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Category Archives: Encyclopedia

College History Timeline

Quillen, Carol

Carol Quillen began her tenure as Davidson’s 18th president on August 1, 2011, and was officially inaugurated on October 18, 2011. Quillen has the distinction of being the first female president of Davidson College, and is the first president since 1958 who is not a Davidson alumnus. Quillen grew up in New Castle, Delaware, aContinue Reading

War Casualties

World War I Edgar B. Anderson ’15 Joseph Sidney Bachman ’18 Samuel Chandler Baker ’86 Pressley Robinson Brown ’06 Thomas McNeill Bulla ’07 Reid Davis Cranford ”19 James McCants Douglas ’10 Samuel Chalmers Hart ’12 Joseph Sidney Bachman ’18 Samuel Chandler Baker ’86 Pressley Robinson Brown ’06 Thomas McNeill Bulla ’07 Reid Davis Cranford ”19Continue Reading

English Department

When Davidson College was founded in 1837, English was not a formal part of the curriculum. In 1855, the college created a professorship in Belles Lettres with a focus on composition rather than the teaching of literature. Victor Barringer was elected the first Troy Professor of Belle Lettres in 1860 but  soon went on leaveContinue Reading

Scripts ‘N Pranks

After The Yowl was retired, most of the editorial staff remained to produce Scripts ‘N Pranks, a magazine devoted to “literature (scripts) and humor (pranks).”  The first issue was produced in November of 1936. It was a quarterly magazine until the fall of 1958, when it began publishing three times a year.  In the earlyContinue Reading

Masters Degree at Davidson

Origins In August 1854, the trustees officially proclaimed that “Any student graduating at this Institution having been engaged in literary pursuits for three years, and of good moral character, shall be entitled to the degree of A.M” (Beaty 181). The A.M degree, which Davidson had been awarding to distinguished alumni since 1846, was a meansContinue Reading

Junior Speaking

The Junior and Senior Speaking exercises grew out of commencement activities, when representatives of the two literary societies would present orations as part of the ceremonies. Members of the junior class would give a series of orations, punctuated by musical performances on topics ranging from “Liberty vs. License” to “The Preservation of Democracy” and fromContinue Reading

Maxwell Chambers Day

As a component of the 19th century curriculum, Davidson seniors were required to give orations before the faculty and students. In 1890, the occasion of Senior speaking was expanded, the Davidson Monthly recounts, to make “the occasion of the Senior Speaking a holiday, and invitations are to be sent out as for commencement.” The occasionContinue Reading


First published in February 1996, Libertas is a student-run publication for Davidson, “conceived by students in response to the recognizable gap that lies between The Davidsonian and Hobart Park” to further the dissemination of the wide ranges of ideas, beliefs and values of the Davidson College community. It is further intended, according to the statementContinue Reading

Hobart Park

According to a 1960 Davidsonian article, from 1925-1960 Mr. Don Hobart “served Davidson as the college supervisor of buildings and grounds, in a labor of love which made Davidson’s campus a showplace the year ’round. When he came to the campus in 1925, Davidson was a place of muddy roads, sparse and unkempt grass andContinue Reading

Hobart Park (magazine)

A literary magazine started in December 1978, Hobart Park was originally published three times a year by students, but it is now published in the spring of each year.  The contributors are mostly students, but a few professors have also contributed.  The magazine consists of original fiction, non-fiction, poetry and photography by student and facultyContinue Reading


In its earliest days, Davidson College established a manual labor system required of all students to promote health and prevent idleness among the students. In order to facilitate this manual labor system, the Concord Presbytery determined that “A manual labor system called for someone to oversee the labor–a farmer, in fact, who could work withContinue Reading

Court of Control

In 1923, “On Saturday April 7th, the student body of Davidson College voted unanimously to abolish every form of hazing that had existed in the college, and to leave to a body of eight men the important task of supervising the Freshmen.”  This body, consisting of four seniors, two juniors, and two sophomore, all appointedContinue Reading


WALT 1610 AM, the Davidson College Student run and operated Radio Station, was founded in 1986. It’s constitution states that “WALT. will act not only as an opportunity for interested students seeking involvement in radio, but will also serve as an alternative form of radio that is unavailable in this area. WALT. will also serveContinue Reading

Statement of Purpose

As early as February 1960, then President D. Grier Martin began envisioning a statement of purpose for Davidson College. Within the course of the next two years, Martin’s idea began to take shape, as a “Committee on Purpose” was formed in January 1962. As David Wheeler explained, “these men sought not only to grasp theContinue Reading

Encyclopedie (Diderot)

  One of the most interesting, valuable, and mysterious holdings in the Smith Rare Book Room is a first edition of the 35 volume Encyclopedie; ou Dictionnaire raisonne des sciences des arts et des metiers, published between 1751 and 1788 in Paris by Denis Diderot, writer and philosopher of the Enlightenment. Davidson owns one ofContinue Reading

Economics Department

Although Economic courses appear in the original curriculum and have been taught continuously at Davidson College, they did not appear as separate “Department of Instruction” until the 1920s. In fact, for the first fifty years of Davidson’s history, the economics curriculum consisted of a single course on the “Political Economy,” which applied “moral philosophy” toContinue Reading

Humanities Program

The Humanities Program is an uniquely Davidson program, which strikes at the core of the liberal arts tradition. From it’s origins in 1962, the Humanities program is a four semester interdisciplinary program designed to introduce students to the historical, religious, literary, economic, philosophical, and political forces which have combined to shape Western Civilization. This isContinue Reading

Junior Year Abroad

According to a 1968-1969 brochure, “A year of study in a foreign country, confronting the student with new combinations of old ideas and opening his intellect to the possibilities for the development of new ideas, is an invaluable adjunct to any college program. This is particularly true for Davidson, which has as its goal theContinue Reading

Kelley Program in Historical Studies

The Kendrick K. Kelley Program in Historical Studies is Davidson’s unique honors program for history majors, and encompasses multiple components all designed to foster the study of history. The program, named for and endowed by the family of Ken Kelley, class of 1963, an honors history major and Charles A. Dana Scholar, intended to serveContinue Reading

Little, Edward Herman

The fifth of 12 children born to George W. and Ella Howie Little, Edward Herman Little1 was born April 10th, 1881, in Long Creek North Carolina. As a child, he worked on his parents’ farm (Powell 72). As a young teenager, in the 1890s, he would take his older brother, Charles Little, who was studyingContinue Reading

Little Library

           Planning and Layout In 1964, about 20 years after the “bucket brigade” to and the dedication of the Grey Memorial Library, D. Grier Martin, president of Davidson College from 1958 to 1968, began formulating plans for a new, modern library, with an initial estimated cost of $2.2 million and aContinue Reading

Shaw, Cornelia

  Ms. Cornelia Shaw   In 1907, three years before the move from the Union Library to the new Carnegie building, Davidson hired the college’s first full-time librarian, Cornelia Shaw. Shaw served as both librarian and registrar from 1907 until 1921, then remained exclusively as librarian until her retirement in 1936. Shaw acted as libraryContinue Reading

Grey Library

Beginnings: The Grey Legacy To house the school’s expanding book collection, Davidson College moved from the Carnegie Library to the Hugh A. and Jane Parks Grey Memorial Library in the fall of 1941. Captain James Park Grey ’85 anonymously donated $150,000 for the construction of a new library in 1940 (McKnight). When his donation wasContinue Reading