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About the Professors

The Wofford College Journal, which has been the college’s literary magazine since 1889, used to act as a monthly newspaper for the campus as well. I found these notes in the February 1906 issue that describe some of the comings and goings of members of the faculty.

On account of the severity of the weather, Dr. Carlisle did not meet his classes for a few days last month.

Dr. Snyder delivered a lecture on the evening of January 14th in the chapel of South Carolina College. This lecture was on “The Assets of a Young Man Just Entering Upon the Duties of Life.”

Dr. Cooke delivered his lecture on “Pompeii and Rome” in the auditorium on the night of January 18th. The lecture was largely attended and was profitable to the YMCA, under whose auspices the lecture was given.

Prof. Clinkscales gave a lecture at the Roebuck School on January 19th.

Dr. Wallace was in Columbia on January 25th. He appeared before a Senate committee in behalf of a bill for a white juvenile reformatory.

Dr. Snyder addressed the Chamber of Commerce on the evening of February 1st.

Prof. Clinkscales delivered an address at the First Baptist Church on the morning of February 4th.

Prof. J. A. Gamewell paid a short visit to Greenville, SC, on Feb. 3rd.

Dr. Carlisle made a talk at the opening exercises of the new Kennedy Library.

Dr. Snyder delivered an address at Greenwood, SC on January 31st. This was Founder’s Day at Lander College.

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Dining In

One particular type of military social ceremony is the dining in. There’s usually a particular structure to one of these events, which seem to come from British military customs.

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Military Balls, 2000s

These photos and programs are from military balls in 2001 and 2019.

Spring 2019
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Military Balls

While students in ROTC spend a lot of time in daily physical training, weekly classes and labs, and extended summer training at different Army bases, they also find time to celebrate a number of Army rituals during the year.  Beyond the commissioning ceremony, these might include a military ball and a dining in.  These clippings are from military balls in 1968 and 1974. Tomorrow, I’ll share some photos from military balls in the 2000s, and later, some information about Dining-in.

The Old Gold and Black writes about the 1968 military ball
Military Ball 1974 from the Old Gold and Black
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Scabbard and Blade

Scabbard and Blade is a military honor society established in 1904.  Wofford received a charter for M company, 6th regiment of Scabbard and Blade in 1928.  Wofford’s chapter was open to junior and senior members of ROTC, and members were chosen solely on merit.  A cadet who was chosen for Scabbard and Blade had qualities of leadership and honor, according to descriptions in several yearbooks. 

Scabbard and Blade in 1929
Scabbard and Blade from 1938
Members of Scabbard and Blade in 1960
Scabbard and Blade in 1971
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Commissioning traditions

The oath that cadets take
One of the new lieutenants receiving her commission.
A new lieutenant being pinned with his gold bars.
Receiving a first salute.
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Commissioning

The culmination of four years of study and training occurs when each ROTC student receives his or her commission as a second lieutenant.  At Wofford, the commissioning ceremony traditionally occurs during Commencement weekend.  The commissioning ceremony itself is full of symbolism as each cadet takes the oath of office, has the gold bars of a second lieutenant pinned on their uniform, receives their commission, and then receives their first salute.  Once they’ve been commissioned, newly-minted second lieutenants (and college graduates) generally attend a basic officer leader course that is specific to their branch of the Army. 

Cadets at 2019 Commissioning
Program from 1975 Commissioning
Newly-commissioned second lieutenants in 2001
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ROTC in the post-Vietnam era

ROTC remained active at Wofford in the years after Vietnam, though with noticeably fewer students taking part in the program in the 1970s and 1980s.  The program expanded beyond the Wofford campus, with students at Spartanburg Methodist College beginning to participate in 1970. Later, Converse College, USC-Spartanburg (now USC-Upstate) and Limestone College joined the cross-enrollment program.  Women also began to participate in 1973.  The battalion’s headquarters moved around campus, from the old ROTC Building (a former Wofford Fitting School building near the current Papadopoulos Building) to Snyder House and eventually to the Daniel Building.  The battalion remained a visible presence on campus, presenting the colors at athletic events, offering Interim projects, and on lab days, wearing their uniforms. 

Training exercises, 1973-74, from the ROTC scrapbooks
Training exercises, 1973-74, from the ROTC scrapbooks
Training exercises, 1973-74, from the ROTC scrapbooks
Training exercises, 1973-74, from the ROTC scrapbooks
Training exercises, 1973, from the ROTC scrapbooks
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ROTC and the Old Gold and Black,, 1968-1970

While participation in ROTC remained fairly high in the late 1960s, increasing tensions surrounding the Vietnam War brought criticism in the pages of the student newspaper. Several clippings below demonstrate that controversy. When General William Westmoreland participated in a Spartanburg Veteran’s Day parade – a parade in which Wofford ROTC cadets marched, some students displayed a banner critical of Westmoreland from the balcony of Wightman Hall. President Paul Hardin III ordered it removed.

Although ROTC came in for some criticism, it had its defenders, and the Old Gold and Black published letters in support of ROTC.

General William Westmoreland, the American commander in Vietnam and a Spartanburg County native, participated in the Veteran’s Day parade
From the Old Gold and Black, 1969
An opinion piece, 1969
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ROTC, the 1950s, and summer camp

An essential part of a cadet’s education in military science was attendance at one or more summer camps, particularly between the junior and senior year. Considering the number of students who were part of ROTC in the 1950s and 1960s, a large portion of each class would have spent some time each summer at a camp. This gave them a more fully-immersed military experience than they were getting from classes and lab exercises on campus. Below are several photos from summer camp exercises.

Cadets at camp in 1947
Cadets at camp in 1952
Report from 1950 camp in the Old Gold and Black