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To Live In Time 

The Sesquicentennial History of 

Mary Baldwin College 

1842 - 1992 

Patricia H. Menk 

"We aim to prepare each child 

to live in time with a wise 

reference to eternity." 

Board of Trustees in Address to the Citizens of 
Augusta County, September 1842 

Mid Valley Press 

Verona, Virginia 


© 1992 Mary Baldwin College 

All rights reserved 

Printed in the United States of America 

ISBN 0-9633486-0-4 

To the trustees, administrators, staff, faculty and employees 
and, especially, to the many generations of students for whom all 
this was done and without whom there would be no Mary Baldwin 


For Karl, 

who always wanted me to write 

a book. 


During the many years that I have been a student and a 
teacher of history, I can honestly say that institutional history did 
not particularly interest me. When I thought about it at all, I had 
visions of dry board minutes, budget and audit reports, balance 
sheets and deficits. My own inclinations were toward narrative, 
chronological accounts, biography and social and cultural devel- 
opments. When I found time and discipline to write a book, it 
would reflect these orientations. 

Therefore it was with some misgivings that, in early 1988, I 
agreed to "update" Mary Watters', Historv of Mary Baldwin 
College . Distinguished as it was. Dr. Watters had concluded her 
work in 1942 and there had been no major historical account 
written since that time. The need was obvious, the timing 
appropriate, the Sesquicentennial Committee included many 
colleagues and friends whom I respected and cherished, and so I 
began work. 

Shortly thereafter, I came across a statement which has 
altered and challenged my perceptions of institutional history 
ever since. "To examine the histories of institutions, to look in the 
institutional mirror, is often an act of deep bravery for people 
because of what they find and what they might find." (Rayna 
Green, "To Lead and to Serve", Symposium on American Indus- 
trial Education at Hampton Institute. Virginia Foundation for 
the Humanities and Public Policy, 16 September 1989.) 

This book is what I have found. There are events which we 
wish had not happened, but they did and they are included. There 
is much - a good deal - to praise. Inevitably, as I might have 
guessed it would, this became a book about people, not balance 
sheets. It is about crises and struggle, about heartbreak and 
triumph, about ordinary and extraordinary students and their 
parents, faculty and their families, presidents and their staffs, 
alumni, trustees - about all the women and men who have become 
part of our story. 

No one writes a book of this sort without the encouragement 
and assistance of many who make up a college community. Some 
of the names appear below, but there are many more. I must take 
special note of my colleagues in the History faculty who so 
generously welcomed back a retired professor who would not stay 
retired, of William C. Pollard, College Librarian, and of Dr.Cynthia 
H. Tyson, without whose support this history would never have 
been written. 

June 1992 

Patricia H. Menk 

Professor of History, Emerita 

Mary Baldwin College 

Sesquicentennial Committee: 

William C. Pollard, Chairman 

Subcommittee on College History: 
Thomas H. Grafton, Chairman 
Martha S. Grafton 
Kenneth W. Keller 

History Faculty: 
Mary Hill Cole 
Kenneth W. Keller 
Robert H. Lafleur 
Daniel A. Metraux 

Library Staff: 

William C. Pollard, Librarian 

Lisabeth Chabot 

Lucy Crews 

Elaine King 

Charlene Plunkett 

Kate Richerson 

Virginia Shenk 


Marjorie B. Chambers 
Fletcher Collins, Jr. 
Martha S. Grafton 
Thomas H. Grafton 
Mary E. Humphreys 
Dolores Lescure 
Carolyn P. Meeks 
Dorothy Mulberry 

Audio-Visual Staff: 
William Betlej 
Vickie Einselen 
Cassie Roberson 

Computer Center: 
Tim Bowers 
Dale Kennedy 
Alan Stamp 
Brent Taylor 
Carolyn Wilt 

Student Assistants: 
Staci Buford 
Leigh Jennings 
Heather Kluchesky 
Denise Lockett 
Sharon Scott 
Beth Stevens 
Stephanie Tyler 
Veronica Vicente 

Woodrow Wilson Birthplace Foundation: 
Katharine Brown 
Dolores Lescure 

Partial funding 

for this 

sesquicentennial history 

has been provided by 

members of the 

Class of 1971 

in memoiy of 



Mary Louise Beehler Belitz, 

a history major 

and student of 

Dr. Menk. 


One Miss Baldwin's School 1 

Two From Seminary to College, 1897-1929 35 

Three Another Beginning: 

The Jarman Years, 1929-1945 75 

Four A Time of Transition: 

The Triumvirate, 1945-1957 159 

Five Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and 
Academic Excellence: 
Samuel R. Spencer, 1957-1968 207 

Six New Dimensions: 

WiUiam W. Kelly, 1969-1976 329 

Seven The Turn- Around College: 

Virginia L. Lester, 1976-1985 425 

Eight Epilogue: To Ensure the Future 

Cynthia H. Tyson, 1985- 481 


Rufus William Bailey xii 

Rufus Bailey's Birthplace - Yarmouth, Maine xii 

Sketch of Mary Julia Baldwin 34 

Baldwin Home - Winchester, Virginia 34 

Ella Claire Weimar 37 

William Wayt King 37 

Abel Mclver Fraser 43 

Marianna Parramore Higgins 43 

Lewis Wilson Jarman 74 

Martha Stackhouse Grafton 91 

Frank Bell Lewis 158 

Charles Wallace McKenzie 158 

Samuel Reid Spencer, Jr 206 

Marguerite Hillhouse 253 

Anne Elizabeth Parker 290 

William Watkins Kelly 328 

Virginia Laudano Lester 424 

Cynthia Haldenby Tyson 480 

Abbreviations Cited in Notes 

AFS - Augusta Female Seminary 

AN - Alumnae Newsletter; after 1960, MBB, Mary Baldwin 

BS - Bluestocking 
BT - Board of Trustees 
CC - Campus Comments 
CAT- Catalogue 

EC - Executive Committee, Board of Trustees 
FC - Finance Committee, Board of Trustees 
Fac - Minutes of the Meeting of the Faculty 
HB - Student Handbook 
MBC- Mary Baldwin College 
MBS - Mary Baldwin Seminary 
Misc - Miscellany 

SM - Minutes of the Administrative Staff Meetings 
SGA - Student Government Association Constitutions and 

SV - Minutes of the Synod of Virginia; Synod of the Virginias 

Rufus William Bailey 

Rufus Bailey s Birthplace - Yarmouth, Maine 




^L h( 

he year was 1842. The inhabit- 
ants of the pleasant httle town of Staunton in the Shenandoah 
Valley of Virginia reflected the optimism of their fellow country- 
men as the economy of the United States rebounded from the 
Panic of 1837. Staunton was the seat of Augusta County and the 
center of a thriving agricultural community with a population of 
about 4000. Built on several hills, served by the Valley turnpike 
which ran south from Winchester, by numerous mountain passes 
to the east and west and the Shenandoah River flowing north to 
the Potomac, Staunton was a trading, banking, commercial cen- 
ter. There were numerous gi'ist mills in the vicinity and flour, 
cereal products, fruits and vegetables were sent by wagon to 
Winchester, Richmond and Lewisburg. There were grazing lands 
as well and cattle, sheep and hog products provided sustenance 
and profit. There was some mining activity and modest manufac- 
turing. Woolen blankets, shoes and boots were produced locally as 
were heavy wagons and their parts, wheels, axles and harnesses 
and the support systems needed for a horse and oxen transporta- 
tion society. There was the county court house (a building had 
stood on the site since 1745), a jail, a mental hospital, banks, many 
churches, inns, taverns, two hotels, storage facilities and ware- 
houses (called the Wharf). There were prosperous homes, some 
reflecting the popular Greek Revival architecture of the period, 
others more modest but comfortable. There were no public educa- 
tional facilities, but several small private institutes or academies 

To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

existed, mainly concerned with the education of boys. There were 
two newspapers, and a social life that centered on church and 
family. The area was considered healthy, far from the yellow fever 
and cholera of eastern Virginia seaports, and it was undeniably 
beautiful — ringed by the Blue Ridge and Alleghany Mountains 
and the fertile fields of the Valley. The population was mixed; 
Piedmont Virginians from the east merged with the Scots-Irish 
and German families who had come down the Valley Pike from 
Pennsylvania and Maryland in the 18th century. There were 
about 800 blacks, perhaps 22% of the population. Although pre- 
dominantly slaves, there were a few free "persons of color." 

The 1840s was a decade of reform all over the United States. 
It was characterized by organized volunteerism which foreign 
visitors commented on with astonishment and amusement. Middle 
class men, and increasingly women, formed societies to remedy 
the flaws that they perceived in their republic. Often their motives 
were mixed and not entirely disinterested, but no social issue was 
unexamined. Prison reform, improvement in the treatment of 
the insane and of orphan children, control of excessive use of 
alcohol, Americanization of immigrants, better conditions for 
factory workers. Christian missionaries to western Indian tribes 
and the distant Pacific islands, world peace, the abolition of 
slavery, the settlement of free blacks in Liberia, Utopian societies, 
a literary and artistic renaissance — all these engaged the ener- 
gies of the reformers. The railroad era had begun and both 
transportation and communication were more quickly and reli- 
ably available than ever before. The message of the reformers 
followed the expansion of the country. By 1850, the United States 
would stretch to the Pacific Ocean. 

No reform was more enthusiastically embraced than educa- 
tion. Long exposed to the concept that the preservation of repub- 
lican liberties required moral, virtuous and literate citizens, 
Americans in the 1840s created and supported innumerable 
academies, institutes and seminaries as well as some public 
school systems in New England and the Midwest. Both boys and 
girls were to be educated, usually separately, in the moral and 
civic virtues appropriate to their country's needs and for their own 
individual satisfaction. Girls shared these opportunities because 
they were destined to be the mothers of the future republican 
generations and were to be models for their sons and daughters. 
By mid century there were those who were suggesting that women 
possessed the intellectual and emotional capacity to aspire to 

To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

higher education and had community as well as family obliga- 
tions. In response, some schools were established for girls and 
young women. 

These seminaries were usually identified with a religious 
denomination which provided guidance and occasionally some 
financial support and were often proprietary in nature; that is, the 
founder (usually male) employed the faculty, managed the fi- 
nances and lived off the profits from tuition and gifts. This was the 
era of New England intellectual imperialism. Teachers and re- 
formers carried throughout the nation the message of family 
values, Christian morals, and republican virtues. Many of them 
came to the South. 

Thus it was that in the summer of 1842, somewhat mysteri- 
ously, Presbyterian clergyman Rufus W. Bailey and his family 
appeared in Staunton. He was 49 years of age and had been born 
in Maine, although he had lived and worked in several New 
England states. He was well-educated with degrees from 
Dartmouth College and Andover Theological Seminary and had 
served both as a minister and a teacher. He had also organized 
Pittsfield (Massachusetts) Female Academy. In 1827, citing rea- 
sons of health for his move south, he was dismissed to the 
Presbyterian church at Darlington, South Carolina. In the next 
decade he served several Presbyterian churches and academies in 
that area. By 1839, he was in North Carolina where, among other 
activities, he was in charge of a female seminary at Fayetteville. 
He also began a connection with the American Colonization 
Society, whose activities were of considerable interest to him until 
the mid- 1850s. How and why he came to Staunton, no one seems 
to know. It does not appear that he had either family connections 
or a sponsor, but he was a gifted preacher, an able organizer, 
apparently an affable and persuasive individual, with a national 
reputation as an author and editor of didactic literature. He 
approached local Presbyterian ministers and influential mem- 
bers of the community and proposed that an Augusta Female 
Seminary be established under Presbyterian auspices but open to 
other young women as well. His suggestion was met with favor, a 
"Plan or Constitution" was drawn up, 15 of the leading citizens of 
the community agreed to serve on the board of trustees, which 
would be self-perpetuating. Space was rented in a downtown 
building, a notice was published in the Staunton Spectator and 
the first session opened with an enrollment of 50 students; 
subsequent years saw an increase to 65, apparently the average 

To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

enrollment until the crisis years of the late 1850s. 

Pleased with his success in attracting students, Dr. Bailey 
immediately set about securing a charter from the Virginia State 
General Assembly. The process took until 30 January 1845, by 
which time the board of trustees had already made an agreement 
with the Staunton Presbyterian Church to build a "suitable" 
school building, "not less than 30' by 50'," two stories tall, on land 
next to the church and owned by it. One room of the building was 
reserved for church use as a lecture room and the building itself 
was guaranteed to the trustees "in perpetuity" provided that 3/4 
of the board of trustees should be ministers or members of the 
Staunton Presbyterian Church (today called First Presbyterian 
Church). A building committee was appointed, public subscrip- 
tions were solicited, some board members pledging to be respon- 
sible for the sum needed to build, and the cornerstone was laid on 
15 June 1844, with solemn and appropriate ceremony in the 
pouring rain. Enclosed in the cornerstone, among other docu- 
ments, was the Holy Bible with the inscription "The only Rule of 
Faith, and the First Textbook of the Augusta Female Seminary." 
The building in neo-classical style was ready by September 1844, 
and has been in continuous use ever since. It has always been 
called "Main" or "Administration." In the early years of the 
seminary, there were no residential students; rather than provide 
housing for them, the trustees arranged to board them with 
approved families in the city, "where social and domestic habits 
may be cultivated," and where, it was suggested, epidemics could 
be avoided . The school building itself was used only for classes and 
study purposes. However, by 1857, two annexes had been con- 
structed, again paid for by public subscription, which provided 
accommodations for the principal and his family and 15 to 20 
boarding students. 

The influence and philosophy of Rufus W. Bailey in establish- 
ing and shaping the future of the seminary are of major signifi- 
cance. He proposed the board of trustees, secured a charter which 
gave legal permanence to the seminary, and secured the funds for 
and helped design its first building, thus setting the architectural 
style for the next 150 years. His philosophy of education, particu- 
larly of women's education, put him in the vanguard of this hotly 
debated reform. When he came to Staunton, he had two daughters 
whom he had sent to school in Philadelphia ( apparently after their 
mother's early death). He wrote to them a series of letters which 
were later published as Daughters at School . These, combined 

To Live In Time Miss Baldwin's School 

with the public statements he made in Staunton as he sought to 
open his seminary, are equally revealing. Each pupil was to have 
first, he wrote, a "solid and useful education and then to supply 
that which is ornamental so far as may be required..." Further, he 

"The place, then, which the female occupies in society and the 
influences she exerts require the most complete moral and intel- 
lectual education to prepare her for her duties... she ought to have 
her mind and character formed by whatever can adorn or give 
strength to the intellect. And why should she not? She has a whole 
life to live — why not spend it rationally?" And later he observed, 
"Our wives are the guardians of our liberties" and must know the 
"physical, intellectual and moral nature" of their society and their 
obligation to it. 

It was anticipated that there would be young children, the 
"elementary class," as well as older students. Indeed, the primary 
grades were essential; only there could a student be prepared for 
the rigors of the "Second and First Class" curriculum. Most 
seminaries had these primary departments; Augusta Female 
Seminary had "little girls" well into the 20th century. 

But it was Dr. Bailey's intention to provide the older pupils 
with subjects similar and equal to those provided their brothers — 
an area with which he was familiar since, in addition to other 
female academies, he had taught and presided over male institu- 
tions as well. The upper classes would include English Grammar, 
Rhetoric and Composition, Comprehensive History, Geography, 
Astronomy, Natural and Moral Philosophy, Etymology (a special 
interest of Dr. Bailey), Elements of Natural Science, Geometry, 
Algebra, and Bookkeeping. Extra classes included Latin, Greek, 
French, and Music, vocal and instrumental on Piano Forte, 
Guitar, and Organ, drawing and painting ("they are studies of 
real utility... [they] promote habits of attention and discrimina- 
tion...," he said). Good health was to be promoted by "employment 
of mind and body" — diet and exercise which involved promenades 
up and down the brick walk in front of the school. All final 
examinations were held in public and members of the board of 
trustees and the townspeople attended to view students parse 
sentences, do intricate math problems, and recite soliloquies. A 
library and a scientific laboratory were set up. Thus Dr. Bailey 
supported demanding curricula for women and saw women as 
rational individuals with the right to self-improvement. A great 
many of his countrymen in the 1840s disagreed, certain that the 

To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

strain of such intellectual activities would render the female 
nervous, masculinized, or mentally distraught. It is to the credit 
of the moderation and good sense of the Valley families that they 
supported Augusta Female Seminary and the four or five other 
similar schools which were founded in Staunton in the years after 

The school year was divided into two sessions of five months 
each. School opened 1 September and closed 1 July. There were no 
vacations and Thanksgiving (not yet a national holiday) and 
Christmas were spent at the seminary. Study hours were eight to 
noon, two to four p.m. and seven to nine p.m. There was required 
attendance at a Sunday presentation by the principal after which 
all the students attended worship services at the Presbyterian 
Church. It was noted that "No visiting or attentions to the pupils 
by young persons of the other sex shall be allowed..." 

Dr. Bailey was assisted in the school by his second wife 
Marietta, by his two adult daughters, Mary and Harriet, and later 
by a niece and a cousin, both from Maine. He was apparently an 
inspiring teacher. A pupil wrote of him, "blessings on that red 
head of his, which housed such an efficient brain, and such a 
genial interest in the progress of humanity." 

Dr. Bailey, like most Americans, was fascinated by technology 
and the progress it would bring. Shortly after the invention of the 
telegraph, he secured a "Boston Lecturer" and set up a demonstra- 
tion in the main lecture hall at the seminary. He called it "tamed 
lightning." He was also deeply committed to a railroad for Staunton 
and followed the digging of the necessary tunnels through the 
Blue Ridge with great interest. However, he had left Staunton 
before the railroad finally reached the Valley town in 1854. 

Dr. Bailey was a restless soul. He seldom had stayed long in 
one location and probably lived for a greater length of time in 
Staunton than he ever lived elsewhere. By 1848, he had informed 
the trustees that the state of his health required a less "sedentary 
occupation" and proposed to resign as Principal of Augusta Fe- 
male Seminary as soon as a successor could be found. Indeed, he 
may have worked side by side for a time with the Reverend Samuel 
Matthews, who became Principal in 1849. Dr. Bailey continued to 
reside in Staunton, although he was often absent for long periods. 
He had renewed his contacts with the American Colonization 
Society and had become their agent for western Virginia. By the 
mid- 1850s he was in Huntsville, Texas associated in various 
capacities with the pioneer Presbyterian College of Texas (later 

To Live In Time Miss Baldwin s School 

Austin College). He died there in 1863. 

It is to Rufus Bailey that the present Mary Baldwin College 
owes several of its characteristics: its architectural style, its 
downtown location, its commitment to excellence in teaching and 
learning from a difficult curriculum, its Christian orientation and 
its belief in the capacities of women. Dr. Bailey was wise in his 
insistence that a board of trustees be legally responsible for the 
institution. Many of the early seminaries and academies closed 
because they were associated with a particular founder who, when 
he left or died, had no legal successor. Augusta Female Seminary 
was fortunate in a devoted and dedicated board. They regularly 
supervised the work of the seminary, attended its progi^ams, 
pledged financial resources and undertook the difficult task of 
finding suitable principals after Dr. Bailey's resignation. They 
were educated, successful men; it is interesting to note that their 
composition is not unlike the present board (1992); there were five 
Presbyterian ministers, a physician, merchants, planters, law- 
yers, and men of political significance. Dr. Addison Waddell had 
been one of the first to be appointed and was one of Dr. Bailey's 
most admiring supporters. When he died in 1855, his son Joseph 
A. Waddell took his place and served for over 60 years. Without his 
wise support and counsel, the seminary might well have closed, as 
all other such institutions in Staunton did by 1863. Others of note 
are Reverend Francis McFarland, the first president of the board, 
who was succeeded by his son, J. W. McFarland, and a grandson, 
W. B. McFarland. There were McFarlands on the board until the 
mid-twentieth century. There was also the Reverend Benjamin 
Smith, as convinced as Rufus Bailey of the necessity for women's 
intellectual opportunities. Educated at Hampden-Sydney and in 
Prussia, Smith became a leading advocate in Virginia for public 
education. He was the minister at Tinkling Spring and the 
Presbyterian church in Waynesboro before becoming the minister 
at the church in Staunton (1845-1854). It was during his term on 
the board that the two annexes were added to Main, and his 
influence on the curriculum of the seminary was second only to 
that of Dr. Bailey. 

In these early days, most of Augusta Female Seminary's 
clientele was from the city or the county, and the community was 
proud of the school. It must have been with some dismay that they 
viewed the succession of principals, who seldom stayed more than 
a year or two, who followed Dr. Bailey in office. 

Although the 1850s were a time of general prosperity and 

To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

optimism in the United States, and especially in the South, it was 
a difficult time for Augusta Female Seminary. There were six 
principals (all male) in a fifteen year period, and enrollment at one 
time shrank to "a dozen pupils. " It should be noted that Dr. Joseph 
R. Wilson, pastor of the Staunton Presbyterian Church, assumed 
general supervision of the school in 1855-1856. His son, Thomas 
Woodrow, born in the Presbyterian manse in 1856, would later 
become President of the United States. Even after leaving Staunton, 
the Wilsons remained interested in Augusta Female Seminary. 
Their daughters attended the school after the Civil War, as did 
various nieces and cousins. The last principal in this interim was 
John B. Tinsley (1857-1863). Under his administration, the an- 
nexes were opened for boarding students, the enrollment in- 
creased to the level of Dr. Bailey's day, new equipment was 
purchased, and the curriculum modestly expanded. 

By 1861, the United States was at war with itself, and the fate 
of the seminary, the town of Staunton, of Virginia, and of the 
entire South would ultimately depend on the outcome of armed 
conflict. The Shenandoah Valley was the "breadbasket of the 
Confederacy," and Staunton, its largest town, a transportation, 
communication center and a staging area for Confederate troops. 
Within a year of the start of hostilities, severe inflation and 
military commandeering of supplies had brought wartime short- 
ages and economic hardships. Hostile armies roamed the Valley, 
and parents kept their children at home. The several academies 
and institutes in Staunton discontinued their services. Their 
buildings became military hospitals, prisoner of war barracks, 
and warehouses. John Tinsley struggled to keep Augusta Female 
Seminary viable, but in the summer of 1863 he informed the board 
of trustees that he was resigning as principal and planning to 
leave Staunton. No one else appeared to be available to take over 
the operation of the school, and the board was preparing to 
announce that the seminary was closing when Joseph A. Waddell 
proposed that two women, Mary Julia Baldwin and Agnes R. 
McClung, be appointed joint principals, observing wryly "no man 
would at that time have accepted the position." The two women 
agreed, and Augusta Female Seminary opened for its regular fall 
session on 1 October 1863 with 80 pupils, 22 of whom were 
boarders. There was one building, almost no furniture or equip- 
ment, capital, or staff. By 1897, when Miss Baldwin died, there 
were five buildings, an able faculty, financial stability, and a 
student body numbering 250. By then "Miss Baldwin's School" 

To Live In Time Miss Baldwin s School 

was considered one of the most distinguished educational institu- 
tions for young women in the southern states. 

When Rufus Bailey opened his seminary in the fall of 1842, a 
quiet, shy 13-year-old girl, Mary Julia Baldwin, had been among 
the pupils enrolled. Four years later she graduated, first in her 
class and apparently much influenced by her teacher. She had 
great respect and affection for Dr. Bailey, and her later life 
reflected his insistence on high academic standards, his devotion 
to Christian precepts, and his belief in community responsibility. 
Mary Julia was an orphan and had lived with her maternal 
grandparents, John and Mary Sowers, most of her life. Captain 
Sowers was a prosperous merchant, and there were many Sowers, 
Heiskell, and Baldwin relatives in Staunton and Winchester. 
Mary Julia thus lived the protected and secure life of a southern 
gentle lady — at least until her 34th year. After completing her 
work at Augusta Female Seminary, she returned there occasion- 
ally for additional studies in French and music and perhaps to 
tutor. For many years she taught a Sunday School class of young 
girls at Staunton's Presbyterian Church, and Mr. Waddell, who 
admired her teaching skills from his own unruly classroom (for 
boys) across the hall, had known her from childhood. She spent 
one winter in Philadelphia (1853-54) with Baldwin relatives 
studying, reading, attending concerts and art exhibitions. Per- 
haps she sought medical assistance there as well, since an illness, 
early in her childhood, left one side of her face paralyzed and 
withered. She was sensitive about her appearance but not, as 
Mary Watters explained, "morbid" about it, and she pursued 
community activities with competence and dedication. However, 
because of her disfigurement, she would permit no portraits (or 
later, photogi'aphs) to be made of her. There exists only one sketch 
which a mischievous pupil at the seminary made secretly. Miss 
Baldwin is by a chair in prayer with her little dog Midget sitting 
on her bustle. It is a charming sketch but does not reveal much of 
Miss Baldwin's face. Mary Julia returned from Philadelphia in 
the mid 1850s to live with her widowed grandmother, to teach 
young black children to read and write, and later to begin a girls 
school called the Bee Hive Academy. It was at this point that Mr. 
Waddell proposed that she assume the academic responsibility for 
Augusta Female Seminary. She would be assisted in the house- 
keeping department by Agnes R. McClung (Mr. Waddell's sister- 
in-law), and the two ladies were given full authority to hire 
teachers, establish the curriculum, purchase supplies and equip- 

To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

ment, set tuition rates, and to divide the profits (if any) between 
them. It was understood that, at some future time, they would pay 
the board of trustees rent for the use of the Administration 
Building; but in the circumstances of wartime inflation that 
consideration was postponed. 

Waddell notes that "Misses McClung and Baldwin had long 
been intimately acquainted and were, in most respects, kindred 
spirits, earnest, philanthropic Christian women." They turned 
out to be far more than that. Mary Julia Baldwin proved to be an 
excellent administrator and a keen businesswoman; she selected 
her faculty carefully, and many of them became so attached to her 
and to the seminary that they stayed all of their lives. Her 
students admired and respected her, and the affection many of 
them felt for her served to enforce the discipline of a 19th century 
boarding school far better than more punitive measures would 
have done. 

Miss McClung was an able housekeeper. During the war 
years, furnishings, linen, table services, even pots and pans, had 
to be borrowed from friends and relatives. The students them- 
selves were required to bring their own candles, towels, sheets, 
"heavy covering" for a bed, napkins, and a cup. Procuring and 
saving food supplies was an almost daily struggle. Commissary 
units of both armies made regular raids on civilian resources, and 
oft-repeated stories of flour barrels concealed under crinolines 
disguised as dressing tables, firewood hidden in dark cellars, 
hams concealed among bedclothes beside a young girl with a 
heavily powdered face simulating severe illness, corn in school 
desks, bacon and lard in an empty stove, the school cow concealed 
in a wooded area, have been repeated by generations of Mary 
Baldwin students. During the last years of the war, tuition and 
board could be paid either in Confederate money ($1500 for a half 
session) or by $67.50 worth of food and supplies. A broadside 
noted pointedly, "Currency will not be received from those who 
can pay in produce." Books were likewise hard to secure. Appeals 
were made to the pupils' parents that they lend dictionaries, 
grammar and algebra books and other appropriate titles from 
their own personal libraries. 

Before the school opened in October 1863, Dr. W. H. McGuffey 
had come from Charlottesville to Staunton to advise Miss Baldwin 
about curriculum. Already famous for his Readers , Dr. McGuffey 
was on the faculty of the University of Virginia, whose curriculum 
he adapted for Augusta Female Seminary, modified only by the 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

"peculiar requisites of female education." There were to be three 
departments, Primary, Academic and Collegiate, a division simi- 
lar to that of Dr. Bailey's in the 1840s. The Collegiate course (later 
called the University course), however, reflected Miss Baldwin's 
conviction that women had mental and intellectual abilities equal 
to men's and that they should be taught accordingly. There were 
seven "schools" (English Literature, History, Mental and Moral 
Science, Mathematics, Natural Science, Modern Languages, and 
Ancient Languages), the completion of each constituting "a com- 
plete course on the subject taught." Certification in all seven was 
necessary to be considered a "full graduate" and Dr. McGuffey 
warned Miss Baldwin that she was making the requirements so 
difficult that the seminary might not be popular. In fact, only 88 
young women completed the University course during Mary Julia 
Baldwin's lifetime, but hundreds of others studied some of the 
subjects involved. 

The first "full graduate" under this revised curriculum was 
Nannie Tate, who completed her studies in 1866. Her older sister, 
Mattie, was in charge of the Primary Department and Nannie, 
after assisting with English and French, soon joined her. When 
Mattie died, "Miss Nannie" was made head of the Preparatory 
Department. She resigned in 1919, having spent more than 60 
years at the seminary. 

Agnes McClung, although older than Miss Baldwin, became 
her dearest friend. When she joined Miss Baldwin at the semi- 
nary, she was accompanied by her mother, who was the sister of 
a well-known Presbyterian minister, Archibald Alexander of 
Princeton, New Jersey, and whose acquaintance with many church 
families undoubtedly encouraged enrollments. The young stu- 
dents called Mrs. McClung "grandmother" and, during the alarms 
of the war period, would gather in her room ("as many as thirty of 
them") for protection and comfort. 

Mary Julia Baldwin and Agnes McClung accepted the chal- 
lenge of directing the seminary in part because each needed some 
means of financial support. Although Mary Julia had a modest 
inheritance from h er father and her grandparents (perhaps $4000 — 
some of it eventually in Confederate bonds). Miss McClung had to 
depend on relatives for a home and support. She had contem- 
plated opening a boarding house when Mr. Waddell had ap- 
proached her in 1863. The acceptable means for unmarried 
middle-aged ladies in the 1860s to earn money were few. Heroic 
as it now seems for these two women to try to keep the seminary 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

open in wartime, the opportunity afforded them a chance at 
financial independence. They agreed that any profits from the 
school would be divided between them, two-thirds to Miss Baldwin 
and one-third to Miss McClung. In the years after the war's 
conclusion, they bought real estate jointly and also held joint title 
to the seminary's furnishings. When Agnes McClung died in 1880, 
she left all of her portion of these holdings to Mary Julia Baldwin, 
the real estate to go to the board of trustees after Miss Baldwin's 

This peculiar arrangement perhaps helps to explain why so 
many of Miss Baldwin's friends and relatives found refuge at the 
school in the post-war years. Her aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. 
Wade Heiskell, lived there for twelve years (1880-92); another 
aunt, Caroline Sowers Crawford (only seven years older than 
Mary Julia), taught piano for a number of years. Her daughter, 
Mary, became a full seminary graduate, studied in New York, and 
returned to teach at the seminary in 1874. Mary Crawford later 
married but, after being widowed, returned as a voice teacher 
until her death in 1893. Two other cousins, Julia and Emma 
Heiskell, were on the seminary faculty in the 1860s. On another 
occasion, the widow of a Presbyterian missionary and her two 
daughters were invited to make their home with Miss Baldwin 
and did so for one year. 

What was Mary Julia Baldwin like? Although we have no 
picture, there are several descriptions (some rather sentimental) 
as alumnae and friends remembered her in later years. She was 
about five and a half feet tall, perhaps 140 pounds, her hair "dusty 
brown" and "carefully arranged and brushed over her ears." Her 
"eyes were intellectual gray ones" and she was noted for a 
beautiful complexion and graceful, lovely hands. She loved pretty 
clothes, was always well-groomed and conservatively dressed, but 
she was fond of jewelry, had lace, silk, and velvet, and even a 
sealskin coat. By all accounts, she was a gifted teacher; in the 
early years of her administration she often taught eight hours a 
day and seemed to have a special affinity for young women, 
although she had few illusions about school-girl attitudes. In a 
letter to an unhappy father, whose daughter had apparently been 
carrying out a clandestine correspondence with a young man, 
Miss Baldwin wrote, "If Fannie would only consent to give up all 
thought of boys until her education is completed and apply herself 
to her studies, she would make one of the loveliest, most attractive 
women I know. . .but if young people are bent on correspondence, 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin's School 

there is no limit to their ingenuity." Miss Baldwin was often 
considered formal and dignified and "perfectly self reliant," but 
she once confided in Mr. Waddell, "People think me very strong 
and stern — they little know how I suffer." If she had to dismiss an 
ineffective teacher or to send home an insubordinate pupil, "tears 
flowed down her cheeks." When Waddell suggested that if the 
strain of her position was too great, she should retire, she an- 
swered, "No, too many persons are benefitted by my continuing 
here and I must remain." 

In a memorable letter to Agnes McClung, Miss Baldwin wrote: 

We have been living together for more 
than sixteen years, and I can truly say that 
each year has drawn me more closely 
to you by revealing traits of character that 
call forth my deepest respect and warmest 
love. . . I want you to know and feel that 
I love you dearly and esteem you more highly 
than any other living friend... You know that 
I am not at all demonstrative, and that only 
deep sincere feeling would have drawn 
forth this confession of affection... 

And one other recollection from a relative, Margaret Stuart 

Dear Cousin Mary, so many of her 
geese were swans in her eyes! I often think 
the disposition to see and believe the best 
of all of us educated us up to a higher 
standard of right and honor; it is so 
sweet yet so humiliating to be believed 
better than we are. 

The "hidden" Miss Baldwin also emerges in her love of ani- 
mals, flowers, and her garden. For many years, the front of the 
west annex of Main Building was glass enclosed to create a 
"conservatory." Here, flowers and perhaps plants for the botany 
classes were grown, and Miss Baldwin's collection of "rare birds of 
brilliant plumage from Java, Syria and South America" were 
kept. In particular, a large green parrot was a favorite and he 
would often accompany the principal to the dining room, sitting on 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin's School 

the back of her chair and demanding tribute. There were also cats 
and, most important, a succession of dogs: Leo, Rollo, and later 
Midget and Beauty. They, too, accompanied her everywhere, the 
bells on their collars giving notice of her coming . We are told that 
the students took the bells for souvenirs and that they clipped so 
many curls from Beauty's coat for their memory books that he was 
in danger of being denuded. Some time before 1880, two terra 
cotta sculptures of Beauty appeared, fastened to the pillars at the 
front entrance of Main Building. No one knows who provided 
them, but they are the symbol of Miss Baldwin's School. Named 
by the students at various times as "Caesar" and "Pompey," later 
as "Blucher and Wellington," they eventually emerged as "Ham" 
and "Jam" (two important ingredients of Sunday night suppers), 
and for over a century have welcomed generations of Mary 
Baldwin students. 

There are other glimpses of Mary Julia's character. During 
the war years, there were few men to offer protection from 
marauding soldiers, stragglers, and thieves. On at least one 
occasion, at night, when the panicked cry of "A man, a man," arose. 
Miss Baldwin chased the intruder into the yard, raised a poker 
which she was carrying as though it were a gun, and ordered him 
to leave. He did, speedily. 

Waddell takes note of Mary Julia's many charities. "She was 
liberal to a fault in her contributions to religious and benevolent 
causes and to many individuals." She was a life-long member of 
First Presbyterian Church and contributed generously; some 
records assert that she provided up to 60% of all of the mission 
offerings the church made during her lifetime. In her will. Miss 
Baldwin left $20,000 to First and Second Presbyterian Churches 
and to Foreign and Home Missions, and her few remaining letters 
of a personal nature reflect her deep faith and trust in God and her 
concern for those less fortunate than she. In a letter to Anna M. 
Gay (10 March 1887), Mary Julia writes: 

A happy life must be one spent in doing 
good in our home circles and to all with 
whom we come in contact. I cannot conceive 
of greater misery than a life spent in 
selfish indulgence. 

Thus Mary Julia emerges — earnest, disciplined, sincere, lov- 
ing, presiding over a large intergenerational group of students, 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

faculty, family, friends, and servants. That she felt the weight of 
her responsibilities is obvious. She worried about her students, 
their health, their religious convictions, their seriousness of 
purpose. She felt the necessity of making a financial success of 
"her" school, because faculty (many of whom had no other home), 
relatives and servants (some of whom like "Uncle Chess" had been 
her slaves) all depended on her to shelter and provide for them. 
She developed many skills; she became an experienced book- 
keeper, a typist (she called it "printing"), a purchasing agent, a 
recruiter. She prepared catalogue material for the printer and 
sent personalized reports home to parents. She planned alter- 
ations to existing buildings and the construction of new ones. She 
furnished parlors and public rooms at the seminary with Victo- 
rian elegance and style, prescribed proper attire for her pupils, 
and she listened and sympathized with the emotional upheavals 
of young girls and unmarried teachers. It was a remarkable 

Having procured the services of Misses Baldwin and McClung, 
the board of trustees appears to have been content to allow them 
to run the school. The trustees seldom met, usually only to fill 
vacancies, and infrequently to deal with finances. As Watters 
explains, "The organization of the Board was simple; there was a 
President and a Secretary, but no Treasurer, because they had no 
funds and no Executive Committee because there was nothing to 
do." But Miss Baldwin did rely for advice and help upon several 
trustees. John Wayt, president of the board, was a banker and 
advisor on financial matters; Joseph Waddell was always avail- 
able; he and his wife visited Miss Baldwin and Miss Agnes 
regularly on Sunday afternoons. As the years went on, W. B. 
Crawford (an uncle by marriage) became the "Business Agent," 
John Wayt "General Superintendent," and W. F. Butler, the 

By the 1870s the congregation of the Staunton Presbyterian 
Church felt the need for a larger building, and a complicated 
exchange of property and titles ensued which finally resulted in 
the seminary acquiring, among other things, title to the land upon 
which the Administration Building was built. Miss Baldwin and 
Miss McClung had purchased, from their own resources, a large 
lot across Frederick Street. This they proposed to donate to the 
church in return for the old church building and the lot between 
New and Market Streets. In the more relaxed legal atmosphere of 
the 19th century, the new Presbyterian Church was built and 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

occupied, and Miss Baldwin had already removed the roof from 
the old building, added a third story, and converted the building 
into a chapel, study hall, dormitory, dining room, and kitchen-all 
before transfer deeds were signed. Finally, in 1872, the legal 
processes were completed and the seminary board agreed to give 
the principals a 20-year free lease on the property. The 20-year 
lease expired 1 August 1891. Waddell observed, "Miss Baldwin 
continued to occupy the premises and conduct the school as 
previously. No change was thought of." There remained a problem 
of the debt incurred when the annexes had been built (1857). Six 
trustees had each pledged $500 to compensate for the lack of funds 
raised by popular subscription. Four of the men (Tate, Kayser, 
Waddell and Trimble) agreed to cancel their loans; a fifth indi- 
vidual. Reverend William Browne, was in need of funds and the 
two women paid him out of their own resources. The sixth, 
General Imboden, "had become insolvent" and arrangements 
were made to pay his creditors (who had acquired his note). So 
finally, in 1873, the seminary held title to the land and building 
with which it had been identified since 1845. 

In addition. Miss Baldwin set about acquiring adjacent prop- 
erty. Judge L. P. Thompson having died, the ladies, again using 
their own resources, purchased from his estate the property from 
Market to New Street and eventually the mansion known as Hill 
Top, which became a dormitory. Immediately behind the semi- 
nary building, the principals had erected "Brick House" (today 
McClung) and took up their residence there; and, in 1871, a frame 
building constructed half-way up the hill became known as "Sky 
High." The campus now encompassed about four acres, and in the 
ensuing years a Calisthenic Hall, a bowling alley (quickly con- 
verted into classrooms), a covered way, a classroom building 
called Strickler Hall, and an infirmary were "thrown up hodge- 
podge on the hill." Other purchases involved a lot and four houses 
near the new First Presbyterian Church and "the Farm," a 10-acre 
tract on the north end of town where the seminary cows were 
pastured and vegetables and fruits for seminary use were pro- 
duced . ( The "Farm" is now the site of the Staunton Post Office and 
the Staunton Medical Center.) 

Where did the money to purchase these properties come from? 
Except for the Administration Building, they were all the per- 
sonal property of the two women and, after Agnes McClung's 
death, of Mary Julia Baldwin. They had used their "resources," as 
Mr. Waddell explained, by which he meant the tuition and fees 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

that were paid by the students and, later, income derived from 
personal investments. Within three years of the ending of the 
war, the seminary enrollment was 137; by 1870, there were 176 
pupils, and in later years enrollment reached perhaps 250. There 
were many years when students were turned away for lack of 
space, and three and four girls might share one room (perhaps 
even one bed) as Miss Baldwin sought to accommodate late 
registrants. The financial success of the school can be explained 
by several factors; the area was considered healthful (because of 
its elevation) and safe (remote from some of the racial tensions of 
the Reconstruction Era). An advertising program was begun 
even before the war ended, and Presbyterian ministers, Univer- 
sity of Virginia professors, and satisfied parents provided testi- 
monials about the excellence of the school and its Christian 

The school, declared Dr. Joseph R. Wilson in 1879, " as 
near perfection in my judgement as it is possible for human 
wisdom to make... A long acquaintance with Miss Baldwin and 
Miss McClung warrants me in declaring to all... that there are no 
two ladies in the land who are better qualified by nature, by 
cultivation, by grace, and now by experience for conducting a 
seminaiy...! regard the seminary as a public blessing." 

Since he had helped design the curriculum. Dr. McGuffey 
might be suspected of some self interest when, after giving the 
commencement address in 1866, he declared, "I consider this 
school as among the best, if not the very best in the South." 

A more disinterested endorsement was provided by the editor 
of the Journal of Education . Boston, Massachusetts, when, in 
1880, he wrote, "During our recent tour in the South, one 
perpetually heard of Augusta Female Seminaiy at Staunton, 
Virginia as one of the most deservedly celebrated schools for girls 
in that region: taking an honorable rank with the collegiate 
institutions for young women that are now coming to be so 
important a factor in national education... the thorough and 
practical character of its course of study is a nursery of superior 

And from General John Echols (Vice President, C&O and SW 
Railroad Company), "I have known intimately, for the last 
eighteen years, the school of Miss Mary J. Baldwin. ..and I take 
pleasure in stating in this formal way... that... it is the best 
training school for young ladies that I have ever known..." 
(General Echols was a long-time member of Augusta Female 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

Seminary's Board of Trustees.) 

The Catalogue of 1873 declared, "It [Augusta Female Semi- 
nary] is for young ladies what the University of Virginia is for 
young gentlemen." 

There is no question that, with surprising rapidity after the 
end of hostilities, the seminary achieved remarkable success. 
Before 1866, almost all the pupils had come from Staunton, 
Augusta County or the near vicinity. By 1870, students from 
Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North and South Carolina, Louisiana, 
Tennessee, Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio were registered. Within 
another five years Texas parents were sending their daughters 
(and sons) back to Virginia, and a special relationship which has 
lasted for more than 100 years was forged between Augusta 
Female Seminary and Arkansas. 

Although Mary Julia Baldwin had been an honor graduate of 
Rufus Bailey's seminary and although she continued throughout 
her life to read and study, she felt that she was not fully prepared 
to teach all the subjects of the University Curriculum. In the early 
days of her tenure, she did indeed teach a great deal, and she 
continued for 30 years to present Bible studies and Sunday 
afternoon religious "conversations," but she increasingly relied on 
her faculty to uphold the high academic standards she demanded. 
An important part of her success came from the faculty she 
attracted and retained. She, and she alone, was responsible for 
selecting the faculty, determining their salaries and their duties, 
dismissing or promoting them. In many ways these men and 
women (and there always were men, married men, particularly in 
the Music Department) were as remarkable as the principal. In 
addition to their teaching and the work required to prepare for it, 
female teachers who lived at the seminary (and all unmarried 
women did) were in constant demand as chaperons and counsel- 
ors, were required to direct study halls, and to undertake religious 
and social duties. Students had almost continuous access to them 
and they were perpetual role models, as well as surrogate parents. 

"No effort is spared to make the school as home- 
like as possible. One feature peculiar to the school 
is the influence exerted by the resident female 
teachers on the mind, the heart, the manners of 
the pupils. Out of school hours they associate with 
them as friends and companions, and, while inspiring 
them by their gentle dignity with profoundest 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

respect, win their warmest love by their kindness 
and sympathy. Ladies themselves of cultivated 
tastes, refined manners and Christian principles, 
they illustrate by example lessons taught only 
by precept. Consequently young ladies who have 
been pupils of this institution for any length of 
time are noted for their simplicity of manners, 
modest deportment and freedom from affectation." 
(Catalogue, 1870-71) 

Although it appears that Miss Baldwin left her faculty free to 
organize their work as they saw fit and no records remain of any 
faculty meetings or organizations, they were often required to 
teach in more than one area (perhaps Mathematics and Latin, Art 
and Modern Language or English and Bookkeeping) and to more 
than one age group. They held few graduate degixes, although the 
fine arts faculty had more professional training than did the 
literary faculty. The music teachers were often gi'aduates of 
conservatories in London, Munich, Leipzig, or Berlin. 

During and immediately after the war, Miss Baldwin chose 
her faculty from Staunton and the surrounding communities. The 
University of Virginia professors contributed a number of their 
daughters to her staff: Anna and Eliza Howard (whose father was 
a professor of medicine and whose brother-in-law was Dr. 
McGuffey), Kate Courtney (her father was a famous mathemati- 
cian) and Charlotte Kemper (whose father was the Proctor). They 
had been educated by university professors and brought skills and 
depth to their teaching. Charlotte Kemper in particular had 
further work in Richmond and had studied Latin, French, He- 
brew, Spanish, math, and literature. At one time Miss Baldwin 
had hoped Miss Kemper might succeed her as principal, but 
Charlotte chose, in 1882, to go to Brazil as a missionary, thus 
beginning a long-time connection between the seminary girls and 
overseas mission activities. Miss Kemper died in Brazil in 1926, 
at the age of 90. 

Graduates of the seminary were often employed, as well, 
although most of them taught in the Primary Department. Two 
exceptions were Ella Weimar, who later joined the "university" 
faculty and eventually became principal, and Helen Williamson, 
who came in 1894 and, with brief interruptions, remained until 
her death in 1936. 

Several local men were among early faculty members. Major 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

Jed Hotchkiss (late of the Confederate army) taught, for a time, 
chemistry and physics, and J. G. Dunsmore directed for many 
years the business courses which Miss Baldwin thought practical 
and necessary. 

As the student population expanded and the school's reputa- 
tion grew. Miss Baldwin chose teachers from other areas of the 
country, especially from the South. If they were female, they were 
to be "ladies" and of a "pious disposition," but she was open to 
many varied backgrounds. Almost all the language and music 
teachers came from either France or Germany. Students of the 
1880s and 1890s remembered with affection and respect Martha 
Riddle, who taught history from 1883-1919; Virginia Strickler, for 
50 years a teacher of Latin, English and, at one time, business 
courses; and Sarah Wright, born in Persia to missionary parents 
and educated at Vassar. She came to the seminary in 1881 and 
remained for 12 years. She was remembered for her "Yankee 
attitudes," her love of hiking and mountain climbing, and her 
inspired teaching of English literature. Fritz Hamer, born in 
Germany, came to Augusta Female Seminary in 1873, and with 
quiet dignity established an almost national reputation for the 
school of music of which he was the director. He encouraged his 
nephew, C. F. W. Eisenberg, to join him in 1885. Professor 
Eisenberg married and remained in Staunton. He and his wife 
had a number of daughters, several of whom attended the semi- 

After the 1880s the enrollment rose to about 250, counting day 
students, and there was increasing need for administrative assis- 
tance. Several women were employed to look after the younger 
children when they were not in class, and an attendant for the 
infirmary and a consulting doctor were chosen. After Miss 
McClung's death, a matron and assistant matron took care of 
housekeeping details. By 1882, a librarian had been added to the 
administrative staff and, four years later, Miss Baldwin employed 
a secretary to assist with correspondence and contracts. He was 
succeeded in 1890 by a young graduate of Dunsmore Business 
College, William Wayt King, who as business manager played a 
major role in the seminary's history after Miss Baldwin's death. 
Increasing physical weakness led Miss Baldwin to appoint an 
assistant principal in 1889. She chose an alumna and a member 
of her faculty, Ella Weimar, who thus had the advantage of 
working closely with Miss Baldwin for eight years before the 
board of trustees appointed her principal in 1897. 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

If the relationships between the principal and the board of 
trustees remained vague and ill-defined in the post bellum era, 
and if the financial arrangements and ownership of the physical 
properties were even less formalized, the same was true about the 
nature of the seminary itself. This was an era in which women's 
colleges "as good as men's" were being established (Vassar 1864, 
Mills 1876, Wellesley and Smith in 1875). Miss Baldwin was 
aware of this development, but neither she nor the board of 
trustees appear to have considered the movement relative to their 
concerns. The Preparatoiy (primary) department was popular 
and served local needs, the Academic provided an education equal 
to that which vv^as considered high school, and the University 
Course was the equivalent (in their opinion and that of the 
graduates) of "any college course in the countiy." They saw no 
need to change either their relationships or their organization. 
That would be left to their successors. 

The curriculum was a different matter, and there were many 
additions and modifications as the years went on. A few of these 
may be considered. At first the program for the older girls had 
stressed mathematics, mental and moral science (a later genera- 
tion would call this psychology^ and philosophy) and Latin, much 
in the tradition of the classical academy that characterized male 
preparatory education for more than a century. Miss Strickler's 
Latin Course (one of the University schools) exceeded the Univer- 
sity of Virginia's and Vassar's requirements. "Her certificate of 
proficiency," Waddell writes, "is as good as the diploma of any 
college." Latin remained popular among senior seminary stu- 
dents well into the 20th century. As the student body increased, 
there was more demand for "modern" languages, and both French 
and German had respectable enrollments. There was always a 
strong emphasis on English language (grammar and rhetoric) and 
literature. Frequent oral dictation exercises were held and origi- 
nal compositions were produced at stated intervals. Before gradu- 
ation, all students were required to pass an examination in 
English. English literature was stressed with translations from 
modern French and German literary classics. It was only in the 
mid- 1880s that American literature and American history en- 
tered the curriculum. Poetiy memorization was another aspect of 
19th century learning that the seminaiy emphasized, particu- 
larly under the guidance of Sarah Wright, whose strict standards 
and inspired teaching made her Miss Strickler's rival. History 
courses were heavily weighted toward the classical and Biblical 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

worlds, with senior emphasis on Enghsh and modern European 
events. Perhaps the seminary was weakest in the natural sci- 
ences — there was more turnover in faculty, laboratories and 
equipment were inadequate, and registration was lower than in 
other areas. 

Miss Baldwin and the parents she served were interested in 
providing "fine art" opportunities for the students. This did not 
necessarily reflect the Victorian perception that a "lady" could 
play the piano "a little," paint fine China "a bit," sing pleasantly, 
and draw charmingly. It was more a continuation of Rufus 
Bailey's insistence that art broadened and disciplined perception 
and that music aroused feelings of sensibility which were most 
desirable. In any case, one of Miss Baldwin's first purchases, 
during the war, had been a piano to add to the personal one she 
had brought with her, and by 1890 the seminary owned (literally 
Miss Baldwin owned) two organs and 40 pianos. Almost all the 
pupils studied some music, and with six or seven out of 20 faculty 
able to offer some musical training, piano, organ, voice and other 
instrumental music courses were heavily enrolled. By 1871, a 
Conservatory of Music was established, requiring classes in 
theory, harmony, and music history. Full-time music teachers' 
salaries were derived from the extra fees that their pupils paid, 
and these teachers were allowed to have private students as well. 
The profit from the fine art courses above the agreed-upon salary 
went to the seminary and was a valuable source of income well 
into the 20th century. 

Another area, not mentioned in Dr. McGuffey's plan, was 
"elocution" (speech, drama); by 1871, such a course appeared in 
the catalogue. The teacher employed usually taught calisthenics 
and health as well, the ability to make oral presentations was 
connected directly with physical well-being. By the 1880s a 
"school of art" had been established, and work in charcoal, crayon, 
pen and ink, pastels, water color and oils was offered, with 
"drawings from nature and life models." All pupils were likewise 
instructed in map making. By the 1880s, groups of older students 
accompanied by faculty would take journeys to visit museums, 
county government offices, or historical monuments. Trips to 
Richmond and Washington are mentioned in "old girl" memoirs 
and, by the 1890s, selected students and faculty went on summer 
tours to Europe. Miss Baldwin herself joined such a group in 1890 
and returned home, Mr. Waddell declared, "greatly refreshed." 

As increasing numbers of seminary graduates became teach- 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

ers (at least until they married) and began to enter other areas of 
the business world, Miss Baldwin added Bookkeeping to her 
course offerings and later a two year course in Business Training. 
(Some of these courses continued well into the 1940s.) "Ladies 
should have some knowledge of business... so that they may know 
how to protect their own interests when necessary, or if thrown 
upon their own resources, secure a competence by... keeping 
books..." observed the principal. Considering the impressive busi- 
ness skills she had herself, this may well be an observation based 
on her own hard experience. 

Although the physical health of the pupils had been a matter 
of concern and pride since the days of Rufus Bailey, it was 
generally considered that sufficient exercise was obtained by the 
required "promenades" in the afternoon. By the 1870s, however, 
more organized effort was made to assure physical outlets for 
young girls' energies. At first called calisthenics, later gymnastics 
and physical culture, seminary students bowled, participated in 
Swedish drills, played tennis and croquet. The daring step of 
adding a swimming pool (it was 12' x 8' x 4' at first and accommo- 
dated only four or five at a time) was taken in 1891. Courses in 
Anatomy, Physiology and Hygiene were added to the curriculum. 
The daily walks continued and provided some opportunity for the 
young men of the community to at least see Miss Baldwin's girls. 

In the era before entrance requirements, standardization of 
courses and gi^aduation mandates, seminaries, academies and 
even colleges set their own conditions for certificates, medals, 
diplomas, and degrees. Miss Baldwin accepted students of all 
levels of experience and competence, evaluated their interests 
and abilities (and their parents' preferences), and assigned them 
to classes without regard to age or prerequisites. If one aspired to 
become a full graduate or to acquire certification from the Conser- 
vatory of Music, the School of Art or Business Training, then 
certain requirements had to be met; but otherwise a student 
might attend even for several years without being awarded a 
diploma or indeed even desiring one. Some students, entering at 
the age of eight or nine, could spend eight or ten years at the 
seminary; others might come for a partial term. When space 
permitted. Miss Baldwin would accept students entering in late 
October or November, and others would leave early in the spring, 
perhaps because of family plans or desires. 

Although seminaiy students were much in demand as teach- 
ers, "...the graduates of this institution have found no difficulty in 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin's School 

finding eligible situations," Miss Baldwin observed, the pressures 
for some formal recognition of achievement grew. In 1876, provi- 
sion was made for a diploma as a "graduate in the Partial Course," 
"...this diploma is offered as an incentive to those who do not care 
to complete the course in Higher Mathematics and in Latin which 
they must do in order to secure a full Diploma, the highest honor 
of the Institution." Many students settled for the "Partial" or for 
certificates testifying to particular skills. 

As the reputation of "Miss Baldwin's School" increased, so did 
the respect and the pride of the town. There are innumerable 
references in the local newspapers, and community members 
flocked to the musical recitals (performed by both students and 
faculty) and attended addresses given by such distinguished 
individuals as Dr. McGuffey, Dr. J. Randolph Tucker, Dr. Joseph 
R. Wilson and Dr. Moses Drury Hoge. Although examinations 
were no longer public occasions, tableaux, pageants, recitations, 
dramatic vignettes from Shakespeare, and choral programs pro- 
vided public entertainment and instruction and were fulsomely 

In view of later developments, it is interesting to note the 
relationship of the seminary to the Presbyterian Church. As with 
so much else, there were no formal or legalistic ties, other than the 
provisions in the 1843 and 1872 agreements between the semi- 
nary trustees and the session that a majority of the trustees be 
members of the Presbyterian Church in Staunton. In the early 
days of Miss Baldwin's principalship, the entire school, faculty 
and students attended services at the Presbyterian Church each 
Sunday, and the seminary rented pews close to the the front of the 
sanctuary to be certain that the students could hear and be 
observed. This pew-rental money provided an important source of 
revenue for the church, particularly as the school's enrollment 
increased. Miss Baldwin herself was a devout member and con- 
tributed both her time and money generously. The minister of the 
church, in addition to membership on the board of trustees, was 
considered the principal religious advisor for the seminary stu- 
dents, but there was not, as yet, a formal chaplain at the school. 
In addition to church attendance, Sunday School lessons were 
taught to the boarding students by the seminary faculty and often 
by Miss Baldwin herself. On Sunday afternoons, students read 
religious literature or gathered in the principal's or faculty rooms 
for "religious conversation and instruction. " Sunday was observed 
as a day of quiet and meditation; no callers were received, and 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin's School 

evening services in the chapel concluded the day. In addition, 
every morning at nine there was a brief chapel service, as well as 
another after supper. Every student memorized a Bible verse each 
day, which was repeated in unison at breakfast. They were further 
exposed to Biblical precepts, because one penalty for violation of 
dormitory rules was to memorize and repeat Psalms, Proverbs or 
other Biblical selections. By the 1890s, students who were not 
Presbyterian were allowed to attend their own churches once a 
month in order to take communion according to their own con- 
sciences. From the time of its first public announcement, the 
seminary had always insisted it was "evangelical" but not "sectar- 
ian" and no religious qualifications were imposed for admittance 
or for faculty selection. Scanty but reliable evidence suggests that 
in the 19th century, Presbyterians were always the most numer- 
ous but were not the majority. (The same has been true in the 20th 
century.) Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, "German 
Reformed" Christian are other denominations mentioned, and 
occasionally a few Jewish girls attended, as well. Faculty prefer- 
ences are not recorded, although it is known that the Hamers and 
Eisenbergs were Lutheran, and many of the women faculty were 

Prayer meetings were held on Friday evenings, and in the 
1890s a missionary society was formed, since many students 
contemplated a life in the mission field. A number of them did 
become devout and successful missionaries. The influence of Miss 
Baldwin and the seminaiy is reflected not only in the continuing 
student interest in Miss Kemper's (and Ruth See's) Brazilian 
School, but also in a school in Hwaianfu, China, founded in 1916 
b}^ Lily Woods and named in honor of Martha Riddle. Another in 
Kunsan, Korea, was established in 1912 by Mrs. Libby Alby Bull, 
called "Mary Baldwin School for Girls." In 1894, a local chapter 
of the YWCA was founded at the seminary with Miss Baldwin's 
enthusiastic support and continued an active role until the 1960s. 

There were no required courses in Bible or Religion in Miss 
Baldwin's day. It was assumed that dedicated teachers approached 
all their subjects from a Christian perspective and that the 
religious services of Sunday and daily Chapel provided necessary 
instruction. There were not many avenues for expression of 
student opinion in these years. There were as yet no student 
publications, and "old girl" reminiscences tended to be selective in 
their memories; but there does not seem to have been any serious 
protest or complaint about the religious requirements. It would be 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

another century and many student generations later before these 
19th century relationships were altered. 

What was it like to be a student at "Miss Baldwin's School"? 
Once the war period was passed and proper furnishings were 
obtained, life settled into a routine which changed only gi'adually 
over a 30-year period . Although Miss Baldwin undertook consid- 
erable building, as has been seen, dormitory space could not keep 
up with the demand, and some girls boarded in private homes in 
town. Most of them, however, lived at the seminary in rooms 
plainly furnished, intended for dressing and sleeping, not for 
study and socializing. Studying was done in the Librarj^ across 
from Miss Baldwin's office in Main Building or in the study hall 
in Chapel, later in Sky High. At first students shared beds, and 
three-and four-girl rooms were not unusual, but by the end of the 
century students had individual beds. There were screens or 
"dressing closets" for modesty's sake, bureaus, straight chairs and 
wash stands. The floor was "bare oiled pine and splintery." Later 
there were carpets of matting and although one student reported 
that "on frosty mornings we usually found ice in our water 
pitcher," the Catalogue of 1868-69 said that all rooms were heated 
by a gas furnace and had water piped in for the few bathrooms: one 
to a building; later one on each floor. In 1887, electric lights were 
put in the Chapel Study Hall and later in the Library. Other than 
that, gas lights were used in Miss Baldwin's lifetime. 

Since seminary students were considered too young for social 
life and contact with young men, such relationships were regu- 
lated in a manner which, while restrictive in modern eyes, was 
wholly in keeping with the conventions of the Victorian era. 
Correspondence was limited to family and relatives; the only 
males allowed to call were family members who had to present 
proper identification and "papers" and then met their sisters or 
cousins only in the parlor under strict supervision. A favorite 
seminary story is the tale of a young Thomas Woodrow Wilson, 
law student at the University of Virginia, who journeyed across 
the mountains to visit his cousin, Hattie Woodrow. He and his 
friend apparently did not have the necessary "papers," and al- 
though his father had been Miss Baldwin's minister and he was 
a first cousin of the young lady whom he wished to see, "Uncle 
Chess," Miss Baldwin's doorman, told them, "Miss Mary Julia 
says if you ain' t got de papers dar ain' t no use your waiting 'case 
you can't see de young ladies. . . " In 1912, having been elected 
President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson returned for a 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin's School 

triumphal visit to his birthplace and recounted the story, saying 
he was much more warmly greeted than he had been on his first 

Chaperons were necessary for any expeditions outside the 
grounds, even to church, and until the 1890s any "shopping " the 
pupils desired to do was done for them by an appointed "teacher." 
In later years , this was Helen Williamson. 

Distressed by the elaborate and expensive clothes sent by 
indulgent parents to their daughters, Miss Baldwin decreed: 

Extravagance in dress is neither encouraged 
nor desired, and whenever pupils do appear 
extravagantly dressed it is contrary to the express- 
ed wish of the Principal. A simple white dress with 
white trimmings is all that is necessary for 
commencements, soirees, and recitals. The dress 
worn at the winter soirees must be made high in 
the neck and with long sleeves — the material pre- 
ferred for this is white Henrietta. A simple white 
dress with white trimmings and white hat is the 
costume prescribed for commencement Sunday. 
Expensive silks are out of place on school girls, and 
parents are requested, therefore, not to indulge 
their daughters in extravagant clothing or 
jewelry. To discourage extravagance, and to teach 
pupils the value of money and habits of self-denial, 
every parent and guardian is most earnestly re- 
quested to limit them to a fixed amount of pocket 
money not exceeding one dollar per week. 

In 1869, the announcement that a uniform "for purposes of 
convenience and economy" would be required for public appear- 
ances appeared in the catalogue. For a time the winter uniform 
was "grey empress cloth," the spring suit white pique; ten years 
later a black outfit was prescribed for winter. These were, per- 
haps, not strictly aniforms, since only the color and material were 
specified and modifications in pattern were allowed. In time, 
however, everyone had to buy the same hat, and there was much 
anticipation when, in the fall, the boxes arrived at the school with 
that year's choice, made by Miss Baldwin. Some touches of color 
were permitted, and some jewelry, but the lines of "demure 
maidens" walking two by two, accompanied by chaperons and 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

often one of Miss Baldwin's dogs, were a familiar sight on Staunton 

Although Waddell reports that only three students had died at 
the school during Miss Baldwin's tenure, the fear of epidemics 
gripped parents and school administrators in a way it is hard to 
appreciate today. When scarlet fever appeared in Staunton in 
1883, the school closed one week early and, in 1894, Mary Julia 
had the entire student body vaccinated against small pox, which 
had made its dreaded appearance: "Like victims of the French 
Revolution ready for the guillotine we were summoned one by 
one... girls ready to weep and girls ready to faint; girls lying down, 
sitting, standing, walking, talking, watching and trembling..." 

The catalogue assured parents that one of the most important 
services provided by the seminary was the healthful food and the 
care in its preparation. There were several cows for the production 
of milk and butter, and Miss Baldwin's farm produced vegetables 
and fruits for seminary use. There were stern warnings in the 
catalogue about limiting "boxes of rich food and of confectionery 
from home... sardines and potted meats are not allowed." In 
addition, students were admonished about "imprudent eating at 
night," wearing thin shoes in cold weather, "sitting on the ground 
with head uncovered" and the "too early removal of flannel." The 
covered way connecting Hill Top, Sky High, Main and Chapel was 
constructed principally to protect the students from inclement 

Students were required to attend all meals, unless they were 
ill, were required to walk daily, were to be in bed by 10:00 p.m. The 
school year varied between nine-ten months long with few if any 
holidays; "a few days at Christmas," but Miss Baldwin implored 
parents not to take their daughters out of her control for extended 
periods. "Such visits are often productive of much harm both to 
the pupil and to the Institution," she wrote. Occasionally, perhaps 
when it snowed, or on a particularly beautiful spring day, Miss 
Baldwin would declare a school holiday. There might be sledding 
parties or ice cream for supper (when it snowed) or carriage rides 
to Betsy Bell or Highland Park, but generally it was a regimented 
life, one very conducive to hard work and disciplined living . 

But, of course, it was not all like that . In spite of rules, "boxes" 
did come, and the girls would throw towels over two beds shoved 
together to revel in chicken salads, turkeys, jelly, candy, and 
cakes. Even oysters are mentioned, although how salads, meats, 
and seafood were transported and preserved without serious 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin's School 

cases of food poisoning remains a mystery. Hand lettered invita- 
tions were issued for their "spreads," the girls wore their "evening 
gowns," and their memories of these happy occasions echo down 
the years. 

There were teas, birthday observances, Germans and soirees. 
The taller girls would enact the role of boys, even dressing as 
young men, and a kind of dress rehearsal of what would be their 
later social experiences took place. The younger students would 
choose "darlings" from among the senior girls and would form 
close sentimental attachments that only young adolescents can. 
There were illegal "chafing dishes" (confiscated when found), 
"fudge" and "waffle" parties, visits to teachers' room for special 
treats. In contrast to later eras, when great efforts were expended 
to integrate "day"students with "boarders", in Miss Baldwin's era 
day students were forbidden to visit the dormitories or "upper 
halls." They could only see the other girls in the Library. It was 
feared that the town girls might convey "notes or messages" or 
forbidden foods. 

As the school increased in size and complexity, there was need 
for additional staff. By the 1880s night watchmen were employed. 
There was Mr. Thompson, who wore a red blanket over his 
shoulders (the edges were "scalloped" as he gave the girls pieces 
for their memory books). He was a great favorite with the stu- 
dents, since he could be relied upon to give them "treats" from his 
voluminous pockets. Then, there was Mr. Lickliter, "whose dig- 
nity is so imposing that all pass him by in silent awe." There was 
also Miss Baldwin s faithful gardener, Thomas Butler, and of 
course, "Uncle Chess," and other domestics, some of whom had 
been in her grandmother's household. 

There is little evidence that the sweeping social changes and 
impassioned political debates of the late 19th century had major 
impact upon the seminaiy and its constituents. Miss Baldwin did 
indeed recognize that there were broader opportunities and more 
complex responsibilities for women than had been possible in her 
own youth, and her curriculum had been adjusted accordingly. 
Among the seminary alumnae, there were missionaries, teachers, 
post mistresses, a few lawyers and physicians, a woman sheriff, 
members of child welfare organizations, even participants in the 
women's suffrage movement and the women's club development. 
There were a few professional writers and artists. Those who had 
married (and most seminary students did ) became leaders in their 
churches and communities and gave testimony to the sense of 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

social responsibility inculcated by the seminary's teachings. Sarah 
Wright was sometimes considered by her faculty peers as a 
representative of the "New Woman," but few would have consid- 
ered Miss Baldwin to be of similar persuasion. In 1888, however, 
Miss Baldwin announced a seminary holiday in honor of Grover 
Cleveland's "election" as President. She was "chagrined" when 
she discovered that her information was inaccurate; Benjamin 
Harrison had won that election. In 1892, she made the girls wait 
a full week before she permitted a half holiday when Cleveland 
did win again. It is presumed that no celebrations ensued for 
Republican presidential victories. One student recalled, however: 

Many of us have thoughts for the future which 
would no doubt amuse our elders if they only 
knew them... Some of us want to grow up and be 
famous... Perhaps by that time this glorious Union 
will have acknowledged "woman's rights" and our 
teachers may yet... [see] us side by side with scores 
of "Kableites" [a reference to SMA cadets] and 
"University Boys," as Judges of the Supreme Court 
or Representatives in Congress! 

Increasingly, Augusta Female Seminary was spoken of as 
"Miss Baldwin's School." It enjoyed a state and regional reputa- 
tion of respect for its academic excellence, its physical beauty, its 
moral and spiritual leadership. It had survived the Civil War, 
Reconstruction, the economic distresses of the 1870s and 1890s, 
and the social and cultural dilemmas of the Victorian Era. In 
contemporary eyes, this was largely due to Miss Baldwin herself. 
In 1895, the board of trustees requested that the Virginia General 
Assembly permit them to change the name of the school to "Mary 
Baldwin Seminary"... "as an acknowledgement of their high ap- 
preciation of the valuable and unparalleled success of the 
Principal... Endowed with wonderful business talent, fine execu- 
tive ability and clear judgement in management, she has made 
the seminary one of the foremost institutions in the land, for the 
higher education of women and from it have gone forth many 
noble, brilliant daughters to various spheres of usefulness... The 
Seminary now stands as a great monument to her untiring 
energy, arduous labors, devotion to her profession and the Master's 

Fearful lest some "old girls" would not understand the reason 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

for the change of name, NelHe Hotchkiss McCullough wrote: 

These hnes will reach many alumnae, far 
from Staunton, to whom it will be news indeed 
to hear that the "Augusta Female Seminaiy" 
has been transformed into the "Maiy Baldwin 
Seminary," since November, 1895. The name 
only is changed for the bell still rings for 
Chapel services, the view from Hill Top is as 
beautiful as ever. Brick House still shelters 
the revered Principal, Sky High is filled with 
eager art students and placid plaster casts, 
while the minor buildings are in the same 
familiar spots. 

Miss Baldwin was a bit tardy in officially recognizing the 
honor. It was not until April 1896, that she wrote a formal 
acknowledgment. "The Trustees will please accept my thanks for 
the compliment paid me in changing the name of the Institution 
to Mary Baldwin Seminary. ...I desire to apologize for the delay... 
in responding to the honor. Most sincerely — Mary Julia Baldwin. " 
In her own mind, she apparently continued to think of the school 
as Augusta Female Seminary. 

However, more than most realized then or since, it was 
literally "Miss Baldwin's school." After Agnes McClung's death in 
1880, Mary Julia possessed more legal and actual authority over 
the school than any of her successors to the present day. She 
occupied a portion of the property consisting of the Administra- 
tion Building, and the land on which it stood rent free. She owned 
outright the rest of the four and a half acres comprising the 
campus, including all the Thompson property and Hill Top. She 
owned ten plus acres comprising the seminary farm. At her own 
expense, she had altered and enlarged Chapel, built Brick House, 
Sky High, and several other buildings. She owned all the furnish- 
ings and supplies, including the pianos and organs, the library 
contents, and th-^ laboratory equipment. She set the fees, hired, 
paid, and dismissed the faculty and staff, decided on the curricula 
and on the certificates, medals, diplomas and awards. She se- 
lected the students and had it in her power to send them home if 
they did not meet her standards. She reported to the parents, 
maintained contact with the alumnae, the church, and the com- 
munity. She arranged for and approved all publications, speak- 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin's School 

ers, and seminary sponsored educational trips. She decided the 
seminary calendar. She gave employment to members of her 
family, friends and alumnae, and provided food and shelter for 
some of them for years. The only legal distinction between this and 
a genuine proprietary school was the shadowy board of trustees, 
who seldom met and never asked for reports or sought to examine 
the books! 

Of course, there was a vast difference between the legal 
realities and Miss Baldwin's sense of propriety and duty. The 
seminary had been given into her keeping, and it was her duty and 
obligation to take care of it as long as she was able, in as capable 
a manner as she knew how. Good business woman that she was, 
she had considered the future and, with the advice of her friend 
Joseph A. Waddell, she had written in 1895 a thoughtful and 
generous will. 

Although only in her 60s, Mary Julia's vitality and energy 
began to diminish. She continued her regular duties, but it 
became obvious that she was ill. Dr. Fraser, her minister, re- 
counted how difficult it was for her to climb the several flights of 
stairs between the church and her room in Brick House, and more 
and more of her duties devolved on Mr. King and Miss Weimar. 
Shortly after the seminary closed for the summer in 1897, Miss 
Baldwin, having spent the night in prayer, died quietly on 1 July. 
Later her friends remarked that she would have been pleased for 
this event to occur when school was not in session, in order not to 
disturb the students. She was buried in Thornrose Cemetery in 
her grandparents' plot (Sowers) beside her mother. 

When her will was read, the extent of her devotion to the school 
became known. She made generous gifts to the church and to her 
relatives and servants, but the great bulk of her estate, i.e. the 
school and its contents, her real estate holdings, and bank ac- 
counts, was left to the board of trustees for the "use and benefit" 
of the seminary. There were no appraisals or inventories made at 
the time, but later evaluations suggest her bequest was close to 
one-quarter of a million dollars, some $32,000 in cash and invest- 
ments, the rest in real estate and personal property. Without her 
generosity, the board would have had no school to administer. 

The transition to the new circumstances and a new century 
was difficult. As will be seen, the board was grateful that a devoted 
faculty and two loyal administrators were on hand to give conti- 
nuity as they assumed control, but this very fact made changes 


To Live In Time Miss Baldwin 's School 

hard to accomplish. For many years — far too long — the school 
remained a monument to Mary Julia Baldwin, rather than seizing 
the opportunity to change its legal status from seminaiy to 

This opening chapter relies on Joseph A. Waddell, History of 
Mary Baldwin Seminary (1908) and to a much greater extent on 
Mary Watters, The History ofMary Baldwin College (1942). In my 
opinion Dr. Watters' treatment of the subject was exhaustive and 
all-encompassing. In addition, she had access to primary sources 
no longer available, and fortunately quoted from them at length. 
There is no attribution in this section, other than the above 
acknowledgment. It has been my primary concern to write the 
history of Maiy Baldwin College ( 1922- 1992 ), and my efforts have 
focused on that task. The information in this chapter is meant to 
take the reader to my beginning. 


Sketch of Mary Julia Baldwin 

Baldwin Home - Winchester, Virginia 
Photo by Rick Foster, courtesy of The Winchester Star 



From Seminary to College 


Ithough not totally unexpect- 
ed, Mary Julia Baldwin's death came as a surprise to all but her 
closest friends. Her funeral on 2 July was dignified and gracious 
and attended by a large portion of the community. Most of the 
Staunton businesses and commercial enterprises closed for the 
service, and the expressions of admiration and respect were 
heartfelt and sincere. 

The long-inactive trustees met almost immediately. From that 
moment on, they assumed full control of the seminary, took 
seriously their obligations to keep "Miss Baldwin's School" func- 
tioning and their duties as her executors and residuary heirs. All 
the necessary appointments and contracts had already been 
arranged for the fall 1897 session, and the newly formed executive 
committee sent word to all the school's patrons that the seminary 
would open as usual. Ella Weimar was appointed the new princi- 
pal and W.W. King remained the business manager, as he had 
been since 1890.^ It must have given the board a certain sense of 
relief to realize now that they were responsible, there was avail- 
able a staff and faculty of experience and dedication. 

Nevertheless, the board reorganized. The executive commit- 
tee met monthly to hear reports from Miss Weimar and Mr. King. 
Accounts were audited in a professional manner, the by-laws were 
revised and the full board of 15 members met regularly thereafter, 
three times a year.^ In this sense the seminary was ready for the 
20th century. In many other senses it was not. 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

The 19th century had eventually seen widespread acceptance 
of the belief that girls as well as boys should be educated. The 
expanding opportunities and labor needs of the Industrial Revo- 
lution opened new possibilities and new problems for females. 
Poor, black, uneducated, immigrant women and their children 
were needed for textile and shoe factories, for cotton picking and 
vegetable harvesting. But school teachers were also needed; and 
missionaries; so were typists, bookkeepers, nurses, sales clerks, 
and telephone operators. By the 1880s colleges for women as well 
as men, and even some which dared risk educating the sexes 
together, were established, growing in numbers and influence.^ 
Another decade and the concepts of standardization, faculty 
qualifications, endowment, library resources, and graduation 
requirements were spreading. National and regional accrediting 
agencies were created, and by early in the 20th century, some 
female seminaries in Virginia had become approved women's 
colleges.^ Mary Baldwin Seminary did not. It was absorbed, still, 
in the transition from Miss Baldwin's leadership to others, and 
the board, administration and faculty revered their former prin- 
cipal and sought to preserve and defend her position. 

Mr. King and the board, however, did embark on an ambitious 
building program, adding two new dormitories, the Academic 
building, an expanded gymnasium facility, the back gallery and 
the stone wall around the campus, as well as electricity, an 
improved water and sewage system, a modern heating plant and 
laboratory equipment.^ All of this was accomplished without 
outside financial aid and without invading the Mary Julia Baldwin 
endowment fund.^ The improvement in the physical plant was 
motivated by the necessity of meeting the competition from other 
seminaries, private schools, and women's colleges; by the wishes 
of the seminary's patrons that their daughters have as comfort- 
able and modern facilities as they had at home, and by the pride 
the board, the alumnae, the faculty and students had in the school. 
Seminary publications stressed the healthful climate; the fresh 
fruit and vegetables from the seminary farm; the high quality of 
the meals in general and the "genteel way" in which they were 
served; the required "setting up exercises" in the mornings on the 
dormitory porches and the "promenades" in the afternoons; and 
the opportunity for tennis, golf, hikes and vigorous team sports, 
all designed to provide a physical setting for the seminary "second 
to none."^ 

It is not difficult to conclude, however, that Miss Weimar did 


To Live In Time 

From Seminary to College 

Ella Claire Weimar 

William Wayt King 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

not have as much success as did Mr. King in persuading the board 
to support her concerns; i.e, strengthened academic programs and 
new directions. Student enrollment was relatively stable but not 
rapidly increasing.^ Miss Weimar requested, almost every year, 
additional funds to be spent on library purchases and faculty 
salary increases. She asked that some thought be given to curricu- 
lum reorganization to reflect more "modern methods."^ She went 
herself and sent trusted faculty members to visit women's colleges 
and northern universities to learn about recruitment, academic 
organization, and professional standards. New courses were added 
in English Literature and Composition, Bible, Calculus, Art 
History, Psychology, and, a popular innovation before World War 
I, Domestic Science. 

In 1906, Miss Baldwin's University Course was discontinued, 
and academic departments appeared. Gradually there emerged a 
more standardized division of course offerings into primary, 
preparatory and collegiate divisions, although no entrance re- 
quirements were yet imposed. A student was placed, with faculty 
consultation, where her abilities and interests seemed appropri- 
ate. By 1912, Miss Weimar could report that Mary Baldwin 
Seminary students could transfer their seminary college-level 
courses to Goucher, Mt. Holyoke, and Wellesley without penalty 
or examination. ^" 

These changes did not come easily. The records seem to 
indicate that Miss Weimar and Mr. King did not always agree 
about priorities. Nor did she seem to communicate happily with 
the executive committee of the board. In January 1912, the 
executive committee refused her request to appoint an "advising 
committee" to confer with the principal and the business manager 
"from time to time" in regard to the "conduct of the school," 
indicating that they themselves acted in that capacity. In this 
same meeting. Miss Weimar was told that the board "would be 
pleased to have her present" when she made her monthly report. 
Two months later, however, Miss Weimar again sent a written 
report, as she apparently had been doing for a number of years, 
indicating that she considered it unnecessary for her to appear in 
person as she had nothing additional to communicate. But there- 
after she did appear more frequently. Two years later the board 
removed from the principal the right to hire and fire faculty. In the 
future, the principal would only recommend employment, promo- 
tion, salaries and dismissal of faculty members, and the board 
would act on the recommendation.^^ 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

Mary Baldwin Seminary belonged to an organization called 
the Virginia Association of Colleges and Schools for Girls, and in 
the early years of the 20th century one of its objectives was 
standardized classification. A report made at Winchester, Vir- 
ginia in June of 1913 proposed rather specific definitions and 
requirements for schools below collegiate level that wished to 
retain membership in the group. It recognized that two of the 
members of the Association, one of whom was Mary Baldwin 
Seminary, were of the "intermediate" type, between secondary 
school and college, but declared "it would greatly deprecate the 
creation of new institutions of these types and would ask the 
Association to discourage their multiplication."^^ The seminary 
did not, of course, have to belong to this Association, but the 
opinions of such professional gi^oups helped strengthen the posi- 
tion of those in the seminary who understood that the old per- 
sonal, independent ways were under attack. 

Although no records of faculty discussions and administra- 
tors' debates remain, it can be inferred that Miss Weimar and 
others were striving to upgi'ade the academic standards of the 
seminary and eventually to seek recognized college status for the 
upper-level work that was done. 

Another source of pressure for change came from the alumnae. 
In the summer of 1893, a group of local "full graduates" of the 
seminary, including Nannie L. Tate and Nellie Hotchkiss 
McCullough, organized a "temporary" Alumnae Association. The 
following year they wrote a constitution, and the Association 
became a permanent and increasingly influential part of the 
seminary, meeting regularly thereafter. By 1901, there were 208 
members. ^^ Early in the 20th century, suggestions were made by 
the Graduate Council of the Alumnae Association to the principal 
and board members that Mary Baldwin Seminary should seek 
college status. Informed that the endowment and library holdings 
were too low to justify success in such an application, the alumnae 
set about seeking to increase the endowment. They also suggested 
that, as an intermediate step, junior college status should be 
sought. Sue Stribling (Snodgi'ass) reported to her fellow alumnae 
in 1913 her shock and dismay upon receiving a letter from 
Professor Hendrick C. Babcock of the National Bureau of Edu- 
cation, who wrote: 

The Collegiate Course, as announced in 
the Catalogue 1910-11, is certainly not more 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

than a Junior College course, and I doubt if 
it would represent a full two years of college 
course, if it were severely estimated. 

Mrs. Snodgrass was determined that seminary graduates 
"command" the recognition they deserved. Their education, she 
insisted "is nearly as high a grade as that of the Northern colleges 
and certainly as high as that of the Virginia colleges, her nearest 
rivals. "^^ 

Miss Weimar gently but firmly pointed out the difficulties. 
There was an insufficient endowment fund. Money spent on the 
new buildings might have gone to upgrading the curriculum and 
paying higher faculty salaries "if the new buildings had not been 
absolutely necessary." Requiring an entrance examination might 
"frighten away pupils," which would cut enrollment and lessen 
revenue. However, Miss Weimar reported, the seminary would no 
longer give "degrees," because "such a degree is worthless since 
only a standard college is entitled to give the degree of A.B."^^ 

Although she did not say so at that alumnae meeting, Miss 
Weimar's Principal's Report to the executive committee and those 
of Miss Higgins after her called attention to the important contri- 
bution that the "special students" in Music, Art, and Elocution 
made to the income of the seminary. Many of these students were 
not interested in the Latin, Mathematics, and other "collegiate" 
courses, so special graduation requirements and diplomas had 
been designed for them. They formed a large percentage of the 
preparatory and collegiate student body and to demand that they 
conform to standardized requirements would discourage many of 
them.^^ The seminary operated on such a thin margin of profit 
that any large decline in student enrollment could pose severe 
financial difficulties. There were many on the board and else- 
where who felt the seminary could not afford to become a college. 

Miss Weimar had spoken to the alumnae in May 1913. That 
October, presumably feeling that in spite of the difficulties it was 
necessary, she requested the executive committee to consider the 
transition to a junior college.'^ The following January the execu- 
tive committee met with a "Committee of Teachers" to discuss 
whether or not Mary Baldwin Seminary should change its status. 
The conclusion was that the seminary should not be converted 
into a junior college "at this time"; rather its standards should be 
raised "gradually" until they should conform in "thoroughness 
and extent to all the requirements of the best and most modern 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

educational institutions for women. "^^ Apparently this somewhat 
idealistic solution to an increasing problem-i.e, that seminary 
graduates who wished to teach in the public schools in Virginia 
would not, in the future, be certified by the State Board of 
Education to do so unless the seminary was ranked as a "junior 
college"-was found inadequate. Sometime in late 1914, E. R. 
Chesterman, Secretary of the State Board of Education, visited 
the school at the invitation of Dr. Eraser, who was chairman of the 
board of trustees, for the purpose of advising the board as to what 
steps were necessary to have the seminary put on the State 
Department list of registered colleges. In a letter dated 12 Janu- 
ary 1915, Chesterman was generally complimentary of the school's 
academic offerings, but remarked that an "over liberal disposition 
in the matter of electives" blurred the distinction between the 
preparatory and college courses. The necessary changes could be 
made with "comparatively little expense" in time for the 1916-17 
session, he wrote. It was merely a matter of rearranging and 
reclassifying some of the courses, spending about $500 additional 
money for laboratory equipment, and requiring 14 preparatory 
units for admission to the junior college. If there were a question 
about this, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Sweet Briar or 
Hollins could provide Miss Weimar with a "model classification 
blank." One can imagine the reaction to that observation. "Oh 
yes," added Mr. Chesterman, "abandon the word 'seminary' in the 
name of your school. "^^ 

The board duly contemplated this information at a called 
meeting on 26 February 1915. With reluctance, they agreed that 
the required change in the organization of the school's courses be 
made by a board-administration-faculty committee chaired by 
Miss Weimar, and that Mary Baldwin Seminary would apply to 
the State Board of Education for registration as a junior college. 
The board, however, "indefinitely postponed" consideration of the 
change of the name of the seminary. "° 

The Catalogue of 19 16- 1 7 notes that on 2 February 19 16, Mary 
Baldwin Seminary was placed on the state list of "approved junior 
colleges. "^^ Similar statements appeared in all catalogues until 
1923. The school continued to be called "Mary Baldwin Seminary," 
and the title "Junior College" was not used in its publications. 

Then began a 13-year struggle to keep the features of the 
beloved old seminary and yet to conform to new bureaucratic 
requirements for accreditation. A study of the catalogues shows 
how valiantly Miss Weimar and her committee worked to satisfy 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

the various constituencies of the school, many of whom were 
outraged by what they deemed a "backward step" for an institu- 
tion they considered to be the equal of any four-year Virginia 
college. Henceforth work would be offered "leading to preparatory 
courses" (i.e., fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh grades). There were 
three courses of "preparatory" work (i.e., four years of high school), 
one (A) leading to admission to collegiate work at Mary Baldwin 
Seminary, one (B) for those wishing to specialize at the college 
level in art or music, and one (C) leading by right of certification 
to admission to a "class A college" such as Goucher or Wellesley 
without a preliminary examination. The collegiate work was 
likewise divided into three parts; (A) for those who wished to 
teach, (B) the equivalent of three years of college work, and (C) for 
those who expected to transfer to a "Grade A" four-year college. 
The "diploma" of the school was awarded for the completion of any 
of these three "collegiate courses. "^^ It was a clumsy, unnecessar- 
ily complicated system but one dictated by financial necessity, 
alumnae prejudice, and board conservatism. It could not last. 

On 29 November 1915, the board of trustees received a letter 
from Ella Weimar tendering her resignation as principal as of 1 
July 1916. No reason was given for her resignation, other than 
calling attention to the fact that she had been associated with the 
school for 29 years, 19 as principal, during which time her 
"interest was sincere and unabated." The board voted her a bonus 
of $1000 and passed a fulsome resolution acknowledging the 
board's "indebtedness for her faithful, efficient and successful 
management... she has exhibited fidelity, zeal and marked execu- 
tive ability." Miss Weimar refused the money "because the accep- 
tance of it would make me very unhappy" but suggested that the 
board give the money to Miss Nannie Tate, who was completing 
her fiftieth year at the seminary as a teacher. The board complied 
with her request, and Miss Weimar retired to her home, "Green 
View" near Warrenton, Virginia. She was in her early 60s.-^ The 
reasons for this retirement can only be inferred. Watters suggests 
Miss Weimar was discouraged and defeated and felt she lacked 
the confidence of the board. ^^ It is true that there appear to have 
been disagreements over the years, but she had regularly been 
reappointed and her compensation gi^adually increased. Perhaps, 
knowing the junior college status was to be approved and realizing 
that the struggle to become a four-year college must soon begin, 
she felt, considering her age, that this was a graceful exit point. 
The faculty, students and alumnae joined the board in praise of of 


To Live In Time 

From Seminary to College 

Abel Mclver Fraser 

Marianna Parramore Higgins 

To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

her accomplishments, and her leave-taking was far more graceful 
than that of her successor.^^ 

The period 1916-1919 was a time of strain and tension for 
educational institutions everywhere. Much of the world was at 
war and early in 1917, the United States became an active 
participant. There were wartime shortages of fuel and food, 
voluntary rationing, such as "meatless" and "wheatless" days, 
inflation, and the frightening influenza epidemic. The story of 
Mary Baldwin Seminary and the First World War has been told 
elsewhere, but the implications and consequences of the Great 
War both helped and hindered those who wanted the seminary to 
become an accredited college. The financial uncertainties were so 
great that the faculty were issued "conditional" contracts in 1917 
and 1918, providing for salary cuts if the number of pupils was 
insufficient to furish the necessary income for the operating 
expenses of the session.-^ No such adjustments were necessary, 
however, for enrollments were at the highest levels in the 
seminary's history, a phenomenon that the board could not ex- 
plain.^' Fewer and fewer students were at the grammar school 
level and boarding students were double the number of day 
students, giving encouragement to the belief that a four-year 
college could be sustained. The war years created many opportu- 
nities, and interest in college and graduate-level work for women 
was greater in the early 1920s than it would be again for several 
decades. The times were right for Mary Baldwin to become a 

Two individuals, both of them somewhat reluctantly, were the 
architects of the change. Each was committed to keeping the 
seminary, the familiar, tranquil, beautiful spot one block from the 
center of downtown Staunton, where generations of "young la- 
dies" had been an ever-visible reminder of the community's 
commitment to education and Christian values. Yet each of them 
understood that the long tradition of intellectual achievement 
could only be sustained by expansion into a four-year college. They 
always carefully specified that it be a "gi^ade A college." The two 
were the Reverend Abel Mclver Fraser and Marianna Parramore 

Dr. Fraser had come as pastor to First Presbyterian Church 
in Staunton in 1893, and apparently was elected to the Mary 
Baldwin Seminary Board of Trustees in 1894.^^ He was named to 
the executive committee of the board on 3 July 1897 and became 
the president of the board of trustees in 1909. He was the chaplain 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

the seminary and college from 1897 to 1929 and was named the 
first president of Mary Baldwin College in 1923. He resigned the 
presidency in 1929, when Dr. L. Wilson Jarman was appointed, 
but he remained as president of the board of trustees until 1932, 
when failing health caused his retirement. He died in 1933. So, for 
more than 40 years Dr. Fraser had been closely and intimately 
connected with the school. It was he who, along with Ella Weimar 
and W.W. King, picked up the mantle of leadership when Miss 
Baldwin died, and it was he who gave unstinting energy, prayer, 
and effort to the creation of a four-year college. ^'^ He was a small, 
neat, peppery man who preached long, eloquent sermons and was 
much beloved by his congregation, the seminary family, and many 
townspeople. His beliefs were firm and often firmly stated, his 
principles unbending, his determination legendaiy. He was not a 
professional educator and seems to have had little patience with 
the layers of bureaucracy it was necessary to penetrate if accredi- 
tation and academic respectability were to be achieved. At one 
time he told the alumnae, "Whether we rank as a preparatory 
school, a Junior college, or a full college is of less importance than 
that we shall do with absolute honesty and thoroughness what- 
ever we undertake to do, and claim in our catalogue that we are 
doing... "^" He was much attached to the seminary and agi^eed with 
many of its constituencies that it must be preserved. How to do 
that and be a "gi^ade A college" too? After much meditation and 
prayer. Dr. Fraser and the board thought they knew how. They 
proposed to create the "Mary Baldwin System," whereby two 
institutions, Mary Baldwin Seminary and Mary Baldwin College 
for Women, would be maintained under the control of the same 
board of trustees. The schools would eventually occupy different 
physical sites, but both would reflect the "well-defined group of 
ideals of womanhood and education which Miss Baldwin embod- 
ied in her own personality. She stamped those ideals indelibly 
upon the seminaiy, and now the whole system which bears her 
name will perpetuate them."'^^ 

The second person intimately connected with this process was 
Marianna Parramore Higgins, who had come to Mary Baldwin 
Seminary in 1908 as a teacher of preparatoiy English. She was a 
Virginian, had attended Farmville Normal School, had later done 
postgi'aduate work at Harvard and Columbia Woman's College in 
South Carolina, and was chosen by Miss Weimar because she was 
"a Southern lady and a Presbyterian."-^^ Her peers credited her 
with playing a major role in the curriculum revision necessary to 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

secure junior college status and, when Miss Weimar's resignation 
was accepted in 1916, a special committee of the board of trustees 
headed by Dr. Fraser recommended that Miss Higgins be elected 
principal. '^^ There had been several other candidates, and H.D. 
Peck, a long-time board member, made a substitute motion 
naming another candidate, a Miss McClintock, as his choice. His 
motion failed, and Miss Higgins was duly notified that she was the 
principal of Mary Baldwin Seminary; but the fact that there was 
board opposition to her selection foreshadowed future difficul- 

The evidence seems to suggest that Miss Higgins worked well 
with Dr. Fraser and with Mr. King, although, since the latter was 
less than sympathetic to the concept of a four-year college if it 
meant losing the seminaiy , there must have been tense moments 
as the process continued. One difference, of course, is the fact that 
there was no building program taking place after 1916. The war 
effort and later post-war inflation, labor shortages, and high 
wages, about which Mr. King complained bitterly, had brought an 
end to the activity which had seen so many physical improve- 
ments in the early years of the century. The seminary had spent 
$250,000 since 1897, Mr. King reported, on physical improve- 
ments, without any help 'Trom the outside-not even the endow- 
ment fund." Mr. King continued to recommend, as he had eveiy 
year from 1908 to 1929, that Sky High be removed and be replaced 
by a brick building to house improved Physical Education facili- 
ties. Art and Domestic Science classrooms, as well as additional 
dormitory space. He also continued to insist that a new chapel and 
dining room be built on the site of the Waddell Chapel, and that 
then "our plan of improvements" would be completed. '^^ However, 
after 1910, Mr. King's efforts had to be focused on maintenance 
and upkeep, and consequently there was more money for the 
improvement of faculty salaries and curriculum, which was essen- 
tial if college status were to be secured. Miss Higgins devoted 
herself to both of these objectives. Some of the alumnae had not 
given up on providing an endowment for the proposed college and 
prodded Dr. Fraser to approach wealthy patrons and foundations 
in support of the concept. For the first time since Miss Baldwin 
had become principal, outside help was sought. Dr. Fraser, in 
1917, had written to Mrs. Cyrus McCormick asking for a contri- 
bution but had been refused. In 1919, a similar effort was under- 
taken with the Rockefeller General Education Board, with a 
similar lack of success. '"'' 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

Slowly, too slowly for some of the advocates, Dr. Fraser came 
to the conclusion that a major effort must be undertaken to secure 
recognition as a four-year college. His reasons for doing so are 
interesting. In a long report to the alumnae in 1923, he described 
how he had "awakened to the significance of the facts about him." 
He admitted to a personal sense of failure, because he had not 
exerted his leadership on the board to see that the school had 
"retained its primacy." He had "let pass by so much of golden 
opportunity." More and more young women of the South were 
demanding a college education, but many of the institutions to 
which they were going had "assailed the foundations of true 
philosophy and religion..." Some young women had "become 
victims. . . [of] materialistic philosophy and destructive teachings. " 
"We have failed to provide them with appropriate colleges and so 
are responsible for these appalling results," he declared. As 
always, Miss Baldwin's example was invoked. "Were she living 
today...! think there could be no question that she would have 
made Mary Baldwin the commanding woman's college of the 

Having reached these conclusions, Dr. Fraser and the board 
considered how their idea of a "Mary Baldwin System" (i.e. both 
a seminary and a college) could be financially implemented. 
Coincidentally, in February 1921, the Christian Education Com- 
mittee of the Synod of Virginia undertook a "million dollar cam- 
paign" to raise money for four institutions closely identified with 
the Presb3^erian Church. ^^ Dr. Fraser, who had been very active 
at all levels of the Presbyterian Church's organization, noted that 
no women's college was included in the list. Why should not the 
synod help provide the necessary financial backing to create a 
"gi^ade A" women's college in Staunton? On 24 May 1921, a 
committee from the board of trustees was appointed to confer with 
a committee of the Synod of Virginia "touching closer relations of 
the seminary to the Synod, " and in October the board approved the 
concept that the seminary be placed under the control of the Synod 
of Virginia. ^^ Thus began a decade of frustration, misunderstand- 
ing, and recriminations, all of which threatened the very existence 
of the institution that all involved were trying so hard to enhance. 

In order to understand what happened next, it is necessary to 
review briefly the various charters of the school. The first session 
of Augusta Female Seminary opened in September of 1842, but it 
was not until 30 January 1845 that the Virginia General Assem- 
bly passed an act incorporating Augusta Female Seminary. The 


To Live In Time From Semmaiy to College 

act provided for a self-perpetuating board of trustees of 15 mem- 
bers and gave broad power to the board to acquire and sell land, 
appoint faculty, and to devise rules and regulations for the 
seminary's welfare. No further changes were made until 14 
December 1895, when, at the request of the board of trustees, the 
name of Augusta Female Seminary was officially changed to Mary 
Baldwin Seminary, "as an acknowledgement of their high appre- 
ciation of the valuable services and unparalleled success of the 
principal for thirty-three years." This new charter also allowed 
the trustees, upon the recommendation of the principal, to "confer 
degrees or honorary titles on former or future full graduates of the 
seminary who may be deemed worthy." It was under this provi- 
sion that Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts 
degrees were issued in the early 20th century, until Miss Weimar 
proposed the custom be dropped. ^'^' 

On 26 October 1921, a letter and a long report about the 
seminary were sent to the Committee on a Woman's College of the 
Synod of Virginia. In it, the board of trustees of the seminary 
offered to transfer the seminary to a board of trustees elected by 
the Synod of Virginia. In return, the synod would "give its 
assurance" that it would convert the seminary into a "college of the 
'A' class," and that a majority of the board of trustees would be 
members of the First Presbyterian Church of Staunton. In any 
case, seminary trustees "assumed" that the synod would choose 
most of the trustees "from the vicinity of the school" so that a 
quorum for board meetings would be present. The synod was to 
give the college full "moral and financial support," helping to 
secure students, raising an endowment fund of "no less" than 
$500,000 and, until that fund was raised, the synod would contrib- 
ute not less than $30,000 each year for the support of the college. 
The synod would be receiving property valued at $667,715 and a 
going operation that produced about $12,000 surplus a year. The 
school was in its 79th year of operation; it was a "religious school 
and distinctly Presbyterian." There was also a 10-acre tract 
owned by the seminary on the edge of town, Miss Baldwin's farm, 
which could be used for either the seminary or the college. "^^ 

The Committee on a Woman's College reported that there was 
a "strong sentiment" on the part of some members of the synod 
that the request should receive more "mature deliberation" and 
that the whole matter would be turned over to "the newly elected" 
committee on the general Educational Work of the Synod. That 
committee did convene in Staunton 27 July 1922, meeting "vari- 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

ous business and social organizations" and the seminary trustees. 
The Staunton/Augusta County Chamber of Commerce undertook, 
in writing, to raise $100,000 for the proposed college and to 
extend, without cost, all necessary public utilities such as water, 
lights, sewage and street railway to the college property, if the 
college location was within one mile of the corporate limits of 
Staunton. Dr. Fraser was told that the synod objected to the 
request tiiat a majority of the trustees be from First Presbyterian 
Church and said they would not recommend the offer unless this 
condition was amended, and Dr. Fraser undertook to do so. The 
Committee on General Education Work of the synod thereupon 
recommended that the amended offer of the seminary trustees, 
supplemented by the commitments of the Staunton/Augusta 
County Chamber of Commerce, be accepted by the Synod of 
Virginia. ^^ 

The seminary board minutes suggest that the necessary 
amending of the charter of the seminary, particularly the provi- 
sion about the membership of the trustees in First Presbyterian 
Church, was not without pain. The vote was four to two.^'^ Later 
another board member, H.D. Peck, who had been on the board 
more than 40 years, resigned, saying that "it was impossible for 
me to believe that conditions at that time were favorable for such 
a move. . . ( several members of the trustees agree with me ) . . . I could 
not regard the financial pi an... both present and future... as resting 
except upon a most weak and uncertain basis. "^^ Eventually a new 
charter was secured from the State Corporation Commission and 
a friendly suit in chancery removed the offending provision about 
trustee membership in First Presb3d:erian Church. ^^ The semi- 
nary was now partly, at least, also a college-a synodical college of 
the Synod of Virginia. There were to be 20 trustees, all elected by 
the synod, serving rotating terms of four years. All eight 
presb3d:eries of the synod were to have representation on the 
board, and A.M. Fraser was elected president of the board of 
trustees (as he had been of the old board). ^"^ 

The Mary Baldwin Seminary board of trustees met with the 
newly elected synodical board of trustees 26 October 1922 for the 
purpose of coordinating the details of the transfer of authority. It 
was pointed out to the synodical trustees that no provision had 
been made by the synod for raising the $30,000 due for the year 
1923-24 and that perhaps the transfer should not be completed 
until that was done, since establishing the college would be an 
expensive procedure. The trustees-elect assured the seminary 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

board that the synod's failure to provide the money was "a mere 
oversight" and would be rectified. With some misgivings, the old 
(seminary) board then transferred its authority to the new (col- 
lege) board, and the first official meeting of the synodical trustees 
of Mary Baldwin College took place on 16 January 1923. The 
college would officially open on 6 September 1923, ready, imme- 
diately, to offer a full four-year course, with a full-time college 
faculty of seven "teachers," plus some part-time "teachers" who 
also taught in the seminary. Dr. Fraser was elected the president 
of the college and the president of the board of trustees, and Miss 
Higgins was both the principal of the seminary and the dean of the 
college. W.W. King was to be business manager for both the 
seminary and the college. ^^ Dr. Julian A. Burruss, president of 
Virginia Polytechnic Institute, agi^eed to act as an official advisor 
helping with the organization of the college. 

This report to the synod also noted that a site for Mary 
Baldwin College had been bought. It was 200 acres about two 
miles north of the city limits on the Valley Turnpike, bought from 
Dr. and Mrs. Richard Bell and Mrs. Mattie W. Grasty for $60,000, 
to be paid over a three-year period.'*^ Thus the decision had been 
made that the seminary would continue to occupy the downtown 
location and that the college would be in Augusta County, adja- 
cent to the city line. The agreement to separate the two institu- 
tions physically meant that a great deal of money would have to 
be raised very quickly, but the physical separation was absolutely 
necessary because the State Board of Education refused to certify 
the college as a "standard four-year college" if a preparatory school 
was not kept "rigidly distinct and separate from the college in 
students, faculty, buildings and discipline. "^^ Dr. Fraser assumed, 
in 1923, that five years would be sufficient time for a new physical 
plant for the college to be built, and the Bell property was 
accordingly purchased. All that remained was to find a way to 
raise the money. 

In the meantime. Miss Higgins was left to struggle with the 
problems of being a principal and a dean simultaneously. Al- 
though Dr. Fraser spent countless hours on board matters and 
financial campaigns, he intervened little in the actual running of 
the two institutions. He simply had neither the time nor the 
training for such day-to-day tasks, and he relied heavily on the 
dean and the business manager and their reports. Miss Higgins 
understood, perhaps more clearly than Dr. Fraser was able to, the 
difficulties in trying to operate a seminary and a college in the 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

same location. As early as 1923, she had arranged to publish 
separate catalogues; "a thin plain grey one" for college announce- 
ments, and a "beautiful white and gold one" for the seminary.^° 
The seminary catalogue contained the junior college course list- 
ings until 1925, when all those previously enrolled in that pro- 
gram had completed their work and the junior college designation 
was dropped. The matter of separating the faculty was not as 
easily done. Miss Higgins divided them into college faculty, 
preparatory faculty, and special faculty (i.e., piano, voice, violin, 
art, expression). She held separate faculty meetings with each 
group but was forced to report that the "special" teachers and 
officers (study hall, librarian, matron, practice hall, nurse, physi- 
cian, and secretary) were shared by both preparatory and college 
students. Some friction between the various kinds of faculty 
inevitably developed. Miss Higgins reported that the college 
teachers were unwilling to undertake "governess duties." 

Both seminary and college students shared the same infir- 
mary, the same dining room, and the same library, in which 
college students were given preference. The upper floor of Aca- 
demic was for college classes. The class period lasted one hour. 
The second floor housed the library, and the seminary students 
used the first floor for 45-minute classes. The college students had 
their tables in the center of the dining hall and did not have faculty 
seated with them, as did the preparatory girls. College students 
were placed in their own dormitories, Memorial, Hill Top, Chapel. 
Sky High and McClung were seminary dormitories, and different 
rules concerning chaperonage, town visits, and church atten- 
dance applied to each group. Nevertheless, Miss Higgins felt it 
necessary to include in all catalogue announcements between 
1923 and 1929 the following statement: "We will not be able to 
offer full privileges usually accorded college students during the 
period that the college and the preparatory departments are 
conducted in the same plant. "°^ 

Then there were the matters of choosing appropriate forms for 
the college diploma, the abolition of the giving of certificates, 
prizes and medals for college students, changes in keeping aca- 
demic records, admission and classification standards, separate 
commencement ceremonies; the details seemed endless, and one 
can only speculate about the reluctance and dismay that students 
and faculty must have felt as time honored customs gave way to 
new requirements and as, year by year, the seminary enrollments 
dropped and the college's increased. It is easy to see why, as early 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

as 1925, Dean Higgins was publicly asking the alumnae and 
friends to "hurry up the campaign" and to give Mary Baldwin 
College room "- physical, mental, social, moral and spiritual room" 
- to become a fully accredited institution.^- 

Both Dean Higgins and Mr. King believed that it was abso- 
lutely necessary to maintain the seminary, and especially the 
"special students," not only for financial reasons, but because this 
seemed to them to be the essence of what Miss Baldwin's purpose 
had been. Dean Higgins had conscientiously upgraded the college 
faculty - all eight had Master's degrees, and three of them were 
members of Phi Beta Kappa - but she was convinced a good 
preparatory school background was the key to a successful college 
experience, and she fought to keep the seminary viable. Perhaps 
she was more comfortable with younger students, as most of her 
professional experience had been with them. The ambitions, 
demands and aspirations of college women in that bewildering 
decade of the 1920s must have been difficult for her and, although 
she speaks of giving them more responsibilities, their "privileges" 
were few and their social opportunities very limited. Many of the 
early college students were day students, and this helped to ease 
the situation, since social regulations did not apply to them. But 
it was obviously a situation that could not last. Perhaps no one was 
more anxious than the dean and principal to see the two schools 
in separate physical facilities. 

But the next years, 1923-29 were full of frustration and 
disappointment, not only for Dr. Fraser and Dean Higgins, but for 
the board of trustees, the faculty, many devoted alumnae, the 
citizens of Staunton and Augusta County, parents and friends of 
the seminary, and for the students themselves. In all, four sepa- 
rate financial campaigns were undertaken. Only one of these 
succeeded, and most of the money raised by it had to be returned. 
The four campaigns grew naturally out of the process but in 
retrospect the multiple campaigns appear to have been unwise, 
often overlapping and imposing tremendous demands on the 
energy and time of Dr. Fraser and other board members. 

The first of the fund-raising efforts was to be that of the Synod 
of Virginia. Indeed, it was pivotal to all the rest. The expectation 
had been that the Committee on the General Education Work of 
the synod would promptly provide the $500,000 promised when it 
accepted the transfer of the seminary to its control. This would be 
the modest basis for a college endowment fund, the interest from 
which would help pay operating and building expenses. Tied 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

closely to this effort was the Staunton/Augusta County Chamber 
of Commerce pledge to raise $100,000 to be used for landscaping 
on the new campus, to build a residence for the president, and to 
provide such necessary utilities as a heating plant, laundry, etc. 
The Chamber of Commerce pledges were contingent upon the 
synod's contribution, and the synod had accepted the seminary 
transfer contingent on the Chamber of Commerce's promises. 
Although the seminary had purchased the land for the college 
from its own current funds, more money would be required to 
build dormitories, dining hall, classrooms, laboratories, and a 
chapel, indeed an entire college physical plant. The board agi^eed 
that a major fund-raising effort should be undertaken among the 
alumnae, hoping to raise another $500,000. If successful, the 
alumnae organization wished to name the principal building on 
the new campus in honor of W.W. King. 

The fourth campaign is more difficult to explain. President 
Woodrow Wilson had died on 3 February 1924. Dr. Fraser had 
been a Davidson classmate and had remained a personal friend. 
It was Dr. Fraser who had been responsible for President-Elect 
Wilson's visit to Staunton and to the seminary in December 1912, 
at which time he had sta3^ed with Dr. Fraser in the Manse where 
he (Wilson) had been born. Since the 1912 visit, and particularly 
after the war years and the bitter debates over the League of 
Nations (1919), more and more visitors had been coming to see 
where "President Wilson was born," and Dr. Fraser had found 
these intrusions difficult for his family. He had requested the 
First Presbyterian Church, of which he was the pastor, to consider 
purchasing another manse; but rather than sell the "Birthplace" 
to a private citizen, some Wilson supporters and friends conceived 
the idea of preserving the presidential birthplace as a "shrine" 
open to the public. Their ideas continued to multiply. The Chapel 
at Mary Baldwin Seminary, whose physical condition was so poor 
that public gatherings there had been forbidden by the police and 
fire departments, was the reputed scene of Woodrow Wilson's 
baptism. The chapel should be "restored" to its appearance in 
1856, as a Wilson memorial. It should be noted here that the 
Chapel building had already been designated the Joseph A. 
Waddell Chapel by the board of trustees in 1911. Perhaps the new 
college, in distinction from Mary Baldwin Seminary, might be 
called Woodrow Wilson College, but the board refused this sugges- 
tion. In any case, one of the new college buildings could be called 
Wilson Hall. To accomplish these objectives, a fund-raising cam- 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

paign was to be organized to raise $500,000, to be run concurrently 
with the alumnae campaign. 

Thus it was hoped (unrealistically as it turned out) that 
$1,600,000 might be raised between 1924-1929 and that an 
entirely new institution, which would be Mary Baldwin College, 
could be constructed by the early 1930s. 

The first of the campaigns to get underway was that of the 
Chamber of Commerce. A Citizens' Campaign Committee of 16 
(15 men and one woman, Emily P. Smith) was organized by the 
spring of 1925, and in a whirlwind 10-day campaign raised a total 
of $108,897.^'^ Much of this was in the form of pledges to be 
redeemed over a three-year period, but the successful effort 
heartened the board and encouraged them to believe that the 
other efforts might be equally successful. It was said that Staunton/ 
Augusta County had never before raised as much money so 
quickly; hence the disillusionment that followed was bitter and 
long lasting. 

Dr. Fraser, as president of Mary Baldwin College, made an 
annual report to the Synod of Virginia. In 1924, after the college 
had officially been in existence for a year. Dr. Fraser bluntly 
reminded his church colleagues of their promise to raise $500,000 
for the college's endowment and to make annual payments of 
$30,000. Only about $1,459 had been received during the past 
year. This, Dr. Fraser reminded them tartly, was not a benevo- 
lence, but a "financial obligation," part of a contract made when 
the seminary became a synodical college. Nothing appeared to be 
planned in connection with the campaign. When would there be 
action? The General Education Committee report to the synod 
brought the answer. "We would advise the college that the Synod 
does not believe the time is opportune to launch a Synod-wide 
campaign to raise the $500,000 by reason of the large amount still 
to be paid on the Million Dollar Educational Fund."^'' 

There appeared little that Dr. Fraser and the board could do 
other than continue their appeals, which they did in 1925, and to 
try through their own "network connections" to stimulate some 
action. By 1926, Dr. Fraser reported that the Staunton community 
was regularly asking, "When are you going to start your college?" 
"We are in serious danger," he declared, "of losing local con- 
fidence... and loyalty... and the unpaid parts of local subscrip- 
tions." This appeal resulted in the recommendation that the synod 
Ways and Means Committee have an early meeting with the Mary 
Baldwin trustees to discuss "steps for discharging Synod's obliga- 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

tion to Mary Baldwin College." However, the synod did not feel "a 
general campaign... at this time would be ...wise." Instead, Mary 
Baldwin College trustees should consider the possibility of em- 
ploying a full-time financial agent to visit individuals who might 
contribute large sums to the college. The synod did not offer to 
provide any funds for this individual.^'' Meanwhile, the annual 
payments of $30,000 were never paid in full and were slow in 

coming. By 1929, only $76,617 had been received. The total then 
due was $180,000.56 

A painful meeting, "embarrassing to every man present," 
between the Ways and Means Committee on Church Education 
and the board of trustees of the college was held on 5 July 1927, 
in Staunton. The history of the synod relationship was reviewed. 
The synod committee acknowledged that promises had not been 
kept and recommended a three-year effort, beginning in 1928, to 
raise the half million dollars among their presbyteries, taking the 
requisite funds from the overall benevolence budget. If this 
suggestion was refused by the synod, they should turn the college 
back to its original trustees, although they suggested that the 
synod would wish to retain an "interest" in the "seminary. "5' The 
synod did not accept the recommendations of this committee 
report. Instead, while acknowledging their obligations, they con- 
tinued to press the college to undertake the campaign itself, 
although again no money was put in the synod budget to support 
the attempt. The college trustees tried. They interviewed several 
individuals, but "repeated consultations" with those "most expe- 
rienced" in raising church funds revealed that, without a cam- 
paign organization, the effort would not succeed. Since no funds 
were available to hire such a person, it was a moot point. The 
college could not fund it itself because it could not "place any more 
of its securities in jeopardy." In 1928, Dr. Fraser and 13 loyal 
friends visited or wrote letters to over 40 churches in the synod. 
They were authorized to spend up to $2000 of college money for 
their expenses. First Presb3d:erian Church in Staunton secured a 
supply pastor to provide some relief for Dr. Fraser while these 
activities went on. Few additional funds were secured. °^ 

Concurrent with the Chamber of Commerce and the synod 
campaigns were to be the alumnae efforts. The Augusta Female 
Seminary Alumnae Association was formally organized in 1894, 
open to all former students, and in its early years focused on the 
"old girls'" reminiscences and love and support for Miss Baldwin 
and her school. ^^ However, an alumnae scholarship and mission- 


To Live In Time From Semincny to College 

ary scholarship programs had been inaugurated, and the Bulletin 
reported with great interest the physical changes that took place 
in the early 20th century. In 1911, under alumnae auspices, a 
beautiful memorial window honoring Mary Julia Baldwin had 
been placed in the Chapel. As early as 1910, the alumnae had 
sought to have representation on the board of trustees but had 
been politely refused by that all-male body. Around 1912, the 
Graduates Council of the Association, representing the "full 
graduates," had begun to press for junior college status and, as 
had been seen, were exploring ways of supporting an endowment 
fund and becoming a four-year "Grade A" college even before 
World War I. By the early 1920s there were about 5,000 alumnae, 
of whom perhaps 500 were members of the association. There 
were six local chapters. The officers of the association appealed to 
the board for funds to secure a "field secretary," which would allow 
them closer contact with all their present and prospective mem- 
bers. The creation of the "Mary Baldwin System," seminary and 
college, and the new relationship with the synod were changes not 
easily accepted by all the alumnae. There was even an impas- 
sioned debate over what to call themselves, and finally the 
cumbersome name "Association of Alumnae and Former Students 
of Mary Baldwin Seminary and College" was chosen as reflecting 
all their constituencies.*^'^ As the various financial campaigns got 
underway, the alumnae were asked by Dr. Fraser to consider a 
campaign of their own. But the Alumnae Association had almost 
no infrastructure. All the work was done by volunteers. As Dr. 
Fraser pointed out, the former students were widely scattered, 
and many had been at the seminary for only a short time and had 
attended other educational institutions as well, and thus had 
divided loyalties. There had never been a previous appeal to them 
for financial support, and they were unaccustomed to "sympa- 
thetic cooperation in any common cause." Dr. Fraser might well 
have added the thought that all of the alumnae save one were 
seminary students, and they were being asked to contribute to the 
support of a college. 

On the other hand. Dr. Fraser, always the optimist, contin- 
ued, "When one considers the large number of students who have 
passed through this seminary, the aggregate of wealth repre- 
sented by these students and the superior character of the women 
themselves, it looks as though the alumnae ought to be able to 
raise $500, 000... Are there not a number of alumnae whom Provi- 
dence has blessed with large means, who have in the past received 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

some blessing from Mary Baldwin which no money can measure, 
into whose heart the Lord will now put it to do a really big part in 
the true spirit of Mary Baldwin?"'^^ 

The additional benefits of the campaign, he continued, would 
be a more professional organization of the alumnae and a greater 
awareness among all the constituencies of the needs of the "Mary 
Baldwin System." 

The board of trustees had, early in 1923, interviewed some 
"professional" fund raisers and had finally settled on the New 
York firm of Ward, Wells, Dreshman and Gates to advise them in 
the matter of the local campaign. The alumnae were invited to 
coordinate their efforts with this gi^oup (the expenses to be borne 
by the trustees). B. M. Hedrick of the above firm worked closely 
with the alumnae effort. An alumnae campaign executive com- 
mittee of 15 members was created; Lucille Foster McMillin of 
Nashville. Tennessee, agreed to act as general chairman, and 
Emily Pancake Smith of the local alumnae did "active, aggressive 
work." Ten national districts were created; there were to be zone 
and local chairmen within each district. Altogether 530 alumnae 
were to be actively involved, and hopes were high for the success 
of the effort. 6- 

That May, Dean Higgins had reported to the alumnae at their 
annual meeting that the members of the faculty and students had 
shown "vital and substantial interest in the college campaign." 
The girls were present at the final meeting of the local campaign 
and "added gi^eatly to the life and spirit of the occasion by their 
singing and other youthful demonstrations." When the success of 
the Chamber of Commerce campaign was announced on 13 April 
1925, the students were given a holiday and there was much 
rejoicing. The school itself was organized for its own mini-cam- 
paign, and by the end of the term pledges for $10,000 had been 
made. A student was allowed to pledge only with her parents' 
consent, and an eventual goal of $25,000 was set. The students 
hoped to use their money for either an athletic field or landscape 
gardening at the new site. The dean added that the faculty and 
staff had also contributed "generously" but did not specify the 
amount. "^'^ 

The students were also involved in another activity. At the 
suggestion of B. M. Hedrick, the trustees sponsored an essay 
contest on the subject, "Why Should a Girl Go to College?" The 
successful essayist was to be admitted to Mary Baldwin tuition- 
free for the next term. Miriam Palmer was later declared winner 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

of the contest, but the board was dismayed to receive a request 
from the young lady for $150 in cash, the value of the scholarship, 
since she had decided to go to school "elsewhere." The board 
refused her request. "^^ There is no record that they awarded the 
scholarship to anyone else. 

The alumnae campaign was launched in June 1925, and from 
the beginning, the results were disappointing. The anticipated 
"large gifts" were not forthcoming, and the expenses of the 
professional organizers were exceeding the monies collected. In 
1926, Dr. Eraser's report to the synod declared, "The efforts of the 
Alumnae ...have not so far been encouraging, but they are not at 
all discouraged and are laying plans with gi^eat care for a patient 
and determined campaign of organization and inspiration..." 
Sadly, the Newsletter for July 1927, reported that all active work 
on the campaign had ceased "for the present." At that point 
$78,000 had been subscribed, representing 331 persons. A later 
notice told the alumnae that the collected money was invested at 
6% interest and would ultimately be used to erect a building 
honoring Mr. King.*^^ 

On 28 August 1924, the Board of Trustees of Mary Baldwin 
College voted to undertake a campaign to raise $500,000 "as a 
memorial to W. Wilson." This campaign was to be coordinated 
with the other two - i.e. the Chamber of Commerce and the 
alumnae efforts - and it was hoped that the same financial 
advisors might supervise all three. Dr. Edwin A. Alderman, 
president of the University of Virginia, accepted an invitation to 
be the General Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the 
Woodrow Wilson Memorial Fund. 

The campaign was an ambitious one. It was to be national in 
scope, with each state having its own committee, as well as each 
congressional district, on down to city and local levels. It would 
prove to be time-consuming to organize, since prominent indi- 
viduals were to be approached, and expensive. The trustees voted 
to underwrite the expenses of the campaign with the understand- 
ing that the funds would be refunded to the college from the 
monies contributed. Formal announcement of the Wilson Memo- 
rial Campaign was made by Dr. Fraser on 12 June 1925, at the 
Manse, which was Dr. Eraser's home, to the 150 members of the 
National Editorial Association, who were having their annual 
meeting in Staunton. Dr. Eraser delivered a moving memorial to 
the former president and sought to thus gain national publicity for 
the fund- raising. Brochures were printed, mailing lists prepared, 


To Live In Time From Seminaiy to College 

much travel was involved as national leaders were sought in each 
state. The board was informed that the campaign expenses by 
mid-summer 1925, were already more than $26,000, and the 
active phase had not yet begun. '^'^ Bayard Hedrick, the profes- 
sional fund-raiser, had proposed that the actual campaign not 
commence until November 1925, since the Woodrow Wilson Foun- 
dation, a New York association, had been engaged in a campaign 
to raise $1 million for scholarships and research and was actively 
seeking to complete its work by the early fall. It would be 
confusing to have two Wilson Memorial campaigns run simulta- 
neously, so the Mary Baldwin effort should wait until the other 
effort was concluded. 

The Maiy Baldwin Wilson Memorial campaign was plagued 
with difficulties from the beginning. Immediately after Wilson's 
death, a number of groups and institutions had devised plans for 
various projects and building programs at a time when nostalgia 
and sentiment might help their cause. A gi^oup hoped to establish 
a university in Valdosta, Georgia, and publicity about this had 
been released in late 1924. The campaign of the prestigious 
Woodrow Wilson Foundation in New York had already raised 
about $800,000 in 1924-5; friends of Woodrow Wilson proposed 
buying the "S" Street house in Washington D.C. as a memorial. 
There were several other, less reputable groups seeking publicity 
and funds in Wilson's name. The similarity of the names, timing 
and purposes of some of these gi^oups, and the suggestions of fraud 
and corruption could only damage the Staunton effort. The pro- 
posed Mary Baldwin state committees hardly functioned. Even 
the Virginia committee headed by Harry M. Smith never seems to 
have been viable and, as late as April 1926, the executive commit- 
tee of the board of trustees said the Virginia campaign was "still 
being organized."*^" 

The efforts to raise the funds for the Wilson "shrine" struggled 
through the remaining months of 1925 and through 1926. Ward, 
Wells, Dreshman and Gates insisted that more professional help 
was needed and recalled Bayard Hedrick, their representative. 
He was replaced by a succession of advisors (all expensive), none 
of whom stayed long enough to become familiar with the various 
constituencies. By April 1926, Dr. Fraser had become "general 
chairman" of the effort. By December of that year, the college had 
borrowed $30,000 from various local banks and was forced to 
borrow more to pay the interest on the funds that had already been 
borrowed. By January 1927, the conservative "men of affairs" who 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

made up the college board of trustees voted to "postpone any 
further expenditures on the Wilson Memorial." But Dr. Fraser 
would not yet give up. The board authorized him to write letters 
to 700 "admirers" of Woodrow Wilson appealing for support. The 
letters resulted in several small donations totaling $3,275.'^'^ 

Reluctantly, in January 1928, the board of trustees voted to 
abandon the original plan for the Wilson Memorial and to use the 
money collected (about $26,000) to acquire the Manse, which 
would then be turned over to an independent "Woodrow Wilson 
Memorial Foundation" as soon as one could be organized. The 
Foundation would be responsible for raising additional funds, 
maintaining the property, and opening it to the public. '^^ 

Why had the Wilson Campaign failed? In a letter written to 
Edith Wilson in 1929, Dr. Fraser wrote that the "difficulty seems 
to be an objection to having a memorial associated with an 
institution of learning." In his report to the synod in 1928, Fraser 
made a very similar observation. "An elaborate memorial identi- 
fied with a denominational college has not met with general 
approval by the friends of Mr. Wilson throughout the country."™ 
But surely there was more than that, although it seems a valid 
point. The campaign organization was far too complicated and 
elaborate, and no state or local committee was willing to begin 
work until the whole structure had been completed. The timing 
was most unfortunate; the multiplicity of campaigns with similar 
objectives; the suspicion of fraud; the general disillusionment of 
the country after the Senate refusal to approve the Versailles 
Treaty and the League of Nations, all these contributed to the lack 
of interest and support. Wilson's death in February 1924 had 
revived a flurry of interest in the wartime president but this 
quickly died, and the Mary Baldwin College Wilson Campaign 
was almost two years after Wilson's death in beginning its appeal. 

The effort to create a Woodrow Wilson Memorial (the Manse, 
the Chapel, the new building or a new campus) ultimately cost the 
college about $20,000 in outlay and carrying charges, plus untold 
hours of work and planning by the members of board of trustees, 
and particularly Dr. Fraser."^ One can only speculate about the 
depths of his disappointment and the diminution of his strength 
and vigor as a result of his vast efforts associated with all four 
campaigns. It is hard not to conclude that, from the viewpoint of 
the college, the Wilson campaign should never have been under- 

The year 1928 was a momentous and unpleasant year for 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

Mary Baldwin. It had been five years since the college had passed 
under the control of the Synod of Virginia- five years during which 
tremendous efforts had been made to raise funds for the Mary 
Baldwin "system," and these efforts had failed. Townspeople, 
friends, alumnae, faculty, staff, and students were all asking, 
with increasing persistence, "When are you going to start building 
the college?" It must have been embarrassing when Dr. Bell, 
whose property had been purchased as the site for the college, but 
whose home was adjacent to the tract, requested that the sign 
posted on the property which said, "Maiy Baldwin College site" be 
removed because of the "annoyance to his household" by the 
frequent enquiries from the traveling public as to the location of 
Mary Baldwin College. Mr. King was ordered to remove the sign. '- 
Dean Higgins reported in January that the State Board of Educa- 
tion was adamant about not according recognition to Maiy Baldwin 
as a "standard four-year college" until the physical separation of 
the two institutions had occurred. Moreover, after 1929, gi^adua- 
tion from an accredited four-year college was necessary for teacher 
certification in Virginia. One can only empathize with the board 
members, especially Dr. Fraser, when, with great reluctance, at a 
special meeting of the trustees on 27 January 1928, they voted to 
discontinue the preparatory and primary departments - i.e., the 
old seminary - effective May 1929. Thus Maiy Julia Baldwin's 
school would come to an end, and a college bearing her name would 
take its place. '-^ There did not appear to be any other possible 
solution to their difficulties. College students exceeded the prepa- 
ratory students in number, and the commitment to creating a 
"grade A" four-year college had been so determined and well- 
publicized that no return to the former condition seemed possible. 
Yet the decision left many friends of the institution embittered. 
Townspeople were loath to see the preparatory school close. They 
much preferred it for their daughters to the public schools which 
they mistrusted. Almost all the alumnae were former seminaiy 
students. They had been promised that the creation of the college 
would not imperil the seminary. Many felt betrayed. There must 
have been strong feelings among the faculty and staff. The 
executive committee in March felt it necessary to ask Dr. Fraser 
to write a letter communicating the feelings of the board about 
"certain indiscreet criticisms by certain employees of the college" 
and to confer with the dean and business manager about the 
matter.^* But the best evidence of dismay came from the number 
of requests that donations made to the various campaigns be 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

returned, since the original proposal that a new college would be 
built was not going to be carried out."^^ 

When the Synod of Virginia met in September 1928, a resolu- 
tion reflecting these demands and the threat they posed to the 
reputation of the synod and the college was passed. Inasmuch as 
the synod had failed to raise $500,000 within the allotted five 
years, those individuals who had contributed to the local cam- 
paign were no longer bound to their pledges or obligations, and the 
board of trustees of the college was ordered to return to those who 
wished it returned any money already subscribed. 

On 9 October 1928, the college board acted on the synod 
resolution. At first, it was suggested that the money already paid 
on the local pledges, amounting to $48,000, be returned with 
interest and that all remaining pledges be cancelled. But H.B. 
Sproul suggested instead that a letter be sent to all subscribers, 
describing the present status of the college, "its progress and 
purposes," and offering to return the money "if desired." The letter 
was duly sent on 1 January 1929. One hundred fifty-one subscrib- 
ers asked for refunds. Sixty-eight said they did not wish the money 
they had given paid back but wished their pledges cancelled. 
Approximately $35,460 remained in the hands of the treasurer of 
the college as a result of the City Campaign - hardly worth the ill 
feelings that had been engendered."*^ 

The offer to return the local money, made in good faith and 
with the best of intentions, had a totally unanticipated result. 
Word quickly spread, at first in the community and then state- 
wide, that the college would be closed. Alumnae and other indi- 
viduals who had pledged to the various campaigns began to 
request that their money be returned, also. At first the board 
resisted. "The local subscriptions were made under specific 
conditions... these conditions did not apply to any but subscribers 
in Staunton and Augusta County..." But, ultimately, a proposal 
was made to return to all alumnae the money they had contrib- 
uted. It is unclear whether or not this was actually done, but the 
money that had been collected and retained from the alumnae 
campaign (about $30,000) eventually was used toward the Cen- 
tennial Building (1942) named for W.W. King." 

The effects of the report that the college was closing had a 
serious impact on enrollment. Also, the closing of the preparatory 
division and the decline in the number of "special students" had 
severe financial consequences. In 1929, Mr. King reported that 
there were 139 fewer students than in 1928 and that the only 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

"special department" still operating at a profit was voice.^^ King 
had not been in favor of the college establishment. His devotion to 
Miss Baldwin and her seminary was fervent; he called her, "one 
of God's noblest women... [she] has been my guide and my inspira- 
tion." He warned at the end of his lengthy financial report: 

I trust the Board of Trustees will not lose 
sight of the fact that we are passing through 
a critical period in the life and future useful- 
ness of Mary Baldwin... schools to be success- 
fully conducted require money just like any 
other business enterprise and I trust that 
this grave situation will be given due consid- 

Although it is difficult to assess all the direct and indirect costs 
and the results of the four financial campaigns attempted in the 
1920s, the following summary is suggestive: 




Chamber of Commerce Campaign 




Alumnae Campaign 




costs $54,000 

Synod Campaign 


" Pledge to pay $30,000 per 

year until goal met 




W. Wilson Memorial Campaign 




costs $20,000 

TOTAL GOAL $1,600,000 



NET 143,000 HO 

Although the original intention had been to complete all of these 
efforts in a five-year period, 1923-1928, three of them were open- 
ended. The Chamber of Commerce campaign exceeded its goal in 
less than a month; the synod campaign was never really imple- 
mented except for two months in the summer of 1928, when Dr. 
Fraser and his 13 associates visited some synod churches. Even- 
tually it was decided that, the times still not being "right," the 
major effort would be delayed until a full-time "officer" of the 
board could devote all his energy to the effort. The Depression 
intervened, but the synod campaign was still being discussed in 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

1937 and did not come to an end until the charter changes of 1938. 
The annual payments ($30,000) from the presbyteries never 
exceeded $19,000, and in the 1930s averaged $6-$V,000 a year. 
The alumnae campaign was set aside "for the present" in 1927 but 
was revived for the Centennialyear( 1942). The Wilson campaign 
was concluded by board action in 1928. Ten years later, the 
permanent Woodrow Wilson Birthplace Foundation was char- 

On 9 October 1928, at a called meeting of the board of trustees. 
Dr. Fraser tendered his resignation as president of Mary Baldwin 
College, citing the criticism of his "lack of leadership" as one of the 
supposed reasons for the failure of the four fund-raising efforts. 
Although he acknowledged his lack of "experience," he pointed out 
that he had protested his election as president in 1923, citing a 
need for the "best college man in the South." He had accepted only 
reluctantly, feeling that, until the college and seminary were 
physically separated, someone who was familiar with the 
institution's "operations" and "officers" could avoid the "danger of 
complications." In the ensuing years he had offered his resigna- 
tion several times and now, in the fall of 1928, he felt compelled 
to insist. The members of his church were "restless," and his own 
health had suffered. He would be willing to stay until a successor 
could be appointed and reminded the board that he had never 
sought "to shirk any duty."*^^ The board accepted Dr. Fraser's 
resignation and appointed a committee to seek a "Full Time 
Officer" for the college. 

On 22 May 1929, the special committee of the board of trustees 
recommended that Dr. L. Wilson Jarman, the vice-president of 
Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina, be elected president 
of Mary Baldwin College as of 1 July 1929. The report was 
accepted unanimously. Dr. Jarman, who was "in the city," met 
with the board and later the college faculty and staff. Although Dr. 
Fraser remained as president of the board of trustees, the major 
responsibility for the college had slipped from his shoulders. The 
transition from seminary to college was completed.*- 


To Live In Time From Seminajy to College 


^ Ella Claire Weimar ( -1926) was born in Fauquier County, 
Virginia and was educated in Warrenton and Baltimore. She 
taught in Winchester, Virginia and in 1873-75 came to Augusta 
Female Seminary to teach English and History. Her other teach- 
ing posts included work in Alabama and Arkansas, and she 
returned to Augusta Female Seminary in 1889 as assistant 
principal and teacher of English. She was appointed principal pro 
tem in 1897, after Mary Julia Baldwin's death, and she was made 
principal in 1898, a post she held until 1916. She died near 
Warrenton, Va. 28 Dec. 1926. AN July 1927. 

William Wayt King ( 1864-1939) was born in Augusta County 
and educated at Hoover Military Academy and Dunsmore Busi- 
ness College in Staunton, Virginia. After work in the County 
Treasurer's office, he was employed as "Superintendent of Build- 
ings and Grounds and Assistant to M. J. Baldwin," 1890-98. The 
board of trustees made him the business manager in 1898-a post 
he held until 1930, at which time he became the curator of the 
endowment, a position he held until 1936. He lived at "Kalorama" 
(now the Staunton Public Library) and was married to Fannie 
Bayly, a very public spirited and active citizen of the Staunton 
community, who had a passionate interest in women's suffrage. 
Most alumnae remembered Mr. King for his "Red Head Club" and 
his personal and deep concern for each student. Waddell 47-48, 
57, 59, passim . Watters, 216-20 passim . 

2 Minutes , BT 25 Jan. 1898. 

^ In Virginia, Bridgewater College, formerly Spring Creek 
Normal School and Collegiate Institute, opened in 1880 as a 
coeducational institution. 

' Randolph-Macon Woman's College, 1891; Sweet Briar, 1906; 
Hollins, 1911; Longwood (State Female Normal School), 1884; 
State Teachers' College, Radford, 1910; State Normal College at 
Harrisonburg (James Madison University), 1908. See also: Anne 
Firor Scott, "One of the Most Significant Movements of all Time," 
Eleventh Annual Carroll Lectures , Mary Baldwin College, 15-16 
Oct. 1984. 

^ The new dormitories were named Baldwin Memorial and 
Agnes McClung. 

^ It is to Mr. King that the credit must go for the decision that 
the new seminary buildings' architecture would conform to that of 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

Main (the Administration Building) and Hill Top-the lovely 
columns and painted brick of the neoclassical style beloved in the 
early 19th century. Credit goes equally to Dr. Samuel Spencer, 
who decreed that the expanded campus of the 1960s would 
continue in keeping with the traditional style of the old campus; 
hence the college today possesses a rare architectural unity and 
beauty few can equal. 

" See the annual reports of the business manager in successive 
issues of the board Minutes . For example, 15 June 1900. 15 June 
1905. 15 July 1909. 9Mar. 1910. 17 Jan. 1911. See also Catalogue , 
1896-1900. passim . After 1909, Mr. King made semi-annual 
reports to the board of trustees, not only giving financial informa- 
tion, but long narratives about the physical plant and his sugges- 
tions for policies concerning tuition, enrollment, and investments. 
Before that date, his reports had been usually incorporated with 
those of the executive committee. 

^ Enrollment figures are an approximation since students 
entered late, left early, often failed to return after Christmas, etc. 
The report of the executive committee to the board on 18 May 1898 
shows that there were 182 students for the 1897-98 session (92 
boarding, 90 day students). Minutes , BT 24 May 1898. On 18 June 
1900, Mr. King reported that there were 220 students enrolled for 
the 1899-1900 session (128 boarders and 92 day students). Min- 
utes , BT 18 June 1900. But, 16 years later, 18 Jan. 1916, Mr. 
King's report indicated 245 students (153 boarders and 92 day 
students). Minutes . BT 15 Jan. 1916. Additional figures include: 
1905 - 292 students; 1910 - 298 students; 1912 - 230 students. 
Minutes . BT 16 May 1905. 18 Jan. 1910. 21 May 1912. 
9 Minutes . BT 18 Jan. 1916. 

10 AN 1910. 

11 Minutes EC 9 Jan. 1912. 13 Mar. 1912. 10 Feb. 1914. 

1^ This group met on the Mary Baldwin Seminary Campus 3 
Sept. 1912 with Sarah Meetze, a member of the seminary faculty, 
as hostess. Minutes EC 14 May 1912. AN 1913. 

1^ The Secretary of the Board, J. A. Waddell, wrote that they 
should be called "Alumni," because "the young ladies insist upon 
calling themselves Masters and Bachelors of Art and why not 
Alumni instead of Alumnae?" Waddell 66, 68. 

I'' AN 1913. 

i^AN 1913. Augusta Female Seminary had awarded prizes, 
medals, certificates of "proficiency," diplomas, and from time to 
time, early in the 20th century. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

Music, and briefly Master of Arts degi^ees. Miss Weimar recog- 
nized such degrees were no longer acceptable. After 1914, only 
diplomas were issued. The Catalogue , 1917-18 indicates gi'adu- 
ates of the collegiate course receive a Junior College Certificate. 
Catalogue , 1917-1918. 

^^ Catalogue . 1911-12. In 1912, three were full graduates, 
nine in music, art and elocution; in 1913, seven full graduates, 
including Fannie Strauss, Luise and Katherine Eisenberg, six in 
art and music and one postgraduate. 

^' Minutes EC 14 Oct. 1913. 

18 Minutes EC 13 Jan. 1914. The "Committee of Teachers" 
may have been composed of Ella C. Weimar, Martha D. Riddle, 
Marianna Higgins, Mary F. Hurlburt and Nellie Smithey (un- 
dated manuscript in the college archives). 

19 E. R. Chesterman, letter to A. M. Eraser, 12 Jan. 1915, 
enclosed in Vol. 1 of the board Minutes . College Archives. 

20 Minutes . BT 26 Feb. 1915. 16 Mar. 1915. 

21 Catalogfue . 1916-17. 

22 Catalogue . 1916-17. 

23 Minutes . BT 18 Jan. 1916. 23 May 1916. 13 July 1916. 
Watters 264. It has not been possible to find out Miss Weimar's 
exact age. All publications mentioning her do not disclose a 
birthdate. She died 28 Dec. 1926. 

24 Watters 264. 

25 AN 1916. 

2*^ Minutes EC 16 May 1917. Minutes . BT 22 May 1917. 

2' Enrollment: 1917-235; 1918-276; 1919-276; Minutes . BT 
16 Jan. 1917. 22 Jan. 1918. 21 Jan. 1919. So many applications 
were refused because of lack of space that Mr. King received 
permission from the board to recommend the overflow to Stuart 
Hall. Minutes . BT 13 Aug. 1918. 

-^ It was traditional that the minister of First Presbyterian 
Church be on the seminary board. The earliest extant Board 
Minutes of 3 July 1897 list A. M. Eraser as a member, as does the 
Catalogue 1894-95. 

A. M. Eraser was: 

Minister, Eirst Presbyterian Church 1893-1929 

Chaplain, Mary Baldwin Seminary and Mary Baldwin Col- 
lege 1897(?)-1929 

Member, Board of Trustees 1894-1932 

Member, Executive Committee of the Board 1897-1932 


To Live In Time From Seminaty to College 

President of the Board of Trustees 1909-32 
President of Mary Baldwin College 1923-29 

29 Two of his daughters, Margaret Mclver Fraser (1917-18) 
and Nora Blanding Fraser (1920-25) were on the seminary fac- 
ulty. Nora Fraser graduated from Mary Baldwin Seminary in 

3« AN 1915. 

31 Catalogue . 1924-25. 

32 Minutes , BT 19 May 1908. Marianna Parramore Higgins (?- 
Mar. 6, 1938): Career at Mary Baldwin: 

Preparatory English teacher 1908-16 
Principal of Mary Baldwin Seminary 1916-29 
Dean of Mary Baldwin College 1923-29 
Honorary LLD of Literature June 1925 
Academic Dean of Mary Baldwin College 1929-30 

33 AN 1921. 

3^ Hampden-Sydney College awarded Marianna Higgins an 
Honorary LLD in 1925. She was the first woman they had so 
honored. AN 1925. Minutes , BT 1 May 1916. 

35 Minutes , 16 Jan. 1923. 

36 Minutes , 27 Jan. 1918. 4 Aug. 1919. 
3' AN 1923. 

3^ Minutes SV Sept. 1919. The institutions were Hampden- 
Sydney College, Union Theological Seminary, General Assembly's 
Training School and the Orphans Home of Lynchburg. 

39 Minutes , BT 24 May 1921. 11 Oct. 1921. The committee was 
composed of Hugh B. Sproul, Chair, J. W. McFarland, J. M. 
Quarles, and W. H. Landes. Dr. A. M. Fraser was added to it in 
October as the committee was then entrusted with the responsi- 
bility of setting terms and conditions for the transfer. It should be 
noted that both Lynchburg and Roanoke approached the synod 
requesting that they be considered as a site for a Presbyterian 
woman's college. Minutes SV 1922. 

^0 General Assembly of Virginia, Acts ( 1844-45) 105; ( 1895-96) 
5-6; subsequent charters were granted by the State Corporation 
Commission as follows: 

3 Jan. 1923, 11 May 1923, 21 June 1939, 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

5 Dec. 1957, 5 Nov. 1970, July 1979, Apr. 1984, 
14 Dec. 1988 

City of Staunton, Charter Book 3, 403, 492; 4, 15; 5, 315; 7, 539. 
On 2 February 1916, the State Board of Education accredited 
Mary Baldwin Seminaiy as a Junior College. See also: Catalogue , 
1896-97. Catalogue . 1923-24. Announcements. The Catalogue 
states that Mary Baldwin College is a "Standard College for 
Women" Catalogue . 1928-29. "Mary Baldwin College is accredited 
as a Standard College by... the Association of Colleges and Second- 
ary Schools of the Southern States" Catalogue . 1931-32. An- 

'' Minutes . BT 26 Oct. 1921. 2Nov. 1921. It should be noted 
that the earliest version of the "conditions" asked only for $200,000 
endowment and $12,000 annual payments. Upon reflection Mr. 
Landes (long-time treasurer of the board) felt that additional 
money should be requested (two and a half times as much) and the 
amended request was the one sent to the Synod of Virginia. See 
Minutes SV 1921. 

42 Minutes SV 19 Sept. 1922. 

43 Minutes . BT 30 Oct. 1922. Apparently only six board 
members attended. 

44 H. D. Peck, letter to W. H. Landes, 16 Feb. 1923, College 

45 Minutes, BT 8 Dec. 1922. 16 Jan. 1923. The charters are 
dated 3 Jan. 1923. 11 May 1923. 

46 Minutes, BT 20 Dec. 1922. 16 Jan. 1923. 

4" Minutes SV Sept. 1923. Dr. Fraser accepted the presidency 
of the college "for a while." He recognized that a full-time profes- 
sional educator and administrator would be necessaiy but "be- 
cause of his long and intimate connection with Mary Baldwin 
Seminary and his acquaintance with its spirit and methods, he 
believed that for a while he might render it a service which a new 
man might not be in a position to render." Minutes . 173. He 
remained the full-time pastor of First Presbyterian Church as 
well as the chaplain of the seminary and the college. 

4-^ Minutes SV Sept. 1923. Minutes . BT 27 Apr. 1923. 26 May 
1923. Eighteen different locations were considered in addition to 
the Bell site. The selection committee was made up of Dr. Fraser, 
J. B. Rawlings, R. F. Hutcheson, H. B. Sproul and J. A. Fulton. 
Advice was also sought from the presidents of VPI (Dr. Julian A. 
Burruss) and Washington & Lee (Dr. Henry Louis Smith) and 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

from a professional landscape architect, E. C. Whitney. Later, 
some preliminary site use plans were provided. 

The financing of the site purchase was a bit involved. The 
executors of Mary Julia Baldwin's will turned over to the college 
treasurer $25,000 in 1898-the residium in cash of her estate 
which had been willed to the seminary. The money had been 
invested in the ensuing 25 years and had grown to about $60,000 
- sufficient to purchase the college site. Rather than liquidate 
these investments, however, the treasurer, W. H. Landes, was 
authorized to borrow $20,000 from National Valley Bank to make 
the required down payment, then to use the funds of the maturing 
and past due investments to pay off in three equal parts over the 
next three years, the remaining $40,000. This was done and the 
title to the college site was transferred to the trustees in July 1926. 
Minutes . BT 15 Jan. 1924. 6 July 1926. 

'^^ D. S. Lancaster (Secretary, State Board of Education), 
letters to Dr. Higgins, 17 Nov. 1927. 19 Nov. 1927. 25 Nov. 1927. 
Minutes . BT 17 Jan. 1928. 

^^ The grey cover remained on the college catalogues until 
1932, after Miss Higgins had resigned. It then became a brown 
cover and remained relatively plain and unadorned until 1958, 
when a picture was added. It was not until the late 1960s that the 
catalogue covers became brighter and illustrations plentiful as 
the catalogue became part of an aggressive recruitment package. 
See Catalogue . 1923. 1932. 1958. Minutes . BT 19 May 1925. 17 
Jan. 1928. 

51 Catalogue, 1925-26. Minutes . BT 19 May 1925. 

52CC3Apr. 1925. 

5^ The members of the Citizens' Committee were: Judge Wil- 
liam A. Pratt, Chair, Col. H. L. Opie, HughB. Sproul, A. M. Eraser, 
Julian A. Burruss, Rev. W. E. Davis, William H. Landes, James N. 
McFarland, J. M. Quarles, William H. East, Thomas Hogshead, 
Kimber H. Knorr, Campbell Pancake, Thomas H. Russell, Clarke 
Worthington, and Mrs. Emily Smith. Eight of these citizens were 
members of the board of trustees of Mary Baldwin College, and 
Mrs. Smith was a very active alumna. CC 3 Apr. 1925. Minutes . 
BT 7 July 1925. 

54 Minutes , SV Sept. 1924. 

55 Minutes , SV Sept. 

56 Minutes , BT 15 June 1929. 
5^ Minutes , SV 1927. 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

58 Minutes , SV 1928. 

°^ The organization changed its name in 1896 to Mary Baldwin 
Alumnae Association, the school's name having been changed in 
1895. Watters 199. 

60 AN 1924. 

61 AN 1925. 

62 AN 1925. The mem.bers of the executive committee were: 
Anne Hotchkiss Howison (Chair), resigned because of ill health 
and was replaced by Reba Andrews Arnold; Emily Pancake Smith 
(Vice-Chair), Mary Lou Bell, Augusta Bumgardner, Ruth C. 
Campbell, Annabelle Timberlake Hogshead, Margaret McChesney, 
Nancy McFarland, Carlotta Kable Morriss, Virginia Parkins, 
Jane Stephenson Roller and Fannie Strauss. 

63 AN 1925. 

64 Minutes . BT 19 May 1925. 7 July 1925. 19 Jan. 1926. 

65 AN July 1927. M inutes . SV 1926. 

66 Minutes . BT 28 Aug. 1924. 19 May 1925. 7 July 1925. An 
"Advisory Committee of between 80-90" prominent Americans 
included such names as Ray Stannard Baker, Josephus Daniels, 
John W. Davis, Charles W. Eliot, Douglas Southall Freeman, 
William Jennings Bryan, Charles Dana Gibson, Carter Glass, 
Armistead C. Gordon, Edward M. House, Charles Evans Hughes, 
Cyrus H. McCormick, Henry Morganthau, Franklin D. Roosevelt 
and Alfred E. Smith . See Minutes . BT 7 July 1925. for the 
complete list. 

6" Minutes EC 2 April 1926. 

68 Minutes EC 4 Sept. 1925. 15 Sept. 1925. 12 Dec. 1925. 22 
Dec. 1925. 19 Jan. 1926. 27 Jan. 1926. 29 Jan. 1926. 19 Feb. 
1926. 2 Apr. 1926. 14 Dec. 1926. 11 Jan. 1927. Minutes . BT July 

69 Minutes . BT 17 Jan. 1928. Apparently the suggestion had 
been made that the entire project be dropped and the money 
($26,000) returned. Eraser described the "dilemma" this posed in 
the Board Minutes . BT 5 July 1927. There had been no really 
substantial gifts - much of the money had come from "school 
children" (unnamed) and thus could not be returned. On the other 
hand, a conservative estimate said that at least $75,000 was 
needed to open and maintain the Manse after it was acquired. 
Minutes . BT May 1927. On 22 May 1929 (conditional approval 
of the sale had been made as early as 1 February 1928), the 
trustees of First Presbyterian Church agreed to sell the Manse to 
Mary Baldwin College for $30,000 with the condition that the 


To Live In Time From Seminary to College 

college could transfer the property to a "society or corporation" 
which would preserve it as a "shrine." There was a specific 
provision that the Manse would not open to the public on Sunday. 
(This condition has since been rescinded.) The college paid for the 
property with the money collected in the campaign and the 
interest that had accrued during the interveningyears. A subcom- 
mittee of the executive committee was responsible for the prop- 
erty, and Dr. Fraser lived there (rent free) until January 1931, 
when he was able to move elsewhere. Minutes , BT 22 May 1929. 
16 June 1929. By 1930, a temporary Woodrow Wilson Birthplace 
"Memorial Society" had been created and on 1 July the property 
was transferred to them. The college, however, continued to 
provide annual payments toward the upkeep of the property, 
which was opened to the public on 31 Aug. 1931. Although many 
distinguished Virginians were associated with the "Memorial 
Society" (Harry Flood Byrd was the president; he had accepted on 
the condition that he not be asked to speak or to raise funds) and 
many devoted citizens of Staunton and Augusta County gave of 
their time and talents, the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace owes its 
existence today to three individuals; Brigadier General E. Walton 
Opie, Charles Catlett, and most especially Emily Pancake Smith, 
a devoted alumna of Mary Baldwin Seminary, President of the 
Garden Club of Virginia - which she persuaded to undertake to 
"restore" the gardens of the Manse ( 193 1-34) - and the determined 
advocate of the preservation of the Manse. Finally, on 27 June 
1938, the college was able to sell the Manse to the Woodrow Wilson 
Birthplace Foundation for $25,000. What happens thereafter, 
while a fascinating story, more properly belongs to that 
organization's history. Minutes , BT 26 May 1930. 20 Jan. 1931. 
21 Jan. 1922. 20 Jan. 1931. Deborah J. Atkinson, "Woodrow 
Wilson Birthplace: Preserving a Presidential Historic Site," MA 
thesis Wake Forest N. C, Aug. 1977, Woodrow Wilson Birthplace 

^•^A. M. Fraser, letter to Edith B. Wilson, (n.d.), Woodrow 
Wilson Birthplace Memorial Foundation manuscript collection. 
Minutes SV 1928. 

"1 Watters 435. Minutes , BT 17 Jan. 1928. 9 Oct. 1928. 

^2 Minutes . BT 17 May 1928. 

"^3 Minutes . BT 17 Jan. 1928. 27 Jan. 1928. 

'^ Minutes . EC 20 Mar. 1928. 

'5 AN 1925. CC 15 Feb. 1925. It should be noted that both the 
alumnae and the student editorials expressed great dismay at the 


To Live In Time From Semi?7m\y to College 

closing of the seminary, but reached the same conclusion that no 
other course was possible. 

"6 Minutes. SV Sept. 1928. Sept. 1929. Minutes . BT 9 Oct. 
1928. 22 Jan. 1929. 

" Minutes , BT 22 Jan. 1929. 15 Jan. 1930. Watters 557. 
The differance between the $78,000 "subscribed" by the 
alumnae (pg. 54) and the $30,000 eventually realized (pg. 58) 
represents deductions for campaign expenses, unpaid pledges 
and the requests for the return of some monies donated because 
the campaigns had failed. 

'8 Minutes , BT 2 July 1929. 22 Jan. 1929. Minutes SV Sept. 

^9 Minutes . BT 3 July 1928. 22 Jan. 1929. 

80 Figures compiled from the Annual Reports of the Trea- 
surer, (H. L. Landes) Minutes . BT 1928-1937. 

^^ It might be noted that at least one of Dr. Eraser's concerns 
was justified. Within two years of his appointment (1929), Dr. 
Jarman had essentially replaced the administrative staff and 
more than one-third of the faculty. Dr. Fraser had worked closely 
with Mr. King since 1897 and with Miss Higgins since 1916 and 
must have been saddened when they were so quickly (and perhaps 
unwillingly) replaced. 

82 Minutes . BT 22 May 1929. It is of interest to note that the 
present president, Dr. Cynthia Haldenby Tyson, came to Mary 
Baldwin College (in 1985) from Queens College. She, like Dr. 
Jarman, had served Queens College as vice-president before 
coming to Staunton. 


Lewis Wilson Jarman 



Another Beginning 

The Jarman Years 



r. Fraser had tendered to the 
board his resignation as president of Mary Baldwin College on 9 
October 1928, indicating that his term of office would expire 1 July 
1929, but that, owing to the necessity of securing a "full time 
officer" of the college quickly so that the synod campaign might 
proceed, he was willing to have his resignation take effect as soon 
as a successor could be found. The board appointed a committee 
of five to consider the resignation and the proposed successor. 
Three months later, the committee felt it could make no recom- 
mendation about a new appointment without some guidelines. 
Must the new officer be a Presbyterian minister? What salary 
should be offered? Should the "whole situation of the college be 
laid before" the candidate? Should the proposed officer have 
administrative experience? Did they have an expense account? 
The board left much to the discretion of Colonel Russell's commit- 
tee, requiring only that the "full time officer" be a Presbyterian 
minister or elder of the Presbyterian Church. No indication 
remains of how many candidates were interviewed or how they 
were nominated, but on 18 May 1929 the committee reported to 
the board that they recommended Dr. L. Wilson Jarman as a 
"suitable person" for the position of the president of the college. 
The recommendation was unanimously approved and Dr. Jarman 
agi'eed to take over 1 July 1929.^ 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The J arm an Years 

Lewis Wilson Jarman was born in Covington, Georgia, in 1880 
and graduated from Emory College (today Emory University) in 
1899. His later academic work was at Emory (MA 1925), where he 
was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and at Columbia University. He 
also held an Honorary LLD from Hampden-Sydney. There he was 
elected to membership in Omicron Delta Kappa ( 193 1). He briefly 
taught mathematics at Granbury College, Texas (1899-92), mar- 
ried Laura Harris Martin in 1903, and spent the next 20 years on 
a Georgia plantation, farming, serving on the editorial staff of a 
farm journal, and involved in various banking interests. There 
were six children-two of whom, Laura and Alice, later graduated 
from Mary Baldwin College. He was an active elder in the 
Presbyterian Church, a commissioner to the General Assembly, 
and did educational survey work for the Synod of Georgia. In 1924, 
Dr. Jarman returned to the academic world. His interests were 
mathematics and astronomy and later economics and sociology. 
He also had pursued graduate work in administration while at 
Columbia. His first teaching positions were at Chicora College in 
Columbia, South Carolina, and then at Furman. In 1927, he was 
appointed vice-president and dean of instruction at Queens Col- 
lege in Charlotte, North Carolina. Two years later, at age 49, he 
was elected president of Mary Baldwin College. It was said of him 
that he had an "engaging personality," "splendid business abil- 
ity," and a "rare combination of business administration and 
education." Were some of the board of trustees barkening back to 
their perceived memory of Mary Julia and her vaunted financial 

Dr. and Mrs. Jarman were energetic, active, innovative per- 
sons. Both enjoyed golf, and during his tenure the students of 
Mary Baldwin College were allowed privileges at the Stonewall 
Jackson Golf Club, of which Dr. Jarman was a member. He loved 
Irish setters, including one called "Scram." There were also 
occasional Jarman cats. He went automobile touring as far as 
Florida and Mexico, in an era when such long trips were still 
something of an adventure, and he enjoyed performing on the 
flute, with apparently creditable skill.- At first, the Jarmans were 
housed in a brick house owned by the college adjacent to the First 
Presbyterian Church, but in 1934, they moved into a newly 
redecorated "President's House" (Rose Terrace) at the top of 
Market Street. Here there was room for his large family, and here 
teas, garden parties, receptions and dinners were given for stu- 
dents, faculty, alumnae, parents and guests. The Jarman enter- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

tainments became an integral part of campus life.^ 

It was something of an adjustment to have a president and his 
family living on the campus at Mary Baldwin College. True, Miss 
Baldwin, Miss Weimar, and Miss Higgins had lived there, but 
they were single ladies and acted as chaperones and advisors as 
well as principals.^ 

Dr. Fraser had been frequently on campus and had checked 
regularly with Miss Higgins and Mr. King. But he did not have an 
office on the gi^ounds; he used his church study, across Frederick 
Street, for seminary/college business as well as church business, 
and he and his family lived in the Presbyterian Manse, later the 
Woodrow Wilson Birthplace Museum. Dr. Jarman's initial con- 
tract in 1929 called for an annual salary of $4500 and "home," and 
thus the president of the college and his family became a visible 
and constant presence. 

This meant, of course, that office space and office staff as well 
would have to be found. With some shifting. Dr. Jarman was 
accommodated in the Administration Building, the matron's 
room being appropriated. It is apparent that this was accom- 
plished only with some strain and misunderstanding. After all, 
Mr. King and Dean Higgins had held unchallenged sway over the 
office space, furniture, secretaries, college files, and financial 
records for many, many years. How did one divide them up? 
Within two weeks the executive committee of the board found it 
necessary to send a copy of the new by-laws "relating to the duties 
and power of the President" to all of the faculty and staff. The 
president of the college, the executive committee reminded them, 
is the "head" of the college, responsible for the operation of all of 
the departments and the official medium of communication with 
the board. He was to recommend to the board all faculty and staff 
appointments and their salaries. The executive committee thanked 
all members of the faculty and staff "for their splendid services in 
the past," and expected each "to support the new administration 
with complete loyalty and cooperation."^ 

Marianna Higgins found the new president difficult to work 
with, and apparently there was no clear understanding between 
them about whose responsibilities were whose. On 30 July 1929, 
at a special meeting of the executive committee of the board. Miss 
Higgins asked them to "instruct" the dean as to her duties. She 
appended to her request a listing of the functions she had been 
performing and retired to let the gentlemen discuss the problem, 
which was handled by asking three of their members (Sproul, 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

Campbell and Pilson) to meet with her to go over the by-laws.^ Dr. 
Jarman had then been president for 30 days. 

Miss Higgins' difficulties were compounded by the fact that 
Dr. Jarman had appointed Elizabeth Pfohl as dean of women, 
thereby further eroding Miss Higgins' previous sphere of respon- 
sibilities. There has been the suggestion that Miss Higgins had 
agreed to resign after the 1929-30 term but, if so, there is nothing 
in the written records to confirm this.' There was much on Dr. 
Jarman's agenda with which Miss Higgins could not agree. She 
was a proud woman who had been at Mary Baldwin Seminary and 
College since 1908 and had been, as Dr. Fraser said, the "virtual 
President" of the institution for six years. She had seen the 
seminary through World War I and through the difficult transi- 
tion years of the 1920s. She had many community interests, 
including membership in King's Daughters' Hospital Board of 
Directors. She was widely known in state and regional educa- 
tional circles and was respected and admired. There could be only 
one end to the clash of personalities and ideals, and it came on 10 
March 1930, when Miss Higgins submitted her resignation to the 
board of trustees, not to President Jarman. She wrote, "I wish to 
assure you that I would do nothing to injure Mary Baldwin 
College, but, as you know, Mr. Jarman has taken over practically 
all the work which I have done in former years. "^ The resignation 
was to be effective as of the first week of April, and Miss Higgins' 
secretary, EffieBateman, and her "stenographer," Irene H. Wallace, 
resigned with her. Dr. Jarman, in response to the question of a 
newspaper reporter, said, "I have had no formal resignation from 
Miss Higgins, yet we are deeply interested in her plans for the 

It was not the custom in the 1930s to air internal college 
conflicts in public, and the academic community put on the best 
possible face in the awkward situation. J. W. H. Pilson, long-time 
member of the board of trustees and supporter of Miss Higgins, 
wrote a long, carefully worded Resolution of Appreciation in 
which he called her "reasonably conservative and sanely progres- 
sive." The board endorsed the Resolution and sent it to Miss 
Higgins.^'' A sincere and somewhat emotional editorial and poem 
appeared in Campus Comments , indicating a "poignant sense of 
loss." An elaborate dinner in her honor was held at the college 
dining room on 31 March with Dr. Jarman acting as toastmaster, 
at which time Miss Higgins responded with a "brief word of 
thanks." However, she did not appear at the Junior-Senior Ban- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

quet. The Alumnae News of April 1930 had only a restrained note 
of her leaving, but the Bluestocking of 1930 was dedicated to her." 

Five days after the board of trustees received Miss Higgins' 
resignation, the Staunton News Leader announced that a new 
preparatory school for girls and young ladies, Beverley Hall, 
would open in September, and that Miss Higgins would become its 
principal and Miss Bateman its secretary-treasurer. The descrip- 
tion of the curriculum reads much as the Mary Baldwin Seminary 
catalogue used to read, and it seems apparent that the local 
supporters of the old seminaiy hoped to revive and continue an 
institution that had been so much a part of Staunton and whose 
demise they deplored and resented. However, the early 1930s 
were not a propitious time to start a new school, and nothing 
further about Beverley Hall is m^entioned in the records. It 
appears to have opened only briefly, and later references indicate 
Miss Higgins became Head Mistress of Collegiate School in 
Richmond (1932-33) before retiring to her home in Accomac 
County. ^^ 

One other bit of unpleasantness remained. Dr. Jarman ap- 
pointed Louisa Simmons as acting registrar in April of 1930, and 
the executive committee of the board appointed a committee to 
examine the educational records of the college, which had, of 
course, been in Dean Higgins' keeping. They found the records 
woefully inadequate and "General Correspondence and Board of 
Trustees Correspondence destroyed... patron's correspondence 
gone in part. . .and past students' records incomplete. " Miss Higgins, 
when consulted about this, replied in a lengthy, bitter letter, 
detailing her system of record keeping and explaining that she 
had shown all of this to Dr. Jarman before she left. On 12 May 
1930, the executive committee noted that her letter and explana- 
tion had been received without further comment. ^^ Miss Simmons 
spent the next months organizing student records in a manner 
conforming to "college standard procedure." 

W. W. King was the next of the Old Guard to feel the winds of 
change. He had been at Mary Baldwin since 1890 and was 65 years 
old when Dr. Jarman became president. ^^ No one had ever ques- 
tioned his honesty, his energy, or his dedication to Mary Baldwin. 
Students were very fond of him, and admission to his famous "Red 
Head Club" was much prized. Alumnae were even more sentimen- 
tal; they said, "he was a man with a loving heart." He was one of 
the remaining links to Mary Julia Baldwin and the "dear old 
Seminary." His financial reports to the board were detailed and 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

accurate and regularly encompassed many pages of the trustees' 
minutes. He single-handedly kept aU the financial matters of the 
institution in order; operating costs, purchases, salaries and 
compensation, scholarships, maintenance and upkeep, the or- 
chard, the farm, the various financial campaigns of the 1920s and 
the endowment funds, such as they were. It had long been the 
practice for the seminary, and later the college, to lend money to 
local individuals and businesses (usually secured by mortgages or 
real estate pledges) as a way of investing and profiting from 
surplus funds. The records seem to indicate that it had not been 
the practice to invest in stocks and bonds or indeed much besides 
local opportunities. Miss Baldwin had treated the school as an 
extended family, and her budget practices and financial prefer- 
ences had been continued by Mr. King and the board of trustees. 
In the difficult decade of the 1920s, particularly as the various 
financial campaigns failed to reach their goals, Mr. King's reports 
had grown increasingly critical of the policy decisions made by the 
board. "I feel that it is my duty to again call your attention to the 
financial situation that will confront you in the operation of a 
college," he wrote. ^° His records had been regularly audited by the 
treasurer of the board, but there had been no outside audits. The 
financial records of the college had not been kept separately from 
those of the seminary, and again the inevitable happened. In his 
mid-year report to the trustees 21 January 1930, when he had 
been president for six months. President Jarman recommended 
that the finance committee of the board survey other colleges' 
accounting and budget procedures and that they recommend for 
adoption a "system which is in keeping with the demands of 
modern college administration."^*^ On 1 July 1930, Mr. King 
resigned as business manager of Mary Baldwin College, but the 
board appointed him "Custodian of the Endowment" and manager 
of the orchard and outside properties, a position he held until 
September 1936. An outside auditor had been named for the 
college financial records, and Mr. King's duties in connection with 
the endowment were slowly eroded. He had to secure permission 
for any investments or changes he proposed from the finance 
committee, and the orchard was removed from his control in the 
spring of 1936.^ ' Mr. King died 15 April 1939, sincerely mourned 
by alumnae and the wider community. It is pleasant to record 
that, before his death, he knew that his long sought gymnasium- 
auditorium was in the final planning stages and would be named 
in his honor. 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The JarmanYears 

Many others on the faculty and staff found the new adminis- 
tration less than sympathetic with their old "seminary" ways and 
qualifications. In a report to the board of trustees on 26 May 1930, 
President Jarman indicated that out of 17 members of the faculty 
"eight have resigned and another's appointment would not be 
renewed." He added, "the result of these resignations renders 
possible the bringing into the faculty of men and women with the 
training and degi^ees necessary to meet the standards of the 
accrediting agencies.... The work of the year," he continued, "had 
been attended with many difficulties. Entire coordination and 
hearty cooperation have been lacking within the organization."^^ 
Certainly, most of these personnel changes were necessary if 
Mary Baldwin College were to become fully accredited, but they 
were obviously painful and frustrating to all concerned. 

It should be stated that Dr. Jarman did indeed assume an 
almost impossible task when he accepted the presidency of Mary 
Baldwin College in July 1929. The college would embark, that 
September, on its first experience as a "standard" four year liberal 
arts college, without the enrollment and support of the seminary 
program. Enrollment figures were predictably down, as Mr. King 
had repeatedly forewarned. Dr. Jarman told the board that the 
college "may reasonably expect an operating deficit for a few 
years...," which, since the college depended almost entirely on 
student tuition and fees and the tenuous support from the churches 
of the synod, was seemingly an appropriate prophecy. ^^ Actually, 
the college operated throughout the decade of the 1930s and war 
years of the 40s without deficit, as it had since the days of Mary 
Julia Baldwin. 

There were the unresolved synod-college relationship, the 
problem of the synod campaign, and the plans for the new college 
physical plant, which, in Dr. Eraser's ever optimistic phrase, 
"have not been abandoned... merely delayed by the failure to get 
the money.... "-° There was the still unsolved problem of the 
Presbyterian Manse which the college had acquired and must 
maintain. There were the strained community feelings over the 
failed campaigns and the closing of the seminary. Requests for 
refunds of the contributions made during these campaigns contin- 
ued to be received and honored. There were faculty and adminis- 
trative discontent, and student demands for more "adult" social 
regulations. And although no one in the summer of 1929 perceived 
it, there was soon to come the stock market crash of October and 
the ensuing decade of the Depression. The years immediately 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

after Dr. Jarman became president were, as he wrote, "a crucial 
period in the Hfe and development of Mary Baldwin. "^^ 

The board of trustees and Dr. Jarman himself had their own 
agenda. The college had been recognized as a "standard four-year 
college" by the Virginia State Board of Education as soon as the 
seminary had been closed. But there still remained the matter of 
regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges 
and Schools, and then recognition by national accrediting agen- 
cies. Dr. Jarman understood the need for a strong, revitalized 
alumnae association and was most interested in instituting stu- 
dent government, in establishing an honor society (as a prelude to 
a Phi Beta Kappa chapter) , and in strengthening and defining the 
Christian orientation of the college and its mission. He insisted on 
high academic standards, a dedicated, hardworking, moral fac- 
ulty, and serious, committed students. Given the circumstances 
that existed in 1929 and the limitations of his own personality and 
administrative style, his and the college's successes were unex- 
pected - and remarkable. ^^ 

President Jarman's first task, as he saw it, was to have Mary 
Baldwin College accredited by the Southern Association of Col- 
leges and Schools (SACS). This required some major changes in 
the organization of his faculty and staff; an increase in the number 
and quality of the library resources; an increase to comparative 
minimum standards in faculty salaries; "adequate" laboratory 
and classroom resources; scholarship funds; an increase in the 
numbers of the student body and, most importantly, a "respect- 
able" endowment fund. Within a year (by the end of the school 
term 1930-31), these requirements had been met. The library had 
expanded its holdings from 9,000 to 12,000 volumes. Since no 
money for additional library purchases existed, this was accom- 
plished by appeals to alumnae, parents of students, and friends, 
many of whom made generous donations of books and periodicals 
which, when carefully winnowed, proved to be of a quality neces- 
sary for college work. The University of Virginia, Virginia State 
Library, and Hampden-Sydney College also sent contributions. A 
modest investment in more laboratory equipment was made. The 
faculty had been organized into departments, each headed by a 
"person with a Ph.D. or its equivalent." "These are teachers of 
broad experience and all Christian men and women," Dr. Jarman 
wrote. The administration now had a dean, Elizabeth Pfohl, a 
registrar, Martha Stackhouse, a business manager, John B. 
Daffin, and an assistant business manager, James T. Spillman. 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

The student enrollment gradually increased until by 1935 there 
were 308 students, and throughout the decade of the 1930s all the 
facilities for student housing were filled. Scholarship funds were 
available, especially for ministers' daughters and the daughters of 
Presbyterian missionaries. Faculty salaries were modestly ad- 
vanced, although on several occasions in the 1930s faculty were 
asked to sign contracts with the provision that, if sufficient funds 
were not available, they would accept percentage cuts, applied 
equally to everyone. ^^ 

The matter of the endowment was a bit more difficult. Dr. 
Fraser, as chairman of the board of trustees, reported to the Synod 
of Virginia in 1930 that the total assets of the college amounted to 
over one million dollars. Endowment from which revenue could be 
derived was $442,000. The SACS required $500,000 but agreed 
that they would "construe" the annual payments from the churches 
of the synod to the college as sufficient to make up the difference. ^^ 
Consequently, Dr. Jarman made application for accreditation in 
the fall of 1930. A year's wait was necessary. A week's visit by an 
inspection team ensued ("We fed them well," observed the dean), 
and on 4 December 1931, when the college community was 
celebrating Dean Pfohl's birthday at dinner, she received a tele- 
gram from Dr. Jarman (who was off campus) announcing the 
application had been approved.-^ Formal approval came on 14 
January 1932, and by 1935 (in a five-year report) President 
Jarman could report that the college now belonged to: 

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools 
Association of America Colleges 
American Council on Education 
Athletic Federation of College Women 

In addition, in 1932 the college became the second woman's 
college in the country to be allowed the privilege of making the 
annual Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award sponsored by the South- 
ern Society of New York.^^ 

In 1938, the American Association of University Women 
accepted Mary Baldwin College as a member, thereby qualifying 
its graduates for membership. 

Dr. Jarman had been hired, in part, to meet the demands of 
the Synod of Virginia that a "full time officer" of the college take 
charge of the synod's half million dollar campaign. For one reason 
or another, the synod campaign had been postponed annually 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jann an Years 

since 1923. Now, with their new president, the Mary Baldwin 
board of trustees recommended that the campaign be "held in 
abeyance" until Dr. Jarman had an opportunity to assess the 
situation. The synod agreed and recommended that individual 
churches continue their annual contributions, but with the provi- 
sion that if they did not, no penalty ensued. ^^ As the Depression 
deepened, it was obvious that no synod campaign would succeed 
and the matter was quietly dropped. Contributions from indi- 
vidual churches remained modest, and the synod - college connec- 
tion became increasingly a matter of concern, in part, at least, 
because the synodical control of the college precluded Mary 
Baldwin from receiving funds from various educational founda- 
tions who preferred not to give to exclusively denominationally 
controlled institutions. Dr. Jarman, and before him Dr. Fraser, 
had repeatedly and specifically warned the synod that it could not 
expect to maintain a Christian woman's college of academic 
excellence without major financial commitments for buildings, 
library and laboratory space, and supplies and permanent endow- 
ment. The warnings were not heeded, and, in 1936, the board of 
trustees of the college requested that the synod appoint a commit- 
tee to study the "origin and history" of the college-synod relation- 
ship and to"redefine and restate" the obligation of the synod to the 
college. The committee report in 1937 suggested further study, 
but presented three alternatives: (1) that the synod raise the half 
million dollars by 1942, the Centennial year; (2) that the synod 
sever all connection with Mary Baldwin and return the college to 
a board of trustees; (3) that Mary Baldwin become an independent 
college with an "affiliation" with the Presbyterian Church. ^^ 
Finally, after more than two years of meetings, debates, and 
discussions, it was agreed by both the synod and the college that 
a new college charter would be sought from the Corporation 
Commission of Virginia and that Mary Baldwin College would be 
returned to an independent board of trustees, although "a close 
relationship" with the synod would be continued. 

On 7 July 1939, the State Corporation Commission of Virginia 
approved the amended charter of Mary Baldwin College. Its 
principal provisions included the following: 

(1) Mary Baldwin College was established "for the higher 
education of women in the various branches of literature, arts and 
science, including the Holy Scripture... under auspices distinctly 
Christian in faith and practice... all departments of the college 
shall be open alike to students of any religion or sect, and no 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

denominational or sectarian test shall be imposed in the admis- 
sion of students." 

(2) There were to be 28 trustees, elected for a four-year term; 
the board was to be self-perpetuating; trustees were all to be 
members in "good standing" in some "Evangelical Christian" 
church; two-thirds were to be Presbyterian. Ten members were to 
be nominated from within the "Bounds of the Synod of Virginia" 
and the said synod would approve their appointments. Two 
trustees should be nominated from the alumnae, and the Alum- 
nae Association was to approve their appointments. 

(3) All faculty were to be members in good standing of some 
"Evangelical Protestant" Church. '^'^ 

So, after seventeen years as a synodical college, Maiy Baldwin 
returned to an independent status. The records do not show who 
were the principal supporters of the change, but it could not have 
taken place without the interest and consent of Dr. Jarman and 
his advisors on the board of trustees. The motive does seem to have 
been to secure a broader base for fund raising, and perhaps, on the 
synod's part, to remove an embarrassment that seemed to have no 
resolution. In no sense did the Synod of Virginia control any aspect 
of the college (curricula, appointments, financial policies, student 
life) after 1939, and there is little evidence to suggest that they did 
so during the years that Maiy Baldwin was a "synodicar'coUege. 
A "relationship" existed and has continued to do so. The various 
agencies of the church sought to encourage Presbyterian young 
women to enroll, and Mary Baldwin College graduates continued, 
as they had done in the past, to find career and lifelong commit- 
ments within the church structures as missionaries, directors of 
religious education, ministers' wives, lay workers, and, at a later 
date, ministers. The college made annual reports to the synod 
which were reviewed and filed. There remained modest financial 
contributions from the synod churches, and scholarships contin- 
ued to be available for ministers' and missionaries' daughters. 
The church has participated, to the limit of its ability, in other 
financial campaigns, but essentially the college became an inde- 
pendent entity, charting its own path on the uncertain waters of 
the mid-20th century. 

Perhaps one of Dr. Jarman's gi^eatest legacies to Mary Baldwin 
College was in his choice of administrative and faculty appoint- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

ments. He had very definite ideas of the kinds of college personnel 
he sought and was fortunate that his administration coincided 
with a period when many well-qualified scholars and administra- 
tors were eagerly seeking work and would consider appointments 
to an institution with as problematic a future as Mary Baldwin 
College. But the truth is that there is no more difficult task than 
choosing faculty and staff who will "fit" the institution of which 
they are becoming a part, who will stay an appreciable number of 
years so that the benefits of experience and stability can be 
realized, yet who are willing to work at remaining current in their 
fields while enthusiastic in their commitments to good teaching, 
A significant number of the Jarman appointments fitted this 
pattern. For a school that had long been known for the excellence 
and dedication of its faculty, this had great importance. Almost all 
the old seminary ties were severed in the course of the Jarman 
administration, but a new generation of faculty and staff slipped 
into the vacancies left by Professor Eisenberg, Miss Nannie Tate, 
Miss Strickler, Herr Schmidt, and the others. The college was, as 
had been the seminary, blessed in its personnel. '^^ 

In many ways. Dr. Jarman was modern in his perceptions of 
faculty and staff. More men, including unmarried men, appeared 
on the faculty, and not just in the areas of music and science. 
Women who came to the college as single, but later wished to 
marry and retain their positions, were allowed to do so. Married 
women were hired. Husband and wife "teams" were employed. If 
families were begun, leaves of absence for the mothers were 
arranged, and the children became a part of the Mary Baldwin 

On the other hand, faculty were expected to be "role models" 
to a degree that present-day faculty would find restrictive. Mod- 
esty in dress, "moral" life-style, active church membership, whole- 
some recreations, community service, a willingness to participate 
in and support student activities outside the classroom, to be 
available — all of this was expected, as was the case for most small 
college faculties in the 1930s. However, it was Dr. Jarman who 
acceded to the request of the alumnae that they be represented on 
the board of trustees, a request which President Fraser had 
refused on several occasions.^- 

In the early years of the Jarman presidency, the board of 
trustees, the administration and the faculty were all expanded, 
reorganized, and put on a more "professional" basis. The board, 
under the synod charter, had 20 trustees, divided into four 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

"classes." After 1939, the board had an authorized strength of 28 
members but did not exceed 21 before 1946. There had been a five- 
member executive committee of the board since 1897, but the 
number and responsibihties of the standing committees gi^ew in 
the Jarman years to include finance, audit, budget, dormitory, 
and building and grounds. The board met two times a year, in 
October and March. The executive committee, now six members, 
met five times a year, and often more frequently. As the Centen- 
nial of the college approached. President Jarman sought to engage 
board members more actively in the work of the institution. 
Attendance at the meetings was generally only fair, ranging from 
nme to 12 or 13. Seven was a quorum for usual business. During 
the restricted travel of the World War II years it was natural that 
those far away would have difficulty in being present, but even in 
the mid- 1930s it was rare to have more than two-thirds of the 
members present. The control of the college continued to remain 
in largely local hands, as had been the case since the early days of 
the seminary. The term of office was four years, but reelection ad 
infinitum was possible, so board members tended to be de facto 
lifetime appointments. It was traditional to have the pastor of 
First Presbj^erian Church of Staunton a member, and, in this 
era, he was usually president of the board. One unusual circum- 
stance occurred: the Reverend Herbert S. Turner, pastor of Bethel 
Presbyterian Church in Augusta County, was appointed to the 
board in 1934. He remained a member until 1947, but became a 
part-time professor of Philosophy at the college in 1939, and full- 
time in 1946. He was a much-beloved member of the faculty until 
his retirement in 1964. It is far from customary for an active 
faculty member to serve on the board of trustees of the institution 
which employs him, but Dr. Turner was an unusual person, and 
apparently his dual role bothered neither him, the faculty nor the 
board. Indeed, he served as secretary of the board on several 
occasions. ^^ 

The interest and loyalty of the members of the trustees showed 
that the college, as the seminary before it had been, was fortunate 
in its friends. Long-time members and sacrificial supporters 
during the Jarman years included H.T. Taylor, for many years the 
secretary, William H. Landes, treasurer, Charles S. Hunter, 
president of the National Valley Bank of Staunton, Henry St. 
George Tucker, Professor of Law at Washington & Lee and former 
Congressman, Colonel T.H. Russell, Superintendent of Staunton 
Military Academy, his wife, Margarett Kable Russell, the first 


To Live In Time Another- Beginning: The Jarman Years 

woman and first alumna representative on the board, Julian 
Burruss, president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and H.D. 
Campbell, Dean of Washington & Lee College and grandson of 
Rufus Bailey. Dean Campbell was later succeeded by his son, 
Edmund D. Campbell, who served in several capacities from 1942 
to 1976. Others included W.H. East, A. Erskine Miller, D. Glenn 
Ruckman, and Campbell Pancake, all locally prominent business- 
men, J.D. Francis, President of Island Creek Coal Company, Dr. 
Frederick L. Brown, Professor of Physics at the University of 
Virginia, Mrs. H.L. Hunt, an alumna from Dallas, Texas, and the 
Reverend J.N. Thomas from Richmond. 

Presidents of the board during Dr. Jarman's administration 
included The Reverend A.M. Eraser, until 1933, Hunter B . Blakely, 
minister of the Eirst Presbyterian Church of Staunton until he 
became president of Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina 
in 1940, and James D. Francis, from 1941 to 1944, then Edmund 
D. Campbell. ^^ It must have been difficult to serve the first five 
years of one's college presidency with the former president serving 
as president of the board, particularly since both men. Eraser and 
Jarman, held strong convictions and rigorous opinions, but the 
records give no indication of friction between them. Certainly in 
the years before Dr. Jarman's health began to fail, he seems to 
have exerted vigorous leadership. The board evinced little criti- 
cism of his actions and perhaps felt a sense of relief that the 
acrimonious days of the 1920s were behind them. 

As early as 1932, Dr. Jarman had projected the needs and 
hopes of Mary Baldwin as it prepared to enter its second one 
hundred years in 1942. He explained, warned, and appealed for 
board commitment for new buildings, new equipment, an ex- 
panded academic program, and a more diverse student body. All 
of these would be necessary if Mary Baldwin College were to meet 
the challenges of the mid-20th century. Unfortunately, the De- 
pression and World War II imposed serious limitations on the 
capacity of the board to act on its president's recommendations, 
and the proposed actions often remained a blueprint for the future 
instead of a description of present realities. However, as the time 
approached when the synod would turn back the college to its own 
board of trustees. Dr. Jarman rightly perceived that board duties 
would increase. Not only would they now be responsible for the 
"program of the college," but also for providing a "continuing 
philosophy of education... in that the board will... through its 
choice... elect new members" of the board. "What," he asked, "were 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

the implications of membership on a board of trustees of a 
Christian institution of higher learning?" "There is," he answered 
his own question, "no more important and potential for good" than 
such a relationship. They and they alone assured an educational 
institution "permanence." They influenced its Christian orienta- 
tion. "Christianity and education should be and are bound to- 
gether inseparably," and the changing nature of the functions of 
home and churches made the role of the church colleges more 
significant than ever before. Church-related colleges in the near 
future were in"gi'eat danger" unless "men and women of consecra- 
tion and vision do two things: provide intellectual and spiritual 
leadership... and provide funds for buildings, equipment and en- 
dowment..."^^ In time, Dr. Jarman began to sound like Dr. Fraser 
as his perception of the "acute and vital needs" of the college 
became more focused and his demand that the board find new 
sources of funding for the physical requirements of a college, 
which had not constructed a new building in 30 years, was heard 
more frequently. The average age of the buildings was 60 to 70 
years, and some were much older. ^"^ Before the United States' 
entry into World War II put a temporary halt to these ideas. Dr. 
Jarman did see one major building program completed. How this 
came about belongs to the section on the "New Century" program. 
Dr. Jarman likewise reorganized and enlarged the adminis- 
trative staff, and it was here that he made some of his most 
fortunate appointments. In 1928, the staff had consisted of a 
president (who was also the chaplain), a dean, a business man- 
ager, and such support personnel as matrons, housekeepers, a 
nurse, etc. 

In 1939, there was a president, a dean of the college, a dean 
of instruction, a registrar, two assistant deans of the college, a 
bursar/treasurer, an assistant bursar, and three secretaries. The 
office of chaplain had been dropped in 1929 when Dr. Fraser 
resigned the presidency, and it will be remembered that Dean 
Higgins and Mr. Kingboth resigned in 1930. Dr. Jarman therefore 
had had a free hand in constructing an administration "more in 
keeping" with a modern college. In the early years, there was 
considerable blurring of duties and responsibilities among the 
dean of the college (who was, in reality, the dean of students), the 
dean of instruction, and the registrar, but gradually the functions 
of each were defined and the titles adjusted. In his tenth-year 
report to the board of trustees. Dr. Jarman reported that in 1929- 
31 administrative expenditures "amounted to 90% of the instruc- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

tional expenditures." In 1938-39, he reported they were 40%, 
while the instructional expense had more than doubled. ^^ Cer- 
tainly, faculty numbers and salaries had been increased, but the 
administrative staff was twice as large while the student popu- 
lation had increased only moderately. The stage was already 
being set for the usual debate which is common in under-funded 
small colleges as to where available resources should be allocat- 
ed - to faculty or administration? In the Jarman era, however, 
salary differentials between faculty and staff were small, and 
there is no evidence that the faculty or the trustees considered the 
administration to be top-heavy. That would come later. 

Dr. Jarman had some difficulty in securing some permanency 
in his dean of students. He had brought Elizabeth Pfohl to the 
campus with him in 1929 as "Dean of Women" with the express 
purpose of establishing a student government association and an 
honor system. The following spring (1930), after Miss Higgins' 
resignation as dean, Miss Pfohl remained as dean of women, but 
no "Dean" perse was designated. Miss Pfohl was, however, given 
an "assistant," Martha Stackhouse, who came to Mary Baldwin 
in the summer of 1930. Both Elizabeth Pfohl and Martha 
Stackhouse were inexperienced and young, but enthusiastic and 
very gifted in both administrative and interpersonal relation- 
ships. They became good friends and worked closely and happily 
together. It is largely due to them that Dr. Jarman's early 
administration was not marred by much internal dissension. 
They acted as a buffer between the president and the often- 
disgruntled faculty and frustrated students; they softened what 
were unintentionally harsh pronouncements; they freed Dr. 
Jarman from much of the internal, day-to-day routine of the col- 
lege so that he, who was a far better "outside" than an "inside" 
man, could get on with his agenda. But they both loyally supported 
his directives and joined with him in his dedication to raising 
academic standards and in securing financial independence for 
Mary Baldwin College. ^^ Elizabeth Pfohl resigned in 1936, and 
there followed, in rather rapid succession, four more deans of 
students (often called "Dean of the College"). They were fre- 
quently members of the faculty first and often had acted as 
"assistants" before assuming full responsibility for student life 
and activities. They left to be married or to continue graduate 
studies or to participate in wartime duties. They were able and 
admired, but none had the lasting impact of Elizabeth Pfohl or 
Martha Grafton.^^ 


To Live In Time 

Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

Martha Stackhouse Grafton 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

Dr. Jarman was fortunate far beyond his knowledge in the 
appointment of Martha Stackhouse (Grafton). In addition to 
acting as assistant to the dean, she was the registrar from 1932 to 
1937, and in 1938 was appointed "Dean of Instruction," a post she 
held under various titles until 1970. Martha Grafton is the "Mary 
Julia Baldwin" of the 20th century, and the history of the college 
since 1930 could not be written without the inter-weaving of her 
quality, integrity, high standards, commitment, and common 
sense in all the events that have transpired since that date. There 
have been innumerable tributes paid to her over the years, but 
perhaps the one that comes closest to the truth was said by 
Edmund D. Campbell, as he thought back on his long association 
with her: 

I really did not get to appreciate Martha 
Grafton in the fullest sense until I became a 
member of the Board of Trustees. I can say 
without equivocation that it was Martha Grafton 
who held the college together during this period 
[1940-1970]. Martha was not charismatic but 
she was solid. Her integrity was absolute. 
Her academic purposes were beyond reproach. 
No one could know her without trusting her. She 
could not do anything disloyal or "shady," she 
was simply incapable of doing it. And she had a 
love for Mary Baldwin which was something 
like the Rock of Gibraltar. Martha served as 
interim president on several occasions and 
the trustees always felt secure with her. I 
don't recall any instance in my long service on 
the board in which her recommendation was 
not followed. She was thoughtful and wise, 
generally wiser than members of the board, 
and she frequently kept us by her counsel from 
going on the wrong path. The college owes an 
outstanding debt to her.'^^ 

Martha Grafton's task, particularly in these early days when 
she was also committed to home and family, was made infinitely 
easier by some of the other members of the administration. 
Marguerite Hillhouse, who came to Mary Baldwin College in 1931 
as assistant registrar, was appointed registrar in 1938 and re- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

mained in that position until 1970. Miss Hillhouse's passion for 
accuracy and detail became legendary. She and Mrs. Grafton 
communicated easily, worked well together, and in time could 
almost predict each other's thoughts. John Baffin was appointed 
as business manager and professor of Physics in September 1930. 
He now had the full load of responsibilities borne by W.W. King 
for so many years, and he was ably assisted by James T. Spillman, 
who would later succeed him. His financial and teaching skills 
were considerable, and his commitment to the college was unques- 
tioned. This team, Pfohl (until 1936), Grafton, Hillhouse, Baffin, 
Spillman (and, after 1946, Anne Elizabeth Parker, who became 
dean of students), gave stability and continuity to the inner 
workings of the college that allowed it to survive depression, war, 
several presidents, and continued financial exigencies. 

If there is much to admire in President Jarman's administra- 
tive staff, there is equally much to be said for his choice of faculty. 
After the first year, when eight of the 17 "teachers" resigned, and 
were sometimes pressured to do so, much more stability is appar- 
ent. Now appointees served a provisional year before winning full 
contracts and were carefully chosen based on their degrees and 
where their degrees were obtained, their skill in teaching, and 
their orientation toward a Christian college. By 1931, their 
number had grown from 17 to 26, with some administrators 
teaching one or more classes in addition. In 1945, at the end of 
the War, there were 28 full-time faculty members. The number of 
faculty holding Ph.B.'s had doubled since 1936, from 7 to 14. Some 
of the faculty from the Fraser era remained and provided a 
necessary transitional link between the old and the new. The 
Misses Abbie and Nancy McFarland, whose father, Baniel K. 
McFarland, had been pastor of First Presbyterian Church (1886- 
1892), had studied at the seminary and both were "full graduates. " 
Nancy then went on to Cornell, and to Columbia for a Master's 
Begree, and later worked at Johns Hopkins. Abbie studied library 
science and administration at Columbia. Both sisters returned to 
Mary Baldwin Seminary in 1919 and remained until 1945. It is to 
Abbie that we owe a debt of gi'atitude for making the decision in 
the 1920s, that the library would use the Library of Congress 
system of classification. Nancy did yeoman service in revising the 
curriculum to meet college standards and taught Latin, Greek, 
and History to the college students. If the sisters found the 
transition from Fraser, Higgins, and King to Jarman difficult, 
they adjusted. Elizabeth Pfohl later said of them that they were 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

willing to "trust" and "try" new ways, and their adaptation was so 
successful that they were jointly awarded the Algernon Sydney 
Sullivan Award in 1939.^^ 

Already a Mary Baldwin "institution" by the time Dr. Jarman 
appeared was Fannie Strauss - "Miss Fannie" to generations of 
students. She too, was a "full graduate" of the seminary, class of 
1912. Later work at the University of Virginia and Chicago had 
secured for her a BA and MA, but she had joined the seminary 
faculty in 1918 and remained until her retirement in 1963. She 
taught Latin, German, Mythology, occasionally Mathematics, 
and mothered homesick students. Her academic standards were 
high, her patience legendary, her "brownies" memorable. A favor- 
ite treat for students and faculty children was to be invited for a 
ride in her horse and buggy, which she manipulated around the 
hills and corners of Staunton streets with masterly skill. As a 
child she had known Miss Weimar and Mr. King, and had worked 
under Miss Higgins and Dr. Fraser and was tied to Mary Baldwin 
College with rare devotion. For many years she was the faculty 
sponsor of the college annual. The Bluestocking , which regularly 
took high honors in intercollegiate competition. She was the 
treasurer and spark plug of the Alumnae Association; probably 
more former students wrote to her than they did to the alumnae 
secretaries; she sponsored the day students; she was "Miss Fannie. " 

Others who had served the seminary and later the college 
remained: Mary E. Lakenan, professor of Bible, Madmoiselle 
Clare Flansburgh, French; and Herr Schmidt, Music, whose 
chateauesque home eventually was purchased by the college and 
is today known as Miller House. 

Moreover, Dr. Jarman's administration was enriched by new 
faculty members, many of whom came as young men and women 
and chose to remain to the end of their teaching careers. Alumnae 
of these college years will remember with respect and admiration 
Mildred E. Taylor, who for many years, in addition to teaching 
Mathematics, Astronomy and Geology, was the college marshal. 
Innumerable students and even some faculty will remember 
being pulled out of the academic procession because shoes and 
dresses were not the right color, or Dr. Taylor's insistence that 
one's mortarboard be placed firmly flat on one's head. Her impe- 
rious whistle saw to it that all academic processions started on 
time , a practice that has become a Mary Baldwin College tradi- 
tion. She was respected and admired by her colleagues and peers. 
Mary Swan Carroll taught History, Political Science, and Jour- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

nalism. She sponsored Campus Comments , the weekly student 
newspaper which, Hke The Bluestocking , won innumerable 
intercollegiate awards, and she handled the college public rela- 
tions. And then there were Thomas H. Grafton, Sociology, Eco- 
nomics and Religion; Carl Broman, Music; Andrew Mahler, En- 
glish literature (students stood in line to sign for his Shakespeare 
course); Horace and Elizabeth Day, consummate artists and 
supreme individualists; Lillian Thomsen, who, with Mary E. 
Humphreys, was the Biology department. Dr. Thomsen was also 
the photographer for Campus Comments . There were others: 
Lillian Rudeseal, Economics and Commercial subjects; Catherine 
Mims, English; Marshall Brice, English; H. Lee Bridges, Educa- 
tion and Psychology; Vega Lytton, French; Elizabeth Parker, 
French, later dean of students (her Christmas trees were mem- 
orable); Herbert Turner, Religion and Philosophy; and Ruth 
McNeil, Music. This was the faculty legacy of the Jarman admin- 
istration. No college could have asked for a richer inheritance. "^^ 
Although Watters declares that "the question of academic 
freedom has never been an issue in Mary Baldwin; it is apparent- 
ly taken for gi^anted" and insisted that faculty were independent 
as to their teaching methods and subject content, some evidence 
would suggest otherwise. ^^ Dr. Jarman, particularly in the 1930s, 
asked each faculty member to meet with him once a quarter to 
discuss his or her plans and classroom objectives. He even set 
aside a specific time in his schedule so that these appointments 
could be made. Later, as the pressure of his duties increased, he 
asked for faculty reports only once a semester, but he persisted. In 
1934, an "Academic Council" was instituted. It was composed of 
deans, department heads, and the president and met irregularly 
to discuss curriculum and academic concerns. From time to time, 
Dr. Jarman would caution faculty about the necessity for a "loyal 
attitude" toward college regulations; i.e. they should not overlook 
tardiness or give make-up exams arbitrarily, or be lax in their 
attendance at chapel. It is true, as Watters suggests, that the 
Mary Baldwin faculty did not run to "agitators," and she com- 
mented that "in organization and procedure... Mary Baldwin fac- 
ulty is a democratic body," but there are hints that any experi- 
ments outside a broadly accepted norm, or which clashed with 
Dr. Jarman's perception of a Christian college, would have been 
subject to criticism."*^ It would be three decades before a formal 
statement regarding academic freedom was included in a faculty 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

Dr. Jarman held faculty meetings once a month and some- 
times more frequently. He presided, Miss Hillhouse kept the 
minutes, the deans reported, and matters of student discipline 
and academic affairs were discussed. After this business was 
concluded, members of the faculty took turns presenting pro- 
grams and discussing matters of interest to themselves and their 

In 1930, the president had organized the faculty into 11 
committees and appointed the members. Considering that there 
were fewer than 20 to 30 faculty members, this meant several 
assignments for each individual. Faculty were expected to attend 
chapel regularly and to contribute to chapel programs, except on 
Friday when, during student chapel, there was a coffee hour on 
back gallery. Once a year, after the May faculty meeting. Presi- 
dent and Mrs. Jarman had the faculty to dinner, followed by some 
musical or other entertainment. Faculty-student relationships 
were encouraged by occasional "faculty shows," usually to benefit 
some student YWCA program, and faculty-student athletic or 
building fund contests, which the students usually won. 

There is one curious circumstance recorded during these years 
of faculty minutes. Dr. Jarman became ill in November of 1937 
and was absent from his duties until March of the following year, 
a leave granted by the executive committee of the board, which 
assumed his duties. But in December 1938, it was the faculty who 
were asked to approve a leave for Dr. Jarman for January 1939. 
Again, in the winter of 1940, Dr. Jarman requested the faculty to 
vote approval for his taking a month's vacation in February. 
Customarily, faculty would not pass on such matters; it would 
concern the board of trustees. No other such incidents appear in 
the records, and perhaps this was simply a courtesy request since 
the president had been away for extended periods - but it was 

Although Dr. Jarman had upgi'aded faculty salaries to meet 
SACS standards early in his administration, the pressure of the 
Depression and the physical needs of the college were such that 
faculty salaries remained fairly constant. There were no auto- 
matic cost-of-living increases in those days. Once World War II 
began, all salaries and compensation were "frozen," and the board 
of trustees had to secure permission from the federal government 
when it sought to increase salaries by 10% in 1944-1945.'**^ 

The era of "fringe benefits" had begun. After some discussion, 
a modest pension program for faculty and staff was introduced in 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

1935, and the retirement age was set at 65. A small sum of money 
($500) was made available for faculty research and summer 
study.^' The Minutes of the faculty meeting in 1939 show that 
college faculty salaries were henceforth to be included in the 
federal Social Security Act, and faculty members were asked how 
they felt about it. Their answer was not recorded. 

Perhaps prodded by the SACS requirements, much emphasis 
was placed on curriculum improvement and expansion. However, 
Dr. Jarman and his deans were careful to allow no courses to be 
offered for which suitable library and laboratory resources were 
not available, and some faculty were frustrated when their course 
proposals were denied. ^'^ Still, a number of experiments and 
changes were tried. Library Science was taught briefly (by a 
University of Virginia professor); a required senior course in 
Contemporary Thought, introduced in 1934, became the progeni- 
tor of special senior requirements that lasted until the 1960s; 
Latin was dropped as a graduation requirement; Domestic Sci- 
ence, which had been added during the early 20th century, was 
eliminated, as were orchestra and violin instruction. Typing and 
Shorthand continued to be offered but did not count toward 
graduation; Practice Teaching was introduced in 1930; Journal- 
ism had a good enrollment and acted as a base and resource for 
Campus Comments . Half-day Saturday classes were required 
after 1931. All students had to register for a course in oral English 
and had to demonstrate by their junior year competence in 
composition. A freshman orientation course was added. Psychol- 
ogy and social studies courses were expanded, as were Physical 
Education, and the Art Department blossomed under the super- 
vision of the Days. By 1937, a senior comprehensive examination 
in the major was introduced. There were "historical pilgrimages" 
to Richmond and Williamsburg; art trips to Washington and New 
York City; an effort at exchange professorships with Hampden- 
Sydney; and a truly impressive annual offering of guest lecturers, 
musicians and political speakers, whose presentations the stu- 
dents were required to attend. 

In 1929, Dr. Jarman proposed that the freshman, sophomore 
and junior students making the highest scholastic average in 
their respective classes be awarded modest scholarships for the 
following year. This is now a firmly established tradition, and the 
students so chosen are today known as "Hillhouse Scholars." To 
enhance the visibility of academic excellence, the faculty founded 
a "Mary Baldwin Honor Society" in 1932. Seniors and juniors were 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

elected by the faculty on the basis of their grade point average and 
their breadth of knowledge. Only ten percent of any given class 
could be chosen, and the importance of this selection was high- 
lighted in a February program when a distinguished speaker 
addressed the entire student body. Dr. Jarman, himself newly 
elected to Phi Beta Kappa, undoubtedly hoped that this would 
pave the way for a Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Mary Baldwin 
College. It would, however, be almost forty years before that came 
to pass. In later years, an Honor Society breakfast was always 
given at Commencement weekend, honoring the new initiates and 
returning alumnae members. 

By 1940 and the coming of the Second World War, Mary 
Baldwin College had achieved a respectable college curriculum, 
and the Bachelor of Arts degree (which was the only degree 
awarded) was well received throughout the Commonwealth.^^ 

There is one anomaly that seems curious. Although science 
and mathematics had been stressed since Mary Julia's "Univer- 
sity" curriculum, the science tended to be of inanimate objects; 
i.e.. Chemistry, Physics, Geology. Some early mention of "Botany" 
and "Physiography" at the preparatory level was made, but the 
first college Catalogue (1924-25) lists only Physics and Chemis- 
try. It was not until the 1928-29 session that Biology was offered, 
and there was only one person to teach all three sciences - a 
woman, Jeannette Smith. By 1934, a pattern appears that contin- 
ues until the mid- 1940s. A resident physician, alwavs a woman, 
was employed. Not only did she look after the students' health, but 
she taught Hygiene (part of the required Physical Education 
curriculum) and Biology as well. No man was employed to teach 
Biology during Dr. Jarman's tenure and for some years thereaf- 

Dr. Jarman was totally committed, as Dr. Fraser had been, to 
the concept of a Christian college. This included the selection of 
Christian men and women as board, administration, and faculty 
members, and a selective admissions policy was designed to 
secure an "educationally efficient, socially selective, spiritually 
sincere" student body. ''^ In 1936, perhaps partly motivated by a 
report due to SACS and the Synod of Virginia, Dr. Jarman, the 
deans, and the faculty conducted an institutional evaluation 
which included a search for the answer to the question, "What 
in the total program justifies the use of the term 'Christian 
education'...?" While the question was difficult to answer in 
specific terms, some information emerged. Ninety-five percent of 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The J arm an Years 

the junior and senior classes said they beUeved the administra- 
tion and faculty were "motivated by the spirit of Christian ser- 
vice." The features of required chapel and church attendance, 
required courses in Bible, the relationship with the synod soon to 
be modified - all of these were mentioned. One respondent sug- 
gested there was an "emphasis throughout the entire program on 
a Christian interpretation of life," but one paragi^aph sums up the 
earnest search for what was "unique" and "Christian" about the 

Mary Baldwin is a small women's college 
in the South with an unusually cosmopolitan 
clientele for its size. It is housed in buildings 
carrying out a style of architecture representa- 
tive of the Old South. Its campus is compact. 
The College maintains careful supervision in 
academic work to no neglect of the physical, 
social and spiritual sides of college life. It 
provides an atmosphere of Christian culture 
for the entire program. It upholds a dignified 
tradition with respect to the social amenities. 
It has a reputation for careful conservative 
progress in the educational world. ^^ 

At the center of all of this effort, planning, and concern was, of 
course, the Mary Baldwin student, no longer a seminary "girl," 
but a college "woman." This was perhaps the hardest transition of 
all for some to make and has continued to be in all the ensuing 
decades, as parental, community and faculty perceptions of col- 
lege women shift and fluctuate. Mary Baldwin College, because of 
its location, is inexorably related to the City of Staunton and 
Augusta County. ^^ It is located in the heart of the historic down- 
town. City hall is one block away from the entrance to the 
Administration Building, and the county courthouse only two 
blocks distant. Whatever goes on at the college is highly visible 
and viewed with proprietary approval, or disapproval, as the case 
may be. In the 1930s, major changes were obvious. Gone were 
the two rows of demure "maidens" in their uniforms and identical 
hats, walking sedately to church or to civic events. Now there were 
shortened skirts, although longer than in the 1920s, "bobbed" and 
permanented hair, golfers, hikers and horseback riders, young 
men "callers" in increasing numbers. There were students who 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

smoked, danced, and left town on weekends to visit men's colleges. 
The speed of the transition heightened the criticism of those 
whose memories stretched backwards to "Miss Baldwin's girls." 

The students were, of course, older than the seminary stu- 
dents had been. Although for a few years some conditional fresh- 
men had been accepted, most were high school graduates who 
presented strong liberal arts credits for admission. ^^ They were 
usually 17-18 years old when they entered, and 21-22 by the time 
they graduated. Although most were Virginians, many came from 
other southern states, particularly North Carolina, Texas, Geor- 
gia and Alabama. Others came from Pennsylvania, New York and 
the Middle West. Total enrollment in 1929, Dr. Jarman's first 
year, was 193. Numbers declined a bit in the early thirties, but by 
the end of Dr. Jarman's first five years had reached 316, of whom 
76 were day students. Boarding capacity in the 1930s was ap- 
proximately 240, although the number fluctuated as various 
combinations of housing were found. Obviously, day students 
were of great importance to the college's financial health and 
academic respectability. By 1945, Dr. Jarman's last year, there 
were 320 students, of whom 50 were non-boarders. A problem 
common to many colleges of Mary Baldwin's ilk in this era was 
the large number of students who transferred or left college at the 
end of the freshman or sophomore years. Usually about 30% of 
the entering freshman class remained for graduation four years 
later, of whom a disproportionate percentage were non-boarders, 
i.e., local girls. The biggest attrition was always at the end of the 
sophomore year, and various efforts at retention occupied much 
faculty thought and discussion, without a marked improvement 
until the 1960s.^5 

Soon after his inauguration. Dr. Jarman proposed that a 
student government association and a college honor system be 
instituted-^*^ Miss Pfohl had been brought in for the express 
purpose of organizing them, and part of her difficulties with Dean 
Higgins stemmed from their differing views on how much respon- 
sibility for her own actions a young woman could be permitted to 
have. Miss Pfohl found that there was some foundation for 
student government already in place. Previous student organiza- 
tions had provided an opportunity for experience in administra- 
tion and planning. The student publications, Miscellany , dating 
from 1899; The Bluestocking , from 1900; and Campus Comments , 
from 1924, had all provided areas for student initiative. The 
YWCA (1894) was a very important organization in the early 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

years of the college; the entire student body were members, and 
carried on benefit fund-raising activities, sponsored public lec- 
tures and religious progi'ams. The Athletic Association, the Liter- 
ary Society, and the German (cotillion) Club had all provided 
occasions for student leadership. So Elizabeth Pfohl was able to 
move very quickly, and the first student government officers were 
installed on 23 October 1929. All students were declared to be 
members of the Association, which was governed by a council 
nominated and elected by the student body. No "electioneering" 
for office was done, the theory being that the small student body 
made such activity unnecessary, as everyone knew the candi- 
dates. The council had legislative, executive, and judicial powers 
and the responsibility of initiating rules and regulations which 
the students approved, governing dormitory life and social behav- 
ior. There was a faculty advisory board made up of President 
Jarman, ex officio . Dean Pfohl, Martha Stackhouse, and four 
faculty members, which acted as a court of appeals and as a 
consultative body; but the advisory board wisely allowed consid- 
erable latitude for student decision. Coincident with the student 
government association was to be an "Honor System," modeled on 
Pfohl/Stackhouse past experiences with Agnes Scott and Moravian 
Woman's College, and perhaps also the University of Virginia. 
Each fall, after freshman orientation, an impressive ceremony 
was, and still is, held, now called "Charter Day." As it has evolved, 
the ceremony now goes like this: The president of the college, 
having been authorized to do so by the board of trustees, gives to 
the president of the student government association the "Charter," 
extending to the students the responsibility and privilege of 
governing themselves as they live together in a community of 
college women. All entering students are then asked to pledge by 
their signature their agreement with the following statement: 

Believing in the principles of student gov- 
ernment, I pledge myself to uphold the 
ideals and regulations of the Mary Baldwin 
Community. I recognize the principles of 
honor and cooperation as the basis of our life 
together and shall endeavour faithfully to 
order my life accordingly and to encourage 
others to fulfill the ideals of the honor system." 

The creation of the student government and the expansion 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

of its areas of influence were done slowly and deliberately. Dean 
Pfohl later noted that "it was interesting to me to see how careful 
these young women were. . .to be sure that they didn't expect more 
of the students than they thought they could really monitor." 
Since the student council would be concerned with regulations 
about dormitory living and penalties for the breaking thereof, for 
rules concerning social activities and dating procedures, as well 
as requirements for honesty in academic and personal matters (no 
"lying, cheating or stealing"), their area of concern was broad. 
Dean Pfohl continued, 

...we spent many hours discussing the 
honor system, how it would be really 
implemented...! have great respect for the 
integrity of these students who were officers 
of the association. They took this more 
seriously than anything else they did... They 
were the leaders in the college and as such 
were looked up to with respect by the rest 
of the student body.^^ 

The honor system, particularly in regard to academic affairs, 
was, from the first, nourished and emphasized. Each professor 
was and is expected to make clear to his classes each fall how tests, 
projects, reports, term papers, laboratory exercises are to be done; 
i.e., whether with open or closed books, independently or working 
with others. Great care was taken to stress proper library proce- 
dures and to define plagiarism. At first, the Handbook noted, "The 
presence of a member of the faculty or her representative during 
an examination lends dignity to the examination and hence is 
desired," but in 1935 the faculty voted "not to remain in the 
rooms." Since then, tests and examinations have been given 
without proctors or faculty supervision. Of all the privileges and 
responsibilities of the Mary Baldwin College honor system, this is 
the most cherished and has continued to have almost unanimous 
support. ^^ 

The student council included, in addition to the usual officers, 
six "house presidents," the presidents of the YWCA, the Athletic 
Association, and the Day Club, plus a freshman representative 
chosen after the first semester. The council met weekly and the 
association (all the students) met monthly. Missing an association 
meeting was a "call down" offense. In addition, a president's 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

forum, made up of class and organization presidents, met to 
coordinate activities and calendars. Because there were many 
opportunities for leadership on the campus, an elaborate point 
system for office holding was devised so that no one would be 
overburdened with non-academic responsibilities, and so that 
more students could participate. By 1945, the burden of council 
duties led to the creation of an "Executive Council" made up of 
three faculty and four students, a social committee, and a com- 
mittee of freshman advisors. In addition, there still remained an 
advisory board of faculty and deans. The student government 
association in the 15 years of the Jarman administration moved 
beyond the duties of setting and enforcing regulations to active 
participation in freshman orientation, a major role in the "New 
Century" program, and to the directing of the college's World War 
II activities. It was an integral part of Mary Baldwin College. 

Although he had originally proposed a student government 
association, a concept which had been part of modern college life 
since early in the 20th century. Dr. Jarman, who had "very strict 
ideas as to the conduct of students [and]... what kind of privileges 
should be allowed..." would frequently interpose his own wishes 
on the fledgling student council. The best example of this behavior 
comes from the prolonged debate over student smoking policies. 
At the very first meeting of the student government association 
held 14 September 1929, the constitution, or charter, and the 
regulations which had been proposed by the council, with the 
assistance of a faculty committee, were discussed and approved. 
The problem of students smoking arose, and was "thoroughly 
discussed." The minutes of the student government association 
best describe what happened next: "Dr. Jarman was recalled. He 
put the question directly, frankly, and quite fairly to the stud- 
ents; 'Is smoking consistent with the ideals of Mary Baldwin Col- 
lege?'... By a unanimous vote the student body decided that smok- 
ing was not consistent with the ideals of Mary Baldwin College 
and would not be indulged in while students were under the 
jurisdiction of the college." The students were, obviously, at a 
considerable disadvantage here, but Dr. Jarman did not always 
prevail. By 1931, after several other attempts to modify the 
absolute prohibition had failed, the council, although avoiding a 
positive statement in support of students smoking, declared that 
college rules prohibiting it would not be "imposed" in the Alum- 
nae Club House, private homes, or in restaurants. ^° 

Other social and dress regulations changed slowly over the 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jar?nan Years 

years but did respond to the broader changes in society's stan- 
dards. There were impassioned debates over whether or not socks 
(as opposed to hose) could be worn "downtown." No one in this era 
would have suggested bare legs. By 1945, students could "skip" 
breakfast, but attendance at lunch and dinner was still compul- 
sory. They were likewise expected to "dress" for dinner. All meals 
were eaten together at family style table service, although by the 
mid- 1930s faculty had a faculty area and no longer were requir- 
ed to act as table hostesses. One's presence at a church service of 
one's choice on Sunday was required, as was attendance at college 
chapel five times a week. Not all "chapel" services were religious. 
Every Monday, when he was on campus, Dr. Jarman discussed 
the current events of the week. Friday chapel was used for student 
government association business and reports. Religious services, 
led by faculty, students or outside speakers, were held on the other 
two or three days. Class rank and academic standing determined 
many privileges, from the number of class cuts to "away" week- 
ends and overnights. As late as 1945, students were allowed to 
ride in automobiles only with approved chaperones, and students 
attending dances at neighboring colleges had to stay in approved 
houses. There was an elaborate system of "sign outs," chaperones, 
and parental permission slips. Perhaps the greatest change came 
in the activities permitted on Sundays, which had previously been 
reserved exclusively for Sunday school and church. Quiet hours 
had been from 2 to 4 pm. No victrolas were to be played, and only 
relatives or approved out-of-town guests could be received. But, by 
1945, walking with "dates," meals in town or private homes, and 
afternoon tennis were allowed. A "date" was defined as a "conver- 
sation with a young man covering a period longer than 15 min- 

Dancing had long been a part of the seminary's activities, and 
in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, formal "soirees" and 
"cotillions" had been held. Later teas, receptions, "open houses," 
and other formal occasions had male guests (with proper introduc- 
tion), and as the college years began, carefully regulated "dating" 
was approved. It was not until 1936 that mixed "informal danc- 
ing," to radio or victrola, was allowed on upper back gallery. Two 
formal dances had been held in the dining room in Chapel Hall 
during 1941-1942, but it was not until the opening of the King 
Building, in 1942, that formal dances regularly became part of 
Mary Baldwin College's social calendar. Students had been per- 
mitted to attend dances elsewhere, with chaperones, since 1936. 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Janyian Years 

Penalties for violations of social and dormitory regulations 
included "call downs," "restrictions," "campus," and for major 
offenses, probation, suspension and dismissal from the college. 
Major offenses were defined as dishonesty in academic work, 
drinking, being absent from the campus at night without permis- 
sion, and riding in automobiles with men without permission. 
Major offenses were considered by the student council and the 
faculty advisory board, and in cases of "severe discipline" were 
referred to the entire faculty. ^^ 

Most of the social regulations and some of the academic ones 
appear quaint and even demeaning to the young women of 1990, 
but they were very similar in scope and expectation to those of 
other women's colleges of this period, and not too dissimilar to 
university regulations for their women students. The concept of 
in loco parentis was alive and well in the period before the 1960s. 
Parents and society expected a protected environment and appro- 
priate behavior for young women. Dr. Jarman expected even 
more, but as long as the machinery for bringing about change 
existed and as long as some changes could be perceived, the 
students do not seem to have been particularly restive. 

The 1930s also saw a changing attitude toward day students. 
Mary Baldwin was and is a residential college. All students were 
expected to live on campus in supervised housing and to eat in 
the college dining hall, with the exception of local young women 
who lived at home and were classified as "non-boarders." These 
day students had always played an important role. The seminary 
had begun primarily as a day school, and it was not until 1857, 
when the two wings were added to the Administration Building, 
that there was room for more than a few boarders. After the Civil 
War, the reputation of "Miss Baldwin's school" had attracted 
students from many southern states and elsewhere, and the 
"boarding" character of the seminary was established. By the time 
that Mary Baldwin College was chartered, in 1922, it was increas- 
ingly obvious that the "non-boarders" were an important part of 
the student body, financially as well as in other ways. Therefore, 
efforts began to incorporate them more fully into the college as a 
whole. '^- Instrumental in this was Fannie Strauss, herself a 
"townie" and seminary graduate ( 1912); and, as a faculty member 
since 1918, she became the advisor and friend to the day students, 
who organized themselves into a club in November 1929. By 1930, 
they had a constitution, a room in the Administration Building, 
and were represented on the student council and the YWCA 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

Board. In the ensuing years, they played an increasingly impor- 
tant role in various college activities. They assumed responsibility 
for one chapel program a year, they entertained the faculty, and 
in the spring sponsored a tea for senior girls from the local high 
schools. Invitations to their homes were prized by the boarders as 
one means of circumventing some social regulations.^'^ 

The college, as the seminary before it, had many student 
organizations: some of ephemeral character; others with long- 
lasting impact. In this era, the YWCA had "the most important 
influence... perhaps because we are constantly in contact with it." 
It had begun in October 1894, and by the 1920s Dr. Fraser could 
report to the synod that the entire student body belonged, al- 
though membership was "voluntary." The YWCA undertook fund- 
raising activities for missionary and local charities, supervised 
the "Big Sister" program in the fall, published the Handbook 
yearly, sponsored the "peanut/shell" pre-exam stress relievers, 
held vesper services on Sunday evenings at the Chapel, gave 
Saturday night parties in the gym, and organized visits to the 
Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, Western State Hospital, 
the Bettie Bickle home, and the Queenie Miller orphanage. It was 
the YWCA which began the custom of many years' standing of 
students singing Christmas carols on the last evening before 
Christmas vacation. Only seniors were allowed to leave the 
grounds, and they carolled at various churches, at the hospital, 
and ended at Staunton Military Academy, where Mrs. Russell 
invited them in for hot chocolate. For several years the YWCA ran 
a bookstore, and World Fellowship groups encouraged conscious- 
ness of national and international issues. The YWCA president 
was a member of the student government association council, and 
its officers were among the most respected student leaders on 
campus. ^^ 

Another campus-wide organization was the athletic associa- 
tion, organized (after some false starts) in 1919 and expanded in 
1931. All students were automatically members and were at one 
time divided into "yellow" and "white" teams. Later there were 
"Irish" and "Scots" clans. Since there were no intercollegiate 
sports programs, the students had to be content with intramural 
and class contests. In 1942, the sports listed were field hockey, 
basketball, track, hiking, swimming, golf, tennis, horseback riding, 
archery, Softball and baseball. These sports had "leaders" and 
"varsity" teams were chosen annually. Student-faculty games 
added to the interest. At the annual Athletic Banquet, 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

monogrammed sweater letters were awarded and much- prized. 
In addition, bowling and ping pong were available, and, at a pool 
table in the upper back gallery, instruction in billiards was 
provided by Dr. Martinez of the Spanish department. Since three 
years of Physical Education were required for graduation, with 
the third year's requirement being satisfied by participation in 
"elective sports," there was a ready pool of students, and college 
policy encouraged student voluntary participation as a means of 
promoting good health and providing skills which would bring 
enjoyment in later life. Among these could be counted horseback 
riding, which was very popular in the 1930s. A riding club was 
organized by Mr. King, who had been a skilled and devoted 
horseman, and some students were invited to participate in the 
Glenmore Hunt Club events. Dr. Jarman was an enthusiastic 
golfer, and during his administration students and faculty were 
encouraged to develop skills in this area. Tennis, which has been 
of major interest since the 1960s, had been introduced before 1900 
and had a steady but small following. Perhaps the sport that 
excited the most enthusiastic support in the 1930s and which 
would appear a curiosity to our students of the 1990s was "tramp- 
ing" or hiking. Campus Comments regularly reported Saturday 
afternoon expeditions and adventures, as groups of thirty or more 
students and faculty walked to the "Tea Room" at the "Triangle," 
to Betsy Bell, Fort Defiance, the "Orchard" (now Baldwin Acres), 
or simply started out on Churchville Avenue and went across 
country wherever their spirits took them. It was not unusual to 
hike for 10 or 15 miles and to enjoy a picnic supper at the end. In 
the later 1940s, student groups would even occasionally hike to 
"Chip Inn" at Stuarts Draft. There were fewer automobiles on the 
roads, the Valley had great beauty, no particular skill was in- 
volved in these walks, and they were very popular. The students 
of the 1990s who jog along our crowded streets and scarce side- 
walks are the inheritors of this tradition. ^^ 

During these early college years, there were many student 
clubs and associations, some of which had originated in seminary 
days, others emerging as appropriate for college life. Several were 
associated with academic subjects, such as the Art Club, the 
Dramatic Club (previously called "Sock and Buskin" "Curtain 
Callers" and "Green Masque"), the Glee Club, the Modern Lan- 
guage Club, the Science Club, the Psychology Club, the Music 
Club, and the Garden Club which was associated with Botany 
classes. For several years a Debating Club, sponsored by Martha 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

Grafton, flourished and provided a touch of intercollegiate com- 
petition as teams from Bridgewater, Hampden-Sydney, the Uni- 
versity of Virginia, and even Cambridge, England, on one occa- 
sion, earnestly presented the pro's and con's of such questions as 
"Is co-education desirable?"; "The emergence of women from the 
home is to be deplored," "Should utility rather than culture be the 
basis of a college curriculum?"; and "Should students help achieve 
world disarmament?" Eventually the debaters were absorbed in- 
to the International Relations Club. Mock campus elections were 
held in 1936 and 1940. Franklin D. Roosevelt won on both 

Each college class was organized with appropriate class offi- 
cers, and classes were paired as "sisters" (freshmen-juniors; 
sophomores-seniors) and sponsored teas, receptions and dinners 
for each other. In the beginning of the college years, there had been 
state and regional clubs, but they were disbanded in the early 
1930s. However, "Little Sisters/Granddaughters Clubs" flourish- 
ed in these years. Another monthly event was the birthday dinner 
given for all students born in that month. Tables were decorated, 
horoscopes were read, and "Happy Birthday to You" was permit- 
ted on this occasion - and on this occasion only.*^*^ 

One tradition that had begun in seminary days was "Rat Day." 
This involved sophomore "hazing" of the freshman class and took 
place shortly after freshman orientation was completed. The 
freshmen had to make the sophomores' beds, clean rooms, shine 
shoes. They had to wear black stockings and red and gold ribbons 
in their braided hair, carry eggs and have them autographed, eat 
their meals only with a knife or their hands, and generally "hop 
when the sophomores said hop." By 1940, such activities did not 
seem in keeping with the seriousness of the year's events nor the 
dignity of college students, and the sophomores instead invited 
the entire college to a picnic honoring the freshman class. Classes 
were dismissed for the day, and there were athletic contests, skits 
and songs. The freshmen were then declared full-fledged mem- 
bers of Mary Baldwin College. At first, the picnic was held at 
Grafton's Park, Sherando, or Massanutten Caverns, but by 1942, 
with wartime labor shortages inspiring the change, the picnic was 
moved to the college orchard and the students, having walked the 
two miles there, then picked over 1,000 bushels of apples. Al- 
though the term "Apple Day" was not yet applied to this event 
(students were at a loss as to what it should be called and referred 
to it as "freshman-sophomore day"), this is the origin of one of the 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

most popular fall events at the college.*^" 

There were three major publications (four if the Handbook is 
counted) directed and organized by the students. The oldest was 
the yearbook, beginning as the Augusta Seminary Annual . Its 
name was changed to Souvenir in 1899, and it was renamed The 
Bluestocking in 1900. Apparently the name was not favored by 
Miss Weimar because the followingyear it was entitled "Baldwin's" ; 
but in 1902, the student preference prevailed, and it has been The 
Bluestocking ever since. Traditionally it had been the responsibil- 
ity of the junior class, and for many years Fannie Strauss was the 
invaluable advisor. 

The Miscellanv (the title appeared in 1899) was the student 
literary magazine. Like The Bluestocking , it was the child of the 
seminary Literary Society (1898-1929). In the early years, class 
essays, alumnae news items, poems and parodies appeared, but 
by the college years, the present format as a magazine had 
emerged. Exchanges with other college magazines had been 
arranged, and it was an important avenue for student artistic and 
literary expression. 

Campus Comments made its rather hesitant appearance as 
the student newspaper in 1924, claiming to be the "child" of the 
Miscellanv . Apparently, Dean Higgins had some doubts about the 
wisdom of this venture. Her report on the matter to the board of 
trustees says that the student newspaper "calls attention to the 
eccentricities of all of us living on the campus," and the first 
editorial says, "In order to carry out our policy of freer expression 
of our thoughts, the circulation is to be limited to the campus only 
- no circulation outside the walls, and no exchange..." After the 
first year, no issues appeared until 1926, but as the college 
identity emerged, the publication became more valued, and by the 
1930s was requesting parent subscriptions, so apparently the 
prohibition of circulation beyond the campus had been dropped. 
In the 1930s, the sponsor of Campus Comments was the indefati- 
gable Mary Swan Carroll. After 1939, Dr. Lillian Thomson pro- 
vided most of the photographs used in the newspaper. 

The editors and business managers of all three publications 
were elected by the student body and were members of the 
president's forum. Their budgets were met in part by portions of 
the students' activities fees, and in part by various fund-raising 
activities, such as waffle and strawberiy breakfasts. As college 
publications, all of them were members of the Virginia 
Intercollegiate and National Associated Collegiate Press Associa- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

tions and in the Jarman era won many first place and high honor 

As if all this activity were not enough to keep about 300 young 
women busy — presumably they were also studying, as well — 
there were annual "special events," which provided a break in the 
daily routine and reinforced the college's efforts to adapt and 
absorb the seminary traditions. Some of these events would not 
seem appropriate college activities today, and have since been 
discontinued, but they were again very similar to the activities at 
other women's colleges of this era. When one talks to alumnae, 
there is no doubt that these special times are cherished in their 

Early in October, the college celebrated what came to be 
known as "Founders' Day." Since 1898, the year after Mary Julia 
Baldwin's death, the seminary had observed a holiday on the 4th 
of October, which was her birthday. There were carriage rides, 
picnics, hikes, wreath laying at Miss Baldwin's grave, and songs 
and prayers. By 1904, the alumnae decided to use this occasion as 
their "Homecoming," and there were reunions, reminiscences, 
luncheons and tea parties for the "old girls." On the centennial of 
Miss Baldwin's birth, and coincidentally the first year without the 
seminary, the Jarman administration decided that this would be 
an appropriate time to invest the 14 seniors, the class of 1930, with 
their caps and gowns. An elaborate ceremony was held in front 
of Hill Top with the entire student body present. Each senior had 
two attendants dressed in white; the faculty processed in full 
regalia; and the seniors were robed and capped by the president. 
The seniors thereafter wore their caps and gowns to Chapel five 
times a week. By 1932, the "Ivy Ceremony" was added, in which 
the class officers planted ivy as a symbol of enduring values and 
the "Ivy Song" and class songs were sung; in 1933 the first outside 
speaker. Bishop J. K. Pfohl, was added to the program. Partly 
because Dean Henry D. Campbell (the grandson of Rufus Bailey) 
was chairman of the college's board of trustees, and because the 
college's centennial was approaching (1942), the first "founder" of 
the college was "rediscovered." The orientation since the latter 
part of the 19th century had been toward Miss Baldwin, but by 
1941, the October 4th investiture ceremony was called Founders' 
Day, honoring both Rufus Bailey and Mary Julia Baldwin.^^ 

The next major event on the college calendar was Thanksgiv- 
ing. Only Thanksgiving day was a holiday. Students who cut 
classes before or after a holiday were charged double cuts; but, in 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

any case, few of them were able to go home, given the transporta- 
tion realities of the 1930s. The college always had a family style 
Thanksgiving dinner, athletic contests, especially basketball, and 
a special chapel service. Queenie Miller, a black woman who had 
begun an orphanage in Staunton in 1910 and had cared for more 
than 200 children in the intervening years, was always invited by 
the YWCA to bring some of the children with her for the Friday 
Chapel after Thanksgiving. They sang and presented skits, and it 
was universally agreed that this was one of the favorite chapel 
programs of the year. The YWCA made regular donations of food, 
clothing and funds to the Miller Orphanage.™ 

Close on Thanksgiving festivities came the Christmas obser- 
vances. In addition to carolling, there was a party given by the 
faculty and students for all the college employees; Christmas 
baskets were collected for needy families and for mountain chil- 
dren, and there was an elegant, formal Christmas dinner, with 
prizes for the best decorated tables. Then, there was the excite- 
ment of packing and train tickets and the first visit home for many 
of the students since they had left in September. 

Examinations were held toward the end of January, a new 
semester was begun, there was a week's spring vacation (until the 
war years, when it was curtailed), and the year culminated in the 
four-day commencement activities, which were reduced to three 
days in the 1940s. All of the students remained, unlike the custom 
of today, and, in the more leisurely world of 50 years ago, the event 
proceeded with dignity and decorum, except when youthful exu- 
berance burst forth. There were art exhibits, faculty and student 
concerts, a "high tea" given by the Jarmans and the deans, and a 
garden party on the front terrace. The seniors were entertained 
at a breakfast by their class sponsors. There were elaborate "class 
day" and "May Day" ceremonies. The May Queen, her attendants, 
and her court consisting of all the seniors were entertained by the 
remainder of the student body in an elaborate pageant, combining 
acting, dancing, singing, oration - an effort that took most of the 
spring to devise and rehearse . The themes were varied and appear 
to us today as very "non-collegiate," such as Mother Goose, Alice 
in Wonderland, Pandora, Virginiana, Americana, and Fiesta. 
Class Day involved a laurel chain, white dresses and red roses, 
and attendants who held shepherds' crooks forming a flowering 
aisle through which the seniors marched. The class gift was 
presented. One such gift, in 1929, was a stone bench to be placed 
on the front terrace, whose use was reserved only for seniors. It 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

is still there, but as the center of the campus has shifted inward 
and upward, it is now seldom used. The class colors were pre- 
sented to a representative from the incoming freshman class, and 
class songs were sung. Sunday Baccalaureate, with full academic 
procession and the seniors in their caps and gowns, was held at 
the First Presbyterian Church, followed by Sunday dinner for 
family and friends and a "senior farewell" vesper service con- 
ducted by the YWCA. Monday was Alumnae Day, and the seniors 
were entertained at their banquet, and on Tuesday the Com- 
mencement exercises were held, with everyone kept in order and 
on time by the faculty marshal. Dr. Mildred Taylor. These events 
were somewhat compressed during the war years, but the May 
Queen and her pageant, the shepherds' crooks and the passing of 
class colors, continued through the decade of the 50s. ^^ 

This long, lingering farewell is perhaps indicative of one of the 
great strengths of the early years of the college. These were young 
women of the depression and war years, and there are many 
indications that they were serious about their responsibilities, 
their futures, their careers, their marriages and their obligations 
as citizens. But they were also young and healthy and fun loving. 
They developed lifelong friendships. They gave each other sur- 
prise birthday parties, shared boxes from home, attended football 
games and dances, anxiously waited for young men to call, 
gossiped and laughed. They played bridge in the Club, haunted 
the post office for mail, cried over movie heroines, worried about 
their weight (the use of a rolling pin was suggested as a help in 
reducing), and kept careful note of the engagement rings that 
appeared after each holiday. One cannot help but be impressed 
with the many long hours they spent decorating for their social 
occasions, creating "tableaux," finding properties for plays, pre- 
paring programs and fudge. Their relationships with the faculty, 
who frequently had teas and suppers for their classes, were often 
close, and alumnae never return to the campus without looking 
up their favorite "teachers." There was also real affection for the 
college employees — Mary Scott, Mr. "Bill" Crone (everyone's 
friend), "Fru" (a maid in Hill Top), and Carrie, the head waitress 
for fifteen years. All were, from time to time, featured in Campus 
Comments . Mrs. StoUenworck, the hostess who met the young 
men who called for their dates, was respected and admired and 
hoodwinked when possible, though it seldom was. The successive 
deans became friends rather then authority figures, and some 
were recalled with love by alumnae a quarter century or more 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

after they had left the college. In many ways, it was a small, closed 
world — the college campus of the 30s. There were not the modern 
distractions of automobiles (an early Campus Comments article 
describes the automobiles owned by five faculty members with 
something akin to awe), of television, of rapid transportation, of 
social freedoms, then undreamed of. Their world was themselves, 
and it is impossible to read their records without a touch of 
nostalgic sadness for a time of innocence long vanished."^^ 

It should not be inferred from the above comments that the 
college was indifferent to the momentous events of the 1930s. By 
means of visiting lecturers, chapel programs, faculty efforts, the 
debate teams, the International Relations Club, the YWCA and 
Campus Comments , students were encouraged to broaden their 
social and political concerns, and many did. Their attention 
focused on the Depression, the "race problem," the missionary 
efforts in China and Korea, the "peace" movement, as well as 
knowledge and better understanding of "Bolshevism," the Chi- 
nese civil war, and European culture and crises. 

Comments about the Depression largely centered on the 
elections of 1932 and 1936 and how the respective candidates 
would remedy the situation. Dr. Jarman's chapel lectures on 
causes and cures and on working hard at college so that one's 
education would justify one's parents' "sacrifices" continued the 
theme. A student analysis in 1931 indicated that, among the 
students' fathers' occupations, there were three in the Army/ 
Navy; 64 in "general business"; four teachers; five dentists; 13 
medical doctors; nine "railroad men"; 12 bankers, five in real 
estate; six newspaper editors; eight ministers; eight manufactur- 
ers and 16 lawyers - a middle class group, who could still afford to 
send their daughters to a private college. Mary Baldwin did 
provide modest scholarship help and free tuition for Presbyterian 
ministers' and missionaries' daughters, and by the mid-1930s 
some students received FERA and NYA funds. There were very 
few other scholarships derived from some generous alumnae trust 
funds, but Dr. Jarman quickly began to stress the need for more 
scholarship money. '-^ 

If there is not a great deal of evidence that the Depression was 
a frequent topic of conversation among students - faculty, ad- 
ministration and board of trustees were naturally very con- 

To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

cerned — the same is not true of the "Peace Movement" of the 
1930s. In the years between the wars, Armistice Day had always 
been an important occasion. It was not a school holiday, but there 
were always special chapel speakers, and in the early 1930s 
students would participate in the parade held in downtown 
Staunton. However, as the decade progressed. Armistice Day 
became the focus of the "Peace Movement" — a largely college 
student inspired effort to reject any U.S. participation in future 
wars. Sponsored by the American Youth Congress, a controver- 
sial organization at one time supported by Eleanor Roosevelt, it 
sought to curb ROTC units on college campuses, held yearly 
conventions, parades, and demonstrations, and used tactics not 
unlike those employed in the 1960s and early 70s - if somewhat 
more subdued. Mary Baldwin students were not immune to these 
views: chapel programs on disarmament and peace were pre- 
sented; telegrams were sent to the President of the U.S. and the 
Secretary of State; Mary Baldwin students attended the Nation- 
al Student Federation of America meetings and reported back 
on "peace efforts." A Campus Comments editorial expressed the 
opinion that colleges were "used" in World War I. (One assumes 
this refers to propaganda efforts.) We should "refuse to support 
the American government in any war they undertake," the edito- 
rial continued. In 1937, the opinion that "any war is wrong" was 
expressed; we are against "militaristic and jingoistic propagan- 
da." In October 1939, a month after the war in Europe began, a 
reprint editorial from California, "Why should I fight - 1 ain't mad 
at anybody," appeared. There is no way to gauge how much these 
editorial opinions were shared by the student body as a whole and 
how much they merely reflected the isolationist sentiment pre- 
valent in the country in the 1930s. Certainly there were no sit-ins 
or demonstrations, and Mary Baldwin had no ROTC to criticize. 
There were no letters to the editor pro or con, and perhaps it can 
be inferred that the majority of the students were non-committal. 
By 1941, the orientation was changing. A Campus Comments 
editorial (2 February 1941) declared that the American Youth 
Congress was "one of the most unpopular youth organizations in 
America," and on 4 April 1941, a later editorial criticized women 
who had protested the passage of HR Bill 1776 (Lend-Lease); the 
protest "made women as a whole... [look like]... foolish sentimen- 
talists as well as brainless ninnies." Fathers, brothers and fiances 
were subject to the draft after 1940, and campus opinions chang- 
ed rapidly after the "blitzkrieg" victories of that j^ear.^^ 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

If Depression and peace were largely student editors' con- 
cerns, there does seem to have been a somewhat broader interest 
in a subject most Americans in this era paid little attention to; the 
concerns of America's black citizens. The chief spark plug of this 
awareness was the YWCA, which, as early as 1930, sponsored a 
discussion led by the World Fellowship Committee on "race 
relations." In 1931, a student representing Mary Baldwin at- 
tended the Virginia Student Volunteer Union meeting in Farm- 
ville, Virginia, where addresses on India, China, the Muslim 
World and U.S. relations were discussed — the latter by William 
M. Cooper of Hampton Institute. This implies a racially-mixed 
meeting, which at this early date in a southern state was unusual. 
By 1934, the National Student Federation of America, of which 
Mary Baldwin College was a member, was calling for an end to 
racial prejudice, and in November of that year Mary Baldwin 
delegates attended an interracial Youth Council meeting at 
Randolph-Macon College, where they hoped to plan a state-wide 
meeting, no further mention of which is made. The YWCA's 
relationship with Queenie Miller and her Franklin Hill orphan- 
age has already been noted and, during World War II, Mary 
Baldwin students packed special kits for black soldiers and 
declared "racial justice" to be a war aim; but they suggested that 
economic and political justice could come without "intermingl- 
ing" on the social scale. These perceptions, not unlike those of 
most of Middle America, do suggest an increasing sensitivity to 
the "American Dilemma. "'° 

The student interest likewise focused on the special ties which 
the seminary, and later the college, had long had with some speci- 
fic missionary efforts. In 1882, Charlotte Kemper, who had taught 
at the seminary for eleven years, felt called to a missionary life in 
Lauras, Brazil, where she stayed until her death in 1926. She was 
later joined by Ruth See, an alumna. The seminary and later the 
college girls remained interested and supportive of the Brazil 
"connection." Perhaps even greater concern focused on the activi- 
ties of Mary Baldwin alumnae in China, Korea and Japan. 
Founded in 1912, in Kunsan, Korea, by alumna Libby Alby Bull, 
the "Mary Baldwin School for Girls" was a major factor in spread- 
ing the Christian faith and intellectual activities to girls and 
women in a society that did not consider females worthy of such 
attention. The Kunsan school was forced to close in the early 
1940s during the Shinto Shrine Controversy. Reopened in the 
late 1950s, the school's original buildings were destroyed during 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

the Korean War, and thereafter it was run under Korean owner- 
ship. In China, Agnes and Lily Woods worked and supported the 
Martha Riddle School (named after a beloved seminary history 
teacher) in Hwaianfu. It, too, became a victim of war, in this case 
the Chinese Civil War of the 1920s and the Japanese invasion of 
the 1930s. Pictures of the ruins appeared in the Alumnae Bulletin , 
and letters describing the turmoil appeared in Campus Com - 
ments and piqued the students' interest and support. There were 
many alumnae who were missionaries. In 1924, the Bulletin list- 
ed over 25 who were at that time active in the mission field, and 
there had been many before them and since. Their daughters and 
granddaughters frequently returned to attend the seminary and 
college and often became second and third generation missionar- 
ies in their turn. With the help of the YWCA, these schools and 
many other missionaiy activities were supported by Mary Baldwin 
College students in the 1930s. The Second World War put a 
temporary end to these activities, but many were later resumed.^^ 
Other stimuli led the students toward an interest in the world 
around them. The faculty had recommended in 1932 that two 
foreign exchange students a year be allowed to attend Mary 
Baldwin, and arrangements made through the Institute of In- 
ternational Education brought Ruth Laue of Konigsberg, East 
Prussia, and Jeanne-Renee Campana of Paris to the college in 
1933-34. There was much student interest in them and they were 
vocal and assertive — far more interested in international issues 
than their American counterparts. It is possible to suggest, as one 
reads the Campus Comments and the Miscellany , that German- 
French animosity was reflected in their relationships. They joined 
the debating team, they gave programs to civic clubs, wrote for 
college publications, and enlivened dormitory conversations. 
Jeanne-Renee defended the French position on the war debts 
controversy, and Ruth had pictures of Frederick the Great, Paul 
von Hindenberg, and Adolf Hitler in her room. This was 1933, and 
what was occurring in Germany became, of course, a matter of 
increasing concern. But Professor Schmidt, who made frequent 
visits to Germany and Austria, and other college faculty and 
students who visited there, failed, as did most of their contempo- 
raries, to recognize the implications of National Socialism. One 
later exchange student, Rudolfa Schorchtova (1935) from Prague 
was deemed to have enough college credits to be allowed to 
graduate from Mary Baldwin in 1936. She returned to Czechoslo- 
vakia to begin graduate work. As Dr. Watters reports, she wrote 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

back to her friends in Staunton, "I wish I could come back 
again... one does not meet so much goodwill anywhere..." and 
Watters adds (in 1942) "and now - one wonders." In April 1946, 
word had come from Ruda, the first since the German occupation 
of her homeland in 1938. She wrote, "This is a letter of thanks to 
all American women who by their courage and high ideals of 
democracy have helped to win the war. After the years of hell we 
have gone through...! want to tell you that the ideals of Mary 
Baldwin have helped me carry on; and have inspired me to 'high 
endeavor', as we sang... we are happy - happy in our newly found 
sense of freedom..." Poor Ruda - her sense of freedom was soon 
shattered (this time by the Russians) . Brief reference to her death 
is noted in the Alumnae Newsletter of 1954." 

Other exchange students came in the 1930s; another French 
girl, one from Uruguay, from Puerto Rico, from Mexico. They 
helped with French and Spanish and set a precedent for the years 
after World War II, when others would follow in their footsteps. 

The faculty and administration did take seriously their re- 
sponsibility in teaching their students about the purpose and 
function of the church related liberal arts college education for 
young women. Dean Elizabeth E. Hoon's report in 1936-37 de- 

It was to reflect the right of a woman 
to the highest possible individual 
development intellectual, moral, social 
and physical to the end that she may be 
the best kind of woman; secondly, the 
right of a woman to the highest social 
development in the sense of responsibility 
to and realization of the group in which 
she finds herself the family, the community, 
and the state.'** 

Pursuant to this aim. Dr. Jarman reported to the seniors that 
Mary Baldwin alumnae were teaching, involved in social work, 
were librarians, musicians and "designers"; a later program 
discussed salary levels for those working with and without a 
college degree and concluded college did "pay." Two-thirds of all 
women college graduates who were in the labor force were em- 
ployed either in teaching or "clerical work," it was reported. In 
1935, a series of chapel programs brought speakers to the cam- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

pus to discuss "Women in Journalism," "Women in Medicine," 
careers in fashion, retailing and business women as an "asset to 
the world." In 1938, another two-week chapel series discussed 
vocations for women (including teaching, which provided a "kind 
of immortality") and "homemaking" by former Dean Elizabeth 
Pfohl Campbell. Dr. Jarman concluded the series with some pithy 
observations on "Education as a Vocation." Seventy-five percent 
of all Mary Baldwin girls "eventually marry," he reported, but 
"twenty-five percent will never marry... Each added degree de- 
creases the number of men you would be interested in and who 
would be interested in you... teach in a town that is not too large 
if you want to get a husband," he advised. In a later report to the 
board of trustees. Dr. Jarman expanded these views: 

The goal of Mary Baldwin College, 
is to foster a type of personality; the 
goal is neither a business woman, nor 
a mother or even the scholar, but the 
person, resourceful, attractive and 
service minded, fitted with habits and 
attitudes, interests and ideals that 
qualify her for the good life in her chosen 
community... Thus it is through their in- 
fluences on their husband and children 
that their lives count in society at large. ^^ 

The Mary Baldwin College women of the 1930s seemed to be 
getting some mixed signals about careers and marriage, and it is 
apparent that Dr. Jarman and Dr. Eraser had similar views about 
women's roles, even if Dr. Jarman's was a bit more flexible. But in 
thel940s (if briefly) many new fields of endeavor opened for 
women, and the college encouraged them to take advantage of 
these opportunities. 

An indispensable partner in the well-being of any college is its 
active and dedicated alumnae. Dr. Jarman and Margarett Kable 
Russell worked very hard during these early college years to 
organize and expand alumnae activities. In 1925, Dr. Eraser, 
while dealing with the uncomfortable realities of the alumnae 
campaign, had perceptively pointed out the handicap under which 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

the Alumnae Association labored. All of the alumnae (until 1924) 
were graduates of the seminary, not the college. Many had 
attended the school for two years or less; others had entered as 
"little girls" and had gone elsewhere for their more advanced 
education. Thus, almost all alumnae had divided loyalties, having 
attended more than one school. And, of course, they were women, 
most of whose husbands had their own colleges and universities 
to support. Until very recent years, family support for education- 
al institutions has very heavily favored the husband's alma 
mater. The Mary Baldwin alumnae were widely scattered geo- 
graphically which made the formation and sustaining of local 
chapters difficult, and limited those who had the time and energy 
to visit their old school. Until the campaigns of the 1920s, the 
alumnae had never been asked to do anything for the college; 
their meetings had been for fellowship and reminiscence. Their 
dues were $1.00 a year, and there had been no other sources of 
financial support. There was not even a satisfactory directory or 
record of previous students, and many were "lost." Although 
valiant efforts had been made during the 1925-28 fund-raising 
projects to create an alumnae association more in keeping with 
a college, the failures of the campaigns (particularly their own) 
had dampened alumnae spirits and lowered their morale. In 1926, 
there were about 5800 living alumnae. Addresses had been 
secured for a little more than half of them, and only 700 were dues- 
paying members. By 1929, when Dr. Jarman came, the active 
members numbered about 1,000, due largely to the determined 
efforts of Margarett Kable Russell, president of the National 
Association, and Fannie Strauss, treasurer; but the organization 
desperately needed a sense of purpose and direction. ^° This they 
received from the new president, who was keenly aware of the 
need to revitalize alumnae spirit. The board of trustees continued 
to provide $1200 a year support (a practice begun in 1927), and Dr. 
Jarman provided office space, at first in the Administration 
Building and later in a rented and eventually purchased building 
which became the Alumnae "Club House." In addition, a full-time 
"executive secretary" was employed and the alumnae records 
were made part of the official archives of the college. Mrs. Russell 
had insisted that an "educated Alumna is an interested Alumna" 
and regular publications, called variously "Newsletters" and 
"Bulletins," with illustrations, messages from the administration, 
chapter news, and other pertinent information were created to 
make this slogan a reality. A new constitution had been approved 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

in 1929, and another in 1932. A Directory was published in 1930. 
A program of sending birthday cards (begun by Mary Benham 
Mitchell Black and Dorothy Hisey Bridges) was continued and 
expanded. Alumnae were invited to return to the campus on two 
special occasions during the year: Mary Julia Baldwin's birthday 
(October 4th) and Commencement Weekend. 

In 1935 and again in 1936, a very ambitious progi'am called 
"Alumnae Weekend" was introduced. This was held in March with 
a series of lectures by faculty and others, concerts, exhibits and 
chapel programs. The first "weekend" had the theme of "America 
in a Changing World." Eighty-four alumnae attended. The sec- 
ond, called "Toward an Understanding of our Present World," had 
61 registrants. The scholarly papers were published in the Bulle- 
tins , as was a reading list, and this attempt at "adult education" 
was launched with idealistic hopes and energies. Unfortunately, 
the numbers of those who were able to come were not sufficient to 
support the costs, and no other "weekends" were held until after 
World War II, although the idea has never been totally abandoned 
and many variations have since been tried. ^^ 

Local chapters have waxed and waned in number and enthu- 
siasm. In 1928, there were 15 "active" local chapters. Forty-two 
chapters were listed in 1941, but due to war conditions only four 
of these (Washington, Norfolk, Richmond and Staunton) survived 
by 1945. By far the most active chapters were, naturally, the local 
ones — Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County (variously 
combined and separated). Although not officially organized as a 
"chapter" until 1914, the local alumnae were the center of the 
"Home Association," and in the early years distinguishing the 
local from the "national" organization was often difficult, since the 
same women participated in both groups. ^^ The Staunton chapter 
had taken the lead in supporting the alumnae campaigns of the 
1920s and was an ever-present help in the 1930s. The distin- 
guished lecture and concert series of that decade were often 
initiated and subsidized by them. They brought Amelia Earhart, 
Helen Keller, Lowell Thomas, and the Don Cossack Chorus to the 
campus. They entertained the "granddaughters and little sisters" 
(legacy students), acted as hostesses for the annual alumnae 
meetings, and were the bridge between the college and the 
community. Many were local women who had been seminary 
"girls"; others were seminary and college students who met and 
married local men. Indefatigable in their loyalty and devotion to 
the college were Margarett Kable Russell, Emily Pancake Smith 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

and Fannie Strauss, and so many of their contemporaries that 
listing is impossible. 

One of the most important projects of the Alumnae Association 
in the 1930s was the "Club House." It is hard to imagine how the 
students' need for a social center could have been met without it, 
although the original purpose seems to have been more as office 
space for the alumnae executive secretary and a quiet room for 
visiting alumnae, than as a student club. The house was on the 
corner of New and Frederick; it later became the Biology building, 
and later the home of the Adult Degree Program offices. It had 
belonged to Margaret Cochran, an alumna, and in 1931, when the 
college loaned the Alumnae Association the money to rent it, it 
became a student haven, as well. Although they could not enter- 
tain "dates" there, there was a "tea room" which served sand- 
wiches, Coca-Cola, and desserts; one could play bridge, read 
magazines, smoke (the only place on campus where a student 
could ), and listen to the radio. In 1936, an "automatic Victrola," 
which a later generation would call a "jukebox," was installed, the 
club receiving 25% of the proceeds of the nickels charged for each 
record. This soon proved to be one of the largest sources of re- 
venue. Upstairs bedrooms were rented to visiting alumnae, and 
"The Club" was used for alumnae chapter meetings and social 
occasions, and just as a place to "drop in" while shopping down- 
town. There was much painting and papering. In 1937, two new 
davenports, three overstuffed chairs, two mirrors, two single 
beds, two chests of drawers, and curtains cost $137.15, plus some 
old furniture which was traded in, and when the college purchas- 
ed the property in 1937 for $ 14,000, the alumnae could report they 
were out of debt and had sufficient income to pay a full-time 
manager and to cover operating expenses. There was a student 
government committee which shared with the alumnae the mak- 
ing and enforcing of house rules, and the alumnae perceived the 
student contact as a very useful way of encouraging students to 
support the college after their graduation. Other than "The Club," 
student social life was confined to the college parlors which were 
also redecorated in this decade with alumnae assistance; the 
Upper Back Gallery; the "long room" where they played Ping- 
Pong and billiards; the stairways in the Administration Building; 
and the outside front terraces. So the "Club" was a much-needed 
asset, and the alumnae undertaking of this ambitious project was 
much appreciated."'^ 

Money was scarce during the Depression years. Often the one- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

dollar-a-year alumnae dues dropped off alarmingly, and the 
publication costs of the Bulletin were hard to cover. In an effort to 
raise additional funds, the Association devised one of its most 
successful projects: Emily Smith was chairman of the "Plate 
Committee," and, in 1936, arrangements were made to secure 
Wedgwood dinner plates in four colors, blue, mulberry, green and 
sepia, with a floral border and a picture of the Administration 
Building in the middle. They were to be a "sentimental reminder 
of happy school days — ideal for... wedding or Christmas presents." 
They were $1.50 each or $15.00 a dozen. They were an immediate 
success, and several reorders were made before World War II 
temporarily brought the supply to a halt.^^ 

Returning alumnae would see modest changes and improve- 
ments to the physical plant in the 1930s, although no major 
building program could be undertaken. The college campus, four 
acres in size at the time of Mary Julia's death, was not much 
greater thirty years later. One of the priorities of the Jarman 
administration was to acquire ownership of all the remaining non- 
college properties bounded by Frederick, New, Academy and 
Market Streets. In the 1930s there were small privately owned 
frame houses behind Memorial, all along Academy and between 
Rose Terrace and Academy Street. All of this property was finally 
purchased by 1940. In addition, the college held title to and 
provided upkeep expenses for the Manse (the Woodrow Wilson 
Birthplace) from 1929-39. The college still owned the 200+ acres 
on the north end of town — the apple orchard — which had been the 
hoped-for new site of the college and was to be sold in 1944, and 
the property on North Augusta Street which had been Miss 
Baldwin's "farm." 

There was also a house across Frederick Street, next to the 
First Presbyterian Church, called the "Teachers House" (later 
Fraser Hall) which had been owned by Miss Baldwin. 

As the student enrollment increased, it became imperative 
that more dormitory space be secured. Students were housed in 
Fraser Hall, where the Graftons occupied a downstairs apart- 
ment, in the Chapel building, in Main, in Sky High, which also 
housed the totally inadequate gymnasium and the pool, and after 
1935, in Riddle Hall, a large house across New Street, purchased 
for $15,000. Still, the need for new dormitory space was an ever- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

present concern throughout the Jarman era. 

Even more necessary was more classroom and laboratory 
space and room for expanded library needs. Something absolutely 
had to be done to relieve the congestion and the noise in Academic, 
which not only housed the library (on the second floor), but music 
and practice rooms, lecture rooms and laboratories! The first to go 
were the music rooms, moved temporarily to two small buildings 
on North New Street, later to Riddle, and then in 1941, to the 
Schmidt House, which is now called Miller and is used for 
Development and Institutional Planning. The laboratories for 
Chemistry and Physics were housed, after 1936, in a building on 
the corner of Market and Frederick ( originally the Beckler House) , 
simply called the Chemistry, or Science Building, and the library 
was allowed to expand to part of the third floor of Academic, where 
some faculty offices were also provided. After 1942, Business and 
Speech classes were moved to Sky High, which further helped to 
relieve some of the pressure on Academic. The Art department 
eventually found a home in the Pancake House on Frederick 
Street. The total of all of these purchases, made from current 
funds and bought year by year as funds allowed, was approxi- 
mately $100,000. Considering that the income-producing endow- 
ment funds of the college had suffered considerable depreciation 
during the years of the Depression (Dr. Watters shows a net gain 
in endowment funds of only $154,350 for the ten years, 1929-39), 
one can appreciate how carefully these purchases were made and 
how hard it was to predict from year to year what funds would be 
available. ^^ 

Other money was spent during this decade to provide more 
modern conveniences and safety for students and faculty. Show- 
ers and laundry facilities were installed in the dormitories, a mail 
room with boxes for each student was provided in 1931 (endingthe 
old familiar "mail call"), the entire physical plant was rewired in 
1935, and a limited system of automatic sprinklers was added to 
some wooden structures. The students were delighted with the 
changes in the Chapel building and contributed materially to 
bringing them about. Gone were the "circus benches" and the 
study desks. The stage was widened, a hardwood floor was 
installed, stage lights were provided, brown velvet curtains hung, 
and an organ installed for use in chapel programs. "Opera seats" 
were set on a sloping floor, and for several years each student 
purchased one seat, as did many faculty and alumnae. The floor 
of the Chapel was reinforced and strengthened, the dining room 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

on the lower floor was remodeled and redecorated, with some 
insulating material added to deaden the noise and rubber tips 
fastened onto the chairs, so that when 300 students arose simul- 
taneously (no one could leave until the dean folded her napkin and 
stood up), the noise would be less deafening. Late in the decade, 
two large mirrors were installed, which helped to give the appear- 
ance of greater space than actually existed in that very crowded 

Campus Comments in 1936 makes mention of "Little House," 
beloved for years as the "home" of the junior class president. It 
called it the "smallest dormitory on a college campus." 

Throughout the decade of the thirties. Dr. Jarman, with the 
help of generous gifts, sought to secure boxwood to replace those 
trampled and destroyed during Woodrow Wilson's 1912 visit and 
to add them elsewhere on the campus. There was also a modest 
bookstore, at first behind the dining room and later in the "post 
office gallery" in Main. Some clay tennis courts were placed 
behind Rose Terrace for student use. 

There was considerable shuffling of office space in the Admin- 
istration Building. In addition to the rooms for day students, the 
expanded administrative staff needed office space and more 
"college-appropriate" equipment. Somehow this was managed. 
The parlors were redecorated with the help of a gift honoring 
Elizabeth Hamer Stackhouse (a seminary student of 1882), the 
alumnae, and the senior classes of 1934 and 1938. Even a new 
front door was provided as the class gift of 1935!'^*' 

Throughout all of these improvements, the same careful 
standards of upkeep, maintenance and cleanliness which had 
characterized the King era continued into the next generation. 
One of the outstanding features of the seminary and then of the 
college was the beauty of the physical plant and the park-like 
atmosphere of the tranquil inner courts. The students themselves 
prized this highly, as do the current students, and while the 
modern-day bulletin boards are filled to overflowing, and occa- 
sionally the lounges are a bit rumpled, generally graffiti is at a 
minimum, and the "homelike" atmosphere so cherished by Miss 
Baldwin and her successors has continued. Until recent years, 
when the campus is occupied year-round, every summer as soon 
as the students left, the paint buckets and ladders emerged and 
the "usual summer refurnishing," as Dr. Jarman called it, began. 
Without this care, our venerable campus would look its age; 
instead, it projects architectural charm, cream paint, green ter- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

races, and mature trees and shrubs. 

All of these efforts were, at best, temporary solutions to long- 
range problems. With an enrollment of over 300 students and 
with the increasing requirements of accrediting agencies for 
facilities to match academic offerings, Dr. Jarman and his deans 
recognized early in the 1930s that a building program would 
eventually have to be undertaken. But the college had such 
limited financial resources (and seemingly no place to secure any 
more) that this appeared, in the strained years of the Depression, 
an impossibility.^' It is difficult to imagine how Dr. Jarman and 
the board had the courage even to conceive such a scheme, with 
painful memories of the 1920s campaigns still so vivid, but Dr. 
Jarman persisted. As early as 1932, he had proposed a 10-year 
program of physical expansion, which would culminate in the 
centennial in 1942. It would include building a new gymnasium, 
a new dormitory, and a music building, and called for increasing 
the endowment and adding scholarships. On 26 February 1937, 
Dr. Jarman appointed a faculty committee to study the physical 
needs of the college, to invite student suggestions, to visit three 
other Virginia women's colleges and to return with a priorities 
list. The final report listed a science building, then a gymnasium 
(auditorium), a fine arts building, a dormitory, and a dining room 
as immediate basic needs. The list continued with at least 10 
further suggestions and was given added urgency by the refusal 
of the Association of American Universities to place the college on 
its approved list until more classroom/library space was available. 
But, the AAU relented in 1938, and the college was fully accred- 
ited by 1940.88 

Appearing in the Catalogue for the first time in 1936-37, and 
for many years thereafter, was an insert called "An Enduring 
Investment — The Needs of the College." This listed the various 
buildings needed for college expansion as well as the land on 
which to erect them, and special academic areas which needed 
endowed support. These included Sociology, Science, as well as 
Bible and Religion (as a memorial to Mary Julia Baldwin). A 
bequest form was included and additional inquiries invited. This 
public effort at attracting parent, alumnae, corporation and 
foundation support lagged far behind that of competing colleges, 
but it was the beginning of modern development campaign tech- 
niques which Mary Baldwin desperately needed. ^^ One can 
assume that the process of redefining the synod-college relation- 
ship also stemmed from the perception that "outside" sources of 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

revenue would have to be secured and that a Umiting church 
relationship could no longer be afforded.^*' 

In 1938, the board of trustees appointed a Committee on 
Survey and Planning, with Dr. Jarman as chairman (in spite of his 
absence of several months the year before owing to ill health). The 
committee worked diligently and presented to the board in May 
1939 a plan for a "New Century" of the college's existence, which 
the board approved. Its most immediate recommendation was to 
build an auditorium-gymnasium, to be placed at the corner of 
Academy and New Streets and to be completed by 1942 as the 
"Centennial Building." (Three months later, in September 1939, 
Hitler's and Stalin's tanks rolled into Poland, and World War II 
began. ) By giving approval for the building of a major new facility 
on the "old" campus, the board gave tacit consent to the concept 
that the downtown location of the college was permanent. In fact, 
they had been moving to this position since the mid- 1930s when 
they had begun to acquire the real estate bounded by Frederick, 
New, Academy and Market Streets.®^ In April 1937, Lucien P. 
Giddens was appointed as "Director of Public Relations," to be in 
"full charge" of the Centennial plans and programs, and as 
assistant to President Jarman. He soon named the project "Ensie" 
(New Century). The girls enthusiastically embraced the concept 
of "baby Ensie" and pushed a student, Ruth Peters, around in a 
baby carriage as a symbol of their support. Mr. Giddens embarked 
on an ambitious program of alumnae solicitation, community and 
church support, and faculty, staff, and student contribution. It 
almost seemed as though the campaigns of the 1920s had been 
revived, but the goals were far more modest, the organization far 
better and the immediate results much more quickly apparent. ^'^ 

To assist Mr. Giddens, a faculty member, Karl E. Shedd, 
Professor of Modern Languages since 1934, was given some 
released time; the alumnae executive secretary, Winifred Love, 
coordinated her efforts with theirs, and Margarett Kable Russell 
agi^eed to another term as president of the Alumnae Association 
to help. She was ably assisted by An villa Prescott Schultz, later 
president of the Alumnae Association (1942-44), and by President 

The decision to build an auditorium/gymnasium was not made 
lightly. The need for more physical education facilities had been 
recognized since the junior college days, and Miss Higgins, in the 
1920s, had frequently importuned Dr. Eraser and the executive 
committee of the board for such a facility. The swimming pool in 


To Live III Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

Sky High was hardly more than an oversized bathtub — today, if 
there had been hot water circulating, it would be called a Jacuzzi — 
and the gym had hardly room for two basketball teams, much less 
spectators. In the 1930s the Mary Baldwin College students used 
the facilities of the YMCA a block from the campus for swimming, 
bowling, and other sports activities. They took taxis (the college 
had briefly considered buying a bus but had been unable to afford 
it) to the "athletic field," or the old seminary farm for field hockey 
and Softball, and transportation for golf and horseback riding was 
even more complicated. An excellent physical education instruc- 
tor, Mary Collins Powell, sought odd corners for calisthenics, for 
modern dance, for archery; and there were yearly contests for the 
student with the "best posture." 

Equally obvious was the need for an auditorium. The college 
had outgi'own the old "chapel," refurbished though it had been, 
and the physical condition of the building meant only limited 
attendance could be permitted at community events such as 
lectures, plays and concerts. 

Although the pressures were great on the board Committee on 
Survey and Planning to build instead a Fine Arts Center or a 
dormitory or new eating facilities, in the end they opted to build 
the gymnasium/auditorium first, to be followed "immediately" by 
a new dormitory. Their choice was perhaps made a bit easier by 
the acquisition of the Beckler House, which provided laboratory 
and classroom space for Physics and Chemistry and which might 
be considered to meet these needs for at least a decade. An 
engineer surveyed the existing campus, and a planning architect 
was hired who presented a plan for the future growth of the 
campus after the gymnasium/auditorium, which suggested that 
any further new buildings would have to be located across Market 
Street. The decision was made that the student body would 
remain at approximately 350. "... a student body much larger than 
the present one would so dilute the personal message of the faculty 
and the administration that the general tone and tradition of the 
college would be changed." The committee also noted that, in 
1939, there were only 600 dues-paying alumnae out of 5000 and 
that the annual income from the college endowment was $14,305. 
The committee agreed that it was primarily the duty of the board 
of trustees to "procure the funds for the building and the endow- 
ment" but v/arned it would depend on "the earnestness, the 
enthusiasm, the persistence, and the cooperation" of everyone. ^^ 

How did the board of trustees propose to raise the money? 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

Unless some major gifts materialized (and none, at this time, did), 
it would have to come from the same sources to which Dr. Fraser 
had appealed: the alumnae, the students, parents and faculty, 
and from the community and college "friends." There was a 
modest financial foundation. The $30,000 left from the alumnae 
campaign of 1925-26 had been retained. Interest on that account 
had added $6,000 more. The money had been intended to pay for 
a building to be named in honor of W. W. King, but the alumnae 
in the 1930s had allowed the funds to be counted toward the 
college endowment in order to qualify for the various accredita- 
tions. Now this money could be used for the first new building to 
be erected on the campus since 1911; the Board of Trustees agreed 
it would be called the "William Wayt King Gymnasium-Audito- 
rium." There followed a vigorous campaign to appeal to and to 
activate the alumnae. President Jarman, Lucien Giddens, Karl 
Shedd and Winifred Love "visited alumnae from Michigan to 
Texas, from Florida to Boston." In the end, a personal appeal was 
made to almost the entire 5,000 alumnae, with gratifying results. 
Another $57,000 was pledged, which combined with the $36,000 
made the alumnae contribution a possible $93,000. In the spring 
of 1940, a well organized campus campaign raised another $20,000 
from faculty, students and their parents and, in 1941, the Staunton 
Chamber of Commerce consented to sponsor a local campaign as 
well. It was agreed that the new auditorium would be available 
for community events (but not community dances) on a limited 
basis, and with the understanding that this would provide a civic 
facility as well as a college one. The local campaign, assisted with 
vigor by the local alumnae and board of trustees members, raised 
nearly another $20,000.^^ All the expenses coincident to these 
campaigns were borne by the college from current expenses. 

An architect, Henry C. Hibbs of Nashville, Tennessee, was 
engaged in 194 1 , and the plans for a three story, brick, cinderblock 
building (60' x 130') were approved, as was the location on the 
corner on New and Academy Streets. The swimming pool and 
necessary locker rooms were to be on the ground floor; the 
auxiliary gymnasium (soon to be called the "Mirror Room"), 
classrooms, a "social center" and offices on the second floor; and 
the auditorium-gymnasium, seating up to 1,000 with a raised 
stage at one end, on the third floor. The exterior style was to match 
the rest of the college architecture, described inaccurately as 
"southern colonial." The estimated cost of construction was 
$150,000, and in view of the possible shortfall in funds because 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

pledges were not always paid on time or in full, the board agreed 
that "one unit at a time" should be built with a "pay-as-you-go 
policy" not to exceed (at first) $100,000. The assumption was that 
the swimming pool floor would be left unfinished if necessary. 

The board was aware of the psychological advantage the "New 
Century" program provided to the fund raising; they also were 
appreciative of the necessity of proceeding quickly lest the rising 
costs of a war economy, even though the United States was not yet 
an active participant, swallow up what financial advantage they 
had achieved. It was also, with considerable foresight, pointed out 
that building materials might be scarce unless they were ordered 
immediately, and they felt, since "we have discussed a building for 
fifteen years..." to delay longer "would be disastrous to the long 
term building programs." Consequently, a decision was reached 
to begin work in June of 1941, lay the cornerstone in October of 
1941, and complete the building, or as much of it as could be paid 
for, by October 1942, on Founders' Day.^^ 

The seminary had not, for various reasons, observed previous 
chronological milestones. There had been no mention in 1892 of 
the 50th anniversary of its "founding," and the 75th, in 1917, had 
coincided with World War I, so some proposed plans for that had 
been set aside. But Dr. Jarman was determined that the 100th 
year would be observed with dignity, commitment, and celebra- 
tion- and so it was, even though World War II was in progress and 
the United States had been actively involved for nine months by 
the time the ceremonies were concluded. 

Three occasions were selected: 4 October 1941; the Centennial 
Commencement, 5-8 June 1942; and 4 October 1942, as special 
highlights of the Centennial year. In the first such ceremony since 
the cornerstone of the Administration Building had been laid in 
1843, the cornerstone for the King Building was duly put in place 
with the help of the Masons, the Governor of Virginia (whose two 
sisters were alumnae), the Mayor of Staunton, and relatives of 
Rufus Bailey and Mary Julia Baldwin. Congratulatory telegrams 
came from President and Mrs. F. D. Roosevelt and Mrs. Cordell 
Hull, wife of the Secretary of State and an alumna. The former 
dean, Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell, gave the Senior Investiture 
address, "We March as We Remember." The pastor of the First 
Presbyterian Church, the president of Hampden-Sydney, repre- 
sentatives of the Synod of Virginia, of the alumnae, of the board 
of trustees, all were participants. The beauty and care with which 
the ceremony was observed signaled that Mary Baldwin College 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

had indeed come of age.^^ Two months later, Japanese bombers 
attacked Pearl Harbor. 

Inevitably, some plans for 1942 were curtailed, but the King 
Building was rising rapidly on the corner of New and Academy, as 
most of the supplies ordered so hastily in 1941 had been delivered, 
and the board and college administration decided that "there will 
be a Centennial... changed not in kind but in degree". Even the 
"scaled down" version of Commencement, 5-8 June 1942, is 
enough to make a college administration, 50 years later, wince. 
The events covered a four-day period and included solemn ad- 
dresses, historical pageants, class gifts (large boxwoods for the 
front of the new building), a May Queen and her court, bands, 
tableaux, banquets, a baccalaureate sermon at First Presbyterian 
Church, a garden party at Rose Terrace, a Commencement speaker, 
Herbert Agar, who assured the 64 graduates of the largest class 
to date that "Our Men are Not Dying in a Charade," and an 
exuberance of awards. Dr. Jarman presented the non-student 
Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award to "all the Alumnae" in recogni- 
tion of their generous contributions and long struggle to erect a 
building to honor their dearly loved Mr. King. Later, preceding 
the Open House at President Jarman's home, the 90 alumnae 
graduates of the old seminary "university course" were admitted 
en masse to the Mary Baldwin Honor Society. No one could deny 
that Mary Baldwin College had entered upon her "New Century" 
in style. ^^ 

In September of 1942, the Synod of Virginia had its annual 
meeting on the Mary Baldwin College campus in honor of the 
Centennial, and, on 3 October 1942, senior investiture was fol- 
lowed as usual by the Ivy Ceremony. This time the ivy was planted 
in front of the King Building. The president of Davidson College, 
Dr. John Rood Cunningham, delivered the dedicatory address, 
followed by comments on the service of W. W. King by Dr. Jarman. 
There was an academic procession, but by no means the elaborate 
one that had been previously planned. The celebrations con- 
cluded, the college turned its attention to the concerns and 
decisions that the Second World War had brought. 

The shock of Pearl Harbor brought Dr. Jarman back to the 
campus in January, 1942, from his usual Florida vacation. He and 
Dean Grafton attended conferences in Richmond and Lynchburg 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

in which the presidents of the four-year colleges in Virginia 
discussed their response to the war emergency. Meeting with the 
students at Chapel, in those bewildering days of January 1942, 
Dr. Jarman told them that they and their country were in a "total 
war," that all must make a "united effort to win this war so that 
we all can make a nev/ start toward a better world." Women in 
wartime, he continued, often take over many tasks "ordinarily 
assigned to men," but women's primary role will continue to be the 
conserving of the "intangible, the spiritual values of life, 
centering... around the home." Women's task is to keep and 
expand morale -"all of you must be cheerful, hopeful and helpful." 
Secondty, Dr. Jarman told them what their principal task would 
be when the war was finished — "your generation must win the 
peace... College women must be ready for the opportunities and 
responsibilities of peace..." To do this, women must commit 
themselves to "more and better" education than ever before, 
where sound training in liberal values would be the best contribu- 
tion one could make to the war effort. 

It was agreed that there would be no "accelerated program" at 
Mary Baldwin College, although approved summer school credit 
secured elsewhere would be accepted; academic standards would 
be upheld; the commitment to men faculty members (up to one- 
third of the total faculty) would be maintained, if possible; student 
and faculty efforts to help the war effort would be encouraged; and 
vacation schedules would be adjusted to transportation realities. 
(Students living west of the Mississippi were given two or three 
extra days to return to college after Christmas.) Spring vacation 
became an "Easter Weekend." Accommodation for students who 
left before graduation, either for marriage or service, would be 
arranged. Men faculty members who were subject to the draft or 
who volunteered would be given leaves of absence. Dr. Mahler, 
Mr. Day, Dr. Broman, and Dr. Vandiver all departed for military 
assignments, as did Winifred Love, the Alumnae executive secre- 
tary, who became one of the first WAVES in the country. The 
Alumnae News Letter and Campus Comments reprinted letters 
from these and o^her absent friends. Fathers, brothers, fiances 
were soon on far-flung battlefields, and there was an undercur- 
rent of sadness and tension in much that transpired in the next 
four years. 

Although there had been much uncertainty about the impact 
of the war on enrollment (and those "provisional" contracts were 
again issued), the college continued to operate at boarding capac- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

ity during the war. It is not exactly clear as to why this was so; 
perhaps parents felt their daughters would be "safe" in a rural 
area far from military camps and urban centers. By 1943, how- 
ever, a military hospital had been erected less than five miles from 
the campus, with some college interaction not previously antici- 
pated. Nor did the war appear to affect the number of seniors, 
which, except for 1942, the Centennial year, remained relatively 
stable at about 43 each year. There does not seem to have been a 
major geographical impact, either. If an3rthing, the number of 
students from Virginia declined (from 122 to 101); the number 
from southern states gradually increased; those from the north- 
east and the midwest peaked in the early war years (at 78) and 
then declined. Those from Staunton and the immediate vicinity 
remained relatively constant.^® 

There was, however, a decided impact on the curriculum and 
on the living style of students and faculty. Pursuant to govern- 
ment direction, and with newsreel pictures of the bombings in 
Coventry, Liverpool and London on their minds, blackout cur- 
tains were devised for the buildings, and an air raid alert system 
using junior and senior students in the dormitories was put in 
place. Dr. Mildred Taylor was appointed chief Air Raid Warden 
for the college, and her efficiency and enthusiasm were predict- 
able. Extracurricular courses in first aid and automobile mechan- 
ics were introduced and were immediately popular. Seven faculty 
emergency committees were appointed in the spring of 1942; 
Books for Soldiers, Defense Savings, Academic Consideration, 
Publicity, Physical Fitness and Health, Safety and Spiritual 
Preparedness and Morale. After the situation clarified, many of 
these committees became inactive or merged into the work of the 
Victory Corps. The faculty and staff voted that, "for the duration," 
all would commit themselves to buying up to two percent of their 
yearly salary in Defense Bonds and Stamps and, in the first wave 
of patriotism, voted that they would "share" any "risks and 
burdens incident to the war situation." The board later inter- 
preted this to mean that the faculty would accept cuts in salary if 
it were necessary. Fortunately, although salaries were not raised 
until 1944, they were not cut, but the regular teaching load was 
increased to 16 hours. As some custodians were drafted and maids 
left for more profitable war work, they were not always replaced. 
"Students will be used to do some of the work," it was announced, 
although exactly how this was implemented is not clear. By 1943, 
the faculty were prepared as a "wartime measure" to give aca- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

demic credit for "secretarial courses"; up to 12 semester hours 
toward graduation for accounting and business law were to be 
granted, but not typing unless taken in conjunction with stenog- 
raphy. The board of trustees "dubiously" agreed. Vocational 
guidance efforts were expanded and course sequences for "pre- 
nursing," laboratory technology, and professional education ap- 
peared in the Catalogue . Beginning in 1943 and continuing until 
1946, a "War Supplement" was included, committing the college 
to the two-fold task of preserving the "fundamental objectives... of 
the liberal arts tradition" and making "such adjustments in 
requirements, courses, emphases and procedures as will permit 
early specialization... and preparation for practical service to our 
countiy." "War courses" were added: "Refresher Mathematics"; 
foods and menu planning; community recreational leadership; 
medical laboratory techniques; "contemporary literature as pro- 
paganda"; current world history; and introduction to social work. 
Advice on how to qualify for civil service positions in personnel 
work, militaiy cryptogi^aphy, meteorology, public administration, 
consular and diplomatic services, newspaper writing, translat- 
ing, and also in the various branches of the armed services open 
to women ( WAACS, WAVES, SPARS, Marines) and the Red Cross 
were included. B}^ 1943, individual students were allowed to 
"accelerate" their work by taking overloads and attending sum- 
mer school, and to take examinations early. In addition, various 
non-credit "war classes" were held on Friday evenings, Saturday 
afternoons, and Saturday night. They included Home Nursing, 
Home Mechanics, Photography, "Propaganda Through Posters" 
and "Keeping up with the War." 

By 1943, a student-faculty group known as the "Victory Corps" 
and directed by Dr. Mary Humphreys coordinated student volun- 
teer efforts. Bandages were rolled, salvage collected, and war 
bonds and stamps sold regularly. Excerpts from letters from men 
in the armed forces to their sisters and fiancees at Mary Baldwin 
College regularly appeared in Campus Comments . Information 
about how many cartridges (five for ten cents), guns, helmets, and 
jeeps, war bonds would buy, along with diagi^ams of anti-aircraft 
guns and maps of war-zones regularly appeared. 

By June 1943, the Mary Baldwin Victory Corps had raised 
enough money to buy a "jeep" ($1,049), and in 1944, proposed to 
buy an airplane. Eventually they did raise the $3,000 which was 
required to buy a small "spotter" airplane called a "grasshopper." 
By the fall of 1943, arrangements for student donations of blood 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

had been made (parental permission was required), and a chapel 
address focused on women's responsibilities "after the war." The 
list is interesting. Women should demand equal pay for equal 
work; there must be "racial justice"; volunteer work should be 
continued and expanded; and the family unit must be kept 
strong.^*' At least as far as the latter commitment is concerned, 
Mary Baldwin students did their part. Campus Comments , as 
well as the Alumnae Newsletter , was regularly full of wartime 
marriages, both of recent graduates, as well as of some students 
who left before completing their degrees. At least one day student 
was allowed to return to classes after her marriage for the 
remaining months of her senior year, her husband having left the 

In April 1945, a memorial service honoring Franklin D. 
Roosevelt was held, but there was no mention of President 
Truman, and V-E Day was acknowledged in a Chapel service in a 
muted fashion. However, student participation in war bond 
drives continued, culminating in at least two raffles in which 
wounded veterans from the Woodrow Wilson Hospital were auc- 
tioned for war bonds and stamps. There followed dances in King, 
with the highest bidders claiming their dates. Earlier, the regular 
"spring dance" had been held in honor of the United Nations. The 
college was still closed for the summer on V-J Day, and the first 
postwar edition of the student newspaper focused on campus 
events, some of which had great portent for the future.""^ 

And yet, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that life at the 
college, at least for the students, continued on during the war 
years relatively uninterrupted. The customs and traditions of the 
previous decade were observed: Openings, Founders' Day, guest 
lecturers, concerts, YWCA installations, religious emphasis weeks, 
dances, plays, comprehensives, fund raisers, holidays and exams, 
May Day and graduation — all remained on the college calendars. 
As one student wrote in an open letter to the alumnae: 

[The war] has affected us too, but hardly 
as much, I think, as it has affected you [the 
alumnae]... of course we have our meat 
rationed somewhat, but not heavily rationed. 
Every now and then we skip dessert. No 
one minds... Almost every Monday in Chapel 
we hear a news summary. ..(but) It seems we have 
our own little world here... we have more or less not 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

gotten ultra-serious over the situation. We hear a 
great deal about it, but really it all seems so far 
away that it has been hard to realize. ^°^ 

Certainly the administration was affected by the war and by 
their perceptions about the needs of the college in the postwar 
years. As difficult as the funding of King Building had been, the 
building itself was immediately put to full use - and it was hard 
to imagine how the college had managed without it. Not only were 
community war bond drives held there, but since Physical Educa- 
tion was now required twice a week for all students , the building 
was regularly filled with classroom activities. College formal 
dances were held in the auditorium; teas and receptions were 
given in the Mirror Room; the YWCA undertook to operate "The 
Nook" as a means of relieving the pressure on the alumnae Club 
House and raising money for YWCA projects. "The Nook" occu- 
pied a corner of the Mirror Room, sold sandwiches and drinks, and 
provided yet another place for the bridge games. By 1946, plans 
were underway to allow the formation of community lecture- 
concert programs, to be called the "King Series," using the audi- 
torium facilities. These later became very successful college- 
com.munity events. All students were automatically members of 
the King Series and were required to attend the programs. There 
was always a special dinner held in the dining room before each 
performance, and the students were formally dressed and given 
the choice seats. The distinguished series continued for many 
years, only coming to an end when fire regulations in the 1970s, 
coupled with student demands for relaxation of enforced atten- 
dance, brought about the demise of the program. ^^^ 

Wartime inflation, in spite of wage/price controls, put pres- 
sure on the administration to increase the long static salaries of 
faculty and staff. In 1943, the college, having received permission 
from the federal government, raised faculty salaries 57c for the 
year 1943-44 and another 59c for the following year, with the 
eventual goal of reaching a basic minimum salary for a full 
professor of $3,300. In addition, individual merit increases, as 
determined by the president, could bring the maximum paid a full 
professor to $3,600, which would put Mary Baldwin College in line 
(barely) with its competing sister institutions. By 1945, all 
administrative and clerical personnel had shared in the 10% 
raise. Soon thereafter, it was considered necessary to raise stu- 
dent fees. For boarding students in 1945-46, the annual tuition 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

fees would be $950. Day students would pay $260, and, because 
the number of students withdrawing after they had paid the 
registration fee but before the college began in the fall was 
increasing, it was agreed that the non-refundable registration fee 
would be raised to $100 beginning in 1946-47. ^°'^ 

In spite of the war, some physical plant improvements contin- 
ued. New refrigerators and gas cooking units were installed in the 
summer of 1944, which helped immeasurably in solving the 
rationing and ordering problems of the school's dietitian. And a 
continuing committee of the board of trustees pursued its goal of 
meeting the future space needs of the college. By common consent, 
a new dormitory was considered to be the next priority, and the 
planning for this had advanced to the stage of hiring an architect. 
One of the difficulties was where to put a new dormitory. The 
college site was already very crowded, and plans to add contiguous 
real estate (mostly to the east of Market Street) had been halted 
by the war, by the lack of funds, and by the reluctance of some 
private owners to sell their properties to the college. Then, in the 
winter of 1944-45, an opportunity to sell the college's 210 acres 
north of the city arose. There were several offers, and the property 
was eventually sold to Joseph F. Tannehill for $65,000. It was 
intended that the money would help in the acquiring of additional 
land closer to the downtown college site, and perhaps help with 
the final payments due on the King Building.^"'* 

Within a year, a "secret and confidential" meeting had been 
held between the executive committee of the board and Mrs. W. 
Wayt Gibbs and Mrs. Frank Black, representing King's Daugh- 
ters' Hospital, in which a possible exchange of property was 
discussed. King's Daughters' Hospital was located on Frederick 
Street, less than half a block from the college science building. In 
addition to the principal building, a contiguous "nurses' home" 
existed. The hospital (a community non-profit institution in 
existence since 1890) was feeling the need of new and modernized 
facilities, and it was hoped that Mary Baldwin College might be 
willing to acquire the present hospital building in exchange for the 
college property on North Augusta Street. The old hospital could 
be remodeled for the badly needed "new" dormitory, housing up to 
85 students, at much less expense than building a new one, and a 
"small committee" representing both institutions was appointed 
to work out the details. By April of 1946, public announcement of 
these plans had been made, with an appeal directed to alumnae 
and friends for $150,000 to be raised by April 1947. Thus the 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

process was under way which finally resulted in Bailey dormitory. 
It opened for student use 10 years later, in 1955.^°° 

As World War II approached its dramatic conclusion, some 
unexpected personnel changes came to the college. Mrs. Bessie 
Stollenwerck, for so long the able assistant to the dean of students, 
was forced to retire in December 1944, due to her health. At about 
the same time. Dr. Karl E. Shedd, head of the Modern Language 
Department, abruptly resigned, effective June 1945. He had been 
at Mary Baldwin College since 1935 and had assisted Dr. Jarman 
with the New Century Campaign. He had actively supported 
faculty programs, particularly those concerning Latin America, 
and he and his family had contributed generously to the library 
acquisitions. Apparently a quarrel with Dr. Jarman precipitated 
this resignation, but the origin of the disagreement is not clear. ^°*^ 
Then, Dean of Students Katherine Sherrill, who had been at the 
college since 1943, resigned in May 1945 due to a change in her 
family situation, and Anne Elizabeth Parker (1941) was ap- 
pointed the new dean of students, a position she held until her 
retirement in 1972. That same year Miss Abbie and Miss Nancy 
McFarland were each granted a year's sabbatical at full salary, "in 
appreciation of approximately thirty years of service to the college 
by each." The following year, both ladies retired. In the fall of 

1945, Dr. Mary Watters, who had written the centennial college 
history, was granted a leave, which eventually became a resigna- 
tion, and in May 1946, Dr. Mary Latimer (English, Speech and 
Drama) also left the college. ^*^' 

But the most unexpected change came during the first week in 
September 1945, when Dr. Jarman suffered a crippling stroke. He 
had been present at the executive committee meeting the week 
before and had appeared as well as usual, but his illness was 
severe, and it soon became apparent that he could not return to his 
duties for many months. At a special called meeting of the 
executive committee, those responsible for the college's welfare 
turned over the administrative duties of the president to Dean 
Martha Grafton, to be assisted by Dr. Turner and Mr. Daffin. She 
was later named ' Administrative Head of the College" and then 
"Acting President." Dr. Bridges would act as academic dean. The 
executive committee itself would assume the president's external 
duties. Although Dr. Jarman recovered to some extent, he and the 
board agreed that he could not return, and he resigned in March 

1946. He was named "President Emeritus," and although he 
retained his interest in the college until his death, he was never 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

again to be actively involved. ^°^ Dean Martha Grafton generously 
summarized the accomplishments of Dr. Jarman's 16 years as 
president of Mary Baldwin College for the student body on 19 
March 1946: 

The library increased from 12,000 to 33,000 volumes and 
the space available for library resources had almost doubled. 

The William Wayt King Building had been financed and 

Martha Riddle Hall, Fraser Hall, the Music and Chemistry 
Buildings, the Club House and Rose Terrace were added to the 
campus and renovated. 

The dining room and kitchen were renovated. 

The student body had gone from 180 to 320. 

The endowment fund had increased from $444,550 to 

The total value of the college had risen from $1 million to 

The faculty had increased from 20 to 34 and 1 7 of these had 
earned Ph.D.'s. 

The curriculum had been broadened to meet the demands 
of college women in Depression and War; an Honor Society had 
been founded. 

The student government association and the honor system 
had been instituted. 

The Centennial History of the college had been written. 

The "charm" of the campus had been retained by addi- 
tional plantings, shrubs, trees, flowers and walkways. 

The Alumnae Association had been strengthened and 
"professionalized. " 

The college was governed by its own self-perpetuating 
board of trustees, which now included women and which had 
been reorganized to give greater service to the college. 

Plans for the future of the college had been projected. ^"^ 

So, an era had ended, and the college faced an uncertain post- 
war world without the only full-time president it had ever had. It 
was fortunate, as it would be on other occasions in the future, that 
Martha Grafton and Edmund Campbell, president of the board of 
trustees, were determined that it would grow and prosper. 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 


1 Minutes, BT 9 Oct. 1928. 22 Jan. 1929. 22 May 1929. The 
comittee was composed of Col. T. H. Russell, chairman; Dr. H. D. 
Campbell, W. H. Landis, H. B. Sproul and M. M. Edgar. 

^ Watters 409-10. Laura Martin Jarman Rivera became the 
first Mary Baldwin College graduate to earn a Ph.D. ( Spanish and 
French from Duke); Margaret Jarman Hagood later earned her 
Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina, Watters 
410. CC 17 Jan. 1930. Staunton News Leader 10 Jan. 1930. 

■^The house next to the church was called "Teachers' Hall." In 
the 1930s the Graftons lived there and also eight to ten students. 
Rose Terrace was built in 1874, reputedly the "most costly house 
in Staunton," for a Holmes Erwin. Later it had been Augusta 
Sanatorium, a private hospital owned by Dr. Whitmore and Mr. 
Catlett. By 1919, when Maiy Baldwin Seminary purchased it for 
$10,000, it was known as the "Bruce" property. It was rented in the 
1920s to Professor W. R. Schmidt, for over 40 years Professor of 
Music at the seminary. It served as the "President's home" in the 
1930s, '40s and early '50s, became a student dormitory in 1958, 
and was the French House in the 1960s. It is currently used as a 

^ Many female faculty, almost all of whom were single, occu- 
pied rooms or apartments in various college buildings; their 
contracts always called for (modest) cash salaries and "home," 
which included board as well as lodging. Teachers (and some 
deans) ate with the students and acted as hostesses at student 
tables, in addition to their academic duties. Naturally, male 
faculty and male employees lived off campus (and were paid 
higher salaries in consequence). It was not until the mid 1940s, 
when dormitory space was very limited due to a large enrollment, 
that most faculty lived off campus. Their places were taken by 
dormitory hostesses and female administrators in the dean of 
students' office. 

5 Minutes EC 13 Sept. 1929. 

^ The "list" is no longer in existence. Minutes , EC 30 July 1929. 

^ Taped interview. Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell and Irene W. D. 
Hecht, 22 Jan. 1984. Edmund and Elizabeth Campbell and Patricia 
H. Menk, 8 Oct. 1987. It was certainly EHzabethPfohl's (Campbell) 
belief that Miss Higgins would be leaving at the end of the 1929- 
30 term. She found her intimidating and resentful. MBC Ar- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

^Minutes, BT 21 Mar. 1930. Minutes SV 1929. 

9 Staunton News Leader 15 Mar. 1930. 

10 Minutes, BT 21 Mar. 1930. 

11 CC 21 Mar. 1930. 18 Apr. 1930. Staunton News Leader 30 
Mar. 1930. AN Apr. 1930. BS 1930. 

12 Staunton News Leader 15 Mar. 1930. AN July 1938. Miss 
Higgins died 7 March 1938. A memorial service in her honor was 
held at a regular chapel service at the college, Dr. Jarman spoke 
and Miss Abbie McFarland and J. W. Pilson of the board of 
trustees attended the funeral in Accomac. CC 11 Mar. 1938. 

i3MinutesEC8Apr. 1930.31Mar. 1930. Deposits at Montreat. 
Almost no manuscript records of the seminary's 19th century 
history remain; sadly, it has only been in the last generation that 
an official archives of the college has been established and many 
20th century records are incomplete or inadequate. Perhaps as an 
outgrowth of this, Dr. Jarman arranged that many of the early 
printed records of the institution, ( Catalogues . Bluestockings . 
Miscellany , and selected photographs) be deposited with the 
Historical Foundation of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches 
at Montreat, North Carolina. 

" Watters 216-20: Waddell 47-48, 57, 59. 

15 Minutes, BT 21 Jan. 1930. 

1"^ Minutes, BT 21 Jan. 1930. 18 July 1933. 20 Feb. 1936. 

1^ Minutes, BT Sept. 1930. Mr. King was succeeded by Mr. 
John B. Daffin, who was appointed business manager and profes- 
sor of Physics in September 1930. James T. Spillman was named 
assistant business manager at the same time. Both were worthy 
successors of W.W. King and served the college faithfully and 
efficiently for many years. See also: AN July 1930. Mr. King was 
awarded the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award in June of 1934, 
and the entire Alumnae Newsletter of March 1935 was dedicated 
to him. AN July 1934. On 14 Dec. 1934, the alumnae presented to 
the college an oil portrait of W.W. King, done by Bjorn Egeli, who, 
in the 1930s, did several outstanding paintings for the college. 
This portrait now hangs in the King Building. AN Mar. 1935. 
See also: AN Mar. 1939 (also quoted from Staunton News Leader 
16 Apr. 1939). See also: Minutes, BT 18 July 1935. Note that title 
and numbering of the Alumnae Association Publication vary; 
sometimes it is called "Newsletter"; sometimes "Bulletin" and the 
volume numbers are sometimes, in these early years, out of 

IS Minutes, BT 26 May 1930. In addition to the faculty resigna- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

tions and those of Higgins, Bateman and Wallace mentioned 
above, Miss Lucy (1920) and Miss Gertrude Edmondson (1919), 
matron and supervisor of practice, resigned. Faculty resignations 
included Professor C. F. Eisenberg, Music, who had been at the 
seminary since 1885, and Gertrude Ellen Meyer, Art, who had 
been on the faculty for 10 years. 

^^ In the 1927-28 session, there had been 250 students; in 
1928-29 after it was known that the seminary would close the 
following year, there were 245. In 1929-30 there were 203 stu- 
dents enrolled, including a number of "certificate students" com- 
pleting the work begun at the seminary level before 1929. There 
were 21 seniors. Minutes, BT 15 Jan. 1929. 2 July 1929. 26 May 
1930. 1 Aug. 1930. Minutes SV 1930. 


"^ Minutes SV 1931. 

2^ President Jarman's personality was controversial. Essen- 
tially authoritarian, self-willed and determined to achieve the 
goals he had set, he often seems to have been unaware of the 
verbal and body signals he sent. His administrative staff mem- 
bers, Elizabeth Pfohl and Martha Grafton, acted as buffers be- 
tween the faculty, the student body and the president. He was, 
however, much respected and well known in the Presbyterian 
church bureaucracy and was comfortable in professional and 
business circles, attributes very valuable to the college. 

^' Minutes SV 1930. passim . Minutes, BT 2 1 Feb. 1933. passim . 
21 Feb. 1935. Also, comments made to author by Dr. Mildred 
Taylor (nd). See also: Minutes^ BT 20 Mar. 1942. Salaries ranged 
from $3,300 (Daffm) to $1,600 (McFarland— librarian). Most 
female salaries included $500 "living." Minutes, BT 21 Feb. 1933. 
This concept, provisional contracts, occurred in both the World 
War I and World War II periods, as well as in the early years of the 
Depression — illustrating how uncertain of the future the college 
administration was, and how close a financial operating margin 
there was. 

^■^ This was based on an assumption that the synod churches 
would make an annual contribution of at least $30,000. Minutes 
SV 1930. In practice, synod contributions rarely amounted to 
more than $6,000 a year, which were used largely for scholarship 
funds. Dr. Jarman's brother-in-law was Dr. James R. McCain, 
who was President of Agnes Scott College and who held office in 
the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Dr. Jarman's 
wide acquaintance with the association officials and other influ- 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

ential educational leaders may well have helped the accreditation 
process. Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell and Patricia Menk, interview, 
8 Oct. 1987. Dr. McCain and Dean H. D. Campbell (a member of 
the Mary Baldwin College Board of Trustees) were both members 
of the Commission of the Institutions of Higher Education of 
SACS. In addition, Dean Campbell was on the SACS executive 
committee. Proceedings of the 1935, (and 1938) Annual Meeting 
of the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools of the 
Southern States. 4-5 Dec. 1930. 3-4 and 7-8 Dec. 1931. 

^^ Elizabeth Campbell and Patricia Menk, interview, 8 Oct. 
1987. MBC Archives. Dr. Jarman took a long vacation / business 
trip in December and early January each year. This coincided 
with the annual meetings of SACS, which he attended faithfully, 
and he also visited private and public high schools in an effort to 
recruit students. But he always spent time in Florida or Mexico, 
leaving the college in the capable hands of his administrative 
staff. He was usually back by the time the second semester began 
at the end of January. 

26 Minutes EC 25 Apr. 1932. Watters 460. Customarily, the 
Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award is made annually to a graduat- 
ing senior and a non-student (often an alumna or faculty mem- 
ber). In the 1930s, Dr. Eraser, W. W. King, Margarett Kable 
Russell, Elizabeth Pfohl (Campbell), the Misses McFarlands, 
Rosa Witz Hull, and Dr. Hunter Blakely were among the honor- 
ees. But, in 1942, in the exuberance of the Centennial celebration. 
Dr. Jarman presented the award to "all the alumnae." 

2' Minutes SV 1929. 1930. 

28 Minutes SV 1936. 1937. They suggested a relationship 
similar to that of Agnes Scott College and the Presbyterian 
Church. The report indicated that in the 13 years that the college 
had been controlled by the synod, $134,499 had been contributed, 
an average of $10,346 a year. It acknowledged that there had been 
a decline in recent years "due to the Depression." (If the synod 
churches had paid $30,000 a year, the total amount would have 
been $390,000, but the committee report did not mention that 
fact.) The synod claimed that its control of the college had led to 
an "increase" of students and made the somewhat questionable 
claim that "the seminary would never have become a college had 
not the Synod assumed ownership and control." Minutes SV 1937. 
Minutes, BT 10 Mar. 1938. 

2^ Minutes SV1938. 

3« Charter of Mary Baldwin College— Charter Book #3. 21 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

June 1939. City of Staunton, Virginia. 

^^ It should be acknowledged that no president makes appoint- 
ments totally on his own. He relies heavily on the advice of his 
deans and senior faculty. With this in mind, the fact still remains 
that the Jarman appointments ensured the success of the college 
for the next quarter century. 

32 Minutes, BT 18 July 1933. The records show that Dr. H. D. 
Campbell proposed the "wisdom and propriety" of having women 
on the board of trustees. The resolution was approved and, in 
1934, the Synod of Virginia approved the appointment of Margarett 
Kable Russell, who for many years had been president of the 
Alumnae Association. Her husband. Col. T. H. Russell (who had 
died in 1933), had been a devoted member of the board of trustees. 
In 1939, Mrs. Russell became the first woman to serve on the 
executive committee of the board. In 1939, two other women, both 
alumnae, were elected: Mrs. W. R. Craig, and Mrs. H. L. Hunt. 
Catalogue . 1933-34. 1939-40. 1940-41. 

33 Dr. Turner became a full-time faculty member in 1946. He 
resigned from the board of trustees the following year. He also 
acted as a counselor and chaplain. 

3^ Catalogue , 1929-45. passim . Edmund Campbell had acted 
for the college in a legal capacity (a matter of a disputed legacy) as 
early as 1938. Minutes EC 8 Sept. 1938. He also married Dean 
Elizabeth Pfohl in 1936, and both have remained devoted friends 
of Mary Baldwin College even after their period of active service 

35 Report of the president of the college to the board of trustees 
of Mary Baldwin College for the session of 1937-38. 

36 Ibid. 

3" Report 1938-39. Dr. Jarman gives the following figures to 
substantiate his claims: 

1929-30 - Instructional expenses: $36,300 

Administrative expenses $32,900 

1938-39 - Instructional expenses: $77,900 

Administrative expenses $31,600 

It has not been possible to ascertain where Dr. Jarman got his 
1929-30 figures, since Mr. King's accounts did not break out 
administration from faculty. Dr. Jarman had access to records 
that no longer exist, so one must accept their accuracy-although 
it does raise some interesting questions. 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarnian Years 

^^ Dr. Jarman learned about Elizabeth Pfohl from mutual 
friends in North Carolina. The Pfohl family was highly thought of 
in Winston-Salem, with many connections to the Moravian Salem 
College located there. Elizabeth Pfohl had graduated from Salem 
and had done additional work at Columbia University and the 
University of Pennsylvania; she had also been dean of the Moravian 
College for Women in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Martha 
Stackhouse was newly graduated from Agnes Scott College in 
Decatur, Georgia, and Dr. Jarman knew about her (she had been 
the president of the student body) from his brother-in-law. Dr. 
James Ross McCain, President of Agnes Scott College. Both 
Elizabeth and Martha had worked with college honor systems and 
student government. Edmund Campbell and Elizabeth Pfohl 
Campbell and Irene Hecht. Interview. 22 Jan. 1984. Edmund and 
Elizabeth Campbell, and Patricia H. Menk, interview, 8 Oct. 
1987. MBC Archives. Elizabeth Pfohl remained as dean of women 
until 1936, when she resigned to marry Edmund D. Campbell. 
Although Mr. Campbell's law practice necessitated that the couple 
live in the Washington area, they remained in close contact with 
the school. Elizabeth Campbell expended much energy and ser- 
vice in helping with the preparation for the Centennial celebra- 
tion. She was a frequent visitor and guest lecturer. Her husband 
provided legal services for the college, became a member of the 
board of trustees in 1943 (as his father had been before him), and 
served as chairman of the board after 1944, for many years. 

Martha Stackhouse served as assistant to the dean (Elizabeth 
Pfohl), and from 1932-38 as registrar, as well. In December 1932 
she married Thomas Hancock Grafton (they had met while Martha 
was still a student at Agnes Scott), who joined the Mary Baldwin 
College faculty in September 1933 as Professor of Social Sciences 
and Education (later Professor of Sociology). Dr. Jarman ap- 
proved the marriage, made arrangements to hire Dr. Grafton, and 
gave leaves of absence to accommodate the birth of twins, and 
later that of a third daughter. Martha Grafton was appointed 
dean of instruction (later called academic dean and/or dean of the 
college) in 1938. In 1942, she was designated assistant to the 
president and virtually ran the internal affairs of the college 
during the difficult war years. In 1945, she was named acting 
president, as she was in 1953, 1965, and 1968. She retired as dean 
in 1970, but both she and Thomas Grafton remained good and 
loyal friends of the college. The library, completed in 1967, is 
named in her honor. 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

^^ Other deans of women were: Elizabeth E. Hoon, 1937-38; 
Mary Ehzabeth Poole, 1938-41; Anne Inez Morton, 1941-42; 
Katherine Sherrill, 1943-45; Anne Elizabeth Parker, 1945-71. 
Catalogue, passim. 

^° Edmund D. Campbell and Patricia H. Menk, interview, 8 
Oct. 1987. MBC Archives. 

"^^ Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell and Patricia Menk, interview, 8 
Oct. 1987. Mrs. Campbell added that Miss Abbie had come to her 
several times during the period when the library had to be 
reorganized to meet SACS standards, protesting that the faculty 
were choosing the books in their respective disciplines for pur- 
chase. She said that she, as librarian, had a much better sense of 
what was needed and that she should make the fmal purchase 
decisions. Dean Pfohl was able to persuade her that the new 
standards required faculty choice. 

42 Catalogue , 1939-45. passim . In addition, there were memo- 
rable faculty members who stayed several years during the 
Jarman administration and then moved on. They made a real 
contribution to these early college years but did not have the 
longevity and therefore the inpact on generations of students that 
others had. Included among these were Kenneth L. Smoke, 
Psychology; Mary Collins Powell, Physical Education; Karl 
Eastman Shedd, Romance Languages; William E. Trout and 
Juanita Greer, Chemistry; Mary E. Latimer, Drama; and Mary 
Watters, research historian and assistant dean. 

^nVatters 443. Minutes, Fac. 6 Dec. 1938. 9 Jan. 1940. 

*4 Minutes, Fac. 9 Jan. 1940. Usually, the academic dean would 
be the person to evaluate classroom procedure and performance, 
but Dr. Jarman apparently wished to be personally involved. 

"^5 Dr. Jarman did appear faithfully at major college events, 
such as opening Chapel, Founders' Day, Apple Day, Christmas 
celebrations, and Commencement week activities, and he regu- 
larly gave current events programs to the student body. In the last 
few years of his administration. Dr. Jarman's activities were 
restricted by his poor health, and he was often absent for long 
periods of time. 

46 In 1931, the salary range was $1,500 to $3,000; in 1945, the 
range was $2,000 to $3,600. Men and women of equal ranks were 
paid equally, although one couple, Elizabeth and Horace Day, 
occasionally shared one position. Minutes, BT 27 May 1930. 8 
Mar. 1945. 

4- Minutes, Fac. 9 Dec. 1935. 12 Apr. 1938. 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

^^ Elizabeth Campbell and Patricia Menk, interview, 8 Oct. 
1987. MBC Archives. 

'^^ Watters 446-58, gives an excellent summary of these cur- 
riculum changes. See also: BS 1942. Report of the president, Jan, 
1931, in Minutes, Fac. 2 Mar. 1931. Among the speakers and 
programs presented at the college during these years were such 
distinguished persons as Peter Marshall, Will Durant, Carl 
Sandburg, Amelia Earhart, Virginius Dabney, John Mason Brown, 
Douglas Southall Freeman, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Arthur H. 
Compton, Francis Pickens Miller, Efrem Zimbalist, Arthur Fiedler 
and the Boston Sinfonietta, and Alexander Kerensky. 

^° The pattern of the woman physician teaching Biology came 
to an end when the "team" of Dr. Lillian Thomsen and Dr. Mary 
Humphreys became the Biology faculty — a happy relationship 
that existed until 1963, when Dr. Thomsen retired and Dr. John 
Mehner became the first male to teach Biology at Mary Baldwin 
College. There is no question that the decision to have women 
physicians teach Biology was originally a deliberate choice, but 
the long persistence of the pattern may well be happenstance. 
Minutes, BT 21 Feb. 1935. 18 July 1935. 21 July 1936. It says 
something about the plight of women physicians that Dr. Amelia 
Gill (BA Westhampton, MA Duke, MD Medical College of Vir- 
ginia) was paid $2,000 and "living" (valued at $500), and her 
successors similar amounts. The Thomson-Humphreys team 
worked well together, and there was neither the demand nor the 
resources to expand the department beyond the two members 
(and an occasional lab assistant) for many years. See Catalogue , 
1924-25. 1935-36. 1963-64. passim . In April 1936, Campus Com- 
ments recorded the fact that all classes had been dismissed and 
the entire student body had gone to the Strand Theater to see a 
special (closed) showing of a movie called "Life Begins" (about the 
development of a fetus) CC 24 Apr. 1936. 

^^ Annual Report of the President . However, the charter of the 
college stated (and has continued to do so) that "all departments 
of the college shall be open alike to students of any religion or sect, 
and no denominational or sectarian test shall be imposed in the 
admission of students," Charter Book 3, 492, City of Staunton. 

^2 Reports to Fac. 1935-36. Minutes, Fac. 1935-36. 

^^ The seminary and then the college have always had a major 
economic impact on the community. MBC has been one of the 
biggest employers in the city. Faculty, students and their parents 
are a mainstay of the downtown commercial enterprises and 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

hotels. Until more recent times, much in the way of cultural events 
and entertainment for the city was provided by the college. 
Townspeople were invited to concerts, lecture series, and art 
exhibits; faculty were members of and shared their talents with 
many civic groups; downtown churches benefited from student 
and faculty attendance. This is not to suggest that "town and 
gown" relationships have always been free from strain. Staunton 
is (socially and otherwise) a very conservative community and 
student exuberance and mores often clashed with community 
concepts of appropriate behavior, never more so than in the 1960s 
and 1970s. 

^"^ Sixteen units from accredited high schools were required for 
admission, including four units of English, one of History, two and 
one-half to three of Mathematics, three to four of Latin (this 
requirement changed in 1930-31), two units of Modern Language 
and one unit of Science. Catalogue , 1928-29. By 1945, entrance 
requirements were three units of English, one unit of History, 
Algebra, and Geometry and two units of Foreign Language. 
Catalogue , 1944-45. Was the lowering of admissions require- 
ments due to the need to attract students in the Depression era, 
or were requirements merely being brought in line with admis- 
sions standards of comparable colleges? The records do not reveal 
the reasons for the change, but Dean Higgins' departure (March 
1930) might have provided an opportunity to bring the college 
more in line with competitors, 

^^Registrar's Reports, passim . Bound in Fac. Minutes 1930-45. 
Enrollment of 320-335 students remained fairly constant through- 
out the Jarman era. 

^^ Although Mary Julia Baldwin had relied heavily on Profes- 
sor McGuffey for advice about her curriculum, and although the 
early catalogues state that "the plan of instruction" is "that of the 
University of Virginia," no effort appears to have been made to 
introduce in the seminary the famed University of Virginia Honor 
System which had been in existence there since 1842. For example 
see Catalogue , 1896-97. There does appear to have been briefly, in 
the early days of Mary Julia Baldwin (or perhaps before), a scheme 
whereby students would publicly "confess" their violations of 
rules and regulations; but this appears to have been short-lived, 
and in any case, did not apply to academic concerns. Watters 158. 
It would appear that an effort toward student government began 
even before President Jarman appeared. Dean Higgins proposed 
that students in McClung "institute" student government, and 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

the student Council began in May 1929. Jarman and Pfohl arrived 
in July 1929. The aim was to support a "strong Christian College" 
providing the students with a "trained intellect and womanly 
courage." CC 8 Feb. 1929. 4 May 1929. 

^^The wording of this pledge has evolved, but the principle has 
remained intact for over 60 years and has been one of the most 
deeply held and preserved traditions of the college. See HB 1929- 
30. 1930-31. 1988-89. Catalogue , 1988-89. 

^'^ Irene W. Hecht and Elizabeth Campbell, interview 22 Jan. 
1984; Patricia H. Menk and Elizabeth Campbell, interview, 8 Oct. 
1987. MBC Archives. 

59 HB 1930. Minutes, Fac. 15 Jan. 1935. 

60 Minutes, SGA 14 Sept. 1929. Watters 471, 478. 

61 HB 1933-34. 1945-46. Watters 521-23. The list of "major 
offenses" stayed very much the same from 1930-45 (and for some 
time thereafter), with the exception of the prohibition of drinking 
alcoholic beverages. This was first noted in the Handbook in 1932, 
almost as an afterthought, and became a part of the major 
"offenses" hst only in 1940. HB 1932. 1940. The Handbook speci- 
fies that a student might be "dismissed" because her general 
character and behavior "bring discredit" or deviated from "the 
recognized standards" of the college. There did not need to be a 
specific offense, an all-encompassing power included at the insis- 
tence of President Jarman. The records, however, do not indicate 
any dismissals without actual violations of written rules. HB 
1941-42. Watters 475. 

62 Watters 154. Out of the first six college graduates (1924-25), 
four were "town girls". BS 1923-24. 1924-25. 

63 BS 1942. (Centennial issue) 

64 Minutes SV 1924. 1925. CC 3 Apr. 1925. BS 1942. (Centen- 
nial issue) Today, the Christmas program is called "Christmas 
Cheer" and involves a Christmas concert by the college choir at 
First Presbyterian Church on the first Sunday in December, after 
which the college hillside is lighted by "luminaries" and a recep- 
tion for the college community and townspeople is held at Spencer 

65 Watters 482-88. BS 1942. 

66 See CC 1930-45. passim . The device of the monthly birthday 
party evolved as a means of preventing "Happy Birthday" from 
being sung on innumerable occasions throughout the year. A 
particularly useful source for this information is the Centennial 
Bluestocking 1942. See also: HB 1930-45. passim . 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

6" CC 2 Oct. 1931. 13 Nov. 1931. 27 Sept. 1940. 23 Oct. 1942. 
Baskets of apples placed outside the doors of the dining hall and 
in the mail room were a long-standing tradition at Mary Baldwin. 
In seminary days many of the fresh vegetables and fruits used in 
the dining hall came from the seminary "farm" (now the site of the 
main Staunton Post Office) and the apples were provided as a 
means of ensuring students' health. The seminary had acquired 
an extensive apple orchard in 1923 (as a site for the new college), 
and Mr. King had not only marketed the apples but provided an 
apple a day for each girl. On at least one occasion, when apple 
cores were not disposed of properly, the baskets were left empty 
for two days; presumably this lesson did not have to be repeated. 
Students were also admonished by Mr. King not to take more than 
one apple a day (he carefully counted them). Even after Mr. King's 
death, the custom continued. The orchard was sold in 1944, but by 
then the connection between the fall picnic and apples had been 
established and other orchards were visited. The records show 
that the first use of the words "Apple Day" does not appear until 
1 Oct. 1946. Minutes, Fac. 1946-47. The Alumnae Association 
sells apples for Christmas gifts, members of the board of trustees 
and other boards are presented baskets of Virginia apples, and 
the modern student paints apples on her face, wears "apple" tee 
shirts and welcomes the freshman class on the annual Apple Day. 

^*^ BS 1942. (Centennial issue) Watters 363-70. CC 15 Dec. 
1924. Minutes, BT 20 June 1925. The Handbook was begun in 
1929, sponsored by the Student Government Association, the 
YWCA and the Athletic Association. By the 1940s it was under- 
taken by the Student Government Association and the dean of 
students' office. HB. passim . A curious episode involving Campus 
Comments was revealed in March 1941. Without explanation or 
references in succeeding editions, the space for the editorial was 
left blank except for a big black "Censored" printed in the middle 
of the column. The editorial the week before had been a reprint of 
a student editorial from the University of California regarding 
student rights to "free thought"; it was not particularly controver- 
sial. No reference to censorship is made in succeeding issues, nor 
are there any further examples of administrative control. CC 28 
Feb. 1941. 7 Mar. 1941. 

^^ Today Founders' Day is held on the first Friday in October. 
The Ivy Ceremony no longer is observed, the senior "attendants" 
are gone, and the alumnae reunion is now held in May during 
Commencement weekend. There is still an address (usually by 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

someone associated with the college), seniors, already robed, 
stand and put on their own mortarboards at the invitation of the 
president, and various academic awards and recognitions are 
acknowledged. One important custom has persisted. For 35 years, 
Dr. Fraser had read the 121st Psalm at the opening exercises of 
the school. After his death, Dr. Blakely had continued the practice 
and as Founders' Day became institutionalized, that Psalm be- 
came part of the program. It has been read annually since 1898. 
CC 4 Oct. 1932. This is also the occasion for senior and freshman 
parents to visit the campus, and weekend lectures, excursions and 
faculty conferences are planned. Simultaneously, the Fall Alum- 
nae Leadership Conference is held. See program. Founders' Day 
Convocation , 7 Oct. 1988. MBC Archives. 

^0 CC 25 Nov. 1933. passim . Watters 493. 

'^^ College calendars are found in the Handbook . 1930-45. 
passim . Watters 527-29. 

^2 These comments are taken from the various issues of 
Campus Comments . 1936-45. It would be wearisome and repeti- 
tious to cite all the individual sources. In his president's Report to 
the Board . Dr. Jarman reported that 70% to 80% of the students 
had "dated." 75% married within five years of graduation. CC 4 
May 1929 refers to the stone bench. CC 4 Oct. 1932 refers to the 
five faculty automobiles, including Dean Pfohl's Buick called 

'3 CC 3 Oct. 1931. 27 Nov. 1931. 15 Oct. 1932. Watters 466. 
Tuition and expenses in 1930 were $675 per year (extra for 
"special" courses, laboratory fees, etc); in 1944, tuition was $950 
(and there were still some special fees). Catalogue . 1930-31. 1944- 
45. At the same time, salaries had remained constant from 1930- 

^4 CC 1 Nov. 1935. 15 Nov. 1935. 14 Feb. 1936. 5 Feb. 1937. 5 
May 1939. 1 Oct. 1939. 20 Oct. 1939. 4 Apr. 1941. Of course, the 
editor of Campus Comments changed yearly (although the spon- 
sor. Dr. Carroll, was a constant), and a student generation 
changes every four years. Consistency of editorial viewpoints is 
not characteristic of college newspapers. 

^^CC 17 Oct. 1930. 6 Mar. 1931. 28 Apr. 1934. 24 Nov. 1934. 22 
Oct. 1943. 16 Oct. 1944. 

^*^ There is a very interesting folder in the college archives with 
letters, pictures and mementos of these missionary activities. See 
also: CC 16 Feb. 1935. 27 Apr. 1935. 11 Nov. 1933. 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

" Minutes, Fac. 6 Dec. 1932. CC 27 Nov. 1931. 21 Oct. 1933. 
15 Nov. 1933. 13 Jan. 1934. 28 Oct. 1938. Watters 465. AN Apr. 
1946. Campus Comments notes that the YWCA sent Ruda a box 
of "selected clothing" in 1949. 8 Apr. 1949. In 1954, Rudolfa 
Schorchtova (class of 1937) is listed in the In Memoriam column. 
There is no further information given. AN Nov. 1954. 

'« Report of the Dean of Mary Baldwin College, 1936-37. 

^9 CC 14 Nov. 1930. 12 Dec. 1930. 24 Feb. 1934. 17 Mar. 1934. 
9 Feb. 1935. 25 Nov. 1938. 9 Dec. 1938. President's Report to the 
Board of Trustees, 1938-39. Recent, rather casual study suggests 
that in 1989, 509f of the alumnae of the previous 10 years have 
married since leaving college, reflecting a nationwide trend for 
later (or no) marriage among educated middle Americans. 

^° AN 1925. This is not to suggest that the alumnae did nothing 
but social activities. They had been active in first suggesting 
junior and then full college status. They had collected records, 
reminiscences and mementos of the seminary days (without 
which Dr. Watters would have found it hard to write her History ): 
they had established a scholarship for missionary daughters; they 
had commissioned and paid for the Mary Julia Baldwin Memorial 
Window in the Chapel; they had helped recruit new students. 
However, the fact that, in the 1920s, only 331 alumnae had 
contributed to the college campaigns indicated that, while a few 
had worked very hard and sacrificially, most of the alumnae were 
not yet persuaded that their "loyalty and service" were needed by 
the college. Watters 536-54. 

81 AN Mar. 1935. Mar. 1936. Gloria Jones Atkinson of the 
Staunton Chapter v/as largely responsible for organizing this 
project. The executive secretaries in this era were Eugenia 
Bumgardner and Dorothy Morris Fauver (part-time). After 1924, 
Mary Houston Turk, Constance Curry Carter, Mary Moore Pan- 
cake, Winifred Love and Nancy Gwyn Gilliam were full-time 
executive secretaries. Watters 543. 

82 AN Oct. 1941. Oct. 1946. Watters 538. 

^^ AN Apr. 1932. July 1936. July 1937. Dean Pfohl recalled 
having to paper the stairwell outside her apartment each summer 
because the boys' heads pressed against the wall left hair pomade 
stains on the wallpaper. Watters 543, Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell 
and Irene Hecht, interview, Jan. 1984. MBC Archives. 

84 In 1937, it was decided that the News Letter would be sent 
only to dues-paying and life members. AN July 1937. July 1936. 
July 1937. Jan. 1938. The Wedgwood plate project was revived 


To Live In Time Another' Beginning: The Jarman Years 

after World War II and continued until the 1960s. One of the 
Sesquicentennial committee's projects has been to secure a reis- 
suing of the plates and also the Ham and Jam bookends. 

^^ Watters 422-31. Real estate (lots with no houses) on Acad- 
emy was purchased in 1933, and 1934 for $9500; two more lots and 
houses on North New Street were acquired in 1936, for $5,000 and 
$7,500; and the remaining property on the college side of New 
Street was purchased in 1940, for $20,000. (The buildings were all 
razed to make room for King Auditorium.) In addition, Martha 
Riddle Hall was acquired in 1936 for $15,000, and the Alumnae 
House ("The Club") in 1937 for $14,000. In 1936, the "Beckler 
House" (the Science Building) was purchased for $5,900, and in a 
somewhat complicated transaction involving annuity payments 
to Professor Schmidt, Miller House was secured for $19,600 (over 
a seven-year period). None of these buildings (which had been 
private homes) was, in reality, suitable for the uses to which the 
college put them. They were simply the best that could be provided 
under the circumstance. Some of them are still standing a half 
century later and are still in use. 

^^ See note 72. CC passim . Much of the credit for this physical 
appearance rests with "Bill" and Richard Crone and their able 
assistants over the almost 90 years they have been associated 
with the seminary and college. 

^^ It had been the college's proud statement (going back to Mr. 
King's annual reports) that the institution had operated since the 
Civil War with "no debts, and no deficits." Mr. King had also 
proudly added - no "outside help," but, as has been noted, that part 
of Mr. King's claims had been revised in the 1920s although very 
little "outside help" had emerged. The executive committee min- 
utes reveal how close indeed, the college was to deficit financing 
in the 1930s. Dr. Jarman had criticized the "perfunctory" audits 
of Mr. King' s accounts and had, since 1932, provided the board of 
trustees with a yearly projected budget which never indicated 
more that a few thousand dollars surplus. The finance committee 
of the board and its advisor. National Valley Bank (after 1935), 
began cautiously to move the college's endowment funds into 
stocks and bonds (including Pennsylvania Railroad, Chesapeake 
& Ohio, Virginia Railroad, Bethlehem Steel, Commodity Credit 
Corporation Bonds, American Telephone & Telegraph) and away 
from the local real estate investment and local bonds (most of 
which were liquidated at a loss) so dear to Mr. King's heart. 
Minutes EC 20 Aug. 1936. He protested bitterly. But the cash flow 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

was so poor that, in 1932, Dr. Jarman had to pay $200 for gas heat 
in his home "until such a time... [as] the college shall have 
sufficient funds to reimburse him." Minutes EC 10 Sept. 1932. 
Almost every year throughout the decade of the 1930s $5,000 to 
$15,000 was transferred from endowment to operating funds (to 
be repaid when tuition fees were received in the fall). Money was 
spent for the purchase of the property "abutting on the campus" 
but salaries remained unchanged for over 10 years. The risks of 
Dr. Jarman's proposals were, in retrospect, staggering. It would 
not be the last time such risks were taken. 

^« Minutes, Fac. 5 Apr. 1932. Reports to Fac. 1937-38. See p.77. 

89 Catalogue, 1936-37. passim . 

90 See pp 77-79. 

9^ The complete 25-year plan called for $2.5 million to be raised 
by 1965; half for endowment, half for campus development. A five- 
year plan to raise $500,000, divided in the same manner, was to 
be instituted immediately. Nowhere in the records does it appear 
that a clear-cut decision not to move the college plant was ever 
made. It does not even seem to have been debated. Once, however, 
the new building, "PCing," was erected, the sale of the 200 acres 
(the orchard; at the north of Staunton was inevitable and probably 
wise. It was sold in 1944 for $65,000; the college achieved a $5,000 
"profit" after holding the property since 1922. With the wisdom of 
hindsight, it would have appeared wiser to have held the property 
longer; it now constitutes some of the most valuable private 
residential property in Staunton. But the needs of the 1945-50s 
were immediate and pressing, and the decision was made to sell 
it then. Minutes EC 28 Nov. 1944. See also note 104. 

^^Lucien P. Giddens was a Birmingham Southern and 
Vanderbilt graduate (MA 1937), a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford 
(1928-31), and had begun work on his Ph.D. at Peabody College in 
Nashville. He was an enthusiastic lacrosse player, with varied 
travel and administrative experience and obvious academic cre- 
dentials. It was a considerable disappointment that, within a 
year, his health forced him to resign. His appointment, in part, 
had stemmed from a desire to ease some of Dr. Jarman's burden, 
as the president's health was somewhat impeded, and had been 
since 1937. CC 10 Mar. 1939. AN March 1939. Martha Grafton 
was made an assistant to the president until June 1942, presum- 
ably to help fill the vacuum left by Mr. Giddens' departure. Dr. 
Bridges assumed the role of acting dean. Minutes, BT 31 Oct. 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

^^AN March 1939. The physical characteristics of the Mary 
Baldwin campus are a challenge to any builder or architect. 
Market Street (so often referred to) was one of the steepest hills 
in Staunton; New Street, parallel to Market and one block farther 
west, is almost as bad. The campus has very little flat ground, 
except that derived from terraces, artificially created. It makes for 
great beauty, but is a nightmare when it comes to providing 
handicap access or even lawn mowing or snow removal from the 
sidewalks. An architect told a later president, Samuel R. Spencer, 
Jr., looking at the lots east of Market Street -"... This is a mighty 
rugged place to build... But it has character!" Samuel R. Spencer, 
Jr., letter to Patricia Menk, 11 Feb. 1988. MBC Archives. The 
"Beckler House," acquired in 1936, remained the Science building 
until 1966, when Grafton Library construction necessitated its 

^^ It will be remembered that in 1924 the Staunton Chamber 
of Commerce had raised $110,000 in six weeks — much of which 
was eventually returned. 

^^ Actually, the funding was more complicated than this ac- 
count suggests. As President Jarman pointed out, the college 
contributed $10,000 a year (for two years) for campaign and 
startup expenses; the money should have been returned to the 
endowment fund to help compensate for the $36,000 withdrawn 
by the alumnae. To that should be added the $32,500 cost of 
acquiring the building site; the $300 Sam Gardner wanted for 
demolition of the existing structures so construction could pro- 
ceed; the cost of Mr. Giddens' salary ($3,600 a year), and the 
released time for Dr. Shedd; the extension of the heating and 
plumbing. No money had been earmarked for furnishings. Alum- 
nae chapters later provided curtains for the stage and a lectern; 
Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Francis, (chairman of the board of trustees) 
gave the auditorium foldingchairs. Later, when people asked why 
the pool that was built in 1942 is "so small" (it is 60' x 20' ), Mrs. 
Grafton replied, "we had no money," which this simple analysis 
shows was true. Eventually, the building cost approximately 
$153,000. The college paid, for several years, out of annual income 
the $46,000 necessary to complete the project, and the endowment 
account remained minus at least $70,000. Minutes, BT 26 Oct. 
1940. 13 Mar. 1941. 21 Oct. 1943 . By present standards, this 
timetable was very ambitious, but it was met. Actually, the first 
public use of King Auditorium occurred in September 1942, when 
Greer Garson appeared there at a Defense Bond Rally. 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jarman Years 

The difficulties of the gymnasium occupying the same build- 
ing as a college/civic auditorium had been recognized by the 
faculty committee as early as 1937. "A number of colleges have 
their main auditoriums in the gymnasium," they wrote. "While we 
recognize that this is not an ideal arrangement, it is a possible 
combination to be used for a few years". Reports to Fac. 1936-37. 
Actually, the arrangement proved to be very awkward, indeed. 
The auditorium was on the third floor (second from the front of the 
building). Handicapped access not often considered in the 1940s 
was extremely difficult, if not impossible; parking was on a hill 
and severely limited; and without a graduated floor, sitting on 
removable seats persons in the back rows had poor visibility. None 
of this mattered in the euphoria of 1942, but it limited the use of 
the auditorium after the mid-1970s when more stringent fire 
safety regulations restricted its use to 500 people. The "gymna- 
sium" was used until 1990. The Drama department also found a 
home in King Building and remained there in uncomfortable 
juxtaposition with Physical Education until the opening of Deming 
in 1983 partially solved its problems. King Building is presently 
being renovated for new and more appropriate uses. 

^^ For an extended account of the ceremonies, see: CC 31 Oct. 
1941. AN Feb. 1942. BS 1942. (Centennial issue— the entire 
annual is a valuable summation and illustration of the first 100 
years). Watters 557-64. 

The cornerstone contains a copy of the original charter of 
Augusta Female Seminary; a picture of Rufus W. Bailey; Semi- 
nary records; a copy of the Bible (also included in 1842 Adminis- 
tration Building cornerstone, as the "first textbook of Augusta 
Female Seminary"); a copy of the charter of Staunton; a city 
history; and Waddell's History of Mary Baldwin Seminary . Also 
included were sketches of Mr. King, alumnae records, a catalogue 
and viewbook, the Student Handbook for 1942, and a copy of the 
Staunton News Leader for that date. Watters 558. 

The masons were from Lodge No. 13, A. F. and A. M. 

^' Not all of the 90 inducted into the honor society were living. 
Actually, 24 were present for the induction ceremony and "several 
others" were inducted the following October. Watters 561. AN 
July 1942. 


To Live In Time 

Anothe?- Beginning: The Jarman Years 


The following figures reflect these conclusions: 




Southern States 

States & Countries 


























From Staunton 

From Virginia 



Includes Staunton 






1942-64 (Cent.) 11 
























These figures mostly reflect normal yearly variations. 1942, 
the Centennial year, obviously encouraged many students to stay 
to graduate (64) . The next year there were 21 fewer seniors and 
nine fewer than that in 1944; but then the numbers increased 
again. The worst year for the enrollment was the hardest year of 
the war, 1944-45 and as the war years lengthened, the enrollment 
from the northeast, mid-and far west declined, perhaps due to 
transportation difficulties. But, for a "tuition-driven college," 
Mary Baldwin survived the war years very well and even felt 
confident enough to plan another building campaign when the 
war should end. Catalogue . 1941-46. passim . 

99 CC 20 Feb. 1942. 7 June 1943. 22 Oct. 1943. 

100 CC 11 May 1945. 5 Oct. 1945. 

101 AN Feb. 1943. 

102 CC 29 Sept. 1944. AN July 1945. 

103 Minutes, Fac. 2 Nov. 1943. Minutes, BT 9 Mar. 1944. 26 Oct. 
1944. Minutes EC 6 Oct. 1945. 

104 Minutes EC 28 Nov. 1944. 8 Dec. 1944. The terms of the sale 
involved $30,000 in cash and $35,000 in bonds secured by a first 
lien deed of trust on the real estate conveyed, at an annual rate of 
4%, payable over the next 10 years. See note 91. 

10° The committee consisted of Edmund Campbell, Campbell 


To Live In Time Another Beginning: The Jannan Years 

Pancake, John B. Baffin and F. L. Brown, representing Mary 
Baldwin College, and Mrs. W. Wayt Gibbs, Mr. Fred Prufer and 
Mrs. Charles S. Hunter, Jr., representing King's Daughters' 
Hospital. Minutes EC 18 Dec. 1945. 31 Jan. 1946. AN Apr. 1946. 

106 Minutes EC Dec. 1944. 28 Nov. 1944. By March, Dr. Shedd 
had reconsidered his request and asked that his resignation be 
withdrawn, which the board refused to do, but did agree to his 
reappointment at the same salaiy and title he had held previ- 
ously, but without tenure. He would be treated as a "new appoin- 
tee." Under these circumstances. Dr. Shedd refused to return and 
left the college in 1945. Minutes, BT 8 Mar. 1945. 

10' Minutes EC 6 Oct. 1945. 3 May 1946. 

108 Minutes EC 1 Sept. 1945. 10 Sept. 1948. 

109 AN Apr. 1946. 


Frank Bell Lewis 

Charles Wallace McKenzie 



A Time of Transition: 

The Triumvirate 



fter Dr. Jarman's illness in 
September 1945, the college was left in the capable hands of 
Dean Martha Grafton while a board committee sought a new chief 
executive. He (or she - the board left open the possibility that a might be considered) was to be a "sincerely active" Pres- 
byterian, an educator, a "true" executive, and possess "innate 
abilities in public relations."^ It was not until May 1947 that the 
appointment was made. Dr. Frank Bell Lewis, Professor of Bible 
and Philosophy at Davis & Elkins College, was an ordained 
Presbyterian minister who also possessed an earned Ph.D. in 
Philosophy from Duke, had studied at the University of Edinburgh, 
and was well known to the members of the Synod of Virginia as a 
preacher and teacher. He had an attractive young wife and a soon- 
to-be infant daughter. His appointment was greeted with much 
enthusiasm and good will; no one could have foreseen that, largely 
due to external conditions beyond his control, the six years of his 
tenure would be marked by declining enrollment, financial hard- 
ships, and increasing tension between the college and the Synod 
of Virginia. When the opportunity arose in 1953 for Dr. Lewis to 
accept an offer to serve on the faculty of Union Theological 
Seminary in Richmond, he welcomed the opportunity and the 
trustees found themselves again looking for a chief executive. 
Martha Grafton served as acting president for the second time 
with "full administrative authority" until Charles W. McKenzie 
was appointed early in 1954. His tenure was brief; a series of 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

disagreements with the board of trustees, and the Synod of 
Virginia culminated in a major conflict in September 1956, and 
Mr. McKenzie abruptly resigned the week before classes were to 
begin. ^ This time. Dr. Richard Potter, pastor of the Staunton First 
Presbyterian Church and member of the board of trustees, agreed 
to serve as acting president (without salary) until another chief 
executive could be found. 

The immediate postwar years were, indeed, times of crisis and 
transition; the euphoria of the World War II victory quickly gave 
way to the sobering problems of inflation, economic dislocations, 
the Cold War and McCarthyism. By 1950, United States military 
forces were actively engaged in the "police action" in Korea; the 
USSR had the "bomb," and China had become a Communist 
nation. The United Nations was perceived as seriously flawed; 
and the civil rights revolution would shortly emerge. College 
enrollments throughout the nation plummeted, as in the 1940s 
the small pool of "depression" babies reached their late teens. The 
"G.I." bill, so supportive of some institutions, did little to help 
women's colleges. Almost all of the veterans eligible for tuition 
grants were men. 

These were the years that Mary Baldwin struggled to adjust 
its relationship with the Presbyterian Church; to upgrade its 
physical facilities; to "modernize" its curriculum to fit the chang- 
ing needs of young women and to reverse the downward curve in 
its enrollment. For the first time in its history the college's 
operating budget required deficit financing; in addition, money 
was borrowed for capital improvements and the endowment was 
shrinking. How did Mary Baldwin survive the instability that two 
presidents and three interregna in 12 years produced? 

The answer, at least in part, comes from administrative (below 
the top level) and faculty stability. The "triumvirate" (as they 
were called privately by some faculty members) of Martha Graf- 
ton, Elizabeth Parker and Marguerite Hillhouse continued steadily 
on course throughout these troubled years, impervious to presi- 
dential vagaries and synod uncertainties.^ It is interesting to note 
that Dr. Jarman, who sent a most cordial letter to Frank Bell 
Lewis upon learning of his election as president, wrote: 

In one respect you are to be... congratulated, in 
that you find there an adequate faculty and 
a group of... loyal and able lieutenants. I speak 
of Dean Parker, Dean Grafton and Registrar 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

Hillhouse. I commend them to you and you 
to them. I seldom made a major decision 
relative to [the] College without their counsel.'^ 

Likewise, John Baffin and James T. Spillman continued to 
manage the internal finances of the institution; Bill Crone had the 
physical plant in hand, and Edmund Campbell as chairman of the 
board of trustees gathered together a group of loyal and devoted 
supporters. There was also a solid core of, by now, experienced 
and skillful faculty, and under Mrs. Grafton's guidance the ap- 
pointments that were made during these years brought new 
talents and long-time commitments to the college.^ And so Mary 
Baldwin survived and grew and prepared for the astonishing 
decade of the 1960s. 

The board of trustees, headed during these years by Edmund 
D. Campbell, reflected the stability of the administration and 
faculty. Members usually served until physical disability or death 
removed them, and the records reveal how devotedly and gener- 
ously many of them gave of their talents and resources. Among 
appointees of these years Edmund Campbell remembers as par- 
ticularly supportive were the Rev. John Newton Thomas, who 
recommended Frank Bell Lewis as president; Francis Pickens 
Miller, a Virginia politician and idealist whose mother was an 
alumna; the Rev. Richard Potter, carrying on the tradition that 
the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church be on the board; 
Gilpin Willson, Jr., a Staunton banker whose astute advice eased 
some of the college's financial burdens; and Hugh Sproul, Jr., 
long-time secretary of the board and serving, as his father before 
him had done, as a "bridge" between the college and the local 
community. The Lexington "connection" was kept alive by James 
Leyburn, dean of Washington & Lee, a maverick academician 
who pushed for the reform of the curriculum. There were always 
women on the board, representing alumnae and simply in their 
own right. Emily P. Smith, Margarett Kable Russell, Lyda 
Bunker Hunt, Julia Gooch Richmond, and Margaret Cunningham 
Craig Woodson all served in this era.*' 

In 1954, Francis Pickens Miller raised the question of limited 
terms for board members and rotation as a system more in 
keeping with the Synod of Virginia's practice and as a means of 
allowing some younger representation. There was resistance to 
this idea; Edmund Campbell observed that the board had an 
authorized strength of 28 but seldom had more than 20 members, 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

SO there was room for "new blood." The debate continued and was 
merged with the long struggle to define the relationships with the 
Synod of Virginia. 

The two presidents (Lewis and McKenzie) had differing rela- 
tionships with the board and the college. Dr. Lewis regularly 
reported to the faculty and students the actions and decisions of 
the board; Mr. McKenzie wished Dean Grafton and Mr. Daffin to 
be present at board meetings, but he seldom shared board deci- 
sions with the other college constituencies. Dr. Lewis was even- 
tempered, amiable, popular with the faculty and students. A 
"pleasant relationship" the Campus Comments called it. "He 
guided us through our difficulties, successes and strivings 
with... gentle understanding, delightful humor, and calm 
strength..."' He was deeply committed to fostering the spiritual 
life of the campus and closer synod-college ties. In truth, he had 
little administrative experience, found it very difficult to dismiss 
faculty and personnel, which economic necessity forced him to do, 
was deeply distressed by the falling enrollment and the conflicts 
with the synod. Mr. McKenzie, on the other hand, had a confron- 
tational style, both with the board and with the faculty, and little 
real understanding of the tradition-bound, conservative Staunton 
community. He demanded recognition of his prerogatives as 
president, was impatient with synod indecision and board fiscal 
conservatism, and was clearly too unlike previous Mary Baldwin 
College presidents to be easily accepted. Yet both these men and 
their wives sincerely worked and sacrificed for the good of the 
college, sought its survival and expansion, and each, in his own 
way, made some lasting contributions. 

Dr. Lewis became president on 1 July 1947. The previous 
year's enrollment had been 347, the highest it had ever been, but 
each year of the Lewis presidency saw the numbers decline; by 
1953, the enrollment was 229; it thereafter gradually improved, 
until, by 1958, it was 311. But it would not be until 1960 that the 
enrollment exceeded that of 1945.*^ 

The old pattern of transfers at the end of the sophomore year 
had persisted. In 1946, there had been 43 seniors; by 1953 there 
were only 29; four years later there were 32.^ Faculty numbers 
reflected these dismal statistics. There had been 37 full-time 
faculty in 1946; 10 years later there were 31, although the use of 
adjuncts helped cover some of the inevitable deficiencies. On the 
other hand, tuition and fees had risen steadily - from $950 in 1946, 
to $1,650 in 1956, a 73.7% increase; day student fees had inflated 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

even more quickly - from $300 to $575, or an 91.7% increase. But 
even increased fees could not compensate for the lack of student 
numbers as salary increases and improved retirement policies 
were mandated by actions of competitive colleges. After 1949, 
funds were withdrawn from the Investment Income Account to 
cover operating deficiencies every year, and the provision that the 
account was not to drop below $25,000 was modified as the needs 
of the college increased. In 1956, acting president Potter was 
authorized to borrow $75,000 (from outside sources) to cover 
operating expenses, and ultimately a bond issue was floated to 
handle capital improvements and debts. 

All possible methods for raising additional funds and increas- 
ing the enrollment were pursued with vigor. Dr. Lewis addressed 
innumerable Presbyterian congi^egations and Presbyterian meet- 
ings as he sought to have the churches increase their giving to 
synod higher educational institutions (of which Mary Baldwin 
College was one) and to send students to the college. A proposal 
to pay tuition and fees on an installment plan was instituted; 
scholarship aid increased, and a tuition exchange program among 
Presbyterian colleges was approved in 1955. President Lewis was 
responsible for the college in 1952 becoming a charter member of 
the newly organized Virginia Foundation for Independent Col- 
leges; thereafter Mary Baldwin College shared modestly with a 
number of other Virginia institutions in contributions from busi- 
nesses and corporations to assist private education in the state. 

The finance committee of the board experimented with a 
gi^eater mix of investments in stocks and bonds for the endowment 
fund, although the old policy of making local loans secured by real 
estate continued until the mid-1950s. Alumnae were again asked 
to step into the breach; each chapter appointed a student recruit- 
ment chairman; and on at least one occasion in 1955, the Annual 
Fund was used as a "recognition gift" for the faculty. 

Few students and faculty were aware of the severe financial 
difficulties of these years. Boards of trustees and administrations 
did not share such information in the 1950s, but in retrospect it 
can be seen how difficult it was.^° 

Dr. Lewis's task was made infinitely more complex by the plan 
to exchange the old King's Daughters' Hospital property on 
Frederick Street for Mary Baldwin College's "farm" north of town. 
The plan had been first proposed in 1945 and was well under way 
by 1947, when Dr. Lewis became president. At this point the 
impact of declining enrollment was not yet fully realized. Indeed, 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

the college residence space was full and, once Dr. Jarman and his 
family left, students were housed in Rose Terrace. The college 
rented in 1947 a lovely old home several blocks from the campus 
for the new president and his family. Although a "new dormitory" 
had been next on the priority list from the moment King Building 
had been authorized, promises that the student body would not be 
"enlarged" had been made and would be repeated. It was feared 
that a larger student body would destroy the intimate character 
of the institution, but some housing in the outlying buildings was 
inadequate, and a new dormitory was an admitted necessity. It 
was determined that $150,000 (plus the college real estate at the 
"farm") would be sufficient to complete the purchase of the old 
King's Daughters' Hospital, and by 1946 a campaign was under 
way to raise the money from alumnae, churches, trustees and 
friends. Mr. Daffin was in charge of the project and, in the 
euphoria of the immediate postwar years, it was surprisingly 
successful. By 1948, $ 139,000 had been contributed; this included 
an anonymous $30,000 donation, the largest single gift the college 
had ever received; $10,000 from the local Alumnae Association; 
and a $15,000 grant from the General Education Board, to be 
matched 3:1. Eventually, the total amount of $158,000 was raised 
or borrowed, and the exchange and purchase was completed on 1 
March 1951.^^ 

By this time, the implications of the shrinking enrollment 
were clearly visible. That same year. Dr. Lewis and his family had 
moved into Rose Terrace since it was no longer needed for student 
housing, and the question, "What now?" must have been asked. ^^ 

Additional purchases of lots and houses on Frederick Street 
had been negotiated during this five-year period in order to tie the 
"new dormitory" into the campus, and a nurses' home had come 
with the hospital property. There was now no immediate need for 
these buildings for student housing. It was embarrassing to have 
two empty structures and several lots on hand when neither 
student numbers nor financial resources were there for them, but 
the board and the college authorities were committed and pro- 
ceeded with deliberate but stubborn plans for the future needs of 
a college they did not intend to let die.^"^ 

During the fall of 1951, a proposal by the faculty that a 
demonstration school for children ages three to five be established 
on the Mary Baldwin campus was seriously considered. Alumnae 
comments that, since 80% of the graduates married and estab- 
lished homes, more attention should be paid to child care courses, 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

were taken seriously. The Education faculty, responding to 
developing state and national trends, perceived expanding career 
opportunities for qualified early childhood education teachers and 
the new course offerings were seen as one more reason why some 
students might choose to come and to stay for four years at Mary 
Baldwin College. Therefore, the board in 1952 approved convert- 
ing the first floor of the nurses' home into the Nannie Tate 
Demonstration School. ^^ An alumna gift of $8,000 made the 
necessary alterations possible, and in the fall of 1952 the school 
was opened with 20 pupils, whose parents paid $150 tuition a 
year. Julia Weill was appointed as Director of the Tate Demon- 
stration School; a series of "one-way" windows allowed college 
students and parents to view the youngsters, and a new dimen- 
sion had been added to the college's academic offerings. ^^ 

By 1953, the board had authorized the employment of an 
architect, Floyd Johnson and Associates of Charlottesville, to 
assist in the remodeling of the former hospital into a dormitory, 
and a year later the figure of $180,000 for renovations and 
equipment was proposed. Mrs. Grafton and Mr. Daffin, seeking 
financial assistance, made trips to Texas and elsewhere to the 
college's friends. There were generous gifts, but not enough of 
them; and in 1956 a $200,000 bond issue, using the college 
property as security, was offered, with the interest on the bonds 
"not to exceed 59^."^° 

The new dormitory, "the latest word in modern design and 
convenience," was named Rufus W. Bailey Residence Hall. It was 
first occupied in September 1955. There were 45 double student 
rooms, five singles, two guest suites, a kitchen, a fully equipped 
laundry, and two student lounges. Enrollment figures had shown 
some modest increases, and other campus changes in housing 
facilities made it possible to occupy the building. It was dedicated 
on Founders' Day 1955, with Edmund Campbell honoring his 
great-grandfather, for whom the building was named. This was 
but a first step in what would be an explosion of new construction 
in the 1960s.i' 

There were other physical changes during these years. Shortly 
after the end of the war, the Graftons donated to the college a lot 
adjacent to a small country home which they owned near Stuarts 
Draft. The SGA president's forum undertook to have a simple 
cabin constructed on the land for use as a student "retreat" center. 
During the next three years a variety of fund-raising projects 
resulted in the $2500 necessary to build "Chip Inn." Furnished 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

largely from the war surplus store and with contributions from all 
the clubs on campus, the country "retreat" opened in early 1948 
and was immediately popular. Dates were permitted to attend 
picnics, if properly chaperoned, and SGA and "Y" planning ses- 
sions were held there; it was 13 miles from the campus, and 
occasionally some energetic students would hike out for a spring- 
time evening supper.^® 

There continued great pressure on the Academic Building, 
and particularly the provision of new quarters for Biology could no 
longer be delayed. There had been hopes that a new science 
building could soon be erected, but when it became obvious by the 
late 1940s that this would not be possible in the foreseeable 
future, something had to be done. So the decision was therefore 
made that the Alumnae Club House would become the Biology 
Building and that a Student Activities Building would be erected 
next to Hill Top on the upper terrace. While these discussions 
were under way, the First Presbyterian Church offered to buy 
from the college Fraser Hall, a building next to their sanctuary 
which had belonged to Mary Julia Baldwin. A price of $22,500 was 
agreed to, which came close to the preliminary estimates for the 
Student Activities Center. Unfortunately, as the plans for that 
facility expanded, so did the price, and by 1950 Edmund Campbell 
suggested that the building be put under roof and then halted 
until other money became available. The board, however, voted 
to complete it, using contingency funds. ^^ The building, which had 
no name other than the "Student Activities Building" for many 
years, was finished by May 1951. The lower floor was the student 
club and "tea room," with a fireplace, a small kitchen, a post office, 
and a"bookstore." The main floor had a more formal lounge, also 
with a fireplace, and an outside porch facing the inner campus. 
The top floor had a faculty/alumnae "parlor," a day students' 
lounge, and a locker room. The architecture conformed to the 
neoclassical style of Hill Top and Memorial; it had massive white 
columns, was painted a light cream (as were all the other build- 
ings on campus except Rose Terrace), and was connected with the 
"covered way." The building was completed within 18 months, 
somewhat delayed by the Korean War and by rock which had to 
be blasted before the foundation could be laid. It was occupied in 
September 1951; it cost $81,000, two-thirds of which was paid by 
gifts from friends and alumnae.^" 

Additional sums were spent to renovate McClung, Hill Top 
and Memorial; to put reinforced windows into King; to expand and 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

remodel the Library (still located in Academic). The Alumnae 
offices were moved back to Main Building; new wiring and a new 
PBX telephone system were installed; the inevitable summer 
painting continued at a slower pace. Somehow funds for all of 
these activities were "found." Sometimes the funds did not 
"stretch" — a Building and Grounds Report to the trustees in 
March of 1956 concluded: "We pray the heating plant will carry us 
through another winter... we hope it will hold out."^^ 

Lillian Thomsen and Mary Humphreys rejoiced in having a 
whole building, albeit an old one that was once a residence, for 
Biology. They moved out of Academic in the summer of 1950 into 
the remodeled Club House on New Street, where they now had 
"two large laboratories and three small ones," a lecture room, a 
greenhouse, a student lounge, and three "store rooms." It seemed 
luxurious after their cramped quarters in Academic but, com- 
pared to their "sister" colleges, the facilities were still woefully 
inadequate for both Biology and Chemistry; the latter remained 
in the small frame building on the corner of Market and Frederick 
to which it had moved in 1936.^^ 

By the mid-1950s the Lexington Presbytery was seeking new 
physical quarters for the Presb3d:erian Guidance Center, which 
had been located at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center in 
Fishersville. Mary Baldwin students majoring in Psychology had 
been helping with the testing program there, and Dean Grafton 
believed having the Center located on the college campus would 
assist not only Psychology and Education students, but would 
provide counseling services for everyone. After two years of 
negotiations, an agreement was reached and the Guidance Center 
moved to Riddle Hall 1 September 1955. The Director, Dr. Lillian 
Pennell, became a familiar figure at most college activities, and 
the board and college administration hoped that this evidence of 
college-church cooperation would lead to more synod support for 
the college's needs. ^^ 

There were dreams of still more physical changes. Alumnae, 
some faculty, and others hoped for the restoring of the old Chapel 
"to the way it was " It was still occasionally used as a dormitory; 
with increased enrollment in the late 1950s, some 11 to 16 
students were housed there. Space in Chapel also provided a 
projection room, and, of course, the college dining room and 
kitchens still occupied the gi'ound floor. In 1952, Horace Day 
made sketches of the Administration Building (Main), Rose Ter- 
race, Hill Top and the Chapel to be used to show prospective 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

donors and on Christmas cards and stationery sold by the Alum- 
nae Association. Not all dreams become reality, unfortunately, 
and in 1962 serious structural weaknesses in the old building 
could no longer be ignored. Since there were no funds to restore 
it, the building, which dated from 1817, had to be removed. ^^ 

The Board of Trustees and the executives of Mary Baldwin 
were well aware that the college very much needed a "master 
plan." Much of the past experience had been a kind of piecemeal 
response to opportunities that presented themselves or to needs 
that could no longer be denied. True, Dr. Jarman had set as an 
objective acquiring title to all the property of the college's original 
rectangle, (Frederick, New, Academy and Market Streets), and 
the building of King in 1942 had validated his projections. But 
even then, the college had acquired property beyond the perim- 
eters of these modest holdings; i.e. Riddle, the Music Building, the 
Biology and the Chemistry Buildings. The war years had, of 
course, prohibited any further expansion, and a rather casual 
decision had been made in 1944 to sell the orchard properties 
north of town, thereby committing the college to stay in its historic 
location. Now, in the postwar years, when more deliberate and 
judicious decisions might have been made, the declining enroll- 
ments, the lack of funds, and the necessary expenditures each 
year just to keep the current physical plant operating, severely 
limited the capacity to plan. The three "new" buildings, Bailey, 
Tate Demonstration School and the Student Activities Building, 
were again responses to opportunity and necessity, rather than 
step one in a coordinated projection for the future. By the mid- 
1950s, however, the enrollment figures were slightly better, and 
the new President Charles McKenzie addressed the Board of 
Trustees on his vision of the college's future. For the first time, a 
suggestion for a larger student body, up to 400, was raised. The 
college should teach "Christian Education," erect a Chapel, ("one 
of the greatest needs"), and would have "to increase its physical 
plant, its faculty and their salaries. "^^ The Fund Raising Commit- 
tee of the board, chaired by Eldon Wilson, discussed at a called 
meeting a proposed $2 1/2 million Ten Year Development Pro- 
gram worked out with a professional firm, Marts and Lundy. A 
Development Office headed by a special assistant to the president 
was created; its immediate task was to raise $500,000 in 1956 to 
replace the heating plant, reduce the debt on Bailey, and to 
acquire more property; there was to be a "major convocation" 11- 
13 May 1956 to publicly announce the plan; and the costs for the 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

first three years of the campaign were to be charged against the 
campaign, rather than the college operating costs. The board gave 
tentative approval to the proposal; Ray Williams was hired as the 
presidential special assistant; a resident representative of Marts 
and Lundy appeared on the campus in January 1956; and an- 
nouncements of the "Great Convocation" were made in Campus 
Comments . All of this came to an abrupt halt in the spring of 1956, 
when, after years of discussion, a proposal from the Synod of 
Virginia appeared to conflict with Mary Baldwin College's inde- 
pendent plans. It was agreed that all actions would be delayed 
until the fall of 1956; Marts and Lundy were dismissed, and their 
current expenses of $10,000 were to be paid by the college, adding 
to its already considerable debt. Mr. McKenzie, who was con- 
gratulated by the board on his "diplomatic handling" of the 
sensitive problem, was bitterly disappointed. "The suspension of 
our fund drive after one month's operation and its present aban- 
donment were... heartbreaking to many of us," he wrote.^^ 

In 1939, when the college was returned by the Synod of 
Virginia to a "self-perpetuating" board of trustees, it had been 
specified that a "close relationship" with the Synod of Virginia 
would be continued. Ten of the possible 28 trustees were to be 
chosen from within the geographical bounds of the Synod of 
Virginia, which would approve their appointments; the college 
made annual reports to the synod and continued throughout the 
war years and beyond to receive modest financial payments from 
the Christian Higher Educational Institutions budget.-' Mem- 
bers of the college's board of trustees and administration made 
repeated and sincere efforts to strengthen the college-church ties. 
Most of the Mary Baldwin College administration were active 
Presbyterians, as were many faculty members and, in the early 
1940s, a majority of the students. Religious chapel was held two 
times a week, often with student leaders; there was a yearly 
"Religious Emphasis Week" ; academic courses in the Old and New 
Testaments were required for graduation; and Sunday atten- 
dance at the church of one's choice was mandatory. The "purpose 
of the College," the synod was assured, was to "deepen [the 
students'] faith and to strengthen their loyalty to the Church... "^^ 
But synod financial support continued to be minimal. When the 
possibility of purchasing the old King's Daughters' Hospital 
buildings arose, the synod agreed to contribute $50,000 toward 
the purchase price; three years later ( 1950 ) , only $29,000 had been 
raised for this special pledge; further mention is not recorded in 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

the synod Minutes . Annual contributions from the church seldom 
exceeded $8,000-$9,000, most of which was spent as scholarship 
funds for ministers' daughters.-^ 

In 1952, Dr. Lewis had informed the board and the faculty that 
the Presbyterian Church had requested the college to make a 
thorough study of its curriculum and to evaluate its aims and 
objectives. Committees of trustees, alumnae, faculty, and stu- 
dents were appointed to examine the academic progi^am, campus 
life, fund raising, church-college connections, and public rela- 
tions. At a special two-day meeting of the board of trustees on 18- 
19 March 1953, the reports were carefully analyzed and "closer 
ties" with the Council on Educational Institutions of the Synod of 
Virginia were mandated. ^° 

It was apparent that the synod was seriously considering what 
its role and responsibilities should be toward the educational 
institutions which were "related" to it; i.e. Hampden-Sydney, 
Mary Baldwin College, and Union Theological Seminary. Annual 
reports to the Committee on Educational Institutions made it very 
clear that the colleges felt that the synod did not support them, 
and the synod committee had responded by asking the perennial 
question, "What makes an educational institution Christian?" 
The usual Presbyterian solution to a problem-i.e., to create 
another committee was observed, and in 1953 the Council on 
Educational Institutions was asked to bring some long-range 
plans to the synod. Perhaps the synod had been goaded by a talk 
given at Montreat by Dr. R.T.L. Listen entitled the "Folklore of 
Presbyterianism," the principal thesis of which was that Presby- 
terians prided themselves on a commitment to their educational 
institutions, but in reality only gave "lip service" to the idea. The 
Baptists supported their institutions much more generously! The 
remarks occasioned a good deal of anger but perhaps did lead to 
a more careful consideration of the needs of the synod's educa- 
tional commitment.'^ 

However it came about, Francis Pickens Miller was appointed 
to head a synod committee of 12 members; they decided that yet 
another survey of the three institutions be done but were unable 
to secure funds to pay for such a study. It was not until 1955 that 
Mary Baldwin College and Hampden-Sydney were each awarded 
$2,500 to conduct the survey: the committee, enlarged to 40 
members, then engaged five "distinguished educators" as consult- 
ants; and by June 1956 they were ready to present their recom- 
mendations to the synod and to the colleges involved. It was this 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

survey and self -study which had interrupted President McKenzie's 
cherished "Development" campaign. When the recommendations 
of the consultants became known, Mr. McKenzie's dismay in- 
creased. The evaluations were hardly complimentary. 

Referring to Mary Baldwin, the consultants observed that, 
because of the small number of juniors and seniors, "it would 
appear that the institution serves predominantly a junior college 
function"; the students are about average on national test scores; 
"they show little interest in civic or political affairs"; "with a top 
salary of $4,800, practically every man in the faculty has had to 
take outside employment to augment his salary"; the faculty gives 
"little evidence of scholarly activity" and they are "treated more 
like employees than full-time faculty members of a community of 
scholars"; the instructional plant is "inferior" to the residential 
plant; the "present location can never be made to suggest spa- 
ciousness or to provide extensive vistas of lawns and plants"; the 
"staff is perplexed by the tremendously formidable obstacle which 
the college faces in its tiny campus and its meager physical plant"; 
"a Christian college does not have a religious progi^am; it is a 
religious progi'am"; faculty should be "oriented" to the Christian 
mission of the college; they should attend "religious" seminars in 
the summer; the Old Testament course is too much of a survey; 
more attention should be paid to an intensive study of fundamen- 
tal Biblical questions; we "could not prove the vitality" of the "Y" 
program; there are "few indications of active connection with 
national work," the report concluded. ^^ 

What should the synod do? Several alternatives were sug- 
gested by the consultants: 

(1) A new four-year coeducational urban college could be 
constructed "somewhere within the bounds of the Synod" and 
Mary Baldwin College and Hampden-Sydney should be closed. 
This was the first choice of the consultants. 

(2) The synod might concentrate its direct financial support on 
one college; since the synod "owned" Hampden-Sydney, that 
would be the one. Scholarships for Presbj^erian "girls" who 
wished to go elsewhere to college might be provided from synod 

(3) Mary Baldwin College should move to the campus of 
Hampden-Sydney and become a "coordinate" church college; 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

its buildings and property could be sold to the city of Staunton 
to be used as a "municipal" college and/or a "private prepara- 
tory school." 

(4) Both Mary Baldwin College and Hampden-Sydney could 
become junior colleges. 

(5) Both Hampden-Sydney and Mary Baldwin College should 
stay where and how they were, but the enrollment should be 
increased to 600 each. 

If this last alternative were to be adopted, the consultants 
estimated it would take $7,500,000 in additional capital funds 
and $84,000 in annual giving for the operating costs of both 
institutions. The consultants acknowledged that the synod "has 
not been generous" in the past, but warned that the program 
outlined above would require seven times the present annual 
synod commitment to succeed. Even then, they warned, "this 
expenditure [will] not be sufficient to guarantee survival of these 
colleges to 2000 A.D."33 

Not all of these opinions and alternatives were made public in 
detail, nor were they even shared totally with the faculty; but the 
comments and conclusions were shocking and cost board mem- 
bers and administrators many sleepless nights. Was this to be the 
end of Rufus Bailey's and Mary Julia Baldwin's dreams? Were all 
the struggles, hardships and disappointments to go for naught? 
Was the hope of inspiring to "high endeavour" of the college alma 
mater to end? In the face of this appraisal, it is perhaps easier to 
understand why President McKenzie abruptly resigned in Sep- 
tember 1956, ostensibly over a relatively minor disagreement 
with the Board of Trustees. ^^ 

It was, of course, up to the synod to make a choice among the 
five alternatives presented by its consultants. A great deal of 
discussion continued throughout the summer, and when Mary 
Baldwin College's Board of Trustees met on 7 September 1956, Dr. 
Potter, the acting president, proposed that 

in view of the earnest efforts being made... to 
increase Synod's support of its educational 
institutions... and, in the belief that the 
spirit of the 1956 Synod meeting revealed 
a sincere concern and readiness for extensive 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

positive action... the Board of Trustees of 
Mary Baldwin College expresses its willingness 
to cooperate with the Synod of Virginia in 
further exploration of the possibilities of the 
establishment of a coordinate coeducational 
college, but at the present time.. .agree that 
the alternative, support by the Virginia Synod 
towards the maintenance of Hampden-Svdney 
and Marv Baldwin College at their present 
sites. most acceptable to us. 

The motion was carried somewhat reluctantly, since no one 
wanted a coordinate college, and an immediate resolution that a 
special long-range development plan for Mary Baldwin College be 
recommended to the board no later than the spring of 1957 was 
quickly adopted. ^^ By November 1956, the synod had acquiesced 
in the wishes of both Hampden-Sydney and Mary Baldwin Col- 
lege to remain in their present locations and had agreed that, in 
January 1957, a special offering for the two colleges "because of 
the present emergency" would be taken; a dollar per member was 
proposed. •'"^ 

Further, the synod agreed to support any development plans 
the Board of Trustees of Mary Baldwin College might propose 
and to undertake a united financial campaign on "behalf of 
Christian Higher Education," including the two colleges, two 
Presbyterian Guidance Centers, and Campus Christian Life, in 
the amount of $2,500,000; 45% to Mary Baldwin College, and a 
like amount to Hampden-Sydney. It was agreed that each college 
could also undertake its own separate campaign among its own 
constituents, and that the simultaneous campaigns would "coop- 
erate." The synod further agreed that the campaign would begin 
in 1959, and "adequate" funds from the benevolence budget would 
be assigned annually to each college.-^' 

One can only speculate about the protests that must have 
come to the synod from outraged alumnae and others once the 
proposal to close Hampden-Sydney and Mary Baldwin College 
became known. The fact that they did not accept the recommen- 
dation of their consultants and so quickly agreed that each college 
could mount a separate campaign, as well as agreed to support yet 
another synod campaign, suggests that the pressure was consid- 
erable. It also leaves an area of doubt concerning how fully 
committed the synod was to the promised fund raising; would 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

there have been more enthusiasm than there was if they had been 
engaged in building a totally new, "co-ed, urban" Presbyterian 
college? There is no doubt that the years of delay, debate, and 
indecision cost Mary Baldwin College dearly. Enrollment, which 
had been increasing slowly since 1954, dropped from 286 in 1956 
to 264 in 1957; gifts that were expected to come to the college were 
delayed or denied as rumors of projected moving or closing 
circulated. Only the fact that the board acted quickly in announc- 
ing their own new development plans and that they were able to 
find a charismatic, personable, dedicated new president in less 
than a year saved the college from disaster.^^ 

For most of the college's constituencies-i.e., students, parents, 
faculty and community, all of the discussions of board and synod 
finances and development programs were at the periphery of their 
attention. Of more immediate concern were course offerings, the 
grading system, how long was Thanksgiving vacation, and what 
did one do after college? Pressures on the curriculum came from 
many sources during this 13-year period; from the synod of the 
Presb3^erian Church, as they sought a closer correlation with a 
"Christian" perspective; from regional college accrediting boards; 
from the administration and faculty, who felt a deep commitment 
to upgrade and "modernize" course offerings; and from the stu- 
dents and their parents, who were beginning to consider seriously 
the role of educated women in contemporary society. Added to 
these considerations were the declining enrollment, until the mid- 
1950s, and the almost desperate search for course offerings which 
would "attract" and "hold" students. There were at least two 
thorough-going studies of the curriculum involving many commit- 
tees and year-long processes made in this period, and a number of 
efforts were made to integrate learning and to relate education to 
a young woman's life after she left college. The 1940s and 1950s 
were a time of change in the perception of women's roles and 
capabilities. Thousands of women had performed creditable work 
in "men's positions" during the war, and if "Rosie the Riveter" 
returned to the kitchen after the war, she did not always do so 
willingly. The "sexual revolution" was to be a generation in the 
future, but already the signs were there that young women, 
especially college young women, hoped and expected to do more 
than marry and raise families immediately after graduation. As 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

one Mary Baldwin student phrased it, "I expect to have a career 
when I get out of college, at least for a while, preliminary to 
marriage, you know."^^ In 1949, the most popular major on 
campus was Psychology, followed by Sociology, and chapel pro- 
grams encouraged students to consider careers in the care and 
prevention of mental illness, social work, religious vocations, 
merchandising, journalism, foreign service, and psychotherapy. 
In 1956, a Medical Technology program in cooperation with King's 
Daughters' Hospital was added, permitting a Mary Baldwin 
College woman to graduate from the college and simultaneously 
to be eligible to work as a registered medical technologist.'**^ 

Yet there were still mixed signals. As board member James G. 
Leyburn expressed it, in a speech to the faculty, "Your Mary 
Baldwin graduates are not going to be atomic physicists or 
specialists of any other sort. They are going to be wives, mothers, 
citizens and human beings." Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell's Founders' 
Day Address in 1955 declared, "Woman's essential role is that of 
taking care of the needs of others, and she cannot depart too far 
from this. . .women need good health, a good heart, a good mind and 
a good soul. "^^ Responses to questionnaires sent to alumnae made 
it plain that they wished the college curriculum to focus on early 
childhood development (hence the Demonstration School), hu- 
man relationships, and healthy living habits. The church felt the 
college's principal teaching objective should be "Christian citizen- 

Howard Mumford Jones, writing in Mademoiselle in January 
1952, presented still another perception. "College Women have 
Let us Down," he declared, and proceeded to say that female 
college students were characterized by political apathy, "listless- 
ness" about public issues, " a queer sort of genteel selfishness, and 
a desire for a job, but no interest in a career... They want jobs that 
are small, safe and secure — but [they must not be] routine." As 
might be expected, this article brought a spate of angry answers, 
often from mothers, the gist of which was that if this condition was 
indeed true, it was because of lack of "faculty leadership" and the 
"petrified" curriculum. Professional educators, in the meantime, 
were deploring the "fragmentation" of knowledge and demanding 
more interdisciplinary studies, more integration of theory with 
practice, and more choice and flexibility in meeting graduation 

With limited resources, a small faculty, with a thin margin for 
experimentation if those " inflexible " accreditation standards were 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

to be continually met, the Mary Baldwin academic community did 
its best to answer these pressures and concerns. The college, as 
a college, was still so young, comparatively speaking, and from a 
suspect heritage, that a major priority had to be the upholding and 
increasing of academic standards. Entrance requirements were 
increased to 16 high school units; placement tests for languages 
and English were administered; faculty were assigned as advisors 
to freshmen and a required freshman orientation course, meeting 
throughout the year, was introduced. Mary Baldwin students 
became a thoroughly tested group of young women. SAT scores 
were required for admission, and sophomores participated in the 
National College Sophomore Testing program. This eight-hour 
experience met with instant student dismay; one young lady 
announced that she approached the ordeal with "distaste, disap- 
proval, and weary resignation." After the major was declared, the 
students were presented with "reading lists" which, at the end of 
the next two years, provided the nucleus for "senior com- 
prehensives." All seniors also were required to take Graduate 
Record Examinations in their major fields.'*^ 

Although upperclassmen in good standing were now allowed 
unlimited cuts (1955), no one could cut for two days before and 
after a holiday. By 1953, Mrs. Grafton was warning that grades 
were "too high," and the faculty spent an unprofitable amount of 
time reevaluating the grading system and debating the meaning 
of such phrases as "conspicuously excellent. "'^^ 

The Secretarial Certificate was discontinued in 1948, and that 
same year it was agreed that not ah speech and music majors 
would present recitals and not ah art majors would give exhibits; 
only outstanding students would be invited to do so. A Biology 
honorary society. Beta Beta Beta, was installed on campus ( 1948), 
but the college quietly withdrew an application for Phi Beta 
Kappa when it became obvious that neither the physical nor the 
endowment requirements could be met. Instead, the college 
Honor Society was made more visible. Election to it was very 
selective-10% or less of the graduating class-but, beginning in 
1952, a special Honors' Society breakfast was held the morning of 
commencement each year. In addition, an annual Honors' Day 
Convocation was held in February. There was an academic 
procession, the Honors and Dean's lists for the first semester were 
read aloud, and a visiting scholar presented an address. In 1953, 
the first Margarett Kable Russell Scholar was named. ^^ The 
historical pilgrimages were revived (1948); "literary teas" were 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

held in the Library on Sunday afternoons; the first Shakespeare 
play to be presented by students in its entirety, The Tempest , was 
performed on campus to great acclaim in 1953. Everything that 
could give visibility and support for academic excellence was 

Curiously enough, in 1953 a board of trustees committee, 
evaluating the academic program at the behest of the synod, sent 
a list of 14 items to the faculty for their consideration. Among its 
"suggestions" was the request that seniors be excused from final 
course exams after they had passed the senior comprehensive; 
that the Physical Education requirement be abolished or modified 
(there is "too much time and energy spent on Physical Education," 
a board member noted) ; that a course on "Our Religious Heritage" 
be introduced; that a major in Education and one in "Natural 
Sciences" be added. All of the above were either tabled or 
disapproved by faculty vote, and nothing more was heard of 

In an attempt to "integrate" knowledge, an American Studies 
Major and other Interdisciplinary majors were developed during 
these years, such as Sociology/Economics or Bible/Philosophy. 
The most ambitious of these efforts was a course entitled "Philoso- 
phy and the Arts", team-taught by Drs. Broman, Collins, Day, 
Mahler, and Turner. The course, open to upperclassmen, met 
once a week for 90 minutes throughout the year and was immedi- 
ately a popular and sought-after choice.^" 

Other courses introduced during these years included Logic, 
Horticulture, World Literature in English Translation, Compara- 
tive Economic Systems, Psychological Testing, Journalism (which 
had lapsed after Dr. Carroll requested in 1949 that she be relieved 
of the responsibilities of Public Relations), and a variety of courses 
on the Far East and the U.S.S.R. After several years of often 
heated debate, agreement was finally reached on how much credit 
would be given for foreign language and that first-year foreign 
language courses would meet five times a week. 

Other changes included the first attempts at student evalua- 
tion of faculty (1953) and the offering of summer school courses 
by the members of the Psychology and Education faculty to 
provide college credit for local school teachers and other commu- 
nity adults. There is occasional mention of "night classes," but 
they must have been small and infrequent. The problem of 
Thanksgiving vacation (how long?), much on student minds in 
this era, remains to this day. All possible combinations have been 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

tried over the years, none of which has ever been totally satisfac- 

These years were the Golden Era of the college Music Depart- 
ment. There were usually four full-time faculty, with three 
"regulars" (Broman, McNeil and Page) always present. Majors 
were offered in voice, piano and organ. The college glee club 
numbered in the 90s, over one-fourth of the student body. They 
sang with Harvard, Princeton, the University of Virginia, Wash- 
ington & Lee and Davidson glee clubs; presented annual pro- 
grams at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.; took road 
tours for the college; and were an integral part of campus life. 
Wearing the stoles given them by President Lewis, they sang two 
times a week at college chapel services, had Christmas and Easter 
concerts, and appeared at major college events such as Founders' 
Day and graduation. The music faculty gave solo recitals for the 
college and the community and were a major factor in the contin- 
ued success of the King Series. In 1953, the folk opera "Down in 
the Valley" was presented by the combined glee clubs of Mary 
Baldwin and Washington & Lee; there were 130 participants. 
Other special programs commemorated the 100th anniversary of 
Woodrow Wilson's birth, and "Amahl and the Night Visitors" was 
presented several times. ^^ 

Drama and art were equally popular. Fletcher Collins and his 
students undertook challenging theater experiences. Seven plays 
during the college year were presented, most of them directed by 
undergraduates. It was noted that the new Play Production class 
would enable a student "to teach her husband to saw, paint walls, 
and to cope with electricity." In 1954, after years of planning and 
preparation, a summer community theater. Oak Grove, opened at 
the Collins' farm five miles from Staunton. Here the energetic and 
talented Collins family joined college students and townspeople in 
all aspects of practical and creative theater. Oak Grove Theater 
still flourishes, and its close association with the college has 
continued for 38 years. ^^ 

Horace and Elizabeth Day provided Mary Baldwin students 
with the rare experience of close association with two of the 
region's leadingyoung artists whose works were exhibited through- 
out Virginia and elsewhere in the United States. They were 
equally superb teachers who sought "to avoid narrow vocational" 
orientation in their courses and hoped to enlarge the "area of 
aesthetic living... to engender a creative approach and to broaden 
appreciation." One of the tragedies of these years was the pro- 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

longed illness and eventual death of Elizabeth Nottingham Day 
on 2 April 1956. "She was," wrote President McKenzie, "one of our 
finest teachers and one of our best influences on student life"; and 
she was indeed very close to students, alumnae, faculty and the 
community. ^° 

The synod committee's remark that faculty were treated like 
"paid employees" stung, but it did perhaps suggest an important 
fact of faculty-administration relationships. There is little evi- 
dence that faculty could participate in discussions concerning 
salary levels. Such information was kept carefully confidential. 
Nor were there any studies to reveal whether women were paid 
less than men of the same rank and seniority. Faculty could and 
did participate in discussions concerning pension, health insur- 
ance, and extended illness policies. ^^ In an effort to make more 
opportunities for faculty-student contact, it was proposed, in 
1951, to offer faculty "free lunches" in the college dining hall, a 
custom that persisted until the late 1970s. °^ By 1952, the board 
was considering a formal tenure statement, but this difficult 
subject was postponed (and "studied") for several years. It is 
perhaps a coincidence that Louis Locke proposed that a chapter of 
AAUP be organized on campus the same year that tenure discus- 
sions began. In any case, it was not until 1955 that the board 
approved President McKenzie's sweeping recommendation that 
all members of the faculty (with the exception of three recent 
appointees) be granted permanent tenure! It does not appear that 
any formal notification of this policy was made. The whole area 
of formalized tenure awaited further clarification under Dr. 
Spencer's administration. It would become a major controversy in 
the late 1970s at Mary Baldwin as well as elsewhere in the 
country. ^^ 

In spite of these conditions, many continued to stay on the 
faculty for their lifetimes. A previous policy of compulsory re- 
tirement at age 65 was modified in 1956, allowing appointment to 
continue on a yearly basis until age 70. This action was motivated 
by two desires: one to allow Miss Fannie and Dr. Turner to remain 
past their 65th birthdays; the second to avoid the difficulty that 
replacement of senior faculty by new appointments of "equal skill 
and qualifications," which would require "greatly increased sala- 
ries." Older faculty were kept because they expected less and 
worked harder than younger, equally qualified persons would. ^^ 
As is the case with many small, privately supported colleges, 
faculty qualifications, skills and dedication had little relationship 


To Live In Tune A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

to compensation and working conditions. 

Although there were Hmited budgets, the college was able to 
maintain a surprising schedule of exhibits, lectures, concerts and 
performers in these postwar years. Deliberate efforts continued 
to be made to introduce a wide variety of viewpoints and interests 
to help compensate for a remote "rural" location and the supposed 
disadvantages this entailed. The Days sponsored exhibits of their 
own work, as well as that of other Virginia artists and their 
students. The Don Cossack Chorus, Carl Van Doren, the National 
Symphony Orchestra (an annual event for many years), William 
L. Shirer, Charles Collingwood, Martha Graham and her dance 
company, Stringfellow Barr, Charles Laughton, the Trapp Fam- 
ily, and John Temple Graves all presented programs here, and the 
Barter Theater regularly performed. 

Beginning in 1950 and continuing for several years, a "Great 
Books" class met two times a month at the college. Open to the 
community as well as to interested students. Dr. Turner, Dr. 
Lewis, and Dr. Brice led the discussions. The Classical Associa- 
tion of Virginia met on campus, as did the Virginia Humanities 

The Centennial of Woodrow Wilson's birth (1956) involved a, 
three-day celebration in which the college participated. "America's 
Town Meeting of the Air" originated in King Auditorium; former 
Governor Colgate Darden and former Vice-President of the United 
States Alben Barkley were present; three months later, Virginius 
Dabney, Arthur Krock, Harold Willis Dodd (the president of 
Princeton), and Dr. T.J. Wertenbaker spoke in King Auditorium 
about the World War I president. The National Symphony was 
here, there was a flower show, an interdenominational hymn 
"sing," and a "Tri-Faith" panel focused on world peace. 

In 1956, Don Hamilton sponsored the first "mock political 
convention" held on the Mary Baldwin campus. President 
Eisenhower and Richard Nixon were duly renominated, and a 
tradition was born that continued for more than a quarter of a 
century. A Parents' Weekend, shortly to be combined with 
Founders' Day, was begun in the fall of 1953.^^ 

In addition, there were, of course, inaugurations of two presi- 
dents, and the usual college annual observances of Charter Night, 
Founders' Day, Apple Day, Christmas Tradition, Religious Em- 
phasis Week, the King series. Honors Convocation, and com- 
mencement activities. In these days, before there was little, if any, 
television and social activities off campus were still limited and 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

restricted, students looked primarily to campus activities for 
cultural and recreational opportunities. Attendance at these 
innumerable events was good; there was an informal mingling of 
students, faculty, community people and church personnae, and 
the college campus was "home" to the students for four years in a 
way of life which was disappearing as the decade of the 1950s drew 
to a close. 

These transition years were as difficult for the Alumnae 
Association as they were for the other constituencies of the college. 
Its efforts and support for the college had been limited by the war 
effort, and its modest annual dues (a dollar per year) plus its 
various fund-raising projects had resulted in insufficient funds to 
cover the costs of publications, office expenses, and executive 
secretaries' salaries. For many years, the college had included as 
part of the operating budget the expenses of the alumnae office. 
When Biology moved into the Club building (1950), alumnae 
personnel were moved back to the Main Building, and the valiant 
efforts to rebuild alumnae chapters proceeded slowly. In 1946, a 
somewhat idealistic effort to increase alumnae support was made. 
Instead of regular dues, each alumna was asked to contribute 
"whatever amount she feels she can afford or desires to give" each 
year. The Fund was to run from 1 July through the following 30 
June, and regular mailings reminded the faithful to "give some- 
thing every year." The number of donors rose from 302 in 1946- 
1947, to 728 in 1955-1956; but the annual amount never exceeded 
$7,500. In addition to the expenses of the association, the fund 
provided contributions for scholarships, support for the mission- 
ary activities associated with the college alumnae, and homecom- 
ing activities, which were revived in 1948.^*^ 

Alumnae executive secretaries during these years continued 
the high standards and dedicated service of their predecessors. 
Dorothy Hisey Bridges, who had served for eight years, resigned 
in 1953, to be succeeded by Mary Moore Pancake and then, in 
1955, by Hannah Campbell. They were all alumnae themselves 
and had close ties with the college, but they labored under 
enormous difficulties because of skeleton staffs and the increas- 
ing professionalism demanded of college alumnae organizations. 
These women were assisted (and sometimes possibly hindered) by 
various members of the administration and faculty. Both presi- 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

dents Lewis and McKenzie travelled extensively during their 
terms of office, renewing alumnae contacts and seeking financial 
support and help in student recruitment. John Baffin journeyed 
18,000 miles in one year, looking for funds for Bailey dormitory; 
Martha Grafton, Elizabeth Parker, Marguerite Hillhouse, some 
trustees, and others tried to fill the gaps left by inadequate office 
staffing. In 1952, the first full-time "field representative," Marg- 
aret McLaughlin, was appointed; but, since the alumnae budget 
had to be "trimmed," the long-standing birthday card tradition 
was discontinued. The generosity of various alumnae over these 
and subsequent years in providing "bed and breakfast," as well as 
friendly greetings, profitable contacts, and generous personal 
gifts can only be looked upon with awe. 

There were, of course, many alumnae donations that were not 
designated for the annual fund. A vigorous local campaign, run by 
Emily Smith, Mildred Taylor and John Baffin, raised $10,000 for 
the "New Bormitory" in 1946; an additional $12,000 donation was 
made in 1951. Over the years, special gifts helped dormitory 
improvements, the building of the Student Activities Building, 
and the contribution for the faculty in 1955 was given "in recog- 
nition and appreciation to them to symbolize the outstanding 
faculties Mary Baldwin College has had all through its history. "^^ 

In 1950, the alumnae office undertook to send 5,000 question- 
naires to former students, focusing on alumnae impressions of the 
weaknesses and strengths of the college experience, as related to 
their post-graduate activities and their life styles. This was 
intended to supplement the faculty curriculum study of the same 
year and was perhaps part of the effort to reverse the decline in 
enrollment. Now, 40 years later, the responses provide a fascinat- 
ing sociological study of college (and seminary) educated women 
of the mid-20th century. Fourteen hundred and three responses 
were received, a 29% return. Of these women, 78.4% were 
married. The average number of children was 1.5, although 
seminary graduates (as opposed to college graduates), had more — 
2.1. Of the married alumnae, 21.7% had no children at all, but less 
than 1% were divorced. Seventy-five percent of all husbands were 
college-educated and were "overwhelmingly" in professional occu- 
pations. The alumnae themselves were primarily teachers; sec- 
ondly involved in secretarial and social work, journalism, book- 
keeping, merchandising, religious work, as librarians and "tech- 
nicians." Twenty-five percent had done graduate work. Alumnae 
were active in church auxiliaries, in women's clubs, PTA's, Girl 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

and Boy Scouts and patriotic organizations. They also devoted 
time and energy to junior leagues, garden clubs, service associa- 
tions, and various business and professional groups. Music, art 
and sports occupied their leisure time. There was little evidence 
that either they or their husbands were actively involved in 
political or social concerns, but by 1957 the explosive issues of the 
'60s were already beginning to emerge on college campuses. Their 
daughters and granddaughters would shortly face challenges and 
changes undreamed of in the conformist world of the 1950s.^^ 

Student life in these immediate postwar years changed, but 
slowly. The college community was so small that, of course, the 
students were aware of presidential tensions, curricula studies, 
declining enrollments, and financial problems, but their chief 
interests centered, understandably, on themselves. Social regu- 
lations were modified, were made simpler and less restricting. 
Miss Parker and SGA officers monitored carefully other local 
colleges' rules and sought to keep Mary Baldwin in the main- 
stream of such matters. There were open houses to which college 
men were invited, and two formal dances were held each year. 
Apparently by the mid-1950s these dances, although there were 
elaborate decorations and exquisite gowns, had become a "drag" 
from the student point of view. Attendance was declining, and the 
young women obviously preferred events at the University of 
Virginia and Washington & Lee to their own campus. There were 
already murmurs against the prohibition of alcoholic beverages; 
"the Presb3derian Church is more a hindrance to our social life 
than a boost to our education... we should stand up and demand 
what we came for... are we a boarding house for blind dates?" 
demanded one Campus Comments editorial. But it would be many 
years before that particular restriction was relaxed. An energetic 
effort at supporting a "dance weekend" took place in 1956, when 
a "major" band (Ralph Flanagan) was engaged and 500 students 
were expected to attend. The records do not indicate that the 
experiment was repeated, but Campus Comments regularly re- 
ported large numbers of students attending events at men's 
colleges all over the East Coast. By 1956, seniors could have 
automobiles, which were to be parked in a private lot two blocks 
from campus. All but freshmen now had unlimited class cuts, and 
lights-out restrictions became a thing of the past. Permission for 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

"overnights" and weekends off campus were increased. Still, 
colleges felt an obligation to young women and their parents in 
these years; sign outs, approvals and chaperones were still neces- 
sary, and freshman social rules were more restrictive than those 
for upperclassmen,^^ 

It is interesting to note how prevalent (and how accepted) 
smoking was. The stories and poems in the Miscellany made 
frequent references to cigarettes and Coca-Cola. Protests about 
increased taxes on cigarettes, part of the Korean war effort, did 
not cut down on purchases: "The girls will smoke, whether a pack 
costs ten or fifty cents, " declared Campus Comments . Later it was 
noted that there were 35 ashtrays in the Club — and that they were 
never clean. 

This was the era of the "poodle" haircut, LP and 45 RPM 
records, and students going in large numbers to Morgan's Music 
Store to see "TV" sets or to the Checkerboard for candy and 
stationery from Mr. Lewis. Florida and Texas girls posed in 
bathing suits beside a snowman they had built. Curiously, on one 
occasion, the junior class entertained the freshmen by putting on 
a "mock wrestling match," and apparently it was customary in 
some years to play "sardines" and "hide and seek" on the front 
campus to celebrate the end of senior comprehensives.^^ 

Other changes emerged. After 1952, students had to make 
their own beds, and maids cleaned the rooms only once a week 
instead of daily . The "Eta Betas, " student waitresses in the dining 
room, were born that same year; Miss Carr was "pleased," and the 
Eta Betas were an important part of college life until changes in 
eating patterns in the 1980s saw their role diminish. By 1956, 
Mary Baldwin students began to appear in Who's Who in Ameri- 
can Colleges and Universities , and the "beauty section" of the 
Bluestocking had been dropped. *^^ 

The composition of the student body changed little in these 
postwar years, although the small enrollments from the mid-West 
and New England that had characterized the war years vanished. 
There were always more students from Virginia than elsewhere, 
although they never constituted a majority of the student body. 
Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia all sent 
their daughters north to Mary Baldwin College, a pattern that 
had really not changed markedly since the late seminary years. 
But some cosmopolitanism was introduced by the presence again 
of foreign students. The first was Maria Ineri, a "displaced person" 
from Estonia, whose year at Mary Baldwin College (1948-1949) 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

was partially sponsored by the YWCA. In 1950, a Korean student, 
Suk Hjoin Lee, arrived. Shortly after, Grace Mizuno from Japan 
stayed to graduate from Mary Baldwin College and to become an 
enthusiastic alumna. In the years that followed, other young 
women from Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Cuba, Brazil, and 
elsewhere appeared on campus. Within five years of the end of the 
hostilities in Europe, Mary Baldwin students were finding their 
way there by ship, for summer study and travel. Vega Lytton and 
B.C. Carr took student groups to France, Italy and Switzerland on 
several occasions, and Gordon and Barbara Page chaperoned 
trips to Bermuda and New York City over spring vacations. ^^ 

Although the five-day week and more numerous permitted 
overnights began to cut in on student attention to on-campus 
activities, the usual clubs continued. Prominent among them 
remained the YWCA, whose candlelight vespers, sponsorship of 
the World Service Student Fund, Big Sisters, the Bettie Bickle 
Home, Effie Ann Johnson Nursery, exam devotions, and fresh- 
man orientation activities continued an integral part of campus 
life. The "Y" dues at $1.25 per year were collected from each 
student as part of the SGA budget, suggesting that every member 
of the student body v/as automatically a member of the "Y". By 
1956, however, it appears that there were active and not-so-active 
members. Proposed changes in the "Y" constitution suggested 
only "members" should participate in the election of the four 
principal officers. A Campus Comments editorial asked, "What is 
the "Y"? — should the entire student body elect its officers?" — "It 
is," continued Laura Clausen, who wrote the editorial, "a fellow- 
s hip of students, not merely an organization or a club." It was 
concerned with "aU people, not merely those who belong... it exists 
for students who are not members... [it is] a call to be something, 
to be a Christian while also being a student." Later that year, it 
was agreed that the entire student body would continue to elect 
the "Y" officers. 

Other Christian fellowship groups remained popular: the 
Westminster Club carried on active progi^ams with fellow clubs 
from the University of Virginia and Washington & Lee; the 
Canterbury Club, Wesley Foundation and Newman Club all 
provided Christian-related activities. "^^ 

The "Y," as well as the Christian Fellowship groups on cam- 
pus, had taken the lead in studying and discussing the puzzling 
and often emotional subject of race relations in the United States. 
From time to time, Mary Baldwin College students had attended 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

racially mixed conferences and meetings, but never apparently in 
Staunton or at the college itself. Of course, there were interracial 
contacts. The maids in the dormitories, the cooks in the kitchen, 
and the groundsmen were usually black, and many and firm were 
the friendships between students and some of these individuals 
who did so much to make life pleasant and comfortable at the 
college. In 1954, a feature article in Campus Comments focused 
on Maud Kenney and Margaret Fountain, who ran the sandwich 
counter at "The Nook." The writer noted, "They are examples of 
harmony and efficiency," and indeed they were. Two years later 
(1956), a picture and story about Martha Smith (who baked all the 
bread and rolls) talked of her "wonderful understanding nature 
and a constantly friendly manner." 

Queenie Miller's orphanage (so long related to the seminary 
and college) closed in 1948, but the "Y" made a contribution to 
James Miller (Queenie's son), who was studying business courses 
at a university. The "Y's" monthly supplements were now sent to 
the Effie Ann Johnson Nursery, and the service projects and 
Christmas programs continued for many years. 

In 1947, President Truman had received his Civil Rights 
Commission report. To Secure These Rights, which bluntly de- 
tailed the racial system that denied blacks equal opportunity in 
most aspects of American life. Frustrated by Congress's refusal to 
implement some of the committee's recommendations, Truman, 
in 1948, desegregated the Armed Forces of the United States by 
executive order. Supreme Court decisions challenged state laws 
denying black students admission to graduate schools in their 
own states and threatened the separate-but-equal doctrine of 
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). At long last, in 1954, Brown v. Board 
of Education ordered that public school segregation was to end 
everywhere in the United States "with all deliberate speed." The 
following year the American Council of Education recommended 
all colleges admit students without regard to race, color, or creed; 
but the State of Virginia's blue ribbon Gray Commission opposed 
all integi'ation efforts, called for "massive resistance," and even an 
end to public education rather than submit. As early as 1948, 
Campus Comments had noted that segregated schools need to be 
"equalized" and that "justice" must be done both races in regard 
to opportunities in higher education. A student editorial hoped 
"agitators" would not "hamper" the movement by "drastic and 
unpolitic" demands. Somewhat ironically, the Dolphin Show that 
year was entitled "Darkies in the Old South" and featured a 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

plantation setting. 

Subsequent Campus Comments stories and Chapel programs 
served to keep the Mary Baldwin student cognizant of the unfold- 
ing drama, but there was little evidence of mass student concern 
or commitment until the Brown decision. In October 1954, 
Campus Comments asked students how they felt about desegre- 
gation. Most said the process was "inevitable" but should be slow. 
"If people will be calm about it, it won't be nearly as bad as people 
think." One young lady observed that the "antagonism" of older 
people was "far greater than among the young." "In time, Negro 
and White will work together for common ends." One student 
equated going to school with blacks as being similar to attending 
school with "Mexicans," which she had done in Texas. However, 
another observed, "I would not care to associate with the majority 
of the Negi'o population," and undoubtedly there were many who 
agreed with her viewpoint. 

After 1954, Mary Baldwin members of the National Student 
Federation, the International Relations Club, and the YWCA 
regularly attended desegregated regional and national meetings. 
In 1956, editorial outrage over the Arthurine Lucy episode in 
Alabama was widely supported. It was to be hoped that "our 
students" would show a "sane attitude" if a similar occurrence 
happened in Virginia. The Virginia school closings were vigor- 
ously opposed in editorial comment, and the subject was reported 
and discussed with fair regularity in the years that followed. The 
time was not long distant when the pious sentiment of SGA 
leaders would be put to a practical test at Miss Baldwin's school.*^'* 

This was the era of burgeoning intercollegiate athletics, and 
some women's colleges, as well as coeducational institutions, were 
responding with larger stadiums, professional coaches, and re- 
gional "conferences." Mary Baldwin, of course, had no tradition of 
intercollegiate sports activities and was woefully lacking, as it 
always had been, in physical resources to support such programs. 
True, the college now possessed the King Building, but the 
outdoor athletic field was more than a mile from the campus and 
was reached by taxi, hiking, or occasionally a faculty car. The 
main emphasis continued to be on intramural activities and inter- 
dorm rivalries. However, the Physical Education faculty made 
valiant efforts to broaden the sports horizon. There existed a 
Virginia Field Hockey Association, and on frequent occasions in 
the 1940s Mary Baldwin College sent students, as many as 24, to 
enter "mixed team" competitions in the Western Section. In the 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

mid- 1940s, Constance Applebee, a septuagenarian who had intro- 
duced field hockey to the United States, appeared at various 
"field" days and coached Mary Baldwin players. By 1948, a 
Virginia Athletic Federation of Colleges for Women had been 
formed. They held their annual "sports" day at the Mary Baldwin 
campus in 1949. Over 100 students attended, but there were no 
awards or rankings; it was merely for the "sociability of play." 
Hockey continued to be popular throughout the 1950s, and the 
evidence suggests that Mary Baldwin continued to participate in 
state tournaments, usually as members of "combined" teams. 

Likewise, there is some evidence of intercollegiate activity in 
basketball and, in 1955, in tennis. ^^ 

The major athletic interest remained on campus. Three years 
of Physical Education were required of all students, including a 
course in "personal hygiene." There were usually two Physical 
Education faculty members, with occasional adjuncts, and 11 
sports were listed in the catalogue. Swimming was very popular, 
and the Dolphin Club presented annual shows to much acclaim. 
Volleyball and basketball both provided occasions of student/ 
faculty rivalries. Softball, golf, archery, modern dance, and tennis 
were also well supported. 

In 1953, the Athletic Association became the Recreation Asso- 
ciation. The entire student body and faculty were divided by lot 
into two teams, called the "Scotch" and the "Irish," with the 
intention of promoting intramural spirit and competition. "Carni- 
vals" were held in King Auditorium to raise funds for sports 
activities, and the annual banquet presented team and individual 
awards. In the early years the rallies were colorful and enthusi- 
astic, but interest waned, and later editorials asked, "Where is the 
RA spirit?" and deplored the lack of spectators at intramural 
games. "^"^ 

The Student Government Association continued to be an 
important aspect of student life. The commitment to uphold the 
Honor System never wavered; it was and has remained one of the 
most prized aspects of the students' lives together. But changes 
came here as well as in other divisions of the college. In the 
immediate postwar period and for some time thereafter, student 
elections were decorous affairs (although election day was a school 
holiday, and after the winners were announced there was a school 
celebration). Nomination was by committee. There was no cam- 
paigning. "The fact that campus politics are not practiced at Mary 
Baldwin is, in our mind, an attribute to the college," one editorial 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

observed. Two years later, the same theme was repeated: "We are 
proud of the fact that there is no pohticking [sic] for election. The 
best girl always wins. Favoritism and partiality are not dis- 
played," it was declared. But shortly thereafter, efforts were made 
to change the nominating procedure to make it more "democratic. " 
By 1956, nominations were by both student committee and peti- 
tion, and there was some thought of changing the no-campaigning 
rule — "We need to cast off antiquated modesty... our leaders need 
to have initiative," a young woman declared. 

During these years there were modest changes in the SGA 
Constitution. The president's forum was replaced by the board of 
review; later a student board, with legislative and executive 
duties, and a judicial board were instituted. Some SGA meetings 
were open to any who wished to attend. In 1954, the SGA 
celebrated its 25th anniversary with a three-day conference 
attended by representatives from 20 other "companion colleges," 
and at least eight former SGA presidents returned for the occa- 
sion. The theme of the Conference was, "What is our Generation?" 
and, although the major speakers were hardly optimistic about 
the future, their comments about international relations, reli- 
gion, arts and philosophy, followed by discussion groups, were 
well received. ""^ 

One controversy in this era was whether or not Mary Baldwin 
College would join the National Student Association. Member- 
ship was proposed in 1953, and the idea was approved by the 
Student Council, but the final decision to join was postponed until 
the spring of 1954. Opposition to the proposal seemed to center on 
whether or not the Mary Baldwin College representative should 
or should not be a member of the Student Government Association 
Council. Would this be adding another organization to an already 
overcrowded club and association calendar? What advantages 
would Mary Baldwin derive? One editorial observed, "Mary 
Baldwin has become too much interested in itself, and too little 
interested in what is going on in the rest of the world. This 
provincialism is one of the things the promoters of the National 
Student Association are trying to combat." There is no hint that 
the suggestion to join was discouraged by the administration; but 
this was the McCarthy era, and some remembered the fear and 
dislike the National Youth Congress of the 1930s had aroused. 
Were there those who were fearful that the National Student 
Association and its international connections might be distasteful 
to alumnae and church synods? Whatever the reason for the 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

delay, the students seemed indifferent; one editorial observed 
that the delay had been for the purpose of allowing student debate, 
but "since that time we have not noticed a single discussion of the 
issues going on within our hearing." Finally, early in 1954, Mary 
Baldwin College did join the National Student Association and 
representatives were sent to the regional meeting in February. 
Their reports were published in Campus Comments, and it was 
promised that the following year there would be a regular column 
in the student newspaper detailing the group's activities. The 
column never appeared and, although the college retained its 
membership for a number of years, it never became a major 
influence on campus. *^^ 

The college publications continued with varying successes. 
The Virginia Intercollegiate Press Association, which had lapsed 
during the war, was revived in 1947, and Mary Baldwin College 
was an active member. Sensitivity to freedom of the press issues, 
always stressed by the VIPA, surfaced rarely during these years, 
but it did surface. By 1953, a column entitled "Little Comments," 
which featured one-line student interviews, had appeared. An 
editorial in December 1954 related that some students who had 
been quoted in the column as being in favor of admitting Red 
China to the United Nations "had been warned" (it is not specified 
by whom) that their comments might keep them from getting a 
government job. The editorial vigorously demanded the right of 
students and reporters to express any views they chose. Subse- 
quent stories on academic and press freedom continued, and the 
Campus Comments won First Class Honor Rating in 1956 and 
was cited for its "excellent content and coverage." As the college 
began to quietly acquire real estate in the mid-1950s, Campus 
Comments vigorously protested that it was not informed of such 
purchases first , before the city and state newspapers. 

With limited resources and a student body composed mostly of 
freshmen and sophomores, all of the college publications faced 
many difficulties. But they did not hesitate to print criticisms. 
The Miscellany goes from "infantile to adolescent... the cover is 
attached, but to nothing," ran one comment. "We need more 
competent, more professional publications." We need a new 
school song, demanded another letter to the editor; "nothing is 
impossible (except maybe our present alma mater)!" In 1956, the 
venerable custom of the May Day Queen and her court came under 
attack. Everyone laughs at the ivy planting ceremony, the editor 
declared, "because it will die and who wants the front lawn to 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

become a mat of creeping vines?" Signing the Honor Pledge is a 
"derogatory ritual," declared another student. And a running 
commentary throughout these years is the plea for more student 
involvement and participation in college activities, and for better 
behavior when they were required to attend. There are "the 
knitters, sleepers, letter writers, manicurists, crammers, doo- 
dlers, note copiers... they practically told [the speaker] to sit 
down!" protested one letter to the editor. "^^ 

By 1957, when Dr. Samuel Spencer became the fifth president 
of Mary Baldwin College, there had been seven generations of 
Mary Baldwin College students. In some ways, the young women 
of 1957 were different from their counterparts of the 1930s; 
different in their expectations, their ambitions, their feelings 
about themselves. "This business of being equal and a partner is 
a new and exhausting experience," wrote one student. Another, 
somewhat ahead of her time, declared "We have had to fight 
against blocks put in our path by men and other women !" But in 
other ways, the strong thread of tradition and continuity contin- 
ued to make these students not greatly changed from their 
grandmothers' generation. They had come to college "to make 
friends, meet boys, get along with each other... they are friendly, 
cooperative, polite... college work is taken seriously but not 'too 
seriously.'" '° But they were the last student generation for whom 
this was true. The swift changes of the 1960s were almost upon 
them, and the college — and the world — would never be the same 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 


1 Minutes . BT 14 Mar. 1946. 

^ Minutes . BT 7 Sept. 1956. Dr. Lewis remained president 
until there was a slight improvement in the enrollment and the 
post-World War II economic adjustment had been, at least, 
partially achieved. Charles W. McKenzie was a native of Boston, 
Massachusetts, a graduate of Dartmouth and Columbia Univer- 
sities. He had held a William Tucker Fellowship and had earned 
a MA degree in public law. He had been the Dean of Westminster 
College in Fulton, Missouri and had been on the faculty at 
Washington University in St. Louis. During World War II he had 
been the Director of Personnel at the U.S. Army Pre-Flight School 
in San Antonio, Texas and had spent three years in Great Britain 
shortly before coming to Mary Baldwin, doing research for a book 
on the British political party system. He married Margaret 
Elizabeth Hines of Greensboro, N.C., who was a graduate of Bryn 
Mawr and had studied at Oxford. They had no children. Mr. 
McKenzie came to Mary Baldwin in September 1954 and was 
inaugurated, in what he described as a "simple ceremony," held 
at First Presbyterian Church on 16 April 1955. There were 200 
delegates from 29 colleges and universities present. He resigned 
his office on 7 September 1956. C.C. 16 April 1955. MBC Archives. 

^ Anne Elizabeth Parker came to Mary Baldwin College in 
September 1941, to teach French and Spanish and to live in Hill 
Top dormitory. Her graduate work had been at Duke. In 1942, 
she was made assistant dean (helping Katherine Sherrill) and 
continued to teach two classes of French for several years. 
Earlier, she had taught high school in depression-racked 
Tennessee, and low as Mary Baldwin College salaries were, they 
were an improvement over her public school's $900-a-year com- 
pensation. As an assistant dean, Miss Parker had an 11-month 
contract, and what had been intended as a temporary arrange- 
ment lengthened happily into 30 years. She became dean of 
students in 1945 and retired in 1972. In addition to her many and 
changing college duties, she was active in the Girl Scouts, the 
First Presbyterian Church, and other community activities. Her 
work with the physical plant personnel and her own staff was 
always tactful and harmonious, and she had many life-long 
friends across a broad spectrum of faculty, students and 
administrators. Each Christmas, on the last day of classes, 
Elizabeth would invite the faculty and staff to a Christmas 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

reception in her apartment. Her Christmas trees were unique; 
her artistic skills were beautifully portrayed in her hand-made 
ornaments and the craft work she had collected. Her culinary 
skills were equally remarkable; she prepared all the food herself, 
and it was superb. She proved a skillful, conscientious and 
thoughtful dean of students, although she found it hard to adapt 
to the changing mores of the late 60s, and she missed Martha 
Grafton and Marguerite Hillhouse when they both retired in 
1970, two years before she did. She was a most practical lady. 
Once a student telephoned her that she was unable to return to 
the college by the approved curfew time because of a fierce winter 
storm and that she would have to spend the night in unapproved 
housing. What should she do? Elizabeth Parker answered that if 
it was a case of her life or her reputation, she should save her life! 
Understandably, her relationship with students was generally 
excellent. Interview: Cally Lewis Wiggin and Patricia Menk, 3 
Feb. 1988. MBC Archives. 

"" L. Wilson Jarman to Frank Bell Lewis. 26 May 1947. MBC 

° Alumnae and friends remember with pleasure and respect 
the talents, teaching skills and devoted services of Fletcher 
Collins, James McAllister, Patricia Menk, Gertrude Davis 
(Middendorf), Gordon Page, Ashton Trice, and Julia Weill, all of 
whom were appointed during these years. There were others, of 
course, equally appreciated, but their service was briefer and they 
did not influence as many generations of students as the above. 
Familiar faces who were no longer at the college by 1957 included 
Catherine Mims, Mary Watters, William Crone, Mary Lakenan, 
and Louis Locke. 

^ Minutes . BT 1946-1957. passim . 

' CC 1 June 1953. 

^ Catalogue . 1945-1958. passim . Note: Total accuracy of these 
numbers is hard to achieve since different sources may vary 5-10 

^ The Bluestocking 1952, has a poignant reminder on how 
deeply these numbers affected everyone, even the students. At 
the conclusion of their two and a half pages of pictures, the juniors 
added these paragraphs: 

You must admit that not everything 
grows larger with Time — certainly not 
the size of the Junior Class. One hundred 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

and twenty-four strong we numbered 
in September '49, but now even with 
larger pictures, we can't cover three pages 
of the annual we have published! Oh 
well, it was "quantity", not "quality" we 
lost... We, who have not much longer to be 
with you as Juniors, do wish but one 
thing: that the rising Juniors will bring 
with them their "quality" (of which they 
have a super-abundance) and a little more 
of that "quantity" that we lacked. Don't 
too many of you all think it would be more 
fun to be a lost Co-ed in a big University, 
or wildly negotiate matrimonial bonds. 
Your Class comes too close to dying out! 
Be brave, be fearless, be tough, be 
true — without much effort, the Juniors 
could outnumber the Seniors next year! 

10 Minutes, BT 1933. 1966. passim . Minutes EC 1933. 1950. 
passim . Minutes FC 13 Mar. 1947. 29 Nov. 1954. AN November 
1955. Dr. Lewis and Francis Pendleton Gaines (Washington & 
Lee), who were good friends and often worked together, may have 
been partly responsible for the organization of the Virginia Foun- 
dation for Independent Colleges. Dr. Gaines also advised Dr. 
Lewis on long-range plans for college development and physical 
expansion, the first such coordinated plan for Mary Baldwin. 
Patricia Menk and Cally Lewis Wiggin, interview, 3 Feb. 1988. 
Minutes EC 11 Nov. 1953. 22 May 1954. Minutes , Fac. 5 Feb. 
1952. Minutes . BT 13 Mar. 1952. AN Apr. 1954. 

11 The $30,000 grant came from the Hunt Oil Company of 
Texas. Minutes , BT 9 Oct. 1947. Minutes EC 17 Feb. 1950. 

1^ Cally Lewis liked the move, it made us "feel more a part of 
the college." Patricia Menk and Cally Lewis Wiggin, interview, 3 
Feb. 1988. 

1^ Lots 14, 15 and 16 in the Grand View Section were purchased 
in 1946 for $3,000 using some New Century funds, as was 213 East 
Frederick Street (the Thomas property) for $10,000. Options on 
the Bickle and Turner properties (facing Market Street) were 
approved in 1951, using contingency funds; in 1956, 211 East 
Frederick Street was purchased for $12,400; and without any 
final approved over-all plan, it was clear that the trustees had 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

decided that the only way to expand the campus was to move east 
across Market Street and acquire the property from Market, to 
Coalter Street. From time to time, the board had authorized 
modest sums for consultation planning and architectural studies, 
but no formal, coordinated decision of future expansion plans 
appears in the records. Minutes , BT 25 Oct. 1945. 14 Mar. 1946. 
21 Oct. 1948. llMar. 1954. Minutes EC6 Jan. 1951. 1 Nov. 1956. 

^^ Emily Smith suggested the name in honor of the first "full" 
graduate of the seminary (1863). Miss Tate had taught the 
younger children and remained on the faculty of the seminary 
until 1919. Minutes , BT 13 Mar. 1952. 

^^ In spite of a relatively high tuition charge for the children, 
the Nursery School was never self-supporting. Within three 
years, a new furnace ($1,600) was needed for the old building. 
There were three full-time employees: Miss Weill, a cook (the 
children were served lunch each day), and one or more assistants. 
The trustees were aware when they approved the project that 
similar schools had seldom been profitable and accepted the view 
of the Education faculty that it was an essential part of the Mary 
Baldwin College academic program. Minutes . BT 13 Oct. 1955. 
CC 14 Jan. 1952. 

^^ Minutes , BT 7 Sept. 1956. Generous gifts were made by the 
Hunt Family, Consuelo Wenger (who also contributed to the 
remodeling in Memorial and Hill Top, which was done in 1955- 
1956), J. D. Francis and others. 

^' At least one person born in the old King's Daughters' 
Hospital returned to her birthplace 18 years later and, as a college 
student, lived in the building, now Bailey Hall, where she had 
been born. The total cost of the project was $380,000. CC 30 Sept. 
1955. AN Nov. 1955. 

^^One of the more popular fund-raising activities was "Cabin 
Day." Students were permitted to wear blue jeans to classes if 
they paid 25 cents. Or, they were permitted to appear as "Sup- 
pressed Desires" for a fee. CC 19 Oct 1945. 23 Jan. 1948. 9 Apr. 
1948. Minutes . BT 25 Oct. 1945. Minutes . Fac. 14 Mar. 1956. 

19 Minutes EC 3 Apr. 1950. 5 June 1950. 25 Aug. 1951. 
Minutes , BT 19 Oct. 1950. 8 March 1951. 

2° AN Nov. 1951. Substantial gifts were received from board 
member Francis Pickens Miller and his family honoring his 
mother Flora McElwee Miller, who was an alumna (1880). 

^1 AN Apr. 1949. Minutes , BT 8 Mar. 1956. Over $15,000 was 
spent on the Library, providing a "browsing" room, more reference 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

and periodical space, and work space for the librarians. It was 
obvious, however, that a new library was imperative if the college 
was to retain its accreditation. 

^2 CC 13 Oct. 1950. AN Nov. 1950. Chemistry and Physics 
remained in the "Beckler House" for another 11 years, and then 
Physics was moved to the old dining room after Hunt opened. The 
next year (1962) Waddell Chapel had to be removed, and Chem- 
istry and Physics moved once again to the old kitchen (first floor 
Academic), where they stayed until 1970. 

23 Minutes, BT 11 Mar. 1954. 10 Mar. 1955. 13 Oct. 1955. Dr. 
Pennell was a semi-quadriplegic due to an automobile accident. 
Her energy, skill and accommodation to her physical disabilities 
were an example and inspiration to all about her and presented 
the students with a view of "exceptional" persons long before this 
area of "sensitivity" emerged in the mid-1970s. Likewise, the 
expanded counseling services provided Mary Baldwin students 
an opportunity to participate in "guidance" programs which the 
college would otherwise not have been able to afford some 20 years 
before such services were common on other college campuses. 

With the low student enrollment in the mid-1950s and the 
opening of Bailey dormitory in 1955, Riddle would have been 
unoccupied unless this use for it had been found. The Guidance 
Center (later called the Career and Personal Counseling Center 
and associated with the Synod of Virginia) remained at Mary 
Baldwin College (in different locations) until 1980. Catalogue, 
passim . 

24 Minutes . BT 13 Mar. 1952. CC 2 Dec. 1949. 

25 Minutes . BT 1 1 Mar. 1954. "Rather than teach them to earn 
a living we try to teach how they may live a full life of service," 
declared President McKenzie. MBC Archives. 

26 Minutes . BT 14 Oct. 1954. 15 Apr. 1955. 8 Mar. 1956. 
President's report bound in Minutes , BT 7 Sept. 1956. Mr. 
McKenzie was not only "heartbroken," but bitter — perhaps justi- 
fiably so. As early as April 1955, Marts & Lundy had presented 
specific fund-raising plans to President McKenzie, who had taken 
them to the Board of Trustees for approval. This called for an 
"intensive campaign" to begin 1 January 1956, soliciting 3000 
prospects in Staunton and the surrounding community, 2000 
alumnae, parents and friends, 1000 "selected individuals" and 
others, totaling in all 8000 contacts, the lists for whom had been 
laboriously compiled. A budget of $65,500 had been proposed. 
Division chairmen had been solicited and had agreed to serve. The 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

theme of the "Great Convocation" set for 11-13 May 1956 was 
"Christian Education for the Modern World" and, in addition to 
the keynote speaker, (perhaps Peter Marshall), there would be 
four panels. Panel members had been solicited, and some distin- 
guished individuals had agreed to come. Then the synod's Council 
on Educational Institutions informed Mary Baldwin College that 
they desired a meeting on 28 Jan. 1956, to "integrate" fund-raising 
plans. There was to be yet another survey of the college's 
curriculum and resources (one had been done in 1952-1953), and 
if any of the three institutions (Hampden-Sydney, Mary Baldwin 
College, Union Theological Seminary) chose to hold a separate 
campaign, the synod would refuse all cooperation and support. 
The result was that both Hampden-Sydney (who had a new 
President, Joseph S. Robert) and Mary Baldwin agreed to "post- 
pone" their own plans so a unified campaign could be waged. 
President McKenzie "objected strongly" but agreed to delay his 
"Grand Convocation" until October 1956, giving the synod time to 
announce what they proposed to do. This meant, of course, more 
letters to panel participants; a search for replacements for those 
who could not come in October; and a hiatus until the end of July 
1956, in planning. At this stage, President and Mrs. McKenzie left 
on a 30-day trip to South America. When they returned, a series 
of letters 16 August 1956 went from President McKenzie's office 
to convocation committees and participants: "During the past 
month several matters of vital importance to Mary Baldwin 
College have arisen which have required much careful and thor- 
ough deliberation... it would be unwise to hold our convocation on 
the dates set... We are therefore, cancelling all our plans and 
postponing the convocation indefinitely." Within three weeks, 
President McKenzie had resigned. MBC Archives. 

2^ See Chapter Three, "Another Begining ..." pp. 83-85. 

^^ Among the board members who were very active in seeking 
closer church support were Francis Pickens Miller, John N. 
Thomas, Herbert Turner, Richard Potter and President Frank 
Bell Lewis. See also Minutes SV 1945. 

29 Minutes SV 1946. 1947. 1949. 1950. 

30 Minutes . BT 16 Oct. 1952. 18 Mar. 1953. 

3^ Patricia Menk and Cally Lewis Wiggin, interview, 3 Feb. 
1988. Reports made to the Council on Educational Institutions 
indicated other synods supported their colleges more generously. 
Contributions ranged from $ .56 to $3.10 for each adult Presbyte- 
rian in such synods. There were ca 100,000 church members in 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

the Synod of Virginia. In the special offering for the colleges 
collected on Sunday, 20 Jan. 1957. Hampden-Sydney received 
$.24 per capita; Mary Baldwin College, $.12. MBC Archives. 

•^^ Mr. Miller, having accepted an overseas assignment, was 
replaced by Frank S. Moore, who chaired the committee from 1954 
through 1956, when it was dismissed. The entire lengthy report 
was published separately as Higher Education and the Virginia 
Synod ; Survey Staff Report on the Educational Institutions Sur- 
vey Respectfully Submitted to the Council on Educational Insti- 
tutions of the Synod of Virginia, Presbyterian Church in the 
United States, June 1956. MBC Archives. Excerpts appear in 
Minutes SV 1955-57. 

33 Higher Education and the Virginia Synod . 

34 Minutes , BT 7 Sept. 1956. Mr. McKenzie had a quick tem- 
per and a proud nature. The disagreement had to do with who had 
the authority to grant the college degree in absentia and under 
what circumstances. Mr. McKenzie had requested that the board 
give him the sole authority to make that decision, rather than 
leave it to the faculty. When queried, the college administrators 
replied that the faculty grants degrees and sets the conditions 
under which they are granted. Members of the board, many of 
whom were connected with other higher educational institutions, 
concurred, whereupon Mr. McKenzie abruptly resigned and with- 
drew from the meeting. After a very brief discussion, the board 
voted to accept his resignation and Dr. Richard Potter, minister of 
First Presbyterian Church, agreed to become acting president. 
The college was due to open for the fall session in six days. (13 

This abrupt change in the college leadership was handled with 
tact and decorum. A brief notice by Mr. Campbell, the chairman 
of the board, was sent to the press and to interested college 
constituencies. Mr. and Mrs. McKenzie refused to comment and 
departed for North Carolina within a month. Modern administra- 
tors must envy the ability of institutions of 40 years ago to 
minimize unpleasant realities. Alumnae, faculty, and students 
simply did not (publicly) ask; good manners demanded that one 
not do so. 

It should be gratefully acknowledged that both Charles and 
Margaret McKenzie made real contributions to the college and 
were deeply interested in its welfare. Mrs. McKenzie loved 
decorating and had made personal gifts of several thousand 
dollars for student lounges, the "Straw Corner" in Main, and the 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

Club. The McKenzies used their own money to make repairs and 
remodehng at Rose Terrace, where they Hved, possible. Records 
from the college archives reveal that the McKenzies contributed 
$10,925 to the college during their brief tenure. They had 
travelled widely, visiting alumnae and college friends and partici- 
pating in student recruitment. They were genial hosts and 
entertained faculty, parents and students with gi^acious hospital- 
ity. Mr. McKenzie had skill in public presentations and truly, 
within the limits of personality and objectives, labored hard for 
Mary Baldwin. It simply was, unfortunately, not a good "match." 

'^° Minutes , BT 7 Sept. 1956. Underlining mine. 

^^ The Synod, within months, abandoned all ideas about 
merging the two colleges. "All the proposals... went out the 
window months ago," wrote Dr. Spencer to a friend. "Alumni at 
both institutions were very much opposed to the move," he added. 
Survey groups, he said, may do some good, but "they also can 
muddy the water considerably. In this instance, they got the 
Synod of Virginia completely wrought up and I might say con- 
fused, by making a completely unrealistic proposal." SRS to Mc 
Ferrar Crowe, 23 January 1958. Ultimately ca. $30,000 was 
realized, divided equally between Hampden-Sydney and Mary 
Baldwin College. Minutes SV 1956. It had cost Mary Baldwin 
College $10,000 when its own proposed development campaign 
had been halted in the spring of 1956. Minutes , BT 21 Mar. 1959. 
It also should be noted that even if the college had lost ah synod 
support, it would not necessarily have closed, since it was a self- 
governing legal entity. But it would have broken more than 100 
years of tradition if the church-college relationship had been 
severed. The church and its values were interwoven into the fabric 
of Mary Baldwin College. The college might not have survived a 
total divorce even though the direct financial contributions pro- 
vided such meager support. 

3" Minutes . BT 17 Jan. 1957. Minutes SV 1957. 

^^ In fairness to the synod, it should be noted that it is not a 
money-generating institution. Its funds come from the individual 
Presb3d:erian church members of the synod and come only volun- 
tarily. The synod has to join with its various presbyteries and its 
ministers in asking, pleading, educating, and persuading its 
members to support its causes and its commitments. Perhaps Dr. 
Liston was right. Presbyterians were not deeply committed to 
supporting Christian higher educational institutions or did not 
understand what such support entailed. 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

Enrollment figures from reports to the synod. Minutes SV 
1956. 1957. 

39 The curriculum studies were 1950-1951 and 1955-1956. CC 
18 Oct. 1946. 

40 CC 10 May 1946. 20 May 1949. Minutes . Fac. 28 May 1955. 
4^ AN Nov. 1950. Reprinted from an address Dr. Leyburn made 

to the faculty at the invitation of President Lewis in Sept. 1950. It 
included an impassioned plea that Mary Baldwin ignore accred- 
iting agency requirements; demand good teaching skills rather 
than professional research credentials; emphasize "learning by 
doing"; and integrate course work so that learning was not 
compartmentalized. It should be noted that Dr. Leyburn's own 
college, Washington & Lee, did not ignore SACS requirements 
any more than Mary Baldwin did. Elizabeth's Campbell's address 
was printed in the Alumnae Newsletter Nov. 1955. 

42 Mademoiselle Jan. 1952. May 1952. Time deplored the 
"silent, fatalistic, security-minded, conservative, grave, morally 
confused, tolerant of almost anything" generation. "American 
young women are, in many ways the generation's most serious 
problem... large numbers of them feel that a home and children 
alone would be a fate worse than death and invade the big cities 
in search of a career... career girls would like, if possible, to have 
marriage and a career." CC 16 Nov. 1951. 

43 CC 18 Mar. 1949. Minutes . Fac. 7 Oct. 1947. 9 Dec. 1947. 
2 Mar. 1948. 7 Nov. 1950. 3 Apr. 1951. 

44 Grade "inflation" arrived with the 1960s but, as always, Mrs. 
Grafton read the signals earlier than most. The problem has 
plagued college faculties ever since. Minutes . Fac. 2 Mar. 1948. 

45 She was Mary Ann Taylor. Minutes . Fac. 31 Mar. 1953. 
Minutes . Fac. 1945-57. passim . 

4^ Since matters of curriculum are usually recognized as a 
faculty prerogative, it is a brave (or foolhardy) board of trustees 
that sends such "suggestions." There was, in this instance, a study 
committee made up of board, administration, faculty, alumnae 
and students who originated these ideas. Although the faculty 
was receptive to some of the other 14 points (most of which were 
peripheral to the academic program), they did not hesitate to vote 
down those they considered inappropriate. Minutes . Fac. 31 Mar. 

4'^ Although the faculty involved changed, the course remained 
successful and in demand for more than 1 1 years, 1949 until 1960. 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

^^ In the late 1950s the glee club was limited to 45 members and 
then discontinued. The choir numbered 60, chosen by very 
competitive auditions. There was also, from time to time, a 
smaller "Chapel Choir." Mr. Page simply could not, as one person, 
work with more than that number effectively. Each year there 
was a long waiting list of young women who wished to join the 
choir. See Rosalia Jones, "And She Shall Have Music," senior 
thesis, Mary Baldwin College, Apr. 1978. 

49 AN Nov. 1953. 

^^ AN Apr. 1953. Nov. 1953. President's report bound in 
Minutes , BT 7 Sept. 1956. Elizabeth Day had been at the college 
for 15 years. Horace continued on (there were two young sons to 
care for) and was eventually joined by other talented art teachers, 
but the Elizabeth-Horace partnership had been special and unique. 

^^ Faculty salaries had ranged from $l,800-$4,500 per year in 
1947; 10 years later, the board "hoped" to achieve a pay scale of 
$3,500-$7,000. Minutes . BT 10 Oct. 1946. 21 Mar. 1957. Faculty 
did serve on some ad hoc board committees, particularly concern- 
ing curriculum and church relationships, but had no avenue of 
expression on a regular basis except through Dean Grafton. There 
were no faculty "handbooks" in this era, and the yearly contract 
simply stated title, salary, and opening and closing dates of the 
school calendar. 

^^ It is not clear whether the "free lunch" policy began in 1951 
(President Lewis's suggestion) or 1955, when President McKenzie 
again recommended it for board consideration. Minutes . BT 8 
Mar. 1951. lOMar. 1955. Faculty generally ate at "faculty tables" 
and interaction with students was limited. Communication with 
colleagues was beneficial. 

^^ The idea of a whole faculty (the three exceptions were two 
Physical Education teachers and the recently appointed librar- 
ian, who, in any case, left at mid-semester) "tenured in" would give 
administrators and boards of trustees nightmares in the 1990s. 
The implications for inflexibility, inadequate teaching, and top- 
heavy lists of full and associate professors were enormous, but the 
Minutes do not reveal that any extended discussion about these 
matters took place. Rather, it suggests that in the face of 
inadequate salaries and demanding teaching schedules, with 
little available in the way of research funds and support for 
summer study, the board and administration were seeking what- 
ever means they could to give reassurance and benefits to an 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

under-supported faculty. Minutes . Fac. 2 Dec. 1952. Minutes . BT 
10 Mar. 1955. 

54 Minutes . BT 7 Sept. 1956. 

55 CC 1946-57. passim . See also CC 21 Mar. 1956. Minutes . 
Fac. 6 May 1953. 

56 AN Nov. 1948. Nov. 1953. May 1956. Apr. 1957. A lounge 
on the second floor of the Student Activities Building was reserved 
for faculty and alumnae use. Minutes , BT 7 Sept. 1956. In his last 
report to the board, President McKenzie wrote, "Our dissatisfac- 
tion with the handling of alumnae activities continues." The 
Alumnae Fund "lost money during its ten years of existence," by 
which it is assumed he meant that it did not cover the expenses of 
the office. He indicated that $2000 a year came from the college's 
operating budget to support alumnae activities, and that only "5- 
600 Alumnae out of5,200" were active. In 1955- 1956 Mr. McKenzie 
declared that alumnae office expenses were $10,000. 

57 CC 16 Mar. 1956. AN Oct. 1946. Nov. 1952. 1946-57. 
passim . 

5s AN Nov. 1951. Apr. 1952. These statistics would seem to 
bear out the comment made on the 25'^ anniversary celebration of 
the Student Government Association in 1954. Quoting Newsweek, 
the editors of Campus Comments agreed that the mid-20th 
century college graduate was "more mature than our grandfa- 
thers; more cautious than our fathers, we work harder and are 
more likely to think things through... one of our main aims is to 
conform and to seek security." CC16Mar. 1954. In 1987, a similar 
alumnae questionnaire was sent. This time the response rate was 
50% (4,136 responses were received). The results offer interesting 
comparisons. Two-thirds of the alumnae were married; 60% had 
children (an average of two); 9.4% reported they were separated 
or divorced. Over 20% had received advanced degrees, and 14% 
said they were housewives. Those who worked outside the home 
were engaged primarily in educational occupations (18.8%), fol- 
lowed by "professional" firms, banks, non-profit organizations 
and self-employment. Almost 60% reported church, junior league, 
arts-related or social welfare activities, and about 7% said they 
were actively engaged in politics. The continuity of life-style 
patterns is surprising. Alumnae Follow-Up Study: December 
1988, Lew Askegaard and Judy Klein, Office of Institutional 
Research, MBC Archives. 

59 Elizabeth Parker, "Do They Still...?" AN Nov. 1952. CC 16 
Nov. 1956. 25 Nov. 1956. 30 Nov. 1956. 3 May 1957. Some 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

alumnae will recall vividly the rule that prohibited drinking of 
alcoholic beverages within 25 miles of Staunton City limits — the 
Handbook said "vicinity." HB 1956. 1957. As much as a quarter 
of the student body could be found at the University of Virginia or 
Washington & Lee on any given weekend. CC 9 June 1952. 

60 CC 2 Nov. 1951. 13 Oct. 1950. 2 Mar. 1951. 9 May 1952. 
Miscellany , passim . 

^^ Betty Carr had come to Mary Baldwin College as the 
dietitian in 1943 and remained until 1982. All of the food 
consumed by the students and staff was prepared on campus (first 
in the inadequate kitchens under the old Chapel building, and 
later in Hunt Hall). Although Mr. King's beloved garden and fresh 
produce therefrom were gone, the food was excellent, usually local 
in origin, varied and healthful. Few bakers could equal the rolls, 
pies and biscuits produced in "B. C.'s" kitchen, and even the 
students, who are notorious for objecting to college food, found 
little to complain about, at least until the 1960s imposed different 
demands. Alumnae will remember nostalgically "train wreck" 
("invented" by Hallas Nicholas), and faculty will remember the 
excellent "free" lunches with gratitude. CC 9 June 1952. 17 Dec. 
1954. Minutes . Fac. 6 Oct. 1953. The Bluestocking in these years 
printed pictures of the May Queen and her attendants instead. 

*^2 CC 18 Mar. 1949. 20 Oct. 1950. 20 Apr. 1951. 

63 CC 20 Oct. 1950. 21 Mar. 1956. AN Apr. 1949. 

6^* It seems obvious that, although the college community was 
aware of the unfolding developments in race relations, it was not 
an issue that impinged directly on or aroused any passionate 
commitment among the majority of students and faculty. There 
was one vigorous response, however. In October 1956, Campus 
Comments reprinted a long and controversial editorial from the 
Hampden-Sydney Tiger predicting that the Brown decision would 
create segregated schools all over the country based on intelli- 
gence levels; i.e., schools for bright, schools for retarded and 
schools for average students. "The Negro is inferior in cultural, 
intellectual and even sanitary conditions" and "segregation by 
intelligence would keep Negroes in class 'B' schools." To her 
credit, Judy Gallup responded with a blistering attack on the 
premise of the editorial, concluding "our consciences hurt!" CC 26 
Oct. 1956. 15 Mar. 1957. 

Also: CC20Feb. 1948. 27 Feb. 1948. 29 Oct. 1948. 24 Mar. 1950. 
16 Feb. 1951. 4 Apr. 1952. 1 Apr. 1953. 23 Oct. 1953. 1 Apr. 1954. 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Trium,virate 

70ct. 1954. 9Dec. 1954. lOFeb. 1955. 13Jan. 1956. 17Feb. 1956. 
26 Nov. 1956. 

65 CC 26 Oct. 1945. 2 Nov. 1945. 27 Feb. 1948. 27 Oct. 1950. 
3 Nov. 1950. 1 Apr. 1953. 11 Nov. 1955. 

66 CC 11 June 1951. 1 Apr. 1953. 2 Oct. 1953. 31 Oct. 1953. 
21 Mar. 1956. 17 May 1956. 10 May 1957. 

6' CC 9 Apr. 1948. 21 Apr. 1950. 16 Feb. 1952. 2 Mar. 1956. 
AN Apr. 1954. 

68 CC 9 Oct. 1953. 31 Oct. 1953. 19 Feb. 1954. 13 May 1954. 
The last mention of the NSA is in the SGA Handbook , 1960, 1961, 
and the Bluestocking , 1961. 

69 CC 16 Apr. 1948. 17 Dec. 1954. 4 May 1956. 22 Feb. 1957. 
11 Mar. 1949. 11 Dec. 1953. 5 Oct. 1956. 18 Mar. 1949. 
Miscellany , March 1953. In 1957, May Day was separated from 
Commencement in the interest of shortening the ceremonies, 
since it was becoming increasingly difficult to require all students 
to stay. May Day was now to be held on the same weekend as the 
Spring Dance. The Queen and her court (14 students) were 
elected from all classes by the student body. In the past all the 
seniors had constituted the court. That year, another tradition 
was broken when a married day student , Elizabeth Crawford 
Perry was elected the May Queen. CC 15 Feb. 1957. 3 May 1957. 

^0CC27Apr. 1956. 26 Oct. 1956. 10 May 1957. The quotations 
are from Mikie Kline, who peppered Campus Comments with her 
views of women's roles and her outraged sense of justice. 


To Live In Time A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 


To Live In Time 

A Time of Transition: The Triumvirate 

Samuel Reid Spencer, Jr. 


^=^^ ^^ 


Bulldozers, Steam Shovels 

and Academic Excellence 

Samuel R. Spencer, 1957- 1968 


t was August 1957, when Samuel R., 
Jr. and Ava C. Spencer and their three children came to Mary 
Baldwin College. They were a young, handsome, vigorous family, 
with exceptional intellectual abilities, a firm Christian commit- 
ment, experience and empathy in relating to a college campus. Dr. 
Spencer was 38 years old, of medium height, trim and athletic in 
appearance, outgoing and cordial in manner but with a confidence 
and innate dignity that commanded respect. Mrs. Spencer had a 
Master's degree in Political Science from the University of Penn- 
sylvania and had been the first woman to teach at Wharton 
School. She was an excellent manager, a gracious hostess, 
cosmopolitan and experienced in travel, but familiar with small 
southern town mores. There were three children, Reid, Ellen and 
Clayton, and a fourth, Frank, would be born in Staunton. 

Dr. Spencer was certainly the most highly qualified president 
and the most appropriate in background and purpose that the 
college had had. He grew up in Columbia, South Carolina in a 
family firmly dedicated to the Presbyterian Church. He once 
wrote that he had been to Montreat (North Carolina) every 
summer since he was 12, and that his mother's family had gone 
there for "years before I was born... so many of my youthful 
memories are bound up in that mountain cove."^ He, Ava and the 
children regularly spent a month or more there every summer. 
His father had been a banker, his grandfather a college professor: 
Ava's father was a Presbyterian minister. Dr. Spencer was an 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

outstanding honor graduate of Davidson, class of 1940, where he 
had been president of the student body and a member of Phi Beta 
Kappa. After a brief experience in advertising and sales for Vicks 
Chemical Company, he had joined the U.S. Army and served 
throughout World War II in a number of capacities including air 
intelligence, attaining the rank of major. Graduate work at the 
University of California at Los Angeles and Harvard followed and, 
in 195 1, Davidson College called him back to act as assistant to the 
president, dean of students, and professor of History. 

He had been at Davidson only a short time when some 
members of the Mary Baldwin College Board of Trustees made 
their first tenuous contacts with him.- In the 1950s as the Synod 
of Virginia had been struggling with its concerns about appropri- 
ate support for "their" institutions of higher education, these 
Mary Baldwin trustees had looked to North Carolina (which had 
earlier undertaken, successfully, similar projects) as a model, and 
thus had come to understand and appreciate the skills and talents 
of the young dean of Davidson. Dr. Spencer had been aware of 
their interest even before the synod's Council on Educational 
Institutions had released its controversial report in June 1956. 
When, in September, Mr. McKenzie abruptly resigned the presi- 
dency of Mary Baldwin College, the trustees put in motion the 
process which might lead to Dr. Spencer's becoming the fifth 
president. There followed almost a year of discussions, inter- 
views, and appraisals. Dr. Spencer's apprehensions were under- 
standable. It was a pivotal time in the life of the college. It was 
in debt and with no discernible means of retiring that debt. Its 
small enrollment meant administrative costs and overhead were 
severe burdens on its operating budget. Faculty salaries were 
low, its endowment minuscule, its physical plant cramped and 
old-fashioned. Dr. Potter, the acting president, reported to the 
trustees movingly of the problems of his interim administration: 
he had spent much time in "trouble shooting"; there had been 
"rumor, suspicion, unrest..."; he had "sought to keep morale high, 
hopes alive and our program stable," but the "steam plant is a 
problem and an eyesore," a "fire hazard," a "silent threat"; and the 
walls and floors of the library need to be reinforced, he wrote. 

In order to complete the payments on Bailey dormitory, the 
college had had to issue $200,000 in bonds, something they had 
not previously done. Several longtime members of the board were 
ill and missed important meetings, had died or resigned. There 
was the matter of property exchanges and/or sales with the First 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steum Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Presbyterian Church and a group of Staunton physicians.^ And 
there were many in the synod who felt that the college should re- 
vert to junior college status or close. One of Dr. Spencer's friends 
wrote him: 

You know full well the limitations of a 
church school both in finances and vision... 
somebody has to be president of Mary 
Baldwin which is a very nice worthy little 
school. But there are many preachers who 
would give their eye teeth to be out of the 
pastorate and into the prestige of a sound 
little college, where nothing would be required 
of them but to be responsible and respectable. 
And that is all that would be allowed of you. 
[I would be] sad [if you go to Mary Baldwin 
College]... so many of your talents would 
necessarily have to go unused.^ 

It was indeed a difficult choice. It was tempting to become a 
college president while still in one's thirties, and, if Dr. Spencer 
could make it succeed, it would be an invaluable asset in future 
career plans; but there were considerations of family, present and 
future financial needs, his own ultimate hopes and dreams to take 
into account. Essentially a modest and unassuming man (no one 
could ever accuse Dr. Spencer of arrogance or self-aggrandize- 
ment), he was yet a thoughtful and intelligent person who made 
wise decisions because he took the time and effort to learn about 
all the factors involved before he acted. He made several quiet 
trips to Staunton, and both he and Mrs. Spencer met members of 
the board who came to Greensboro, North Carolina for that 
purpose in January 1957. There was good rapport with board 
members, and the relationship with Edmund Campbell, the 
president of the board, would grow into one of mutual respect and 
affection in the years to come. However, Dr. Spencer had also 
called and spoken at length to Marts & Lundy, the professional 
fund-raising firm which had helped plan Mr. McKenzie's financial 
campaign and which had also been consulted by the synod's 
Educational Institutions Committee. Their initial report to Mr. 
McKenzie about the college in 1955 had been "optimistic in tone 
and had concluded a ten-year major development program could 
be undertaken successfully." But, in 1956, when Marts & Lundy 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

had looked at the synod's analysis, they had been "pessimistic in 
tone" and thought Mary Baldwin College should leave its present 
site. How could these two reports be reconciled? Their answer was 
that the report to the synod had "materially changed the situa- 
tion — that "potential 'big givers"' had been given a perfect "out" by 
the unfavorable report and if the Mary Baldwin College Board 
chose to go ahead at this time with a financial campaign, it would 
be "highly questionable." 

Dr. Spencer talked to J. N. Thomas, Chairman of the Mary 
Baldwin Presidential Search Committee on 1 November 1956 and 
agreed, "The college needs leadership and needs it badly... my 
general conclusion is that definite plans for the future should be 
decided upon before the presidency of Mary Baldwin is filled. . . " If, 
he continued, the Board wishes to choose a president and "then 
work out the future, I hope and assume that the Board will have 
no hesitancy about approaching someone else." He indicated that 
his "optimism was shaken."^ 

But, the college trustees had already taken steps to involve 
Samuel Spencer in the college's future. As soon as the McKenzie 
resignation was concluded (7 September 1956), the board ap- 
pointed a committee to prepare a 10-year development program 
for the college and to use it to persuade the synod to mount a major 
capital campaign to support it. This committee was empowered 
to appoint consultants to help them in their deliberations, and 
they promptly named Samuel Spencer. Throughout the autumn 
of 1956, Dr. Spencer worked with them as they sought to develop 
a plan which would appeal to the synod and would meet the 
college's needs and his own perceptions.^ 

Another difficulty was the coordination of Mary Baldwin 
College's desires with those of Hampden-Sydney and of both of 
them agreeing to the mechanics of a synod campaign which would 
still leave each of them free to conduct separate fund-raising 
drives of their own. By 28 December 1956, some guidelines had 
been worked out, although there was no certainty that the synod 
would agree. Mary Baldwin College and Hampden-Sydney would 
each increase enrollments to 600, perhaps eventually 800 stu- 
dents; Mary Baldwin College would amend its charter so that "in 
the eyes of the Church and the public it will be identified as a 
church college"; another site "in the Valley of Virginia" would be 
sought and "gradually developed" over a 10-year period. There 
was a possibility that sometime in the remote future the college 
might become a coordinate or even coeducational institution, but 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

certainly not at the present. The curriculum would focus on 
liberal arts from a Christian perspective; faculty salaries would be 
raised sufficiently to challenge "well-qualified men and women to 
dedicate their lives to Christian education." A tentative cost 
estimate suggested that about $9 million would be necessary. ' It 
was really a Spencer blueprint for the future. It is hard to see how 
Samuel Spencer could have not agi'eed to become president 
considering the extent of his involvement at this point. 
On 20 December 1956, Dr. Spencer wrote, 

There are still persons of experience and sound judg- 
ment who feel that ...I should not go to Mary Baldwin 
until the synod has given tangible evidence, in the 
form of money or commitment, of major support for the 
College. However, because I feel that Mary Baldwin 
offers both a need and an opportunity, I am willing to 
have my name presented to the Board on the following 

1. The College Charter should be 
amended so that Mary Baldwin qual- 
ified as a Presbyterian College. "I am 
thoroughly sold on Christian education 
and believe that education with a 
Christian emphasis is Mary Baldwin's 
primary purpose for existence." 

2. The Synod must "enthusiastically 
approve" a capital fund campaign that 
would provide sufficient money to under- 
take the development of a new campus, 
"...the provision of major funds 

by the Synod is essential."^ 

There were some other conditions regarding housing, trans- 
portation, etc. , bul: they were the ordinary requests of an incoming 
president. "You and the other members of the Committee," he 
wrote, "may feel that such an acceptance... is so hedged with 
conditions as to be undesirable... If so, I want to assure you again 
that I will fully understand your turning to someone else. If, on 
the other hand, the whole matter should work out and I should 
come to Mary Baldwin, I can assure you and the Board that I will 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

give of myself to the very maximum." Apprised of this proposal, 
the college trustees lost no time in trying to meet Dr. Spencer's 

The next step in the process was for the board to agree to 
amend the charter. This was not done without question. Al- 
though there were significant legal and philosophical differences 
between Dr. Eraser's charter of 1922 and this one of 1957, there 
were those who remembered all too well the history of the 1920s 
and sought to avoid repeating it.^ Some board members were 
Episcopalian and disliked the closer ties the new charter re- 
flected, but in the end the proposal was accepted. ^° 

The next condition was for a firm commitment from the synod 
to undertake a major capital funds campaign, and this also was a 
major hurdle to cross. The synod's committee on education had 
backed away from their expensive and time-consuming consult- 
ants' report, and Hampden-Sydney had refused outright to con- 
sider either moving or becoming coeducational . Hampden-Sydney 
had a new president and was already committed to its own major 
fund-raising campaign. How could the Mary Baldwin College 
Board persuade the synod to agree to a joint capital funds 
campaign benefiting both Hampden-Sydney and Mary Baldwin ? 
More importantly, how would the money that accrued be divided? 
In fact, the synod would not meet until May, but everyone agreed 
that it would follow the recommendation of the committee of 
higher education, so that committee was the one that must be 
persuaded. Subcommittees and regional groups met and tele- 
phoned and debated and bargained endlessly. The calendar was 
catching up with the Spencers and with Mary Baldwin College. 
There must be proper notice given to Davidson if Dr. Spencer 
were to leave. If he decided not to accept Mary Baldwin's call, the 
board would have to find someone else quickly since Dr. Potter 
could no longer sustain his double responsibility as pastor at First 
Presbyterian Church and interim president. J. N. Thomas wrote 
the Spencers, "I have the deepest sympathy for both of you in this 
period of uncertainty..." There came a time, about mid-March, 
when Dr. Spencer wrote: 

As I told him [Eldon D. Wilson] I am 
really disturbed by the whole situation 
in that I cannot see how the picture can 
be brought into focus by April 1. Even 
under optimum conditions, development 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

of Mary Baldwin into a larger institution 
on a new campus is going to be difficult 
indeed... but unless the less-than-optimum 
conditions threatened by the continued 
resentment and delay of Hampden-Sydney 
can be corrected, I seriously question 
whether the Board should undertake 
the new program. 

I told Ava at the time of my conditional 
acceptance [December 20, 1956] that I 
was willing and ready to go, but if the 
way to development of the new pro- 
gram should not open up, I would take 
it as the Lord's indication that for me the 
thing was not supposed to be. This is still 
the way I feel about it.^^ 

The next week saw intensified consultation among the various 
committees of the synod's Committee on Higher Education, 
Hampden-Sydney and Mary Baldwin College trustees. On 15 
March the Council agi^eed to recommend to the Synod of Virginia 
that it undertake a "unified financial campaign" for the benefit of 
Christian higher education. ^'^ When Dr. Spencer was informed of 
this action, he signified that it would meet his second (and major) 
"condition" (although it was in reality far from complying with his 
original request), and on 21 March 1957 he formally accepted 
appointment as president of Mary Baldwin College. The trustees 
were in session and Dr. Spencer was invited to join them and to 
participate in their deliberations. He already had a personal 
agenda, and even at this first meeting it was apparent that he 
would be a strong executive, with carefully prepared and substan- 
tiated proposals, specific objectives, and imaginative ideas about 
how to achieve them. After the previous decade, the trustees 
might be excused if they breathed a sigh of relief as they trans- 
ferred the mantle of leadership to their new young president. 

Dr. Spencer "hit the ground running," a phrase which was 
often repeated around the campus in the early years of his 
administration. In fact, he had some carefully worked out objec- 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

tives, and it is instructive to list them and then to trace how they 
were achieved as the years passed. 

It is impossible to read the speeches and addresses he gave, or 
his correspondence, or his reports and recommendations to the 
board without coming to understand Samuel Spencer's great 
commitment to independent, liberal arts, church-related colleges. 
Sooner than many others, he understood that the pressures of the 
"Sputnik" crises and the space age would mean greater federal 
support — and greater government interference with public edu- 
cational institutions. In an increasingly secular age, with im- 
pending court decisions about separation of Church and State, the 
church college, he wrote, is the church's "insurance policy" — the 
only way we can guarantee that the church will be able to work 
with college age groups at all. Twenty, thirty or fifty years from 
now... the church college may become the only place where the 
curriculum includes religious discussions or can work freely with 
young people on its own terms — "without deference and without 
apology." By means of a strong group of Christian colleges, the 
church will have a "channel through which it can speak directly on 
such matters as ethical standards and moral values." For Dr. 
Spencer, the "church college" existed not to benefit any one 
denomination — or indeed, even the church itself, but instead, the 
church college should be the way "the church serves mankind. " A 
church college, he declared should promote the "general diffusion 
of knowledge and virtue"; it must educate, but also provide the 
"extra qualities of a personal Christian faith, a sense of mission 
about vocation, and the foundation of a social conscience. "^^ 

Much of Dr. Spencer's energy and the gambles he took came 
from this deep-seated conviction about the importance of church- 
related colleges. He was determined Mary Baldwin would become 
an outstanding example of one. 

There was likewise a deep commitment to academic excellence 
and innovative teaching methods. Early in his acquaintance with 
the college, Samuel Spencer had met Martha Grafton and the 
rapport between the two was immediate and long-lasting. It is 
difficult for a college president to influence directly academic 
goals, standards and practices; that is the responsibility of the 
faculty, and it usually jealously guards its prerogatives in these 
matters. But Martha Grafton had long experience with the 
college faculty (she had recommended the hiring of most of them) 
and sensitivity in dealing with their concerns and demands. Dr. 
Spencer had been at the college for less than two months when he 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

went on a ten-day "western" trip to visit colleges and universities 
in Texas, Missouri, and Indiana. In February 1958, he and Mrs. 
Grafton together visited prestigious educational institutions in 
New England and the Middle Atlantic states. They returned 
"excited about the possibilities of a dynamic and imaginative 
educational program," an excitement that was ultimately trans- 
lated into seven or more changes in the content and methodology 
of the curriculum. ^^ 

External events often influence the history of a college as 
much, if not more, than the internal dynamics of the campus. The 
1960s was a turbulent decade for the U.S. and the world. A U.S. 
president, a presidential candidate and a beloved civil rights 
leader were assassinated; Cuba was unsuccessfully "invaded" ; the 
following year there was a "missile crisis" and a change in Soviet 
leadership; a wall was built in Berlin. After more than two 
centuries of ignoring or evading the problem, the deep-seated 
racial prejudices of American society were dragged into the light 
to be debated, evaluated, rioted over and possibly remedied. There 
were truly revolutionary social changes — in clothing and orna- 
mentation, in music and art, in life-style, in sexual relations, in 
family structure. A public drug culture was born and flourished. 
All middle class values, mores, habits, and perceptions were 
challenged. American geographic knowledge broadened as places 
called Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam entered the vocabulary. 
Demonstrations, protests, riots filled the television screens, which 
had entered fully into American conscious experience by the early 
60s. It was an incredibly difficult time for college administrations, 
faculty, students and their parents, and Dr. Spencer sought a 
"bridge over troubled waters" with his third major dream for Mary 
Baldwin College. There was to be a firm commitment to interna- 
tional understanding and communication. Mary Baldwin faculty 
and students would live and study in foreign countries. They 
would think in terms of service careers which would foster 
knowledge and empathy with those of different cultures. They 
would welcome to the Staunton campus overseas teachers and 
students. They \/ould move beyond the parochial limits of the 
Shenandoah Valley into the wider world that awaited educated 
and committed women in the 1960s. 

There was still another major (and indispensable) goal. Mary 
Baldwin College must become an economically viable institution. 
Without this, none of the other objectives could be met. The 
student body must double in size, and so must the faculty. ^*^ The 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

physical plant must be modernized and expanded to meet these 
needs. At first Dr. Spencer believed that the physical college itself 
would have to move to another area (in or near Staunton) which 
would provide more (flat) space and opportunity for growth but 
eventually agreed the college should stay in its traditional loca- 
tion. An enormous amount of time and effort was expended 
fleshing out this 10-year development program and in estimating 
costs and sources of revenue. A successful synod campaign was 
the first requirement, coupled with a carefully crafted Mary 
Baldwin fund-raising proposal. Land must be acquired, archi- 
tects hired, a professional advisory firm contracted with; alum- 
nae, parents, friends, foundations, corporations were to be solic- 
ited. Would the city contribute? (Samuel Spencer at one time 
thought they might give up to a half million dollars based on his 
North Carolina experience as various cities had vied for St. 
Andrews College to locate in one of them). There were federal 
housing, academic facilities and student loan programs in which 
Mary Baldwin might participate, provided academic and religious 
freedom was not compromised. A new library was an absolute 
must, as was a heating plant; so were dining facilities and 
dormitory space. The science faculty had struggled for 30 years in 
facilities that had been private homes. There were certain 
uncomfortable parallels between Samuel Spencer's ideas and Dr. 
Eraser's proposals of the 1920s for those who chose to see them, 
but few did. The new president was dynamic, self-confident, 
organized and effective. Within the space of one college genera- 
tion (four years), Mary Baldwin was a changed institution, and all 
four of these "dreams and visions" were on the way to reality. 

Dr. Spencer's working relationship with Dean Martha Grafton 
had been firmly established even before he had accepted the 
presidency; in fact, they had corresponded since 1956, after 
having met at a conference earlier, and he once wrote that he was 
"more interested [in being president! now than I was several years 
ago... because I have had the opportunity to know you and conse- 
quently believe we could work well together." He had written her 
on 19 March 1957, telling her that he had agreed to be the 
president and asking for an organizational chart and a "job 
description" for each staff member. He was already thmking of 
possible commencement speakers for June 1958 and the appropri- 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

ate dates for the trustees' meeting in the fall. 

When he met with the board of trustees on 21 March he asked 
them to approve his appointment of James W. Jackson, Jr., as 
"assistant to the president" in charge of the development progi'am 
and public relations. Dr. Spencer had worked with Jim Jackson 
at Davidson and understood, in a way that many at Mary Baldwin 
College did not, that a new era of professionalism concerning fund 
raising, alumnae contacts and college public relations was dawn- 
ing. The whole gamut of what would be called "development" was 
emerging. It included the college's "public image," from logos and 
stationery, to coordinated publications, to contracts with develop- 
ment advisors and government progi^ams, to planning visits to 
local and regional alumnae groups — all of this and more had to 
come under the direction of one individual who could schedule the 
president and other administrative figures where they could be 
the most effective. This required office space, bulk mailings, 
expensive equipment (not yet computers, but duplicators, type- 
writers, long distance telephoning) and clerical help at a level 
previously unknown at Mary Baldwin, where alumnae affairs had 
been handled by former alumnae with part-time secretarial help, 
public relations by a faculty member in her spare time, and part- 
time fund raising by the president and the board members, with 
a little financial advice from the treasurer (and Chemistry profes- 
sor) about where to invest endowment funds. It was a "hard sell" 
to persuade board members and faculty that administrative 
personnel must increase; that it took money to raise money; that 
physical necessity required architects, lawyers, landscape spe- 
cialists, interior designers to be more or less permanently on the 
college payroll. Dr. Spencer was a good salesman, and he accom- 
plished the transition from an amateur to professional develop- 
ment office with probably as little trauma as was possible, even 
though there were bound to be misunderstandings and hurt 
feelings along the way.^* 

During his years at Mary Baldwin, Dr. Spencer had four 
development "assistants." They bore different titles at different 
times; most eventually were called "vice-president for develop- 
ment" or something similar. The first was James W. Jackson, Jr., 
who arrived with Dr. Spencer from Davidson in 1957 and resigned 
abruptly on 19 July 1960, partly over disagi^eement about his lines 
of responsibility and partly because he had a better job offer. The 
second incumbant was Joseph W. Timberlake, Jr., known as 
"Buck." He was a friendly, outgoing man whose wife Betty 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

("Butch") was a devoted alumna and had been on the board of 
trustees. Buck's experience had been in television and communi- 
cations, and he and his family were immediately welcomed by 
students and others as an integral part of campus life. The 
Timberlakes left in 1968, and Craven Williams arrived that same 
spring. Most of Williams' service would come under President 
Kelly, but he and his family made a place for themselves as part 
of the college community. The fourth assistant was John B. 
Baffin, who had come to the college in 1930 as a teacher of 
Chemistry and Physics and had worked with Mr. King. He had 
later acted as treasurer and comptroller and had retired from 
active teaching in June 1965. Mr. Baffin had been an indefati- 
gable traveller for the college, kept track of alumnae and former 
board members, and played a major role in securing gifts and 
bequests during the great building era of the 1960s. He, of course, 
had a special interest in the science building, which was still in the 
planning stages in 1965, and thus was asked to remain as a 
"Special Assistant" to the president for two more years. 

On 17 October 1957, the board of trustees of the college 
amended its charter as Br. Spencer had asked them to do, so that 
the college would, in every respect, be legally a "church college." 
It was a busy board meeting. Not only did they have to restructure 
the board of trustees, but matters of faculty, tenure, insurance, 
retirement and salaries were studied; gradual increases in enroll- 
ment were approved; synod relationships and the upcoming 
capital funds campaign were discussed; a study of endowment 
investment policies was instituted; matters of student housing 
and physical plant improvements and salary increases were all on 
the agenda. The board was organized into six standing commit- 
tees and one temporary one (to amend the bylaws), and each was 
given specific assignments. There was no question that the 
president intended to exert vigorous leadership and that future 
board members would be expected to make concrete contributions 
to the college's progress. Generally, in the next decade, the board 
was given a great deal of material to study before it came to the 
meetings. The trustees made some very significant decisions and 
undertook at least three two-day workshops for special purposes. 
They lent their physical presence to important events on campus 
and were generous in their financial contributions. There is no 
evidence that there was ever any serious disagreement with Br. 
Spencer's proposals. There were occasional negative votes, but 
never was there a majority to oppose what would be some very 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

controversial decisions. It was not a "rubber stamp" board, but it 
was one that was accustomed to strong leadership and to success. 
When these conditions changed in the 1970s, the board lacked the 
practice and the machinery for assuming more control. ^^ 

Because the volume of letters, documents, contracts, orders 
and reports that were generated by the president's office steadily 
increased during Dr. Spencer's tenure, it was essential that good 
administrative help be available. Until her tragic death in Novem- 
ber 1962, Barbara Page had acted as administrative assistant to 
the president and had made possible the efficient operation of that 
office. Her loss was keenly felt by all members of the college 
community, and her services are commemorated in the Barbara 
Kares Page Terrace in front of the library. ^° 

Martha Anne Pool, class of 1948, had been in Staunton for a 
year carrying out her duties as president of the Alumnae Associa- 
tion, at a time of major fund raising. She now became acting 
administrative assistant to Dr. Spencer, remaining in that post 
until 1964 and easing the transition in a way that was invaluable 
to the president. Then Jane Wilhelm, 1963-1977, constituted the 
president's immediate staff. 

But, of course, all the administrative offices expanded and 
grew as the college's numbers increased. When Dr. Spencer 
arrived there were seven senior administrators supported by 10 
"staff members" plus one mxodical doctor (on call). The library had 
a staff of three, plus student assistants. Ten years later (just 
before Dr. Spencer's resignation) there were 11 administrative 
"offices," supported by 30 "staff members" and the library staff 
had grown to seven, a not unreasonable increase but still a 
dramatic change. ^^ 

Among the senior administrators, there was remarkable sta- 
bility. Dr. Spencer "inherited" Dean Grafton, Dean Parker, and 
Miss Hillhouse, as well as Mr. Spillman, Miss Carr, and, of course, 
Mr. Daffin. In March 1957, Mrs. Dolores P. Lescure had been 
hired as a part-time director of the news bureau. Within a year, 
she was working full time and had added invaluable experience, 
skill and talent to the Information Services and College Publica- 
tions. Mrs. Gertrude C. Davis had returned to the campus in 1957 
as librarian and brought skill and dedication to the difficult 
library situation. All of these individuals remained during Dr. 
Spencer's presidency and gave welcome continuity and experi- 
ence in this era of dramatic change. There was less stability in the 
Alumnae Office. There were four executive directors of the 


To Live III Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Alumnae Association between 1957-68; Hannah Campbell to 
1960, Rachel Cover, 1961, Sarah M. Matthews, 1961-62, and 
Virginia W. Munce, 1962-1979, and of course the development 
office not only had three directors, but had seen much turnover in 
office personnel. 

In 1965, the required Southern Association of Colleges and 
Schools Self-Study commented that the college was "functioning 
well" under the present "informal organization," but believed that 
this was so "because of the personalities involved and their 
dedication." The college, they added, "operates by custom and 
understanding." They recommended a more formal organization 
with clear lines of responsibility and authority drawn.-- This 
recommendation was not followed by Dr. Spencer. Having many 
responsibilities and decisions to make, he was well aware that few 
college presidents could find such a closely knit, experienced and 
dedicated senior staff as he had. He saw no reason to change what 
worked well. 

However, in addition to the senior staff, the Spencer era saw 
others already at the college or who came during the Spencer 
years whose services were invaluable, their loyalties great, their 
talents outstanding. Without their contributions, the senior staff 
could not have functioned as competently as they did. They were 
an integral part of the college community. 

Carolyn Meeks came to the college in 1961 as secretary to both 
Mrs. Grafton and Miss Parker. Totally discreet, trustworthy, 
efficient and accurate, she has served deans and college presi- 
dents for more than 30 years; Ellen O. Holtz, class of '60, joined 
admissions in 1960, learned the increasing complexities of stu- 
dent financial aid and has sympathetically counseled innumer- 
able students and their families about monetary concerns ever 
since. There was also Fran Schmid, class of '40, who had worked 
at the college since her graduation and eventually served in every 
administrative office that existed or could be invented. She had 
particular skills with returning alumnae, a charming courtesy 
and quiet dignity. Julia Patch, assistant to the dean of students 
and hostess at the Main Desk (1946-66) was a particular favorite 
with the young men who came to visit the students. 

When he was on campus. Dr. Spencer met his five co-equal 
senior officers once a week in a formal staff meeting, but any of 
them, at any time, could take a problem directly to him (a practice 
criticized by the Self- Study as blurring internal lines of commu- 
nication). He likewise had monthly "general staff meetings" as a 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

clearinghouse for information and matters of general attention. 
Because he was so frequently off the campus for extended periods 
of time, Dr. Spencer, in 1958, had specified to the faculty and staff 
that Dean Grafton was to have authority to make decisions about 
the internal administration of the college in his absence. After it 
had been decided in 1961 that the director of development would 
be called a "vice-president," Dr. Spencer wrote to a worried 
alumna that the title should not be understood as "overshadow- 
ing" the dean of the college. He did not feel it was "pretentious" 
because the title gave Mr. Timberlake "entree which a lesser title 
might not" as he represented the college in public relations and 
other areas. Dr. Spencer added that Dean Grafton was respon- 
sible for academic and faculty matters. ^^ But there were ambigu- 
ities; sometimes Dean Grafton presided at faculty meetings when 
Dr. Spencer was absent; occasionally Mr. Timberlake did. When 
Dr. Spencer was on leave for a year as Fulbright Lecturer in 
Munich, August 1965 - August 1966, a committee made up of Mr. 
Lunsford (chairman of the board of trustees), Mr. Timberlake, 
Dean Grafton and Mr. Spillman were made jointly responsible for 
policy decisions. 

Dr. Spencer had not been on the campus very long when he 
discovered that some staff offices which often had only one or two 
people in them simply closed down at lunchtime and instructed 
the switchboard to report that they would receive calls after 1:30 
p.m. The president immediately sent a notice that all college 
offices were to be open for five and a half days a week and must be 
"covered" during the working day. Office personnel were to be 
allowed to have "free" lunches in the college dining room, but there 
must always be someone to answer office phones during business 
hours. ^"^ 

At that first board of trustees meeting, 17 October 1957, Dr. 
Spencer had proposed that his inauguration "contribute some- 
thing to the educational world" instead of following the usual 
format of a conventional academic procession followed by two or 
three speeches with platitudes and flowery rhetoric. Instead, he 
wished to have a "symposium" called "New Directions in the 
Liberal Arts" where panels of distinguished scholars, faculty and 
students would discuss modern advances in curricula content and 
teaching methods. This symposium was to ultimately involve 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

more than 400 participants and guests, not including the Mary 
Baldwin College community, and encompass two days, 15-16 
April 1958. The proceedings were filmed and recorded. A faculty- 
student planning committee was quickly appointed and began 
work under the unflappable chairmanship of Dr. Andrew Mahler. 
Eventually convention was partially observed by agreeing to an 
academic procession and a formal charge to the president to be 
held Tuesday night, 15 April, with one panel, "New Methods in 
Teaching," held that afternoon and the other, "New Directions in 
Content," on Wednesday morning. The featured evening speaker 
was Arnold J. Toynbee, Scholar in Residence at Washington & 
Lee, who was enjoying a popular acclaim which few historians had 
been accorded in the United States because his 10 volume Study 
of History had been featured in Life Magazine . It had not been 
easy to persuade Professor Toynbee to appear. He had told 
Washington & Lee when he agreed to spend a semester there that 
he would not accept invitations from other nearby colleges or 
universities. How, pondered Dean Leyburn, could he tell these 
others that Toynbee had agreed to come to Mary Baldwin? Tell 
them that this is a presidential inauguration. Dr. Spencer re- 
sponded.^^ The other principal speaker was Arthur E. Bestor, 
Professor of History, University of Illinois. The whole affair was 
a remarkable blending of distinguished scholars, Presbyterian 
dignitaries, past Mary Baldwin College presidents, local political 
figures, alumnae, faculty and students. All seven former and 
present deans of the college were in attendance. ^"^ The president, 
dean, and one faculty member from each of 25 Virginia colleges 
and universities were invited, as well as those of 19 Presbyterian 
colleges. Others who came were personal friends or longtime 
college "connections." The college choir sang, there was an exhibit 
of Modern French Paintings (on loan from the Virginia Museum 
of Fine Arts) and another exhibit of materials from 25 colleges who 
had been awarded Ford Foundation grants to experiment with 
new methods and content. There were two "coffee hours," a formal 
dinner in the college dining hall, a reception and a formal lun- 
cheon. Travel plans and housing had to be coordinated for all the 
out-of-town guests, and arrangements had to be made for filming, 
taping, editing and distributing the proceedings. It was a mam- 
moth undertaking, given the inadequate physical facilities of the 
campus and the community, the limited time to prepare, and the 
fact that two major fund-raising campaigns were ongoing.-^ 
Just as final plans were completed and less than a week before 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

the symposium was to begin, Dr. Spencer developed acute appen- 
dicitis. Surgery was performed, and the decision was made that 
everything would proceed, even if Dr. Spencer himself could not 
attend. But attend he did, and although he was a bit shaky and 
pale, few people were even aware that an emergency had oc- 
curred.^^ His address, really his first formal address to the college 
community, was eloquent and earnest. "Many years from now," 
he said, "I hope it can be said that 1957-58 marked a renewed 
intellectual vigour in the life of this college... this college is an 
educational institution dedicated to enriching the spiritual and 
intellectual life of our students... we are making our plans not for 
a year or five years, but for fifty years or more... [this symposium] 
marks our determination to offer our students an education which 
is basically sound, but dynamic and imaginative in character." 
The whole affair was an astounding success and was the first of 
many more special events which would take place on the campus 
in the Spencer years. United States presidents and governors 
spoke, buildings were dedicated, anniversaries observed — there 
was always something happening. The Spencer years were never 

In evaluating the Spencer presidency, it would appear that Dr. 
Spencer was more an "outside" man than an "inside" administra- 
tor. And it is certainly true that he was frequently away from the 
campus for extended periods of time. There were the numerous 
and necessary visits to alumnae chapters, major donors, founda- 
tions and corporations, all of whom were asked to contribute to the 
college's building program and financial campaigns. There were 
frequent duties and contacts with various divisions of the Presby- 
terian Church. There were trips to Europe when the "junior year 
abroad" programs in Madrid and Paris were envisioned and later 
monitored. There was the sabbatical already mentioned when Dr. 
Spencer was a Fulbright Scholar, teaching American Social His- 
tory at the Amerika Institute at the University of Munich. Al- 
most immediately after his arrival in Staunton, Dr. Spencer 
became an effective and sought-after participant in the Virginia 
Foundation for Independent Colleges, and although the "junior 
member," as he expressed it, he served as president of that 
organization from 1960 to 1963. He was a member of the College 
Scholarship Service Commission, 1959-62; the Advising Commit- 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

tee for Two-Year Community Colleges of the State Council of 
Higher Education; participant in the Association of Virginia 
Colleges; a member of the Board of Christian Education, PCUS; 
and on the Editorial Advising Committee of John Knox Press. Nor 
did he neglect community obligations in Staunton. He was a 
Rotarian, a member of the Staunton- Augusta County Chamber of 
Commerce, and an active member of First Presbyterian Church. 
Davidson College had been loath to let Dr. Spencer leave them in 
1957, and they kept the relationship warm and active. Samuel 
Spencer was a member of the Davidson board of visitors, he was 
awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by them in 1964; and 
served on the board of trustees after 1966. He was also much in 
demand as a commencement speaker at high schools, junior, 
community and regional colleges and universities. He wrote his 
speeches himself, and they were thoughtfully constructed and 
frequently eloquent. He was likewise approached for church 
programs, and his acquaintance with and friendship for Presby- 
terian ministers in Virginia and elsewhere were phenomenal. 
However, he refused to officiate in Sunday morning worship 
services, saying that he was not a minister and felt uncomfortable 
in that role. He added that he had obligations to his own family 
(whenever possible they attended services together) and to his 
own church, and would speak to church groups only at other times 
of the week.^^ 

Of course, there were regional and national association obliga- 
tions as well, and a 10-year college expansion and building 
program to supervise. Dr. Spencer had been at Mary Baldwin 
College less than five years when he was asked by the United 
States Health, Education and Welfare Department if he would 
accept an appointment as Assistant Commissioner for Higher 
Education. He declined the offer, as he did a later request that he 
become the executive secretary of the Division of Church Educa- 
tion of PCUS. Undoubtedly there were other proposals over the 
years of which no records now remain, but until midsummer of 
1968 they were all politely refused. 

It was possible to meet all of these obligations and responsibili- 
ties because of the support systems that existed at the college for 
its president. But to view Dr. Spencer as unaware and unknowing 
about the "inside" college life is to misread the historical record. 
A positive avalanche of letters and reports poured out of the 
president's office year after year. Dr. Spencer wrote personal 
letters to the parents of students who had committed judiciary 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

or honor offenses; letters to the parents and ministers of young 
women who were not admitted to the college; letters to parents of 
students who wished to transfer, in or out; to visitors who had 
physical difficulties on the campus, such as automobiles rolling 
down steep hills or turned ankles as grandmothers scrambled 
over clods of earth and heaps of rock; to the students themselves; 
letters of praise, condolence, persuasion. He wrote letters to 
alumnae and donors and to principals and headmasters of private 
and public secondary schools. There were political letters to 
congressmen, senators, governors, state representatives; letters 
of recommendation for former students who were seeking employ- 
ment; 1500 Christmas cards a year and gifts of apples to college 
friends. There were "thank you" notes to friends and supporters 
and financial contributors. There was scrupulous concern to 
acknowledge any contribution from a church, no matter how 
small. In one case, a note was sent thanking the donor for $1; 
another for $8.50, another for $ 10.00.^" These kinds of letters were 
all personal, dictated by the president himself and expressed in 
his own words. 

Samuel Spencer was interested in everything that was occur- 
ring on the campus. When he travelled abroad, he took the 
opportunity to buy "antique furniture" for the new dormitory 
lounges. He explored with G. E. and W. W. Sproul the possibility 
of an "outdoor escalator" to tie together the upper and lower 
campuses. He chose the china pattern for the new dining room, 
supported the opening of Shenandoah Valley Airport and more 
frequent railroad schedules for Staunton. He investigated the 
new Nestle coffee dispensers and proposed several be installed 
around the campus. He had flowers sent on significant anniver- 
saries to women in Staunton who had long connections with the 
college. Both Dr. and Mrs. Spencer entertained faculty and 
student groups, as well as innumerable college visitors and 
distinguished Presbyterian clergy. They both had remarkable 
facility in identifying students quickly, and it was not unusual for 
the president of the college to call by name a student who had been 
on the campus only briefly. Dr. Spencer liked young women, 
enjoyed teaching them, and respected their capabilities and 
achievements. He was a tennis enthusiast and there were close 
ties with the college tennis team, then achieving a national 

There are many personal characteristics that help to explain 
Dr. Spencer's successes as president of the college. He had a 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

retentive memory, a keen sense of organization and priorities, a 
pleasant disposition and the capacity to accept but not dwell on 
disappointments. He did not hold grudges and could work with 
those with whom he disagreed. Perhaps one of his greatest 
strengths was his ability to make decisions and not agonize over 
them unduly. Although he was younger than any of his senior 
staff, and although he had never been a college president before, 
he had no difficulty in assuming presidential responsibilities — or 
in defining them. There are, he said, 

four prerequisites to genuine excellence 
in a college or university: a first-rate 
faculty and staff; a first-rate student 
body; a first-rate library; and first-rate 
physical equipment... The president's 
peculiar opportunity to improve the 
quality of his institution derives from 
the fact that he is the only person on 
campus concerned with all four. There 
is an intangible factor which might be 
defined as its [the college's] spirit or ethos. 
It is in this realm that the president's 
opportunity lies. Because he is concerned 
with all phases of the college's operation, 
because he can see things in perspective... 
and because of the power he inevitably 
wields as chief executive officer, the 
president more than anyone else can 
determine the distinguishing characteristics 
or tone of his campus. ^^ 

Lest this sound too terribly earnest, perhaps even a bit 
pompous, it must be noted that Dr. Spencer really did not take 
himself too seriously. There was a quiet sense of humor — the 
historian's perspective that simply did not allow one to consider 
oneself too important. He once wrote to a lady who had invited 
him to talk to a church group, "A man can probably be pretty 
ridiculous in talking to women about women." His invitation to 
Arthur M. Schlesinger (Sr.) to attend the New Directions in the 
Liberal Arts symposium concluded, "Certainly I do not want you 
to feel any obligation to come. Mary Baldwin is a small operation 
and I have not lost my sense of proportion to the extent of 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

considering this an earthshaking event. "^^ 

And finally, Dr. Spencer made time (never as much as he 
wished) to be with his family. The Spencers' fourth child, Frank 
Clark, was born on 17 September 1960 and was an immediate 
favorite with the students. The children were frequently on 
campus and participated in many college events and holidays. 
There were close friendships with faculty and community fami- 
lies, and these activities made it possible to see the college 
president in a less formal role. 

Dr. Spencer's acceptance of the presidency of the college had 
been so closely tied to the promise of synod financial support that 
it is no surprise that his first priority was to work out the details 
of the promised Mary Baldwin College/Hampden-Sydney/Presby- 
terian Guidance Centers campaigns. Since this effort would focus 
only on Presbyterians within the bounds of the Synod of Virginia, 
and since it was understood that the synod campaign could not 
hope to raise enough money for the total needs of the institutions 
involved, Mary Baldwin and Hampden-Sydney proposed to mount 
a concurrent effort among their own alumnae, friends and sup- 
porters. In the summer of 1957, the synod required each benefi- 
ciary of its proposed campaign to flesh out the details of its 10-year 
development program and to come to an agreement about how the 
synod funds would be apportioned among them. In October 1957, 
the Mary Baldwin board of trustees agreed that the student body 
should be increased to 600-700 as quickly as facilities for them 
could be provided; that new academic programs would be in- 
stalled; that faculty salaries would be increased to reach competi- 
tive levels; that increased scholarship funds would be available to 
help equalize increasing tuition; that an architectural firm would 
be hired to plan the physical expansion of the college; and that 
financial estimates of expenses, sources of revenue and modes of 
payment would be put in place.^^ There followed innumerable 
meetings in Richmond and elsewhere as the synod committee 
sought to establish its own plans and objectives. There were major 
disagreements concerning the division of the funds. Jim Jackson 
called it the problem of "equalization" and said it was "most 
discouraging and frustrating. " There was "internal bickering, " he 
continued, and "unfortunately, there is a good deal of sniping 
among persons who are favorable to one or another of the courses. . . " 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Dr. Spencer wrote John N. Thomas that summer, that 

Running into what seemed continual 
problems of apathy, hostility and 
ignorance in the synod makes dis- 
couragement about the campaign 
come rather easy these days... If only 
we can come through the campaign 
with reasonable success by next spring, 
I think we will be over the hump as far 
as Mary Baldwin's future is concerned. '^^ 

After several months of interviews and debates, the firm of 
Ketchum Inc. was hired by the synod to conduct the campaign. 
They proposed a fee of 5% of the total objective ($125,000) plus 
expenses, and a campaign committee of the synod was organized. 
Both Dr. Spencer and Dr. Joseph Robert (president of Hampden- 
Sydney) were ex officio members; eventually Dr. Bernard Bain 
and Dr. W. T. Thompson agreed to act as chairmen (both men had 
played important roles in Dr. Spencer's New Directions sympo- 
sium), and the laborious process got under way. Most of the year 
of 1958 was taken up with planning, organization and structure. 
A short film called "In Christian Hands" was produced; brochures 
about the beneficiaries were written, a question-and-answer 
pamphlet prepared. The presbytery leaders were identified and 
workshops were held; a speakers' bureau was organized (Dr. 
Spencer was an active participant, as were Mr. Daffin and Mrs. 
Grafton); and workshops for "leaders" were held. Major gift 
solicitations began in November 1958, and congregational pledges 
were received in January/February of 1959. Pledges could be 
redeemed over "four tax years" (ending in March 1961), and the 
goal was at least a $21.00 pledge from each of the 114,000 synod 
communicants, to reach a total of $ 2.5 million. 

The synod campaign officially ended on 1 March 1959 and 
Ketchum services (to the synod) were concluded, although there 
would be "follow-up work" for several years. It was apparent even 
before the figures were in that the results were "disappointing." 
Only 43% of the synod's churches participated, with an average 
per capita gift of $6.96. The total amount pledged came to less 
than $1 million. There had been much dedicated and sacrificial 
work on the part of many individuals, and the whole subject had 
occupied the synod's meetings for six years. Why had the effort 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

failed? Ketchum Inc., in analyzing the result, declared, "No 
denominational campaign can succeed without the enthusiastic 
backing of the ministers." In the past, colleges had not been 
considered part of the churches' responsibility and it was hard to 
persuade congregations to believe they were. There had been no 
"challenge" gifts or congregational quotas established. The presi- 
dents of both institutions had each been in office only a limited 
time. The 1956 survey report had "muddied the waters consider- 
ably." Others complained that the "timing" was bad. The national 
economy was slowing. The drive had coincided with local Commu- 
nity Chests, "Every Member Canvasses" building programs in 
several churches, and "the protective instincts of some ministers." 
And there was the largely unspoken but pervasive problem of 
social change. Many ministers were "actively preaching integra- 
tion," and there were those who might have supported the colleges 
who simply refused to do so because they perceived colleges would 
accept black students in the near future.^^ 

Throughout 1958, while the synod campaign pursued its 
tortuous path, Mary Baldwin's president and trustees devoted 
many weeks to some strategic decisions of their own. Dr. Spencer 
had come to Mary Baldwin pretty well convinced that the college 
would have to move to a more appropriate and spacious site, but 
a careful survey of the real estate options available, the logistics 
involved, and the tradition associated with the "old campus," led 
increasingly to a decision to keep the college where it was. He and 
the board settled for what he would come to call a "tilted quad- 
rangle" and quietly began to acquire the property between Market 
and Coalter streets. After interviewing several architectural 
firms, the board, 14 March 1958, authorized a study by the firm 
of Clark, Nexsen & Owen of Lynchburg to determine how such 
property could be used, and thus began a relationship that lasted 
for many years. It was a relationship that went far beyond a 
"strictly business" one. It has been, Samuel Spencer wrote, "a 
most satisfying and pleasant one for me... six years and four 
buildings after we started... I would make exactly the same choice 
of architects for our program if we had to do it again. "^"^ There was 
no question about priorities — a new heating plant had to be 
provided, and the increase in the student body meant more 
kitchen and dining room spaces were imperative; and, although 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

peripheral housing could help the student overflow for a year or 
two, new dormitories had to be planned. But, true to his academic 
convictions, Dr. Spencer wanted to build a new library first and 
make it the central feature of a new campus. There were two 
obstacles in the way of this Phase I part of the Ten Year Develop- 
ment plan. The college was in debt to the amount of nearly 
$200,000, and although operating budgets were modestly bal- 
anced, as they were every year of Dr. Spencer's tenure, there was 
no discernible money available to buy the land and homes on 
Coalter and Market Streets. Dr. Spencer began to buy them 
anyway, with borrowed funds, "on faith" as he expressed it, that 
the "effort of the synod is going to succeed and that we are going 
to raise the money that will allow us to start toward our long-range 
goals. "^' Eventually the properties were acquired. The campus 
would in time encompass about 19 "sloping" acres and the $2.5 
million campaign for Phase I could begin. Both Dr. Spencer and 
Clark, Nexsen & Owen agreed that the color and architectural 
style of the old campus would be replicated in the new. "We cannot 
radically change the pattern on such a small campus," Dr. Spencer 
declared. So successful would this effort be that few people today 
can even tell where the "old campus" ended and the "new" began. 
There remained one more obstacle before the building could 
proceed. Market Street (one of the steepest hills in Staunton) had 
been the eastern boundary of the "old" campus. Once the "grounds" 
extended to Coalter Street, this city thoroughfare would bisect the 
campus and destroy the proposed unity of terraces and new 
buildings. Would the city agree to donate the street to the college, 
and on what terms? For several weeks in the summer of 1959, the 
issue was in doubt. The City Council, thinking of the future 
widening of New, Frederick, and Coalter Streets wanted 28' and 
14' setbacks in exchange for closing the street. Mr. Clark declared 
that the proposed master plan required "every foot of property" 
and that if the city would not yield, he could not recommend that 
the college remain "in town." Careful statistics were prepared 
showing that, far from losing tax revenues when the college 
acquired property or closed Market Street, the college, by means 
of purchases of supplies and services, payment of salaries and 
student local expenditures (and a 10-year construction plan), 
would bring almost $1 million annually to the Staunton commu- 
nity. Mary Baldwin College, Dr. Spencer told City Council, is 
"actually a multi-million dollar urban renewal program in the 
heart of the city at no cost to the taxpayer." It was not until 26 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

March 1959, after some contracts had been signed and the college 
national fundraising campaign had begun, that the City Council 
relented. Market Street was closed and the new campus construc- 
tion began. ^'^ 

During the next decade (1960-1970) the college erected six 
major buildings (a heating plant, two dormitories, a food service 
facility, a library, a science center and five modern tennis courts). 
There was never a year that there were not bulldozers leveling, 
backhoes digging, steel beams rising, plumbers, plasterers, elec- 
tricians, painters, bricklayers, and roofers laboring. Two-and-a- 
half generations of students did not know what it was like to live 
and study on a quiet campus. As the work progressed, deterio- 
rated or unsightly structures from the old campus (the "covered 
way", the old heating plant. Sky High, Chapel, the infirmary, the 
"maids' cottage," the Chemistry building) were removed. The 
building housing the Nannie Tate Demonstration School had to be 
demolished to make room for the Pearce Science Center, as did 
Bell house. The hills were terraced and grass-covered, four 
graduated walkways connected the upper and lower tiers (regret- 
tably, the escalator had proved to be impractical), trees and 
flowering shrubs softened the landscape. By 1968, Dr. Spencer's 
objective of providing a suitable physical setting for an academi- 
cally challenging liberal arts college for about 700 women had, to 
a great extent, been accomplished. Almost $6,000,000 had been 
spent. ■'^^ 

Where did the money come from? The sources of funds for 
private colleges are limited, and in the 1960s competition from 
state institutions increasingly seeking supplements to their state 
appropriations began to make serious inroads on what had been 
private institutions' preserves. By the mid-1960s the "guns and 
butter" philosophy of the Johnson administration had begun an 
inflationary spiral that added to the woes of college fund raisers. 
Still there was a gi'eat deal that a determined president and his 
trustees could do, and Dr. Spencer frankly admitted he took many 
"calculated risks," sometimes authorizing the beginning of pro- 
jects before there was a clear idea of how the necessary funds 
would be found. 

One little story of a minor episode serves well to illustrate the 
curious mixture of faith in the Lord's intentions, the necessity of 
taking immiodiate action, and the expectation that the means 
would be provided, that appeared to have frequently motivated 
Dr. Spencer's development decisions. On 13 September 1961, he 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

wrote a letter to the Revered Emmett B. McGukin: "The Lord does 
not always give a clear leading about a decision, but sometimes 
confirms it after it is made." Yesterday, [12 September], he 
continued, "I made the decision to tear down the old covered way. 
I had meant to wait another year because I had no money to do it, 
but we needed to open up our campus." The cost was $300. The 
day after he made his decision, Mr. McGukin's check for $300 
arrived!^^ It is a long way from the $300 of this little story to the 
$6 million spent in buildings and grounds between 1959-1969, but 
the "calculated risk" and the faith attitude played a major role. 

The money came from the traditional sources that Mary 
Baldwin College had relied on since the days of Dr. Eraser; from 
trustees, alumnae, friends, parents, even faculty and students. It 
came from foundations and business corporations, from memorial 
gifts and bequests. In 1959 (as has been seen) and again in 1968, 
synod campaigns for "their" Christian colleges offered modest 
help. But the "traditional sources," generous as the donors were 
and as much as their dedication was appreciated, were simply not 
enough. Somewhere major new means of funding had to be found 
if the plans for the physical campus were to be realized. So it was 
that, after much debate and prayer, the trustees authorized 
President Spencer and his staff to apply for government grants 
and loans. 

In the late 1950s, a somewhat muted but determined compe- 
tition had been ongoing between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. to 
launch and successfully control an unmanned space satellite. The 
U.S. effort had faltered badly, with several early attempts explod- 
ing on the launching pads. The Russians were secretive about 
their progress until 4 October 1957, when their 187-pound "Sput- 
nik" roared into the heavens, its radio transmitting "beep beeps" 
as it circled the earth proclaiming the superiority of Russian 
science and technology. The impact of this event in the United 
States was far-reaching. What was "wrong" with our scientists 
and why didn't we have more of them? Were our schools and 
colleges failing to teach the mathematics, engineering and tech- 
nology needed for the modern world? Demographic predictions 
warned that the children born after World War II would be of 
college age in the 1960s and that there was not nearly enough 
space for them in the existing educational facilities. Congress 
hastily passed a succession of laws such as the National Educa- 
tion Act, the Higher Education Eacilities Act, and the College 
Housing Authority Act which made it possible for colleges and 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

universities (even private, church-related ones) to borrow funds 
at very low rates of interest or to apply for outright grants to 
modernize and expand their facilities. Money was available to 
build dormitories (since they were income-producing, such loans 
were considered secure), to build libraries and science centers. 
Federal money was available as never before to support research 
and development projects and loans for students to help with 
tuition; but these were separate and unrelated to the physical 
facilities legislation. Dr. Spencer and his advisors sought to draw 
a clear distinction between federal or state money granted and 
borrowed for capital expenditures, as opposed to federal or state 
money as part of the operating budget, fearing federal restrictions 
and controls would accompany the funds. Dr. Spencer's whole 
belief in the nature and duties of a Christian college, that it would 
be a place where religious values could balance and challenge 
secular standards, was threatened by the intrusion of political 
government into private college affairs. It was a difficult deci- 
sion — applying for that first grant and loan to build a dormitory — 
but there seemed to be no other way, and so still another "risk" was 
added to those he was already taking. Red, white, and blue federal 
billboards appeared on the campus, with long lists of incompre- 
hensible codes, proclaiming that the construction of this building 
or that was partly supported by federal government funds, and 
the back- hoes and bulldozers moved in. 

There is no question that this "new" source of revenue made 
possible the completion of the Spencer building program, but the 
college did not cease its own efforts to help itself. Although the 
details changed as the process continued, there were carefully 
drawn plans as to what would be built, when, and how the new 
buildings would be integrated with the old. There were to be three 
"phases." The first would provide living services on the upper tier 
of the campus, (i.e., the dining hall and two dormitories, and in 
another location the heating plant), the completion of which 
would allow the student body to expand to between 600 and 700. 
Reluctantly, Dr. Spencer agreed that the library would have to 
wait until Phase II, as would the science facility (and in the mid- 
1960s there was considerable debate over which should be built 
first). Phase III would see the completion of a fine arts center, a 
modern auditorium, an enlarged student activities building, im- 
proved physical education facilities, perhaps another dormitory. ^^ 

College fund raising for Phase I was to begin as soon as the 
synod's 1958-59 campaign concluded. An intensive six-week 


To Live III Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

effort, beginning 1 March 1959, was planned. Emily P. Smith 
agreed to be the chairman of the national alumnae effort, local 
trustees appealed yet again to the community for support, and the 
firm of Ketchum Inc. was employed to provide direction and 
advice. Things did not go smoothly, either internally at the college 
or in the external appeals. That Ketchum had presided over the 
synod's unsuccessful effort and that the person chosen to work at 
the college, Carman House, became ill and had to leave in the 
middle of the effort, made for communication problems and 
missed opportunities. Jim Jackson found it difficult to work with 
the other college administrators and alumnae and complained 
that his little office in the basement of Main Building was so dusty 
and noisy that it interfered with his Robotyper and electric 
typewriter. But there were some successes. In 1958, 100% of the 
trustees, faculty and students contributed to the annual fund — a 
national "first." By mid-1959, Mr. Jackson was reporting commu- 
nity pledges of $150,000, and gifts from alumnae, parents and 
friends of $600,000 (which included $450,000 from the Hunt 
family). Dr. Spencer was very active in the VFIC, and Mary 
Baldwin College's share of those funds was now added to the 
capital campaign. By 1962, the combined contribution of synod, 
college, friends, bequests, corporations and federal money had 
made possible the completion of Phase I, and the raising of monies 
for Phase II began. ^^ 

This time, no professional fund raisers were employed. Begin- 
ning in the summer of 1960, a standing committee of the board of 
trustees called Development Planning had been appointed, and 
its members shared with Dr. Spencer the responsibility of build- 
ing and borrowing decisions. ^'^ 

A limited solicitation for the new library was conducted in 
1963 among alumnae and the community, and more than $300,000 
in cash and pledges was received. Federal funds provided the 
additional monies needed, and Grafton Library opened for stu- 
dent use in 1967. Architectural drawings and fund-raising plans 
had already been prepared for the science center. Again there 
were generous gifts, particularly from the widow of Jesse Cleve- 
land Pearce, for whom the building was named. A Christian 
College Fund was undertaken by the Synod of Virginia in 1968-69 
(again managed by Ketchum Inc.) for the benefit of Hampden- 
Sydney and Mary Baldwin College, and about $500,000 was 
ultimately realized toward the science building.^'* 

Two comments should be added about the fund-raising activi- 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

ties of the Spencer years. The first is that the college staff grew 
much better at it. The campaigns of 1958-59 were clumsy, 
uncoordinated and pretty unproductive, in spite of tremendous 
efforts and dedicated labor. But by the mid-1960s the trustees, the 
development offices, the public relations director, the alumnae 
office staff had become a team, experienced and confident. They 
had put together an invaluable file of information about donors, 
prospects, grant agencies and corporations. Almost without 
realizing that they were doing so, they were laying a firm founda- 
tion for the future when almost continuous capital campaigns 
would be an accepted characteristic of colleges and universities.^^ 

The other insight that emerges as we look back on these years 
is Dr. Spencer's observation that, in large part, the students and 
their families paid for the campus expansion. The bonds and notes 
negotiated with federal and state agencies were paid off yearly 
with funds from the operating budget, most of which, in turn, 
came from student tuition and fees. Both the numbers of students 
and their tuition increased steadily in the decade of the 1960s, and 
the additional revenues made it possible to live comfortably with 
the yearly interest and principal payments due on these debts. If 
either of those sources of revenue were altered, there might be 
future problems. "^"^ 

Dr. Spencer not only had to find the money for the building 
program, he had to have money to run the college, to retire old 
debts, to raise faculty salaries and benefits as he had pledged to 
do, to pay for new academic programs, and to maintain a balanced 
operating budget. Because Mary Baldwin has always been a 
"tuition-driven" college, most of the funds needed for these projects 
had to come from student fees. One of the principal reasons for 
planning to increase the student body to 600-700 had been the 
"economy of size" factor. It was more economical, per student, to 
feed, house and teach 600 students than it was to do the same for 
300, and the surplus income would help pay for an expanded 
faculty and other needs. However, it has always been difficult for 
colleges and universities to explain to students and their parents 
that the tuition never covers the total college expenses of a specific 
student. Tuition payments must always be supplemented by 
other sources (state funds for public institutions, gifts, grants and 
endowment for private). In addition, increasing numbers of 
students, usually about a third of the student body, received 
financial aid in the form of scholarships, student jobs on campus 
or loans. The trustees and the synod were always uneasy about 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

increasing the amount of the tuition because they felt a commit- 
ment that, as a church-related college, students of "moderate" 
means should not be excluded. But Dr. Spencer insisted that it 
was necessary to increase tuition as well as student numbers. In 
1958, the comprehensive fee for a resident student was $1,650 a 
year; ten years later it was $2,936. By 1968, a day student paid 
almost as much as a resident had done a decade before. ^^ 

To ease the financial burdens. Dr. Spencer and the board 
devised two programs, both imaginative and forward-looking but 
controversial and often misunderstood. The first was the "Tuition 
Unit Plan" adopted in 1960-61. A base charge of $1,000 for room, 
board and services would be charged, and tuition units of $100 
each (up to ten units, or $1,000 more) would be imposed. The 
number of "tuition units" charged would depend on the financial 
resources of the student's family, based on the recommendation of 
the College Scholarship Service. The difference between those 
students who paid the full charge ($2,000 in 1961) and those who 
did not would be paid from a special tuition unit fund made up 
from annual gifts to the college. The express purpose of this plan 
was to provide funds for additional faculty and to upgrade their 
salaries. It was heavily dependent for success on increased 
annual giving and, simple as it basically was, apparently was 
never satisfactorily explained to the college's constituents. By 
1962, the program was modified so that only students whose 
academic record was "moderately good" could qualify, and by 1965 
the program was quietly dropped. 

The second proposal, called the "Guaranteed Fee System," 
was begun that same year. It provided that a student would pay 
the same comprehensive fee during her four years in college. This 
was intended to protect the students' families from increasing 
tuition costs each year and to encourage retention for the entire 
four year college program. It was moderately successful as long 
as enrollments were at capacity but had the potential of becoming 
a financial strain if the college's operating budget diminished and 
inflation continued. It had the additional burden of having 
students on campus who were receiving the same services but who 
paid different amounts, a situation which many perceived to be 
unfair. This program was discontinued in 1971-72.'*^ 

There was one very important aspect of college financing 
which appears, on the surface at least, to have received very little 
attention in the Spencer years. This was the college endowment, 
which until the late 1950s had been very slowly accruing as 


To Live III Time Bulldozers. Steal?! Shovels and Academic Excellence 

modest bequests from loyal friends had been made. It was largely 
managed "in-house" by the Finance Committee of the board of 
trustees and by the business manager and treasurer of the college. 
In 1958 the endowment amounted to $831,962, the income from 
which represented about 5% of the operating budget. It was, 
observed Dr. Spencer wryly, "a very modest [endowment] which 
has much to be modest about." It is, he said to another friend, 
"almost negligible." Dr. Spencer had always insisted, as presi- 
dents before and after him have done, that the college needed 
capital funds and endowment "to compete with other good colleges 
which are leaving Mary Baldwin behind." Thus it is curious to 
read in a committee report the following statement: 

In speaking about the place of endow- 
ment in a program of development... this 
item was of secondary importance at 
present because operating costs could 
be adequately met by student fees derived 
from large enrollments... annual Alumnae 
funds and increased support from [the] 
Synod would be better sources of 
additional funds for current operations 
than returns from an endowment would be.^^ 

This does not mean, however, that the board and Dr. Spencer 
were unaware of this weakness. As early as 1959, the trustees 
undertook the study of the management of the endowment funds 
(as compared to other colleges), and ]VIr. Daffin was asked to 
prepare a comprehensive report of the funds which had been his 
responsibility for more than a quarter of a century. The board 
cautiously moved to professional management, at first paying 
modest fees for consulting services and by the mid-1960s relying 
on professional investment management firms. By 1968, the 
endowment had grown to $1,864,889, with the most substantial 
addition coming from the Woodson bequest; but as college ex- 
penses increased and the endowment did not increase proportion- 
ately, the percentage of the college revenues derived from the 
endowment in income actually declined. ^° Both the college and 
the synod had sought to emphasize "deferred giving" and bequest 
considerations as part of their financial plans, but with so many 
other projects needing fiscal resources, efforts to increase the 
endowment inevitably lacked attention. In the "shrinking seven- 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

ties," the college would pay the price for this neglect. 

Both President McKenzie and his assistant, Ray Williams, 
had been critical of the way in which alumnae affairs were 
organized and of the financial support for the college which the 
alumnae provided. Again, this reflected advances in professional 
organization of alumnae activities which many colleges and 
universities were undertaking in this period, but which had not 
yet affected Mary Baldwin College. But, in the Spencer era, the 
alumnae "came of age." They became an integral part of every 
fund-raising effort of these years; their opinions and ideas were 
respected on the board of trustees; they were delighted and awed 
at the physical changes taking place on the campus; they were 
informed and inspired by a well-written, provocative Alumnae 
Newsletter which reached them regularly; they were embraced 
as part of the whole campus community and, as such, had 
responsibilities to carry out and serious contributions to make. 
Never again, after Dr. Spencer, would they be just the "old girls." 

In 1958, there were 5,500 known living alumnae; by 1968, they 
numbered 6,750. Many of them, perhaps one-third, were semi- 
nary students, and another significant number had attended the 
college for less than four years. But as the student enrollment 
doubled between 1958 and 1966 so, too, did the number of "Spen- 
cer alums" who were enthusiastic and inspired by his program 
and who would become a strong nucleus of support in the years to 

Perhaps the most significant change in alumnae relationships 
came from the well-organized frequent visits from college admin- 
istrators and faculty who crisscrossed the country visiting chap- 
ters, helping to establish new ones, and asking for support and 

The 1958 campaign, as has been seen, had an inauspicious 
beginning. It was agreed that the alumnae "annual giving" 
appeal, established with so much effort in the early 1950s, would 
be "folded into" the fund-raising campaign (probably a mistake), 
and President Spencer, John Baffin, Jim Jackson, Martha Graf- 
ton, and many others tried to follow Ketchum's erratic schedule of 
chapter luncheons and dinners explaining Phase I of the cam- 
paign. The confusion between the synod's and the college's cam- 
paigns, between "annual gifts" and "operating funds," and the 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

very apparent lack of local chapter organization and activity made 
it mandatory that something be done. 

Martha Anne Pool, Martha Grafton, Emily Smith, Buck and 
Betty Timberlake, and many others helped to straighten out the 
confusion. The executive secretary of the Alumnae Association 
became a full-time employee of the college and was provided with 
increased secretarial help and physical space. By 1962, the 
"annual giving" progi'am was revived, with the monies contrib- 
uted earmarked for scholarship aid, faculty salaries, and library 
acquisitions. By 1968, 29% of all alumnae were supporting the 
Annual Fund, and their gifts had increased from $18,094 in 1962 
to $60,519 five years later. ^^ 

In 1961, a new Constitution for the Alumnae Association was 
written, providing for four vice-presidents who would undertake 
the direction of: (1) the annual giving program; (2) continuing 
education; (3) admissions; and (4) chapter activities. Workshops 
and training programs were instituted for alumnae leaders, and 
class reunions were better organized and better attended than 
they had ever been. In 1963, the tradition of the "Alumnae Choir" 
was begun. After a day and a half of intensive practice, all 
returning alumnae who had sung for Gordon Page presented a 
choral program during homecoming. Mr. Page had lost none of his 
demands for perfection. Everyone felt it to be a time of challenge 
and a deep emotional experience. The Alumnae Choir has contin- 
ued as a homecoming tradition. There also began a particular 
emphasis on alumnae intellectual activities. In March of each 
year a series of programs, led by the current faculty, provided 
campus visits, coffee and discussion for local women. Annotated 
book lists suggested by faculty for independent reading were 
published in the Alumnae Newsletter , with the information that 
paperback versions could be ordered from the college bookstore. 
Betty Friedan's Feminine Mvstique provided the inspiration for a 
whole series of articles on "Alumnae of Distinction" and their 
interesting careers. ^^ 

Fannie Strauss wrote a history of the Alumnae Association, 
which appeared in the magazine. The sale of the Mary Baldwin 
Wedgwood plates (which had been a World War II casualty) was 
revived in 1959. They cost $3 each and could be purchased in blue 
or mulberry. One could also buy Mary Baldwin College chairs (for 
$16), and the new college bookstore began to sell many mono- 
grammed items which were popular with both present and former 
students. In 1964, the trustees approved the alumnae recommen- 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

dation that the Emily Pancake Smith medalHon be estabUshed, 
honoring Mrs. Smith's "unparalleled record of service to the 
college, church, community and to the Alumnae Association." It 
was awarded annually to women who had rendered the kinds of 
service reminiscent of Mrs. Smith. ^'^ Chapter competition was 
encouraged and a handsome cup for chapter achievements was 
provided. Dr. Spencer regularly asked alumnae to represent 
Mary Baldwin College at the innumerable college and university 
inaugurations and other celebrations he was invited to attend. An 
alumna living in the vicinity of that particular college would 
receive a formal request from President Spencer that she take his 
place at the proceedings. The college would send her a Mary 
Baldwin cap and gown; she would march in the academic proces- 
sion, attend the luncheon and other festivities, and report back to 
the president on any programs of interest or unusual comments. 
It was yet another way of making the alumnae feel a part of the 
college and relieved the president of many appearances that he 
simply could not accept. 

Mary Baldwin College "is a priceless gem which adorns the 
community's whole life," wrote the editor of the Staunton News 
Leader 5 February 1963. And, as the terraced hill turned green 
and the cream-colored buildings one by one appeared, there was 
no denying that a visual asset of major proportion had been added 
to the city's aspect. The "flagship" of the new buildings was Lyda 
Bunker Hunt Dining Hall. Since it was the first major building 
project since 1951, each step in the process was viewed with 
proprietary interest by the college community and townspeople 
alike. Originally, because of the fiscal restraints, the plans had 
called for only one-half of the building to be finished, and for it to 
be connected directly to a new dormitory; but the generous gift of 
the Hunt children in memory of their mother, Lyda Bunker Hunt, 
freed the architects and President Spencer to build the dignified 
and lovely building as they wished, "...all the college household 
can break bread together in an atmosphere of gracious living," 
said Board Chairman Edmund Campbell. Ground was broken on 
28 September 1959, and pictures of Dr. Spencer and student 
government officers riding a bulldozer adorned Campus Com- 
ments . Ayear later, 22 October 1960, an elaborate and impressive 
dedication and cornerstone-laying ceremony was held. Over 900 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

people attended, including four of the six Hunt donors. General 
Albert C. Wedemeyer spoke, as did John Baffin. Drs. Grafton, 
Turner and Potter eloquently delivered invocations, litanies, and 
recessionals, and the choir sang "Let All the Nation Praise the 
Lord" and "Alleluia." The board of trustees was present for their 
fall meeting, as was the board of the Alumnae Association, and 
Parents' Day was likewise observed. Brian Sullivan of the 
Metropolitan Opera House gave a concert the evening before; 
there were exhibition tennis matches on the new hilltop courts; 
and the significance of the pineapple atop the white cupola of Hunt 
Dining Hall was carefully explained. It was a lovely, sunny fall 
day, and the entire ceremony became a kind of model for subse- 
quent occasions in the next decade. ^^ 

The dining hall opened for use in April 1961, somewhat 
delayed by a severe winter and a hold up in building materials. 
The two dining rooms, each seating 300 persons, were separated 
by the central kitchen, which permitted cafeteria-style break- 
fasts. The other two meals were family style, served by the student 
Eta Betas. The view of Betsy Bell and the Blue Ridge from the 
double hung windows was spectacular. The divided staircase 
featured a portrait of Lyda Hunt, hung over a credenza upon 
which a flower arrangement is always kept. The lower floor 
housed the college bookstore and a large lounge/private dining 
room facility, and the whole was connected by brick walks and 
landscaped terrace to the Student Activities Building on one side 
and the "new" dormitory on the other. ^^ 

Since federal loans and grants were now possible, the con- 
struction of a new dormitory began simultaneously with Hunt. 
Separated from Hunt by a stepped terrace, it was planned to house 
136 students and a resident director and was ready for use by 
September 1961. Because the financing had been uncertain, it 
was constructed without many extras and frills. Dr. Spencer 
called it "minimal," but with built-in bookcases and bureaus, 
ample closet space and modern heating, the students were pleased. 
They called it "New Dormitory," and it remained unnamed until 
November 1963, v^hen the trustees, desiring to honor Mrs. Mar- 
garet Craig Woodson, who had been a member of the board of 
trustees for twenty-two years, dedicated it to her memory. A 
special feature of Woodson was the Charles Vernon Palmer 
Meditation Room, given by two alumnae in honor of their father. 
It was furnished with the advice of students and dedicated on 1 1 
October 1962.^6 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

By 1961, the architects were deep into drawings for a second 
dormitory (inevitably called "New New") designed to house 171 
students. Because there was some difficulty in acquiring the 
corner property on Sycamore and Coalter streets, the building 
was curved, adding a most pleasing feature to the final construc- 
tion on the upper tier. In a memo to his staff, Dr. Spencer declared, 
"I think it is highly desirable that we get in every improvement 
we can, for this is the last dormitory we will build in a long, long 
time." The building was begun on 1 January 1962 and was 
(almost) ready for occupancy by September 1963. In addition to 
rocks (which had to be blasted) and another difficult winter (with 
snowfalls of 30" or more) further delay was occasioned by the U.S. 
government requiring that a "fallout shelter" be included in the 
plans. Excavation under the entire west wing had to be accom- 
plished and special air and water filters installed. The govern- 
ment paid in part for the cost, but their allowance did not cover the 
necessary extra rock removal. Unwilling to allow this huge, dark, 
hollow space to be unused. Dr. Spencer had it converted into a 
large lecture hall and faculty offices. Later it became a student 
recreation area called the "Chute." 

It was indeed a "gracious" building, with two large lounges to 
be used for public receptions furnished with antiques and repro- 
ductions, elevators, suites for resident advisors, and a curved 
columned portico, the top of which provided a roof for sunbathing. 
The rear of Woodson and the second dormitory were very close to 
Sycamore Street, and to give privacy both to the neighbors and to 
the students, tall, rapidly growing trees and shrubs were planted. 
As yet this latest building was unnamed. Campus Comments 
quietly circulated a petition which was presented to the board of 
trustees 22 April 1963, asking that the building be called the 
Samuel Reid Spencer, Jr., Residence Hall. The board agreed, and 
Dr. Spencer and his four children dedicated it in a simple cer- 
emony two days before the students returned in September 1963. 
Phase I of the 10-year Development Plan was now completed. ^^ 

It must have seemed to many students and alumnae that the 
college was engaged in a gigantic "musical chairs" program during 
these years. Buildings were removed, others leased or bought, 
offices transferred to new locations, the overflow of students 
housed in peripheral locations. Some of this was planned; other 
changes were unexpected, and expensive. Such was the case with 
the venerable Waddell Chapel, long a romantic architectural 
feature of the old campus and the home of Mary Julia Baldwin's 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

memorial stained glass window. As early as the 1920s the 
structure had been declared unsafe for large groups. Some 
improvements had been made in the 1930s and plays and recitals 
were still performed there even after King Auditorium had be- 
come available in 1942. The middle floors were used for faculty 
and student housing, and, until April 1961, the college dining 
room and kitchen had occupied the ground floor. In the 1950s, as 
numbers had diminished, no students were housed there, but as 
enrollments increased in the early 1960s, up to 16 upperclassmen 
called Chapel "home." They liked its convenient location, the 
privacy afforded their small group, and the traditions associated 
with it. Indeed, as plans for the expansion of the campus had 
begun in the early years of the Spencer presidency, there had been 
talk of restoring the Chapel to its original appearance when it had 
been the pre-Civil War Presbyterian Church. One alumna had 
written Dr. Spencer that it "would be the gem of the campus. . .where 
students could go for meditation and where we could have morn- 
ing devotions and Sunday evening vespers... it would enrich and 
deepen the entire spiritual life of the campus. . . "^^ Horace Day had 
sketched a possible restoration appearance, and a faculty commit- 
tee had been appointed to research the history of the building. 
Preliminary estimates suggested that $250,000-$300,000 would 
be needed for the project (which would not be large enough to seat 
the entire student body if it were done). Alumnae were very 
interested, but no large donations were made and there were 
other more pressing concerns. 

Hence, in 1961, with the old dining room on the ground floor 
of Chapel no longer needed, some $10,000 had been spent to 
convert that space into a physics laboratory, math and physics 
lecture rooms, and four faculty offices. At the same time, in the fall 
of 1961, the old, unsightly heating plant, which had stood east of 
Chapel, was demolished, and plans called for building a parking 
lot in its place. As the earth was being moved for the parking lot, 
there suddenly appeared in the corner of the east wall of the 
Chapel a large crack, shortly followed by two other vertical splits. 
"Some were," Dr. Spencer wrote Mrs. Elizabeth Ebbott, "more 
than 1/2" wide." The consulting architect said the movement of 
the walls "must be considered most serious and dangerous." 
There would probably be little or no warning of impending failure, 
and the collapse "could be compared to a sudden explosion. "^^ He 
recommended immediate evacuation of all personnel from the 
building. The students were moved out in January 1962 and were 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

temporarily housed in the Infirmary, Blakely House (with Dean 
Parker), and Bailey Hall Guest Suite. The classes and faculty 
offices were moved to Riddle, Miller Lounge, and the two "date 
parlors." The next question was: What should now be done? There 
was great alumnae and community sentiment to save what could 
be preserved. Suggestions that the upper two floors of the 
building be removed and the first floor be roofed over seemed in- 
appropriate and expensive. Next it was proposed to leave the 
original walls standing and have within a small "outdoor" chapel. 
Once a drawing showing this idea was printed in Campus Com - 
ments student opinion was decidedly negative. It would be 
"tacky," "out of place," "embarrassing," they declared. "A bombed 
out monastery is not the answer," pronounced one editorial. "We 
much prefer a memorial garden," they announced. ""^ 

It was finally decided that the old building would be removed, 
and in its place a terrace, using the bricks from the building, would 
outline the dimensions of what had been Waddell Chapel. It was 
agreed that this terrace would be a memorial to Joseph Ruggles 
Wilson, minister of the Presbyterian Church 1855-57 and princi- 
pal of Augusta Female Seminary 1855-56, and to his son, Thomas 
Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, 1913-1921. 
There was an elaborate outdoor ceremony on 18 October 1963 
coordinated with the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace Foundation's 
observance of the 50th anniversary of Wilson's inauguration as 
President of the United States. Governor of Virginia Albertis S. 
Harrison, Jr., members of the Wilson family, and officials of the 
state, city, church and college shared in the installation of a 
bronze plaque detailing the historical information. In addition to 
lovely plantings of holly, juniper, crepe myrtle, dogwood, box- 
wood and sugar maples, three flags were to hang over the terrace: 
the Stars and Stripes, the state flag of Virginia, and the banner 
of the United Nations. In time, wisteria grew along the back wall 
of Academic, from which the flags were flown. Benches and chairs 
made this a tranquil spot for quiet lunches and outdoor classes. It 
was a fitting and tactful solution to what had been an emotional 
issue, and almost everyone was pleased.®^ 

Other physical changes followed. Rose Terrace became La 
Maison Frangaise; Riddle eventually became La Casa Espanola, 
and the Guidance Center moved to rented quarters on Coalter 
Street. The dean of students' apartment had been moved from the 
Administration Building to Blakely House (at the top of Market 
Street) in 1959. The student activities building was renamed the 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Consuelo Slaughter Wenger Hall in 1963, and Bell House became 
student housing until the building of the Science Center necessi- 
tated its removal. 

Early in 1960, some "pranksters" had succeeded in removing 
Ham, or perhaps it was Jam, from his pedestal in front of Main 
Building. In the process, he was broken into many pieces, and 
then his companion was stored for safekeeping. They were sorely 
missed and the students were delighted when a father of one of 
them offered to pay for replacing the mascot dogs. By November 
1960, Ham and Jam were back, no longer made of terra cotta, but 
now carefully re-created in cast-stone and securely bolted to the 
front steps. Dr. Spencer wrote a gracious thank you to the 
anonymous donor: "As you know, tradition means a gi'eat deal at 
an old college like this and there is a very special sentiment 
attached to Ham and Jam."^^ 

Probably no single building engaged the attention of the entire 
college community for as long and as much as the new library. As 
early as March 1958 the board of trustees, having approved of 
Clark, Nexsen & Owen as architects for the campus expansion, 
had authorized the preparation of a preliminary set of library 
drawings. Dr. Spencer had intended that it would be the first 
building constructed as the the new campus took shape. 

Obviously, the Library building is the most 
important one on a college campus. More 
than any other building, the Library is the 
one by which the college as a whole will be 
judged... The standard I want to set for this 
building is as follows: that Mary Baldwin's 
Library building will be unquestionably 
the best... I want it to be the handsomest, 
the best planned, the most distinctive and 
the finest — and obviously so... What I am 
really groping for here is imaginative treat- 
ment which will make this building different 
and not just like everybody else's. *^^ 

Whenever possible during the early years of Dr Spencer's 
presidency, gifts and grants were set aside to swell the Library 
reserve fund. His disappointment over the failures of the first 
synod campaign was deepened by the fact that this meant he could 
not yet begin the building, and it was with the utmost reluctance 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

that he finally agreed that the dining hall and dormitories would 
have to be built first. 

When Dr. Spencer came to Mary Baldwin College, the Library 
was housed, as it had been since 1907, in the Academic Building. 
It contained some 50,000 volumes and occupied all of the second 
floor and part of the third floor of the major classroom building on 
campus. It was literally bursting at the seams, and worried 
administrators frequently checked to be sure the floors could bear 
the weight of the books and stacks. There was almost no room for 
the librarian and her meager staff. Only a small percentage of 
students could use the facilities at any one time, and they con- 
stantly complained about the crowded conditions and lack of light 
and air. The faculty, as well, felt severely restricted by the 
limitations of reference and periodical material (some of which 
had to be stored in the basement of Bailey dormitory). Dr. Spenc- 
er requested Richard Barksdale Harwell, who was the executive 
secretary of the Association of College and Research Libraries, to 
survey the situation in 1958, and his report about the physical 
conditions was stark. 

The trinity of efficiency in a library is 
collection, staff, quarters. Mary Baldwin's 
collection shows satisfactory quality and 
growth... [but the college] is sadly deficient 
in both other areas. Mary Baldwin has a well 
trained, alert and experienced librarian... [but] 
she has to be so heavily engaged in house- 
keeping routines that she has little time to 
really function as a librarian. The library 
needs additional professional help, additional 
clerical help and additional student help... 

and, he added, lots of additional space.*^"* 

Probably no other building plans of the Spencer era were 
revised, redrawn, expanded and altered more than was the 
Library facility. Originally projected for the upper tier, it was 
moved toward the Frederick Street level. Earlier concepts had 
said a 100,000 book capacity; later 200,000 was found to be 
necessary. Should the entrance face Frederick Street or the inner 
campus? Should it be attached to Academic or stand as a separate 
building? Dr. Spencer was willing to consider almost any alterna- 
tive to raise funds, including naming the building according to the 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

wishes of major donors (if they could be found). Should the 
building reflect the international commitment which was so much 
a part of the Spencer educational philosophy? Where could 
enough money be found so that matching grants and federal loans 
might be obtained? How soon could the earth be turned and the 
building construction start?*^^ 

Although it meant waiting two years longer than he had 
hoped, sufficient money had been contributed and pledged by 
1964 to permit the architects to create the final version of prelimi- 
nary plans and put the contract out for bids. In spite of now 
anticipating a student body of 800 (rather than 600), Dr. Spencer 
insisted that the total spent must be less than one million dollars. 
The college was able to provide $323,000 toward this total; the rest 
came from federal grants and loans. ^"^ 

There should be further mention of how the college Library 
funds were raised. There was a successful local campaign, chaired 
by General A. A. Sproul; and there were significant memorial gifts 
and bequests from the Cooke, Deming, Wenger, Hoy and Reigner 
families and estates. Most of these latter were the direct result 
of Dr. Spencer's efforts and contacts, some of whom had had no 
previous connection with the college. There was a modest founda- 
tion support, and increasing monies were derived from the VFIC. 
In the course of this decade, some real estate belonging to the 
college not contiguous with the campus was sold and the funds 
thus acquired were added to the building funds for both the 
Library and the science center.^' But perhaps of most significance 
(although not in monetary amount) was the effort mounted by the 
student government in 1964-65 to raise money for the Library. 
Jean Poland was chairman of the project and by the end of the year 
student participation was almost 100%. They washed cars, 
addressed envelopes for the Alumnae Association, and secured 
permission to wear Bermuda shorts to classes for payment of 25 
cents. There was a Christmas candy sale, a January fashion show, 
a faculty "slave" auction in February, and a gigantic Carnival Day 
in March for which classes were cancelled. There was dormitory 
competition at a level that the Athletic Association had long 
despaired of creating. There was a "discotheque" (a new word 
which had to be explained in Campus Comments ), shoes were 
shined, leaves raked, faculty dogs walked, and faculty babies 
cared for. Hill Top students spent twenty-four hours preparing 
and stirring fifteen bushels of apples on Apple Day and the 
resulting "butter" was sold. A week seldom passed without some 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

new project announced, and by year's end over $6,000 had been 
raised. In addition, over one million S&H green stamps were 
collected which were sufficient to procure the bookshelves for the 
new Library. Many, perhaps most, of these students would, of 
course, not be able personally to use the new Library, but the 
project welded together an increasingly diverse and numerous 
student body in a shared experience that gave a focus for their 
college years. 

It was not until 20 May 1965 that final approval of the federal 
grants and loans was announced, and on 5 June 1965 a "family" 
groundbreaking for the Library was held, attended by the seniors, 
their families, trustees, faculty and local officials. That summer 
construction began. Beckler, which had housed Chemistry since 
1936, had to be be demolished and the Chemistry faculty and 
facilities moved to the ground floor of Academic, where they would 
stay for five years. A large board fence was erected along 
Frederick Street to hide the scars of excavation and construction, 
and when the students returned in the fall they painted imagina- 
tive and unorthodox illustrations upon it, to the amusement and 
occasional dismay of passersby . Throughout the year and the next 
year, work on the Library continued, until shortly before spring 
examinations the SGA was again called on to help. There were 
two large decorative planters, 45' x 5', in front of the almost- 
completed Library. It would require 2 1 tons of dirt to fill them and 
there seemed to be no way that the soil could be transported to 
the planters by truck. So, on Tuesday, 23 May 1967, the student 
body formed a bucket brigade, filling two-gallon receptacles from 
the dirt dumped in the faculty parking lot. Other students lined 
up on the steps and across the terrace, passing the buckets from 
hand to hand and the empties back again. Thirty-six students 
made a chain, and each chain worked two half-hour shifts during 
the day. By evening the planters were filled. Campus Comments 
reported that the students, viewing their accomplishments and 
nursing their "aching muscles," thought "And next year we start 
the science building! "*^^ 

Throughout the summer, Mrs. Davis (librarian), Dr. Joseph 
Garrison, and a group of young men from the college and the 
community moved the books and materials from the old to the new 
Library. In September 1967 the building was ready for the 
students. The foyer, in addition to glass-enclosed display cases, 
featured a four-foot bronze Mary Baldwin College seal, weighing 
300 pounds, mounted on a marble wall. All floors were carpeted, 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

and there were individual study carrels and student and staff 
lounges. "^^ The senior class of 1965 had given a graceful apple- 
wood sculpture by William Muir entitled "Freedom." It was 
installed on the mezzanine. The Reigner Rare Book Room housed 
the 1967 senior class gift of four antique maps of the world dat- 
ing from 1680. The Art Department was temporarily in posses- 
sion of the ground floor where a creditable studio had been set up, 
and it shared space with the audio-visual department and later 
with the language laboratories when they moved from Wenger. 
The "penthouse" was used for choir activities, music classes and 
a drama workshop/seminar room. The building still had no name. 

The year 1967 had been observed with a variety of activities as 
the 125th anniversary of the founding of the college. The Library 
was the "anniversary" building, but it was not until the spring of 
1968, after long delay, that some elaborate plans were undertaken 
to dedicate it appropriately. The pattern was similar to that of 
the Hunt Dining Hall eight years before. There was a concert on 
the evening of 18 April by Jan Peerce (a noted opera star). The 
following day, a lovely warm, sunny 19 April, a convocation with 
delegates from 40 Virginia colleges and universities in full regalia, 
was held in King Auditorium. There was an address by Victor L. 
Butterfield, president emeritus of Wesleyan University, followed 
by a formal academic procession across the campus to Page 
Terrace. The choir sang, a special litany was recited, and the 
dedication ceremony was held. There was a formal luncheon with 
further remarks from the governor of West Virginia, Hulett C. 
Smith, followed by a Library open house. The whole occasion 
sparkled with excitement and pleasure because the trustees had 
once again agreed to the request of a college constituency. As early 
as 1965, the faculty had been circulating a petition that the 
building be named the "Martha Stackhouse Grafton Library." 
Although even Dr. Thomas Grafton knew about it and had signed 
the petition, the secret had been kept until Dr. Spencer announc- 
ed the name at the convocation ceremonies. The applause that 
followed left no doubt of the approval of the faculty, students and 
the community.'^ 

The summer of 1967 saw a thorough remodeling of the interior 
of Academic, now that the Library had been removed. Class- 
rooms, seminar rooms, faculty offices, and a faculty lounge pro- 
vided, for the first time, adequate academic space. Since both the 
language laboratories and the choir materials had been removed 
from Wenger, it now became much more of the student activities 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

building than it had been before, although still cramped and 
inadequate. The substandard faculty offices were likewise moved 
from Spencer and the "bomb shelter" became a student recre- 
ational center. "^^ 

But, of course, the next big building project was the construc- 
tion of the Science Center, which was as badly needed as the 
Library. Feeling equally deprived were the Fine Arts — Drama 
was coping with inadequate facilities in King, Art was tempo- 
rarily in Grafton, and Music in the chateau-like Miller House, 
where it had been since the 1950s. But the 10-year development 
plan had called for a Science Center to be next and, long before the 
Library had been completed, the science faculty and advisors had 
been meeting with the architects to draw preliminary plans. 
There are special technical needs in an undergraduate science 
center, and from the very beginning the advisory committee was 
determined that there would be ample opportunity for student 
"hands-on" laboratory experience. There was to be a controlled 
environmental suite, a greenhouse and animal rooms annex, and 
a large 260- seat lecture hall available not only for science classes, 
but for plays, films, piano and voice recitals. John B. Baffin 
capped his almost 40 years of service to the college by coordinating 
the advisory committee of medical, industrial, and teaching scien- 
tists with alumnae, parent, and student representatives."^^ 

The location of the science building on the corner of Frederick 
and Coalter Streets had already been determined, and the last of 
the old buildings still standing on the quadrangle was removed in 
1967.^^ By June 1968, when the contract was let, it was apparent 
that the project would be the most expensive yet constructed — 
eventually exceeding $2 million. The financial package was 
similar to that of the other buildings: college funds, including 
money from a synod campaign; student fund raising; donor gifts; 
and grants and loans provided by the National Defense Education 
Act.^^ Generous gifts came from the James D. Francis family, 
whose support made possible the auditorium which bears his 
name, and from the Kresge Foundation, which supported a 
research laboratory. The new Chemistry facilities were named 
the John Baker Daffin Department of Chemistry. The building 
was named in honor of Dr. Jesse Cleveland Pearce whose widow, 
Margaret Eldridge Henderson Pearce, was a seminary student in 
1910, and whose generous contribution helped to make possible 
the completion of the project. There was a dedication ceremony on 
Founders' Day 1970, and although by this time Dr. Spencer was 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

no longer president of the college, there was much satisfaction in 
knowing that Phase II of the Spencer development plans had been 

Since the end of World War II, declining enrollments had 
plagued Mary Baldwin College administrations. By mid- 1955, 
however, an upturn was apparent and by the early 1960s no one 
considered it visionary to plan to double the student population at 
the college. By the mid-1960s tentative plans called for a student 
body of 800. This was due to the millions of young people who had 
been part of the "baby-boom" of the postwar years and who were 
now reaching college age. In addition, a larger proportion of them 
than ever before were attending colleges and universities, and 
their numbers (and their tuition) made possible much of the funds 
that had fueled college expansion and provided new academic 
programs. Mary Baldwin shared in this student abundance; it 
was they, of course, who had made possible Dr. Spencer's building 
program. One or two simple figures will illustrate this point. In 
1957-58 there were 310 paid freshman class applications; 149 
were enrolled, and the student body numbered 311. By 1960-61 
there were 525 paid applications; 170 freshmen were enrolled, 
and the student body numbered 394. Five years later (after both 
the new dormitories and Hunt had been opened) there were over 
1000 paid applications; 223 freshmen were enrolled, and the 
student body numbered 653. By 1968, 218 freshmen were en- 
rolled, and the student body was 713.''^ 

It is hard to envision an excess of serious, well-qualified 
applicants as a problem, but this reversal of fortune did indeed 
pose serious concerns for Miss Hillhouse, the admissions commit- 
tee, and, ultimately, for the president. As the possibility of 
selectivity increased, the admissions committee established cer- 
tain goals. The quality of the student body (as measured by SATs, 
high school preparation, and references), as well as the quantity, 
must improve; more geographic diversity was to be emphasized; 
seriousness of purpose (would the candidate be likely to stay for 
four years?), good citizenship, and extracurricular activities would 
be considered. In 1958, the college had accepted an "early 
decision" plan and offered up to ten "honor" scholarships a year. 
There were increasing financial aid options, as well, and as tuition 
and fees increased, so did the number of students — usually about 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

one-third of the student body — who received help with the ex- 
penses of their college education. The Alumnae Association began 
in the early 1960s an admissions counselor progi^am, and every 
effort was made to increase the visibility of the college and to 
diversify the student body.'*' 

But the penalties for sucess were unavoidable. On more than 
one occasion, Dr. Spencer had to explain to a trustee why the 
student he had recommended (perhaps a granddaughter or the 
child of a close friend or business associate) had been denied 
admission. How does one explain to a Presbyterian minister, 
whose church has been asked for large sums of money to support 
Mary Baldwin two times in 10 years, that the leader of the senior 
highs at his church was not accepted? What do you do when a 
governor or a congressman sends an urgent telegram about a 
prospective student, or a major donor calls to remind you that the 
young lady from her hometown has not yet "heard" from admis- 
sions? In 1964, Dr. Spencer paid a special tribute to Marguerite 
Hillhouse when he told the Board of Trustees that she had the 
"unflinching ability" to withstand the substantial pressures. Much 
later he wrote: 

You may be surprised to know the quality 
I immediately identify with Miss Hillhouse... 
[it] is that of strength, the kind of strength 
which comes from absolute integrity. The 
task of an admissions officer is an enormous 
strain on character... But Marguerite is not 
one to temporize in matters of truth or 
principle... and admissions officers must be 
a dispenser, not of favors, but of justice. 
Over the years she must have handled at 
least 20,000 cases. Every single one of 
them was treated as a person, rather 
than a statistic. Every single one of them 
received, at her hand, the best and fairest 
judgment she could possibly give.^^ 

Dr. Spencer himself wrote hundreds of letters to disappointed 
applicants and their families explaining the process of admission 
and the required standards, but there were, understandably, 
many disappointments. 


To Live In Time 

Bulldozers, Steam Shovels ami Aecidemic Excellence 

Marguerite Hillhouse 

The college, and before it the seminary, had never discrimi- 
nated in student admission on the basis of religious preference. 
There was always the careful statement that the college was not 
"narrowly sectarian" and that girls of "many denominations make 
up its student body." By the early 1960s the question of racial 
discrimination was addressed at the trustees' meetings. The 
various administrative levels of the Presbyterian Church U.S. 
had stated their beliefs that all educational institutions (public 
and private) should be integrated, but they lacked the power to 
compel, and there were many factors that Dr. Spencer and the 
trustees felt must be considered. At a time of synod campaigns, 
major fund-raising efforts, and expanding enrollments, what 
impact would racial integration have on the college's fragile 
finances? How "V/ould the ensuing social problems be handled? 
How would the student body react? Would Mary Baldwin College 
students join sit-ins, demonstrations and street marches, and how 
should civil disobedience be handled? These were serious ques- 
tions, and the practical men and women of good conscience on the 
board and administration wrestled with them. As early as 1959, 
Dean Grafton had had two applications from black teachers to 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

attend the Mary Baldwin College summer session, and Mrs. 
Grafton had written to them and invited them to come; but they 
had not appeared. There had been no applications from young 
black women for admission to the college, but it was obvious that 
there soon would be and, in the spring of 1963, the board of 
trustees approved adding to the catalogue statement about ad- 
mission the sentence that qualified applicants would be consid- 
ered "without regard to race or creed. " A quiet announcement was 
released to the press 23 April 1963, and a modest consensus that 
the "Board acted in accordance with what they believed right and 
wise to do at this time" emerged. A student poll, "Attitude Scale 
on my College Accepting Negro Students," was held; 282 students 
out of 500 responded, of whom 46 said they would transfer if a 
black student was accepted, and six said they would be willing 
to share a room with her. Two hundred thirty-five of those polled 
did not object to integration. Since the admission process had 
already been concluded for 1963-64, it would be at least the 1964- 
65 term before a black student could be enrolled, and that gave 
some time for various college constituencies to adjust to the idea. 
Not everyone did. A few alumnae resigned from the Alumnae 
Association, and both Lea Booth (executive secretary, VFIC) and 
Dr. Spencer agreed that some contributors ended their support in 
consequence of the policy change. The letters that reached the 
president's office were about evenly divided, although some were 
very critical. Dr. Spencer wrote gratefully to one alumna, thank- 
ing her "for your good spirit about the admission matter." The 
trustees "took the action knowing that there would be honest 
disagreement over the 'rightness' of it but felt that they must 
protect the college from risingpressures." Later in 1963, the black 
colleges of Virginia were admitted to the Association of Virginia 
Colleges, and still later Dr. Spencer was chairman of the United 
Negro College Fund in Staunton.^* 

Generally, the students reacted calmly. In October 1963, 
Campus Comments suggested that the college women tutor local 
black students as a "quiet demonstration" of their belief that the 
board of trustees had done the "right thing," and in 1965 the 
Christian Association Council sponsored a series of programs 
entitled "A Christian's Stake in Human Relations." We "wish to 
inform the students, clarify the Christian response, suggest what 
we can do to help," they wrote. In the spring of that year, the editor 
of Campus Comments suggested that Mary Baldwin students 
"march" on the YMCA (one block from, the campus) because black 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

children were not admitted to the swimming pool, but on 8 April 
1965, the "Y" board voted to desegi'egate, and so no "march" was 
necessary. ^^ 

There is no denying that, in spite of the above caveats, Dr. 
Spencer's years were exhilarating ones for admissions personnel. 
But by the late 1960s there were indications that, if not "over," the 
"good times" were softening. As early as 1966, Mr. Spillman, in his 
annual budget report to the trustees, warned that he foresaw 
"financial difficulties when the leveling off point is reached." The 
peak in applications had come the year before. In 1965, there had 
been 1,000; in 1966, 819; in 1967, 800. In his president's report in 
1967, Dr. Spencer said that the "pool" would not increase again 
until 1969 and that the next decade would be hard for single-sex 
colleges. He added that, given our physical facilities, Mary 
Baldwin could become a coeducational institution of 800 "if the 
trustees desired." The "most difficult task," he added, "would be 
to reach agreement on a new name."^° 

Still, it was hard for most of the college constituencies to be 
concerned. Did it really matter whether one accepted one out of 
five applicants or one out of four? There were still plenty of young 
women applying, and the college was hard pressed to find housing 
for them in spite of the new houses on North Market Street. The 
college had purchased the block of property extending from 
Blakely House to Prospect Street as a possible site of another new 
dormitory; considered leasing or purchasing the Stonewall Jack- 
son Hotel; finally leased the Putney Apartments across Frederick 
Street from the library to handle the overflow. 

In his inaugural remarks, Dr. Spencer had declared, "We serve 
notice tonight that we are not only willing, but anxious to be 
judged by the quality of the education we offer — quality which is 
measured by the yardstick of national standards..." All of the 
building, financial plans, synod relationships, expanded enroll- 
ments really were only the support for the central mission of the 
college, academic excellence. ^^ The "New Directions in the Liberal 
Arts" had focused on curriculum — both methodology and content 
and within a surprisingly short time, given the usual reluctance 
of faculty committees to change, several visible programs were in 

These included the McFarland Language Laboratory, located 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

initially in the Student Activities Building and, after 1973, in 
Grafton Library; a lecture-preceptorial method of teaching some 
of the required courses which had large enrollments and had had 
many duplicate sections; an audio-visual department to coordi- 
nate and expand the use of tapes and films for classroom learning; 
an Independent Reading Program for freshmen and sophomores; 
a "paperback" student-run bookstore; a "Current Issues" series of 
lectures featuring "outside" distinguished speakers; and eventu- 
ally several overseas study programs, including those in Madrid, 
Paris, and Oxford. 

A note of empathy is appropriate here. In retrospect, it is 
perhaps easier to comprehend the difficulties and challenges of 
doubling the size of the student body and increasing the retention 
rate to over 50% in a six-year period. What new courses should be 
added; what inappropriate ones eliminated? How does one per- 
suade long-time faculty to give up cherished teaching methods 
and to try new ones? How do you successfully choose new 
instructors who will work well with the revised curriculum but 
will also integrate happily with the senior faculty? How do you 
balance a student body so that a respectable distribution of 
courses, not too many freshman-level, enough "advanced" courses 
and seminars, are presented? How do you adjust library holdings 
with these new demands? How do you persuade persons who are 
already working to capacity to add a few more students to their 
teaching loads each semester; to help supervise "independent" 
reading programs; to attend "current issue" lectures, in addition 
to drama presentations, choir concerts, piano recitals, art exhib- 
its, and required chapel and convocation four times a week? How 
do you "train" faculty to be sensitive and caring academic advisors 
as you expand your student guidance programs? In essence, what 
kind of "push" is necessary to achieve "new directions" in your 
college curriculum? 

As has been noted, a determined president and a persuasive 
dean can accomplish a good deal, and between 1958 and the mid- 
'60s, the faculty made an earnest and exhaustive effort to embrace 
the "new directions." 

The McFarland Language Laboratory had advanced "elec- 
tronic teaching devices" and was dedicated on Founders' Day 
1958. The entire third floor of Wenger Hall was given over to the 
Modern Language facilities and offices for faculty and their 
teaching assistants. There were 12 booths and each student had 
the use of one for at least an hour each week in addition to her 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

classroom time. By 1964, 10 more booths had been added, but the 
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Self-Study declared 
the equipment to be "obsolete." When the entire laboratory was 
moved to Grafton, there was some modest updating, but the speed 
of technological advancement made it increasingly hard to stay 
current. Dr. Spencer believed that native-speaking language 
assistants were necessary, so, although most of the language 
faculty in this period were American, young women from Spain, 
France and Germany were recruited as foreign exchange students 
and helped to pay their college expenses by tutoring in the 
language laboratory. ^^ 

Somewhat akin to the language laboratory was the great 
interest in audio-visual learning. Larger universities were ex- 
perimenting with closed circuit television classrooms, and by the 
end of the decade used films and instant playback to assist in 
physical education skills and practice-teaching demonstrations. 
Of necessity, Mary Baldwin College made a more modest begin- 
ning. Until 1958, any slides or movies which a professor wished 
to use in his classroom had been his responsibility. The college 
owned a few 16 mm films and the Fine Arts faculty was building 
a modest slide library, but there had been no coordinated effort in 
providing such services. Lillian Rudeseal was asked to organize 
the audio- visual equipment, place orders, and to train students to 
assist faculty who were to be "encouraged" to use such resources. 
At first the AV Center was in Sky High. Later it was moved to the 
overcrowded Library in Academic, and it was not until Grafton 
Library opened that AV found a permanent home. Miss Rudeseal 
was, of course, a full-time Associate Professor of Economics, and 
she found the time involved to be a burden. After four years, 
Virginia Bennett was hired to direct AV and the new Placement 
and Campus Employment Center. Later the responsibility was 
shifted to the library personnel, who certainly had enough to do 
already and said so. The college made a modest but increasing 
commitment each year to add to and update equipment. The 
ubiquitous camera began to appear at all college events, and 
endless speeches from conferences, mock political conventions. 
Founders' Days, and gi^aduations were duly recorded. Gradually, 
the college community became accustomed to AV; imperceptibly, 
it became an integral part of the teaching/learning experience. 

Another of the "New Directions" had been the introduction of 
the "lecture preceptorial" method of teaching. Such courses as Old 
and New Testament, European History Survey, English Litera- 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academie Excellence 

ture, and General Psychology had, in the past, required several 
"sections" each to meet student needs. As early as 1958, some of 
the professors involved had agreed to have large lecture sections 
twice a week, and to meet with several small groups of students 
once a week for discussion and questions. Really more appropri- 
ate for a large university, where student assistants could handle 
the preceptorials, it did little to relieve the classroom hours of the 
faculty involved. In some instances, "team teaching" was tried; 
two or more professors shared the lecture times and each had one 
or two small groups. But numerous precepts made scheduling 
classroom space, which was limited, difficult. Students were 
confused about who graded what, and the long-prevailing faculty 
belief that he/she should have his/her "own" classroom and that 
the students were his/hers, was hard to overcome. One professor 
proclaimed that, "When that door closes, this is my kingdom and 
I want to rule it as I choose." In any case, by the mid- 60s, the Self 
Study reported, "Many of the faculty are disenchanted with this 
method of teaching," and when the "new curriculum" began in 
1968 the lecture-preceptorials came to an unlamented end.^'^ 

Much closer to Dr. Spencer's concerns than these "mecha- 
nized" evidences of modernity was the expansion of the intellec- 
tual environment. Academic requirements already included 
"reading lists" in their major fields for juniors and seniors. Each 
department handled this differently, but the concept embraced 
the idea that a student should be acquainted with the seminal and 
classical literature in her own field and be able to demonstrate her 
awareness of it. Dr. Spencer now proposed that an "Independent 
Reading Program" for freshmen and sophomores be incorporated 
in the college curriculum. "Its purposes are to assure an acquain- 
tance with selections from the great literature of the western 
world; to develop the skill of reading critically and in depth; and 
to lead students into the world of books..." There were 15 books, 
divided into three groups of five. Freshmen were to have read 
Group A by the end of their first college year; sophomores were to 
complete all 15 by the end of their second year. Each book had a 
"faculty sponsor" who in turn had one or two student assistants. 
At regularly stated intervals, discussions about individual books 
would be held, and a written examination would be given for each 
book. Successful completion of the program was a graduation 
requirement, although neither credit nor quality points were 
involved. Dr. Marshall Brice was in charge of the entire procedure 
(in addition to his full teaching load), and the program was begun 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

with great enthusiasm and interest in 1958. It was very dear to 
Dr. Spencer's heart. "The whole program is based on my feehng 
that most of our colleges have required too little from our students 
and have tied them too closely to the technicalities of formal 
courses," he wrote. He, himself, was responsible for sponsoring 
Gulliver's Travels , and he wrote the introduction for the explana- 
tory pamphlet. An article about the project, "Plato to Pogo," 
appeared in the Presbyterian Survey : other colleges wrote inquir- 
ies, and expectations were high.^^ 

Closely tied to the program, and really necessitated by it, was 
a "paperback" bookstore, founded and administered by the Stu- 
dent Government Association. It was intended to be an "educa- 
tional" rather than a "commercial" venture and was located on the 
ground floor of the Administration Building, conveniently near 
the dining room entrance, until the move to Hunt in April 1961. 
A faculty/student committee chose the 500 titles, carefully ex- 
plaining in Campus Comments that "paperbacks" had now come 
of age. 'They were no longer "trash" but included reprints of 
classics and gi^eat literature, and one could be seen reading them 
without damaging one's reputation. The titles included all the 
books on the Independent Reading List, as well as supplementary 
titles, prints, and some stationery supplies. The bookstore was 
self-service, ran on the Honor System, and lOUs were accepted as 
well as payments in sealed envelopes dropped into a locked box. 
Dr. Brice was the faculty sponsor. ^° 

The entire project was imaginative, idealistic, educationally 
sound — and very time-consuming for all involved. It was certainly 
not an original idea; some other colleges had similar require- 
ments, perhaps reflecting the whole "great books" concepts of the 
1950s and 1960s. But, for Mary Baldwin College, it proved hard 
to live with. Students asked for "integrated" exams (i.e. one test 
encompassing all five books of a group) and then oral tests. Both 
the Student Government Association and the Laurel Society 
expressed concern about the strain put on the Honor System by 
certifying that one had read the entire book. There seemed little 
interest in the discussion groups, which were to be held in 
dormitories and were to be student-run. Many of the faculty found 
sponsoring a book unrewarding and the effort of making up 
different but comparable examinations year after year difficult. 
Dr. Brice, like Miss Rudeseal, felt that administering the program 
on top of his regular duties was an imposition. When Mrs. Grafton 
suggested perhaps Ben Smith could take it over, she was told that 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

it was not "good" for the program to be permanently associated 
with the Enghsh Department. In June 1965, the Independent 
Reading Program was changed from "compulsory to voluntary"; 
Dr. Frances Jacob was placed in charge. Freshmen were to read 
three assigned books before coming to college, for discussion 
during orientation, and all students were required to read one 
"significant" book a year for discussion with their professors. By 
midwinter 1966, the faculty reluctantly agreed that the new 
proposal was not working, and the program was discontinued.^^ 

In the meantime, the student bookstore project was likewise 
modified. Once Hunt was opened, space was available for a more 
formal enterprise, and the college entered into a contract with a 
downtown book and stationery supply store to open a college 
bookstore in September 1962. Mrs. Marion Moore was the 
manager, 1962-1976, and handled textbook ordering as well as 
stocking college souvenirs, tee shirts, sundries, books and sup- 
plies. It was modestly successful, the college realizing a small 
percentage of the profits. Mrs. Moore was a welcome addition to 
the campus. She was a friendly, competent. Phi Beta Kappa 
intellectual who loved books and conversed about them knowl- 
edgeably. Her son, Stewart, was for several years the landscape 
and grounds supervisor and did much to beautify our hilly cam- 

Mary Baldwin College became a member of The University 
Center in Virginia soon after Dr. Spencer became president. 
Founded by the Rockefeller Foundation, with headquarters in 
Richmond, this organization coordinated and assisted coopera- 
tive programs among its 21 Virginia college and university mem- 
bers. One of its principal endeavors was the Visiting Scholars 
program, which made available to member colleges 25 or more 
speakers a year, encompassing a wide variety of disciplines. 
Using these resources, Mary Baldwin was able to present a 
number of convocation programs designed to stimulate student 
intellectual curiosity. This was coupled, for several years, with a 
Current Issues Series. A specialist in some contemporary field 
presented a public lecture, after which some 25 students (who had 
applied for the privilege previously) would join the visitor at Dr. 
Spencer's home for further discussion and debate. ^^ 

Early in the Spencer years, a careful study of a proposed junior 
year abroad program was begun. Dorothy Mulberry had joined 
the faculty in 1959, and she and Dr. Spencer agreed that Spain 
offered the best immediate opportunity for beginning a Mary 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Sieam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Baldwin-sponsored program. There were sufficient numbers of 
Spanish students at the college to form a satisfactory base, and the 
competition from other American schools was not as gi^eat in 
Madrid as it was in Paris or England. Dr. Spencer explained the 
rationale for having the college's own progi'am: "When we have 
our own, many of our students go..." "We also lose students when 
they attend other colleges' groups," he added. This, he told the 
board, is the only way to achieve "real language competence." The 
students will understand cultural differences. When they return 
as seniors, they will be a "stimulus for the entire student body," he 
declared. Miss Mulberiy knew Spain and Spanish education well 
and worked to be sure the Spanish faculty were irreproachable 
and the college credits which the program would give respectable. 
The faculty approved the progi^am on 29 May 1961, to begin in 
September 1962. A gi^oup of nine students sailed from New York 
in August, with an elaborate sendoff involving New York alum- 
nae, the captain of the ship, and much fanfare. They spent a 
month in Salamanca and then went to Madrid, where they studied 
Spanish Art, History and Geogi^aphy, Spanish Literature and 
Philosophic Thought, as well as engaged in intensive language 
work. Dorothy Mulberry was to stay for two years and then rotate 
back to the college campus, and Barbara Ely would be the Madrid 
director in her turn. The agi^eement was that the progi^am would 
be "self-supporting" (except for the director's salaiy) within two 
years. The quality of the Madrid program was enhanced by the 
faculty Miss Mulberry recruited. They were distinguished per- 
sons well-known in the academic community of Spain, and they 
entered into the activities of the Mary Baldwin College gi'oup with 
unusual enthusiasm and willingness. Dr. Spencer declared that 
it was "successful beyond our highest expectations" and that the 
number planning to go in 1963-64 was almost double the first 
year. Eventually, he hoped to have 50 students studying abroad 
each year and to build a regular exchange progi^am with their 
faculty visiting the Mary Baldwin Campus. A weekly "letter from 
Madrid" appeared in Campus Comments , and although the pro- 
gram was academically demanding and relatively expensive ( Mary 
Baldwin College students on financial aid were eligible to attend), 
the Madrid program was, for over a decade, one of the "New 
Directions" most popular experiments.^^ 

In November 1963, Dr. Spencer visited Madrid. He also spent 
several days in Paris, exploring with the Institute of European 
Studies how Mary Baldwin might begin a program there. By 


To Live III Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

December, he was proposing to the faculty that a junior year in 
Paris be approved, permitting Mary Baldwin students to enroll in 
either the Sweet Briar, Smith or Hamilton College progi'ams or 
that of the Institute. The students would live in pairs, in private 
homes, and would study, according to their language ability, at 
the Sorbonne or elsewhere. Unwilling to allow the students to be 
without direct connection with their home base, Dr. Spencer 
arranged for Madame Helene Bernhardt (a translator for General 
Eisenhower and a personal friend of Julia Patch) to act as a 
resident advisor. The program began in September 1964 but, by 
1967, the board of trustees had agreed Mary Baldwin could begin 
its own program the following fall. Frances Jacob was to be the 
director and it would be similar to the Madrid setup. 

One spin-off from these overseas programs was the establish- 
ment of "French" and "Spanish" houses on campus, where the 
resident students would speak only that language and could 
immerse themselves in the culture of the country in which they 
hoped to study during their junior year. Interested as he was in 
everything. Dr. Spencer wrote, "I am very anxious to see that the 
French House succeeds. Life there must be attractive enough so 
students will compete to be included. "^^ 

One other overseas program, which still continues in a modi- 
fied form, was a summer study program at St. Anne's College at 
Oxford. Proposed by the English and History departments, it was 
approved by the faculty in September 1966, and the first group of 
largely Mary Baldwin college students departed for England in 
late June 1967 under the direction of Dr. Ben Smith and his 
energetic family. The area of study was to be Tudor-Stuart 
England and six semester hours credit was allowed. Oxford tutors 
and lecturers were used and the students were exposed to (and 
often panicked by) a totally different method of teaching. ^° 

There was still more to Dr. Spencer's international interests. 
By 1963, a U.S. State Department project made possible a faculty 
exchange between women's colleges in India and the United 
States. Eventually there were 13 colleges in the program, of which 
Mary Baldwin was one. The arrangements were complicated, 
visas delayed, salary differentials hard to adjust, but eventually 
the bureaucracy was conquered. 

Dr. Mary Humphreys participated in this first exchange. She 
arrived at Isabella Thoburn College in Lucknow on 14 July 1964, 
and would remain there until April of 1965. (College calendars 
had to be reconciled also.) In her place, Joyce Sheila John of 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Isabella Thoburn came to Mary Baldwin as a Biology laboratory 
instructor. Isabella Thoburn was the oldest women's college in 
India and had been established by Methodist missionaries. Both 
women found similarities as well as many startling differences in 
their new environments. The following year, Dr. Ruth McNeil 
lectured and taught music appreciation (and much more) at 
Miranda House in Delhi. This was a time of India-Pakistan 
hostility, and there were blackouts and soldiers in the streets, but 
Dr. McNeil seemed undisturbed.^^ No further exchanges took 
place, although an occasional Indian scholar would appear at 
Mary Baldwin for a lecture or a weekend visit. India and the State 
Department cancelled the program the following year. 

Early in 1964, Dr. Spencer had approached the trustees about 
the possibility of a leave of absence, but the progress of the 
building progi^am and the imminent SACS Self-Study led him to 
postpone the request for a year. He was notified in the spring of 
1965 that he had been awarded a Fulbright lectureship in Ameri- 
can social history at the University of Munich for the school year 
(1965-66), and the board agreed that he should go. "International 
exchange," he wrote, "is a fact of contemporary education. Unless 
college teachers and administrators participate in this process, 
they will find themselves stranded in a provincial backwater, 
isolated from the main currents of student interest." The three 
younger children and Mrs. Spencer accompanied him, and the 
campus seemed "different" and empty without his presence. ^^ 

One is impressed, as these crowded years are reviewed, at the 
continual ferment of intellectual debate, contemporary issues and 
concerns, and artistic activity which took place on the Mary 
Baldwin campus, and the superior quality and high level of 
competence of those involved. 

The King Series continued, bringing not only musicians but 
actors and lecturers as well. There were the Visiting Scholar 
program, the Current Issues Series, the Christian Association 
programs, the Religious Emphasis Weeks, the cornerstone layings 
and dedication speakers. ^^ 

Perhaps the single most exciting occasion of the decade was 
also the most unexpected. The President of the United States, 
Dwight David Eisenhower, came to Mary Baldwin on 27 October 
1960, and spoke briefly, standing on the porch at Main Building 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Sleain Shovels and Academic Excellence 

in the same spot Woodrow Wilson had stood in 1912. He then 
proceeded up the hill to the King Building, riding in his bubble top 
limousine, to have lunch with 700 people. In spite of a cold 
persistent rain, a crowd of 10,000 greeted him, packed into all the 
available space on the front terraces and brick walks and out into 
Frederick Street up to the doors of the First Presbyterian Church. 
They were in trees, and even up on the roofs of neighboring 
buildings. There were 100 pressmen shepherded by James C. 
Hagerty, 25 extra press telephones, 5,000 miles of communica- 
tion lines, hastily erected wooden platforms to protect the box- 
wood (which had been destroyed during Wilson's visit). All the 
schools and most of the businesses in town had closed. The college 
(on half-day holiday) had invited trustees, presidents of all Vir- 
ginia colleges and universities, and of all the Presbyterian colleges 
in the South, the chairmen of all alumnae chapters, foundation 
representatives, and special friends. The catered luncheon (coun- 
try ham, shrimp, crab and chicken salad, asparagus and spiced 
peaches) was held in King Auditorium, with the distinguished 
guests at tables on the stage. The President's toast was to "fine 
company" and to a "journey full of sentiment and deep feeling." 
The whole affair, including a brief appearance by the Virginia 
governor, the two Virginia senators, and the mayor of Staunton, 
had been put together in two weeks! It was engineered by Emily 
Pancake Smith, Lee Cochran and Charles Blackley. Mrs. Smith 
always felt that every president of the United States should visit 
Woodrow Wilson's Birthplace, and Coolidge, Hoover, and Franklin 
D. Roosevelt had, in fact, done so. Throughout President 
Eisenhower's terms in office, he had been repeatedly invited; but 
now that his presidency was almost at an end, he had abruptly 
agreed that he would come. The Birthplace, the college, and the 
community joined to put together an appropriate ceremony. The 
president wished to visit his mother's birthplace, "the Old Stover 
Place" near Mt. Sidney, and the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace, 
where he was presented a picture of the Stover home which had 
hastily been painted by Horace Day. He would speak at Mary 
Baldwin College and after lunch stop briefly at Staunton Military 
Academy, where, in 1912, Wilson had given a dinner address. 
Then he would ride through the grounds of Augusta Military 
Academy on his way back to the airport. There were Secret 
Service, state troopers, 1,200 national guardsmen, Staunton and 
Augusta County police, and cadets from the military academies. 
The "Star Spangled Banner" and other military songs were played 


To Live III Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

by the 90th Army Band from Roanoke. There was the customary 
21-gun salute, and everyone agi'eed that it had been a spectacular 
event. There were some unexpected developments. Emily Smith 
had worked so hard that, when 27 October arrived, she had lost 
her voice, and Dr. Spencer had to preside at the luncheon in her 
place. President Eisenhower had briefly wandered out into the 
upper back gallery after his speech and had encountered a group 
of 25 or so Mary Baldwin students. Looking them up and down he 
asked them, "Are all the girls at Mary Baldwin as pretty as you?" 
The president also enjoyed his brief reunion with Julia Patch, the 
widow of one of his most trusted World War II generals. It seemed 
to be part of the spirit of the occasion that the student body had 
taken up a collection to buy luncheon tickets for the three foreign 
students at the college so that they could eat lunch with the 
President of the United States. ^"^ 

There were other "special occasions" as well. In 1961, a month- 
long exhibit in the Mirror Room, "Staunton During the Civil War," 
memorialized the centennial of the nation's greatest tragedy. 
Every four years, students with the help of the newly created 
Political Science Department, staged a "mock" political conven- 
tion complete with banners, slogans, parades and confetti. In 
1967, helping to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the 
founding of the college, the S. & H. Foundation funded six lec- 
tures by distinguished scholars on the general subject, "Science 
and Society." These men (they were all men) each spent two days 
on the campus, visiting classes and seminars, as well as each 
giving public lectures. That same year, the college received an 
invitation to participate on the popular television show, "The GE 
College Bowl." Five students and their coach (Robert Lafleur) 
travelled to New York City to compete against the University of 
Texas. Although they didn't win, they provided a real challenge 
in the second half and the college was proud of them. On 2 Octo- 
ber 1967, a two-day seminar was held for students and public 
school teachers on "The Russian Revolution — Fifty Years After." 
Featured was a Russian MIG fighter pilot (who had defected), as 
well as university scholars and political commentators. 

Founders' Day 1967 focused on the theme of "international- 
ism" and featured a "Phone In" from around the world. Dr. 
Spencer opened the proceedings by declaring: 

In this larger world, where the actions 
of persons in places as remote as 


To Live III Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Saigon or Peking or Cairo vitally and 
immediately affect us, we cannot be 
satisfied to educate young women just 
for the polite arts of the local community. 
We cannot let them remain provincial... 
They must look at the world through a 
wide angle lens. 

And to illustrate the college's growing international connections, 
Dr. Spencer, via satellite, cable and high frequency radio, spoke to 
alumnae and they spoke to each other in Hong Kong, London, 
Tokyo, Paris, Munich, and Madrid while large clocks behind his 
head showed the time in each location. The Mary Baldwin Bul- 
letin reported, "A stone-silent audience of 1,000 students, faculty 
and parents of seniors listened in wonderment to Dr. Spencer's 
worldwide conference call — the first time an educational institu- 
tion had done such a thing. "^° 

Dean Grafton and President Spencer were determined that 
this ferment of ideas and activities would be reflected in the 
classroom as well. Not only the faculty, but increasingly the 
students, shared in the decision-making as the curriculum was 
modified, added to, and finally totally reworked. College course 
offerings are selected, both from a broad consensus of what 
constitutes "core" learning for a certain discipline, as well as 
adequate library and laboratory resources to teach it, and specific 
faculty interests and expertise. As the college faculty doubled in 
these years, new courses shaped by these parameters appeared. 
In addition, college faculty often responded to parental, student or 
societal demands that certain subjects be included. In 1960, 
funded in part by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Society, the 
George Hammond Sullivan Political Science Department was 
added to the Social Science offerings. Alan Geyer was the first 
faculty member and, when he resigned after five years, Robbins L. 
Gates succeeded him. There could hardly have been a more 
appropriate decade for extended "polysci" offerings, and both men 
were challenging and rewarding teachers. 

When it became known that Dr. Turner planned to retire in 
1962, there was immediate discussion about who and what would 
replace his popular senior seminar, "Problems in a Philosophy of 
Life," which was required for graduation. It was generally agreed 
that no one could replace Dr. Turner. After two years of debate 
and study, an interdisciplinary course, "Man and Contemporary 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Culture," was introduced. Although it was a year's course, only 
one semester was required for graduation, and a student could 
elect either semester or both. The core faculty were from the 
Religion and Philosophy Department, but many other disciplines 
were represented. This effort lasted two years. Both faculty and 
students found the work thought-provoking, but since faculty 
participation was in addition to regular course loads, it could not 
be sustained for long, and eventually the Philosophy requirement 
for graduation was met by any Philosophy course a student chose 
to elect. 

In line with Dr. Spencer's stress on "internationalism" and 
with increasing popular focus on Asia, Frank Price and Charles J. 
Stanley, successive professors of International Studies, introduc- 
ed "The World Beyond the West"; "Oriental Religious Thought"; 
"Modern China"; "The Near East and Africa"; "Chinese and 
Japanese Masterpieces in Translation" and similar studies. Nat- 
urally, there were major changes in the Modern Language areas, 
both to prepare students for their overseas experiences and to 
provide a solid language major at the college for those who could 
not go abroad. Although no major was offered in Education, the 
college had a long tradition of preparing students to teach, and the 
courses in this area and in Psychology reflected state certification 
requirements, as well as an increasing interest in educational 
work for handicapped children. 

An exciting development in this period was the translation 
and production of a series of medieval music dramas from the Karl 
Young collection of medieval manuscripts at Yale University. 
Fletcher Collins, Gordon Page, and a succession of dedicated and 
talented students, collaborating with scholars in the United 
States and England, were able to present several of these plays, 
including the great Easter trilogy. The college choir and other 
students joined professional singers at the Folger theater in 
Washington, D.C., and in performances in Upperville, Virginia, 
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and of course, in Staunton. ^^ 

One of Dr. Spencer's objectives had been to add faculty to one- 
person departments. By 1968, that had almost been accom- 
plished. Naturally, course offerings in each subject had increased 
dramatically — there were twice as many Math courses as had 
previously been available. There v/ere five faculty members in 
English (which had always been a big department), four in 
History, three in Chemistry, five in Biology, five in Mathematics, 
ten in Modern Languages, three in Music, five in Psychology, four 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

in Religion and Philosophy. Only Drama and Physics were still 
small; Drama was seriously understaffed, but joined with the 
Music and English faculties in many collaborative projects. The 
400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's birth was observed in 1964, 
and a Fine Arts Festival featured art, music and drama, including 
a performance of The Tempest . Readers' Theater was begun in 
1963, and the college regularly won recognition at the Virginia 
College Drama Festival at the Virginia Museum Theater. 

It is almost de rigeur that college women will complain about 
Physical Education requirements. Mary Baldwin students cer- 
tainly did. There was a long-standing commitment to provide for 
the health and physical well-being of the students. In addition, 
teacher certification requirements imposed certain demands on 
the course offerings, and the college sought to emphasize skills 
that would be useful to students after graduation. In 1957, three 
years of Physical Education were required for graduation, includ- 
ing participation in a team sport, an individual sport, rhythm, and 
swimming. Ten years later, the three-year requirement was still 
in place, although there was great pressure to change it, and 
exemptions and extra credit options made it easier to meet. The 
courses were now graded as "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory," 
rather than being given a letter grade, but six semester hours had 
to be completed before one could be graduated. By 1966, Campus 
Comments was declaring that most students believed that only 
two years of Physical Education should be required. Physical 
Education courses, they said, demanded weekend activities such 
as attendance at tournaments. There were sometimes extra fees. 
There were tests and written assignments. It was hard on 
students who were away their junior year to make up the require- 
ments; one shouldn't have to work out one's academic schedule on 
the basis of the Physical Education requirements! And, they said 
indignantly, they were not allowed to smoke while they were 
bowling!^" By 1967, Physical Education courses were offered in 
golf, tennis, swimming, dance, bowling, horseback riding, fencing 
and badminton. Team sports were basketball and volleyball. 
Hockey had had to be dropped when the athletic field was sold. 
There was intercollegiate competition in dance (Virginia College 
Dance Festival), golf (Virginia Collegiate Open Championship 
Golf Tournament sponsored by Mary Baldwin each fall) equita- 
tion, swimming (including Red Cross Life Saving and the Dolphin 
Club), fencing (Virginia Intercollegiate Tournament for Women), 
and basketball. 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

And there was tennis. Mary Jane Donnalley had joined the 
faculty in 1959. She held over 60 tennis trophies and was 
recognized as one of the nation's top tennis authorities and 
teachers. In 1960, five all-weather tennis courts had been con- 
structed at the top of Market Street hill. They were appropriate- 
ly called the "Skyline" courts, and there were two rebound walls 
for practice, as well. The courts v/ere uncomfortably close to an 
SMA dormitory. Wishing to screen the players from the catcalls 
and comments of adolescent cadets, Dr. Spencer suggested a 
"thick thorn hedge." 

Under Mrs. Donnalley's leadership, Mary Baldwin College 
became a "power" in women's tennis in the 1960s and 1970s. The 
Middle Atlantic Lawn Tennis Association, (MALTA) beginning in 
1960, regularly held its Women's Intercollegiate meets on the 
Mary Baldwin campus, and the college's players consistently won 
singles and doubles titles, in some instances advancing to na- 
tional tournament levels. Alumnae will remember Nancy 
Falkenberg, Cindy Goeltz, Sandy Zeese, Charlotte Folk, Pat 
Kenehan, Jill Eiseman, Kit O'Bannon-all of whom won regional 
or national recognition. Nor was it unusual to find the president 
of the college on the courts, where he tried his skills against the 
college's champion players or their coach. 

In 1963, the clan system (Scotch and Irish) had been replaced 
by four clans (English, Welsh, Scotch, and Irish), with the inten- 
tion of promoting intramural athletic competition and wider stu- 
dent participation. By 1968, the clans were no more and compe- 
tition was organized by classes.^^ 

The college sought in these years to provide opportunities for 
those students who were well-prepared for college work. Fresh- 
men were allowed exemptions and even academic credit based on 
Advanced Placement tests scores. In 1960 an "AB-3" program was 
established, setting up a schedule whereby a student could gradu- 
ate in three years by combining advanced placement, overloads, 
and summer work. A few students took advantage of this, but 
more were completing their requirements at the end of the first 
semester of their senior year. No "remedial" work was offered on 
the theory that the rigorous selection process had not permitted 
entry to anyone who was not prepared for college-level work. The 
number of Honor Scholarships increased, as did their monetary 
amount. There were independent study opportunities, and by the 
mid-60s a special course for superior freshman and sophomore 
students had been instituted. 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Sleain Shovels and Academic Excellence 

The basic curriculum, however, had not been materially chang- 
ed since 1953. In 1967, the president appointed a faculty commit- 
tee to investigate the curriculum, graduation requirements, and 
the calendar. Our structure is 15 years old and "too rigid," the 
committee reported. Nationally, colleges were reexamining and 
articulating the purposes of higher education and how to imple- 
ment them. Students were better prepared than they had been. 
They did not need to spend their first two college years continuing 
their high school work. A small, church-related liberal arts college 
had a "unique opportunity" to work out a new system, with the 
advantages of close personal relationships and concern for each 
individual. Given faculty guidance, students should have the 
opportunity for more choice: their curriculum should be "flexible, 
creative, and challenging." A liberal arts college graduate, they 
reported, "should have a competent understanding of the methods 
of inquiry and modes of conceptualization appropriate to each of 
those areas of knowledge and activity which form the totality of 
the human experience." Hence the course offerings were to be 
grouped into four areas: Modes of Communication; the Natural 
World in Scientific Perspective; the Human World in Scientific 
Perspective; and Interpreting Human Existence. Students would 
elect studies from each of these broad areas according to their own 
interests and curiosity. "Course units" would replace "semester 
hours." Instead of a normal load of five courses, only four would 
be studied at one time, allowing for longer class periods, more 
focus on fewer subjects, and greater depth of study. About half of 
the college work would be distributed among these areas; the 
remainder would meet the specific requirements of a "major." 
However, the Physical Education requirement remained the 
same. There was a pass/fail option as well as conventional grad- 
ing, and the registrar was left to cope with correlation of college 
transcripts of this new system with traditional semester hours. 
Although there was considerable debate, the faculty agreed to 
begin the new system in September 1968.^^ 

Anyone who has ever attended a college faculty meeting is 
aware that "big" proposals, such as a whole new curriculum, can 
pass relatively easily. But try to change the class "cut" system, 
when and how examinations are to be taken, whether or not to 
hold Saturday classes, and how to rearrange things so a longer- 
than-normal convocation period can be provided for a distin- 
guished speaker, and you will face endless debate, impassioned 
speeches, pleas for the parliamentarian to rule on motions that 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

are out of order, demands for secret ballots, and arguments over 
who is entitled to vote. All of these issues occupied the Mary 
Baldwin College faculty in the 1960s. 

One indication of the power and prestige of President Spen- 
cer was his ability to reintroduce Saturday classes. They had 
"always" existed at Mary Baldwin until September 1955, when 
the college had gone to a five-day week, partly with the pious hope 
that a whole weekend free would permit the students more 
"quality" time for their extracurricular sports and activities. Dr. 
Spencer believed in Saturday classes. Students came to college 
to learn, and that could be done on Saturday as well as the other 
five days of the week. In September 1959, the five-and-half-day 
week was reinstated. Faculty consciences understood that it 
made a more relaxed and balanced schedule, even though their 
own personal preferences might have suggested otherwise. The 
students had no such internal struggle. They did not like Satur- 
day classes and mounted a long campaign to end them. It was not 
until social regulations were eased and more frequent "over- 
nights" and weekends were permitted that a serious reconsidera- 
tion of the issue was made. But Saturday classes remained until 
the "new curriculum" was instituted in 1968. By then. Dr. Spencer 
had left. 

There were some major changes in the examination system, as 
well. The Student Government Association's curriculum commit- 
tee played an important role in these developments. All examina- 
tions were taken under the Honor System, which meant profes- 
sors did not remain in the classrooms while they were in progress; 
but customarily the dean's office made up the examination sched- 
ule, and she dealt as best she could with the inevitable distraught 
student who had four examinations in two days. Students wanted 
a "reading day" before examinations started; they wanted the 
faculty to refrain from giving tests or requiring term papers 
during the last week of the semester; they wanted examinations 
before Christmas; they wanted exemptions for seniors from ex- 
aminations in their major field (on the gi'ounds that seniors were 
required to take Graduate Record Examinations and com- 
prehensives so they had already been tested); and most of all, they 
wanted to be able to set their own examination schedules. They 
did not secure all these desires, but they were listened to, and the 
faculty yielded where they could. By slow, careful steps the 
examination conditions were made more flexible, and in 1967 the 
students won a major victory: self-scheduled examinations. On 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

the whole, this system worked well. No privilege was or is more 
jealously guarded than this.^°° 

Even the special curriculum revision committee was unwill- 
ing to make recommendations about the college calendar. The 
two-semester system would remain in effect for several more 
years, although there were student pleas to consider a "short 
term" either in January or May. 

Mary Baldwin was not immune from the trend away from 
strict rules and regulations about class cuts and grading reports. 
By 1968, only first semester freshmen and students on probation 
were denied "unlimited cuts" and only "unsatisfactory work" was 
reported at quarters instead of letter grades. In general, academ- 
ic regulations were easing, in some cases almost disappearing, all 
over the country. Mary Baldwin remained, by most standards, a 
very conservative school; but, in contrast to earlier times, there 
was increasing reliance on student decisions. It remained to be 
seen if the college was moving along this untried path quickly 
enough to satisfy the cultural changes of the late 60s. 

It had been considered a triumph and a great relief when 
President Jarman's newly created college had been approved by 
the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1931. It had 
meant academic respectability and national accreditation. It also 
meant, as time went on, increasingly sophisticated methods of 
evaluating colleges' performances and viability. Until the 1960s, 
this had been accomplished by detailed reports from the presi- 
dent's office. But, shortly after Dr. Spencer came to Mary Baldwin, 
he was informed that henceforth each member institution of 
SACS would have to undertake an elaborate Self-Studv once 
every 10 years, after which a "visiting team" of educators would 
spend three or more days on the campus in order to review the 
report and to add their suggestions. Continued accreditation 
would be based on this procedure and the willingness of the college 
to carry out the recommendations that were made. Mary Baldwin 
was to undertake this project in 1963-64, but Dr. Spencer pre- 
vailed upon SACS to delay for at least a year, so that Phase I of 
the building program would be completed for their inspection. The 
Self-Study required participation and cooperation from all the 
faculty, the administrative staff, and the board of trustees. It 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

involved the collection and dissemination of much information 
the president might have preferred to keep confidential. It meant 
questionnaires to alumnae and students, research into poorly 
organized college records, a time commitment from many people 
who were already overburdened. But somehow it was done. 
Martha Grafton was Chairman of the Steering Committee and 
senior faculty chaired the other committees. After careful editing, 
the 218 page document was dispatched to Atlanta, and the "team 
visit" was awaited with less than enthusiasm. Dr. Spencer was in 
Germany when they came (February 1966), and, upon reading 
their final report, he was irritated. SACS had, among other 
points, said the college had no "long-range plans." Since the 
Spencer administration had insisted, both in physical facilities 
and academic goals, that it was planning for the next half century, 
this seemed unfair. "Perhaps it was because I was not here," he 
told the trustees... "They did not see our projections." In any case, 
the college was reaccredited and even complimented, and every- 
one breathed a sigh of relief and said to each other, "That's done 
for another ten years!" It was amazing how quickly the next 
decade went by.^°^ 

There were changes in some of the college "traditions," as well. 
Founders' Day was moved to the first Saturday in October, rather 
than being held on 4 October, and in 1962 it was combined with 
"Senior Parents' Day." Early in the Spencer administration it was 
decided to hold an "Honors Convocation" in the second semester, 
to emphasize the commitment to academic excellence that the 
"New Directions" was seeking. Students whose grade point 
averages qualified them for the Honors or Dean's list were recog- 
nized, and some of the most interesting speakers who visited the 
campus came for this occasion. There was increased interest in 
national honorary fraternities. A chapter of Phi Alpha Theta 
(History) was chartered in 1965. And in January 1968, Dr. 
Spencer was informed that Mary Baldwin College was accepted 
by the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa for "study." It would 
be three years before a final decision was made but, if there had 
ever been a personal goal that Mrs. Grafton and Dr. Spencer had 
set, it was to see the college with a chapter of the oldest and most 
distinguished academic honorary society in the country. It now 
appeared that this might be possible. Mary Baldwin students also 
began seriously to compete for summer study and graduate 
fellowships. During these years, several won support for summer 
study in England from the state chapter of the English-Speaking 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Union, and two seniors were awarded Woodrow Wilson Graduate 
Fellowships. ^°^ 

The culmination of any academic year is graduation. Here, 
too, changes occurred, often reflecting the increasing pace of 
American life. Dr. Spencer was interested in this, as well, and 
influenced the changing patterns of ceremony. In 1964, he 
informed his staff that there should be a new diploma design. "Our 
old one is too large and also rather undistinguished, it seems to 
me... I want the diploma to express the dignity, grace and strength 
of the college." There were other efforts to bring Dr. Spencer's 
sense of "dignity" to the college ceremony. The time-honored 
Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" seemed to him too closely akin 
to high school ceremonies, and both Dr. Spencer and Dr. Broman 
wanted to replace it with more classical selections. The seniors 
balked and petitions and protests flooded the campus. The presi- 
dent compromised; the seniors could have their choice for the 
recessional. Dr. Broman would choose an appropriate proces- 
sional selection. "While it is not what I would choose," Dr. Spencer 
wrote to Carl Broman, "I think it is too small a matter to quibble 
over and I have ok'd this." May Day had been removed from the 
year-end festivities, and Alumnae Homecoming had been added 
to the Commencement weekend. There was a reunion luncheon, 
a presidential garden party, a Sunday morning Honor Society 
breakfast and a baccalaureate held at the First Presbyterian 
Church. Commencement was now held on Sunday afternoon, and 
since there was no longer a specific "Class Day," the senior class 
gift, the passing of the class colors and the Laurel citations were 
now part of the Commencement ceremonies. Fewer and fewer 
underclass women stayed for graduation, and as the number of 
seniors increased, the custom of senior "attendants" was phased 

Happenstance played a role in another modification of Com- 
mencement traditions in the Spencer years. One of the most 
popular Visiting Scholars had been Dr. Huston Smith, a Dan- 
forth lecturer from MIT who had spoken on "The God Seekers." 
The students had been so responsive to him that he was asked (at 
their request) to give the Commencement address on 3 June 1963. 
The Shenandoah Valley Airport had only recently opened and 
flights in were few, but arrangements had been made for Dr. 
Smith to fly from Boston and to arrive in time for the afternoon 
festivities. It also happened to be the weekend that daylight 
saving time went into effect. Dr. Smith's flight from Boston to 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Washington was delayed, and he missed his Staunton connec- 
tions. The schedule failed to take into account the changed time, 
and the result was that he was unable to reach Staunton by 3 p.m. 
Few events could be calculated to be more upsetting than no 
commencement speaker. Dr. Spencer stepped into the breach, 
made a few thoughtful remarks, and was greeted with loud 
approval. It had been a long day. There had been an eloquent 
baccalaureate address; there had been a special commissioning 
service for Terry Lee Alexander, who became the second "young 
lady" in Virginia to win her "Ensign" rating in the U.S. Navy while 
a student on a Virginia college campus; there had been 79 
diplomas presented individually; and everyone agreed that not 
having a commencement speaker was an excellent idea. There- 
after, that custom prevailed at Mary Baldwin College for many 
years. ^°^ 

The continued growth of the college had had a major impact on 
the faculty, which increased from 30 full-time members to 59 (not 
counting the instructional staff at Madrid and Paris). The sex 
ratios remained fairly constant, about 50-50, but the average age 
dropped considerably. In 1960, Dr. Spencer reported to the 
trustees that it was hard to acquire "good" faculty because Mary 
Baldwin was a women's college, it had a Virginia location (which 
portrayed "massive resistance" and racial prejudice to many 
young professionals), and, as a private, church-related school, its 
salary scale was low. In 1964, he added that there were "obvious 
difficulties in finding persons of Christian commitment as well as 
competence." He and Dean Grafton wanted "bright young faculty 
with relatively little experience but considerable future poten- 
tial." In order to raise salaries. Dr. Spencer was willing to add a 
little to the faculty/student ratio, and he wrote that he would not 
fill a vacancy unless he could find the proper candidate to fill it — 
he would rather do without. ^°^ 

Faculty were recruited, in these more informal days, by "net- 
working," contacts with graduate schools, and the use of the 
Cooperative College Registry. Dr. Spencer asked the faculty from 
time to time to make recommendations to him from among their 
professional colleagues and acquaintances. Occasionally, a po- 
tential candidate would make a direct personal inquiry. In any 
case, the faculty appointments of these years were for the most 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

part successful, and many of them remained for long years of 

From the beginning of his presidency, Dr. Spencer had press- 
ed the trustees to raise faculty salaries and compensation. At that 
first board of trustees meeting 21 March 1957, before he had 
even officially become the president, he had declared, "Unless we 
can raise salaries we will cease to be a quality institution," and, in 
spite of the many demands for his limited dollars, he kept this as 
a high priority. As the familiar request was presented year after 
year, one trustee demanded, "Does this ever end?" But it did not.^°^ 
In 1959, he asked the faculty to express anonymously, by means 
of a questionnaire, their feelings about salary levels and other 
matters. Many refused to answer, saying that they did not have 
sufficient financial information to make suggestions, but there 
was general agreement that overall averages should be higher. 
Teaching effectiveness, they said, should be the number one 
criterion for determining compensation, followed by seniority and 
degrees. Many were opposed to "across-the-board" raises, and 
some felt community and church work should not be counted in 
evaluating performance. One answer asked for "at least" the 
"national averages" and said bluntly: "Fire us or 'retire' us when 
we do more harm than good... putting us out to pasture might be 
fine." There was considerable criticism of faculty who were paid 
for "outside" work or who held second positions elsewhere, but 
with the consent of the dean this continued to be permitted. 

Working with the Association of American Colleges and later 
with figures from the American Association of University Profes- 
sors, Dr. Spencer had a factual basis upon which to base his salary 
projections. He was also privy to information from the Virginia 
Foundation of Independent Colleges and thus had a pretty ac- 
curate idea of what the 13 independent colleges in Virginia were 
paying their faculty. As his objective, he set coming in among the 
top five of the VFIC. In 1957, when Dr. Spencer became presi- 
dent, the salary scale was $3,500-$6,000. By 1968, the average 
salary was $10,671 and the senior professors were paid slightly 
over $12,000 a year. There had been significant yearly advances, 
and the goal of upper level VFIC ranking had been achieved. ^^"^ 

Nor were faculty, staff and employee benefits ignored. A 
thorough study of retirement and medical insurance policies 
resulted in the college making enhanced benefits available for 
their professional personnel. In addition, faculty children could 
attend the Tate Demonstration School tuition-free, everyone was 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

entitled to lunch in the Hunt Dining Hall, and there was a 10% 
discount on purchases at the bookstore. If one joined the faculty, 
80% of moving expenses were paid, and low-interest second 
mortgages loans from the college were available toward home 

As early as 1959, Dr. Spencer had asked the trustees to give 
formal approval to the Association of American Colleges state- 
ment on academic freedom. There has "never been a problem" 
concerning this, he reported, but "there should be board ac- 
knowledgement of the policy." This was shortly followed by 
acceptance of the American Association of Colleges "Principles of 
Tenure" and in 1963, the first faculty handbook setting forth 
specifically all the responsibilities and privileges of faculty status 
was printed and distributed. By 1965, the trustees had approved 
a sabbatical leave policy, and modest but increasing funds were 
set aside each year to help faculty attend professional meetings 
and to undertake summer research. By 1967, a part-time faculty 
secretary had been employed to help with test and manuscript 
preparations. The college also belonged to the Faculty Children's 
Tuition Exchange program, but Dr. Spencer was soon disillu- 
sioned with it. In 1964, Dr. Spencer wrote, "We have no credits 
available: the entire system became badly clogged some time ago 
and is virtually defunct." 

Faculty promotion was on a merit basis and determined by the 
dean and the president. The average academic load was 13 hours 
with normally three preparations a semester, although many 
faculty exceeded these limits. After the building program was 
completed (1970), all faculty had individual offices, but in the 
early Spencer years there had been much "doubling up" and 
crowded conditions. There was also committee work, and as the 
size and disposition of the faculty increased so did the committee 
numbers. By 1967, there were 22 standing and ad hoc faculty com- 
mittees. Some committee members were nominated and elected 
by the faculty; others were appointed by the dean and the presi- 
dent. By the end of the Spencer tenure, some faculty made reports 
on special occasions to the board of trustees and often participated 
on board committees. Likewise, there was student participation 
on some faculty committees. Faculty were also active participants 
in the student advisory system, particularly after the curriculum 
of 1968 was in place. There was also individual faculty research, 
and participation in the college's extracurricular activities. All of 
this was "accepted as the natural part of the workload of each 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

faculty member," reported the Self-Study . ^""^ 

This bland statement should not be taken to mean that the 
Spencer era faculty were indifferent to the great changes that 
were occurring in American society or even on their own campus. 
In spite of increasing competition for bright young faculty, the 
Grafton-Spencer choices were talented, energetic and ambitious 
young (for the most part) men and women. Faculty meetings were 
no longer the decorous and sedate affairs they had been in the 
Jarman era, although they did not reach the decibel levels of the 
70s and 80s. There were clashes of personalities and opinion, and 
sometimes acrimonious debates over what might appear as trivial 
matters; i.e., should there be pluses and minuses in the grading 
system (no); should we smoke in faculty meetings (smoking was 
discontinued in faculty meetings in 1966); how can we arrange a 
longer convocation period for an outstanding program; (The "C" 
schedule, five minutes deducted from each class period to add to 
convocation or chapel, was universally despised by both faculty 
and students, but starting classes at 8:10 a.m. was deemed to be 
worse). There were other, more serious matters to discuss. Should 
Mary Baldwin apply for a chapter of the AAUP (one was approv- 
ed in 1963); should there be student evaluation of the faculty (not 
in the Spencer era); should the college participate in "Project 
Opportunity" (yes, although well intentioned, it was short-lived). 
There was increasing faculty resistance to policy statements from 
the administration about which they had not been consulted; i.e., 
"all faculty will have Saturday classes"; "all faculty will post office 
hours and keep them!" Dr. Spencer was insistent that faculty 
attend chapel and convocations regularly, and, when their visibil- 
ity diminished, he reminded them of his expectations. On the 
whole, however, faculty-administration and faculty-faculty rela- 
tionships were amicable and based on mutual respect and often 
close friendships. It was not unusual after a prolonged and vocal 
faculty meeting to see opponents clustered around a club table 
sharing coffee, and much faculty social life centered around their 
working colleagues. ^°^ 

There were some poignant leave-takings in this decade. 
"Mam'selle" Flansburgh, Fannie Strauss, Dr. Turner, Dr. Thom- 
sen, Mr. Daffin, Dr. Carroll, Dr. Brice, Dr. Humphreys, and Miss 
Weill all retired, and Dr. Mahler resigned to accept a teaching 
position elsewhere. Few people remembered a time when some of 
these persons had not been on the campus, and the connections 
with the Jarman era were now almost severed. ^°^ There were 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

always special ceremonies for long-term retirees, and the custom 
of presenting Mary Baldwin armchairs to them was begun. 

Many of the Spencer appointees followed college tradition and 
stayed for decades, if not lifetimes. Alumnae will recall with 
affection and respect James McAllister and Gertrude Davis (1958); 
Dorothy Mulberry (1959); Betty Myers (Kegley) and Ben Smith 
(1960); Barbara Ely, Jackson Galbraith, Frank Price (1961); 
Marjorie Chambers, Ulysse Desportes, Owen Walsh (1962); Rob- 
ert Lafleur and John Mehner ( 1963); Don Thompson, James Lott 
(1964); "Albie" Booth, Joe Garrison, Robbins Gates, Ethel Smeak, 
and John Stanley ( 1965); Mary Irving, Bonnie Hohn ( 1966); Jerry 
Venn, James Patrick, Bernard Logan (1967); Mary Echols, Frank 
Southerington, and Robert Weiss (1968).^^*^ 

It had been hoped that a larger student body would bring 
greater diversity in geographic origin, religious preferences, and 
pre-college experiences. To some extent this did happen-yet about 
40% of the student body was from Virginia, and 299c more were 
from the southern states that had traditionally formed the re- 
cruitment pool. There were increasing enrollments from New 
York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and 
Arkansas year after year contributed 15 to 20 students. There 
were always eight to 10 "foreigTi" students, including those em- 
ployed in the language laboratory. Patterns of religious prefer- 
ence remained relatively unchanged. There were always more 
Presbyterians than others (in 1968, 363 out of 701 students). 
Episcopalians were usually next (in 1968, 176) followed by Meth- 
odists and Baptists. There was usually Catholic representation 
(in 1968 there were 18), followed by a sprinkling of other Protes- 
tant groups. A small but increasing number of students indicated 
no religious preference at all. Economic diversity did not materi- 
ally alter either. About one-third of the student body had 
traditionally received financial aid, and that proportion contin- 
ued as a constant, although as tuition and fees increased so did the 
individual financial aid packages. ^^^ 

Any discussion of student life at Mary Baldwin College must 
take into account the world in which they lived and the pressures 
which surrounded them. The "Beatles" came to America in 1963 
and midwifed what came to be called the "Counterculture." John 
F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in November 1963, and in 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

response to that tragedy Congress enacted the far-reaching legis- 
lation of the Lyndon B. Johnson "Great Society. " This included the 
Civil Rights Act, a Voting Rights Act, the War on Poverty, and the 
end, by constitutional amendment, of the poll tax. A federal office 
of Economic Opportunity was created, as was a new cabinet 
position. Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Medicare was 
approved, and Headstart, special assistance to Appalachia, and 
National Foundations of the Arts and the Humanities were 
established. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 
1964, and the American involvement in Vietnam escalated in the 
years that followed. A civil rights march led by Martin Luther 
King from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, attracted national 
attention, followed by race riots of frightening proportions in Los 
Angeles, Newark and Detroit. The "black power" movement split 
King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and mass 
demonstrations against the Vietnam War occurred in many 
American (and European) cities. The University of California at 
Berkeley saw the birth of the Free Speech Movement (1964), the 
"love-ins," the open use of hallucinatory drugs, long hair, sandals, 
"flower children" and the "hippie generation." The United States 
temporarily occupied the Dominican Republic, the Soviets bru- 
tally crushed a revolt in Czechoslovakia, and Israel humiliated 
Egypt in a Six Day War (1967). The year 1968 may have been the 
most wrenching in recent American history; Martin Luther King 
and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated; the TET offensive in 
Vietnam was seen as making a United States victory an impossi- 
bility; police clashed with anti-war demonstrators. Richard Nixon 
was elected President of the United States in November 1968. 

Faced with this litany of crisis and tragedy, it is almost 
inconceivable, looking back, to realize how innocent, how shel- 
tered, how protected the Mary Baldwin College community was. 
This was not because the administration and faculty did not try to 
expose their students to reality; they did. All of the above events 
and topics were discussed in lecture series, in classrooms, in 
Christian Association programs, and student "bull" sessions. One 
can trace in Campus Comments and Miscellany the growing 
awareness of "life beyond the yellow brick walls" as the years go 
by, but as late as 1967 editorials deplored student "apathy" about 
lectures and convocations. The principal subjects for debates in 
these years centered around ending compulsory church and chapel 
attendance, modifying the drinking rule, changing sign-out and 
approved housing and the "apartment rule" policies as they re- 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

lated to Washington & Lee and the University of Virginia, and 
amending or rewriting the Student Government Association Con- 

But the students were changing, nevertheless. They were 
more wilhng to criticize traditional customs and policies. They 
were increasingly resistant to "requirements," whether academic 
or social, and campaigned relentlessly and effectively for more 
"choice." They were less and less interested in the intellectually 
oriented lectures and concerts which Dr. Spencer and others had 
worked so hard to bring to the campus, and, to judge from the 
Campus Comments editorials and letters to the editor, their 
behavior in chapel was deplorable. By 1968, Mary Baldwin was 
definitely a "suitcase" college and, although a special committee 
planned attractive weekend events, a large proportion of the 
student population was likely to be elsewhere on Saturday and 
Sunday. The pressure of numbers meant more and more off- 
campus housing, which was usually restricted to seniors and 
juniors. They liked the greater freedom and intimacy of this liv- 
ing style, but this alternative, coupled with the physically larger 
grounds, diluted the close community that had existed on the "old 
campus." The YWCA became the "Christian Association," a kind 
of umbrella organization for social service projects, and some 
excellent work was done, but no one any longer claimed that it 
represented the entire student body. The "Scotch/Irish" clans 
(and their successors) eventually faded away for lack of support. 
Class Day disappeared and May Day was folded into the spring 
dance weekend, another victim of the disestablishmentarianism 
of the 1970s. 

Most of this occurred so gradually that the extent of the 
changes was not obvious. It is only in retrospect that one can ap- 
preciate how much the basic standards and values were altering. 
Still, in some ways, the Mary Baldwin College "girl" (she did not 
yet think of herself as a "woman") of 1968 appeared to be the same 
kind of young woman who had greeted the Spencers in 1957. 
There were still dress codes; when she was in the classroom, the 
dining hall, downtown or at church, the Mary Baldwin student 
was clad in a skirt and blouse (with a little round collar), matching 
sweater sets and loafers or, on Sunday, in a dress, hat, and 
perhaps gloves. By 1968, the hats and gloves were gone, the skirts 
were much shorter, and waistlines had disappeared in the wake 
of the "mini," but most of the students were still "appropriately" 
clothed (at least by conservative Staunton standards). They could 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

be stirred to mass enthusiasms; the combined student efforts to 
raise money for the Library (and to a lesser degree the science 
building) were widely supported. There were three "mock" politi- 
cal conventions during these years (1960, 1964, and 1968) which 
attracted much student participation. The student campaign to 
"name" Spencer dormitory was spontaneous and solely student- 
directed. The Sophomore Shows during the Spencer years were 
increasingly complex and ambitious. A Junior Dads' Day was 
begun in 1967. The excitement over President Eisenhower's visit 
was genuine. Efforts to redesign the Student Government Asso- 
ciation appeared to have provoked endless debate; and "room 
check" before 10:00 a.m. (to be sure the beds were made) was in- 
dignantly criticized. There was sorrow when the tradition of 
individually decorated tables at Christmas dinner was changed in 
1964. The Social Committee would now do it. "Somehow it will be 
different," they mourned, "but then we are different — we are a big 
college now."^^^ 

The close relationships between faculty and students, so 
characteristic of the past, continued. But imperceptibly this, too, 
was changing. Some of the younger faculty did not object to a first- 
name basis — at least outside of the classroom. There were fewer 
"teas" held in faculty homes; they were replaced by picnics and 
cookouts. Class structure became less formal and "projects" and 
"demonstrations" replaced formal testing and term papers. Stu- 
dents "baby-sat" faculty children and even faculty pets. It was 
easier to work out the details of field trips, and thus the opportu- 
nity for greater informality existed. As always, the work in choir 
and glee club, in drama and in athletics, provided special oppor- 
tunities for faculty-student contacts. And the major requirements 
of book discussions and "comps" meant that a senior almost 
always felt a special kinship with at least one professor in her 

There were changes in the Student Government Association 
as well, although not as many or as radical as they were on other 
campuses. There was considerable effort in this decade to keep 
current with what other colleges' student governments were 
doing, but things on the Mary Baldwin College campus changed 
slowly. ^^'^ 

Foreshadowing future problems with the Honor System, the 
Student Government Association in 1963 created an Honor Court, 
separate from the Judiciary Board. Designed to work closely with 
the administration Advisory Board, the Honor Court would con- 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

sider major infractions of the Honor Code, leaving minor social 
violations to be dealt with by the "Judish." Emphasis was placed 
on the understanding that the honor system covered all aspects 
of student life, but the strain that the "apartment rule," alcohol 
prohibition, and unpaid lOUs at local shops put on the system was 
already apparent. For the first time, in 1962, stealing (in the 
dormitories) was reported. After an investigation, a student was 
expelled. The increasing legalism of the 1960s led to an official 
college "Statement of Protection of Personal Property." The Stu- 
dent Government Association, in the case of theft, "is free to use 
any means at its disposal" to discover the guilty, it warned. 
The students may call on the administration for help in recovering 
their possessions. When a student accepts her room assignment, 
she establishes a "tenant-landlord" relationship, and the college 
might undertake room "checks" to see to the security and protec- 
tion of its property. ^^^ Still, in the 1960s this remained a relatively 
"open" campus. Outside dormitory doors were seldom locked 
during daylight hours, faculty and students merely closed but did 
not secure their office or room doors in their absence, and pocket- 
books and personal possessions were left outside King or at the 
church during chapel/convocation period, or in the halls of Aca- 
demic or Hunt during meals. Such casualness would vanish in the 

There was academic stress as well. Some of the recently em- 
ployed faculty were not familiar with an honor system and 
sometimes failed to implement it. Increasing numbers of transfer 
students had to be oriented to unfamiliar freedoms. In 1964, there 
was a serious discussion about the integrity of academic work, and 
what constitutes plagiarism was explored in detail. Since all 
Honor Court hearings were confidential, decisions were made 
known by posting a notice in the dormitories for 48 hours, naming 
the student who was expelled or suspended or put on probation for 
Honor violations. Criticism of this policy led to the well-meaning 
attempt to include the student's name in the public notice only 
with her consent. By 1968, the notices were posted at the end of 
each semester, listing the offenses and penalties but giving no 
names at all. 

The constitution of the Student Government Association had 
not changed materially for many years, and it is understandable 
that there would soon be student demands for a document more 
responsive to current needs. A new constitution was approved in 
1964, but, except for the addition of the Honor Court, there was 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

little fundamental change from the former one. The methods of 
nomination and election were still viewed as undemocratic and 
unnecessarily complicated but would not be changed until the 
next decade. Nominations were by a committee made up of senior 
Student Government Association officers and the senior members 
of the Student Board. They chose nominees for approximately 
one-third of the total number of candidates for each office. Other 
nominations were secured by general petition from the student 
body. There was a two-slate system whereby a student who was 
defeated in the first slate election could be nominated for another 
office on the second slate. Elections were held in each dormitory. 
There were nominating and/or acceptance of nomination speeches 
in the Student Government Association Friday convocation, but 
there was no campaigning, and student interest was usually only 
moderate. Freshman votes still counted only half a point (a 
tradition left from the time when the freshman class had out- 
numbered the upperclassmen) and the whole process took four or 
more days. All upperclassmen signed the Honor Pledge each fall, 
but freshmen and transfers had a separate signing ceremony 
(poorly attended by others) in February, by which time they were 
considered sufficiently oriented to the Mary Baldwin system to 
be fully participating members. A point system sought to prevent 
any one student or group of students from dominating the system 
but, considering that it was often hard to persuade enough 
students to agree to be nominated to fill the slate of 55 officers, 
that hardly seemed necessary. On 1 May 1964, Campus Com- 
ments reported that only 120 out of 580 students had seen fit to 
attend the installation of the new student officers. Such a lack of 
support was "an insult" to the invited speaker, Dr. Taylor Reveley, 
and to the students elected to serve, Campus Comments declared. 
If student interest did not improve, it might be "sensible to 
dismantle the student government altogether and to just let the 
faculty run things," an editor suggested. By 1968, there were 
numerous pleas for a change in the election system. Let's elect 
"candidates with guts," demanded one letter to the editor, but 
generally most students still seemed satisfied or indifferent. ^^^ 
The Student Government Association officers played an increas- 
ingly visible role in the numerous ceremonies and events of the 
60s. They met governors and the President of the United States, 
trustees and foundation representatives, officials of the SACS, 
and distinguished college visitors. And they had major responsi- 
bility for shaping the slow, gradual modification of the social rules 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

the increasingly emancipated young Mary Baldwin College wo- 
men found onerous and "absurd." Their duties and visibility 
would increase as the effects of the "counterculture" spread to 

Nothing seems to provoke more interest and often criticism 
among returning alumnae than changes in social rules. Actually, 
regulations and prohibitions were gradually but steadily modified 
over the years. The proper behavior and protection of young 
women at colleges and universities in the 1960s reflected middle- 
class society's views and, although women's colleges might be 
more restrictive than larger and more cosmopolitan universities, 
their deans were generally cognizant of each other's policies and 
adjusted their own accordingly. An additional complication ex- 
isted in church-related colleges. Their trustees, who were mostly 
men and often ministers, were much more conservative in their 
views about young women than society in general. Dr. Spencer's 
careful balancing act between Student Government Association 
desires, Dean Parker's recommendations, his trustees' sensibili- 
ties, and his own moral beliefs held off prolonged dissension until 
almost the end of his administration; but it was obvious by 1968 
that in loco parentis was under major siege. 

Perhaps easiest to modify was the dress code. Students 
wanted to wear "Bermudas" and slacks in the Club on Saturdays 
and whenever more informal occasions occurred. By 1966, a 
heated debate about the new "pants suits" occurred. When 
queried, two male faculty members confessed to not knowing what 
they were, but asked, "Aren't mini-skirts cold when you sit down?" 
By 1966, slacks could be worn to class or even downtown if there 
were snow and the temperature was below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. 
When Grafton Library opened in September 1967, the adminis- 
tration viewed it as a showplace of the campus and expected 
students who were using it to be dressed as though they were in 
the classroom. There was much protest. Within two months, the 
Library "dress code" was changed. It was agreed that slacks and 
Bermudas could be worn in the library at night and during exam 
week. They were even permissible for Saturday meals in Hunt, 
but the 1968 Handbook made clear that no jeans or Bermudas 
could be worn to class, and no hair curlers worn under scarves 
were acceptable on campus "at any time." As early as 1966, 
students were asking that rules requiring their dates to wear 
collared shirts, ties and jackets be changed. There was some 
easing of the restrictions for daytime men's dress, but more for- 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

mal attire continued to be required after 6:00 p-m.^^*^ 

No pronouncement could banish "fads" and "fashions." In 
1958, the students were having "hula hoop" contests and dancing 
the "Twist" and the "Bird." The early 60s saw hair "teased" into 
bouffant "beehives." Five years later it was much longer and 
straighter, and some young women even "ironed" their tresses. 
Pierced ears and skateboards arrived in 1965, and the "Beatle" 
Club flourished in Bailey dorm. There are more and more "ukes, 
guitars and folk songs," declared Campus Comments (1963) and 
at different times, the "Bombshells" and the "Skyscrapers" held 
forth in The Club. FM radio came to the campus (Dr. Spencer 
built one of the first in 1962), and for several years the students 
nominated a young woman to enter Glamour annual contest to 
select the "Ten Best Dressed College Girls." There were spring 
fashion shows, "combo" parties, and, by 1963, about three-fourths 
of the seniors had ordered their class rings for their little rather 
than their fourth fingers. Briefly "abercrombies" replaced "saddle 
shoes" ("rah rah's") as popular footwear. One went "hawking" at 
Craftons, the Rafters, the Foxes Den, the Elbow Room. There was 
the "Needle's Eye" coffeehouse, and after 1966 a student could 
have a private telephone "(oh joy!)" in her room. A profusion of 
stuffed animals accompanied young women to college, and "tub- 
ing" on the Maury River with Washington & Lee men was 
increasingly popular. The average student allowance was re- 
ported to be $38.00 a month, and profits from the campus cigarette 
machines were sent (on orders from Dr. Spencer) to the AMA's 
Education and Research Foundation. "Freckles," who belonged to 
the Pages, and "Penny" Timberlake were the campus dogs. In 
1966, student criticism of Hunt menus led to the formation of a 
student committee to explore with "B.C" the changing food pref- 
erences of the 60s.^^^ 

By 1967, the "pill" had been invented and was legal. Three 
hundred thirty-five college student health service departments 
had been queried as to whether or not they would distribute it. 
Only 13 said they would. Mrs. Grafton was asked by the students 
her opinion of the matter. Her answer reflected the current 
wisdom that world population growth should be checked but that 
sex was a very "sensitive subject." Sex was not "safe" outside a 
marriage relationship, and the "pill" was not, in her view, appro- 
priate for the unmarried. ^^^ Both the Handbook and the college 
Catalogue for 1968 continued to carry the statement that "The 
College thoroughly disapproves of secret marriages... Failure to 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

report promptly a change in marital status will be considered 
grounds for dismissal." 

The issues which often provoked prolonged debate among 
Mary Baldwin students and administration and which were the 
most difficult to relate to the "outside" image of the college with 
the church and community were so closely interrelated that it is 
almost impossible to discuss them separately. They all had to do 
with the opportunity for young women to make their own social 
and relational decisions as opposed to following regulations ap- 
proved by college administrations. Most under attack were 
"approved housing," the "apartment rule," and the "25 mile" 
prohibition on the use of alcohol. Less important, but closely 
related, were the number of "overnights" and weekends permit- 
ted, and the issue of "adult residents" in the dormitories. ("We 
don't need policing," the students protested). They resented as an 
infringement on personal privacy, official checking to see that 
everyone had her bed made and her room "straightened" by 
chapel/convocation time on weekdays and by noon on Saturdays. 
They wanted greater freedom to take their dates places on 
campus, including, they said, to "study together" in the Library. 
They were increasingly resistant to required attendance at convo- 
cations, chapel and church services on Sunday. 

As early as 1959, there were occasional requests for rule 
changes, and in 1960 the Student Board said that students over 
age 21 should be allowed to live by the State of Virginia laws. But 
the real crescendo of discontent focused on the years 1965 and 
thereafter, as other colleges experienced office sit-ins and clashes 
with campus police over "free speech" and other "freedoms." It 
seemed to the students "absurd" to have to "sign out" while their 
peers were riding "Freedom buses" in Mississippi and invading 
the Pentagon. Our old rules are "unrealistic," they wrote. "Is it too 
much to ask to be allowed to grow up?" Our social regulations "do 
not allow us to show social responsibility"; "we have little say-so 
in our social rules," they lamented. ^^^ 

Dr. Spencer and his family were on sabbatical in Munich from 
August 1965 to August 1966, as these rules were being chal- 
lenged. Dean Parker met with student leaders, had public forums, 
invited student representation and deans from other colleges 
similar to Mary Baldwin to meet with the student body. She 
resisted "piecemeal" changes and said that, if the whole system 
were to be revised, the Student Government Association must 
await Dr. Spencer's return. She and Dean Grafton kept Dr. 


To Live III Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Spencer fully apprised of the swift changes that were taking place, 
and he planned a three-day "retreat" for the board of trustees and 
administration at the Peaks of Otter Conference Center not far 
from Roanoke within two months of his return (12-15, Oct. 1966). 

The trustees who met that October in the Blue Ridge Moun- 
tains were a thoughtful, hard-working, conscientious group of 
men and women. They felt strongly their responsibility to keep 
the college free from the disruptions and disorders surrounding 
them, but wished to be sensitive to the deep social and political 
problems which were agitating the world's educational institu- 
tions. They were aware of the massive financial commitments 
which had been made to build the new campus, and they under- 
took a 10-year budget projection which they hoped would secure 
the college's financial stability. They made significant decisions 
about church relationships, and "about the college's responsibili- 
ties in regard to social regulation." They studied admissions 
policies, enrollment and expansion (should we build another 
dormitory?), the academic program, development and fund rais- 
ing for the future. When they finished, a partial revolution in the 
very nature of the college had taken place. Their decisions were 
more significant for the future, perhaps, than the physical build- 
ing program so closely identified with the Spencer years. ^^° 

The trustees agreed to modify (but not to abandon) in loco 
parentis . Students should be given "increased responsibilities" 
based on a "gradation" from freshman to senior levels. Along with 
this, said the trustees, there must be added responsibility in 
maintaining "high general standards of conduct and dealing 
stringently with students" who do not live up to those standards. 
The college "should not abdicate" a definite responsibility in the 
matter of "boy-girl relationships" and should make "no apology" 
for upholding standards. Its policy should be "flexible" and 
characterized by "compassion and concern." The freshman pro- 
gram, decided the trustees, should include an "orientation" course 
"encompassing the moral, physical and sociological aspects of 
sex." The administration was left to fill in the details. 

Within the next two years, both the "apartment" rule and the 
policy concerning the use of alcohol were modified. Although the 
college was opposed "in principle" to a student visiting men's 
housing at college and university towns unless "at least" a "third 
person is present," juniors and seniors could make such decisions 
based on their own discretion until midnight, after which a third 
person was still required. The number of "overnights" was now 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

unlimited and general permission slips were much broadened, 
but the statement that any student "found to be out of harmony" 
with the college standards of moral behavior could be asked to 
withdraw remained in both the Handbook and the Catalogue . 

The whole question of the use of alcohol by Mary Baldwin 
students was a very complicated one. Early in the 1960s when the 
Student Board had recommended to the administration that the 
college students be allowed to follow Virginia's laws on the sub- 
ject (an action reported in Campus Comments ). Dr Spencer had 
received many letters reminding him that the Presbyterian 
Church's General Assembly had taken an absolute abstinence 
view. "I solemnly question the right of any of us to seek variance 
from that ruling — certainly not a student body of a church col- 
lege.... I shall count on you to hold the line as well as to encourage 
a more wholesome life among your students," wrote one corre- 
spondent. Dr. Spencer answered, "It is my strong conviction that 
alcohol and education do not mix."^^^ 

But the issue would not go away. Students reflected the 
attitudes and customs of their parents, and, in the more tolerant 
atmosphere of the 1960s, public consumption of alcohol was 
apparent and accepted, perhaps more so than in the 1990s. 
Students blamed the lack of male interest in attending Mary 
Baldwin College's two "big dance" weekends on the fact that their 
campus did not permit the same customs as did their dates' 

The college had had, since the 1930s, the simple requirement 
that alcohol would not be used while a student was in residence 
unless she were under her parents' jurisdiction. There always 
followed a general expectation of good conduct, as noted in the 
student Handbook : 

Whether living as a member of the 
college gi'oup or while away from the 
college, a student should remember 
that in the eyes of the public she repre- 
sents the college and its ideals. For this 
reason the college requires her conduct 
at all times to reflect no discredit on 
those ideals. 

As Dean Parker reported to the trustees at the "retreat," a 
committee comprised of faculty, staff and students had met 


To Live In Time 

Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

during the spring of 1966 to recommend reconsideration of the 
rule, based on increasing responsibihty of students for their own 
decisions. A further rationale pointed out that with far greater 
flexibility in academic matters, students should be allowed that 
flexibility in social affairs as well. The committee proposed that 
each student be provided identification cards (with pictures); that 
no alcoholic beverages be permitted on campus or at college-spon- 
sored activities or in automobiles; but left open the possibility of 
alcohol use "in town" for those over 18 years of age. 

The trustees again agreed that the rules might be modified 
with the consent of the administration, and the November 1966, 
Campus Comments ran a picture of two upperclassmen drinking 
3.2 beer in the Elbow Room.^^^ 

Anne Elizabeth Parker 

Within months, another, and much more serious problem 
concerning "substance abuse," faced Dean Parker. On 10 March 
1967, Campus Comments had run an editorial on drugs on college 
campuses. "There's a new ticket ride," said the "guest" writer, who 
went on to mention morning glory seeds, airplane glue and 
"Robitussin" as ways of getting high. The newest discovery was 
apparently nutmeg, taken with black coffee — careful instructions 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

were included as to how it should be used. "There is a minor 
disappointment, perhaps, it doesn't get you quite as high as pot." 

By the fall of 1967, a convocation speaker. Dr. Harry L. 
Williams, was discussing "Drugs in Today's Society," and the 
students were debating whether or not the use of drugs on campus 
constituted a violation of the Honor System. The Handbook of 
1968 reflected this new aspect of college life. "The use, possession 
or distribution of the drugs of abuse" was prohibited and cases 
would be handled by the Honor Court, "acting in conjunction with 
the Faculty Advisory Board and with the advice of a qualified 
medical consultant. "^-^ 

A third major focal point of student discontent centered on 
compulsory church and chapel/convocation attendance. One of 
the problems, at least in the early years, centered on where to have 
chapel. Since the student body had grown and since after 1962 
Waddell Chapel, even if it had been big enough, was no longer 
available, the only place remaining was King Auditorium. The 
atmosphere seemed unsuitable, and Dr. Spencer was able to re- 
port to the trustees in 1963 that arrangements had been made to 
use the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church for chapel ser- 
vices. It was certainly more like a church service, but student 
compliance remained reluctant, although Dr. Turner and after- 
ward Dr. McAllister worked with Mr. Page and Dr. Broman and 
the student Christian Association to provide varied and thought- 
ful programs. The time for the service was short — only 30 min- 
utes — and the time between classes, particularly if one had to stop 
at the post office or drink a cup of coffee on the way, seemed 
inadequate. Students who were in the choir and who had a class 
immediately preceding the 10:30 a.m. service labored under 
special handicaps, but Mr. Page allowed them few excuses and the 
choir members were usually in place, robed and ready to sing long 
before all of the students and faculty had assembled. Unexcused 
absences were a judiciary offence, and at first there were assign- 
ed seats and roll was taken (an activity not conducive to worship). 
Later, after 1965, seating was by classes, and one was honor 
bound to report her own absences. On special occasions, when a 
distinguished minister had been invited, the dreaded Schedule 
"C" was employed. This meant only five minutes instead of 10 
between classes and generally assured a breathless and tardy 
audience. There were also difficulties about where to hold convo- 
cation. If King Auditorium was used, as it was until 1966, it 
meant Mr. Frenger and his crew had to "set up" for 700 on Monday 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

and Friday and take down in time for Physical Education classes 
immediately before and after. Briefly arrangements were made 
to use the Dixie Theater for Student Government Association and 
convocation meetings, but this was totally unsuitable, one block 
farther and much resented. The students saw an opportunity to 
cut back on the three-year Physical Education requirement by 
complaining that they had to sit on the floor for their Student 
Government Association meetings, since there was not time to put 
up the chairs and take them down after their meetings in time for 
the next class. They blamed Physical Education for inflexibil- 

There was also the problem of compulsory church attendance. 
This had been in effect since Miss Baldwin's day. For several 
decades students chose to attend whichever service they pre- 
ferred, but, if they were in town and not in the infirmary, they 
were required to go and dormitory checks were made. There were 
the usual student subterfuges — attending the Temple on Friday 
night instead of Sunday church (they were informed they were 
welcome to attend Temple services where Dr. McNeil played the 
organ, but still must attend Sunday services unless they were 
Jewish); and attending "early Church" dressed in "school cloth- 
es," which "reflects discredit on herself and the College"; but it 
was an unusual student who questioned the validity of compul- 
sory worship, at least until the mid-60s. Those who did were 
reminded that Mary Baldwin was a "church college" and that the 
policy had been clearly explained before they matriculated. 

These questions were on the agenda at the Peaks of Otter 
meeting, and to them Dr. Spencer added some others. Must all 
faculty be members of evangelical Protestant churches, or can 
Roman Catholics, Orthodox Jewish persons, or even atheists be 
employed? How many of the faculty should be Presbyterian? 
Should all members of the Department of Religion be Calvinists? 
Should senior administration officers be Presbyterian? Should 
race be considered in the employment of faculty and staff (this was 
1966)? Should courses in Religion be required for graduation? 
Should admissions preference be given to Virginia Presbyterians? 
To PCUS members? To any Presbyterian? Should financial aid 
continue to be offered to ministers' daughters? 

Some possible answers to most of these questions involved 
changing church standards (which had been accepted in 1957) 
and possibly the college charter. But the board agreed that faculty 
recruitment should be "broadened," "to include members of all 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Christian bodies." "It is difficult," they said, to insist that a ma- 
jority be Presbyterian. Race should not be an exclusionary factor 
for either faculty or staff, and Dr. Spencer suggested that there 
might possibly be an exchange program with Stillman College. 
Required courses in Religion and attendance at chapel should be 
continued, but church attendance policies might be modified. 

By 1968, the Handbook specified the college's belief in the 
value of corporate worship: "Mary Baldwin students are expected 
to attend formal church services on a regular basis. Failure to live 
up to this expectation will be considered as a lack of acceptance of 
the principles" of the college. No penalties, however, were speci- 
fied for a failure to observe these principles, nor were checks on 
compliance made. Chapel/convocation attendance was expected. 
There was no roll taken, but unexcused absence was to be 
considered a Judiciary offense. 

The principal means of student expression, other than Stu- 
dent Government Association general meetings, were the student 
publications. Advised and stimulated by Dolores Lescure's lead- 
ership and enthusiasm. Campus Commen ts and the Bluestocking 
regularly won First Class Honors and All American ratings. 
Campus Comments in particular was more than once judged the 
best among women's college newspapers in the Southeast. Cam - 
pus Comments celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1964 and 
invited all previous editors to the party. The Bluestocking was 
imaginatively and accurately organized and its annual dedica- 
tions, kept secret until the presentation banquet in the spring, 
were the cause of much speculation.^-^ In 1960, Dr. Brice orga- 
nized the 402 Workshop, an invited group of creative writers, 
among whose activities support for all the college publications, 
but particularly for the Miscellany, was announced. The literary 
magazine experimented with different sizes and colors of covers 
and sought to encourage student creative talents. The poems and 
short stories had many references to ocean waves, stars, love, 
death, and life's meaning. There was some evidence of concern 
with politics, Cuba, race relations, and Vietnam. Its tone was 
generally pessimistic. "We like very little or nothing of the world 
we live in, and we believe ourselves... the new breed who will take 
this sadly misshapen... planet and remold it to correct the errors 
of our elders. ..Just whom are we kidding?" asked one editorial. 
Another young woman proclaimed (much to the distress of some 
alumnae), "We have found there is no God... We are born dead, 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels ami Academic Excellence 

Dr. Spencer had always defended students' right of free 
expression. On one occasion, he wrote to an irate college patron, 
"Most educators feel that students should be allowed to express 
their judgment on controversial questions even if their opinions 
should not coincide with established institutional policies." There 
is no question that occasional student editorials or comments 
were embarrassing, or even offensive, but there is no indication 
that any form of censorship or control was ever exerted by his 
administration, and all three publications continued and grew.^^*^ 

It is interesting to trace the development of Dr. Spencer's ideas 
about women as he responded to the challenges of his presidency. 
In his opening convocation on 19 Sept. 1959, he declared, 

You as women face a much less certain 
future. Most of you will eventually marry... 
you will automatically give up freedom of 
choice about many things in your life... 
your husband's occupation will determine 
your fields of interest, the geographic setting 
of your life... the sense of purpose in women's 
education is not as specific as a man's. Women 
need broad, non-specialized skills which will 
enable them to meet their responsibilities to 
their husband and children, and to society. 
Women are the custodians of culture. College 
is a good place to meet the right kind of man 
and he you. 

It might have been Dr. Lewis or even Dr. Jarman speaking. A 
bit later, however, addressing a church group. Dr. Spencer in- 
sisted that more women should be encouraged to go to college. 
"Society does not understand about educating women seriously. 
It is fashionable in certain areas to send daughters to Virginia for 
a year or two to acquire charm and grace. I have no patience with 
that," he declared. "Women need a solid, well balanced educa- 

By 1963, writing to a free-lance reporter. Dr. Spencer had 
shifted, somewhat, his position. 


To Live III Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Women today need to prepare for two 
careers; more than half the women who 
marry will eventually reenter the labor 
force... Women need an education based 
on broad principles... they must know 
how to analyze, discriminate, make sound 
judgments... [a woman] must be allowed 
her choice of the types of work she wishes. 

In 1967, answering the question, "Which comes first — the 
community or the individual?", Dr. Spencer replied: 

...both must be in equilibrium: the 
claims of both are legitimate. Society 
needs persons who understand that individ- 
ual rights and community responsibilities 
are neither antithetical nor mutually exclu- 
sive. I hope Mary Baldwin will continue to 
produce its share of persons with this kind 
of understanding. 

At what turned out to be his last public appearance, Dr. 
Spencer, in 1968, spoke to the Maiy Baldwin graduating seniors. 
He had just returned from a trip to Europe to check on the pro- 
gram in Madrid and to look at the possibility of setting up a simi- 
lar junior year in Munich. He had been unable to go to Paris 
because of student riots, and he said soberly that student "unrest" 
stretched from "Prague to Berkeley." It was, he remarked wryly, 
"reassuring [to find] that my office was still open, the desk and 
books as they had been left and student assaults being made, not 
on the Administration building, but on the exams then in progress. " 
There is, however, he said no reason for complacency: 

...We must acknowledge the fact that our 
very lack of disturbance would be considered 
ominous and unhealthy by those who feel 
that direct action represents the only solid 
evidence of concern on the part of the younger 
generation. I must say to you members of this 
class of 1968 that I, too, would be seriously 
disturbed by our business as usual situation 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

if I thought that it signaled a lack of concern 
on your part — a failure to share the almost 
intuitive reaction of your generation against 
the ineffectual nature of the solutions the older 
generation has offered for the world's ills, and 
the conscious or subconscious hypocrisy with 
which we have defended outworn platitudes. 

For if this were so — if it were so that you 
do not share the legitimate aspirations of 
young people today for New Testament rather 
than Old Testament solutions — it would mean 
that you leave Mary Baldwin College after 
four years without two things which are essential 
to your making any contribution. The first is a 
proper understanding of the fact that despite our 
affluence and the pleasurable things that come 
with it, the world is not yet redeemed either in 
the material or the spiritual sense... 

The second is a feeling of responsibility for 
doing something about this strife and misery. 
Of course it is quite possible, given the enclave 
of privilege in which most of us live, to isolate 
ourselves from it, to build walls which com- 
fortably shut out the sight and sounds of the 
less fortunate. I desperately hope you will not 
yield to this very seductive temptation... 

Actually, I do not fear such disillusionment. 
The careers you are choosing indicate that riots, 
protests and street demonstrations are not the 
only barometers of student concern... 

...A fundamental cause of disruption at such 
places as Columbia and Berkeley has been a break- 
down of the community of learning — a loss of the 
feeling of coherence and unity which comes from 
shared purposes and mutual respect. Here at 
Mary Baldwin our community is far from perfect. 
But community is still our recognized ideal, and 
when our unconcern for one another crops up, it is 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

apparent as an aberration rather than the norm. 
For at our best, we do have a sense of real com- 

The accomphshment of teachers must 
always be vicarious. If what you succeed 
in doing is worthwhile, then what we have 
done is worthwhile. Here is the ultimate 
justification of the common interest and 
purpose we have shared with you for four 
years. As you leave, you carry our colors, 
and I can only say to you that we have both 
an earnest hope and a sure confidence that 
you will carry them well. 

The college "girl" of 1957 had become, in Dr. Spencer's eyes, 
the college "woman" of the troubled 1968.^-' 

There was little warning, at least for the general college 
community, that Dr. Spencer might shortly resign. It was known, 
of course, that Davidson College would, due to the illness of 
President Martin, be seeking a new chief executive; but when 
Campus Comments had asked Dr. Spencer in February 1968 
about such a possibility, he answered truthfully that he had not 
been "approached" on the matter. After the conclusion of the 
momentous Peaks of Otter retreat. Dr. Spencer had been actively 
implementing the recommendations of this meeting. He had 
reorganized his administrative staff in April 1967, and had drawn 
clearer lines of responsibility and reporting. He had secured 
additional help for the treasurer and business manager, Mr. 
Spillman, in the persons of Scott Nininger and Freeman Jones. 
He had participated in the planning for the Christian College 
Fund Campaign, which was due to enter an active phase in early 
1969. The trustees agreed to his recommendation that Craven E, 
Williams be named vice-president for Development in March 
1968, and Mr. Williams and Mr. Timberlake had begun prelimi- 
nary plans for a major Mary Baldwin College fund raising project 
in the near future. A new Admissions Director, Jack Blackburn, 
was due to begin work in September 1968, thus relieving Miss 
Hillhouse of some of her many responsibilities. The class of 1972 
had all been admitted, new faculty had been hired, and plans for 
the fall opening of the college were almost complete, when, on 11 
July 1968, a formal letter was sent to "All Members of the Faculty 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

and Staff." It opened, "It is with genuine sadness that I write this 
letter." After explaining that "after much consideration over the 
past month," Dr. Spencer said he had agreed to become Davidson 
College's president and was resigning on 31 August 1968. 

It is very difficult for me to leave. It would 
be impossible if I felt Mary Baldwin would suffer. 
However, a new president will unquestionably 
bring to our college new strength and a fresh 
impetus to further growth... I am proud of what 
we have achieved together, and confident that 
we have only begun to see what Mary Baldwin 
can become. 

It was full summer; the students were gone, the faculty 
scattered, many staff and support personnel were on vacation. 
The news filtered slowly to all those concerned. There was hard- 
ly time to adjust to the change before the freshmen would arrive 
and classes begin. But there was no feeling of insecurity. Once 
again, and for the last time, the Triumvirate quietly took over. 
Dean Grafton was named by the board as acting president; Dean 
Parker, Dean Hillhouse (she had been named dean of admissions 
and registrar in 1967), and Mr. Spillman continued on with their 
usual tasks. 

A search committee, which this time included three students, 
was appointed to seek a new president for the college, and Campus 
Comments printed in September a loving resume of the Spencer 
years. As always, Mrs. Grafton found appropriate words for an 
ending and a beginning. Dr. Spencer, she said, was an "indefati- 
gable worker, an imaginative leader and a warm personal friend 
to all of us." But, she added, "I like change. Life wouldn't be much 
fun without change and growth." She was due to get a bit more 
change than she had bargained for.^^^ 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 


^ Montreat, North Carolina is a Presbyterian Conference 

^ Two members of the MBC board who were particularly 
interested in having Dr. Spencer come to MBC were John Newton 
Thomas and Eldon D. Wilson, both important and influential in 
the Presb3^erian Church. 

3 Richard Potter, Report to Board of Trustees, 15 Mar 1957 
SRS Mss— MBC Aixhives. 

Minutes , BT 21 March 1957. 

4 Monroe Bush, Jr. letter to SRS, 22 Oct. 1956, SRS Mss— MBC 

^ Memorandum of telephone conversation, J. N. Thomas and 
SRS, 1 Nov. 1956 SRS Mss— MBC Archives. 

^ There is some evidence that both members of the Synod of 
Virginia and of the MBC Board of Trustees were not at ease with 
Mr. McKenzie. They did not understand him and found him 
abrasive. Dr. Spencer was "one of their own" and the communi- 
cation among them was trustful and open. 

' Plan of Development for the Future 1957 SRS Mss-MBC 

« SRS, letter to J. N. Thomas, 20 Dec. 1956, SRS Mss-MBC 

Requirements for becoming a Presbyterian Church Col- 
lege included: 

(1) 2/3 trustees to be approved by the Synod. Number 
trustees 30. Elected to 5 year term, 1/5 elected each 
year — two term limit. 

(2) President to be a Presb3d:erian. 

(3) All regular members of the faculty to be "active 
members of some evangelical church, the majority 
being Presbyterian" 

(4) Required courses in Bible for graduation. 

(5) Submit to Synod all financial reports. 

(6) Accredited by SACS. 

(7) Board include five alumnae. 

The college charter already reflected all of these re- 
quirements except for #1. 

Nothing was indicated about required church attend- 
ance or mandatory chapel. 
^ In 1922, the synod chose all the trustees and "in effect owned" 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

the college, as they did Hampden-Sydney. The new charter only 
specified that they approve two-thirds of those trustees nomi- 
nated by the current board and provided for board rotation. 

^^ Although J. N. Thomas wrote Dr. Spencer that the vote 
"brings to pass something for which I have worked and hoped for 
many years before you came into the picture... it was taken on its 
own merit and before the Committee on Nomination of a presi- 
dent had made its report," it is hard to believe that this action was 
not influenced by the known views of their prospective president. 
If they wanted Dr. Spencer, the charter would have to be amend- 
ed, and it was. 

'' J. N. Thomas, letter to "Ava and Sam," 25 Jan. 1957, SRS 
Mss— MBC Archives. 

12 SRS, letter to J. N. Thomas, 14 March 1957, SRS Mss— MBC 

1^ In essence the Committee on Higher Educational Institu- 
tions of the Synod approved the preliminaiy development plans of 
MBC and H-S trustees; the synod campaign would be undertaken 
at the same time that each college conducted a campaign among 
its own constituencies — (non Presbyterians within the synod's 
boundaries and any possible donors elsewhere); funds contrib- 
uted to the synod campaign could be designated; undesignated 
funds would be divided 45% MBC, 45% H-S and 10% Presbyterian 
Guidance Centers and Christian Campus life, and each would 
bear a commensurate amount of the expenses. The financial 
objective would be $2.5 million. See "Our Church on our Cam- 
puses," A Summary of the Background of the Report of the 
Permanent Committee on Christian Education to the Synod of 
Virginia," 1957. A special offering in January resulted in $10,000 
sent to each college by May 1957. SRS Mss— MBC Archives. 

'' SRS, "Why Choose a Church College?", nd. SRS Mss— MBC 

SRS, "Commitment to Freedom," speech delivered at St. 
Andrews College, 4 June 1962, SRS Mss— MBC Archives. These 
objectives are not unlike those of the 1991 MBC Catalogue (p. 7) 
"Characteristics of the College of the Third Millennium." 

^^ SRS Mss— MBC Archives. The trips involved visits to 13 
institutions and were paid for by the Fund for the Advancement 
of Education. 

1^ Even if the student body reached 800 (which some were 
already discussing) Mary Baldwin would still be a "small" college. 
Dr. Spencer firmly believed that large state institutions lost the 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

sense of community and caring that characterized smaller insti- 
tutions. It was necessary to increase the student body in order to 
achieve "economies of scale" and to provide greater diversity, but 
he and subsequent administration would struggle to keep the 
"friendly" intimate campus which had always been one of the 
major characteristics of the institution since the days of Mary 
Julia Baldwin. 

" SRS, letter to Martha Grafton, 24 Oct. 1956; 19 March 1957, 
SRS Mss— MBC Archives. 

^^ In fact, the conflict between administration and faculty has 
been ongoing ever since the early 1960s, not only at Mary Baldwin 
but in colleges and universities throughout the country. What had 
been, in small colleges, at least, a "collegial" relationship, became, 
in the acrimonious 60s and 70s, "adversarial." It was muted at 
Mary Baldwin until the 1970s and will be discussed in the next 

^^ It is not possible to name all the men and women who so 
generously gave their time and talents on the board of trustees 
during Dr. Spencer's tenure, but some should be noted. From 
Staunton and the nearby communities came Richard Clemmer, 
Hugh Sproul, Jr., William W. Sproul, Gilpin Willson, Jr., Dr. 
Richard Potter, Rev. F. Wellford Hobbie, Mrs. Clyde Lambert, 
Mrs. Herbert McKelden Smith, and Dr. Albert R. Gillespie. 
Edmund D. Campbell served as president of the board of trustees 
until 1962 and then became General Counsel, a position he held 
until 1976. Among the faithful and influential alumnae board 
members during the Spencer years were Mrs. John Deming, Mrs. 
James Fancher, Mrs. Charles A. Holt, III, Mrs. Don A. Montgom- 
ery, Mrs. Robert H. Moore, and Mrs. Walter H. Woodson. Board 
members who had known and worked closely with Dr. Spencer 
included the Rev. John R. Cunningham, Dr. D. Grier Martin, Dr. 
Marvin B. Perry, Dr. John N. Thomas, and Mr. Eldon Wilson. 

^° The plaque on the terrace reads: 

The Barbara Kares Page Memorial Terrace 

given by her family, friends and the choir 

and students of the college 

in Honor of 

Barbara Kares Page 1916-1962 

A Highly Effective and Devoted Member 

of the Mary Baldwin Staff 

From 1949 to 1962 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

"^ See Catalogues . 1958 and 1968. Of course these numbers do 
not include maids, cooks and kitchen help, physical plant and 
maintenance men and night watchmen. In these years, the 
college budget grew from $700,000 to $2,255,000. Full-time 
faculty increased from 30 to 56 not counting the faculty in Madrid 
and Paris. At the same time, the student body increased from 311 
to 701. MBB Dec. 1968. 

^^ Self Study Sept. 1965. The system did, indeed, work well 
during Dr. Spencer's presidency. However, when five of these 
senior officers retired within a three-year period there was confu- 
sion and uncertainty among their successors. 

23 SelLStudy Sept. 1965. Minutes . Fac. 31 May 1958. SRS, 
letter to Ansley E.Moore, 19 Nov. 1962, SRS Mss—MBC Archives. 

24 SRS Mss — MBC Archives. There may have been no "formal" 
administrative manual but senior staff became aware that they 
were responsible for the smooth functioning of their offices. 

2^ Dr. Spencer could be flexible; it was a "Symposium" but if 
"Inauguration" would bring Dr. Toynbee, that is what he would 
call it. SRS Mss — MBC Archives. Dean Leyburn suggested that 
Dr. Toynbee had agreed to speak because of a "gaffe" which had 
appeared in his monumental history. He had written that Wood- 
row Wilson had been born in North Carolina, and it appealed to his 
sense of humor to be invited to view Wilson's birthplace in 
Staunton, Virginia . In any case he came, and although much 
bothered by the camera lights, spoke on "The Proper Study of 
Mankind is Man." James G. Leyburn, letter to SRS, 28 Sept. 1957 
SRS Mss — MBC Archives. The date indicates that Dr. Spencer 
was already planning this symposium before he had discussed it 
with the board in Oct. 1957. 

2^ The careful attention to detail and the combination of MBC 
and Davidson "connections" is apparent when one considers the 
following: Dr. Richard Potter, the Rev. Herbert S. Turner, and 
former President Frank Bell Lewis all gave either invocations or 
benedictions. Edmund D, Campbell, board of trustees president, 
presided at the inaugural convocation and spoke briefly. The 
charge was delivered by the Rev. John Rood Cunningham, former 
president of Davidson, and the Rev. John Newton Thomas (MBC 
board and faculty member of Union Theological Seminary) deliv- 
ered a Dedicatory Prayer. Also present and participating were the 
Rev. Hunter B. Blakely (former minister of First Presbyterian 
Church in Staunton and Secretary, Division of Higher Education 
PCUS), Dean Martha Grafton; Dean Elizabeth Parker; Dr. An- 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

drew J. Mahler (MBC faculty), the Rev. Philip A. Roberts, Modera- 
tor-Elect, Synod of Virginia; the Rev. Bernard E. Bain, Moderator 
of Synod Virginia; the vice-mayor of Staunton, Richard W. Smith; 
Betty Lankford Peek, president of the Alumnae Association of 
MBC. College students from MBC, Hampden-Sydney, and Wash- 
ington & Lee were on various panels, as were MBC faculty. It was 
a remarkable "tour de force" and reflected the broad range of 
acquaintances and friends as well as the empathetic understand- 
ing of MBC that the new president possessed. See Program: New 
Directions in the Liberal Arts, 15-16 April 1958, SRS Mss— MBC 

It should be remembered that the college had undertaken a 
conventional but elaborate and expensive inauguration for Presi- 
dent McKenzie three years before (16 April 1955). To use a 
different format may have been a tactful way of avoiding notice of 
the short interval between presidents, but this was certainly not 
Dr. Spencer's principal motive. He was truly interested in 
innovative methods and contents of college curricula, and the 
symposium device was an effective way of highlighting that 

The seven deans were: Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell, Dr. 
Elizabeth Hoon (Mrs. E. Robert Cawley ), Elizabeth Poole (Mrs. St. 
George Ai'nold), Inez Morton ( King's College), Katherine Sherrill 
(Hood College), Elizabeth Parker and Martha Grafton. 

^' Campus Comments gleefully reported that over spring 
break, the dining room (this was, of course, the old dining room on 
the gi^ound floor of Chapel) had been redecorated. The floor was 
black and white checkerboard tile, there was new beige wallpaper 
and m.odern "draperies." CC 15 April 1958. Even so, it is hard to 
imagine how all the guests and participants were fed in that 
limited space. The students had a "box supper" that night. At this 
time there was only one hotel in Staunton and one or two "guest 
houses." Accommodations for some of the visitors had to be found 
in private homes, including the president's and the dean's. 

-^ The actual surgery was performed on 8 April 1958. In this 
era, the normal recovery period for an uncomplicated appendec- 
tomy was about ten days, more than half of which would have been 
spent in the hospital. Dr. Spencer's physicians were not at all 
pleased with his proposed schedule, but cooperated in every way 
they could. 

29 SRS Mss— MBC AiThives. 

^° The number of letters written to prospective students (and 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

their parents) who had been denied admission to the college 
increased markedly over the years. Population gi^owth patterns 
of the 1960s were such that a large number of college age students 
were competing for limited space. Although the student numbers 
at MBC more than doubled during this decade, the Admissions 
office was able to accept only one out of four or five applicants. In 
addition to formal notification, Dr. Spencer wrote many personal 
letters to these disappointed young women. Dr. Spencer's letters 
in this regard were models of tact and sensitivity. In another vein. 
Dr. Spencer routinely returned honoraria and checks for travel 
expenses to their donors, unless they were for activities directly 
connected with MBC. 

^^ SRS "Improving the Quality of Higher Education" speech, 
nd, no location, SRS Mss — MBC Archives. 

32 SRS, letter to Betty Morton, 3 1 Oct. 1962; letter to Arthur M. 
Schlesinger, Sr. 23 Jan. 1958, (Mr. Schlesinger did not come), 
SRS Mss— MBC Archives. 

33 Minutes . BT 14 Oct. 1957. 90-94. 

34 James W. Jackson, letter to SRS, 21 Feb. 1958; SRS, letter 
to Frank S. Moore, 28 May 1958; SRS, letter to John Cunningham, 
24 June, 1958; SRS, letter to John N. Thomas, 19 May 1958, SRS 
Mss— MBC Archives. 

The problem arose in considering whether or not donors 
could "designate" contributions to either MBC, H-S, or PGC. 
Should this be allowed only after the proposed $2,500,000 goal 
was reached or from the start of the effort? Should the undesignat- 
ed funds be distributed on the basis of student enrollment, in 
which case H-S would receive considerably more than MBC, or 
should it be a formula 45-45-10? Should trustees of the two 
colleges contribute directly to the synod campaign or directly to 
the college with which they were identified? What about trustees 
who lived outside synod boundaries or who were not Presbyte- 
rian? What about alumni and friends who were not Presbyterian 
but who lived in the synod geographical area? When should they 
be solicited? How soon should the college start its own campaign; 
before the synod's, during or immediately after? Who would pay 
the expenses of Ketchum, Inc., and on what basis? It took ah of 
1957, and a good deal of 1958, to work out these answers. 
Understandably, both Dr. Robert and Dr. Spencer fought hard for 
their own college's interests, but generally Dr. Spencer mediated 
and compromised in his effort to strengthen the college-church 


To Live III Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels ami Academic Excellence 

35 By 29 May 1959, pledges totaled $881,254; cash receipts 
were only $211,000, from which Ketchum expenses had to be 
deducted. In the end, MBC received about $300,000 from the 
synod campaign. There had been some generous support. First 
Presbjderian Church in Staunton had pledged $30,000, plus there 
had been an additional $2,045 in individual pledges. Grace 
Covenant Church in Richmond promised $75,000, and Second 
Presbyterian (in Richmond) promised $100,000. Little Finley 
Memorial Church in Stuarts Draft (Dr. Grafton was its pastor) 
pledged $500 per year for ten years. Its congregation kept its 
promise. There had been 14,085 gifts specifically designated for 
MBC; (Hampden-Sydney had 18,657 designated gifts), but 207 of 
the synod's churches had either ignored the whole thing or refused 
to participate. One letter to Dr. Spencer declared, "With the 
attitude of our church, I cannot help but fear integration in our 
church schools, colleges and churches. I will give nothing to an 
integrated school, college or church," and added that Dr. Spencer 
should not come for a visit. 

The statistics and quotations in this section are all from the 
Spencer Mss collection, MBC Archives, labelled "Synod Cam- 
paign, 1958-59". 

It was probably no help to anyone's feelings that the Meth- 
odists in Virginia successfully concluded a $7 million campaign in 

3« SRS, letter to P. S. Clark, 17 Dec. 1964, SRS Mss— MBC 

As President Spencer and Pendleton Clark stood at the top 
of Market Street looking over the terrain of the proposed campus 
expansion, Mr. Clark said quietly, "This is a mighty rugged place 
to have to build on..." but, then, seeing the concern in Dr. Spencer's 
eyes, he added quickly, "but it has character." Dr. Spencer, thirty 
years later added, "It took a good deal of courage as well as 
imagination to convert the whole area into what it is today, and I 
think they deserve credit for that." SRS to Patricia Menk, 2 Nov. 
1988, College Archives. 

•^^ Speaker's Kit, 1958, Christian Higher Education Founda- 
tion, np. 

^^ The urban renewal remark was a bit pointed. The city gov- 
ernment was taking the first preliminary steps towards a feder- 
ally supported "urban renewal project" of its own, two blocks from 
the college campus. Already there was dissension in the commu- 
nity over the proposal, and, like many urban renewal projects of 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

the 1960s, the ultimate result fell far short of expectation. 

Actually, the college asked for much more than simply the 
closing of Market Street. Encompassed in the property were three 
tracts of city-owned land, an undeveloped "Grand Park," and two 
other parcels designed for future parks. There was also the 
problem of a narrow, winding dead-end street called Sycamore 
where there were several private homes and which was supposed, 
sometime in the future, to connect up with Market Street at the 
top of the hill. Once the Bickle property was acquired. Sycamore 
would have to remain "dead end" unless the college would permit 
access. The final resolution left the Sycamore Street issue unre- 
solved, and it has remained a point of contention with the private 
landowners from the mid-1960s until the present time. 

The college acknowledges with gratitude the recommenda- 
tions of the "Viewing" Committee, Fred Baylor, M. J. Reid, J. J. 
Kivlighan, John Clem III and Winston Wine, who recommended 
acceding to the college's request and to mayor Thomas Hassett, 
vice-mayor Lewis Knowles and Council who approved the recom- 
mendation on 26 March 1959. 
^^ The timetable looks like this: 

1957 — Purchase president's home on Edgewood Road 

1960 — Heating plant, tennis courts 

April 1961 — Lyda Bunker Hunt Dining Hall-600+ capac- 

Sept. 1961— "New Dorm". Named Margaret C. Woodson 
Residence Hall, April 1964, 136 students 

Sept. 1963 — "New, New Dorm". Named Samuel R. Spen- 
cer, Jr. Residence Hall April 1963, 172 students 

Early 1963 — Demolition Waddell Chapel; Wilson Terrace 

Sept. 1967 — Library opened. Named Martha Stackhouse 
Grafton Library April 1968 

Summer 1967 — ^Academic remodeled 

Oct. 1970 — Jesse Cleveland Pearce Science Center dedi- 

Between 1958-1965: 
21 houses were purchased; many removed, includingBickle, 
McFarland, Bell houses. 

1961 — Removal of Covered Way, Sky High, Infirmary, 
Maid's Cottage — re-laying of heat and water pipes 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

1962 — Removal Chemistry Building (Beckler) — relocated 
on first floor Academic until 1970 (after temporary relo- 
cation on ground floor of Chapel which then had to be re- 

Total cost: $5,797,000+ 

40 SRS, letter to Emmett B. McGukin, 13 Sept. 1961, SRS 
Mss— MBC Archives 

4^ The Spencer building program saw only the completion of 
Phase I and II. Phase III was projected for the mid-1970s and by 
then Dr. Spencer had resigned. Not all the proposals in phase III 
have been met, but most of them have, although not always in the 
manner anticipated thirty years ago. 

Dr. Spencer reluctantly came to agree that MBC would 
participate in the National Defense Student Loan Program. "I 
believe most colleges will try to help their students by participat- 
ing...," he declared. SRS, letter to Ben Beagle 4 March 1959, SRS 
Mss— MBC Archives. 

■^2 Throughout this decade, there were good friends of the 
college who gave regularly and generously to support college 
programs. Grateful acknowledgement to the Deming, Murphy, 
Wenger, Grant, Rosenberger, Conlon, Cooke, Davis, Donovan, 
and Montgomery families is made. In addition, the six children of 
Lyda Bunker Hunt donated $450,000 in honor of their mother to 
build Hunt Dining Hall. This gift came at a time early in Phase 
I when it appeared that not only the synod, but the MBC cam- 
paign would fail. It was exactly the kind of encouragement Dr. 
Spencer needed to persevere with this project. Without the Hunt 
gift, perhaps the whole expansion of the 1960s would not have 
taken place. A generous bequest from Margaret C. Woodson 
provided additional funds for the complicated student tuition 
packages and a healthy boost to the endowment. The Ford 
Foundation made significant contributions during this decade. 
Handsome gifts for the Grafton Library^ came from the Richard D. 
Cooke family, from Charles G. Reigner, and from the estate of 
Austin Y. Hoy (in memory of his mother, Elizabeth Young Hoy). 
Foundation support included: U. S. Steel, Mary Reynolds Babcock, 
Frueauff, Esso, Kresge, and Benwood gifts. Friends of Barbara 
Page contributed $15,000 for Page Terrace where Commence- 
ment is now held; the family of James D. Francis and the widow 
of Dr. James Cleveland Pearce supported generously the Science 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

For much of this decade, Mrs. Emily P. Smith acted as 
National Alumnae Campaign Chairman. She was ably supported 
by T. Alex Grant, Hugh Sproul, Jr., James Sprunt and Richard 
Clemmer during Phase I. General A. A. Sproul was chairman of 
the 1963 MBC Community Campaign for the Library. Much 
credit should be given to John B. Baffin, who, as special assistant 
to the president, had been of great influence in securing the major 
gifts that came to the college during this decade. 

"^^ For most of these years, C. P. Nair was the competent and 
dedicated chairman of the Trustee Development Committee. 
Special acknowlegement should be made of James T. Spillman 
and various college legal counsels (Edmund Campbell particu- 
larly) who steered the way through the maze of government 
contracts and forms. Dr. Spencer was capable of imaginative 
suggestions when it came to fund raising. On 22 February 1961, 
he suggested that women's colleges should jointly solicit corpora- 
tions whose profits came from women's consumer goods, such as 
cosmetics, hosiery, etc. Nothing further is mentioned of this 
suggestion. SRS Mss— MBC Archives. 

4^ By 1966, after much prayerful consideration, the synod 
authorized a "Christian College Challenge Fund" for the benefit 
of H-S/MBC. The goal was $2 million. Ketchum would again 
direct the effort, and Stuart Shumate (president of the Richmond, 
Fredericksburg and Potomac RR) and Philip A. Roberts were co- 
chairmen. The seven presbyteries of the synod each had a co- 
chairman, and undesignated gifts would be divided equally among 
the two institutions. Hopes for this effort were high. "I feel the 
Synod has a quite different attitude toward the colleges at this 
time," SRS wrote. (President's Report to the Synod, April 1964). 
By April 1970 about $1 million had been pledged. MBC's 
share was ca $400,000 — which was used for Pearce Science 
Center. SRS Mss— MBC Archives. 

"^'^ The vice-presidents for development after James Jackson 
resigned in 1960 were Joseph W. Timberlake, Jr. and Craven 
Williams; the director of public relations and publications was 
Dolores P. Lescure; and the executive director of the alumnae 
association after 1962 was Virginia Munce. 

^^ The bonds for Bailey Hall were retired Nov. 1966; the 
Library bonds are to be retired in 1995; Woodson and Pearce will 
be clear by 1999 and Spencer by 2012. The interest and return of 
principal payments for these four buildings amounted to $202,000 
annually, which in years of "tight" operating budgets could pose 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

a severe financial strain. In addition, of course, there were fur- 
nishings and equipment needed, upkeep and maintenance to be 
provided, additional utilities to be budgeted. Both Grafton and 
Pearce were air-conditioned (the only buildings then on campus 
that were), and library and especially science equipment is very 
expensive and needs to be kept state of the art. The operating 
budget of the college was $700,635 in 1958-59 and $2,255,191 in 
1967-68. MBB Dec. 1968; Self Study Sept. 1965, Sept. 1975. 

^~' Figures show that in 1970, in spite of increased tuition, the 
college "subsidized" each student $5-$600 a year. Financial aid to 
students in 1958-59 was $35,907; in 1967-68, $208,100. In 1958, 
the tuition was $1,650; in 1968, a day student paid $1,463. MBB 
Dec. 1968; Cat. 1958-1968. 

4^ Pamphlet, "Tuition Unit Plan" 1960; SRS Mss— MBC Ar- 
chives; Cat. 1960-1970. 

^^ SRS was paraphrasing a quotation from Winston Churchill 
when he made this observation to the Synod of Virginia, as it met 
on the MBC campus, 17 June 1964. During the next decade, this 
concept of the role of the endowment seemed almost to be ac- 
cepted, perhaps inevitably. Future trustees would have to deal 
with the consequences. Also, SRS, letter to R. T. Coleman, 12 
April 1962. SRS Mss— MBC Archives. Also Schultz, Karen, "A 
Decade of Daring," MBB Dec. 1968. 

^° The Woodson bequest provided that the college would 
receive the income from 1/5 other $4 million estate annually. The 
assets were never transferred to the college and are managed by 
the Margaret Woodson Foundation. For purposes of bookkeep- 
ing, the $800,000 was considered an endowment asset. The 
annual income from it in the 1960s and 1970s was ca $32,000. In 
addition, the board had authorized the assigning of non-desig- 
nated stocks and bonds held in the endowment fund as collateral 
for some of the loans of the development program. If, in the future, 
the college could not meet its obligations from its operating fund, 
some of its endowment was in peril. Self Study Sept. 1965, 88; 
Sept. 1975, 84. Minutes BT 21 April 1961. 

°' MBB Dec. 1968, 4. 

=2 MBB Nov. 1957, July 1959, Dec. 1959, May 1964, Nov. 1964, 
April 1966, May 1967, Nov. 1967, June 1968, Dec. 1968. Campus 
Comments . 3 May 1963 reported that MBC led all the indepen- 
dent women's colleges of the South in the percentage of gi^aduates 
listed in Who's Who of American Women ; one out of every 88 
graduates was so listed. 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

^^ The first recipients of the Emily Smith MedaUions were: 
Mrs. Richard D. Cooke 
Mrs. Neville Ehmann 
Miss Ruth D. See 
Mrs. Sidney B.Shultz 
Miss Fannie B. Strauss 
Mrs. William H. White, Jr. 
CC 6 June 1965 

54 MBB Oct. 1960 Lyda Bunker Hunt (1889-1955) had been a 
school teacher in Arkansas before her marriage and removal to 
Texas. Her mother had attended the seminary, and she in turn 
sent her two daughters, Margaret and Caroline, to Mary Baldwin 
College. She was elected a trustee in 1939 and served until shortly 
before her death. She had always been interested in the campus 
expansion and had contributed generously (and anonymously) to 
the Bailey dormitory project, as well as many other projects. 

55 The building did have some unusual features for a college 
facility. The portico and stuccoed columns matched nicely those 
of Memorial, Hill Top and Wenger Hall, which were on a horizon- 
tal plane with the new building, but the facade was enriched by 
wrought iron trim, planting beds, and aluminum framed glass 
doors leading to the terrace. The kitchen and service area was 
designed by Howard L. Post, who was the Food Service Consultant 
for the United Nations. Mr. I. Delos Wilson of New York was the 
primary consultant on interiors for Hunt, Woodson and Spencer. 
He had his own business and worked well with Dr. Spencer and 
his MBC advisors, MacDiarmid, Page, Timberlake, Parker, and 
others, including students. The cupola atop the roof, adorned with 
the cast iron symbol of hospitality — a pineapple — is a yearly 
challenge as college maintenance men mount a Christmas star 
each December. SRS Mss— MBC Archives. MBB Oct. 1960. 

5^ The official name is Margaret Cunningham Craig Woodson 
Residence Hall. She was a member of the board from 1940-1963 
and was a generous supporter of the college. The building was 
named in her honor with a cornerstone ceremony 17 April 1964. 
Minutes BT 1 Nov. 1963, 17 April 1964. 

The meditation room was made possible by Gladys Palmer 
Fickling and Elsie Palmer Adams. The old meditation room had 
been a small closet off the old chapel auditorium and the students 
had requested a new location. They shared in the planning for the 
Palmer Room. SRS Mss— MBC Archives. 

5^ It is traditional to name college buildings only after deceas- 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

ed individuals, but everyone agreed that "Spencer Residence 
Hall" was appropriate and the name was authorized. 

MBB June 1963, Dec. 1963; CC 2 June 1963, 11 Sept. 1963; 
Minutes BT 10 Nov. 1961, 25 Oct. 1962; President's Report to BT, 
Oct. 1963 SRS Mss— MBC Archives. 

58 Mrs. Gerald Donovan, letter to SRS, 12 Dec. 1961 SRS Mss— 
MBC Archives. 

59 SRS, letter to Ehzabeth Camp Ebbott, ? Jan. 1962 SRS Mss— 
MBC Archives. The Chapel's foundations were never strong 
enough to support the additional floor Maiy Julia Baldwin had 
added in 1871. In the early years of the 20th century W.W. King 
had been concerned about the building's stability. Some bracing 
had occurred in the 1920s and further improvements were made 
in the 1930s, but the college was indeed fortunate that no major 
tragedy had occurred. 

60 CC 9 Mar. 1962; MBB Apr. 1962. A picture of the old Chapel 
was on the cover; a sketch of proposed outdoor Chapel on back 

61 MBB Dec. 1963. The Mary Julia Baldwin Memorial window 
was carefully removed before the Chapel was demolished and has 
since been mounted in the Grafton Library. Also discovered in a 
cornerstone from the building was a broken wine decanter and 
fragments of a document stating that the Presbyterian congrega- 
tion in Staunton erected the building in 1817 "...the first year of 
the presidency of James Monroe." 

Some years later, two antique urns, adorned with ram's horn 
handles were placed on either side of the Wilson Terrace entrance. 
They had come from an old estate in Augusta County and had been 
given to the college by Horace and Mercer Day in memory of 
Elizabeth Nottingham Day. CC 15 Feb. 1963. 

62 Mr. and Mrs. Henry Wenger had been generous supporters 
of the college in the 1950s, and had contributed to the Bailey 
Residence Hall and Student Activities Building project. An 
additional gift had been made which Dr. Spencer added to the 
funds he was collecting for the library and he had written to ask 
what recognition they would think appropriate. The correspon- 
dence is lacking, but in 1963 a brief notice in college publications 
announced that the student activities building would be called the 
Consuelo Slaughter Wenger Building. Mrs. Wenger graduated 
from Mary Baldwin Seminary in 1919. 

SRS, letter to Henry E. Wenger, 21 Dec. 1961. 

SRS, letter to William B. Coleman, Jr., spring 1960 (re Ham 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

and Jam). SRS Mss— MBC Archives. 

Shortly after the restoration of "Ham and Jam," the Alum- 
nae Association commissioned bookends made in their image. 
These remained popular for many years and have been revived for 
the Sesquicentennial. 

63 SRS letter to John Owen, 5 May 1964, 15 June 1964, SRS 
Mss— MBC Archives. 

64 Typed report in SRS Mss— MBC Archives by Richard B. 
Harwell. The Librarian in question was Gertrude C. Davis, who 
had come to the college in 1957 (after a temporary appointment 
earlier in the 1950s). She remained during the ensuing decades, 
coping with all of the pressures of lack of space, small budgets, 
and student discontent. She helped plan the new library, oversaw 
the transfer of the contents from Academic in the summer of 1967, 
and established the high standards of professionalism and service 
that have characterized the library ever since. 

6"^ At one time. Dr. Spencer very tentatively suggested he might 
call the library "Jefferson Davis" because a possible major donor 
was a devoted member of the UDC. He also considered "Woodrow 
Wilson" and a "League of Nations" Terrace with a large globe in 
the entrance foyer and flags displayed. Student reaction was 
immediate and again negative. It would look like the "World's 
Fair"; "we already have a Woodrow Wilson memorial [the Terrace] 
and I see no real point in having another "..."the ideas look out of 
place..." "The League of Nations is 'dead now'". CC 9 Oct. 1964. 
SRS, letter to Desiree L. Frankhn, 28 Feb. 1962. The library 
remained unnamed until 1968. 

66 The final figure was $1,500,000 including furnishings. The 
financial breakdown was as follows: $326,676 — Federal grant; 
$639,000— Federal loan; and $322,683— college funds. SRS Mss— 
MBC Archives. Clark, Nexsen & Owen were assisted by J. Russell 
Bailey of Orange, Virginia who was a nationally recognized 
library consulting architect, and every effort was made to incorpo- 
rate the most recent and imaginative ideas about libraries in the 
design. The MBC tradition of open stacks was continued, and 
there was a big allowance for expansion. The building was free- 
standing and surrounded by terraces and graduated walkways 
with planters and trees. The traditional Mary Baldwin exterior 
was observed, cream or pale yellow paint and white columns, and 
there were many vertical windows and much sunlight. The floors 
were all carpeted (once the problem of static electricity was solved) 
and the mezzanine curved gracefully above the main floor. 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

^^ During the Spencer years, the college athletic field, which 
was some distance from the campus, was sold to groups of 
investors who were planning to build a regional post office, public 
health and social security facility and medical offices. This 
remaining portion of Miss Baldwin's farm brought the college 
$140,000 but meant there was little space for "field activities" 
after 1965. In addition, the "Art Building" on the corner of Mark- 
et and Frederick was sold to the First Presbyterian Church in 
1968 for $16,500. The college, after 1962, used the sanctuary of 
First Presbyterian Church for its biweekly chapel and annual 
baccalaureate services and, after 1969, the Tate Demonstration 
School was moved to leased quarters in the Potter Building to 
make room for the Science Center. Minutes EC 2 July 1968, 13 
June 1969. 

^^ CC 1964-65 passim ; 1966-67 passim , particularly 4 June 

^^ There have been three official versions of the institution's 
seal. From 1842-95 there was a shield with the letters AFS 
interwoven. From 1895-1929, the Baldwin family shield with oak 
leaves and squirrel was used for the seminary. Around the band 
were the words " Virtute et Opera. " Since 1929, the college seal has 
incorporated the Baldwin shield encircled by "Non Pro Tempore 
sedAeternitate" ("Not for the present but for eternity" )CC 15 Nov. 

"° Mrs. Grafton had been told shortly before the public an- 
nouncement. She said it was a "good thing or else I would have 
been dissolved in tears." The choir sang Psalm 150, for which the 
music had been written by Gordon Page. They also sang a 
selection, "A Hymn for Mary Baldwin," written by Mr. Page to the 
tune of an old Scandinavian folk melody. This had first been 
performed in 1966 but increasingly became an "unofficial" alma 
mater. A Campus Comments editorial called Mrs. Grafton "a 
warm and wise person," saying the library was a "symbol" of her 
"strength and faith." CC 25 Apr. 1968; MBB June 1968. 

"^ The faculty offices in Spencer were "substandard" because 
they had been created by plasterboard partitions, which touched 
neither the floor nor the ceiling. They afforded no privacy, poor 
lighting, and whenever a large lecture class was in session, the 
faculty heard it in their "offices." The lecture classes moved to 
Francis Auditorium or to a large lecture room in King by the early 
1970s, freeing the space in Spencer for the "Chute." 

^^ The Chemistry department was designated as the John B. 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Baffin Department of Chemistry by the board of trustees, ac- 
ceding to the request of faculty and former students. MBB Apr. 

John B. Baffin coordinated the committee work; honorary 
chairmen were Edwin F. Conger and W. P. Tams, Jr.; alumnae 
members were Margaret Richardson '46; and Josephine Hannah 
Holt '44; there were student members, community leaders, medi- 
cal doctors, university physicists, chemists and biologists and 
industrial representation. Later Richard B. Robertson and Ameri- 
can Safety Razor Corporation offered material as well as techni- 
cal advice. Br. John Mehner ably represented faculty wishes, 
throughout the planning. 

^^ The infirmary was moved to North Market Street next to 
Blakely house. 

'4 $462,000 grant U.S. Office Education 

$395,255 college funds (including synod's) 

$772,000 Federal loan. Eventually, the total cost was 

$2,200,000. MBB May 1967; June 1968. 

Buring 1967-68, a student campaign to raise funds for the 
Science Center took place. There was a Christmas Carnival, a 
"Mad Hatter's Bizarre," faculty skits, for which tickets were sold, 
and bake sales. Jeanne Schaub was in charge of the student effort, 
but no final figure for the student contribution has been found. 
The effort had been so vigorous and well publicized for the library 
that it was perhaps too much to expect that the whole process 
could repeat itself. Also, the next two years (1968-70) while the 
Science Center was in the process of construction were a time of 
change, controversy and protest. Student attention was frag- 
mented and overwhelmed. See issues CC 1969-70. 

The Synod Christian College Fund Campaign began in 1968 
and technically lasted until 1974, although, as always, the major 
contributions were made in the first year. Although a goal of $2 
million had been set (to be divided equally between H-S and MB), 
only $1,093,000 in net receipts were realized. Expenses had 
amounted to $71,000, and MB received $492,681 to be used for 
Pearce. Only the undesignated gifts were divided equally between 
the two colleges and thus, H-S got a larger share. Auditor's 
Report, 1974; CC 1 June 1969. 

^^ By 1964, there were 11.3 million persons between the ages 
of 18-22 in the U.S., an increase of 2.8 million from that same age 
group in 1952. That year, only 25% of 18-23 year olds were in 
college; by 1964, 42.3% were enrolled in colleges or universities. A 


To Lire In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels ami Academic Excellence 

possible danger signal might have been noted. In 1951, half of 
all students attended private colleges; by 1964, only 35.4% (about 
a third) of them were in private institutions. The percentage of 
students enrolled in private colleges would continue to decline. 

MBB Nov. 1964; Sept. 1968. These figures mean that in 
1965 over 600 applicants were rejected (out of 1,000). Note that 
the number of freshmen enrolled declined after 1966, partly be- 
cause retention in the upper classes improved and there was 
simply no room for more. 

^^ The Admissions Committee was composed of Dean Grafton, 
Dean Parker, Miss Hillhouse, and three faculty members who 
served three-year terms. Dr. Spencer was an ex officio member 
but, other than seeing that the committee had all available 
information about each applicant, he left them strictly on their 
own to make the best possible selections. SAT scores of entering 
students increased from 933 to 1080 between 1958 and 1968. 
MBB Sept. 1968 

" MBB June 1970, president's report to BT, 17 Apr. 1964, SRS 
Mss— MBC Archives. 

^8 Cat. 1958, 13; 1964, 25. Dr. Spencer made it clear that in his 
view and Dean Grafton's the admission of black students was a 
policy decision whose time had come. It was the "right thing to do. " 
CC May 1963, Minutes BT 19 Apr. 1963, SRS, letter to Patty 
Joe Montgomery, 17 May 1963, SRS Mss— MBC Ai'chives. It was 
not until 1968 that the first black young woman enrolled at MBC 
as a full-time boarding student. She was Lelia Ann Lytle (class 
'72) from Waynesboro, Va. She was shortly followed by Aurelia 
Crawford (class '74), but no black students actually enrolled 
during Dr. Spencer's presidency. 

^9 CC 3 May 1963, 25 Oct. 1963, 26 Feb. 1965, 16 April 1965. 
Generally, the college situation was made easier than it otherwise 
might have been by local community actions. The public library, 
movie houses and the downtown eating places were quietly de- 
segregated in the early 1960s, and the public schools were deseg- 
regated in 1963-64. This is not to suggest that there was not 
tension and upheaval, and the city was actually part of a regional 
suit brought by the NAACP concerning the schools. But long 
before the case could be heard, the school board and the city (as 
well as surrounding areas) had voluntarily desegregated. There 
were no riots or massive civil disobedience demonstrations. Some 
members of the MBC community faculty and staff, including 
President Spencer, participated in memorial services and marches 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels ami Academic Excellence 

for Martin Luther King, and chapel services took note of the tragic 
assassinations of the 1960s. Campus Comments had a poHcy of 
not "covering" national news events, and reading the college 
newspapers of these years gives little clue to campus emotions. 
Much higher visibility of these issues, the Vietnam War and 
eventually feminism occurred in the 1970s. 
«o Minutes BT 15 Apr. 1966. 

President's Report 14 Apr. 1967. Dr. Spencer was a good 
prophet — the next decade was very hard for single-sex colleges — 
even more difficult than he could have dreamed it would be. 

It is interesting to note that Davidson College, N. C. (for- 
merly all male) became a coeducational institution within five 
years of Dr. Spencer becoming its president in 1968. 
SI Quoted in MBB Dec. 1968. 

Acceptance Address SRS, MBB May 1958 SRS Mss— MBC 

^^ The equipment cost $6,298 in 1958 and was contributed 
anonymously. There was considerable reshuffling of language 
faculty personnel and office space in this decade. All students had 
to present the equivalent of two years of a foreign language for 
graduation, and as the student body increased, so did the number 
of faculty. Occasional classes in Latin, in Chinese, and in Russian 
were also taught in response to student demand. Finding office 
space and determining whether or not there would be a Chairman 
of the Modern Language Department or whether each language 
would have its "own" senior member involved some interesting 
personality clashes. Mile. Flansburgh retired in 1960 (she had 
been at the college since 1927) and Miss Fannie in 1962. Vega 
L3d;ton remained, and alumnae will remember Julian White, 
Dorothy Mulberry, Barbara Ely, Frances Jacob, and Kurt Kehr, 
all of whom were members of the college faculty during the 
Spencer years. There were others, some from France, Spain and 
Germany, but they usually stayed either one or two years and 
space does not permit listing all their names, although many 
achieved enduring friendships with other faculty and students. 
S'^ SRS Mss— MBC Archives; Minutes Fac. 16 Sept. 1958, 7 May 
1963; President's Report 1960 SRS Mss— MBC Archives; CC 3 
May 1963; SelfStudv 1965 p. 76. 

84 SRS, letter to Myron F. Wicke, 25 Aug. 1958, SRS Mss— 
MBC Archives 

SRS Mss— MBC Archives 

Pamphlets "The Independent Reading Program for Fresh- 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

man and Sophomores" June 1958, MBC Archives. 

The hst included: Homer, The lUad; Rostand, Cyrano de 
Bergerac : Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame : Bunyan, The 
Pilgrim's Progress : Durant, The Story of Philosophy : Virgil, The 
Aeneid : Goethe, Faust (Part I); Carroll, Alice's Adventures in 
Wonderland : Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter : Toynbee, Civiliza - 
tion on Trial : Dante, Divine Comedy , I; Aeschylus, the Oresteian 
Trilogy : Dostoevski, The Brothers Karamazov : Swift, Gulliver's 
Travels . Darwin, Origin of the Species . The choices were often 
modified over the eight years the program lasted. 

«5 SRS, letter to Harold H. Laskey, 1 July 1959 SRS Mss— 
MBC Archives. 

86 SRS Mss— MBC Archives; CC 24 Apr. 1964, 6 June 1965; 
Minutes Fac. 13 Apr. 1965, 4 Jan. 1966. 

8^ Among the speakers and programs were: "America in Asia, 
How Ugly?," "Post Christian Era— Is It Now?," "College Manners 
and Morals," "Supreme Court, Temple and Forum," "The Latin 
American Revolution," "Our Expanding Universe," "India's For- 
eign Policy," "Dynamics of Marxist Revolution," "Value of Schol- 
arship," "The Contemporary American Woman," "The U.S. and 
the Communist World," "Southeast Asia and the U.S.," "Oriental 
and Occidental Ideas," "Uses of Power in University Governance." 
Among the lecturers were Dr. Charles Reigner, John Scott 
(of Time magazine), Denis Brogan, Supreme Court Justice Wil- 
liam O. Douglas, Dr. Marjorie Reeves, Robert Speaight ( Murder 
in the Cathedral ). Dr. Huston Smith (MIT), Dean Vaman Kantak 
(University of Baroda, India), Basil Rathbone, Howard Nemerov, 
Helen Hill Miller, Dr. Roland M. Frye (Folger Library), Emlyn 
Wilhams, Dr. W.W. Sayre, Charles McDowell, Arthur S. Link, 
Erskine Caldwell, William C. Battle, Frank Bell Lewis, Joseph 
Campbell, The Rev. George A. Chauncy. Others were former 
Chancellor of Austria Dr. Kurt von Schuschnigg, Dr. Enrique 
Lafuente Ferrari (Director of the Museum of Modern Art in 
Madrid), JulianMarias, Dr. Katie Louchheim, Victor L.Butterfield, 
Bruce Catton, Jacqueline Grennan, General Alfred M. Gruenther, 
the Rev. William Glenesk ("Jesus Wore Long Hair"), Governor 
Hulett Smith of West Virginia, Paul A. Freund; Manuel Santana, 
(tennis exhibition), Arnold Toynbee, Dame Judith Anderson, and 
John Baillie of Edinburgh. 

In addition, the National Symphony and the Columbia Boys' 
Choir appeared regularly through the King Series. 

«8 President's Report 1963, 1964 SRS Mss— MBC Archives; 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

CC 3 Nov. 1961 (whole edition), 17 May 1963: Minutes Fac. 29 May 
1961, 7 Sept. 1962. 

Dr. Spencer visited Madrid in Nov. 1963 and was "much 
gratified"; the faculty, he said, are the "most eminent persons in 
Spain." Actually, Dorothy Mulberry stayed for three years in 
Madrid; 1962-65; and Dr. Ely became the director in 1965-66 for 
a two-year period. It was not always easy to persuade parents that 
their daughters would be safe in Franco's Madrid (and later in 
anarchistic Paris). Another spin-off from the overseas programs 
was student attitudes toward college social regulations after they 
returned. They "stimulated" the campus in ways Dr. Spencer had 
perhaps not anticipated. 

Some European faculty did visit the college: Julian Marias 
was a visiting scholar for a month in 1965 and was here on at least 
three other occasions. Students in the Spanish house had fund 
raising activities to pay for Dr. Enrique Lafuente's visits in 1967. 

«9 SRS, letter to Martha Grafton, 1963 SRS Mss— MBC 
Archives: Minutes BT 20 Oct. 1967, SRS Mss— MBC Archives; CC 
29 Sept. 1967, 8 Dec. 1967. 

^° The Oxford program was really the child of Dr. Ben Smith 
and Professor Marjorie Reeves of St. Anne's College. She had 
visited Mary Baldwin in 1966, and a relationship between MBC 
and St. Anne's was established which endures to this day. After 
several years, the program was partnered with Davidson College 
and then became part of the offerings of a consortium of Virginia 
colleges and universities. There is always a resident director from 
a Virginia college. 

91 MBB Nov. 1964, Autumn 1965. 

92 MBB May 1965; Minutes BT 9 Apr. 1965. 

9^ Almost all of these lectures and programs were attended by 
the entire student body, not always voluntarily. Most of them 
were presented during the "required" Friday convocations, and 
there are occasional remarks in Campus Comments about "bor- 
ing" lectures and esoteric topics. But, in spite of student protest 
or indifference, there is no question that the intellectual atmo- 
sphere of the campus was enhanced by these events. They were 
part of the "intellectual vigour" Dr. Spencer had promised, and the 
students absorbed more than they knew from four years of 
exposure to these ideas. 

94 The luncheon tickets cost $10 each and were sold on a first- 
come basis except for a small number reserved for distinguished 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Aendemic Excellence 

The timing of this affair is significant. As far as Dr. Spencer 
and the college were concerned, they were still recovering from the 
elaborate cornerstone laying for Hunt Dining Hall, which had 
been held 22 October 1960, five days earlier. There was also the 
small matter of the luncheon beverage. Mrs. Smith insisted that 
there must be champagne for the luncheon toasts; Dr. Spencer 
reminded her that college policy forbade alcohol on the campus. 
There appeared to be a compromise with "sparkling" gi^ape juice, 
but when the honorees' table on the stage was served, it was with 
champagne. The rest of the 700 drank apricot nectar. Even more 
important was the fact that the election of 1960 was less than a 
week away. The White House and Mrs. Smith both insisted that 
the trip was "non-political" (after all, Woodrow Wilson had been 
a Democrat), but many people did not think it was. Democratic 
Virginia had twice voted for a Republican president, and the 
Virginia senior senator Harry F. Byrd had supported Eisenhower 
in 1952 and 1956. When the word reached the governor of 
Virginia, J. Lindsay Almond (who supported Kennedy), that 
President Eisenhower was coming, a difficult problem arose. 
Almond solved it by flying to the Shenandoah Valley to welcome 
the President of the United States to Virginia, and then he 
immediately flew back to Richmond. The two Virginia senators, 
Harry F. Byrd and A. Willis Robertson, stayed with President 
Eisenhower all day. No reference was made during the entire 
Virginia visit to the pending 1960 election. In spite of this. Dr. 
Spencer did not escape unscathed. Several letters from alumnae 
and others criticized the Eisenhower visit, and one person even 
declared she had taken the college out of her will. SRS Mss — MBC 
Archives; MBB Nov. 1960; Oral interview, SRS and Patricia 
Menk, 9 Jan. 1991. 

^^ The topics of the lectures are interesting: they included, 
"New Horizons in Ecological Research," "The Place of Computers 
in our Society," "Economics of Environmental Pollution," "Marsh- 
land Dramatics," "Impact of Deficient Diets on Human Behav- 
ior," "Fallacies about Feeding the U.S. and Feeding the World." 
MBB Nov. 1967. 

The students at the College Bowl were Van Lear Logan, 
Susan Gamble, Anne Scholl, Barbara Shuler. The alternate was 
Kay Culbreath. The final score was 220-110. MBB May 1967. 

The Russian Revolution Seminar was funded by the Teacher's 
Service Center of the American Historical Association. About 200 
public school teachers attended the two-day event, which included 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

an art exhibit, a recital by the college choral group and movies as 
well as the lectures. Minutes Fac. 2 Oct. 1967. 

96 MBB Nov. 1966 The trilogy was composed of "A Visit to the 
Sepulcher," "The Lament of Mary," and "The Stranger." The 
students were Ginny Royster '64, Anne Corbin '64, Cecelia Flow 
'61, and Linda Dolly '61. 

9^ CC 8 Dec. 1966, 8 Dec, 1967. 

98 MBB May 1964. Cat. 1968-69; CC 10 May 1963, SRS Mss— 
MBC Archives. 

99 This was an era of much student discontent around the 
country. There was criticism of huge lecture sections, graduate 
students teaching in place of distinguished professors, the im- 
personality of large institutions, the "publish or perish" mandate. 
In other places, faculty and administrative offices were occupied 
and trashed, demonstrations rent the academic community, and 
adversarial relationships became the accepted mode of communi- 
cation. Campus Comments remarked, "We at Mary Baldwin are 
very fortunate that our faculty... is above all dedicated to the 
responsibility of teaching. Our professors are accessible both 
inside and outside the classroom." CC 5 Mar. 1965. 

Mary Baldwin's answer to these challenges was the new 
curriculum. It is interesting to note that all but one member of the 
committee who drew up the plan had joined the faculty since 1960. 
Their academic credentials were impressive, coming as they did 
from major American and European universities, and they were 
influenced by these trends. The faculty, in accepting their recom- 
mendations, sincerely felt that they were following Dr. Spencer's 
commitment for "intellectual vigour." The committee members 
were Marjorie Chambers, Chairman; Ulysse Desportes; Joseph 
Garrison; Robert Lafleur; John Mehner; Frances Jacob; and 
Martha Grafton, ex officio . Minutes . Fac. 3 Jan. 1967; Cat 1968- 
69; MBB June 1968. 

100 CC 14 Apr. 1967, 17 Nov. 1967. 

101 The early Self-Study (the college has now had three of them) 
was not opened to public perusal; nor were the "recommenda- 
tions" published. The chapter on "Financial Resources" was 
considered particularly sensitive. Copies of the report were kept 
in the president's office for many years. Although some of the 
faculty resented the work involved, it did provide them an oppor- 
tunity to collectively (and relatively anonymously) express their 
opinions about a number of aspects of the college's program. It 
was one more indication of the increasing openness of the college 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

world. "Institutional Self-Study" Mary Baldwin College, Sept. 
1965 "confidential". Minutes BT Apr. 1964, 15 Oct. 1965, April 

^°^ Beta Beta Beta (biology) had had a chapter since 1948. 
Minutes Fac. 23 Jan. 1968. 

The Woodrow Wilson Fellows were Joan Goolsby and Ann 

^°^ Dr. Spencer had already made one Founders' Day address 
and one regular commencement address at Mary Baldwin before 
1963. He was generally very popular with the students, and if he 
had agreed, the students would have asked him to speak even 
more frequently. After 1963, he always made a brief presentation 
at commencements, but there were no more formal commence- 
ment speakers until the Lester administration. Dr. Huston Smith 
was asked to return for Founders' Day in 1963 and did so. The 
students dedicated the 1964 Bluestocking to him. 

104 President's Report, 11 Mar. 1960, 17 Apr. 1964. In 1964, 
there were 15 professors, eight associate professors, eight assis- 
tant professors, and 10 instructors. The age distribution was four 
between 20-29 years; 23 between 25-44 years; 13 between 50-64 
years, and four over 65, and this reflected the situation for the 
remainder of Dr. Spencer's presidency. The faculty/student ratio 
was 1/14. Self Studv 1965. 

105 Minutes . BT 21 Mar. 1957. 

In these days, individual salary amounts were considered 
confidential, as indeed was the college budget, indebtedness and 
sources of income. Faculty appointments were made by the pres- 
ident with the advice of the dean, who usually (but not always) 
consulted with senior faculty of the discipline before choosing 
among potential prospects. A personal interview was required, 
but no classroom presentations were made, nor was any student 
input sought. 

SRS Mss— MBC Archives 
lo*^ In 1967, Dr. Spencer persuaded the trustees to allow him to 
add $50,000 to the total faculty payroll, in order to qualify for Phi 
Beta Kappa consideration. He called it a "daring step" and 
compared it to FDR's call for 50,000 airplanes in 1940. It resulted 
in MBC being number 2 on the VFIC list, but only briefly. 

Minutes BT 20 Oct. 1967 

In 1967, the figures show that 60% of the faculty had been 
hired since 1960. The consequences of this in the outlook and 
attitude of these men and women is obvious. Fourteen faculty and 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

administrators were members of Phi Beta Kappa. 

10- Self-Study 1965 

SRS, letter to William Wendel, 14 Sept. 1964 SRS Mss— 
MBC Archives. 

1°^ Concerning student/faculty evaluation, the administration 
was generally cool to the idea. In 1959 a SGA committee had 
prepared confidential evaluations on each department and they 
had been distributed to the faculty, but they were not encouraged 
to repeat the exercise. Mrs. Grafton felt they had a "right" to do 
this if they chose, but, she said, "it might disturb student-faculty 
relations needlessly" and "it might be taken too seriously by the 
faculty themselves. Overevaluation is a menace which ought to be 
sensibly avoided." In 1967, a student faculty committee to study 
the whole concept was reactivated but no policy was adopted at 
this time. 

"Project Opportunity" was sponsored in 1965 by the South- 
ern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Ford Foundation. 
Seventeen "southern colleges" were to "search out" talented youths 
from disadvantaged backgi^ounds at the seventh and eighth gi'ade 
levels and devise programs which would enrich their secondary 
school experiences and prepare them for admission to college. 
MBC joined the University of Virginia in focusing on two high 
schools in Nelson County. Some 52 children were involved, and 
they attended cultural and academic events on both campuses for 
several years. Funding disappeared in the 1970s. Self-Study 

At the same time that the faculty voted to ban smoking at 
their meetings, they voted that smoking in classrooms would be 
permitted with the permission of the instructor. 

109 p^j.^ Qf ^YiQ formalization of faculty regulations had pro- 
vided that a continuing, or tenured, contract terminated at age 65. 
Yearly appointments might be made thereafter, at the pleasure of 
the president, until age 70 at which time retirement was manda- 
tory. Some emeriti continued to serve in other ways. Dr. Turner 
acted as the college chaplain for several years. Miss Fannie 
worked closely with the alumnae office, and Mr. Baffin was 
special assistant to the president until 1967. 

11° The Spencer appointments had considerable stability, al- 
though not all those listed stayed until they retired. Others who 
were on the faculty for a shorter period were William Kimball, 
Julian White, Mary Jane Donnalley, Alan Geyer, Anne Miller, 
June Woodhall, Kurt Kehr, Carl Edwards, Joanne Ferriot, and 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Ellen Vopicka. Longtime library staff were Dorothy Ferrell, Alice 
Simpkins, Catherine Rosen and Janet Leonard. There were 
others whose tenure was briefer, and while appreciated, are not 
listed here. A complete listing of all faculty and staff is in the 
College Catalogues 1957-1968. 

Ill Cat. 1968. 

11^ The "Young Democrats" were organized on campus 22 Nov. 
1963; the "Young Republicans" on 17 Jan. 1964. 

Campus Comments described chapel and convocation be- 
havior as based on "indifference, immaturity, pure laziness." A 
later comment asked sarcastically, "Should we sell popcorn?" 
Editorials said the students left "The Club" in a "gigantic mess," 
and another said that all students cared about is "flicking (mov- 
ies), bridgebopping and discussing the merits of various fraterni- 
ties". CC 16 Jan. 1959, 26 Feb. 1961, 21 Apr. 1966, 11 Dec. 1964, 
21 Apr. 1967. Perhaps it should be remembered the student 
editors are frequently harder on their peers than their elders 
would be. 

^^^ In 1965, President Spencer's report to the trustees men- 
tioned, "...we have our normal share of student problems of 
varying kinds... [but] morale... is high and there is an unusual 
degree of stability in comparison with the unrest on many 
campuses... [There is now] an understandable social sensitivity 
with regard to the civil rights movement." President's Report 16 
Apr. 1965. SRS ]\dss— ]V[BC Archives. 

114 Handbook 1965, 99. 

115 Handbook 1959, 1968; CC 8 Feb. 1963, 1 JVIar. 1963, 21 Feb. 
1964, 17 Apr. 1964, 1 IMay 1964, 11 Feb. 1966, 29 Feb. 1968, 11 
Apr. 1968. 

116 CC 20 Oct. 1966, 3 IVIar. 1966. There were heavy snow- 
storms during the decade of the 60s; 11 separate episodes in 1960- 
61; 15" fell on 19 JVIar. 1960 and 30" in IVIar. 1966. 

11^ All of these references are in Campus Comments 1958-68; 
"IVIystery IVIeat" turned out to be, in answer to a student's query, 
milk-fed veal from Wisconsin! The students still rejected it. CC 
24 Feb. 1966. Alumnae will enjoy recalling the mercantile 
establishments "downtown" (no malls as yet) who supported 
student publications by their advertisements. Rick's "Coed Cor- 
ner," Central Drug Store, iVlorgan's IVIusic Center, the Palais 
Royal, Hogsheads, Schwarzschild's, Leggetts', Woodward, The 
Homestead Restaurant, Bennie's Shoe Store, Fink's Jewelry, H.L. 
Lang, New York Dress Shop, The Sportsmen, Emily's Knit Shop, 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

Carl's Pastry Shop, all welcomed the students year after year. 

^^* Needless to say, the MBC Infirmary did not provide "the 
pill." CC 2 Nov. 1967. Zero population growth was a very popular 
movement in the late 1960s. Couples planned merely to replace 
themselves and a family of two children (one of each sex) was 
considered "ideal." 

^^^ All of these reactions are found in Campus Comments for 
these years. From time to time, the MBB would print stories about 
changing student mores, but always "after the act" and with little 
emphasis on the process involved. Alumnae, of course, were often 
the harshest critics of these changes and administrators spent 
much time and effort in "explaining" and defending new policies. 
Generally Dr. Spencer had such good rapport with alumnae and 
board members, who trusted him, that they accepted his word 
that new relationships were inevitable. Future administrations, 
dealing with more extreme issues, had greater difficulty in win- 
ning acceptance. 

For those who have forgotten, the "apartment" rule pro- 
vided that students could visit apartments or "cabins" in Lexing- 
ton and Charlottesville only when two or more couples were 
present. They were not allowed to attend parties in motels or 
hotels. The "approved housing" required that a student make 
room reservations through the dean's office when she was spend- 
ing the weekend at a college or university town. She was expected 
to "check in" with her hostess and to observe college "hours" for 
returning. The hours were quite generous — Friday 3:00 a.m.; 
Saturday 2:00 a.m. The much resented "25 mile" rule extended all 
college regulations about driving in automobiles, times for sign 
ins and outs, and the use of alcoholic beverages to the territory 
within a 25 mile radius of the city limits of Staunton. A student 
was on her honor to report any personal violations of these 
regulations and also to encourage other students whom she might 
observe violating them to report themselves. Failure to do this 
constituted a serious Honor violation. Handbook 1962 and others. 

^-° One prerequisite for a successful college president is that he 
have trustees who will come to meetings, work hard and are 
generally supportive of his program. By 1966, there were many 
new faces on the board, partly because the rotation rule had had 
time to take effect and partly because of the attrition of age and 
illness. Dr. Spencer had used these opportunities to appoint 
congenial, like-minded, but not uncritical, persons, many of whom 
were personal friends. At a time when many college presidents 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

were suffering from unsympathetic or insensitive boards of trust- 
ees, Dr. Spencer generally had the support of both his trustees 
and his administration. 

Among board members who attended this momentous meet- 
ing were Charles P. Lunsford, Chairman; C. P. Nair, Albert R. 
Gillespie, Edmund D. Campbell, Bertie Deming, John P. 
Edmondson, Katherine N. Fishburn, William H. Foster, Jr., F. 
Wellford Hobbie, Willard L. Lemmon, Frank S. Moore, Emily P. 
Smith, W. W. Sproul, John N. Thomas and Eldon Wilson. New 
members were: John H. Cecil, Horace P. McNeal, Patty Joe 
Montgomery, and Marvin B. Perry. 

^-^ The college reiterated its belief that premarital sexual 
relationships were unacceptable behavior and was thus, idealis- 
tically, placing the decision about such matters in the hands of the 
junior and senior college women. Students had not been slow to 
point out that having another couple present, or even one other 
person, was hardly a guarantee of "appropriate" sexual behav- 
ior — "apartments" usually had more than one room, they as- 

W. J. B. Livingstone, letter to SRS 13 Apr. 1961; SRS, letter 
to W. J. B. Livingstone, 14 Apr. 1961 SRS Mss— MBC Archives. 

^" A poll among MBC students in the spring of 1966 revealed 
that out of 604 students participating, 488 said they drank 
alcoholic beverages; and 467 said they wanted the MBC require- 
ment changed. Materials for Peaks of Otter Retreat, SRS Mss — 
MBC Archives. In 1966 Virginia state law permitted the sale of 
3.2 beer to individuals over eighteen years of age. 

It should be pointed out that the college statement about 
"in the eyes of the public" constituted a poor reason, in the views 
of students of the 1960s and 1970s. According to the countercul- 
ture ideals, one's behavior came from inner needs and desires and 
to conform to "public opinion" as setting the standards of one's 
behavior was hypocrisy. By no means all of the MBC students 
accepted the configuration of "situation ethics," but the influence 
of these ideas permeated college campuses and did affect deci- 

See CC 8 Dec. 1966. The girls called it "alcoholic liberty." 
This was only the beginning of the modification of this and other 
social rules. 

123 CC 10 Mar. 1967, 27 Oct. 1967, 17 Nov. 1967. 

Handbook 1968 The Handbook warned that the college 
was not responsible for "enforcing Virginia state laws concerning 


To Live In Time Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

alcohol or drug consumption, nor could it help those who were 
arrested for violating such policies." The whole issue of police on 
campus lay in the near future. 

^^'* Among the difficulties about the unsuitability of King 
Auditorium for chapel was the frequent dropping of knitting 
needles which made a ringing noise on the gymnasium floor and 
rolled beyond the reach of their sometimes embarrassed owner. 
CC 14 Mar. 1958, 1 Mar. 1963, 12 Apr. 1963, 9 Dec. 1965, 11 Feb. 
1966, 21 Apr. 1966, 21 Apr. 1967. 

^^^ Helen Miller ('35) recalled Dr. Jarman reprimanding her 
when she was Campus Comments editor for having a graduation 
edition appear on Sunday. That must never happen again, he 
warned. Now, she observed, you always have a Sunday graduation 
edition. CC 10 Jan. 1964. 

126 Miscellanv 1963-64 Spring; CC 24 Feb. 1966 

SRS, letter to 8 Sept. 1958 SRSMss—MBC Archives. 

127 Address to MBC student body 19 Sept. 1959. SRS, letter to 
Karen K. Huffman, 17 Jan. 1962. Church address, ca. 1963. 
President's Report 12 Oct. 1967. SRS Mss— MBC Archives. 

MBB 1968 

128 CC 22 Feb. 1968, 17 Sept. 1968, SRS Mss— MBC Archives, 
Minutes BT 18-19 Oct. 1968. 

The Search Committee was composed of Willard L. Lem- 
mon. Chairman, Bertie Deming, Alum., the Rev. John D. MacLeod, 
Jr. (BT), Dr. Marvin Perry (BT), Dean Grafton, Ben Smith (fac- 
ulty), Marjorie Chambers (faculty), Claire (Yum) Lewis (student), 
Sue Stephens (student) and Sharon Ellis (student). 

Since 1945, Mrs. Grafton had served as acting president 
three or four times depending on how technical one is. In 1945, she 
had directed the college for two years, after Dr. Jarman's illness 
and before President Lewis had arrived; in 1953, she served for 
one year, after Dr. Lewis resigned; and she had virtually been 
president in 1965-66 when Dr. Spencer was on leave. In 1968, she 
again filled the position until Dr. Kelly arrived. 

On 19 Oct. 1968, the board of trustees voted a sincere and 
eloquent Resolution Regarding the Resignation of President 
Samuel Reid Spencer, Jr. It said in part: 

As an outstanding educator he 
emphasized that the quality of the 
educational program depended upon the 
high qualifications of faculty and students, 


To Live In Time Bulldozers. Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

and on a demanding curriculum. Further- 
more, he sought constantly to improve 
these two areas. 

For his vision and leadership in the 
extensive building program, for his con- 
stant drive toward the betterment of 
faculty and faculty salaries; for the estab- 
lishment of the international program; 
for his untiring efforts toward the 
strengthening of the financial structure 
of the college; for his warm-hearted 
friendliness toward every student, faculty 
member and college employee; for his 
development of effective participation of 
the students in the best interests of the 
college; for his interest and concern in 
every detail of college life, and for his daily 
example as a Christian gentleman, we 
honor him. 

For these eleven years of dedicated 
service to the college, the Board of Trustees 
is deeply grateful. Leaving us he carries 
with him our love, respect, admiration and 
good wishes as he assumes the position of 
president of Davidson College. 


To Live In Time 

Bulldozers, Steam Shovels and Academic Excellence 

William Watkins Kelly 



NeAv Dimensions: 

William Watkins Kelly 



he board of trustees gathered for 
its regular fall meeting at the Peaks of Otter Conference Center 
18-19 October 1968. The 1968-69 session of the college had opened 
quietly. The presidential selection committee, chaired by Willard 
L. Lemmon, was unlike that small select inner group who had 
chosen Dr. Spencer 11 years before. This time there was admin- 
istration, faculty, alumnae, and student representation, as well as 
trustees, and each shared in the laborious process of winnowing 
the more than 100 applications that were received in response to 
the widespread request for nominations. This "shared consulta- 
tive" process was a reflection of how much and how rapidly 
perceptions of college government had changed in the previous 
decade. And it was a warning of the bitter conflicts to come among 
students, faculty, administration and the public, not only at Mary 
Baldwin College, but at almost every educational institution in 
the country. 

After the disastrous Democratic presidential nominating con- 
vention in Chicago in the summer of 1968, student protesters 
disrupted classes, occupied and burned university buildings, 
intimidated boards of trustees, and appalled administrators and 
alumni at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Duke, Michigan, Berkeley, 
San Francisco, and elsewhere. The "causes" the students em- 
braced were many and varied: they included the ending of the 
Vietnam conflict; stopping the military draft; ending investments 
in South Africa; halting federal money for military research in 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William. Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

university facilities; and demands for black studies, women lib- 
eration agendas, pollution and environmental concerns. Con- 
vinced that they could not "trust anybody over thirty," students 
demanded an end to course and graduation requirements, the 
abolition of all restrictive social regulations and a share in the 
governance of their institutions. A small minority wanted to 
"radicalize" all youth and destroy the "corrupt" political and social 
system of the country . Other young people "dropped out," joined 
communes, embraced (or made up) strange religions, made "love 
not war," smoked "pot" and experimented with hallucinogens. In 
the summer of 1969, 400,000 of them converged in the rain and 
mud of Woodstock to participate in the symbolic "dawning" of the 
Age of Aquarius. 

The impact of all of this on middle America was profound. 
Reflecting this concern, the Mary Baldwin Bulleti n, Alumnae 
Issue, May 1969 printed A Special Report, titled "Who's in Charge?" 
and "Who's in Charge at Mary Baldwin?" in which the various 
constituencies of a college or university were analyzed. In ad- 
dition to trustees, administration, faculty, students, and alumni, 
the "constituencies" included the "community" and the "American 

A few conclusions from this lengthy report warrant attention. 
Trustees were viewed by the discontented as the "Establishment" 
and were the ultimate focus of all of the turmoil, but when the 
institution was threatened by "earnest, primitive, single-minded 
fanatics or calculating demagogues," trustees had to make deci- 
sions to protect the institution. College presidents now had a 
"service role"; they were caught "in the middle" between trustees, 
faculty and student demands. College presidents must defend 
"institutional integrity" but should expect the authority of the 
administration to "erode" in the 1970s. No president, the report 
warns, "can prevail indefinitely without at least the tacit support 
of the faculty." But the faculty themselves were changing. They 
"moved around" a lot more than they used to and no longer 
perceived an "organic relationship" to their institution. They 
wanted to participate in decision-making but resented the time it 
took to do so. Many of them joined or led student protests. The 
community , on the other hand, expected colleges and universities 
to serve society, and changes in educational institutions were 
perceived as threats to vested interests and were resented. Last- 
ly, the American people had power because both the federal and 
state governments had contributed billions of tax dollars to pub- 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

lie and private institutions since World War II and, in the end, 
the people would fail to support those institutions which they 
perceived as contradicting American values. 

What, however, did all this have to do with Mary Baldwin 
College, seemingly so remote, both physically and intellectually, 
from this ferment and disorder? Essentially the 1968-69 session 
was a hiatus, a holding action, a pause between the old and the 
new. It was as if the college gathered itself together to absorb all 
of the changes and challenges of the Spencer era and would thus 
be able to present a cohesive community for the new president 
when he or she should arrive. It was comfortable to have Martha 
Grafton as acting president. She was a known quantity - an 
"unflappable realist" who had announced shortly after Dr. Spen- 
cer left that all the college groups would share in the decision- 
making process. "The genius of our government," she wrote, "is 
that the College is small and everyone knows everyone else. 
Communication is easy and there is no reason... to outline in de- 
tail where authority rests. No passing of authority from trustees, 
to president, to faculty, to students will bring good governance 
unless there is respect and good will in each line, no matter what 
might be written down." 

Because there was "respect and good will," the school year 
passed peacefully. The college had the highest enrollment in its 
history (713) and the largest annual budget ($2.5 million). Con- 
struction of the nev/ science building was begun and the Christian 
College Challenge Fund campaign got under way with much 
better organization and effective planning than any previous 
Synod campaign had done. The Founders' Day speaker. Dr. 
Samuel D. Proctor, a native Virginian, an alumnus of Virginia 
Union University and Dean for Special Projects at the University 
of Wisconsin, spoke on "Education and Social Renewal." Later 
in the year, a mass communication seminar, "The News As It Is or 
Isn't" brought Marlene Sanders, Charles McDowell, Clark 
Mollenhoff, James W. Dean and Richard Tobin to the campus. 
They were well-received and attendance was good. There were 
the usual University Center speakers, and the King Series con- 
tinued. The 1968 election results were analyzed and discussed. 
Dr. Spencer returned for the Honors Day Convocation, and the 
spring alumnae seminars were so popular that they were re- 
peated for the students at their request.- In April, 1969, a faculty/ 
student benefit ice cream eating contest was held and, to every- 
one's surprise, Marguerite Hillhouse ate more vanilla ice cream 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

than anyone else.^ 

This was the first year for the "new curriculum" which had 
been so carefully proposed in 1967. Students had participated in 
the planning for the more relaxed requirements and the opportu- 
nity for more concentrated advanced studies.^ They also had won 
the right to schedule their own examinations. Almost everyone 
had the privilege of unlimited cuts, and classes were no longer 
held on Saturdays. Students sat on the faculty curriculum com- 
mittee; they participated in the bookstore and food service advis- 
ing groups. Students organized many fund-raising events for the 
science building, and three young women were full-fledged mem- 
bers of the presidential selection committee. In the spring of 1969, 
the board of trustees invited the Student Government Association 
to send non-voting representatives to the board committees on 
educational policy, student life and building and grounds. At the 
request of the SGA, the board of trustees had given reluctant 
consent to changing the historic compulsory church and chapel 
attendance rules. '^ Although seemingly "immune" from the dis- 
turbances on college campuses elsewhere, it is apparent that some 
behind our yellow brick walls were aware of the causes of student 
discontent elsewhere and had taken steps to respond to the more 
reasonable of them. 

The school year culminated with a student-inspired and orga- 
nized "Martha Grafton Day." Beginning at 6 a.m., the students 
hung banners from the Library and decorated the hill to Hunt 
with paper flowers and helium-filled balloons. There was a 
corsage from the staff of Campus Comments and flowers from the 
SGA in her office when Mrs. Grafton came to work, only to discover 
that her crowded daily calendar had been filled by the students, 
who planned to cancel their appointments so that she might have 
the day to herself. That evening, Dr. and Mrs. Grafton were 
honored at a candlelight dinner in Hunt Hall, where the following 
resolution was presented: 

Whereas, to the students of Mary Baldwin 
College Martha S. Grafton has been a 
source of wisdom, compassion, and strength, 
and whereas amidst days of national 
campus rebellion Mary Baldwin has 
seen peaceful progi'ess because of her 
insight and open-mindedness, and whereas 
her unexcelled administrative abilities 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

are accompanied by personal qualities 
that have inspired the lasting devotion 
of every student, the Student Government 
Association of Mary Baldwin College 
hereby proclaims Martha S. Grafton 
Day, May 20, 1969. 

The faculty, in their turn, honored Dean Grafton by establish- 
ing the Martha S. Grafton Academic Award to be given each year 
to the class valedictorian.*^ 

The presidential selection committee was ready to present its 
recommendation to the board of trustees at a special called 
meeting on 14 January 1969. Their choice was William Watkins 
Kelly, the 40-year old Director of the Honors College at Michigan 
State University. He had been reared at Big Stone Gap, Virginia, 
where his father had been the superintendent of Wise County 
schools for 50 years. He was a graduate of VMI and Duke 
University and had served for three years as a lieutenant in the 
Air Force, teaching English at the newly opened Air Force Acad- 
emy in Colorado. He had been at Michigan State since 1962, but 
had had an academic administrative internship at Rutgers Uni- 
versity during the 1964-1965 university session. He had contin- 
ued to teach part-time, usually an honors course in American 
Thought and Language, and had just recently been made Director 
of the Honors Program which involved 1900 students and 90 
academic departments. He was married to a HoUins graduate, 
and he and Jane were the parents of four lively young boys. In 
almost every way, it appeared to be a perfect match for the 
college's expectations and hopes." The trustees accepted their 
selection committee's recommendation, and, at a called convoca- 
tion that afternoon, Dr. Kelly was introduced to the college 
community. He received a standing ovation. 

Dr. Kelly wac frequently at the college in the months that 
followed. He spoke at a synod Christian College Campaign fund- 
raiser dinner in March; attended the installation of the SGA 
officers in April, met with some of the members of the VFIC, and 
spoke to the alumnae at their homecoming on 30 May 1969. He 
answered questions freely; at the synod meetings he gave a 
detailed explanation of why he chose to come to Mary Baldwin 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

College. It was a challenge, he explained, to learn more about a 
particular segment of higher education; he had been impressed 
by the college community, and in particular by the selection com- 
mittee, and by the beauty of the physical plant. He had likewise 
been encouraged by the support the State of Virginia and the 
church were giving to higher education and by the contributions 
of the VFIC, which suggested business and industry concern. 

Having graduated from a single-sex college, Dr. Kelly had no 
difficulty in perceiving the viability of separate gender education, 
and he was sympathetic to the expanding career opportunities for 
women in the 1970s. And, he added, both he and Mrs. Kelly 
wanted to come back to Virginia. 

On other occasions, Dr. Kelly spoke of his concept of "shared 
responsibility" for college governance. "We must," he said, "rely 
on the collective wisdom of the entire academic community... the 
faculty voice in college government is essential and central... 
students have a proper and more meaningful role in the govern- 
ing of their institution." And he pledged to give students leaders 
his "cooperation and support." But, he concluded, a college 
president must be an "active and responsible" leader.*^ 

It was agreed that Dr. Kelly's inauguration would be held on 
Founders' Day, 4 October 1969, and a committee to plan the event 
was organized with some of the persons who had been on the se- 
lection committee agreeing to assist in these formal ceremonies. 
It was a traditional inauguration with delegates from 56 colleges 
and universities participating in the colorful academic procession 
to Page Terrace. The board of trustees, which had just concluded 
its fall meeting, was on hand as were the parents of the 146 seniors 
who would be "invested" with their caps and gowns. The president 
of the Danforth Foundation, Merrimom Cuninggim, delivered the 
principal address, "Commiserations are Out of Order"; there was 
a brief, enthusiastic response by Dr. Kelly, and the event was 
concluded by luncheon in Hunt Hall.^ 

At his inauguration, Dr. Kelly announced that he had ap- 
pointed a "President's Committee on the Challenges of the 70s." 
The committee followed the now familiar pattern of "diverse" 
membership; i.e., trustees, administrators, faculty, students and 
alumnae, and was charged to study "all facets of our present 
educational programs" and to suggest "specific goals for the 
continued development of Mary Baldwin College over the next 
decade." Chaired by Richard P. Gifford, a trustee from Lynchburg, 
the 15 members worked diligently and conscientiously. In the 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

spring of 1971, the committee's work was concluded and, after 
careful administrative study, the report was released to the 
college community. ^° 

"The style of a college must be appropriate to its purposes," 
declared the preface of the report. In the future, as in the past, 
Mary Baldwin College must be characterized by openness, ser- 
vice, trust and a search for truth. Its continuous Christian 
character would be revealed through the quality and the tone of 
the community life it sought to foster. But, the report warned, 
there must be "no coercion": "a Christian commitment is mean- 
ingful only when it is deeply personal and independently made." 
The "ethos of academia needs to be a combination of intellectual 
power, intellectual excitement and moral concern," the document 

There followed specific recommendations: 

1. The college should employ a chaplain whose responsibil- 
ity would be "intellectual stimulus" outside the class- 
room, as well as developing more fully the sense of com- 
munity within the college and between the college and 
its neighbors. 

2 . The president should institute regular discussions among 
the college constituencies about the meaning of "liberal 
higher education" and what constitutes excellence in 
teaching and learning. 

3. The college should continue its effort to achieve greater 
heterogeneity; the report stated, that there was a "moral 
imperative" for more black representation. In the selec- 
tion of new personnel, "diversity of viewpoints should be 
placed second only to the need for competence." 

4. Mary Baldwin should, "for the time being," remain a 
women's college. 

5. The freshman year should be enriched with "innovative 
seminars, lectures and discussions" and the advisor sys- 
tem should be improved. 

6. The college should consider its responsibilities toward 
women as students and women's role in society through 
conferences, workshops, lectures and counseling ses- 

7. The college should employ a full-time career counselor. 

8. There should be increased summer use of the campus- 
i.e., workshops, special "short terms", and sessions for 
superior high school students. 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

9. The college should begin planning a fine arts center. 

10. Enrollment should be increased to 900+ (but not more 
than 1000). 

11. An Honors Program should be instituted. 

12. The possibilities of a MA degree program should be con- 

13. The overseas study and consortium programs should be 

14. Student evaluation of the faculty should continue. 

15. The college should serve the community by organizing 
evening classes, volunteer programs and similar activi- 

The members of the committee had not been asked to consider 
the specific financial implications of their recommendations. 
They were aware, of course, of the severe inflation of the early 
70s, the drop in admissions applications and the burden of debt 
that the college already bore. They were careful when they 
developed their recommendations to note that almost all of them 
had financial impact, and they made a tentative effort to set some 
priorities as to when changes should be undertaken and which 
should come first. The fact that the report was taken seriously and 
that Dr. Kelly and his administration sought to implement most 
of the recommendations quickly, added immeasurably to the 
financial stresses of these years and to increasing faculty and 
student frustration. 

Not all the suggestions of the committee were universally 
approved. An editorial in the Staunton News Leader criticized 
the plea for "diversity of viewpoint, second only to... competence." 
"Must the faculty and staff include communists, radicals, revolu- 
tionaries. Black Muslims or Panthers, agnostics, atheists, unre- 
served pacifist, or just plain anti-Americans?", the writer de- 
manded. Response was immediate. "The social, political and 
religious opinions of the faculty members are not the legitimate 
concerns of the college," wrote one faculty member. Another 
declared, "You have done a disservice to the college and the 
community and to the relationship of mutual respect (and some- 
times affection) that holds them together. "^^ 

Although basically a lack of communication (the editor said 
the simple addition of the word "academic" in front of the word 
"diversity" would have satisfied him as to the committee's inten- 
tions), this little controversy was indicative of the growing dis- 
cord and mistrust that continued to escalate during these trou- 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

bled years. During the time (16 months) that the president's 
committee had taken to research and write their report, a great 
deal had happened, both at Mary Baldwin and elsewhere in the 
world, that had exacerbated tensions and heightened criticism of 
the college both within and without. 

Dr. Kelly's inauguration had been on 4 October 1969. Eleven 
days later, the first of several national Vietnam Moratoriums was 
proclaimed by the many groups and organizations who opposed 
President Nixon's policies. Students closed down universities in 
many parts of the countiy and announced that on 15 November 

1969, a massive protest "March on Washington" would be held. At 
Mary Baldwin, some students and faculty "marched" from Page 
Terrace to the County Courthouse where a brief prayer service 
was held. On 15 and 16 October, there were panel discussions, 
student and faculty speeches, both from the college community 
and neighboring institutions, and much activity. Classes contin- 
ued to meet, there was no physical violence, but tempers were 
short, student friendships severed and community apprehensions 
heightened. The following month, a few students and faculty went 
to Washington, D.C. to participate in those emotion-wracked 
events. ^^ 

Several college conferences had been scheduled for the 1969- 
70 session, and the Staunton community, already divided and 
appalled by national and international events, was uneasy about 
some of the topics and the viewpoints of the speakers. A program 
in February entitled "The Ghetto-Why?" brought an impassioned 
Shirley Chisholm to the campus; a March symposium on drug 
usage; an April "Earth Day," and a student-alumnae "Conversa- 
tion on Contemporary Christianity" all contributed to campus 
divisions and community suspicions. It was with considerable 
misgivings, that the invitation to former Secretary of State Dean 
Rusk for 6 March 1970 was honored. The evening lecture was 
billed as a "conversation," was well attended and completed 
without incident, but the fact that the sponsors were concerned 
about the secretary's safety and the possible physical threat to 
King Auditorium shows how far public civility had eroded in two 
or three brief years. 

Alumnae Homecoming had been scheduled for 15-17 May 

1970. The alumnae and several faculty had been invited to "make 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

the scene" and to attend a seminar with President Kelly titled 
"Alumnae Ask?". On 30 April, President Nixon ordered an 
"incursion" into Cambodia, and college campuses, including many 
that had previously been unaffected, erupted with renewed vio- 
lence. Five days later, four college students were killed by 
National Guardsmen at Kent State in Ohio, and shortly thereaf- 
ter two black students at Jackson State University in Mississippi 
were shot, this time by state police. The Mary Baldwin students 
reacted as did their peers, with shock and horror. Classes were 
cut, a "peace march" was held, panel discussions were organized 
and telephone lines were clogged as young people phoned each 
other and worried parents telephoned their daughters. Tradition- 
ally, early May was the busiest time of the academic year. Exams 
would start in two weeks; there were term papers to write, class 
projects to complete; graduation was set for 7 June. Many colleges 
and universities throughout the country closed or were shut 
down. Others lowered academic standards by allowing the substi- 
tution of "action programs" for final examinations or accepting as 
the final grade for a course the class record as of the first of May. 
The colleges which Mary Baldwin most closely related to, the 
University of Virginia and Washington & Lee, provided alternate 
examination equivalencies, as did Hollins, Randolph-Macon 
Woman's College, and Sweet Briar, but all remained open. 

It had been an uneasy spring at Mary Baldwin; the "commu- 
nity" of which the president's committee on the Challenges of the 
70's was writing so approvingly had suffered severe strains. Many 
students had fathers, brothers, friends or lovers in the military 
and resented the accusations and rhetoric of those who opposed 
U.S. policies toward Southeast Asia. There were faculty and staff 
members with honorable military service and/or children of their 
own in the armed forces, who were perceived by other colleagues 
as part of an "establishment" they deplored. For the first time, 
there were class tensions; seniors were critical of freshman 
attitudes toward tradition and college regulations, and the ex- 
pected freshman "deference" toward seniors was noticeably lack- 
ing. Campus Comments editorials, perhaps hoping to arouse 
student response, had been acrimonious and divisive; alumnae, 
parents and even some private individuals often connected with 
the business world had written to Campus Comments in bitter or 
sarcastic protest. And now came this upheaval about Cambodia. 

Few college presidents had to deal with the crises in the midst 
of an alumnae homecoming, but Dr. Kelly had that difficult task. 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

The alumnae program proceeded according to schedule, even to 
the entertainment at the Kelly's home before the traditional 
banquet. If the host was a worried man, he did not show it unduly 
and the following Monday, 18 May, after having read a prepared 
statement to the students supporting their concerns. Dr. Kelly 
asked the faculty, at a called meeting, to approve two options for 
final examinations which, he declared, were within the limits set 
by the college regulations. A student could take an "Incomplete" 
and would be allowed to finish her course requirements and the 
examinations by 19 September 1970, or she could change her 
course registration from a grade to a Pass/Fail. Student requests 
that they be allowed to negotiate with individual professors for 
other alternatives were denied. Only one senior took advantage 
of these choices. The remaining 156 graduated on schedule. ^^ 

Generally the college community approved President Kelly's 
and Dean Grafton's handling of the spring crises. Fortunately, 
the college soon closed for the summer and by the following 
September there were other, more immediate concerns to occupy 
faculty and students. ^^ 

Dr. Kelly faced many problems: some were of his own making; 
others from external circumstances beyond his control; still others 
a mixture of both. None was miore pervasive and had more seri- 
ous consequences than the frequent turnover of administrative 
appointments. When Dr. Kelly accepted the presidency of Mary 
Baldwin College, he "inherited," as Dr. Spencer had done, a well- 
trained, stable, loyal administrative staff. In fact, he inherited 
the same staff Dr. Spencer had had: Dean Grafton, Dean Parker, 
Dean Hillhouse, Mr. Spillman, Mrs. Lescure, Mrs. Davis, Miss 
Carr, Dr. Pennell. But he was aware that some of these indivi- 
duals would soon be retiring, and, much as he appreciated their 
support during his first turbulent year, perhaps he looked forward 
to a future in which a staff of his own choosing would be in place. 
But nothing in his brief, troubled administration proved to be 
more difficult. 

Between 1969 and 1976 there were four academic deans, three 
deans of students, two vice-presidents, four career planning and 
placement officers, a succession of chaplains, increasing and 
uncontrollable computer personnel. In the few areas where there 
was personnel stability, expanding government reporting regula- 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

tions, an inflationary spiral at unprecedented proportions, an 
energy crisis and lack of sufficient support staff made key officers 
ineffective. Dr. Kelly himself was increasingly away from the 
campus, as the necessity for meeting alumnae, synod and VFIC 
patrons expanded and, after 1973, the growing demands of the 
New Dimensions campaign absorbed his time. He was never able 
to pull together an administrative team which worked well. 
Accustomed to the triumvirate and their associates, and to expect- 
ing the administration to be competent, the faculty and students 
were bewildered and finally frustrated- and, of course, so was the 

What went wrong? 

Early in Dr. Kelly's first year it was announced that three 
senior administrators, Grafton, Hillhouse and Spillman, would 
retire in June 1970. Search committees carefully chosen to reflect 
college constituencies were quickly approved to seek appropriate 
replacements.^*^ In two cases, appointments were made from 
within the college itself; Alfred L.(Albie) Booth, who had been on 
the mathematics faculty since 1965, became registrar, and F. 
Freeman Jones, who had been appointed assistant business 
manager in 1967, became the treasurer and business manager. 
Both men were U.S. Naval Academy graduates, with many years 
of military service, and had had several years experience at the 
college. At a time of a new president it seemed wise, and 
economically advantageous, to secure this continuity." 

Replacing Martha Grafton was a different matter. The dean 
selection committee faced a formidable task, partly because their 
concept of the characteristics which they were seeking in a dean 
were so colored by their experience with "Mrs.G." They finally 
recommended the appointment of Elke Frank, a graduate of 
Florida State University, Radcliffe College and Harvard, who had 
been awarded her Ph.D. in Political Science in 1964. She had held 
several teaching positions and was warmly received when she was 
introduced to the college community on Honors Day, 13 February, 
1970.^^ She would begin her deanship in July 1970. 

The processes by which these appointments were made, and 
particularly the tendency to appoint from "within" because of 
increasing economic concerns, were continued throughout the 
Kelly administration. Certainly, the concept of a broadly based 
selection committee is laudable and is now customary. But the 
"shared responsibility" idea can lead to an administrator (in this 
case, the president) accepting a committee recommendation with- 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

out personally doing the work necessary to be sure that the 
appointee being chosen will suit his own needs and governing 

Although there was some physical rearrangement of adminis- 
trative office space in the summer of 1970, there was no major 
restructuring of the administrative organization. The new ap- 
pointees had no clear-cut lines of responsibilities delineated, nor 
was there an effective mechanism in place for avoiding duplica- 
tion and contradictions of effort. Only Freeman Jones had direct 
experience in the position he was to hold. All of the three were 
fortunate in that each of them had knowledgeable and loyal 
support staffs, but, without strong leadership from Dr. Kelly, they 
each tended to feel isolated and to act unilaterally.^^ 

Elke Frank's appointment proved not to be a happy one, either 
for her or for Mary Baldwin. She knew no one at the college or in 
the community and, although sincerely welcomed, she was unac- 
customed to small colleges and small town mores. She resigned 
as dean within a year of her appointment. Elizabeth Parker act- 
ed as both academic dean and dean of students from October 1971 
until January 1972, at which time Marjorie B. Chambers of the 
Philosphy and Religion faculty ( 1962) became the academic dean. 
Her selection was widely approved by both faculty and students; 
her contributions (to be noted later) were many. It was a great 
misfortune when, at the end of the 1974-75 session, her health 
forced her resignation. It was a time of major financial crisis for 
the college, and again Dr. Kelly turned to the faculty to find a dean. 
He chose Dorothy Mulberry, the organizer and one of the directors 
of the Academic Year in Madrid. She had come to Mary Baldwin 
in 1958 and was knowledgeable about administration, conscien- 
tious and hardworking. -° 

Other changes continued apace. The dean of students, Eliza- 
beth Parker, would soon complete 30 years at the college. No one 
was surprised when, in January 1972, she, too, announced she 
would retire at the end of the session. She had always had good 
relationships with the students and had adapted to the rapid 
changes of the previous decade with more grace and flexibility 
than might have been expected; but the world of the college 
students of the 70s was hard for her to accept. She was deeply 
touched when, on her birthday, 20 October 1971, the students 
proclaimed "EP" Day. She was honored at a luncheon, complete 
with a birthday cake and many gifts from student organizations.-^ 

After Miss Parker's retirement, the office of the dean of 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

students was redefined (to make it more in keeping with student 
customs) and the title was changed to "Director of Student Life." 
The new director was Brooke Woods, who at the end of two years 
( 1974) resigned to join her husband in Pennsylvania. The need for 
continuity was great, the time was short, and Dr. Kelly was 
fortunate in being able to persuade Ethel Smeak, of the English 
faculty, to become the next dean of students. The old title was 
resumed and the duties somewhat loosely redefined. Dr. Smeak 
was both an alumna (class of '53) and a faculty member (since 
1965), connections which Dr. Kelly hoped would smooth relation- 
ships with those constituencies. The final years of the Kelly 
presidency were difficult for everyone, and Dr. Smeak chose to 
return to teaching in the fall of 1976.^^ 

Although there was greater stability in the office of the vice- 
president, here, too, there was some lack of clarity as to function. 
Craven E. Williams had come to the college in the last months 
of the Spencer presidency, 1968, expecting to work with him. 
However, he agreed to stay on during the interim year, 1968-69, 
and was asked by Dr. Kelly to continue during his administration. 
The vice president coordinated the work of the director of infor- 
mation services (succesively Dolores Lescure, Sioux Miles, Janet 
Ferguson), the office of alumnae affairs (Virginia Munce), and the 
various combinations of career planning and placement tried by 
the Kelly administration (Edward Soetje, Fran Schmid, Frank 
Pancake). He was responsible for promoting and administrating 
all gifts and grants, the annual fund, and bequests. Williams had 
played a major role in the Synod Christian College Challenge 
Fund Campaign and in general college-synod relationships. By 
1972, when plans were begun for the New Dimensions campaign, 
Williams obviously needed help and Roy K. Patteson, Jr., was 
named director (later vice-president) of development. Craven 
Williams resigned in late 1974, and Roy Patteson was the only 
vice-president until the end of the Kelly administration.^^ 

None of these key administrative appointees really had the 
time or the staff to become familiar with his/her duties, much less 
be prepared to suggest substantive changes that would lead to a 
greater coordination of effort. There were unfortunate personal- 
ity clashes: the new director of the physical plant found it difficult 
to work with the supervisor of interiors and furnishing, and she 
with him; Mr. Jones, to whom they both reported was never able 
to mediate the conflicts; the director of food service, under attack, 
in her view, from all sides, found it increasingly difficult to serve 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

the "special" dinners for which she was famous, as both her bud- 
get and her staff were cut. Some events, especially for students, 
had to be catered, which, of course, put additional strains on 
tempers and budgets. Divisions of responsibilities between the 
offices of the academic dean and the dean of students, alumnae 
affairs and information services, development and the career and 
personal counseling center all added to the confusion and conflict. 
Dr. Kelly was away from the campus almost as much as Dr. 
Spencer had been, particularly after 1973, and the lack of admin- 
istrative coherence was so obvious that the trustees in 1974 
approved the appointment of a temporary executive assistant to 
the president to undertake an administrative reorganization as 
well as to direct the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools 
required Self-Study .^^ 

Mary Baldwin entered the computer world in September 1968 
when Albie Booth persuaded the administration to approve the 
leasing of three hours a day of computer time from a downtown 
business. Originally planned to help the alumnae office organize 
its records, there was also some student interest, and a course in 
computer programming was added to the curriculum in 1969. By 
1971, Computer Analysis was also beingtaught, and both Mr.Booth 
and Dr. Robert Weiss of the mathematics faculty were convinced 
that a strong liberal arts college should include more computer 
courses. In 1970, the college purchased an IBM 1 130, and by 1972 
the mysterious clicking machines and noisy printers had been 
located on the ground floor of the Administration Building (dis- 
placing the Alumnae Office) and had moved inexorably into the 
life of the campus. The bulky machines required three rooms and 
a hallway, were vulnerable to lightning and electrical outages, 
and were hardly installed before they were out of date. By 1973, 
it was necessary to upgrade the system with 16K memory, a 2314 
type disc drive, a faster printer, and more storage space. A staff of 
three-a director, a systems analyst-programmer and an operator 
programmer— was necessary to run and maintain the system, and 
it was here that the Kelly administration encountered more 

At first it had to do with the education of the college commu- 
nity about this new equipment. As early as 1970, students were 
complaining about computer identification numbers. "It is, "wrote 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

one young woman, "an insult to the basic premise of close com- 
munity feelings... it has taken our freedom of choice of schedul- 
ing..." Although every academic discipline was to be affected and 
changed by computers, many liberal arts faculty, particularly 
older ones, felt threatened and confused by this new information 
tool. Office personnel had to be trained to submit their material 
in a form dictated by the keyboard and had to learn to interpret 
the reports which increasingly filled their "in" baskets. At a time 
of rapid change in so many areas, the strain the new technology 
imposed was a necessary but added burden. 

It was not long, of course, before the system was indispens- 
able. The alumnae and development offices, admissions, the 
registrar, and, belatedly, the business office, all came to depend on 
the ubiquitous machines. To help pay for the equipment, some 
"outside" work was contracted; a HEW-sponsored five-year spinal 
cord research project, and a data analysis of jail populations were 
undertaken. The National Science Foundation-sponsored "Wo- 
men in Science" project demanded computer time as well. And 
by 1976 the number of student computer courses had increased to 
eight (with some duplication), and the students had to have access 
to the machines at night. Scheduling computer time proved to be 
a divisive and emotional issue, which added to the misunder- 
standings among administrative offices, and among faculty and 
students. It was admittedly hard to anticipate that, in the short 
space of six years, the computer could have become such a central 
issue, but it was not until 1976 that a computer use committee was 
created. Much distress could have been avoided if more careful 
advanced planning had been done. 

However, the greatest problem about the computer for the 
Kelly administration was the cost. As early as 1970, Dr. Kelly was 
warning his staff and the faculty that the college was facing a 
deficit of current operations budget. The early computer leasing 
arrangements had cost $25,000 a year. Although the initial 
purchase in 1970 had been partially paid for by a $50,000 grant 
from the National Science Foundation, each year seemed to 
require updated equipment and more room. At a time when 
faculty salaries were either only minimally increased, or not at 
all, three additional well-paid technical personnel were required 
in the computer center. As the debate over the college finances 
deepened, the computer center became one of the focal points of 
bitter criticism. ^^ 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

The changes and challenges of President Kelly's six-year 
administration came with such rapidity and such overlapping and 
confusion that it is only from the modest distance of 15 years that 
one can sort them out. When Dr. Kelly was elected the sixth 
president of the college, the trustees suggested that some revision 
of the college charter would be necessary shortly. The last major 
revision had taken place in 1957 at Dr. Spencer's insistence that 
the college comply with the Presbyterian Church's understand- 
ing of church-relatedness. In the 1960s the statement of purpose 
had been modified to specify that neither race nor religious belief 
were to be regarded when the admission of otherwise qualified 
students or the hiring of faculty were considered. By 1969, there 
were strong reasons why the "non-sectarian" status of the college 
should be further clarified. The state of Virginia was considering 
offering financial assistance in the form of grants and loans to 
students attending private colleges. Bill Kelly lobbied hard and 
successfully for the passage of these bills. But, in order to qualify, 
a student had to attend a "non-sectarian" college. The Mary 
Baldwin trustees made several attempts to word a revised chart- 
er paragraph which would still reflect the long Christian (Presby- 
terian) association of the college but would be defined by the 
Attorney General's Office as "non-sectarian". Several versions 
were proposed but it was not until 1974 that the phrase, "under 
auspices which reflect the rich and continuing Christian heritage 
of the institution," was deemed acceptable. ^^ Thereafter, Mary 
Baldwin students participated in the Tuition Assistance Grant 
programs, which provided modest support toward the much 
higher cost of private college tuition. 

Changes in the charter, however, affected the college-church 
relationship as well. Any agreements the college signed with the 
synod might well affect its "non-sectarian" status. The "non- 
sectarian" status, in turn, affected synod relationships. To com- 
plicate matters further, the synod was changing. In 1973, the 
Synod of Virginia became the Synod of the Virginias, and had 
expanded to include parts of West Virginia and Maryland. In 
addition to Mary Baldwin and Hampden-Sydney, Davis & Elkins 
and King Colleges were now within the geographical bounds of the 
new synod, and would, presumably share whatever financial 
resources were contributed to the colleges in the future. 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

The Synod of the Virginias proceeded to appoint a "Task Force 
on the Relation of Synod and Its Colleges," which in turn devel- 
oped a "covenant agreement" statement. Each college adminis- 
tration was asked to critique the "covenant agreement" and early 
in 1975 Dr. Kelly did. There was some debate over descriptive 
terms, Presbyterians being capable of great obtuseness, but the 
principal source of disagreement arose from the synod's proposal 
to reduce by 20% each year during a five-year period its already 
modest annual contributions to its colleges. In place of these 
unrestricted funds, a "Visiting Team," appointed by the synod 
would meet annually with the college administration, and future 
synod financial support would depend on the visiting team's 

The original Task Force proposals were made in 1974. It was 
not until ten years later (1984) that the final "Covenant agree- 
ment" between the synod and Mary Baldwin College was signed. 
The final document omits specific mention of a task force and 
merely states that the synod pledged "to continue financial sup- 
port for the college in the Synod's Operating Budget." ^^ 

The trustees did, nevertheless, wish sincerely to continue a 
close relationship with the church. Most still considered the col- 
lege as "church-related," and what had once been a legal require- 
ment now became a voluntary undertaking. The Challenges of the 
70s committee had placed great emphasis on a reevaluated role 
for a chaplain and Dr. Kelly sought to fulfill this commitment, but 
with indifferent success. After experimenting with a part-time 
and then, for two years, with a full-time chaplain, financial 
necessity and limited student interest resulted in Carl Edwards 
and Jim McAllister, Religion and Philosophy faculty members, 
assuming the necessary chaplain duties, on a part-time basis. 

In April 1971 the Christian Association and the Religious Life 
Committees joined forces. "The Christian Association is dead," 
reported Campus Comments , "but its spirit will be retained in the 
Religious Life Committee. They will work closely with the chap- 
lain and there will be less bureaucracy," it was reported. ^^ 

Many of the campus changes concerning religious life came at 
the instigation of the students. Shortly after Dr. Kelly arrived, he 
asked Dean Parker to request the president of the SGA to identify 
the "proper student group" to be responsible for the blessing in the 
dining hall and "to urge the student responsible to make a 
meaningful and appropriate prayer." In 1974 Campus Comments 
reported that "grace before meals was curtailed several years ago" 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

due to a request from a group of students who insisted that this 
"infringed on their civil hberties as non-Christians." Grace had 
been replaced by a "moment of silence," which was now a "giggling 
chaos." Any effort at silent worship was thus ended and another 
tradition slipped into the past.^° 

The students had campaigned for several years before Dr. 
Kelly arrived to alter the compulsory church and chapel atten- 
dance rules. A Campus Comments editorial called chapel a 
"crippler" - "Required chapel is a habit, not an experience." It 
should be voluntary, not "dictated," the editorial continued. A 
campus survey revealed that 195 students opposed compulsory 
chapel, 56 supported it; 18 faculty opposed, 13 voted to continue 
the practice. On 10 April 1969, the SGA voted to end compulsory 
chapel and appealed to the trustees to listen, and the board shortly 
thereafter agi'eed that "under the principle of Christian freedom" 
compulsion would be ended. Chapel thereafter would be held once 
a week, on Wednesday morning in First Presbyterian Church, and 
the entire college community was "encouraged" to attend. The 
Religious Life Committee tried hard to provide varied programs 
and to meet student needs. A "house church" Thanksgiving 
service was held in Hunt Lounge (which indicates the expected 
number of attendees), Hanukkah was observed at the Temple, 
students were invited to a "folk mass" at St. Francis Catholic 
Church, contemporary liturgies and "love feasts," Quaker meet- 
ings, were all tried. A Film Festival was held one year in lieu of 
the traditional Religious Emphasis Week, but the 1970 Confer- 
ence on the "Christian Life and the Institutional Church" was 
termed "a real bust." "Nobody can get really excited about 
discussing Christianity - What is there to say?" asked Campus 
Comments . By 1975, chapel had been moved from Wednesday 
mornings to Sunday evening at 5 p.m. and had been relocated to 
Hunt Lounge. ^^ 

All of these events, coupled with the radical changes in the 
student social rules and regulations, would have made it difficult 
for any president during these troubled years. Dr. Kelly's files 
have many letters from distressed parents, donors, and ministers. 
It was not easy to answer them. 

Dr. Kelly's relationships with his board of trustees provided 
some of the stability that his administration staff did not. Charles 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

P. Lunsford and John P. Edmondson were the president and vice- 
president respectively in 1969; Willard L. Lemmon, who had 
chaired the search committee which had recruited Dr. Kelly, 
became president in 1970 and John P. Edmondson in 1971. 
Thereafter, the combination of Ralph Kittle and Richard B. 
Gifford presided over the board until the summer of 1976. Through- 
out the Kelly presidency, Edmund D. Campbell continued on as 
General Counsel. During the Kelly years, the board of trustees 
reflected the changes of the other college constituencies. It be- 
came more open to information and suggestions, and its decisions 
were reported in Campus Comments and by Dr. Kelly's annual 
"State of the College" speech to the student convocations. In 1969, 
the trustees had invited students to sit on appropriate board 
committees, and their comments were considered seriously. The 
trustees were a bit more reluctant in agreeing to faculty atten- 
dance, but, by October 1971, non-voting but participating faculty 
representatives were invited to the board committees; and one 
faculty member at large was elected by his/her peers and was 
invited to attend and to speak at the full board meetings. In 1972, 
the trustees held an "open, informal meeting" in Hunt Lounge to 
which any student and faculty who wished might come. That 
particular format was not repeated, but increasing opportunities 
for faculty and trustees to "meet and mingle" at receptions and 
dinners were provided. ^^ 

In 1973, an Advisory Board of Visitors was created. A mem- 
bership of 50 was proposed and the ABV was instructed to 
interpret the college's goals and programs to the college constitu- 
ents; to "counsel" the college administration and trustees; and to 
help advance the college development program. Members were to 
be drawn from those who had an interest in or concern about the 
college and were to reflect wide geographic and occupational 
areas. The ABV met annually at the college, sometimes at the 
same time as the board of trustees, and it was hoped that they 
would provide a "pool" from which future board members could be 
drawn. The ABV identified "career planning" as a program of 
special interest and helped support financially a course to be 
taught to sophomores on that subject. Its members were also 
interested in admissions and evaluated procedures and programs 
of that office. Some of Dr. Kelly's strongest supporters were 
members of the ABV and he had recruited many of them. The first 
chairman was Betty Southard Murphy, a distinguished Washing- 
ton attorney who specialized in labor relations and had been 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

associated with the NLRB. She was ably assisted by Charles 
Collis, a vice president of Fairchild Industries and the father of 
an alumna. He later became the second chairman. For several 
years the ABV struggled to identify its duties and functions. It 
came into being at a time of great stress for the Kelly adminis- 
tration, and the initial intention of finding new supporters for the 
college who were neither alumnae nor parents was slow in being 
realized. Now almost 20 years old, the ABV has become a valued 
partner and is more comfortable about its functions. '^^ 

In 1973, the trustees introduced still another addition: form- 
er trustees who had rotated off the board were designated as 
"Associate Trustees." They received all the information that the 
regular trustees did, and were invited to attend board meetings. 
They did not sit on committees and, of course, did not vote, but this 
was yet another attempt to retain the interest and good will of old 
friends of the college. 

Although well intentioned and reflective of the president's 
concept of "shared responsibility," there is no question that these 
additional groups added to the paperwork and the expenses of the 
administration. The time and effort involved in organizing the 
agendas, in arranging transportation and housing, in providing 
orientation sessions and campus tours, in preparing the trustees' 
packets of information, in sending the advance mailings, and 
planning the receptions and dinners, placed a great strain on 
office personnel and administrative budgets. ^^ 

Most people liked Bill and Jane Kelly, their four boys and their 
Old English sheep dog. They were an attractive family, cultured 
and talented, and they soon made close friends in the community 
as well as at the college. Bill Kelly had a good public presence, he 
spoke effectively and clearly, and he was truly committed to an 
"open" administration. But, there were some rough spots which 
would not have been the focus of as much resentment as they were, 
if finances had been less strained. The Kellys moved into the 
president's home on Edgewood Road, but had requested funds for 
remodeling and enlarging the residence so that more college 
entertaining could be done there. The executive committee of the 
trustees approved a specified amount on 30 January 1969, al- 
though Mrs. Grafton warned them that there was no money 
earmarked in the budget to pay for the upgrading. A large, two- 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

story wing was added to the building, the kitchen was expanded 
and completely modernized, and other less expensive changes 
were undertaken. The costs far exceeded the authorized amount, 
and although the end result was a lovely, gracious home which, 
true to their word, the Kellys used for many college receptions and 
entertaining, there were those who questioned the necessity of 
the project. 

There was also a different management style, which some in 
the college found hard to accommodate. Dr. Kelly disliked disap- 
pointing people and he tended to say to them what they wanted 
to hear, rather than being specific about decisions that had been 
made. Thus it often appeared that he promised one thing and did 
another. In truth, he found it hard to make disagreeable choices 
- and postponed making them as long as possible. He was very 
open to all of the college constituencies about some of the finan- 
cial problems (and was generally much more "public" about 
budget and enrollment figures than Dr. Spencer had been), but he 
was always convinced that "next year" the budget would balance, 
raises could be given, threatened programs could be rescued and 
that there would be more students. When these things did not 
happen, there was disillusionment and anger. ^^ 

In retrospect, it would appear that those at the college tried to 
do too much, with too few resources and too little time. A simple 
listing of "extra" campus activities during these six years gives 
some indication of the amount of student, faculty, and adminis- 
tration effort that was required to plan and promote them: 

1970-71: Inauguration of President Kelly 

Dedication of Pearce Science Center 
Exchange Consortium begun 
A major 3 day Conference on Women in Industry 
A 2 day Seminar on "Military Challenge to 

Democracy in Latin America" 
The installation of Phi Beta Kappa, Lambda 

A major Fine Arts Festival. 

1971-72: An SGA sponsored conference on "Student 
Seminar on China-U.S. Relations; 
Business Men and Women in Residency 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

"Peace" March 

"Mock" Democratic Convention 

1972-73: Seminar on Women's Liberation Movement 

A "Consciousness Expansion" ESP Conference 

which included a "whirHng dervish" 
Program on Human Sexuahty 
Alex Haley spoke on Black Heritage 

1973-74: Ellen Glasgow Centennial Conference (partly on 
MBC campus, partly in Richmond). 

Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program 

New Dimensions Campaign announced 

ABV begun. 

Wenger Hall addition begun 

Governor's School for the Gifted begins summer 
residence program 

1974-75: New Curriculum implemented 

Professor Willie Lee Rose delivers the first 

annual Carroll lecture 
Alternative Series - Women of Achievement 
United Black Association- sponsored State 
Senator Douglas Wilder, who spoke on 
"Implementation of Social Change" 
Administrative Reorganization 
SACS Self-Studv 

1975-76: Bicentennial Campus events 

Dr. Kelly announced his resignation in Septem- 
ber-effective June 1976 

A conference on America and the Arts 

Air Force Band Concert 

A series of American Women in Seven Perspec- 

Dedication of Wenger Hall in May 

■'Mock" Democratic Convention 

SGA sponsored 6 week Muscular Dystrophy 
Benefit Drive with a 24 hour marathon 

Installation of Laurel Circle ODK 

First "Science Day" on campus (high school 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

In addition, of course, there were the usual college traditional 
events, such as Founders' (Senior and Freshman Parents) Day, 
Apple Day, Junior Dads' Dance, college Christmas programs, 
winter and spring dances, sophomore class show, meetings of the 
board of trustees, ABV, alumnae council, student elections and 
SGA installation, alumnae homecoming, Honors Convocation, 
the King Series, University Center lectures, athletic interscholas- 
tic and intramural events, including MALTA. Most of these 
events were appropriate and were the kinds of activities a con- 
cerned college should have been undertaking for its students. But 
there were simply too many of them within a short space of time. 
It is reasonable to suggest that the feelings and attitudes of the 
faculty and staff, and even of the students, would not have been 
so strained if some of these activities had been postponed. There 
should have been more selective planning. 

All of this went on against a background of chaotic national 
and international events, most of which had psychological impact 
on the campus. Warren E. Burger replaced Earl Warren as Chief 
Justice of the Supreme Court; Apollo 1 1 landed and retrieved men 
on the moon; the details of the My Lai massacres were made 
public; the 26th amendment to the Constitution gave the vote to 
18 year olds; Nixon and Kissinger went to China; and the SALT 
treaty was signed. Nixon was elected to a second term and in 
November 1972, Hanoi and North Vietnam were subjected to 
renewed bombing attacks; the Watergate conspiracy took place; 
and the trials of conspirators began. There was a "cease fire" in 
Vietnam, but another Arab-Israeli war brought an oil embargo, a 
severe and shocking gasoline shortage, inflation and economic 
hardship. Roe vs. Wade was decided affirmatively. Vice President 
Agnew resigned and Gerald Ford was appointed to replace him. In 
1974, Richard Nixon, facing impeachment, resigned as presi- 
dent; Gerald Ford became president of the United States; South 
Vietnam fell to the Communists in 1975 and Americans settled 
into the uneasy Bicentennial year of their nation's birth. That fall, 
Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States. 

Many of Dr. Kelly's problems as president of Mary Baldwin 
College stemmed from the financial difficulties of these troubled 
years. Dr. Spencer had managed in spite of the major building 
program to balance the operating budget each year, but Dr. Kelly 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

was able to do so only twice in his six-year presidency. By 1975, 
the cumulative college operating budget deficit was close to 
$500,000 and funds to pay current expenses were borrowed from 
both internal resources ("quasi-endowment") and from external 
lending agents. As funds from the New Dimensions campaign 
began to appear, some of these also were used for ongoing needs. ^^ 

How had this happened so quickly? Even before Dr. Spencer's 
resignation, Mr. Spillman had been warning that the college's 
financial health was inexorably linked to enrollment and that 
declining applications were a danger signal. Spillman had also 
been opposed to the guaranteed fee program, which, in a time of 
inflation, cost the college funds it could ill afford to lose. Dr. Kelly 
and Mr. Jones were both aware of these dangers, and, early in the 
Kelly administration, enrollment figures were carefully moni- 
tored and the guaranteed fee program was phased out. But 
neither expected the speed with which enrollments collapsed. 
Between 1965 and 1972, the number of applicants for admission 
declined by 56^^, from the record high of 1,024 to 448. Of the 
applicants accepted by the admissions committee, about 50% 
would eventually enroll; and of the enrollees, from 36-50% would 
have left before they graduated. As the large classes of the late 60s 
and early 70s passed through their four years and graduated, 
their numbers were not replaced by the entering freshmen, so 
total enrollment steadily declined. The suggestion of the Chal- 
lenges of the 70s committee that enrollment be taken to 900 
seemed empty and pretentious less than three years later. By the 
1974-75 session , the number of boarding students had dropped to 

Were there explanations for this dramatic decline? Of course 
there were, and many of the causes involved factors Mary Baldwin 
was powerless to change. During the previous decade, enrollment 
in state colleges and universities had increased rapidly and 
several all male institutions, including the University of Virginia 
became coeducational. A growing system of community colleges 
had provided an inexpensive alternative to the traditional board- 
ing college. The restless young of the turbulent 70s wanted to be 
"where the action was"-i.e, urban environments and larger cam- 
puses. With women's liberation philosophies blooming, coeduca- 
tional institutions seemed at first thought more attractive to 
young women. Population demography was no help either. The 
total number of women of college age in the United States declined 
during the 1970s, so the pool of possible registrants had shrunk. 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

This was a decade of economic hardships, higher inflation rates 
than had been seen since the 1920s, energy crises, and a number 
of out-of-state students preferred to stay closer to home. Add to 
this the slowness (from the students' point of view) with which a 
college seen as "church-related" changed restrictive social rules, 
the yearly increase in tuition and fees, the frequent turnover in 
administrative offices, the, in some cases, unpopular curriculum 
changes, the decline in morale and the "privatization" that seemed 
to pervade the campus, and it is a tribute to the college community 
that retention held up as well as it did. There were even modest 
increases in admissions applications by 1976. The worst crisis 
came in 1974-75 after the Paris and Madrid programs had been 
discontinued. Rumors both on and off campus quickly spread that 
the college itself was closing, and, in fact, many women's colleges 
had shut down during those unhappy years. '^^^ There is not much 
that can be done about such rumors other than to continue plans 
and programs and prove by longevity that the rumors are false. 
Mary Baldwin was in no immediate danger of closing but some of 
the above enrollment and budget trends had to be reversed, 

Although they recognized the difficulties their decisions im- 
posed, the trustees had made the judgment that the recommenda- 
tions of the Challenges of the 70s committee would be followed. 
Mary Baldwin would remain a woman's liberal arts college and 
would remain "church-related. " Having agreed on these two basic 
premises, the trustees and the Kelly administration developed a 
master plan for improving the college's economic viability. It was 
a carefully thought out plan, probably the only one that could have 
been envisioned, and its components have essentially formed the 
blueprints for the college's decisions ever since. 

It involved the following emphases: The admissions program 
would be carefully evaluated and improved. The many factors 
involved in a student's desire to transfer, usually at the end of her 
sophomore year, would be studied and remedied. The business 
office would focus on efficient use of limited resources and would 
recommend ways to cut expenditures. And, most importantly, 
new sources of revenue would be found, including a major increase 
in the endowment, in order to assure the financial health of the 

There was, however, a hurdle if these ideas were to be imple- 
mented. All of them, one way or another, cost money, in some 
cases a good deal of money, in order to succeed. In addition, they 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969- 1976 j 

would cost time and effort from trustees, administration, and 
faculty, and the cooperation of the students, many of whom in the 
early 70s were not in a cooperating mood. Such an effort required 
that all of the college constituencies understood and would work 
together. Inasmuch as these plans were at least partially achieved, 
it was due to real sacrifices and dedication on the part of many 
individuals who labored under less than perfect conditions. 

Jack Blackburn had come to the college as director of admis- 
sions in 1968, partly to help relieve the burden on Marguerite 
Hillhouse, who could no longer sustain the duties of both registrar 
and admissions. -^ He was well-trained, young and enthusiastic 
and headed what was probably the happiest office in the admin- 
istration in spite of the fact that he was the "point man" of the 
financial crisis. The Self-Study said, "Communication within the 
office is open and immediate. No staff member hesitates to ask 
or give an opinion... Decision-making is thoroughly democratic... 
Once a decision is reached, it is implemented quickly... "^° The 
whole process of recruitment changed rapidly in the early 1970s. 
In the 1960s there were many more applicants than could be 
accepted, now the problem was to increase the visibility, attrac- 
tiveness and challenges for the small number of young women 
who wished to attend a single-sex, church-associated college. 
Four admissions counselors traveled widely in areas from which 
the college students had traditionally come and to new, "undevel- 
oped" markets as well. Honoring the emphasis on diversity, 
recruitment of black students and other ethnic minorities was 
emphasized, as was the admission of a limited number of foreign 
students. National Merit Examination Scholars were individu- 
ally approached. The Student Search Service of the Educational 
Testing Service was employed to provide lists of names of prospec- 
tive applicants. In 197 1 and again in 1974 admission movies were 
commissioned, and colorful admissions posters were widely dis- 
tributed to churches and elsewhere. The catalogue was likewise 
brightened and modernized, and smaller, less-technical pam- 
phlets were widely distributed. Prospective students were invited 
for weekend visits at the college. Alumnae chapters appointed 
"alumnae aides" and entertained the high school young women 
and parents of their areas at teas and receptions. After its 
inception, the ABV likewise sought to advise admissions, using 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

the techniques of marketing and persuasion with which some of 
their members were famihar. Some current students volunteered 
to visit their former high schools while they were home on 
vacation, or to telephone "prospectives"; students formed the 
"campus guides" and escorted visitors up and down the hilly 
campus. Eventually a "WATS" telephone line was made available 
for further direct communication efforts. By the mid- 1970s these 
efforts achieved some success. Applications began to show a 
modest increase. ^^ 

The second component of the plan was to increase retention of 
the students once they were enrolled. The Spencer administra- 
tion had worked hard to reverse the traditional pattern of stu- 
dents who would attend the college for two years and would then 
transfer to major coeducational state universities, and had had 
some success in so doing. But by 1974 the attrition rate was about 
50%, and the college made a determined effort to reverse that 
dismal statistic. The first step was to study the curriculum, to be 
sure that what was being taught and how it was presented met 
the needs and perceptions of young women. In keeping with the 
greater "freedoms" in other areas, the revised curriculum empha- 
sized choice and few, if any, specific requirements. This, in turn, 
required a better and more extensive academic advising system. 
Based on the premise that more and more young women would be 
seeking careers in areas not previously open to them, opportuni- 
ties for internships and "experiential" learning were provided. 
Phrases like "designing your own major," "interdisciplinary stud- 
ies," and "teaching assistantship" began to appear. Another new 
schedule provided shorter and longer learning periods. "Compe- 
tency" based evaluations and several grading options were added 
to the program. The advantages that a single-sex college could 
provide for young women were extolled. There was a concerted 
effort to promote career counseling and placement programs. 

In addition, students who were planning to transfer were 
asked to participate in an "exit interview," and their answers as 
to why they were leaving were evaluated to see what could be re- 
medied. In many cases they indicated that their social life was 
"unnatural" (due presumably to the lack of "parietals"), and the 
dean of students and SGA officers led what was a revolutionary 
change in student living conditions. Peer advising programs were 
instituted, student opinions sought and listened to, and active 
student participation in all facets of student life were encouraged. 
Students attended trustees, ABV, alumnae, and faculty meetings, 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

and held voting seats on many faculty committees. They were on 
the President's Review Board, the Center for Voluntary Action, 
the Religious Life Committee. At a time of stringent budget 
limitations, the Wenger Student Center was remodeled and 
doubled in size. As in the case of admissions, all of this required 
additional expenditures.^^ 

It is certainly accurate to say that the trustees were concerned 
and shocked by the yearly deficits in the operating budgets. Such 
figures indicated financial mismanagement, for which the trust- 
ees were ultimately responsible, and they quickly set up tighter 
controls on the budget process. A preliminary budget was to be 
prepared, the process starting in December before the next ses- 
sion. The budget was adjusted as enrollment figures were refined, 
given tentative approval by the financial and executive commit- 
tees in May, and final approval early in the fall when firm income 
figures were available. Expenditures were to be checked quar- 
terly (later monthly) to be sure that they remained within ap- 
proved limits, and a thorough examination of physical plant 
expenditures, of programs, and of social activities was ordered. ^^ 
Mr. Jones and his staff felt increasingly overwhelmed. Each year 
new federal (and after the TAG program was instituted, state) 
regulations made accounting and reporting procedures more 
difficult. Pension plans and health insurance policies became 
more complicated, student aid "packages" more convoluted and 
harder to justify. The trustees wanted five-year projections; grant 
applicants wanted complicated statistical analyses; the registrar 
wanted facts and figures to feed the computer; the curriculum, 
priority, and budget committees wanted program cost compari- 
sons; and the Self- Study financial resources committee demanded 
difficult analyses. In addition, the business office was ultimately 
responsible for all purchasing and distribution of supplies and 
equipment, for the maintenance of the physical plant and student 
support services (food, dormitories, health, security, library pur- 
chases, automobile control and parking), for payroll and benefits, 
for negotiating short term loans, and for short term investments 
to help income match expenditures. The finance committee of the 
board of trustees had the responsibility for the management of the 
endowment fund corpus, the living trusts, the bequests, but their 
efforts had to be coordinated with Mr. Jones. 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

Efforts were made, by means of seminars and training pro- 
grams, to improve the efficiency of the business office employees 
and to incorporate computer techniques into their operation. To 
give them more time to perform their duties without inter- 
ruptions, Mr. Jones announced to other administrative offices 
that he and his staff were not available for consultation or 
assistance until ten o'clock in the morning or after three in the 
afternoon. There was much resentment. A student bank had 
existed on campus since the days of Mr. King, but in 1972 it was 
closed and thereafter students had to maintain their personal 
accounts in downtown banks. This, too, was resented.'*'* 

There were dedicated and hard-working personnel in the 
business office, some of whom had worked with Mr. Spillman in 
the 1960s, but the complexities and contradictions of the 70s left 
them frustrated and bewildered. As was the case with the 
admissions office, Dr. Kelly reluctantly decided that additional 
personnel were needed and the staff increased from 9 in 1968 to 
15 in 1976. In addition, the trustees required, in 1974, that an 
experienced accountant be appointed as comptroller. He would 
have direct access to President Kelly and to the board, although 
he would normally report through the business manager. 

In spite of all this effort, each year the budget process became 
more painful. Dr. Kelly rightly understood that a college to 
continue to succeed must appear to be successful, and his public 
pronouncements were upbeat and optimistic. He was also hopeful 
in his dealings with the finance and executive committees of the 
board. He assured them each fall that the budget would be 
balanced, and when it became apparent that it would not be, there 
always seemed to be a plausible explanation. It was not for two or 
three years that the trustees as a whole became deeply concerned, 
and then, of course, they too were caught in the quagmire of de- 
clining enrollment, rising costs, and an inadequate endowment. 

Part of the difficulty stemmed from the assumptions that went 
into the budget projections. One was the conviction that at least 
210 freshmen would be enrolled each year when, in fact, that 
number was not reached after 1972. Another was the difficulty in 
calculating full-time equivalent students. By the mid-70s there 
were so many variables and options for student enrollment that 
accuracy in FTE's, essential for estimating income, was often 
sacrificed for "head count" figures, with disastrous consequences.'*'^ 
Another factor was the decline in endowment income (and in the 
total value of the endowment) as the yields of stocks and bonds and 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

the synod's annual payments declined. The funds from VFIC 
were also seriously curtailed, as businesses and corporations felt 
the pinch of the recession. Also, their dissatisfaction with campus 
demonstrations and violence was reflected in lower contributions. 

There were appalling unexpected expenses. In 1972 the 
Staunton Council informed the college that it planned henceforth 
to collect a $30,000 annual service charge. There were anguished 
appeals to the State of Virginia agencies and, in 1974, the city 
charges were dropped to $5000, an improvement, but still a shock 
when no such charges had been previously imposed. 

In 1974-75 the Arab oil boycott brought long lines at gasoline 
pumps and serious disruption in energy supplies throughout the 
U.S. The crisis could hardly have occurred at a worse time for 
Mary Baldwin College, since '74-75 and '75-'76 saw the height of 
the financial crisis which the Kelly administration had not been 
able to solve. In 1974 the Virginia State Corporation Commission 
warned that gas supplies to major industrial, educational and 
government sites might have to be curtailed. Although the college 
heating system used gas (which was much the cheaper fuel) there 
were alternate controls for the use of oil, and, fearing that gas 
supplies would be rationed, Roger Palmer, the physical plant 
supervisor, arranged to purchase and store 36,000 gallons of oil 
during the summer of 1975. Early that fall, the college was 
informed that its gas supplies would be cut by 84%. The reserved 
oil would last for about 36 days and cost about double what gas 
would have cost. Rigid heat conservation methods were prompt- 
ly employed. A legal representative attended SCC hearings on 
behalf of the college, warning the commission that the college 
might have to close unless order #19180 was rescinded. The 
administration considered extending the Christmas vacation in 
order to conserve oil. Early in January 1976, however, Columbia 
Gas obtained extra supplies of fuel and the immediate crisis end- 
ed; but not the apprehensions for the future. ^"^ 

Other additional expenses were incurred in the student finan- 
cial aid programs. As tuition and fees increased, so, too, did the 
amount of student aid required. The overall percentage of stu- 
dents receiving financial aid did not materially change during 
these years, but the amount did; in 1969 the college committed 
$147,256 of its own funds to student aid packages. By 1975, the 
figure was $247,183.4" 

The college was now legally required to participate in unem- 
ployment compensation programs. Federal regulations required 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

refunds when students left before the end of the year that would 
not have previously been granted. Other pronouncements man- 
dated affirmative action programs, equal access plans, sex dis- 
crimination studies, grievances procedures to be approved and 
put in place. All of this took faculty and staff time and money. 

To help compensate for declining enrollment, the trustees 
reluctantly agreed to raise tuition and fees. At first Dr. Kelly 
would have a "state of the college" convocation and attempt to 
explain the reasons for the increase, but the general student 
reaction was usually so unfavorable that by 1973 the notice was 
merely incorporated in the catalogue and in the spring financial 
statements sent to parents. Students were now charged fees for 
permission to bring their automobile to the campus and paid 
additional sums for single girl or off-campus housing. A gradua- 
tion fee appeared. There was a near student revolt when, in 1976, 
a $100 fee for academic overloads was proposed. ^^ 

The administration tried desperately to economize. By the 
end of the Kelly administration, the college had withdrawn from 
the King Series and University Center programs. College mem- 
berships in professional organizations were cut; some positions 
which were vacated by retirement or resignation were not filled; 
funds for faculty research and attendance at professional meet- 
ings all but disappeared; the library book budget was severely 
restricted. On two occasions, in 1971-72 and again 1974-75, there 
were no faculty, administration or staff raises. Increases during 
the other years were selective and minimal and could not begin to 
compensate for inflation. Naturally this had a major impact on the 
college's comparative ratings with AAUP standards, with the 
other institutions of the VFIC and with women's colleges with 
which Mary Baldwin customarily compared herself. Morale on 
campus was seriously affected and both faculty and students 
demanded access to budget figures and priority decisions. It is 
interesting to note that Campus Comments declared, "After 
examining the budget and noting the lack of endowment, we have 
come to the conclusion that the financial administration of the 
college are (sic) doing a miraculous job. "(1972) The faculty were 
not as sanguine. They formed a budget advisory committee with 
at least one member elected by the local AAUP chapter, and with 
student representation, as well. They met monthly with Mr. 
Jones and demanded that that stressed administrator provide 
them with "instructional cost analyses" of all educational pro- 
grams. The administration "should," they declared, "seek their 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

advice," and the faculty representative to the trustees' meetings 
regularly reported on faculty frustrations. In 1975, the budget 
advisory committee was dissolved because a new priorities com- 
mittee would absorb its functions, but it was never clearly defined 
during the Kelly years how priorities were established and who 
was responsible for the final decisions. ^^ 

Nothing that the Kelly administration did, however, to curtail 
expenditures met with the bitter criticism that the decisions to 
end the Paris and Madrid academic programs provoked. The Paris 
program, established in 1968, had really hardly had time to get 
firmly established before its director was told that it would be 
discontinued at the end of the 1972-73 session. The Madrid pro- 
gram had been instituted in 1962 and had achieved a solid 
reputation and recognition. Both programs had been carefully 
organized, with a major emphasis on language skills and cultur- 
al immersion. Their faculties were made up of distinguished 
scholars. The students and their families had been, for the most 
part, glowing in appreciation. The progi'ams had been the cap- 
stone of the Spencer international emphasis efforts. However, in 
the uncertain environment of the 1970s, the number of Mary 
Baldwin students who enrolled had declined; students from other 
institutions had likewise diminished, and the college could no 
longer afford the luxury of oversees faculty. The Madrid program 
was reluctantly ended at the end of the 1974-75 session, after 13 
largely successful years. Although Dr. Kelly had gone in person 
to both Paris and later to Madrid to explain these painful deci- 
sions, the students, many parents and some faculty refused to 
understand and accept. It was an emotional, wrenching time on 
both sides of the Atlantic and probably did more than any other 
single factor to lower faculty and student morale. ^° 

Although all these painful efforts to cut expenditures were 
made sincerely, still, paradoxically, the college continued the 
Spencer building program, bought and sold property, purchased 
technical equipment and funded new positions. 

Construction for the Jesse Cleveland Pearce Science Center 
had begun in July 1968, a year before Dr. Kelly had come to the 
college. The building was completed in April 1970 and was 
dedicated on Founders' Day 3 October of that year in a ceremony 
similar in form and style to that of the Grafton Library and Hunt 
Hall. Hans Mark, Director of Ames Research Center, NASA, 
delivered the address, "The Uses of Science." The cost of con- 
struction, equipment and furnishings was $2,200,000, making it 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

the most expensive of the Spencer buildings, and the pecuHarities 
of the financing added to Dr. Kelly's financial burdens. Neverthe- 
less, after years of cramped, inadequate facilities, the science 
faculty at last had a physical setting equal to the excellence of 
their academic programs. ^^ 

Additional walkways and landscaping were now necessary, as 
was the usual exterior painting of the older (and not so old) 
buildings. For several years the college had leased the Wilson 
apartments (on the corner of Market and Frederick street) for 
student housing, but in 1971 the trustees bought the Woodrow 
Terrace apartments for $55,000 and thereafter students were 
housed there. Once the science classes had moved to Pearce, there 
was a reorganization of the space in the Administration Building. 
The business office was moved to the ground floor of Academic, 
which on 17 April 1970 was dedicated as the James Spillman 
Annex. The old Biology Building became, in 1972, the Alumnae 
House, and a "Date House" was created out of the college-owned 
building next to Blakely on Market Street. A parking lot had 
already been constructed beside Blakely, but in 1972 an addi- 
tional lot was necessary to accommodate increasing numbers of 
student cars. Originally planned to cost $50,000 (which would be 
paid for by the students' automobile registration fees), the final 
bill was $125,000 due to rock and drainage problems. That same 
year, an anonymous gift provided lights at the skyline tennis 
courts. By 1975 the Guidance and Counseling Center was moved 
back to Riddle, which was no longer needed as a dormitory, and 
Edmondson, 212, and the Gooch House were all closed as the 
needs of student housing decreased. ^^ 

The major building project of the Kelly years, however, was 
the proposed addition to Wenger Hall. Consuelo Slaughter 
Wenger, class of '19, and her husband Henry had long been good 
friends of the college. They had contributed to the remodeling of 
Bailey dormitory and in the 1950s had given funds for the student 
activities center, which had later been named in Mrs. Wenger's 
honor. In 1970, Wenger housed a small student "club" and snack 
bar, the student post office. Miller Lounge, the McFarland Lan- 
guage Laboratory and language faculty offices. There was need 
for a greatly expanded student center, and the trustees agreed 
that plans to expand Wenger would be approved, provided the 
money was in hand before construction was begun. Plans called 
for a student "rathskeller," offices for SGA and student publica- 
tions, the transfer of the bookstore from Hunt, and expanded area 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

for student entertainment of their friends. The language faculty 
would be moved elsewhere and the building would be devoted 
solely to student needs. 

There was some money already available; the Wengers had 
been making contributions to be used toward expansion of the 
building since the 1960s. A campaign to raise the anticipated cost 
of $500,000 was begun in 1972. The college architects, Clark, 
Nexsen, & Owen, who by now were thoroughly experienced with 
the college's difficult terrain, projected a handsome addition with 
patio space and the high-quality interiors that had character- 
ized their other college buildings. Some generous gifts were made, 
and in 1973 the trustees approved putting the project out for bids. 
The results were disappointing; the only bid exceeded expected 
revenues by $125,000. Modifications were made, and eventually 
a contract for $580,000 was approved with work to begin in the 
summer of 1975. The construction proceeded slowly; rock was, of 
course, an "unexpected" complication, and materials were de- 
layed; but by early 1976, the building was ready for occupancy. 
The final cost was $725,000. 

The expanded Wenger Hall was dedicated on 1 May 1976 
during alumnae homecoming. The address was given by the 
Honorable Andrew P. Miller, the Attorney General of Virginia, 
who spoke on pluralism in education. Since it was the United 
States Bicentennial year, the Wenger Student Center was desig- 
nated the college's "bicentennial building." President Kelly pre- 
sided at the alumnae luncheon, the glee club sang, Mrs. Wenger 
and members of her family were in attendance. Miss Parker came 
from Chattanooga for the ceremony and Patty Joe Montgomery 
was awarded the Emily Smith Medallion. Although it rained, it 
was a joyous occasion, which briefly masked the tense and serious 
difficulties of the 1975-76 session.°^ 

The occupying of Wenger brought some other physical changes 
to the campus. The bookstore had moved from its cramped 
quarters in Hunt to the new building and Mrs. Moore retired. The 
new manager was Helena ("Tidge") Roller, and the expanded 
space made possible a wider selection of books, supplies and 
mementos for student needs. The space in Hunt vacated by the 
bookstore now became a large lecture room and a small chapel. 
The language laboratory, which needed new equipment, was 
transferred to the first floor of Grafton Library, where it unhap- 
pily competed for space with the curriculum materials laboratory 
of the Education department. Also on the first floor of Grafton 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly < 1969-1976) 

were the audio-visual facilities and the Art Department. Al- 
though a small amount of money was found for updating the 
language equipment, the swift pace of technology had made the 
entire facility obsolete. Nothing, however, could be done about it, 
and the successive assaults on the Modern Language academic 
offerings seriously weakened what had, at one time, been a strong 
and flourishing department. ^^ 

Most of the expenditures for the physical plant during the 
Kelly years were probably necessary. Maintenance and upkeep 
simply had to be done and new standards of fire regulations and 
security were mandatory. It would have been inconceivable to 
delay the Pearce Science Center, which had in fact been approved 
and begun before Dr. Kelly arrived. The addition to Wenger 
perhaps might have been postponed, although the principal 
donor, Mrs. Wenger, was anxious for it to proceed. What might 
have been done differently, perhaps, is that cost overruns on these 
projects might have been anticipated, based on past experiences, 
and planned for. Undue reliance on synod funds should have been 
avoided; history should have warned that projected synod receipts 
seldom materialized. 

It had been immediately apparent that, even if increased 
enrollment, improved student retention, more economical expen- 
ditures of resources had all succeeded, the college simply had to 
have reliable sources of income beyond student tuition, alumnae 
support, and government gifts and grants. The endowment had 
to be dramatically increased so that income from investments 
could be counted on each year to help pay operating costs and to 
retire debts. 

As early as January 1972, Dr. Kelly suggested to the executive 
committee that a major capital funds campaign should be consid- 
ered, and, in April, the trustees gave their consent. This was to be 
the most carefully and professionally planned of all of the college's 
efforts and involved an "internal case statement," a time- table of 
events, five year financial projections and specific goals for spe- 
cific objectives. As with each of the other three strategies to 
improve the college's financial well-being, this also involved 
initial outlays of money. Craven Williams would not be able to 
devote sufficient time to the campaign on top of all of his other 
duties, so a new Director (later VP) of Development was ap- 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

pointed. Roy K. Patteson, Jr., joined the college in 1972.°^ A 
professional "fund-raising consultant" was likewise employed 
and a name for the campaign was chosen. It would be called "New 
Dimensions," and would be directed by a National Development 
Council, which Bertie Doming was persuaded to chair. The effort 
was carefully conceived and organized, and more than two years 
of work had been done before the public announcement was made 
in January 1974. The immediate goal (by August 1977) was to 
secure $7 million. It was hoped that an additional $2.8 million 
might be raised by 1980. There were disappointments as the 
campaign progressed, but also some major triumphs. More than 
$3 million had been promised before the general phase solicitation 
began. The largest single gift in the college's history, up to that 
moment, $1 million, was announced in earl}^ 1975. This kind of 
commitment helped to reverse the impact of the rumors that the 
college was closing at a time when such support was badly 
needed. ^*^ 

Thus, by the mid-1970s, a determined effort had been made to 
identify the factors which were causing such economic stress on 
the college and to remedy them. All the college constituencies 
agreed on the identifications. The process of remediation was 
where there was prolonged debate. By the summer of 1975, some 
trustees were privately very apprehensive about the college's 

In 1967 Dr. Spencer had appointed a faculty committee to 
reevaluate the curriculum. After a year's study and consultation, 
a new format had been approved and was instituted in the 1968- 
69 session, the interim year between Dr. Spencer's and Dr. Kelly's 
administrations. Designed to meet the "individual needs and in- 
terests of " modern young women, the new plan allowed "flexi- 
bility, choice, study in depth and independent work." The old 
pattern of specific courses with very few freshman and sophomore 
electives was replaced. There were now broadly defined "General 
Education Requirements" which could be met in a variety of ways 
over the four-year college program. A student could choose to 
"major" in a traditional discipline, or, with the approval of her 
advisor, work on interdisciplinary or independent studies. There 
were other changes; instead of semester hours, one earned "cred- 
its" and fewer courses were studied at one time. A pass/fail option 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

was available. In the eyes of many, this "new" curriculum seemed 
revolutionary-even suspect. Still, as many students discovered, 
some old limits and restrictions remained. Physical Eduction 
classes were still required, as was a course in either Old or New 
Testament. Seniors were still faced with a "general examination" 
in their major fields and were required to take the Advanced Tests 
of the Graduate Record Examination. Traditional letter grades 
remained, and although class cuts were unlimited, attendance 
was still required at the first and last meetings of each class as 
well as two days preceding and following holidays. The calendar 
was also a disappointment. First semester examinations contin- 
ued to be held at the end of January and graduation took place in 
early June. The "new" curriculum was barely begun before the 
tinkering and altering started. A number of "piecemeal" changes 
were voted on before 1972 when two faculty committees were 
appointed to review, again, the curriculum as a whole. 

In the meantime, some significant changes were made. With- 
in three years, the calendar was adjusted so that first semester 
examinations were given before Christmas. Commencement was 
now held in mid-May; Physical Education requirements became 
less rigorous; the Religion major was dropped, as was the required 
course in Old or New Testament. By 1972, the "calendar days" cut 
policy was abandoned, as was the provision that seniors take the 
GRE in their major fields. 

In an effort to broaden academic opportunities as well as to 
provide some different learning environments, Mary Baldwin 
College joined, in 1970, seven other colleges and universities in an 
"Eight College Consortium." Any student, usually in the junior 
year, might spend a semester or a year at any one of these other 
partner schools and still be considered as enrolled at her or his 
own institution. The program was modestly successful. Mary 
Baldwin women tended to choose either men's or coeducational 
colleges and thus had an opportunity to observe academic and 
faculty similarities and differences. With some modifications the 
consortium program has continued to the present. ^^ 

The commitment to breaking down the barriers among disci- 
plines was reflected in the various efforts at providing "interde- 
partmental" courses, especially, given the particular interest of 
the president, in providing distinctive work for honor scholars. 
For several years an "Honors Colloquium" titled "The Transfor- 
mation of Value in the Twentieth Century" was team-taught. 
Another course, designed particularly for sophomores, addressed 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Wat kins Kelly (1969-1976) 

"The Twenty-First Century - A Forecast of the Human MiUeu." 
Primarily designed for honor scholars, these courses were also 
open to others, space permitting, and major efforts were exerted 
to encourage students to see the interrelatedness of knowledge. 
Since the financial problem of the college made it impossible to 
give them released time, the faculty involved taught these courses 
as overloads; consequently, the offerings were limited and enroll- 
ments were never large. It was hoped that the participants would 
provide "intellectual leadership for the campus without being 
'elitist'," but on at least one occasion. Campus Comments editori- 
alized that "students abuse the new curriculum and the faculty 
are just as dull and uncreative as the students... Almost no one 
takes Independent Study opportunities."^^ 

For several years there was a determined but largely unsuc- 
cessful effort to institute an optional, three- week "mini-semester" 
in May. The concept was that a variety of courses would be taught 
by Mary Baldwin faculty both on and off the campus. A student 
chose only one course of intensive study and would receive regular 
college credit. In 1972 some 13 courses were offered, but the only 
ones that had respectable enrollments were Marine Biology (in 
North Carolina), Ornithology (taught in Michigan), Art (in New 
York museums) and London theater. Only 35 students had 
registered, and when, in 1973, a second attempt was made, even 
lower enrollment brought the experiment to an end. "Our stu- 
dents are not interested in staying on campus at the end of the 
academic year," Dr. Kelly reported to the trustees. ^^ 

There were also efforts to utilize the long Christmas vacation 
(second semester now started in mid-January) to provide 
externships and "experiential learning" opportunities. The col- 
lege made a serious effort to arouse student perceptions of the 
new opportunities awaiting women, but the time limitations 
made it difficult to arrange for more than a few days' externship, 
and only a modest number of students responded to the opportu- 
nities. Those who did found the experience valuable - and they set 
a precedent for the future. 

Still, there were some rewarding achievements in the early 
years of the Kelly administration. In 1967, Dr. Spencer and Mrs. 
Grafton had judged that the college might now be able to meet the 
criteria for the establishment of a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. 
Every president since Dr. Jarman had aspired to this highest of 
academic honors, but each, restrained by Martha Grafton's cau- 
tion, had not wished to apply, only to be rejected. But, with the end 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watki?is Kelly (1969-1976) 

of the Spencer building program in sight, with a doubled en- 
rollment, a new library, adequate faculty salaries, and a strong 
liberal arts curriculum. Dr. Spencer made the decision to send the 
necessary petition. The only difficulty that could be seen was the 
small endowment, but in 1967 that did not seem as large a 
problem as it would later become. 

The process of admission to Phi Beta Kappa takes three years. 
It involves an on-campus visiting inspection committee and volu- 
minous reports and forms to fill out. There were 14 Phi Beta 
Kappa members on the faculty, and they formed the nucleus of the 
petitioning group. There were several steps in the involved 
process, and, long before the outcome was known, Dr. Spencer had 
gone to Davidson, Dr. Kelly had been installed as president, and 
Mrs. Grafton had retired. It was not until September 1970, that 
the college was officially notified that its request had been ap- 
proved. The final arrangements were made and, on 26 April 1971 
in the Reigner Room of the Grafton Library, the Lambda Chapter 
of Virginia of Phi Beta Kappa was officially installed by the 
President of the United Chapters, Dr. Rosemary Park. Her 
address was called "The Right to Excellence." Mary Baldwin was 
the eleventh college in Virginia to receive a Phi Beta Kappa 
chapter. "^^ 

On 1 March 1976 another signal honor occurred. The Laurel 
Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa was installed. Mary Baldwin was 
the first woman's college in the United States to be granted 
privileges of membership in this distinguished college leadership 
honorary, and it was a fitting addition to the celebration of the 
United States' Bicentennial year. 

There are other changes to note, small in themselves, but 
debate-provoking at the time. In 1970, the Tate Demonstration 
School, which was leasing space in the Potter Building of the First 
Presbyterian Church, added a kindergarten program. "^^ The 
summer program to Oxford was discontinued in 1970, due to low 
enrollment, but revived in 1971 in a partnership with Davidson 
College. This arrangement ended in 1981, but the Summer at 
Oxford program continued. Students from the consortium col- 
leges joined Mary Baldwin women in this unique summer study 
opportunity. After a gi^eat deal of debate, the faculty agreed in 
1972 to address their colleagues, on formal occasions, as Mr., Mrs. , 
or Ms., regardless of their advanced degrees. The perception of 
the Committee on the Status of Women was that students (and 
others) tended to address men faculty as "Dr." (whether or not 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

they were entitled to that status) and women faculty as "Mrs." or 
"Miss." The experiment was only mildly successful. That same 
year, after an equally impassioned debate, the faculty agreed to 
dispense with bells announcing the beginning and ending of class 
periods. The old system was worn out, classrooms were now 
widely dispersed, there was no money for more sophisticated 
equipment and, in spite of the prophesy of dire consequences, the 
faculty proved capable of starting and stopping at appropriate 
times without outside assistance. 

The Grafton Library used the early years of the Kelly presi- 
dency to grow into its new quarters. Although sharing space with 
Art, Audio-Visual, Language and Curriculum Materials labora- 
tories. Music, and Drama, the librarians were assured that they 
had first priority as the Library's physical needs increased. They 
concentrated on improving the collection, adding materials on 
women's studies, black culture, and Biblical and religious sub- 
jects. The elimination of outdated or inappropriate material 
continued. The library staff regularly scheduled tours as part of 
freshman orientation, offered a course in information resources, 
taught student assistants reference skills, expanded bibliogra- 
phical aids and sought means of evaluating their services. The 
Library budget was cut by 13*^, and again in 1975-76 an even 
more extensive cut was proposed. Library staff salaries were 
"frozen" when other faculty salaries were, and, as elsewhere, the 
staff felt that they needed more clerical help. It seemed difficult to 
understand, therefore, when in 1973 a new Director of the Li- 
brary, Philip C. Wei, was hired. Gertrude Davis, who had been at 
the college for 18 years, was designated as an Associate Librarian 
and Head of Technical Services. The only explanation given was 
the desire to elevate the Director of the Library to the same status 
as others designated as "directors," and to increase library ser- 
vices as the intellectual center of the campus. The new arrange- 
ment did not work well, and Mr. Wei resigned in June 1976. 

To help compensate for the loss of funds, and also to make more 
visible the library's services to the community, a Library Associ- 
ates group was organized in 1972. Charter membership was 205, 
and an Advisory Council headed by Mrs. Virginia Perry planned 
some well-received programs. The library collection benefited by 
their interest — and their dues.''- 

The Challenges of the 70s committee had emphasized that the 
college should consider "more closely" its responsibilities towards 
its students "as women" and that it particularly explore the 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

possibility of career awareness in areas not traditionally associ- 
ated with either women or liberal arts. In December 1970, a major 
conference, "Women in Industry: New Perceptions from Govern- 
ment, Industry, and Education," was held on the campus. En- 
dorsed and planned by a trustee committee, chaired by Ralph W. 
Kittle of International Paper, Inc. and the president's office, the 
three-day meeting featured nationally recognized speakers and 
four major corporate officers. The papers and seminar presenta- 
tions were later published, and the consensus was that business 
and government had a lot to learn about liberal arts and women, 
and that liberal arts colleges needed to encourage their students 
to prepare for and to seek positions in middle management when 
they left school. ^^ 

There followed serious efforts at establishing a Career Plan- 
ning and Counseling Center on campus. In 1971-72, Edward A. 
Soetje joined the staff of Vice President Williams' office, but 
financial considerations and other factors led to the conclusion 
that his position could no longer be funded. From 1972 until the 
almost-end of Dr. Kelly's presidency, Fran Dudley Schmid, act- 
ing as the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President, tried 
valiantly to develop an appropriate Career Planning Center and 
to encourage recruiters to visit the campus. Although Fran Schmid 
had been at the college as a student and employee since 1940, this 
was a new area of college service, and she taught herself as she 
sought to help the students. Her office arranged "externships" for 
the students who were interested, and she began to build a library 
of career planning materials. The major curriculum revision of 
1974-75 put additional pressure on this office, and in 1975 Frank 
R. Pancake, on partially released time from Political Science, was 
named Director of Career Planning and Placement. He and Fran 
reported to Roy K. Patteson, who had become vice president in 

This program was further handicapped by the undefined 
relationship that existed between it and the Career and Personal 
Guidance Center headed by Dr. Lillian Pennell. It will be recalled 
that this center, sponsored by the Synod of Virginia, had been 
associated with the college since 1955. In the 1960's, as enroll- 
ment had doubled, the Center was moved from Riddle, which was 
needed as a dormitory, to a house which the college rented on 
Coalter Street, not far from Spencer dormitory. Here it was out 
of the mainstream of campus life, and few Mary Baldwin stud- 
ents took advantage of its services. One student remarked that 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

she would have gone if it had not been for the "stigma" attached 
to it. Presumably, she was reflecting a prevalent attitude, that 
only those academically or emotionally in difficulty needed coun- 
seling-and besides it was church funded! 

In the 1970s the ABV and Dean Smeak worked hard to set up 
a program to make students more aware of setting life goals and 
of the many opportunities awaiting them. Dr. Pennell and her 
staff were incorporated in a plan designed to affect students 
during their four years of college. During orientation and in a 
series of conferences held thereafter, freshmen would take a 
battery of aptitude and interest tests designed to show them their 
strengths, weaknesses, and vocational bents. This information 
would assist their faculty advisors as they helped the freshmen 
plan a four year program. Sophomores would take a course in 
Personal and Career Development, funded by the ABV in 1975-76 
and taught by a member of Dr. Pennell's staff During her junior 
year, a Mary Baldwin student was encouraged to try externships 
and experiential learning opportunities, and her senior year was 
to be devoted to completing her portfolio, meeting recruiters and 
learning about employment opportunities. It was a carefully 
thought out program, and, as is true with most new ventures, it 
needed time to become known and accepted. It also needed more 
professional staffing.''^ 

Two more aspects of the curriculum need to be recalled. In 
September 1972 the college began a ten-week evening program of 
"enrichment" and academic credit courses for adults. Taught by 
the college faculty and various adjuncts, the program was ordered 
to be self-supporting. The original enrollment was 110, 11 of 
whom were regular college students who paid no additional fee. 
Spring enrollment was not as successful, and in succeeding years 
the evening courses were offered only in the fall. Eventually 
college student participation had to be limited, since it was 
generally perceived that the evening courses were "easier" and 
students opted for this possibility. Called "Continuing Educa- 
tion," some kind of community programs have been sponsored by 
Mary Baldwin College for the last 20 years. ^° 

Pursuant to the 70s Committee report, the college also sought 
to develop summer programs. The luxury of the three-month 
summer vacation, when all the maintenance, painting and repair- 
ing could be done, came to an end. One of the first such activities 
was a summer Tennis America Camp. This was a franchise camp, 
associated with Billie Jean and Larry King. The campers would 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

use the college facilities, and it was anticipated that there would 
be a modest profit for the college. A three-year contract was signed 
in 1973, but the enrollment remained low and the college summer 
tennis club, available to townspeople and the college faculty, 
resented sharing the available courts. The second year saw even 
lower enrollment, and Tennis America was declared bankrupt 
that fall. The college was owed a considerable sum and eventually 
recovered at least part of it, but no profit from this venture was 
realized. ^^ 

Much more successful was the Governor's School for the Gifted 
program, which Dr. Kelly, with his interest and experience in 
honors programs, had done a great deal to bring about. The State 
of Virginia was persuaded to fund, each year, beginning in 1972, 
three summer programs for talented high school students, to be 
located at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Mary Washington 
College and Mary Baldwin. Because of her modern science facil- 
ities, and because of Dr. Kelly's role in securing the legislation, 
Mary Baldwin College was chosen as the site of the program 
focusing on science and technology. For the remainder of Dr. 
Kelly's presidency. Dr. Ben Smith organized and directed the 
Staunton Governor's School. Not only did it add to the college's 
prestige to be chosen as one of these locations, it was hoped that 
the young women attending would become interested in returning 
as Mary Baldwin students. Some did.*^" 

The Spencer curriculum had been in existence for less than 
four years, when there was serious consideration given to another 
major curriculum study. In part, this came from the President's 
Committee's suggestion, but more from faculty perception that 
the curriculum as it stood was a compromise and did not really 
speak to the needs of the young women they were trying to serve. 
The Academic Dean, Marjorie Chambers, had read widely in 
educational philosophy and methodology and was fully commit- 
ted to helping the college's young women become aware of their 
own capabilities and in providing them with the opportunity to 
prepare to take advantage of the new options which were emerg- 
ing. A thorough-going intellectual herself, the dean envisioned a 
whole new college environment for questioning, thinking, learn- 
ing and experiencing without lockstep procedures and boring 
repetition of materials already mastered. Delivering the Honors 
Convocation address 25 January 1973, Dean Chambers said that 
we must eliminate "societal stereotypes of what women should 
be." Women must "gain" the courage to use their intelligence... 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

"this college is a place devoted consciously to helping women gain 
the courage and self confidence to fight against inner and outer 
barriers." The following October, Dr. M. Elizabeth Tidball spoke 
at Founders' Day and suggested that graduates of women's 
colleges succeeded in non-traditional careers better than women 
gi'aduates of coeducational institutions. "A woman's college," she 
said, "is a good place to be." 

The faculty appointed an ad hoc Committee on the Improve- 
ment and Evaluation of Teaching (CIET) and expanded the 
membership of the Educational Policy Committee (EPC). They 
ordered an exhaustive study of the 1968 curriculum. Both com- 
mittees had student members. Throughout the 1972-73 session 
and during the summer of 1973, the two committees labored. 
They imposed, not only on themselves, but on all the faculty and 
many of the staff, extraordinary demands in terms of question- 
naires, forms, meetings, discussions, evaluations, and workshops. 
All academic classes were cancelled on 5 April 1973 so that an all- 
day seminar on alternative teaching methods and modes of 
learning could be held. No one could question the commitment 
and the energy of these committee members, but they were 
sometimes hard to live with. In September 1973, the committees 
were ready to present their proposal, "A New Educational Pattern 
for Mary Baldwin College," to the entire faculty. The complicated 
plan was discussed in the regular September and October faculty 
meetings, written versions were distributed, and, at a called 
meeting 22 October 1973, the proposal was put to a vote. Six 
members of the faculty were absent, as were, of course, those who 
were involved in the overseas programs. There have been few 
faculty meetings at Mary Baldwin College as prolonged and 
divisive as this one. There first had to be a decision on who was 
entitled to vote, and then whether absentee ballots were to be 
allowed, and whether the vote would be by secret ballot. The 
faculty next had to decide whether the proposal should be voted on 
as a whole or broken down into its component parts and voted on 
separately. The two committees were adamant that the "package" 
had to be accepted in toto, that all the parts were necessary or the 
program would be severely handicapped. Eventually all these 
issues were settled and the ballots were counted. The decision was 
made to accept the "New Educational Pattern," but the vote was 
uncomfortably close and the objections many faculty and students 
had were long-lasting. It took several years and some modifica- 
tion before the program could fully reach its potential, and, 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

although parts of it remain 20 years later, experience showed that 
some of the idealistic expectations were not grounded in reality. 
However, it should be remembered that the 1970s was an ideal- 
istic decade. 

The essentials of the new program can be briefly described: 
There would be five divisions, instead of academic departments, 
each headed by a coordinator. Two of the "divisions" were con- 
cerned with "Professional Training and Experiential Learning" 
and "Interdisciplinary Studies." The divisional structure, it was 
hoped, would encourage collegiality and would permit students to 
see the interrelatedness of traditional subjects. Students would 
"design" their own programs, assisted by knowledgeable and 
sympathetic faculty advisors and by a competent and capable 
career and advising center. There were no specific distribution or 
graduation requirements, since the advisor would, presumably, 
see that each student during her college years developed a well- 
rounded program and a coherent "concentration of studies." The 
calendar was divided into five terms, two of six-weeks duration to 
be completed before Christmas, a four-week January term, and 
two more six-week terms in the spring, thus allowing the possibil- 
ity of different time learning frames. Students were to choose not 
only different-length courses, but were to seek different learning 
formats, i.e., lectures, discussion, self-paced study, laboratory 
experience, and seminars. The January term was designed to 
encourage externships or to provide the opportunity for a concen- 
trated examination of one subject. Grading was to be based on 
"competency" as described in the course description. 

In addition, a pilot program for freshman studies would be 
initiated, although the numbers of faculty needed to carry out 
the concept (four, plus visiting lecturers for 55 students) imposed 
a severe strain on the diminishing faculty. Also planned was a 
renewed, more comprehensive system of student evaluation of 
the faculty and of individual courses. 

The most serious objections to the new proposal came from the 
Science faculty, for whom it imposed special difficulties, and from 
some of the language faculty, the Fine Arts and from Physical 
Education. Their fears of severe impact on their enrollments were 
not totally borne out over the next few years, but there is no 
question that the new curriculum imposed additional teaching 
and advising responsibilities on an already over-stressed fac- 

In spite of all this, the "New Educational Pattern" was in- 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

stalled for the session 1974-75 - hardly a propitious moment. In 
spite of the timing, the college community adapted and some even 
found themselves challenged and excited. Because insufficient 
funding, staffing, and time were apparent difficulties, the faculty 
proceeded to establish a priorities committee to keep, as they 
expressed it, a "close watch over educational programs and bud- 
get matters." That same year, the required 10-year SACS Self- 
Studv had to be undertaken. Again, the burden on faculty, staff, 
and to a lesser degree, trustees and students, was great; but it did 
provide the opportunity for an objective review of the college's 
situation. The "Recommendations and Conclusions" of the Self- 
Study were to have unexpected consequences.*^^ 

A word much heard in the 1970s was "relevant." Faculty, no 
more immune than other human beings to current fads and 
fancies, sought "relevancy" in their course offerings. They devel- 
oped new courses and included current materials in older offer- 
ings. Not all the new courses introduced in these years survived, 
but many of them did. Examples include: The History of Black 
Americans; War and Social Change; Ibsen and Strindberg; Sci- 
ence and Religion; England and the Chesapeake World; Jews in 
the 20th Centuiy; and Sociology of Women. Others were: Death 
and Dying; Women in Society; Accounting; Linguistics; Biochem- 
istry; The Letters of Paul; Social Biology; Musicology; Social 
Protest in America; American Architecture; Anthropology; His- 
tory of Jazz; The Role of Women in Hispanic-American Litera- 
ture; and by 1976, when an Economics/Business Major had been 
introduced, courses in Business Law, Principals of Marketing, 
and Personnel Management had been approved. In 1976, an 
ROTC program (working with established programs on other 
campuses) had been accepted and the expansion of teacher certi- 
fication programs into Special Education categories had begun. 
Two special programs were of considerable interest, one funded 
by the National Science Foundation and coordinated with Hollins, 
Randolph-Macon Woman's College, and Sweet Briar titled "In- 
creasing Women in Science through Reshaping Role Perception," 
was directed by Psychology professor Donald D. Thompson. This 
experiment coordinated lectures, seminars, films, field trips and 
internships for young women at the participating colleges with 
the expectation that more of them would elect a scientific career 
as their perceptions altered. The other was a grant which enabled 
a Mary Baldwin College Mathematics instructor and three stu- 
dents to work in applied mathematics at NASA's Langley base 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

during the January term or in the summer. 

In 1974, another dimension was added to the college's intellec- 
tual environment. The Carroll Lectures, the first endowed lec- 
tureship in the college's history was established by Jane Frances 
Smith (class of 37) honoringher history professor, Dr. Mary Swan 
Carroll. These annual programs brought distinguished his- 
torians and archivists to the campus for a series of presentations 
and for classroom discussions with students and faculty. The first 
Carroll lecture was presented 24 September 1974 by Willie Lee 
Rose, who spoke on "The Domestication of Domestic Slavery" and 
"Childhood in Bondage." Subsequent years saw equally stimulat- 
ing and provocative topics. 

It is perhaps ironic that the Special Report titled "Who's in 
Charge?" had noted that no president of a college or university 
"can prevail indefinitely without at least the tacit support of the 
faculty."^° Dr. Kelly had made a promise to the MBC faculty, early 
in his presidency, that he would include them and all other of the 
college's constituencies in his decision-making process. He tried 
sincerely to do so. But of all of the various groups at the college, 
it was the faculty that caused him the most trouble. 

In 1969-70, the faculty numbered 61. Enrollments declined 
sharply and six years later, in 1975-76, there were only 52 full- 
time equivalent faculty employed. In the intervening years, six of 
the older professors retired and often, because of demographics, 
were not replaced. Others, discouraged by the financial crises, left 
when they could. Bill Kelly had appointed about half of those who 
remained, and it might have been expected that this would 
promote a special relationship; but in most cases it did not. 

It was a curious faculty. Of the 40 men and women who came 
to Mary Baldwin between 1969 and 1976, only eight remained 20 
years later. It was a relatively young group, both in years and in 
experience at the college. ^^ They were well-qualified, with about 
two-thirds of them holding Ph.D's. About half were women, who 
were often paid less for comparable work than their male counter- 
parts. The 1970s was a time of limited academic opportunities for 
the flood of bright young graduate students who were completing 
their work at distinguished universities, only to discover that they 
were unable to find teaching positions. Particularly vulnerable 
were liberal arts graduates, and many were forced to accept 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

positions in institutions for which they felt themselves to be over- 
qualified. The effect of this on their attitudes toward the colleges 
which employed them was sometimes unfortunate. Salaries were 
low, not only at Mary Baldwin, but throughout the country. 
Double digit inflation eroded their earnings (most had no sav- 
ings), and many colleges could not afford cost-of-living increases. 
In the case of Mary Baldwin, as has been seen, there were two 
years during the Kelly presidency when there were no increases 
in salaries at all, and this added to faculty frustrations and 
economic hardships. There was little faculty mobility during 
these years. If one had a position, one kept it if he/she could, 
because the chances of finding another were so small. If one had 
tenure, that was almost a guarantee that one would stay where 
he/she was for the rest of his/her professional life, whether or not 
one was satisfied with the position. There was nowhere else to go. 
Many institutions, particularly smaller ones, were in danger of 
becoming "tenured in," but efforts at preventing this only added 
to insecurities and hard feelings. 

Mary Baldwin's new curriculum sought to focus on areas of 
expanded opportunities for women such as Business and Econom- 
ics, Computer Training, Biology, and Special Education, which 
meant that faculty competent in those areas needed to be hired; 
but what did you do with your present faculty in areas such as 
languages. Physical Education, Religion, Philosophy, and Music, 
where enrollments were declining? Some faculty sought to de- 
velop new skills, or to construct new courses in areas of perceived 
needs; but there were little or no funds to support such profes- 
sional reeducation, and not many of the "older" faculty could make 
these transitions. All of these factors shaped faculty perceptions 
of themselves and of the institutions which employed them. Many 
of the younger ones brought with them the ideas and concepts of 
their peers from the 1960s. There was a suspicion of authority, a 
mistrust of administrators and trustees, an "adversarial" style of 
confrontation, a nagging sense of injustice, an impatience with 
tradition, courtesy and good manners. All of this did not make for 
a happy faculty-or tranquil faculty meetings. On the other hand, 
these were very bright, hard-working, conscientious professionals 
who wanted to teach, for the most part enjoyed their students, and 
wanted to change the academic program to meet the concerns of 
the 70s. They were agreeable to student evaluations of their 
courses and methodologies, although few of them carried ideal- 
ism to the point of believing that anyone other than themselves 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

should see the evaluations. Many of them sympathized with 
student efforts to modify social regulations and frequently shared 
student perceptions of social and political concerns. Physically, 
they differed from previous faculty, as well. As student dress 
codes vanished, so, too, did faculty conventional dress. Few of the 
younger male faculty wore jackets and ties to class, and young 
women faculty wore the same blue jeans, or peasant skirts, loose 
shirts and sandals as their students. This was an era of much 
preoccupation with hair. The students wore theirs long and 
straight, usually falling onto their faces and obstructing their 
vision. Men's hair was also noticeably longer, and, in October 
1969, Campus Comments remarked that seven faculty "sport 
hairy facial additions." When one of these individuals was asked 
why he grew a beard, he answered, "You don't usually ask a tree 
why it grows leaves. "^^ 

The faculty worked hard. The Self-Study estimated conserva- 
tively that most of them spent between 53 and 55 hours weekly on 
their professional duties. '^^ They were over-organized. There were 
eight standing faculty committees, some of which required much 
time and effort. In addition, two ad hoc committees, the commit- 
tee on improvement and excellence in teaching and the committee 
on the status of women, were extremely time- consuming. There 
were 14 other "college" committees, all requiring some faculty 
representation as well as faculty presence at trustees' and ABV 
meetings, which were expected. They were, of course, expected to 
attend college functions and to support student athletic, artistic 
and social endeavors. ^^ 

The new curriculum, because of its divisional structure, had 
led to a reorganization of the faculty, but it seemed to many that 
the divisions simply added an additional layer of bureaucracy, 
rather than lessening collective faculty activity. 

Because of the financial stresses and because many members 
of the faculty considered that economic measures which affected 
them had been decided without their knowledge, they insisted on 
sharing in the "governance" of the college. Much of their commit- 
tee work on priorities, faculty tenure and status, budget, and 
status of women came directly from their perception that the 
administration was not dealing fairly or honestly with them. 
They understood the reasons why there were financial difficult- 
ies, but they disagreed with the distribution of the limited re- 
sources. As the total number of faculty decreased, they were fear- 
ful that further cuts would imperil academic standards, and they 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

insisted that the new curriculum, to be properly implemented, 
required more, not fewer, faculty numbers. In addition, they 
bitterly resented what they perceived to be unnecessary staffing 
in administrative offices and the increase in administrative bud- 
gets at the expense of the faculty. "° 

The presence of the AAUP was more prominent on the campus 
during the Kelly years than it had ever been before. The local 
chapter was active in demanding that AAUP guidelines for 
salaries and fringe benefits, academic freedom, status and tenure 
be accepted by the administration. A gi-eatly enlarged and 
detailed Faculty Handbook was published, after being reviewed 
and endorsed by the national AAUP, and some administrators 
and trustees felt the erosion of their previous authority and 
resented it. 

The newly appointed Committee on the Status of Women 
(1974), having studied a scattergram of faculty salaries, reached 
the conclusion that there were "male superstars" and "female 
cinderellas" on the college faculty. Twenty women were paid less 
than the median salary ($12,565), but only nine men were. 
Although the highest salary was $17,850, only three women 
earned more than $15,000. This was not, the committee decided, 
the result of intentional sexual bias; it reflected "social expecta- 
tions" and "market place" realities. But immediate positive action 
should be taken. ^^ The administration responded by asking, 

Attendance at faculty meetings was poor all through the Kelly 
era, but absences of 17 or 18 were not unusual during the crises 
years of 1974 and 1975. People were tired and discouraged. The 
Self- Study concluded the section on the faculty with the following 

With respect to new measures of faculty 
participation in institutional governance, we 
think that the faculty, at this point in time, 
is already carrying too heavy a responsibility 
in this area. We recommend, therefore, that 
the areas of faculty concern and administrative 
concern be more clearly defined than they now 
are, that the faculty attend only to those matters 
which fall under its purview, and that the com- 
mittee structure of the college be simplified 
as much as possible. We respectfully suggest 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

that entirely too much faculty time and energy 
have been spent in recent years on internal 
governance and changes in the organization 
of the college. Teaching should be the first 
priority for our faculty, and the priority should 
be restored and sustained. 

It was a conclusion with which many could agree. "^ 

The alumnae network had been firmly established during the 
Spencer years, and the "partnership" concept with the college had 
been well reinforced. Virginia Munce had been the Director of 
Alumnae Activities since 1963. By 1969, when President Kelly 
arrived, she had established a well-organized office, an active and 
dedicated Board of Directors for the Alumnae Association, and a 
popular calendar of annual events. In spite of the Spencer and 
then Kelly special fund-raising campaigns, the alumnae "annual 
fund" grew, both in numbers of participants and amounts raised. 
There was an excellent Mary Baldwin Bulletin which twice a year 
was devoted to college news and alumnae activities, and a vigor- 
ous chapter visitation program had kept the far-flung local chap- 
ters active and stimulated. The alumnae liked Dr. Kelly and his 
family. He met them easily and was comfortable in their homes 
and visiting the local chapters. Some alumnae, of course, were 
now members of the board of trustees, the advisory board of 
Visitors, and the National Committee for the New Dimensions 
campaign, so they were fully aware of the deepening financial 
crises, and they made extra efforts to support the college and to 
identify areas where they might be helpful. 

Always mindful that the present students were tomorrow's 
alumnae, the association regularly sponsored a "senior banquet," 
usually in the fall, to introduce the students to the functions and 
responsibilities of alumnae work. They established a Student 
Relations Committee in 1971 and created a modest fund to help 
pay the expenses of student leaders who wished to attend state 
and regional leadership conferences. Some alumnae responded to 
requests that they address the various career seminars that were 
organized during these years to acquaint the students with 
professional options; and their "continuing education" March 
seminars, held in Hunt Hall, were popular, not only with local 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

graduates and the community, but with students as well. The 
alumnae sponsored the last Honor Society Breakfast (15 May 
1970), and a dinner for Elizabeth Parker, Ruth McNeil and Lillian 
Rudeseal when they retired (24 April 1972). 

They did some things for themselves as well. When Biology 
vacated the building on New and Frederick, the alumnae asked 
President Kelly to allow them to return to what had been, in the 
1930s, the Alumnae Club House. They shared the space with the 
Career Planning and Placement Center but were delighted to 
return to more private quarters. They established, in 1970, a new 
category of alumnae membership - "honorary, non-voting" - and 
elected Martha Grafton and Mildred Taylor as the first two 
honorary members. That same year, they began the custom of an 
Alumnae Worship Service during Homecoming. Initiated by 
James McAllister, Herbert Turner, and Thomas Grafton, this 
quickly became a beloved tradition and has continued to the 

The class notes, so laborious to collect, edit and print, but 
beloved by alumnae as a way of keeping in touch with friends and 
classmates, had been dropped from the Bulletin in 1969 as not 
befitting the dignity of an expanded and professionalized journal; 
but in May 1975, the custom of class notes was renewed by, 
apparently, popular demand and has been continued. 

By 1972, Virginia Munce had begun tentative plans to offer 
travel tours with special rates for Mary Baldwin alumnae and 
friends. These were successful for many years, and the concept 
has now merged with the Continuing Education programs of the 
present college. 

In 1975, seeking a fund-raising activity, the alumnae decided 
to print a cookbook, including favorite faculty, administration, 
and alumnae recipes. Called From Ham to Jam , the first edition 
was published in September 1977 and was very popular. It 
included some of "B.C.'s" recipes and, of course, Miss Fannie's 

Individual chapters undertook special projects and some made 
very generous gifts to the Pearce Science Center, and later 
Wenger Hall. Alumnae role in the admissions process has already 
been referred to, but their continued efforts in this area were 

They were not without questions. In 1973-74, Dr. Kelly made 
over 50 visits to various alumnae chapters, and they peppered him 
with queries about the lack of student social regulations ("pari- 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

etals" were very hard for many of them to accept), what kind of 
rehgious Ufe activities were now held, and when an extended 
career counsehng center might be expected. Dr. Kelly found it as 
hard to explain to the alumnae as it was to everyone else why the 
Madrid and Paris programs had ended, but throughout the 
difficult years, the alumnae remained, for the most part, commit- 
ted and loyal."* 

Of all of the changes on campus between 1969-76, the most 
visible, and often the most controversial, were those pertaining to 
students: their appearance, their social life, their attitudes and 
beliefs, their academic orientation and life goals. It is not difficult 
to deeply empathize with these young women and the mixed 
signals they received. Mostly from middle-class, conventional 
families, accustomed to fairly specific limitations on their behav- 
ior, they arrived on a campus which, in the short space of four 
years, went from the in loco parentis attitudes familiar to their 
parents, to an environment that had few, if any, specific prohibi- 
tions and largely ignored guidelines. They were young (most of 
them 18-22), idealistic, anxious to bring credit to themselves and 
their families, but equally anxious to be "inner-directing" adults 
in a bewildering world. Assaulted by the music, the clothing, the 
life styles, the values of the counter-culture, prodded by professors 
and peers to question, experiment, and test for themselves, 
rebellious-as only young women who first leave home can be— 
unsure and insecure, they stood between two very different 
historical eras and were pulled in many directions. In the "shared 
governance" and more open community of the college, they were 
aware, of course, of the problems facing the administration and 
faculty. Many were indifferent, taken up with their own concerns 
and heartbreaks; others were anxious, and a few— mostly those 
serving on various boards and committees—took on the additional 
burden of trying to solve the college's predicament. They were the 
first generation of students to experience the freedoms of the new 
academic curriculum, the first young women who could vote at the 
age of 18, the first to decide for themselves where, when, and how 
much alcohol to drink, the first to visit, unaccompanied, college 
men's apartments, the first to invite young men to their own 
dormitory rooms, the first to know those who openly experimented 
with drugs and sex, the first to have the right to a legal abortion, 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

the first to be made to feel guilty because of who and what they 
were. These young women would not look back on their college 
days as tranquil pools of friendship and community, a privileged 
four-year transition between childhood and adulthood. Without 
fully realizing it, they were pioneers, and pioneers live risky, 
stressful, anxious but sometimes exhilarating lives. 

In 1968, when Dr. Spencer left, the 25 mile rule was still in 
effect, "approved housing" for overnight, except for seniors, was 
mandatory, no alcohol was allowed at college sponsored events or 
anywhere on campus, chapels and/or convocations were held 
three times a week, and students were required to report their 
own unexcused absences. Only seniors could have automobiles. 
Shorts and slacks could not be worn in public, and student dates 
were to be appropriately dressed. Beds were to be made by mid- 
morning. There were adult resident counselors in the major 
dormitories, and meals, except for breakfast, were still served 
family style. 

Eight years later, all these and other regulations had been 
reversed. Other than the request that "attire be neat and in good 
taste," no dress requirements for either men or women existed. 
Beer was available at college social events and was sold in the 
Rathskeller in Wenger Hall. All students were allowed to bring 
automobiles to campus. There was active campaigning for SGA 
offices, complete with posters, slogans, speeches and sponsors. 
There were detailed statements of the rights of students accused 
of violating the Honor System, and a Review Board was estab- 
lished with carefully (and legally) drawn procedures for appeal 
from an Honor Court decision. Refrigerators and TV sets ap- 
peared in student rooms. An elaborate "private" sign-out system 
was devised. Students as well as faculty academic advisors as- 
sisted in course selection, and peer advisors appeared in place of 
adults in the dormitories. The cherished "parietals" were gradu- 
ally granted. The Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy 
Acts (the so-called Buckley Amendment) was endorsed, and the 
Catalogue became a kind of legal contract between a student and 
the college administration. After the student bank closed, student 
accounts were often deposited in local banks or in home institu- 
tions, and for the first time the problem of checks returned for 
"insufficient funds" was persistent and visible. The SGA devised 
a "cold check" committee to try to solve the embarrassing problem. 
Dormitories and rooms within dormitories were now kept locked. 
Campus security, both for possessions and persons, was an ongo- 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

ing concern. The old statement about secret marriages and 
dismissal because a student was "out of sympathy" with college 
standards was quietly withdrawn. In its place a Code of Conduct 

Code of Conduct 
Mary Baldwin College is a community of 
scholars in which there is an atmosphere of 
learning as well as a sense of community. 
The College prides itself upon the principles 
of academic integrity, self-respect, and indi- 
vidual responsibility. 

A student who enrolls in the College 
assumes an obligation to conduct herself in 
a manner compatible with these principles, and 
to see that her guests observe them at all times. 

I. The College will not tolerate abusive 
language or indecent conduct which would be 
offensive to the campus community. 

II. No student shall knowingly injure, 
threaten, or degrade a member of the College 

III. No student shall intentionally or malici- 
ously damage or destroy property in the care of 
or belonging to the College, or to a member of 
the College community, or to a campus visitor. 

IV. No student shall fail to comply with 
directions by members of the faculty, admin- 
istration, staff, or elected student officers of 
the College when said officials are acting in 
performance of their duties. 

V. No student shall fail to comply with any 
disciplinary conditions imposed upon her by a 
judiciary body. 

VI. All students and their guests must show 
consideration for the residents of Staunton, 
especially our close neighbors, and behave in 

a manner compatible with the standard of 
the larger community. ^^ 

Probably no issue was more controversial than the privilege 
which the students labeled "parietal." In colleges and universities 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

across the country in the early 70s, the concept that a student's 
dormitory room was the equivalent of an adult apartment or hotel 
room was embraced by a rebellious student generation. At 18, 
they declared, they were old enough to vote, to be drafted, to drive 
a car, to (within limits) drink alcohol, to smoke, to marry or to live 
together as they chose. The intense desire to set their own 
standards (a kind of "privatization" which rejected externally 
imposed limits on personal conduct, be they religious or secular), 
led to the demand that college students be able to entertain whom 
they chose and when they desired in their own housing. The 
problems this created, particularly for women's colleges, which 
traditionally had two-or even three-girl rooms and communal 
bathrooms, were obvious, but one by one the women's colleges 
yielded. Mary Baldwin was among the last to seek a solution 
which could accommodate majority student demands, community 
disapproval, trustees' apprehensions and parents' almost univer- 
sal opposition. 

The whole debate, which lasted for more than three years, 
culminated in a difficult 1972-73 session. That spring, the student 
senate was working on a parietal proposal and Dr. Kelly was 
deeply concerned. He feared the effects on his cherished New 
Dimensions Campaign, as well as the college's relationship with 
the synod. On 2 March 1972, he sent a letter to the parents of all 
the students, warning them that major changes in social regula- 
tions were being debated, and asking for their opinions. "Too 
many of the girls' schools," he wrote, "are giving in much too 
quickly." He would not, he explained, be guided by majority 
opinion; the rights of each student to "privacy, quiet and security" 
would "be protected." And, in a follow-up letter on 9 March 1972, 
he declared, "Parietals are not being approved." Easter vacation 
that year was 22 March - 5 April, and without administrative 
knowledge, the SGA sent its own letter to parents, explaining that 
Sweet Briar, Hollins, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Mary 
Washington, and even Agnes Scott now permitted some kind of 
male visitation in dormitory rooms. 

As might be expected, a flood of protests from irate and 
distressed parents poured into the president's office. Some threat- 
ened to withdraw their daughters if the school changed its regu- 
lations. Most, caught between their daughter's desires and their 
own apprehensions, insisted that they trusted their own children, 
but feared for the security and privacy of roommates and other 
young women without visitors. The spring passed with continued 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

debates, and with administration efforts to provide more lounges, 
parlors, and areas for dates to informally enjoy each others' 
company. The back gallery of Administration would be open on 
weekends for ping pong, billiards, and conversation. A "date 
house" next to Blakely was set up so that young men could have 
inexpensive lodgings when they attended events at the college. As 
the new student center was being discussed, administrative pleas 
for "patience" and assurances that there would be areas for 
student entertainment, fell on deaf ears. "The College," wrote a 
young woman in Campus Comments, has "restrictive, unhealthy 
and unrealistic living conditions... it borders on repression." 

When the college opened in September 1972, an "open dorm 
experiment" was permitted on the weekends of 22 September and 
6 October. All went well, and on 1 December 1972, the Review 
Board approved the SGA Senate legislation permitting male 
visitation on weekends, with the pointed reminder that students 
were responsible for the behavior of their guests. The new policy 
was to go into effect on 1 January 1973 and the camel's nose was 
indeed in the tent. By 1976, parietals were allowed every day in 
the week. Each dormitory voted on its own choice of day and hour 
options. At least one trustee resigned as a result of the decision. 
Membership on the ABV was harder to recruit, churches and 
corporations cut their contributions, and the college's reputation 
in the Staunton community came under severe attack.^° 

The college's relationship with its community neighbors be- 
came increasingly tense. Not only did students' automobiles fill 
on-street parking spaces, but their middle-of-the-week and week- 
end parties were loud, noisy, characterized by "public drinking, 
disorderly conduct, abusive language, speeding vehicles, public 
urination" and destruction of telephone poles, fire alarms, and 
damage to the inadequate men's rooms. In late 1974, Dr. Kelly 
suspended parietals for two weeks and barred men from the 
Chute for a month because of flagrant misconduct. Students were 
outraged. Posters appeared declaring "no ultimatum without 
warning" and an editorial proclaimed that this was an "intense 
exhibition of a most reactionary form of paternalism." "Most 
institutions," they declared, "have 24 hour parietals... the admin- 
istration has disregarded and violated the inherent human need 
for privacy. "*^^ 

A question-answer column in Campus Comments in 1973-74 
was labeled "Carousel" became "many students feel that it is 
impossible to obtain a straight answer from the Mary Baldwin 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

administration." As late as February 1976, Campus Comments 
was complaining that "stringent rules, security guards and inter- 
ference from the local police," scared miales away. 

The spring of 1974 saw a new campus diversion. Campus 
Comments printed pictures of Mary Baldwin "streakers," usually 
running at night, with dark glasses and strategically held towels. 
Most wore some kind of underwear, and one young woman, when 
interviewed, said she did it to have "something to tell my grand- 
children." It was not long before the few remaining cadets at 
Staunton Military Academy were joining these moonlight activi- 
ties - and then, inevitably spectators from town arrived. Con- 
cerned about security. Craven Williams appealed to the students 
to stop - and sensibly they did.^^ 

One reads the Campus Comments of these years with the 
recognition that social revolutions are, like all revolutions, pain- 
ful. It was painful for the participants, and for those who loved 
them as well. It would take some years before the campus would 
zig-zagback to a saner, more balanced social situation, but, as will 
be seen, it eventually did. And, there is another side to the campus 
story - even in the 70s. 

Mary Baldwin students did feel strongly an obligation to their 
college community. In 1970, a Voluntary Action Center was 
organized in Staunton. Funded by a federal Title I gi'ant and 
located at Hill Top Dormitory, it was the only such center on a 
college campus in the country. It sought to make the myriad 
volunteer groups in Staunton more effective. Under its broad 
umbrella were such organizations as Big Brother/Big Sister, 
tutorial services for public school children, blood donors, and 
assistance for VSDB. About 200 students, in the course of a year, 
signed up to join other community volunteers in providing help for 
those less fortunate. Federal funding was not renewed in 1973 
and the office was forced to close, but volunteer efforts continued, 
culminating in a six-week campaign to raise money for research 
into the causes and a possible cure for muscular dystrophy. The 
SGA president, Bonnie Tuggle, saw this project as a way of 
bringing the campus together in a difficult year, and it did help.^^ 

In addition, the SGA undertook to organize and administer 
the student evaluations of the academic progi'am required by the 
new curriculum; they worked hard to restructure the student 
government and to make effective and fair the Honor Court. Dean 
Smeak proposed in 1975-76 a student Resident Advisor Program, 
which was implemented the following year and is now indispens- 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

able. These upperclassmen were trained to deal with the physical, 
psychological and emotional problems of their fellow students and 
were often more effective than administrative persons would have 

The "diversity" of which the President's Committee had spo- 
ken was a bit more apparent by 1976. Although still a very small 
percentage of the student body, black women became more visible 
members of the student body. By 1974, they organized the United 
Black Association (WANAWAKI) and sponsored informal dances 
in the Chute, an annual Black Culture Week, brought speakers to 
the campus, movies, art and music seminars. "All races are wel- 
come," said the president of the group. "We seek to promote unity 
among students." Because some racial tensions did exist, a 
Human Relations Committee, with faculty and student represen- 
tation was formed, and a psychological counselor was employed to 
meet with students on a regular basis and to assist with racial 

The athletic program at the college was vigorous and visible. 
It was not until the curriculum change of 1974 that all require- 
ments about Physical Education were dropped, after which stu- 
dent enrollment plummeted for several years. Until then, all 
students were still required to take a freshman course in Health 
Education, to pass a swimming survival test and to participate in 
both team and individual sports. Intercollegiate competition 
continued in swimming, horseback riding, golf, fencing, and 
tennis. As local facilities became available, karate, skiing, and ice 
skating were added to the activities eligible for P.E. credit. Mary 
Baldwin had a small but well-coached and enthusiastic basketball 
team (called after 1974 the "Squirrels"), and the MALTA spring 
tournament (tennis), increasing in size and reputation, continued 
on the Mary Baldwin campus. Mary Jane Donnalley had resigned 
in 1970, but Lois Blackburn coached winning teams, which 
practiced daily, travelled 1300 miles a year to dual matches, and 
another 400 miles to tournaments. By 1976, Title IX of the 
Educational Amendment Act requiring that athletic scholarships 
must be offered to women as well as men at colleges and univer- 
sities, posed a major threat to Mary Baldwin's dominance in 
women's tennis. Mary Baldwin offered no athletic scholarships, 
and its ability to attract strong tennis players had in the past come 
from distinguished coaches and exposure in prestige tourna- 
ments. It was feared, now that attractive scholarships were 
available elsewhere, Mary Baldwin would no longer be able to 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976} 

attract competitive players. ^^ 

The college publications were, of course, affected by the finan- 
cial exigencies and the revolution in student expectations. It had 
never been easy to find students willing and able to devote the 
time and effort good publications require, and the decade of the 
70s saw student interest decline. Still, all three publications 
continued. The Bluestocking experimented with color and photo- 
graphic techniques and an increase in the informal snapshot 
sections. The difficulty of persuading students to appear for 
organization pictures became apparent by 1976, but it was still a 
distinguished publication. The Miscellany became an annual 
offering, was shorter, included many examples of student art 
work as well as prose and poetry. Some of the male day students 
contributed to the Miscellany and there were excellent contribu- 
tions from both the Paris and Madrid progi^ams. Campus Com - 
ments continued to win All American ratings until 1974 when it 
faced a real crises. Dolores Lescure had resigned, and no one could 
be found who was willing to be either the editor or the sponsor. 
There were no issues between 9 December 1974 and 4 March 1975, 
at which time Robert Youth of the Psychology Department had 
been persuaded to assist the group of young women who acted as 
collective editors. Campus Comments resumed publication but 
only appeared every three weeks, instead of the usual bi-monthly 
pattern. Unfortunately, in January 1976, Dr. Youth felt he could 
no longer continue in this extra-curricular role. In the light of this 
emergency, Dolores Lescure agreed to return to assist, and the 
college newspaper continued. These events are symptomatic of 
the malaise that befell student publications in many colleges 
during these years. It would be a long time before some of them 
recovered. Some never did.^" 

There were further changes in the format and procedure for 
commencement in the Kelly years. Some of the graduations were 
downright exciting. In 1971, the exercises were held out of doors 
(as they have continued to be unless inclement weather forces the 
ceremonies into alternative locations). It had been a beautiful 
early summer day and Dr. Kelly was presenting some concluding 
remarks, when an ominous black cloud appeared behind Hunt 
Hall. It grew bigger and more threatening with surprising 
rapidity. Dr. Kelly hurried his remarks, parents and visitors 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

gathered up their possessions, the faculty stirred uneasily, the 
students, clutching their diplomas, were clearly ready to leave, 
but the final words of farewell just had to be pronounced. Unfor- 
tunately, the rain did not wait, and, without a benediction or a 
recessional, the occasion abruptly ended as everyone sought 
shelter from the violent storm which uprooted trees, downed 
power lines and flooded storm sewers. 

The following year saw another unexpected crisis. Bacca- 
laureate was to be held at the First Presbyterian Church, across 
the street from the college's Administration Building. The church 
was crowded with parents and friends, the college marshal, Ruth 
Mc Neil, had faculty and students properly lined up and ready to 
process, when word came that a telephoned bomb threat had been 
received. The church was hastily cleared, the faculty and stu- 
dents' lines reversed themselves, and everyone marched up the 
hill to King auditorium, where both the baccalaureate and later 
graduation ceremonies were held. The church, of course, was 
searched, but no bomb was found. This forced the college to 
consider evacuation procedures and a possible ticket system for 
future events, since King auditorium was no longer large enough 
to hold all who wished to attend. 

Two years later, seven faculty members objected to being 
required to attend baccalaureate as, they said, "it violates our 
rights and conflicts with our deeply held beliefs." Dr. Kelly 
suggested that they might be excused, but pointed out that 
students were expected to attend. This particular dilemma was 
resolved two years later, when, in 1976, the baccalaureate and 
commencement ceremonies were combined into one event, held on 
the college campus beginning at 10:30 a.m. . Thus, what had been, 
in the 1930s, a four-day graduation program has now become a 
combined alumnae homecoming, senior dinner/dance and bacca- 
laureate/commencement short weekend. 

One more change was approved. The college charter had 
always given the trustees the right of approving honorary de- 
grees, but they had never done so. In the spring of 1976, in 
grateful recognition of her devoted services and many years of 
support and encouragement to the college, the faculty voted and 
the administration and trustees approved the granting of an 
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Bertie Murphy Deming. 
Thus, another "new dimension" was added to the college's tradi- 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

On a Monday afternoon, 29 September 1975, President Kelly 
called a general college convocation for 5:00 p.m. . The "mixer" of 
the week before had been noisy and disruptive and students were 
concerned that the president intended to restrict parietals again. ^^ 
Instead, Dr. Kelly announced that he had tendered his resigna- 
tion as president of the college and would be taking a leave of 
absence after 1 January 1976. Dr. Kelly explained that the "time 
seemed right to offer the college the opportunity for new leader- 
ship." He later elaborated. Several trustees had reacted to parts 
of the Self-Study report unfavorably and Dr. Kelly perceived a 
"philosophical gap" between his concerns and theirs. The ex- 
ecutive committee of the board had been made aware of his plans, 
and he indicated that when the full board met in November 1975, 
he would recommend that his executive assistant, Patricia H. 
Menk, be named acting president until a new leader for the college 
could be found. 

It is certainly true that the Self-Study , particularly its conclu- 
sion, had been critical of the lack of "communication" among the 
college constituencies. 

Somewhere during the troubled years of 
the late 1960s and early '70s, we seemed 
to stop talking to and listening to each 
other...; student frustration with faculty 
and administration and with each other; 
faculty apprehension and suspicion, 
resulting in a burgeoning bureaucracy of 
intricate committees to share "governance" 
and decision-making; an administration 
stretched thin - apparently unappreciated 
and misunderstood; a board of trustees 
sometimes bewildered by the rapid pace 
of change and challenges. ^° 

But there was more than that. In the spring of 1975, the 
faculty representative to the trustees had delivered an emotional 
and damaging report. Morale was low, he declared, because there 
were too few tangible rewards for quality teaching; the decline in 
the language and other overseas programs had weakened the 
excellence of the curriculum; science was understaffed; more mi- 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

norities needed to be recruited; faculty were inappropriately 
released. The board, he continued, should be "downright ap- 
palled" at the low morale and the feelings of insecurity. "The 
faculty are convinced that the college demise is imminent." He 
concluded, "Some faculty have expressed a lack of confidence in 
our current leadership." He proposed that the trustees meet with 
the entire faculty in the fall of 1975, and tentative plans to do so 
were made by the executive committee. ^^ 

During the summer, it became apparent that the 1975-76 
budget could not be balanced and within two or more years the 
college's operating deficits might approach $1 million. Further- 
more, there had been some difficult personnel problems in the 
recent past which were only settled after a great deal of bitterness, 
and this further eroded the trustees' confidence. The continual 
upheaval about the students' social regulations, religious prac- 
tices, and life-styles was incomprehensible to some of the trustees, 
the advisory board and many alumnae. In spite of optimistic 
announcements, the New Dimensions Campaign was not going 
well. Dr. Kelly and Dr. Patteson had spent many weary days 
travelling the state, but the Virginia part of the campaign failed 
to meet its goals, and these results were known during the 
summer of 1975. In addition, the turnover at the top administra- 
tive levels appeared to be continuing. Craven Williams had left on 
1 January 1975, Marjorie Chambers' resignation would become 
effective 30 June 1975, and Ethel Smeak had been Dean of 
Students for only one year. That summer (1975), J. Michael 
Herndon had joined the business office as comptroller (at board 
insistence) and Patricia Menk was appointed the (temporary) 
executive assistant to the president, again at board direction and 
largely because of the implications of the Self-Study report. 

The executive committee met in August 1975 and postponed 
its planned meeting with the faculty until the situation at the 
college could be clarified. By early September, it was apparent 
that there was considerable board support for a change in leader- 
ship, but the major question was one of timing. The 1975-76 
college session had begun. In the spring of 1975, President Kelly 
had asked Patricia Menk to develop a plan of administrative 
reorganization and to assemble a Handbook reflecting these 
changes, and the new structure had been put in place in Septem- 
ber. There was an acting academic dean, Dorothy Mulberry, and 
a search committee to seek a permanent dean had been appointed. 
The visiting team from SACS was due to make its three-day visit 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

to the campus in October. The senior senator from Virginia, Harry 
F. Byrd, Jr., had accepted the invitation to be the Founders' Day 
speaker and the college was to be officially designated as a 
"Bicentennial College." But, when President Kelly met for an 
unscheduled discussion with the executive committee on 29 Sep- 
tember 1975, he ended the meeting by indicating he would resign. 
A week later, as has been seen, his decision was announced to the 
college community and the transfer of authority to the acting 
president took place on 8 November 1975, after the fall meeting of 
the board of trustees approved the changes. 

Although the process was far more open and public than on the 
occasion of Mr. McKenzie's resignation, it was still fraught with 
tension and misunderstanding. The regular fall meeting of the 
board of trustees was held at the college 7-8 November 1975. It 
had been planned that the ABV would meet at the same time, and 
with this seemingly abrupt transfer of authority, endless explana- 
tions had to be made and decisions for the future taken. A faculty 
panel had been planned as part of the ABV program, and they 
hastily changed their topics to "The Future of Mary Baldwin 
College" and "What should we look for in a New President?" 

Meanwhile, President Kelly met with the trustees. He told 
them that he truly believed that a college president "can make a 
difference" and he believed that he had contributed greatly to 
Mary Baldwin. He listed the positive aspects of his administra- 
tion, and it was clear that he felt a small but vocal minority among 
the faculty and some trustees had led the opposition to him. His 
disappointments came with his inability to alter enrollment 
figures or to balance the operating budget, but he felt, with more 
support from the trustees, he could have continued as an effective 
president. As it was, it would be best for him to leave, and the 
trustees concurred. The usual resolutions of appreciation were 
prepared and a presidential search committee, chaired by Ken- 
neth Randall, was appointed with instructions to find a suitable 
candidate by 1 July 1976.^^ 

It was a curious year. Dr. Kelly continued his regular duties 
until 8 November 1975. He presided at Founders' Day and greet- 
ed parents and college guests. He met with alumnae gi'oups in 
New York in October, and honored other appointments he had 
made in connection with the New Dimensions Campaign. He was 
present at the dedication of Wenger Hall in early May. The Day 
Students established a scholarship in his name, and a Campus 
Comments editorial noted his "great accomplishments, unprec- 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

edented difficulties... our appreciation, profound admiration and 
personal affection. . . are extended to both president and Mrs. Kelly 
for their services for the college." The sophomores dedicated their 
annual show to Bill and Jane Kelly and the seniors requested that 
Dr. Kelly sign and hand them their diplomas at graduation, and 
he did so.^^ 

But, after 8 November, he was seldom on campus and the day- 
to-day tasks necessary to keep the college running devolved on the 
acting president and her staff. There were some rough spots; 
probably the most serious, to that time, racial conflict occurred in 
one of the dormitories in late October, and the after-math had to 
be dealt with. In February, Dean Smeak indicated that she 
wished to return to full-time teaching, and committees to find her 
replacement and also to secure a full-time chaplain had to be 
activated. In an effort to provide the students with better facilities 
for large group social activities, Dean Smeak arranged to rent 
facilities about 17 miles from the campus where dances could be 
held. In many ways this was unsatisfactory, but it was better than 
continuing to offend the college neighbors. An increased effort to 
provide on-campus weekend activities was mildly successful. The 
board of trustees accepted the fact that there would be further 
deficit budgets and agreed in spite of the financial problems to give 
the faculty and staff a 7% raise in 1976-77. Faculty morale 
improved; applications for admission increased; the new comp- 
troller helped smooth some of the difficulties in the business office. 
The student government leaders that year were committed to the 
college's survival and worked very hard to improve communica- 
tions and to cooperate with the administration. The trustees, 
having risked a president's sabbatical after the school year had 
begun, were active, concerned, and very helpful. And on the 
surface, at least, the college calendar proceeded as planned.^^ 

The New Dimensions program slowed but did not cease. 
Regional programs were planned and the public announcement of 
the Deming gift ($1 million) was a significant morale booster. The 
faculty approved an Economics/Business major and the courses 
necessary to support it. It was also agreed that, beginning in 
September 1976, luncheon in Hunt Dining Hall would be served 
buffet style, and classes would be scheduled throughout the day. 
Each student would have to plan her schedule in such a fashion 
that she had time to eat, but the additional hours would ease some 
scheduling problems and give more flexibility to the program. By 
the April 1976 trustees meeting, several other actions had been 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

taken which helped to heal the dissensions of the previous years. 
The board formally approved the statement on academic freedom 
and on the principles of tenure which had been appended to the 
faculty handbook; the entire handbook itself was now to be 
considered part of each faculty person's contract and spelled out 
the mutual obligations of the faculty and administration in order 
that misunderstandings might, in the future, be avoided. An 
administrative handbook was also approved. Several new trust- 
ees, including, at faculty request, women who were not alumnae 
and an "educator," were elected. Additional personnel support for 
the dean of students' office was approved, and a special trustee 
committee was appointed to consider the immediate and future 
physical needs of the college. Major efforts were made, with some 
success, to provide opportunities for board-faculty interaction, 
and the administration and trustees were gratified to hear from 
the faculty representative that "We have come a long way during 
the past year ...we have... made a beginning in recovering the 
sense of confidence which the faculty had ten years ago." A 
physical plant employees' recognition day had been instituted, 
and earlier efforts at improving community and synod relation- 
ships were reinforced. ^'^ 

Still, everyone was aware that this was an interim period, and, 
as the months went by, the efforts of the presidential selection 
committee were looked upon with anticipation - and perhaps 
unrealistic expectations. It was a large committee, numbering 14 
in all, and it developed a thorough procedure for screening 
evaluations and interviewing the more than 100 applicants who 
were eventually identified. Four finalists were openly invited to 
the campus in April 1976, where they met staff, faculty and 
students at teas and receptions. Simultaneously, two other 
search committees were also hosting prospective candidates. 
That spring the unwary adult visitor (perhaps a parent or text- 
book salesman) might be accosted by a curious student asking, 
"Which are you - a president, a dean, or a chaplain?" Although 
reluctant to make such important appointments without the 
input of the new president, the calendar dictated to the acting 
president otherwise and decisions about both the dean of students 
and the chaplain had been made before 4 June 1976. On that date, 
the board of trustees, at a called meeting in Washington D.C., 
elected Virginia L. Lester as the seventh president of Mary 
Baldwin College.^*^ 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 


^ MBB, May 1969. Much of the information came from the 
American Alumni Council's Editorial Projects for Education re- 
port. So important did these problems seem that the entire Bul- 
letin, except for one short feature and the usual class notes, was 
devoted to various aspects of college governance. 

2 The faculty who presented programs for the Alumnae Semi- 
nar in the spring of 1968 were Barbara Ely, Frank Southerington, 
John Mehner and Carl Edwards. 

^ Admission was charged to this ice cream eating contest and 
the proceeds went to benefit the Retarded Children's Training 
Center in Staunton. CC 25 April 1969. 

' See pp. 241-242. 

^ Compulsory attendance at Sunday church and weekday 
chapel service had been instituted by Rufus Bailey and reinforced 
by Mary Julia Baldwin. 

When the trustees agreed to end this historic policy, they also 
considered the broader implications of a "church-related college." 
Shortly, there would be more practical reasons to consider a 
charter change, but even before the Virginia Tuition Assistance 
Grant program came into being, the trustees were facing the fact 
that religious requirements for faculty and administrative ap- 
pointments and tenure were increasingly impractical. However, 
when they agreed to change the church-chapel regulation, they 
added that the college expected students to continue to attend 
Sunday services and to support the once-a-week chapel program. 
But they indicated that failure to do so was no longer an "honor" 
offense. Thereafter student attendance at religious services 
declined steadily. Students viewed the "victory" as a sign that 
their increased freedom in the matter of academic and religious 
matters should be matched by increased freedoms in social rules. 

^ CC 20 May 1969: So unusual was the honoring of a dean by 
students in the turbulent 1968-72 era that the story of "Martha 
Grafton Day" was reported in the national press and was widely 
disseminated. Between 1969 and 1990, Martha Grafton took 
great pleasure in presenting the Grafton Award in person at each 
graduation. After the brief space of four/five years, there were no 
students who remembered her, and of course, as time passed, 
increasing numbers of the faculty and staff did not know her, 
either; but everyone always looked forward to her "remarks," 
which were funny and wise and without pretense. They were the 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

highlight of many graduation ceremonies. 

' Both the Kellys were attractive, cultured people, who enter- 
tained with taste and care and were comfortable with public ap- 
pearances. Jane Kelly's maiden surname was also Kelly, and as 
was the case with Bill, she had friends and relatives near Staun- 
ton which helped ease the transition from East Lansing, 

^ Kelly Mss: College archives. 

^ Bill Kelly had received a Danforth Fellowship for graduate 
study (at Duke) 1953-57, had served as a member of the national 
reading committee for Danforth Fellowships and had been a 
participant in the Fellowship Advisory Council for the Danforth 
Foundation. Dr. Cuninggim was a close personal friend. In his 
remarks, Dr. Cuninggim declared, "Students are obstreperous, 
faculty non-supportive, trustees ill-informed, townspeople, alumni 
and others suspicious ." He was speaking in general terms. But 
there was a good deal of prophecy in his words. Dr. Kelly on the 
other hand, was almost boyishly enthusiastic; his pleasure in 
being made president was evident. He entitled his brief remarks 
"Let Us Be On with Our Work" and declared, "Our students are 
more reasonable, more patient, have more respect for authority 
and more understanding of history . . . than do many of their peers. " 
Dr. Kelly was not as perceptive as his mentor had been. 

In 1970, Founders' Day had was preempted by the dedica- 
tion of Pearce Science Building, and some seniors noted that for 
two years "their" day had been taken over. "Where are our attend- 
ants?" they asked. Our parents were "ignored" because other, 
more "important" guests were honored, they declared. Other 
colleges (Hollins and Sweet Briar) had more "entertainment" for 
their students' parents. 

On both 1969 and 1970 Founders' Days (and thereafter) the 
"Mary Baldwin Hymn" had been quietly substituted for "Thou 
Wast Born of Dreams," the traditional Alma Mater. Some older 
alumnae noted the substitution and were not pleased. 

This was, of course, the era when nothing that a college 
administration did was considered right. The chances are excel- 
lent that the students themselves would have shortly done away 
with white gowned attendants and the older college song - but 
since it was not at their suggestion that these actions were taken, 
some felt a grievance. In point of fact, the senior attendants had 
been discontinued in the Spencer era, long before Dr. Kelly had 
arrived on the campus. MBB December 1969: Kelly Mss: College 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

^° The President's Committee on the Challenge of the 70s was 
composed of the following: 

Richard P. Gifford, Chairman (trustee since 1968) 

Herbert B. Barks, Jr. (trustee since 1968) 

Lila Caldwell, (student) Class of 71 

Lloyd Cather, (student) Class of '71 

Bertie Murphy Doming, (trustee and alumna) Class of '46 

Carl W. Edwards, (faculty since 1968) 

Mary Lewis Hix, (alumna) Class of '65 

Ralph Wade Kittle, (trustee since 1968) 

James D. Lett, (faculty since 1964) 

Dorothy Mulberry, (faculty since 1958) 

Gordon Page, (faculty since 1949) 

Martha Godwin Saunders, (alumna, Class of '48) 

Charles J. Stanley, (faculty since '65) 

Ellen Vopicka, (faculty since 1968) 

Craven E. Williams, (admin, since 1968) 
Considering the implication and far-reaching consequences 
of some of this committee's recommendations, it is interesting to 
note that three of the four trustees had been on the board for a year 
or less. Three of the faculty had come to MBC in 1968 and two 
others in the mid-60s; and Craven Williams, the vice president for 
development had been with the college for only one year. Of the 
fifteen members of the committee, only four had had more than six 
years' experience with the college community. 

11 MBB 4 June 1971; CC 6 May 1971; 20 May 1971 

The careful references to a "Christian Campus" reveal the 
revaluation of a church college/synod relationship which occupied 
most of the decade of the 70s. It also reflects the contemporary 
concept that there should be no requirements , particularly in re- 
ference to religious beliefs or moral principles. 

12 CC 16 Sept. 1971. The fact that most Mary Baldwin faculty 
members probably agreed with the statement about "religious 
opinions" illustrates how quickly the administration's percep- 
tions about faculty church membership had changed since the 
mid-1960s. Dr. Spencer had noted then that it was increasingly 
difficult to find faculty and staff with a "Christian orientation," 
and by the early '70s the college, in fact, had moved far away from 
the 1957 charter provisions concerning church membership. 

However, one of the many reasons some later criticized Dr. 
Kelly was the fact that he and his family were Episcopalian. When 
this was made known to the presidential search committee, they 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

agreed that, since the college charter still specified that the 
president of the college had to be an active Presbyterian, they 
could not consider William Kelly further. At some point, a con- 
versation was held about this with Dr. Kelly, who agreed that if 
he were chosen as the college's president, he would become a 
Presbyterian. The committee thereupon reconsidered and recom- 
mended his appointment to the trustees, whose minutes record 
Dr. Kelly's agreement. Minutes BT: 14 Jan., 1969. At some 
meeting, however, the Chairman of the Presidential Search Com- 
mittee, trustee Willard L. Lemmon, indicated that perhaps that 
particular charter provision should be "looked at." It is hard not 
to draw the conclusion that Dr. Kelly was unofficially informed 
that, within a short time, it would be all right for him to remain 
Episcopalian. In any case, he and his family attended Episcopal 
services from the time they moved to Staunton and on 21 April 
1972, Dr. Kelly informed the trustees that, after "due consider- 
ation," he and his family had renewed "their long standing ties" 
with the Episcopal church and had joined Trinity. 

Minutes BT: 21 April 1972. It should be noted that Dr. Kelly 
made a conscientious effort to learn about the Presbyterian 
Church organization; he attended synod meetings and fund- 
raisers, and pledged that the college's "historic ties" to the Staunton 
First Presbyterian Church "would be retained." 

In 1968, when Dr. Spencer retired, the Dean of the College, 
the Dean of Students, the Dean of Admissions, and the Business 
Manager/Treasurer had all been Presbjderian. However, by June 
1976, when Dr. Kelly left, only two senior administrators were 
active Presb3d:erians, a fact that had not gone unnoticed in church 
and alumnae circles. 

^^ As was true on most college campuses, these panels were 
organized by the students themselves. At Mary Baldwin, some 
sympathetic faculty, including the new chaplain, Richard 
Beauchamp, who had been hired to stimulate "extra-curricular 
educational experiences," lent support to student efforts. The 
Christian Association, Rufus' Trunk (a student debating group), 
and other organized groups provided encouragement and perhaps 
some funds from their own budgets. President Kelly wisely per- 
mitted the use of campus facilities without quibbling over sched- 
ules and fees, and most of the college community was grateful that 
actual direct confrontation had been avoided. There were some 
unpleasant episodes. Some of the "visitors" did not meet the col- 
lege requirement about proper "dress" in Hunt Dining Hall. When 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

asked to put on shoes and shirts there was some resentment 
expressed then and later in Campus Comments . Again, wisely, no 
big point was made. When the march to the courthouse was being 
organized, students were advised to dress conservatively (to avoid 
further antagonizing the Staunton community) and most of them 
did. The first "march," Oct. 1969, was met with curiosity, some 
community support, ignorant amazement and contemptuous 
amusement. On several subsequent occasions when other 
"marches" were organized, the public perceptions were less friend- 
ly, and observers were often vocally hostile. The press coverage 
was characterized by neither understanding nor generosity. Some 
in the Staunton community resented the "marches" and the 
political orientation they expressed so much that they organized 
a "Happy Birthday USA" parade and festival to be held on July 4. 
This became an annual event co-sponsored by the city and the 
Statler Brothers country music singers. 

'' Minutes : 18 May 1970. In Sept. 1969, there had been 158 
prospective graduates, but one student had taken only a partial 
load, due to her marriage, and had postponed her graduation until 
June, 1971. Thus the statement in the text is accurate. The initial 
proposals came from the students themselves and had been sent 
to President Kelly with the request he submit them to the faculty. 
He reminded them that, although all constituencies of the college 
would always listen to student requests, the faculty alone had the 
authority to set academic standards. 

Since the P/F option applied only to courses that did not 
count toward the major, this second option limited the number of 
students to whom it could apply. 

The faculty debate on the proposals lasted four hours and 
was essentially a compromise between some very different view- 
points. The students failed to secure all they asked for; i.e., the 
option to "negotiate" with individual professors. But they ac- 
cepted the faculty offer. Very few underclassmen exercised either 
option and the numbers were never publicized. In addition to Dr. 
Kelly, both deans (Grafton and Parker) played major but quiet 
roles in working out the compromise. 

^^ In contrast to the violence and upheavals elsewhere, Mary 
Baldwin escaped this crisis relatively unscathed. There is almost 
no mention in the board minutes, the Mary Baldwin Bulletin , or 
the fall Campus Comments about these events. 

'^ CC 26 Sept. 1969 

^^ CC 1 1 Dec. 1969 In a certain sense, Dr. Spencer "preselected" 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

the Jones appointment. It was he who had moved Freeman Jones 
into the business office as Mr. Spillman's assistant. The economic 
"advantage" in employing from within the college resulted from 
the fact the outside" appointees could generally command sala- 
ries as good as if not better than the officials they replaced. 
"Inside" appointees might be started at a lower level, based on 
their lack of "experience." Actually, Dr. Kelly pointed out the 
advantages of the Booth/Jones appointments because each would 
have half a year to "consult" with their predecessors. 
18 CC: 19 Feb, 1970 MBB June 1970 

1^ This analysis is supported by the conclusions of the Self 
Studv done for SACS in 1975. 

Mr. Booth had the efficient service of Bettie Beard, who had 
worked with Miss Hillhouse since 1967 and who remained in the 
registrar's office until June 1991. Mr. Jones had the assistance of 
M. Scott Nininger, whom Dr. Spencer had chosen to help Mr. 
Spillman in 1966. Also, Marian H. Smith and Rebecca Dick both 
proved to be invaluable. Elke Frank's secretary was Carolyn 
Meeks; Kitty Burnley had experience in the dean of students' 
office; Jane Wilhelm continued as administrative assistant to the 
president; Betty Barr remained in the alumnae office; Ellen Holtz 
and Ann Shenk gave continuity to admissions, whose Director, 
John A. Blackburn, had been with the college for only one year 
before Dr. Kelly came. 
20 CC 7 Oct 1971 

The Academic Deans were: 

Martha Grafton, resigned 1970 
Elke Frank, Aug. 1970-1971 
EHzabeth Parker, Oct. 1971-Jan 1972 (Acting) 
Marjorie B. Chambers, Jan. 1972 - June 1975 
Dorothy Mulberry - Acting Dean, September 1975 

Dean - Jan 1976 - Junel980 
Dorothy Mulberry was one of the two directors of the Madrid 
program. It was she who had suggested the idea to Dr. Spencer, 
had hired most of the faculty, planned the curriculum and had 
been in Madrid from 1962 to 1965. She had then "rotated" back 
to Mary Baldwin, had returned to Madrid from 1967-69 after 
which family considerations had intervened, and she had spent 
most of the 1970s in Staunton. She had had, however, the un- 
happy task of concluding the final year of the Madrid program in 
1974-75, and was thus able to assume the responsibilities of the 
academic dean in the summer of 1975. 


To Live In Time New Dimensions: William Watkins Kelly (1969-1976) 

21 CCS Nov. 1971; 28 Jan 1972. Writing in the Mary Baldwin 
Bulletin, Dr. Spencer said of Elizabeth Parker: 

I associate Elizabeth Parker not so much 
with rules as with standards. There is 
a difference: rules are enforced, usually 
by external pressure; standards are upheld, 
most effectively, by personal example... Miss 
Parker has consistently exemplified, in the 
life of this college, standards of character and 
integrity and decency... She has a sort of built- 
in sense of propriety, an intuitive feeling for 
good taste, and a considerate thoughtfulness 
which add civility and grace to a somewhat 
graceless era. 
MBB, May 1971 

22 The Deans of Students were: 

Elizabeth Parker, 1945-1972 
Brooke Woods, 1972-1974 
Ethel Smeak, 1974-1976 

23 These few pages give only a hint of the frequent administra- 
tive personnel changes. In addition, in 1974 Philip Wei was 
appointed Director of the Library. Mrs. Davis was retitled 
Director of Technical Services. Mr. Wei left in 1976. Scott 
Nininger left the business office in 1975, and Michael Herndon 
was appointed Comptroller (by order of the board of trustees) in 
1975. Dolores Lescure, who had been at the college since 1957 and 
who had done so much to ensure excellence in college publications, 
resigned in 1974 and was followed in the information service office 
by Sioux Miles (for less than a year) and then by Janet Ferguson. 
Marion Moore resigned from the