An Archives Surprise

Earlier this month, a mysterious parcel appeared in the Archives & Special Collections mailbox.

...

The note that accompanied our mystery parcel, from Hendersonville’s Shelley and Son Books.

The package turned out to be a collection of Davidson-related photographs – a treasure trove of mid-twentieth century group shots, as well as images of the old Chambers Building after the fire that gutted the structure in 1921. Here are a few favorites from our newest photo collection:

We're not sure what the award on the table is, but it's being presented by then College President D. Grier Martin (standing, center) and Professor of Spanish James Young Causey (standing, right).

We’re not sure what the award on the table is, but it’s being presented by then College President D. Grier Martin (standing, center) and Professor of Spanish James Young Causey (standing, right).

Alex Gibbs (Class of 1963) raises money for muscular dystrophy on behalf Phi Delta Theta in the middle of Main Street. Gibbs went on to a long football coaching career, most notably for the Denver Broncos.

Alex Gibbs (Class of 1963) raises money for muscular dystrophy on behalf Phi Delta Theta in the middle of Main Street. Gibbs went on to a long football coaching career, most notably for the Denver Broncos.

Possibly a meeting of Interfraternity Council in 1963 - students we have identified are:

Possibly a meeting of Interfraternity Council in 1963 – clockwise from top row, left (all are Class of 1963, and presidents of their respective fraternities): Gene Wells, Lawrence Kimbrough, Bernard Swope, unknown, Alex Gibbs, Bill Clingman, Jamie Long, John Oehler, Lewis Martin, Bud Robinson, and Steve Butler.

C. Shaw Smith (Class of 1939, and Director of the College Union for 31 years) performs one of his well-known magic tricks. The Smith 900 Room in Alvarez College Union bears his name.

C. Shaw Smith (Class of 1939, and Director of the College Union for 31 years) performs one of his well-known magic tricks, with assistance from an unidentified man. The Smith 900 Room in Alvarez College Union bears Smith’s name.

Another group shot, possibly from a college staff party in 1961.

Another group shot, possibly from a college staff party in 1961. Third from the left, top row is future College President John Wells Kuykendall (Class of 1959, in his role as Assistant Director of Alumni and Public Relations). Also pictured are John R. Horton (to the right of Kuykendall, Class of 1938, Director of Alumni and Public Relations), and Nancy Blackwell (seated, far left – the Blackwell Alumni House is named for Nancy, who worked at Davidson for 54 years).

Dean Rusk (left, Class of 1931) laughs with an unidentified man. Davidson's international studies program is named for Rusk.

Dean Rusk (left, Class of 1931) laughs with an unidentified man. Davidson’s international studies program is named for Rusk.

The fire of November 21, 1921 completely destroyed the original Chambers Building ("Old Chambers"), which had been completed in 1860.

The fire of November 21, 1921 completely destroyed the original Chambers Building (“Old Chambers”), which had been completed in 1860.

Another view of the gutted original Chambers Building. The "Ghost of Old Chambers" can sometimes be seen on particularly dry days.

Another view of the gutted original Chambers Building. The “Ghost of Old Chambers” can sometimes be seen on particularly dry days.

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The columns from Old Chambers remained standing until 1929.

I hope you enjoyed our mysterious photograph delivery as much as we did! If you can help identify any of the people in these images, please contact the College Archives.

Evolution of Martin Chemical Building

The view from the library looks different these days. Construction is well underway on the new wings for the Martin Chemical Laboratory.

Construction crane at back of Martin Chemical Laboratory, December 2014

Construction crane at back of Martin Chemical Laboratory, December 2014

Chemistry has a long history at Davidson with the first Martin building opening in 1901. Known as the Martin Chemical Laboratory, it was named in honor of William Joseph Martin, Sr. chemistry professor (1869-1896) and acting Davidson College President (1887-1888).

That the building lasted 40 years, is a testament to the ingenuity of faculty.  In the first decades of the 20th century, three labs, one stockroom and a 120 seat lecture hall were deemed ample resources.

Entry way for Martin Science Building

Entry way for Martin Science Building

By 1941, the building was outdated and the college began construction of a more modern replacement.  The new Martin Science Building was 3 stories to the original’s two stories and greatly expanded the number of classrooms and laboratories but stayed with one lecture hall. There was one additional change – this time the building’s name referred to both William Joseph Martin, Sr.  and William Joseph Martin, Jr.

Davidsonian article on dedication of Martin Science in honor of father and son Martins.

Davidsonian article on dedication of Martin Science in honor of father and son Martins.

For almost 2 decades, the building housed chemistry and biology. In 1960, the Biology Department moved into the new Dana Science building.

The second Martin Science building under construction

The second Martin Science building under construction

By the 1970s, the state of the art conditions of the 1940s were far from sufficient.  Department chair, Nick Burnett described the conditions in an August 1978 Davidson Update article, “It has been difficult teaching in rooms with inadequate lighting, noisy radiators, poor acoustics, and no air conditioning.”

Martin Chemical's storage area in 1970s

Martin Chemical’s storage area in 1970s

Renovations in 1979 upgraded the facilities including a new lecture room featuring hexagonal lights and mahogany walls. New fluorescent lights along with orange and chrome fume hoods brightened the lab spaces. The renovations also brought the return of the name Martin Chemical Laboratory when the building was rededicated in 1980.

Newly renovated lecture hall with custom designed lights.

Newly renovated lecture hall with custom designed lights.

Invitation to 1980 rededication. The response was so large, the program moved from the Chemistry building to the Chambers building

Invitation to 1980 rededication. The response was so large, the program moved from the Chemistry building to the Chambers building

Fast forward another 15 years or so and the $1,000,000 renovation in 1980 was being updated with a $400,000 National Science Foundation Infrastructure grant.  The grant provided for updating the current labs and building new faculty research labs.

Fast forward again, to 2014 and more renovations and the reintegration of other sciences into the two wings being added to the original building.

Even though it will be another year or two before the next dedication invitations are sent and the archives will add to yet another program to the ones from the  1944 and 1980 ceremonies, the Martin legacy will carry on in good Davidson tradition.

December Literary Birthdays

I thought we’d pay tribute this month to some authors, born in December, and represented by works in the Rare Book Room.

December 3 (1857):        Joseph Conrad – British novelist, born in Poland, who wrote about his experiences in remote places and his interest in the conflict of human character and the forces of nature.

The Rover.  London: T. Fisher Unwin Ltd., 1923.  1st edition.

The Rover, 1st edition.

The Rover, 1st edition.

Arrow of Gold, 1st edition

Arrow of Gold, 1st edition

The Arrow of Gold: a story between two notes.  Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1919.  1st edition, 1st issue. (Precedes the London edition.)

 

December 7 (1873):        Willa Cather – Pulitzer prize-winning American author known for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains.

April Twilights, and other poems.  New York: A. A. Knopf, 1923.  1st edition.  (Number 215 of a limited edition, and signed by the author.  Bound in Japanese vellum with floral printed boards.)

April Twilights

April Twilights

A Lost Lady, 1st edition.

A Lost Lady, 1st edition.

A Lost Lady.  New York: A.A. Knopf, 1923.  1st edition.  (First trade edition, in dust jacket.  From the library of Estelle Doheny.)

 

December 9 (1608):        John Milton – One of England’s most noted poets, and literary genius.  Probably best known for Paradise Lost.

Paradise Regain’d.  A Poem in four Books, to which is added Samson Agonistes and Poems upon several occasions.  With a Tractate of Education.  London: Printed for J. and R. Tonson, et al.,  1753.

Paradise Regain'd

Paradise Regain’d

 

On the Morning of Christ's Nativity

On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity

On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity: Milton’s Hymn.  With illustrations by William Blake.  Cambridge: The University Press, 1923.  (Deluxe edition limited to 150 copies on hand-made paper. Bound in quarter vellum and green buckram.)

 

December 17 (1807):      John Greenleaf Whittier – American Quaker poet.  One of the “Fireside” poets.

Snowbound: a winter idyl.  Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1866, c1865.  1st edition.  (Author’s signature tipped in.)

Snowbound, 1st edition.

Snowbound, 1st edition.

Sympathy note written by Whittier.

Sympathy note written by Whittier.

 

December 22 (1869):      Edwin Arlington Robinson – American poet who won the Pulitzer Prize three times (1922, 1925, and 1928.)

Roman Bartholow

Roman Bartholow

Roman Bartholow.  New York: The Macmillan Company, 1923.  (Limited edition and signed by the author.)

The Children of the Night; a book of poems.  Boston: R.G. Badger & Company, 1897.  1st edition.

Children of the Night, 1st edition.

Children of the Night, 1st edition.

 

 

 

A Feast of Menus

Around the D wishes all a Happy Thanksgiving. This week we are sharing menus from Davidson’s dining past. They include Sophomore and Junior class banquets from the 1890s to the 1920s, Phi Beta Kappa and Davidsonian fetes, a themed meals at Vail Commons, a sesquicentennial celebration, and a White House dinner menu from 1967 signed by Dean Rusk and presented to DC president D. Grier Martin.

Whether your tastes run to the sophomores’ Pommes de terra parsley and Philadelphia cream cheese with crackers or the juniors’ Heavenly Hash a la Hotel Sloan or the Davidsonian’s Beef Tenderloin, larded, these menus have something for almost every taste.

41 Years of Women’s Varsity Sports

Since Davidson College officially went co-educational in 1972, women have been playing sports. Early sports participation by Davidson women included the formation of a co-ed intramural swim team in 1972, and Tracy Charles (Class of 1974) became the first woman to join the varsity sailing team that same year.

1974-1975 swim team.

1974-1975 co-ed swim team, from Quips and Cranks 1975.

On October 26, 1973, the College Trustees passed  their Policy Statement on Athletics and Physical Education, which included a proviso that “other intercollegiate athletic teams, including women’s teams, be supported financially at a level which would enable them to make a positive contribution to the overall athletic program,” which marked the College’s intention to comply with Title IX. 1973-1974, the first year that freshman women enrolled as degree candidates, saw the establishment of basketball and tennis as varsity sports for women. The basketball team was coached on a volunteer basis by Ann Holland, whose husband Terry coached the varsity men’s team. The tennis team was led by student player-coach Carol Goldsborough (Class of 1975). This banner year for women in Davidson sports also produced the first female varsity swimmer, Susan Reid (Class of 1977).

The 1974-1975 women's tennis team, from Quips & Cranks 1975.

The 1974-1975 women’s tennis team, from Quips & Cranks 1975.

The women's basketball team on the bench during a game in Johnston Gym, circa late 1970s.

The women’s basketball team on the bench during a game in Johnston Gym, circa late 1970s.

The first full-time paid female athletics staff member was Pat Drake, who was appointed in Fall 1974 to coach swimming and women’s tennis. Two years later, Susan Roberts was hired to coach women’s basketball and the newly established field hockey team, and during the 1977-1978 year, a playing field was set aside specifically for the field hockey team.

The Davidson field hockey team playing during its inaugural year, 1976.

The Davidson field hockey team playing during its inaugural year, 1976.

Davidson basketball player makes a jump shot, circa early 1980s.

Davidson basketball player makes a jump shot, circa early 1980s.

1977 through 1980 saw further expansion of women’s sports at Davidson: a co-ed intramural equestrian program began in 1977, women’s cross country and track intramural teams were formed in 1978 (both teams became varsity programs in 1982), and athletic facilities were improved by renovation and expansion of women’s locker rooms. Rebecca “Becca” Stimson (Class of 1977) is a standout athlete from these early years of women at Davidson – Stimson lettered in three varsity sports (four years of tennis, three of basketball, and one season of field hockey), and since 1978, the Rebecca E. Stimson Award has been presented to “a woman athlete in recognition of outstanding dedication and contribution to intercollegiate athletics” (from the College Catalog 2010-2011; see a list of the Stimson award winners here).

Davidson's Riding Club, from Quips & Cranks 1980.

Davidson’s Riding Club, from Quips & Cranks 1980.

Women’s sports at Davidson have continued to expand, adding volleyball in 1986, soccer in 1989, and lacrosse in 1994. Some notable highlights include: a 1984 women’s tennis Division III National Championship; a 1991 women’s tennis Big South Conference Championship; six consecutive Deep South Field Hockey Championships between 1991 and 1996; women’s soccer Southern Conference Championships in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 2009; a 2008 women’s swimming Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association championship. Currently,  Davidson women compete in ten varsity sports.

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