worldwide as their respective alma mater songs. 

Annie Lisle (1857) 

Words and music by H. S. Thompson 

Down where the waving willows 

'Neath the sunbeam's smile, 

Shadow'd o'er the mum ring waters 

Dwelt sweet Annie Lisle; 

Pure as the forest lily, 

Never tho't of guile 

Had its home within the bosom of sweet Annie Lisle. 


Wave willows, murmur waters, Golden sunbeams, smile! 
Earthly music cannot waken Lovely Annie Lisle. 

Sweet came the hallow'd chiming 

Of the Sabbath bell. 

Borne on the morning breezes 

Down the woody dell. 

On a bed of pain and anguish 

Lay dear Annie Lisle. 

Ghangd were the lovely features 

Gone the happy smile. 


The first college to have used the tune in a spirit song seems to have been Cornell Uni- 
versity. Circa 1870, students and roommates Archibald Weeks and Wilmot Smith wrote 
"Far Above Cayuga's Waters" and used an adaptation of Thompson's melody. Interested in 
creating a popular school song, the two quickly sketched out six verses by alternating each 


line between the two. The currently accepted lyrics differ slightly, likely the result of an ar- 
ranger named Colin K. Urquhart who revised them for publication in the late 1800s. 

Many other colleges, almost certainly influenced by Cornell's version, have since cre- 
ated their own renditions. They include Acadia University, American University of Beirut, 
Centenary College of Louisiana, College of William & Mary, Davis College, Emory Univer- 
sity, Indiana University, Lehigh University, Lewis & Clark College, Moravian College, Roa- 
noke Bible College, Swarthmore College, Syracuse University, Tennessee Wesleyan College, 
University of Alabama, University of Georgia, University of Kansas, University of Missouri, 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, Vanderbilt 
University, and Xavier University of Louisiana. 

This song is the best-known alma mater in the United States. It is the only alma mater 
song included in Ronald Herder's 500 Best-Loved Song Lyrics (1998). The novelist, Betty 
Smith, author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, supposedly called it "the saddest and oldest of 
all college songs." Edward Abbey, in One Life at a Time, Please (1988), mentions a campfire 
sing in which he contributed "the only Ivy League song that occurred to me: 'Far Above 
Cayuga's Waters.'" 

Far Above Cayuga's Waters 

Words by Archibald Weeks and Wilmot Smith 

Far above Cayuga's waters 
With its waves of blue, 
Stands our noble Alma Mater 
Glorious to view. 


Lift the chorus, speed it onward, 
Loud her praises tell. 
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater, 
Hail, all hail, Cornell! 

Far Above the busy humming 
Of the bustling town; 
Reared against the arch of Heaven, 
Looks she proudly down. 


The last 4 verses of the song are not printed here. 


The earliest publication of the text of the Centenary College alma mater occurs in the 
1922 Yoncopin yearbook. This, incidentally, was the first year for Centenary to have a year- 
book. The lyrics are printed, but no score. Above the lyrics there is a picture of James 
Church Alvord, the lyricist. In the faculty listings of the 1922 yearbook, Alvord is listed as 
"James Church Alvord. B.D., A.M. Professor of Modern Languages." The earliest publica- 
tion of the alma mater score appears on the back of the 1924 Commencement Bulletin. 

Consulting the College Bulletins (aka college catalogs) yields a few additional clues 
regarding Alvord. The earliest year his name appears on documents in the archives appears 
to be the 1921-22 College Bulletin. The next college bulletin is for the 1922-23 year. It lists 
Alvord as Prof, of Modern Languages again, this time with his full educational background 
- "A.B. and A.M., Williams College; B.D., Andover; M.I.L., Emerson School of Oratory, 
Special student Madrid, Paris and Rome." The next college bulletin in the archives is dated 
December 15, 1922. Once again Alvord is listed along with his educational background. 
The next college bulletin in the archives is dated May 1, 1925, and lists a new Prof, of Mod- 
ern Languages; Alvord is not mentioned. 

The only known concert-setting of "Annie Lisle/Far Above Cayuga's Waters" is by 
Charles Ives (1984-1954). This Match "Intercollegiate" received its first performance in 
Washington, D.C., on March 4, 1897, by the combined New Haven and Washington Marine 
(i.e., U.S. Marine) Bands as part of the presidential inauguration celebrations for William 
McKinley. The composition possibly dates from 1892, written for the Danbury (CT) Band. 
The theme was considered to be "everybody's Alma Mater." 

Sources consulted include Wikipedia articles on "Annie Lisle" and "Far Above Cayuga's 
Waters"; the "Cornell University Glee Club: Alma Mater" homepage; and various Cente- 
nary College of Louisiana Yoncopins, Commencement Bulletins, and College Bulletins. 

This Appendix itself is Cent. Misc. MSS 392. 



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"Buddy Roemer." Jan. 2007 <>. 


Bulletin of Centenary College of Louisiana 1921-1922, p. 1 1. 

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Catalogue of Centenary College of Louisiana for the Year 1901. Clarksville, TN: Titus, 1901. 

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Centenary College Catalogue. 

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Centenary College of Louisiana Sesquicentennial 1825-1975 (pamphlet). 


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Faculty Minutes. Centenary College Archives. 

"Faculty Passes Resolution Favoring Student Military Unit on Centenary Campus," Conglomerate, Dec. 12, 1941, 


Fahey, Merlin. "Serpent Reviewed, Can't Be Judged," Conglomerate, Mar. 3, 1972, p. 9. 

"Famed pianist brings his talent to Centenary," Conglomerate, Mar. 9, 1998, pp. 1, 4. 

"Farm Products Taken in Payment of Tuition," Conglomerate, Sept. 25, 1931, p. 1. 

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Fern, David R. "Student places on second team," Conglomerate, Feb. 1, 1990, p. 1. 

"Feminist Attacks Women's Suppression, Relegation to Subordinate Society Role," Conglomerate, May 1, 1970, 
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"Final enrollment 1,176," Conglomerate, Mar. 26, 1981, p. 1. 

"First-of-a-Kind Program Brings Creative Writer to Campus - Twice," Centenary Today, Winter 1992, p. 5. 

Fiser, Karen. "Van Doren Will Appear October 21-22 At Centenary," Conglomerate, Mar. 22, 1965, p. 1. 

"Football Back at Centenary," Shreveport Magazine, Jan. 1947, p. 32. 

"Football Plans For Centenary In 1947 Approved," Conglomerate, Nov. 8, 1946, p. 1. 

"Former Saatchi and Saatchi CEO to Visit," Conglomerate, Mar. 14, 1995, p. 3. 

Fortier, Alcee. Louisiana. 3 vols. Century Historical Association, 1914. 

"Founders' Day Celebrates Inauguration of Charles T. Beaird Chair of Philosophy," Centenary Today, Spring- 
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"Fred Divers, Biology Major, Wins Barry Goldwater Award," Centenary Today, Summer 1993, p. 5. 

Free Enterprise Conference definitely left [sic] wing," Conglomerate, Mar 12, 1981, p. 4. 

Frentress, Dawn. "Campus stresses importance of crime awareness," Conglomerate, Oct. 24, 1991, p. 3. 

. "Choir entertains Edwards," Conglomerate, Jan. 23, 1992, p. 1. 

"From novice to collector," Conglomerate, Feb. 11, 1982, p. 7. 

"Frost Foundation Donates $900,000 For Jackson Hall," Conglomerate, Mar. 6, 1986, p. 1. 

"Funt named Forums speaker," Conglomerate, Nov. 12, 1981, p. 1. 

"Gents Get Order Stopping Enforcement of Probation," Shreveport Times, Feb. 16, 1973, p. 1C. 

"George D. Nelson, Chairman of Board, Retires After 30 Years as Chair," Centenary Today, Spring/Summer 1995, 

"Gilbert will Inaugurate Spring Forum Series," Conglomerate, Mar. 18, 1966, p. 1. 

"Girls Organize Squad Known As 'Maroon Jackets,'" Conglomerate, Oct. 30, 1931, p. 1. 

Gleason, Hubert. "The Civil Rights Bill." [editorial.] Conglomerate, Feb. 13, 1948, p. 2. 

Gomillion, Nola. "Department chair named humanist of the year," Conglomerate, Sept. 26, 1991, p. 3. 

. "Faculty activities extend beyond classroom," Conglomerate, Oct. 10, 1991, p. 3. 

"Gov. Roemer Addresses Graduates at Commencement," Centenary Today, Summer 1989, p. 9. 

Graf, Mike. "The Russians Are Coming!!", Conglomerate, Apr. 5, 1978, p. 1. 

. "State of the College," Conglomerate, Apr. 19, 1978, pp. 1, 3. 

Graham, Stuart Edward. A Scandal Turned to Progress: The Southwest Regional Conference of the International 
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Grunes, Rodney. "Grunes highlights the 'week that was,'" Conglomerate, Mar. 22, 1990, p. 7. 


Guerin, Tom. "Senate Report," Conglomerate, Sept. 27, 1973, p. 3. 

Hamilton, Alfred P. Galloway Memorial Methodist Church, 1836-1956. Nashville, TN: Parthenon, 1956. 

"Hamilton Family Donates $500,000 to College," Conglomerate, Sept. 20, 1968, p. 1. 

Hardt, John. "The Great Liberal Arts Sell-Out" [editorial], Conglomerate, Mar. 7, 1974, p. 4. 

Harrison, John S. "Trahan installed in Keen Chair," Conglomerate, Feb. 19, 1981, p. 1. 

. "One vote sets foreign language policy," Conglomerate, Sept. 17, 1981, p. 1. 

Harrison, Sharron. "Dyal P for Panama," Conglomerate, Oct. 26, 1977, p. 1. 

. "Leary Not Coming," Conglomerate, Feb. 15, 1978, p. 4. 

Hawk, L. Daniel. Letter to the Editor, Conglomerate, Apr. 1, 1992, p. 4. 

Hay, Gay. "College Library Now Occupies Third Floor of Jackson Hall," Conglomerate, Sept. 23, 1949, p. 1. 

"Haynes Gym to Receive Facelift," Conglomerate, Nov. 15, 1984, p. 8. 

"Haynes Hall New Addition to Cent. Campus," Conglomerate, Sept. 29, 1944, pp. 1, 3. 

"Haynes Leaves College Nearly 2 Million Endowment Fund," Conglomerate, Feb. 23, 1951, p. 1. 

Henderson, Julie. "1988-89 at Centenary College," Conglomerate, Apr. 20, 1989, p. 3. 

. "Centenary honors past greats," Conglomerate, Feb. 15, 1990, p. 9. 

Hendricks, Jeff. "College students fear "The Other," Conglomerate, Oct. 27, 1988, p. 6. 

"Hendricks Publishes 'Madrid 1937,'" Centenary Today, Fall-Winter, 1996-97, p. 2. 

Hendrix College Archives, Box 2, Folder 1 "Hendrix College's Contribution to the Church in Educating 
Candidates for the Ministry 1884-1939" 4. 

Hesser, James. "Another Look at CSCC - This Time from the Inside," Conglomerate, Feb. 20, 1975, p. 5. 

Hill, Sam. "That was the weekend that was," Conglomerate, Nov. 10, 1972, p. 1. 

Hockstra, Barry. "Letter," Conglomerate, Oct. 6, 1988, p. 7. 

Holcombe, A. R. "Centenary College," NOCA, Nov. 10, 1898, p. 5. 

Honley, Steve. "Open Ear - 10 years of listening," Conglomerate, Feb. 12, 1981, p. 1. 

. "Lawyer is Wilson speaker," Conglomerate, Feb. 12, 1981, p. 1. 

_. "Nimoy to speak April 9," Conglomerate, Mar. 26, 1981, p. 1. 

"Host Mourns Death of Dr. W. R. Bourne," Murray [KY] Ledger & Times, Sept. 6, 1929. 

"How, What and Why Saul Alinsky - Come To The Forums And Find Out," Conglomerate, Nov. 7, 1966, p. 3. 

Hughes, T. L. "Nite School Notes," Conglomerate, Oct. 3, 1941, p. 2. 

Hutcheson, Jua Nyla. "8 Not Conspirators," Shreveport Journal, Mar. 19, 1971, p. C 1. 

. "Centenary Names New President," Shreveport Journal, July 30, 1969, pp. 1A, 18A. 

"Ike Pappas to speak April 8," Conglomerate, Mar. 20, 1980, p. 1. 

"The Inauguration of the Wortham Engineering Chair," Centenary, Apr. 1978, pp. 3-5. 

"In Speaking of Speakers," [editorial.] Conglomerate, Nov. 16, 1964, p. 2. 

"International Understanding," [editorial.] Shreveport Journal, Mar. 2, 1950, p. 4A. 

"Investigative Forums: Hersh," Conglomerate, Nov. 20, 1975, p. 3. 


"IRC To Have Egyptian Speaker," Conglomerate, Dec. 2, 1949, pp. 1, 3. 

"Involvement requires efforts of all," Conglomerate, Mar. 7, 1991, p. 4. 

"Islamic tradition subject of Centenary seminar," Conglomereate, Mar. 4, 1982, p. 1. 

"Ivey Vice-President of Centenary," Shreveport Times, Nov. 2, 1950, pp. 1, 4. 

"J. Despujols, Famous Artist, Succumbs at 78," Shreveport Journal, Ian. 26, 1965, p. 1. 

larecki, Tamera. "DeBakey speaks in May," Conglomerate, Apr. 8, 1993, p. 3. 

"Jeff Hendricks Earns Fulbright Lectureship," Centenary Today, Winter 1992, p. 9. 

"Jeremiah Chamberlain, Class of 1814." Encyclopedia Dickinsonia. Dickinson College. 25 April 2002 <http://>. 

"'Job' To Go To World's Fair," Conglomerate, May 11, 1964, p. 4. 

lohnson, Erica. "Cuomo visits campus," Conglomerate, Apr. 6, 1989, p. 1. 

Johnson, Tony. "Student challenges ethnocentric curriculum," Conglomerate, Mar. 17, 1994, p. 3. 

. "Student demands more minority opportunities," Conglomerate, Mar. 3, 1994, p. 3. 

Jones, W B. Methodism in the Mississippi Conference 1870-1894. Nashville, TN: Parthenon Press, 1951. 

"Just Whistlin' Dixie," Conglomerate, Mar. 30, 1965, p. 2. 

Kaigler, Alicia. Letter to the Editor, Conglomerate, Apr. 1, 1992, p. 4. 

"Kathy Gets Gold From Iron," Conglomerate, Apr. 26, 2006, p. 7. 

Keener, S. S. "Centenary Opening," NOCA, Sept. 15, 1898, p. 1. 

Kelly, Lisa. "Don't slam the door," Conglomerate, Apr. 21, 1988, p. 5. 

Kelsey, Caroline S. "Make a Difference," Conglomerate, Apr. 21, 1988, p. 5. 

King, Kimball. Augustus Baldwin Longstreet. Boston: Twayne, 1984. 

"Klausa Speaks," Conglomerate, May 6, 1976, p. 3. 

Knight, Janna and Patricia Matthew. "Centenary's career placement center scheduled to open by fall semester," 
Apr. 30, 1987, p. 1. 

. "Interim dropped, May module added," Conglomerate, Mar. 12, 1987, p. 1. 

. "Students suffer as Feds slash aid," Conglomerate, Feb. 12, 1987, p. 1. 

Knox, Lori. "Centenary tunes in to foreign culture," Conglomerate, Oct. 1, 1993, p. 1. 

. "Cornel West to speak on campus," Conglomerate, Mar. 3, 1994, p. 5. 

"Ladies Win First NAIA Championship," Conglomerate, Mar. 15, 1984, p. 1. 

Larsen, Karen. "First female chaplain appointed," Conglomerate, Sept. 18, 1996, p. 4. 

"Large Crowd Of Spectators Present At Midnight Blaze Of Dining Hall," Conglomerate, Feb. 7, 1947, p. 1. 

La Vigne, Mrs. Kirk R. Letter to the editor. The Shreveport Journal, Oct. 27, 1961, p. 8-A. 

. Letter to the editor. The Shreveport Journal, Nov. 2, 1961, p. 6-A. 

Laws for the Government of the College of Louisiana. Jackson, LA: Robert C. Carman, 1839. 

Lee, Kay. "For Professors, England," Centenary, Fall, 1982, p. 5. 

"Letters On The Civil Rights Bill," Conglomerate, Feb. 20, 1948, pp. 1, 2. 

"Library Revamping Enters Next Phase," Conglomerate, Sept. 17, 1998, p. 4. 


Linder, Douglas O. "The Chicago Seven Conspiracy Trial." Mar. 2003 < 

"Lindy Boggs Speaks, receives Honorary Degree at Commencement Ceremonies," Centenary Today, Spring/ 
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"Louisiana Conference," NOCA, Dec. 19, 1895, p. 4. 

Lowrey, Walter. Ed. The Paul Brown Era. Shreveport, LA: Centenary College, 1981. 

"LSU Officials Cited By House for Racial Probe," Shreveport Journal, June 10, 1958, pp. 1-A, 8-A. 

"LSU President Staunch Backer of Segregation," Shreveport Journal, June 11, 1958, p. 4-A. 

Maher, Jennifer. "Centenary Aims For Future With New Language Facility," Conglomerate, Feb. 14, 1995, p. 1. 

. "Spies No Spy," Conglomerate, Nov. 8, 1994, p. 5. 

"Malcolm and Goldie Rivkin Visiting Centenary," Conglomerate, Mar. 14, 1985, p. 1. 

Marcum, James W Building the Centenary College Library: The First Century. Unpublished history, 1996. 
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Matthew, Tricia. "An open letter to Centenary's campus," Conglomerate, Mar. 24, 1988, p. 6. 

. "Students boycott cafeteria," Conglomerate, Oct. 6, 1988, p. 1. 

. "Students lambaste May Module," Conglomerate, Apr. 21, 1988, pp. 1,4. 

. "Women's studies benefit all students," Conglomerate, Mar. 22, 1990, p. 8. 

Matthew, Tricia and Scott Wallace. "Three starters leave," Conglomerate, Jan. 21, 1988, p. 1. 

Mayo, Janet. "The Authority to Govern and the Right to Dance on Campus at Centenary College," NLHAJ 
(Fall 1978) IX, no. 4: 205-18. 

Mazziotti, John. "Author receives award," Conglomerate, Mar. 25, 1993, p. 9. 

McDonald, Kylene. "Dorm visitation becomes issue," Conglomerate, Mar. 24, 1988, p. 1. 

. "Judge Adams speaks at convocation," Conglomerate, Mar. 10, 1988, p. 3. 

Meadows, Algur H. "Knowledge Is Ally Of Liberty." This Is Centenary [Alumni Bulletin of Centenary College] 
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. Centenary College, President's File, 1958-64. Correspondence with and about Mr. Meadows. 

"A Message from the Great Depression," Shreveport Magazine (Nov. 1979) 34:28. 

"Memorial Monument," Shreveport Journal, Aug. 19, 1954, p. A-3. 

"Mickle Asks And Answers 'Why Chapel,'" Conglomerate, Sept. 23, 1949, p.l. 

Mickle, Dr. Joe J. "Campus Mourns Fallen President: John F. Kennedy Memorial Address," Conglomerate, Dec. 
9, 1963, p. 1 

. "Dispute on Segregation," Shreveport Times, Mar. 4, 1950, pp. 1, 2. 

The Mickle Papers. Correspondence, speeches, and miscellaneous writings of President Joe J. Mickle. Centenary 
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Mickle, Maida. Unpublished Memoirs. [Typescript 1984]. 

Miller, Reid. "Marion Stephenson," Conglomerate, Oct. 30, 1975, p. 1. 

Miller, Walter. Letter to Mr. C. M. Hughes, headmaster of the Centenary Academy, June 25, 1924. R. E. Smith 
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"A Million Dollar School of Business," Conglomerate, Jan. 1977, pp. 3-5. 


Minutes of the Louisiana Annual Conference. 

Minutes of the Trustees of Centenary College of Louisiana 1825-51, 1841-1907, 1908-1920, 1921-1932. 

Miscellaneous Registrar's Records. Centenary College. 

Montgomery, Jim. "Cooper 'Idea Shopping' For Despujols Gallery," Shreveport Times, June 15, 1971, p. 7B. 

. "The GPCT Riot of '64: clash and aftermath," The [Shreveport-Bossier, LA] Times, Feb. 17, 1985, p. 1 IB. 

Morgan, Lee. T. L. James: A Biographical Memoir. Shreveport, LA: Mid South, 2002. 

"Morgan to speak as 20 th Woodrow Wilson Fellow," Conglomerate, Nov. 4, 1981, p. 1. 

Morn, Missy. Letter to the Editor, Conglomerate, Mar. 12, 1981, p. 5. 

"Moseley to speak at first Woodrow Wilson speaker [sic]" Conglomerate, Oct. 9, 1980, p. 1. 

Most, Brenda. "Visitor gets down to business," Conglomerate, Nov. 21, 1991, p. 3. 

Mosura, Matt. "Gents' Herb Lang scores big at slam dunk contest," Conglomerate, Apr. 1, 1998, p. 1. 

Mounger, Reverend E. H. "Methodism and Education," NOCA, June 19, 1884, p. 1. 

Mrdja, Betty. "Gymnasts capture nationals," Conglomerate, Apr. 9, 1981, p. 1. 

. "Ladies victorious at State," Conglomerate, Apr. 30, 1981, p. 8. 

"Mrs. J. J. Mickle Critically Hurt," Shreveport Journal, Mar. 2, 1950, p. 3-A. 

"NASA Chief to Deliver Commencement Address," Conglomerate, Apr. 23, 1997, p. 1. 

Nash, Martha. "Gents earn sweet tournament win," Conglomerate, Nov. 10, 1988, p. 8. 

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Neff, Charles. "Centenary must diversify," Conglomerate, Feb. 6, 1992, p. 4. 

Nelson, William Hamilton. A Burning Torch and a Flaming Fire: The Story of Centenary College of Louisiana. 
Nashville: Methodist, 1931. 

"New Club to Be Organized Here," Conglomerate, Oct. 16, 1931, p. 1. 

"New Computer Labs Among Best College Facilities in Country," Centenary Today, Spring-Summer 1994, p. 3. 

"New Deans Reveal Changes In Policy," Conglomerate, Sept. 30, 1966, p. 4. 

"New Eminent Scholars Chair Honors Philanthropist Douglas- Whited," Conglomerate, Jan. 30, 1996, p. 1. 

"New Science Building to be Built Soon," Conglomerate, Sept. 20, 1940, p. 1. 

"Newest Nobel Prize Winner for Physics - Stanford University Professor Steven Chu, Gave Two Public Lectures 
at Centenary," Centenary Today, Fall-Winter 1997-98, p. 3. 

Newton-Cole, David. Editorial. Conglomerate, Aug. 31, 1977, p. 4. 

"Nineteen Grants Have Been Made Here By Carnegie," Conglomerate, Nov. 7, 1947, p. 1. 

"No clinic, no money, no relief," Conglomerate, Feb. 25, 1988, p. 6. 

"No Integration At Centenary," Shreveport Journal, June 14, 1958, pp. 1A, 6A. 

Norman, Tonia. "College hosts cultural conference," Conglomerate, Feb. 2, 1989, p. 1. 

. "Two faculty members retire," Conglomerate, Apr. 20, 1989. 

. "Webb reports balanced budget," Conglomerate, Jan. 19, 1989, p. 3. 

"Norton Takes VP, No More WSGA," Conglomerate, Oct. 4, 1973, p. 3. 

"Noted Personalities to Speak Here," Shreveport Journal, Mar. 18, 1966, p. 6A. 


"Novelist next Visiting Fellow," Conglomerate, Feb. 21, 1980, p. 1. 

Nunn, Erich. "Mary Daly To Speak," Conglomerate, Mar. 19, 1996, p. 1. 

. "Paul Auster Receives Corrington Award," Conglomerate, Apr. 23, 1996, p. 1. 

"Ombudsman Act," Gentlemanly Speaking, 1971-1972, p. 25. 

"Ombudsman System Wins Unanimous Senate Approval," Conglomerate, Sept. 26, 1969, p. 1. 

"One-Sixth of Centenary's Total Enrollments Are Vets," Conglomerate, Oct. 5, 1945, p. 4. 

"158 Nurses Now Enrolled At Centenary," Conglomerate, Sept. 29, 1944, pp. 1,3. 

O'Neal, Sean. "Beyond 'Dixie,'" Conglomerate, Apr. 21, 1988, p. 5. 

"Open Letter To The Students of Centenary From The Basket Ball Team," Conglomerate, Mar. 16, 1945, p. 1. 

Overly, Paul. "Middle Chapter In The Continuing Soccer Saga," Conglomerate, Apr. 24, 1975, pp. 1, 10-1 1. 

. "Editorial," Conglomerate, Feb. 19, 1976, p. 4. 

"Page Three," Conglomerate, Feb. 16, 1965, p.4. 

Parker, Mickey. "Enrollment declines from last fall," Conglomerate, Sept. 8, 1988, p. 1. 

"Parish Signs - Gents Swoon," Conglomerate, May 5, 1972, p. 6. 

Parra, Roman. "Jeff Hendricks, What Is It That You're Up To?" Conglomerate, Feb. 28, 1985, p. 5. 

Parrish, Kathy. "Speaker's Corner: The Coed Dorm Story," Conglomerate, Oct. 8, 1971, p. 2. 

Payne, Cherry. "Speaker's Corner: Double Standards Abound," Conglomerate, Sept. 6, 1973, p. 4. 

Pearl, Daniel. "Pariah in the South, William T. Sherman Is Getting a Makeover," Wall Street Journal, June 9, 
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"Phi Kappa Sigma." May 2001. <>. 

"Phi Kappa Sigma." May 2001. <>. 

"Pierotti to Bring Real World to Centenary," Conglomerate, Apr. 21, 1983, p. 1. 

"Poet Richard Wilbur to Receive Corrington Award," Conglomerate, Mar. 5, 1999, p. 6. 

"Policy versus practice," Conglomerate, Jan. 23, 1992, p. 4. 

Poyner, Barry C. Bound to Slavery: James Shannon and the Restoration Movement. Fort Worth: Star, 1999. 

"Prejudice Limits Freedom Of All, Cole Says," Conglomerate, Mar. 8, 1965, p. 1. 

"President Allen Opens Courses," Conglomerate, Sept. 10, 1971, pp. 1, 3. 

"President Schwab Elected to NAICU Board of Directors," Centenary Today, Spring-Summer 1996, p. 4. 

Procell, Dionne. "Centenary Hosts Two Woodrow Wilson Fellows," Conglomerate, Jan. 29, 1997, p. 2. 

. "German Marshall Fund Fellow to Visit," Conglomerate, Nov. 13, 1996, p. 3. 

. "Meadows Hosts 'Shouts From the Wall' Exhibit," Conglomerate, Jan 15, 1997, p. 1. 

Progam, Book of Job, Pine Mountain, Kentucky. July and Aug. 1961. Archives Centenary College. 

Pulliam, John D. and James Van Patton. History of Education in America. 7ed. Columbus, OH: Prentice, 1999. 

"Quiz Bowl," Conglomerate, Feb. 1, 1978, p. 2. 

"Rabbi Lefkowitz: Jewish Leader Praises Mickle In Talk Here," Conglomerate, Mar. 10, 1950, pp. 1, 3. 

"Referendum," Conglomerate, Sept. 27, 1973, p.5. 


Reynolds, Debbie. "Golfers take TAAC title," Conglomerate, Apr. 30, 1981, p. 8. 

"Richard Jones visits Campus," Conglomerate, Apr. 23, 1997, p. 2. 

"Richardson Named To Sample Chair," Conglomerate, Sept. 12, 1985, p. 1. 

"Robert Ed Taylor, Chaplain for 35 Years," Centenary Today, Spring-Summer 1996, p. 11. 

Rogers, Cory. "Ladies debut in Division I," Conglomerate, Sept. 8, 1988, p. 9. 

Rogers, John William. "Meadows of Texas," TheDelta [magazine of Sigma Nu Fraternity], Spring, 1963, 142. 

"Rosemary Seidler Is National Award Winner," Centenary Today, Summer 1993, p. 1. 

Ross, James Hal. Centenary College: The Mississippi Years (1841-1845). Unpublished paper in History 4003, 
Mississippi State University, May 1968. Property of Rankin County Historical Society. Brandon Genealogy 

"Rotary Hall to Open in the Fall," Conglomerate, Feb. 5, 1997, pp. 1, 4. 

"ROTC returns to campus," Conglomerate, Aug. 27, 1981, p. 3. 

Ruffin, Chad. "Campus celebrates 175 th anniversary," Conglomerate, Oct. 1, 1999, p. 3. 

Rush, D. M. "Centenary College of Louisiana," NOCA, Aug. 21, 1884, p. 1. 

. "Centenary College of Louisiana: Financial Agency and Endowment Fund," NOCA, Aug. 7, 1884, p. 5. 

"Sara Fritz To Visit Centenary," Conglomerate, Oct. 24, 1995, p. 7. 

Scales, John Lytle. Memoirs. Typed manuscript. 

"A Scholar and a Philanthropist," Conglomerate, Jan. 27, 1939, p. 2. 

"Second Air Force Contengent [sic] Arrives," Conglomerate, Apr. 9, 1943, p. 1. 

"Senate approves recommendations for campus drinking, Co-ed housing," Conglomerate, Apr. 30, 1971, p. 1. 

"Senate Endorses Statement On Advisors, Forums Speakers," Conglomerate, Sept. 19, 1969, p. 1. 

Shafer, Leah. "Author George Garrett to Read," Conglomerate, Oct. 9, 1996, p. 1. 

. "Cultural program hosts Danish Association of Teachers of English," Conglomerate, Oct. 16, 1996, p. 2. 

. "Culture Shock!" Conglomerate, Sept. 3, 1995, p. 5. 

. Gore visits Shreveport for election rally at regional airport," Conglomerate, Oct. 2, 1996, p. 3. 

Shoulders, R. D. "Centenary's Three R's," Shreveport Magazine, Sept. 1952 (7:22, 27). 

"Shreveporters Are Listed As Signing Petition," Shreveport Journal, June 10, 1958, pp. 1A, 8A. 

Shuler, Marsha. "McGovern Urges Visit Pullout in Campus Forums Appearance," Conglomerate, May 2, 1969, 

"Sigler Leaving Position," Conglomerate, May 3, 1973, p. 10. 

"Sir Hebert Ames Guest at Buffet Supper at College," Conglomerate, Apr. 29, 1931, p. 1. 

"[Six hundred] 600 Expected at IRC Conference Here Today," Shreveport Journal, Mar. 2, 1950, 8B. 

Smith, Cathy. "Money donated for arts center," Conglomerate, Feb. 12, 1987, p. 5. 

"Smith Crowned '78-'79 Homecoming Queen," Conglomerate, Feb. 7, 1979, p. 1. 

"Social Revolutionary Presents Pertinent Observations, Idea," Conglomerate, Nov. 18, 1966, p. 3. 

"Sociologist Analyze [sic] Youth Protest Move," Shreveport Times, Dec. 1, 1965, p. 2A. 

"Speaker To Deal With New Morality," Conglomerate, Mar. 31, 1967, p. 1. 


"Special Session of Centenary Executive Committee," Shreveport Journal, Mar. 4, 1950, pp. 1, 3. 

"Spring Forums Are Slated," Conglomerate, Jan. 13, 1967, p. 1. 

"State of the College Assembly," Conglomerate, Feb. 14, 1979, p. 1. 

"Statement of Purpose and Goals From 1960-70 Student Senate," Conglomerate, Oct. 24, 1969, p. 2. 

"States' Right [sic] Champion Is Forums' Next Speaker," Conglomerate, Feb. 22, 1965, p. 1. 

Stevens, Joseph. "Legendary Author Harlan Ellison to Speak," Conglomerate, Feb. 26, 1997, pp. 1, 3. 

Stewart, Lynn. "Centenary Discovers Pioneer Scientist In Its Past." Centenary, Dec. 1973, p. 4. 

Stucky, Martha. "Friends set first annual book bazaar," Conglomerate, Sept. 24, 1987, p. 3. 

"Student Input is imperative," Conglomerate, Jan. 31, 1991, p. 4. 

"Student Protest: 'Save the Ladies,'" Conglomerate, Apr. 19, 1984, p. 1. 

"Student Senate Holds Meeting," Conglomerate, May 19, 1965, p. 3 

"Student Senate Minutes," Conglomerate, Mar. 2, 1964, p. 2. 

"Student Tutoring Project," Conglomerate, March 22, 1965, p. 1. 

Sudduth, Charles F. "Jefferson Military College: A Brief History," Mississippi Days. August 26, 2004. August 23, 
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Sullivan, J. M. "From Centenary," NOCA, Oct. 13, 1898, p. 5. 

"'Superior Liberal Arts College' Centenary Aim," Shreveport Journal, Apr. 1, 1964, p. 11A. 

"Survivor of Hiroshima To Speak Here," Conglomerate, Dec. 9, 1949, p. 1. 

Taylor, Robert E. "In Rebuttal to Hesser - CSCC on the Positive Side," Conglomerate, Feb. 27, 1975, p. 5. 

. "Letter," Conglomerate, Mar. 14, 1979, p. 4. 

"$10 Million Contribution is Largest In History of Centenary College," Centenary Today, Fall-Winter 1997-98, 

Thomas, Shelly. "Six Articles on Liberal Arts Education," Conglomerate, Jan. 19, p. 4; Feb. 2, p. 4; 23, p. 4; Mar. 9, 
p. 4; Apr. 6, p. 4; 20, p. 4. 

Thomas, Tom R. "A Look at Shreveport's Reaction to the Great Depression, 1929-1935." NLHAJ (Fall 1995) 
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Thomason, Abby. "Centenary confronts date rape," Conglomerate, Oct. 10, 1991, p. 1. 

. "News Feature: Racism at Centenary," Conglomerate, Nov. 7, 1991, p. 3. 

Throgmorton, David. "On recognizing garbage," Conglomerate, Apr. 17, 1986, p. 5. 

"Thursday Marks Beginning of Vietnam Week," Conglomerate, Oct. 3, 1969, p. 1. 

"Title IX At Last," Conglomerate, Aug. 31, 1977, p. 5. 

"Tom Jarriel: Correspondent on 20/20." Dec. 2006. <>. 

Toups, Donna. "Angelou boasts many talents," Conglomerate, Feb. 15, 1990, p. 1. 

. "Author dazzles, inspires audience," Conglomerate, Mar. 22, 1990, p. 4. 

. "Taylor appointed department head," Conglomerate, Sept. 7, 1989, p. 3. 

Toups, Donna and Karen Townsend. "Invaders spark new Policies," Conglomerate, Nov. 9, 1989, pp. 1-2. 

Townsend, Karen. "Labor publishes book," Conglomerate, Oct. 6, 1988, p. 1. 


"Trahan installed as Keen Professor of Physics," Centenary, Apr. 1981, p. 9. 

Triche, Alicia. "Dean of the college resigns," Conglomerate, Jan. 23, 1992, p. 1. 

Trustee Minutes. Centenary College Archives. 

"Two Chairs Endowed," Conglomerate, Feb. 2, 1984, p. 1. 

"Uncle Tom Died 200 Years Ago," Conglomerate, Mar. 17, 1965, p. 1 (photo). 

Updegraff, Donald R. The Development and Growth of Banking in Shreveport, Louisiana. Unpublished thesis, 
Stonier Graduate School of Banking, Rutgers University. New Brunswick, NJ: 1975. 

"Urgent: Better Teachers," Conglomerate, Mar. 22, 1965, p. 2. 

Vereschzagin, Hank. "Ladies soccer hits campus," Conglomerate, Sept. 11, 1992, p. 7. 

Vernon, Walter N. Becoming One People, A History of Louisiana Methodism. Bossier City, LA: Everett, 1987. 

"Vets Have Option on Frosh Regulations," Conglomerate, Sept. 24, 1945, p. 1. 

"Viet Nam: Time for Brinkmanship?" Conglomerate, Feb. 22, 1965, p. 2. 

Wade, John Donald. Augustus Baldwin Longstreet. Athens, GA: U Georgia P, 1969. 

Wall, Bennett H., ed. Louisiana: A History, 2 nd ed. Arlington Heights, IL: Forum, 1990. 

Walton, Reese N. A History of Football at Centenary College 1891-1927. Unpublished term paper at Centenary 
College, 1947. 

"A War of Attitudes," Conglomerate, Feb. 21, 1941, p. 1. 

Warner, Mike. "Searching for a President," Conglomerate, Sept. 16, 1976, p. 7. 

. "Liberal Arts Under the Scalpel," Conglomerate, Sept. 30, 1976, pp. 1, 5, 10. 

Watkins, Angela. "CQ Weekly's Sara Fritz Returns for Commencement Address," Conglomerate, Apr. 27, 1999, 

p. 4. 

Wautlet, Merrill. "Gents capture conference title," Conglomerate, Mar. 6, 1980, p. 1. 

Weaver, Bart. "Sports Editorial: Gent Probation Reviewed," Conglomerate, Sept. 11, 1975, p. 1 1. 

Weber, William Lander. "Our Colleges: To the Methodists of Louisiana," NOCA, Oct. 24, 1907, p. 4. 

"Weekly Mail," Conglomerate, Mar. 17, 1972, p. 4. 

Weeks, Leigh. "College adds Masters degree," Conglomerate, Nov. 12, 1981, p. 3. 

. "Why roses? I'll tell you why," Conglomerate, Feb. 10, 1983, p. 2. 

"Where have all the Dutchmen gone?" Conglomerate, Jan. 21, 1988, p. 6. 

"White House Chief of Staff Speaks; Honorary Degrees Awarded," Centenary Today, Spring/Summer 1994, p. 1. 

"Whites and Negroes Mingle at IRC Conference at Centenary," Shreveport Journal, Mar. 3, 1950, pp. 1A, 5A. 

Wieting, Mike. The Centenary College Honor System 1926-1975. Unpublished term paper for History 441. 
Shreveport, 1975. 

Wiggin, John. "This Enchanted World" [editorial], Conglomerate, Oct. 4, 1973, p. 4. 

. "Board Says 'No' To Alcohol Ads," Conglomerate, Oct. 4, 1973, p. 6. 

. "First Wilson Fellow Arrives Monday," Conglomerate, Jan. 31, 1974, p. 3. 

. "Ambassador Here as Wilson Fellow," Conglomerate, Feb. 21, 1974, p. 2. 

. "The Selling of the College," Conglomerate, March 21, 1974, p. 1. 


_. "Growing Pains for CSCC," Conglomerate, Nov. 14, 1974, pp. 5, 8. 

_. "The Students and the Community," Conglomerate, Oct. 10, 1974, p. 5. 

_. "Editorial," Conglomerate, Sept. 30, 1976, p. 4. 

. and Sissy. "Wilson Fellow. . .and Gal," Conglomerate, Feb. 27, 1975, p. 1. 

Wiggins, Theresa. "Hard Core Comes To Centenary," Conglomerate, Sept. 26, 1985, p. 1. 

Williams, T. Harry. HueyLong. New York: Knopf, 1969. 

Willis, Kimberly. "Chief justice to usher in 163 rd year," Conglomerate, Sept. 10, 1987, p. 1. 

Wilson, Avis. "Centenary College of Louisiana," Southern Association Quarterly, Nov. 1938, 2. 

Wilson, Bobby. "Changes inundate campus," Conglomerate, Sept. 11, 1992, p. 1. 

.. "Professor secures research grant," Conglomerate, Sept. 11, 1992, p. 3. 

"Wilson Fellows Margaret Wilson and David McKain to deliver speech," Conglomerate, Feb. 11, 1998, p. 5. 

"Wilson Speaker," Conglomerate, Oct. 12, 1977, p. 3. 

Wilson, Stacey. "Carter visits campus," Conglomerate, Feb. 2, 1989, p. 1. 

"Women's Club and Senate Sponsor First Campus Dance," Conglomerate, Oct. 10, 1941, p. 1. 

"Women's Liberation Speaker in Forums Appearance Here," Conglomerate, Apr. 24, 1970, p.l. 

Wood, Addison O. "Says Miller considered one of the most dangerous" [Letter to the editor], Shreveport 
Journal, Nov. 10, 1961, p. 8-A. 

"Woodrow Wilson Fellow," Conglomerate, Nov. 1, 1978, p. 3. 

. Conglomerate, Mar. 14, 1979, p. 2. 

"Wortham Chair," Conglomerate, Feb. 1, 1978, p. 2. 

"Yale Chaplain Urges Quarrel In Society," Conglomerate, Apr. 21, 1967, p. 3. 



Page numbers followed hyp indicate photos. 


Abbott, Christopher, 143 

accessions, religious, 47 

A. C. "Cheesy" Voran Scholarship Fund, 

accred itation 

by Methodist General Board of 

Education, 85, 88 

by Southern Association of Colleges 

and Schools, 93-96, 114-15, 144-45, 

activism, student. See involvement, 

Adams, Arlin, 252 
Adams, T. A. S., 55-57 
address, formal, 191. See also Southern 

adult education program, 200 
advertising, advent of, 1 1 
aeronautics. See Army Air Forces 

College Training Program 

African Americans 

admitted to Centenary, 185-87 

Black History Month, 273-74 

civil rights of, 137, 138-41, 145-47, 


The Conglomerate and, 188, 253, 266, 

268, 273-74 

curriculum and, 202-3 

forum lectures and, 189 

medical treatment of, 54 

Reed Massengill visit and, 277 

scholarships and, 43-44 

slavery and, 18-19,37 
Agnew, Harold, 224 
agricultural department, 87 
AIRCREW. See Army Air Forces College 

Training Program (AIRCREW) 
Aizawa, Kenneth, 279 
Albert Sklar Chair in Chemistry, 283 
alcohol policy, 203-4, 213-14 
Alinsky, Saul, 189, 304p 
Allen, Bruce, 237 
Allen, John Horton 

adult education program and, 200 

alcohol policy of, 203-4 

athletics program and, 212 

The Conglomerate and, 207, 219 

financial report by, 209-10 

forum lectures and, 202, 220 

personal history of, 197 

photo of, 182p 

resignation of, 222-23 

Role and Scope study and, 198, 201 
Allen, Sidney, 155p 
Allen Harvey Broyles Eminent Scholars 

Chair in Computer Science and 

Mathematics, 275 
Alma Mater, Centenary, 101, 328-31 
Ames, Herbert, 104 . 
Anderson, G. M., Mrs., 194, 326 
Anderson, Judith, 249 
Anderson, Lorin, 154p 
Anderson, Stonewall, 88 
Anderson, William "Bill", 164p, 176p, 

Andress,WillK., 123, 156p 
Andrews, Charles G., 43, 51-52 
Angelou, Maya, 258 
Anglos, Louisiana, 3-4 
Armstrong, E. E., 228 
Armstrong, George, 140 
Army Air Forces College Training 

Program (AIRCREW), 118, 123, 124, 

126, 166p 
art department, 261 
Arthur and Emily Webb Professor of 

International Studies, 275 
Associated Colleges of the South 

(ASC), 193 
athletics, student. See also individual 


curriculum and, 210 

during the Depression, 108 

forbidden, 65 

Hall of Fame, 258 

integration and, 185-86 

mascot controversy, 278 

women's, 220, 245-46, 253, 262, 270 

during WWII, 123 
Atkins, J. B., Sr., 117-18, 136, 143 
Atkins, John B., Jr., 326 
Atkins, Lucile (later Hamilton), 194 
atom bomb, the, 137 
Attaway, Douglas E, 307, 326 
Auster, Paul, 279, 306 
Ayoub, Mahmoud, 241 
Azab.Yosef, 137 


Bainton, Roland, 254 
Balcom, Harry, 236, 241 
Ballard, William, 123 
Banks, W.G., 125 
Bareikis, Robert, 269 
Barker, John, 34-35 

Bascom, Henry B., 17 
baseball, 72 

under Allen, 209, 211-12 

under Cline, 117-19 

under Mickle, 150 

photos of, 154p, 161p, 180p 

under Webb, 228-29, 233, 236, 

245-46, 253, 258 

under Wilkes, 185-86 
Bath, M.L, 110 
Batde of Jackson, 38-39 
Baughman, Thurndotte, 244 
Beauvais, Armand, 4 
Beaird, Charles T, 158p, 198, 200, 247, 

267, 270, 279 
Beaird, J. Pat, 131-32 
Beck, Theodore Toulon "Ted", 157p 
Beckwith, Wightman S., 81-82 
Beem, Eugene, 233-34 
Ben Greet Players, 103 
Bettelheim, Bruno, 233 
Bettinger, Lewis, 245 
beverages, alcoholic, 203-4, 213-14 
Biedenharn, R. Zehntner, 158p, 283 
Bill and Sarah James Chair in 

Psychology, 283 
black history courses, 202-3. See also 

African Americans 
Black History Month, 273-74. See also 

African Americans 
Blakeney, Ernest, 279 
Boddie, Dennis, 169p 
Bogan, Harney Skolfield, 282 
Bogan, H. S. "Beau", 282 
Boggs, Hale, 277 
Boggs, Lindy, 277 
Boggs, W.E., 74-75 
Boles, John, 248 
Bondurant, Alexander L., 93-94 
Bookout, John F, 241 
Bourne, William Ross, 87-90 
Boyer, Ernest, 269 
Bradbury, Ray, 276 
Bradford, D. P., 56 
Bradford, J. M., 13 
Branch, Harllee, Jr., 216 
Brandon Springs, Mississippi, 23 
Brandt, Andrew, 262 
Braniff, Thomas E., 143 
Breese, Frank C. "Kim," III, 267 
Bridges, Theresa Zale, 262 
Brooks, Cleanth, 208 
Brooks, Overton, 132 
Brown, Charles Ellis, Sr., 168p, 200, 


326, 327 
Brown, Don, 165p 
Brown, Ellis H.,153p 
Brown, Paul Marvin, Jr. 

alumni society named for, 273 

declines presidency, 108-9 

donations by, 136, 237 

on integration of Centenary, 146, 


on the liberal arts, 147-49 

photos of, 153p, 164p 

on triumvirate committee, 125 
Brown, Paul Marvin, Sr., 152p 
Brown, Perry, 136, 153p 
Brown, Stephen, 19 
Brown, Willie Cavett, 237 
Brown Memorial Chapel, 136, 159p 
Broyles, Alberta, 275 
Broyles, Allen Harvey, 275 
Broyles, Harvey, 164p, 256, 275 
Broyles, Mattie Allen, 275 
Bryson, Eugene W., Jr., 326 
Bucy, J. Fred, 231-32 
budget. See fundraising 
buildings. See individual buildings:, 

physical plant 
Burgess, Anthony, 208 
Burris, Leslie, 146-47 
Burt, James, 247 
Buseick, Robert, 136, 163p, 202 
Bush, Barbara, 158p, 288 
business school, 71-72, 96-97, 205-6, 

227, 244. See also vocational/ 

technical training 
Butterworth, Walton, 216 
by-laws, 25. See also governance 
Bynum, Robert Jesse, 143, 166p 
Bynum Memorial Commons, 143, 178p 

Caffery, Taylor, 207, 217 

Campaign for Centenary. See Vision for 

the Future campaign 
Campbell, Alexander, 12 
Campbell, Mabel, 97, 98, 165p 
Canterbury, Tommy, 229, 253 
Caradon, Lord (see also Hugh Foot), 

Carley, Henry T, 86-87, 94 
Carlton, Virginia, 158p, 188, 214, 271 
Carpenter, William Marbury, 14-15, 27 
Carre, Henry Beach, 72, 73-75, 182p, 

Carroll, Constance Knox, 254, 262 
Carroll, Frank, 198 

Carruth, Nancy, 156p, 256, 327 
Carruthers, John D., 141 
Carson, Alexander, 16, 18 
Carter, Charles W, 35, 61-65, 182p 
Carter, Fitzgerald, 82 
Carter, G.W, 44 
Carter, Hodding III, 255 
Carter, Roselyn, 238 
Carter, Thomas, 65 
Causey, B. P., 110, 17 lp 
censorship, 207 
Centenary Plan, 266-67, 269 
Centenary Stadium, 1 1 1 
Centenary Students for Cultural 

Diversity, 274 
chairs, endowed. See individual chairs 
Chamberlain, Jeremiah, 5, 9 
chapel, student, 136-37, 202 
Charles T Beaird Chair of Philosophy, 

267, 279 
Cheesman, Katherine Turner, 286 
Chicago Eight, 204 
Chisholm, Shirley, 258 
Choir, Centenary College 

established, 122-23 

Fiftieth Anniversary of, 267-68 

gifts to, 194,275 

loss of memorabilia, 246 
. off-campus performances, 187-88, 

236, 245, 250, 283 

photos of, 156p, 167p, 180p 

racial issues and, 253 
Christensen, Harold, 177p, 247 
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 

Christianity. See Methodist Church; 

Christian Leadership Center. See 

Church Careers Program 
Chu, Steven, 283 
Church Careers Program, 210-11,217, 

Church of Christ, 12 
civil rights, 137, 138-41, 145-47, 149-50, 

188. See also African Americans 
Civil War, 37-39 
Claiborne, William C. C, 2-3 
Clanton, T C, 114 
Clark, Dick, 244 
Clark, E.M., 146-47, 179p 
Clark, Stephen, 269 
Clement, A. E., 86 
Cline, Pierce, 97-98, 109, 1 10-17, 

121-22, 125, 182p 
Cline dormitory. See Pierce Cline 

Residence Hall 
Clinton, President and Mrs., 283 
Clinton, Mississippi, 22-23 
code of conduct, 6-7, 8-9, 120, 291-303. 

See also governance; government, 

coed dormitories, 204, 207, 278, 282 
Coffield,Mac, 155p, 258 
Coffin, William Sloane, 189, 304p 
Colbert, Richard, 307 
Cole, T.W., 189 
College of Louisiana, 1-20 
College of Orleans, 3 
College Retirement Equities Fund 

(CREF), 125 
Commercial Institute, Centenary 

College, 71-72 
Communism. See McCarthyism 
community, academic, 192 
Comprehensive Campaign Cabinet. See 

Vision for the Future campaign 
computerization, campus, 268-70, 272, 

conduct, code of. See code of conduct 
conferences, scholarly 

Eighteenth-Century Studies, 254-55 

Free Enterprise, 222, 231-32, 239, 

247, 249 

International Relations, 138-41, 146 

Renaissance Conference, 254 
Conglomerate, The 

campus regulations in, 204, 214 

freedom of the press and, 207, 219 

on homosexuality, 247 

on liberal arts education, 216-17, 


name change to, 93 

on-campus events in, 222, 231, 239, 


race relations in, 188, 273-74 

Vietnam War in, 190-91, 201 

women's issues in, 207, 214 
Connell, Clyde, 158p 
Cook, L M., 249 

Cooper, I. W, 65, 67-69, 72-73, 182p 
Cooper, Preston, 21 
Cooper, Willard, 181p,256 
Corddry, Charles, 256-57 
Corddry, Marion, 256-57 
core curriculum. See also curriculum 

nineteenth-century, 5, 10-1 1, 29-30, 

45, 57-58 

twentieth-century, 201, 223, 240, 

242-43, 246 
Corey, Irene, 136 


Corey, Orlin, 136,147,187 

Cornelius D. and Florence Gillard Keen 
Chair of Physics, 208, 238-39 

Corrington, John William "Bill", 190, 

Corrington, Joyce, 254 

Corrington Award for Literary 
Excellence, 190, 237, 279, 306. See 
also individual recipients 

Crane, Phillip, 239 

Crawford, Ed(ward) III, 155p, 281, 327 

Crawford, Laura, 262 

CREF. See College Retirement Equities 
Fund (CREF) 

crime, on-campus, 257, 260, 266 

crisis hodine, 238 

Crucible, The, 247 

Crocker, John, 4 

Crumley Gardens, 163p, 236 

Crutchfield, Finis, 210 

Cuomo, Mario, 255 

curriculum. See also liberal arts 
business, 71-72, 96-97, 205-6, 227, 

Centenary at Jackson, 29-30, 48-49, 

Centenary Plan, 266-67 
College of Louisiana, 5, 10-1 1 
graduate degrees added to, 221 
majors added to, 135-36, 212-13, 
246-47, 257 

modern core, 201, 223, 240, 242-43, 

object of, 34, 115-16,255-56 
pass/fail courses added to, 193 
professional, 120-21, 216-17, 235 
social issues in, 202-3, 258, 261 
student resistance to, 45, 201 
vocational, 48-49, 124, 239-40 


Dahmen, Gene, 238 

Dalton, John, 276 

Dalton, Margaret Ogilvie, 276 

Daly, Mary, 279 

dancing, 99, 117, 121-22, 154p 

D'Artois, George, 150 

Davidson, Bryant, 97, 146-47, 172p 

Davidson, "Tip", 172p 

Davis, Earl, 118 

Davis, Paul R. "Bob", 263-64 

Davis, Velma Grayson, 252, 279 

Dawson, Dana, 127 

Dean, James, 168p 

Dean, Ron, 179p 

DeBakey, Michael, 272 

debt. See fundraising 

Delbanco, Nicholas, 236 

Delta Kappa Epsilon, 67 

Depression, the, 99-105 

Derbigny, Pierre, 4 

Despujols, Jean, 159p, 205 

development. See fundraising 

development, vice president for, 141-43 

Dickey, James, 271-72, 306 

diplomas, specialization of, 48-49 

Disciples of Christ, 12 

discipline. See code of conduct 

Divers, Fred, 273 

diversity, cultural, 274. See also African 

Americans; involvement, student 
Dixon, John A., Jr., 250 
Dixon, William Young, 152p 
Dodd, James B., 27, 28 
Dodd College, 111, 113, 124, 127, 133, 

donations, financial. See individual 

dormitories. See also individual 


coed, 204, 207, 278, 282 

at Jackson, 69 

memorial, 143-44, 174p 

women's, 127,213-14 
Douglas- Whited, Mary Amelia, 164p, 

Dowling, Henderson, 166p 
Drake, Benjamin M., 21, 33, 35, 37, 58, 

drama department. See theater 

Drummond, Ruth, 262 
Dubaille, Peter, 5 
Duggan,Hoyt, 146-47, 188 
Duke, David, 260-61 
Dunbar, Roxanne, 202 
Dyal, William, 230 
Dykes, D. L, Jr., 158p, 210-1 1, 307, 326 

Ed E. and Gladys Hurley Chair of 

Music, 245 
Edgar, James, 15 
edifice complex, 145. See also physical 

Edwards, Bob, 258-59 
Edwards, Vannie, 229, 245 
Eighteenth-Century Studies, South 

Central Society for, 254-55 

Elliott, Heath, 155p, 327 

Ellis, Patricia, 172p 

Ellison, Harlan, 208, 281 

emeriti, 83, 107. See also individual 

endowment. See fundraising; individual 

endowment scholarships, 42 
endowment vouchers, 58-59 
engineering school, 120, 131-33. See 

also vocational/technical training 
English, Horace, 254 
English Proficiency Test, 201 
English speakers, Louisiana, 3-4 

under Allen, 199-200, 205-6 

Centenary at Jackson, 32, 34-35, 


Centenary in Mississippi, 23 

under Cline, 109, 110-11, 115-16 

College of Louisiana, 1 1 

Methodist Church and, 55-56, 64 

under Mickle, 131,136 

under Sexton, 92-93, 96, 104 

under Webb, 235-36, 238-39, 250-51, 


under Wilkes, 195 

under Wynn, 86-87 

yellow fever and, 65, 67-68 
entrance requirements, 29, 134, 200, 

Entrikin, John B., 97-98, 143, 177p, 192, 

245, 275 
Entrikin, Minnie Sue, 275 
E.Q.U.I.P.S., 234-35 
Evans, J. P., 143 
Evans, Margot Todd, 245 
extracurricular activities, 104-5. See also 

athletics, student; Choir, Centenary 

College; government, student; 

theater program 

faculty. See also individual faculty 
core curriculum and, 246 
governance and, 143 
integration of Centenary and, 186 
publications by, 192-93, 242, 249, 

sabbaticals for, 236, 241 
students and, 191, 200-201, 203 

Farmer, James, 189 

federal funding, 187,194 

Feeney, Brian, 271 

fees. See tuition and fees 



school mascot and, 206-7, 278 

speakers on, 202, 248, 278-79 

women's education and, 54-55, 71, 

79, 278 

and women's studies courses, 258, 

film studies, 246-47 
finances, Centenary. See fundraising 
financial aid. See scholarships; student 

Fisher, Kenneth, 327 
Fleming, Bond, 145, 150, 184 
Fletcher, Joseph, 223 
flight training. See Army Air Forces 

College Training Program 

Foot, Hugh, 221, 233 

underChne, 111, 117-19 

under Mickle, 133-35 

under Sexton, 92-96, 98, 101, 103, 


under Smith, 108 
Ford, E.L., 97, 143, 146-47, 177p 
Ford, John R, 21 
Ford, Thomas, 21 
forum lectures, 189-90, 202, 220, 

230-31, 255, 304-5. See also 

individual speakers 
Foster, Lucille, 282 
Franklin literary society, 65-66 
fraternities, 66-67, 72-73, 98-99, 104-5 
freedom, academic, 103, 1 16, 145-47, 

230-3 1 . See also curriculum 
Free Enterprise Conference, 222, 

French, Katherine, 97, 126-27, 165p 
Friedenberg, Betty, 179p 
Friedenberg, Edgar Z., 190 
Frierson, Clarence, 99 
Fritz, Sara, 278, 286 
Froines, John, 204 
Frost Foundation, 222, 224, 227-28, 

Frost Memorial Garden, 157p, 282 
Frost School of Business, 227 
Fryor, John A., 10 

Fulfill the Vision Campaign, 256, 260 
Fuller, Thomas W., 152p 
Fund for Independence, 218-19 

under Allen, 1 97-200, 209- 1 0, 2 1 8- 1 9 

by Centenary at Jackson, 35-37, 
by Centenary in Mississippi, 22, 24 
underCiine, 110-11,112-16, 119 
by College of Louisiana, 8, 1 1, 12, 16, 

first professional, 86 
under Mickle, 131, 141-43, 151 
under Schwab, 269, 273, 281, 282, 

under Sexton, 92, 96, 101-2, 104 
from trustees, 57 

under Webb, 227, 230, 232-33, 256, 

under Wilkes, 187, 194, 195-96 


Gaines, Ernest, 268-69, 306 

Galloway, Louie, 208 

Gardner, James C, 307 

Garrett, George, 280 

Gateway Project, 284 

gay issues, 247 

Gentlemen, 93, 207, 278 

George, Ruby, 214 

German Marshall Fund, 259 

G.I. Bill of Rights, 131 

Gibson, Margaret, 284 

Gibson, Mary Jane Hitchcock, 248-49 

Gibson, Tobias, 21 

Gibson, William, 247 

Gifford, Joseph, 135-36, 17 \p 

gifts, financial. See individual donors 

Gilcrease, Alys, 307 

Ginsberg, Allen, 263 

Gird, Henry H., 10-12, 17, 19 

Gladys F. Hurley School of Music, 219 


Glover, Clarence, 273-74 

Gold Dome, 161p, 187, 194, 198, 255, 

Goldin, Daniel, 282 

Goodloe, D. S.,21 

Gordon, Harold C, 232 

Gore, Al, 280 

governance. See also government, 

of Centenary in Mississippi, 25 
dancing and, 99, 117, 121-22 
faculty participation in, 143 
report commissioned on, 265-66 
trustees and, 33-34 

government, student 
creation of, 27-28 

demands for greater, 200-205, 206-7 

forums committee, 189, 202, 220, 


hazing and, 130-31 

honor system and, 120, 291-303 

role in college governance, 266 

women in, 213-14, 244-45 
graduate degrees, 221, 240 
Graham, Hannah Seymour, 270 
Graham, William, 241 
Grayson, Sam, 252 
Great Depression, 99-105 
Great Issues seminar, 212 
Great Teachers-Scholars Fund, 208, 

Greet, Philip Ben, 103 
Gregory, Dick, 202, 220 
Gruliow, Agnes, 232 
Gruliow, Leo, 232 
Grunes, Rodney, 247 
Guerin, Wilfred, 192,242,271 
Guest, Edgar, 132-33 
Guillen, Michael, 279-80 
Gulf War, 261-62 
Gumbleton, Thomas J., 243 
Gwin, Dorothy, 171p, 228, 229, 234, 

268, 326, 327 
Gwin, James, 22 
gymnastics, 229, 239, 245-46, 253 


Hall, Michael, 202, 241-42, 249 
Hallquist, Robert, 179p 
Hamel, Claude, 118 
Hamilton, DP, 194,256 
Hamilton Hall (Administration 

Building), 175p, 187, 194, 198, 199, 

Hancock, Alton, 179p, 241, 275, 285, 

Handy, WT, 229 
Hanna, Jake, 118 
Hanson, Wayne, 272, 307 
Hardin, John A., 97-98, 125, 143-44, 

Hardin dormitory. See John A. Hardin 

Memorial Residence Hall 
Hardt, John, 216 
Hargrove, R. H., 143 
Hargrove Memorial Amphitheatre, 

Harrell, George L., 8 1 
Harris, Lis, 271 
Harrison, Delton, 275 
Harry, Robert, 59 


Harvey and Alberta Broyles Centenary 

Choir Endowment Fund, 275 
Hatch, Erin, 262 
Havird, David, 263, 269, 272 
Haynes, W. A. "Arch", 111, 113, 141, 

Haynes Campus, 127, 133, I66p. See 

also Dodd College 
Haynes Gym, 136, 170p, 246, 285 
Haynes Hall, 127 
hazing, freshman, 129-30 
health, student. See yellow fever 
Hecht, Anthony, 283, 306 
Hendricks, Frederic Jefferson "Jeff", 

Hendrix, George P., 202-3 
Henington, David, 286 
Herr, Frank, 71-72, 73, 80 
Hersch, Seymour, 220 
Hickcox, Charles, 177 p 
Higginbotham, McVae, 153p 
Hill, Felix, 81, 82-83 
Hinton, James, 81 
Hiroshima, 137 
Hirshorn, Olga, 241 
Hobson, David, 123 
Hodges, Addie Reynolds, 244 
Hodges Rose Garden, 244 
Hogan, Lea Wheless, 224 
Holcombe, R. S., 47, 48 
Holland, CO., 114,116-17 
Holt, Ivan Lee, 132 
homosexuality, 247 
Honor System, Centenary, 120, 

291-303. See also governance; 

government, student 
Hook,Emmett, 194, 197 
Horak, Sally, 262 
Horton, Tom, 224 
hotline, Centenary, 238 
Howard Hughes Foundation, 280 
Hubbard, Cal, 258 
Hughes, CM., 94-95 
Hurley, Ed E., 245 
Hurley, Gladys F, 219, 245 
Hurley, Roy S., 277 

Hurley Memorial Music Building, 173p 
Hutchinson, J. B., 84 


independent studies, 206 

in loco parentis, 191, 200-205, 206-7, 

213-14. See also government, student 
Intensive Summer Studies Program 

(ISSP), 193-94 
interim studies, 206, 251-52 
International Relations Club, 137, 

involvement, student, 188-92, 204-7, 

238, 251-53, 278-79. See also African 

Americans; Conglomerate, The; 

government, student 
Ironsides, 93. See also Gentiemen 
Islam, seminar on, 241 
ISSP. See Intensive Summer Studies 

Program (ISSP) 
issues, social. See involvement, student 
Ivey, George, 141-43 
1-99 courses, 206 

Jackson, Battle of, 38-39 

Jackson, Willie, 253 

Jackson Hall, 81, 82, 1 19, 136, 137-38, 

170p, 176p,248 
James, G. W. "Bill", 155p, 244, 256, 283 
James, G.W., Jr., 283 
James, Maggie Hodges, 244 
James, Sarah, 283 
James, Thomas D., 283 
James, T.L., 101-2, 115-16, 126,143, 

James Dormitory. See T. L. James 

Memorial Residence Hall 
Jarriel, Tom, 216 
Jeter, Robert McL., 197 
John A. Hardin Memorial Residence 

Hall, 143-44 
John B. and Minnie Sue Entrikin 

Professorship, 275 
John F. Magale Memorial Library, 144, 

162p, 222, 284-85 
Johnson, H. G., 21 
Johnson, Kathy, 229, 232 
Jones, Benjamin, 33 
Jones, Joseph S., 54 
Jones, Milo J., 81 
Jones, Richard, 282 


Kato, Seisi, 241 

Kauss, Theodore, 212, 213, 223, 227-28 

Keddal, Mark, 231 

Keen, Cornelius D, 208, 238-39 

Keen, Florence Gillard, 208, 238-39 

Keener, Christian, 57 

Keener, J. C, 44-45, 47-48, 56, 75-76, 

Keener, S. S., 82 
Keller, Hezekiah, 14 
Kelsey, Caroline, 252 
Kemp, Jack, 280 
Kennedy, John F, 150 
Kerwin, Tom, 258 
Killian, Jerry Don, 283 
Kilpatrick, Nellie P., 144 
King, William, 19 
Klausa, Ekkehard, 222 
Kollege Kapers, 109-10 
Kuralt, Charles, 258-59 


Labor, Earle 

committees served, 228, 326 

Fulbright Professorship awarded to, 


Louisiana Humanist of the Year, 267 

NEH Senior Fellowship, 218 

photo of, 177p 

publications by, 192-93, 242, 249, 

laboratory schools, 104 
Lacey, William B., 17-20 
Ladies Christmas Endowment, 45 
Lafayette literary society, 66 
LaGrone, Susan, 247 
Lane, John A., 21,22, 33 
Lang, Herb, 284 
La Prade, R. H., 72 
Leary, Timothy, 230-31 
Lefkowitz, David, 140-41 
Legislature of Centenary College, 

27-28. See also governance; 

government, student 
Lehde, Hannah Seymour, 270 
Leitz, Robert, 252 
Leonard, Peter, 254 
Leslie, N.K., 27, 28 
Lett, Harold, 189 
Leuck, Beth, 168p 
Leuck, Edwin, 168p, 246 
Levey, Bob, 281 
Levey, Jane, 281 
liberal arts. See also curriculum 

academic freedom and, 103, 145-47, 


challenges to, 148-49, 183-85, 210, 


core curriculum and, 5,10-11, 

29-30, 57-58, 242-43 

major in, 212-13 

student resistance to, 45, 201 


value of, 34, 115-16,255-56 

vocational training vs., 48-49, 

120-21, 124 

College of Louisiana, 15, 19 

computerization of, 268 

John F. Magale Memorial, 144, 162p, 


moving of, 137-38 
Liddy, G. Gordon, 249 
Linco, leannie, 275 
Linco, Rudy, 275 
Lipscomb, J. W., 51 
literary societies, 65-66 
Little, Larry, 161p, 212 
loans, student, 266 
Long, HueyR, 108 
Longstreet, Augustus Baldwin, 30-32, 

lotteries, 3, 8, 16. See also fundraising 
Louisiana, College of, 1-20 
Louisiana, early education in, 1-3 
Love, J. C, 225 

Lowrey, Walter, I77p, 237, 307 
Loyless, Darrell, 231 
Lunsford, Karen, 257-58 
Lyell, Sir Charles, 15 
Lynch, C. N., 72 
Lyons, Charlton, 136 
Lyons, Marjorie, 136 


Ma'am, use of, 191. See also Southern 

Mack, Joseph P., 276 
Magale, Joanna, 162p, 219 
Magale, John F, 144,219 
Magale Library. See John F. Magale 

Memorial Library 
Magee, Bryan, 259 
Magers, Bob, 166p 
Mahoney, John, 274 
Maizlish, I., 97 
Marcum, James, 268 
Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, 136, 

163p, 254-55, 281. See also theater 

Maroon and White, The. See 

Conglomerate, The 
Maroon Jackets, 102 
Marsh, Thad Norton, 184-85, 193, 198, 

Marshall, C.K., 21, 24 

Marshall, Jesse, 186 
Martin, Paul, 142 
Martindale, Daniel, 33, 66 
Marty, Martin E., 218 
Mary Warters Chair of Biology, 245 
mascot, Centenary, 207, 278 
Massengill, Reed, 277 
Matsumato, Takuo, 137 
Matthew, Patricia, 154p, 258 
Matthews, Carl, 186-87 
Matthews Academy, 4, 13, 18-19 
Mattie Allen Broyles Inaugural- Year 

Research Professor, 275 
May Module. See interim studies 
M'Caleb, Samuel, 4 
McCaffrey, Sister Margaret, 261 
McCall, Robert, 276 
McCalpin, F.William, 221 
McCarthyism, 147 
McClelland, George, 19 
McCrocklin, Mark, 327 
McFarland, Elsie, 165p 
McGehee, Edward, 26, 28 
McGovern, George, 189-90 
McGowen.N.C, 132 
McKain, David, 284 
McLarty, Mack, 274-75 
McLaughlin, Courtney, 172p 
McMillin, Bo, 93-96 
McPherson, Brad(ley), 156p, 245 
Meadows, Algur, 151, 205, 233 
Meadows Museum of Art, 137-38, 

159p, 205, 219, 254-55, 281 
Memorial Row, 143 
Methodist Church. See also religion 

college funding and, 53-54, 55-56, 

63-64, 227, 230 

dancing and, 117 

educational goals of, 36-37, 68 

establishment of Centenary by, 2 1 

governance and, 25, 46-47, 60 

move to Shreveport and, 74-75, 


on-campus offices, 144 

vocational training for, 210-11,217, 


women's education and, 54-55 
Mickle, Joe J., 83, 127-51, 167p, 182p 
Mickle, Maida (Mrs. Joe), 141, 155p, 

Mickle Hall of Science, 167p, 246 
Miles, Otha King, 179p 
Miller, Charles C, 80, 182p 
Miller, Fred, 307 
Miller, John C, 35, 41, 42, 182p 

Miller, Randolph C, 233 
Miller, Walter, 94-95 
Millsaps College, 59 
Mitchell, Daryl, 164p 
M. L. Bath Rotary International 

scholarship, 110,222 
model school, the, 104 
Montgomery, John, 18-19 
Moore, RandleT., 108, 144 
Moore, Roy, 89 
Moore Student Center. See Randle T. 

Moore Student Center 
Morehead, S. D, 97, 98, 108, 109-10 
Morgan, Arthur, 98 
Morgan, Edward P., 240 
Morgan, Lee 

ACLU petition signed by, 146-47 

College English Association 

editorship, 214 

committees served, 143, 198-99, 307 

Eudora Welty and, 263-64 

Founder's Day address by, 282 

named to Brown Chair of English, 


photo of, 179p 

publications by, 192, 242, 249, 271 
MorphyW. Diego, 5, 10 
Moseley, Carlos, 238 
Mounger, E. H., 55 
Munsey, William, 47 
Munson, Eva K., 80 
Muse, J. H., 33, 34 
Muses, Centenary, 251 
Mystic Seven, The, 66-67 


Nass, Barry, 249 

Nelson, Carolyn, 171p 

Nelson, Gaylord, 276 

Nelson, George D, Sr., 164p, 171p, 195, 

276-77, 307, 326, 327 
Nelson, Nell, 17 lp 
Nelson, W.H., 74 
Neuman, Nancy, 274 
newspaper, school. See Conglomerate, 

Newtown, George, 257 
Nichols, Joseph, 17 
Nimoy, Leonard, 239 
Noel, James S., 245, 255 
Norris, Alfred, 229 
Norton, Homer, 96, 108, 118, 154p 
nuclear weapons, 137 
Nurse Corps, U. S., 127 


Oden, William B., 327 

ODK. See Omicron Delta Kappa 

Odom, Gale, 173p, 254, 262 
Ogwyn, Joby, 286 
ombudsman system, 204-5 
Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), 285 
Open Ear, 238 
oratory, 66, 270 
Orleans, University of, 3 
Outreach, 247 

Overdyke, W. Darrell, 171p, 192 
Overly, Paul, 221 
Owen, Thomas, 2 1 
Owens, Jesse, 218 

Packard, Vance, 190 

Palladians, The, 66-67 

Pappas, Ike, 237 

Parish, Robert, 161p, 209, 211-12 

Parker, Curtis, 96, 108, 109, 118 

pass/fail courses, 193 

Pate, W. W., 143, 146-47, 179p, 198 

Patterson, James, 229 

Patton, David, 22 

Paul Marvin Brown, Jr., Society, 273 

Pearl, Daniel, 273 

Peavy, Mrs. A. J., 123 

pension plan, 125, 126-27 

Penuel, Arnold, 179p, 285 

Perot, Ross, 260 

Perry, C.L., 194, 199 

Peters, Sam, 164p, 168p, 256, 257 

Phelps, W.G., 97, 126-27 

Phi Beta Kappa, 121 

Phi Kappa Sigma, 67 

Phillips, Thomas, 262 

physical plant. See also dormitories; 
individual buildings 
additions to, 136, 143-44, 187, 194 
beautification of, 55-57, 236, 241, 

Centenary at Jackson, 32, 34-36, 
44-45, 47-48, 75-76, 77-80, 153p 
Centenary in Mississippi, 24 
College of Louisiana, 4-5, 8, 10, 15, 

costs of, 116-17,256,262 
eastward movement of, 284 
inadequate, 115 

land acquisition for, 81, 87, 131-33 
renovations to, 248, 252, 282, 285, 

repairs needed for, 1 19, 236, 246 

structural improvements to, 102, 110 
Pierce Cline Residence Hall, 144 
Pierotti, Jane, 244 
Pitters, Steve, 186 
Pomeroy, Webb, 171p, 207, 245, 256, 

257, 307 
Porter, E.R., 24 
Powers, John J., 217-18 
prayer, at faculty meetings, 46-47. See 

also religion 
preparatory academy, College of 

Louisiana. See Matthews Academy 
presidents, 13-14, 126, 182p. See also 

individual presidents 
press, freedom of, 207, 219 
professional courses. See vocational/ 

technical training 
property. See physical pl