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Documents Faculty

The Chronicles of Zerrachaboam

A recent e-mail message led to a new acquisition this week for the archives – a typed copy of The Chronicles of Zerrachaboam, a piece of political satire written in 1954 by the late Professor Lewis P. Jones.  

JonesLP Dr. Jones was a scholar of many things, particularly South Carolina history, and even more particularly the late 19th century – an era he chronicled in his doctoral dissertation.  During the 1890s, some anonymous observers had written, in language reminiscent of the King James Old Testament, a political commentary on South Carolina under the rule of Benjamin Tillman.  They were styled the "Chronicles of Zerrachaboam."  Dr. Jones would have been quite familiar with these writings, and when the opportunity presented itself again in South Carolina, he chose to write "Zerrachaboam II."  His subject: The 1954 U. S. Senate race between Strom Thurmond and Edgar Brown.  

When Senator Burnet Maybank died just before the 1954 Democratic Primary (the only election that mattered in those days), the state Democratic Party was left in a dilemma.  They had to replace Maybank on the ballot, but they didn't have time to call a special primary.  They chose to nominate longtime state senator Edgar Brown, known around the state as the Bishop from Barnwell.  Strom Thurmond, a former governor and Dixiecrat candidate for president, saw his chance to run against the Barnwell Ring – he'd beaten them before in his 1946 governor's race.  Several other notable characters played a role – Governor James F. Byrnes, Senator Olin D. Johnston, and others.  Thurmond, of course, went on to win what was, until November 2010, the only write-in candidacy for the Senate.  Just this year, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski won a write-in contest, giving the 1954 SC Senate race a little bit of historical publicity as well.  

The situation was ripe for commentary, and so Dr. Jones wrote about it in these chronicles.  Click for a larger version.  

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Categories
Faculty Photographs

Faculty, 1960

Here's another group photo from the 1960 Bohemian of some faculty of that era.

See if you can identify any of them.  This appears to be in the Wightman Hall dining room or canteen.  Note the cigarettes to go with the coffee!

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Categories
Faculty Photographs

Name this member of the Class of 1960

At graduation this year, the class of 1960 will hold its fifty-year reunion.

Here are some photos from the 1960 Bohemian – today, I'm putting up a few pictures of faculty members and staff members. See if you know who some of them are.

This administrator was already working at the college when he earned his degree, with Phi Beta Kappa honors, in 1960.  (Some suggested he got good grades because he signed his professors' paychecks, but he was in fact a very good student.) 

Harold001

Categories
Faculty

The Faculty Club

Many colleges and universities have a faculty club.  Often it’s a building on campus that operates
somewhat like a clubhouse, with a dining room for the faculty and their guests,
lounges, sitting areas, and other amenities. 

FacClub001 Wofford hasn’t ever had a faculty house or club like that,
but for a number of years, the faculty did have a small organization that they
called the Faculty Club.  Organized in
1944, just as the faculty was beginning to grow beyond its historic small size,
the club was organized in response to a feeling that the intellectual,
professional, and social life of the faculty might be enhanced through such an
organization.  The group met monthly,
generally at members’ homes, and discussed papers that faculty members would
prepare, held roundtable discussions on current educational topics, and
occasionally held book discussions.  The
club had a social side as well, with “stag dinners” on two occasions each year,
and the members of the Faculty and Campus Clubs (the organization for the wives
of the faculty and some of the women staff members) held two annual events – a
Christmas dinner and a spring picnic. 

I should note that the membership of the faculty club was
not limited to men, nor was it limited to just the faculty.  Staff members were invited to participate, although
the staff in the 1940s would have included little more than the treasurer, a
librarian, the registrar, and perhaps a few other posts.  Women who were on the staff – the librarian
and registrar in the mid-1940s – were able to participate if they chose.   

In some years, the Faculty Club talked about pressing issues
at Wofford.  In the 1951-52 school year,
they discussed topics surrounding the theme “A Workable Philosophy” with the
idea “may we look at ourselves and others that our work, our college, and our
students may prosper.”  During the year,
they discussed the college’s curriculum and philosophy.  In the 1952-53 year, the club considered the
question, “What is a Christian college?” In the fall meetings, the group
discussed organized Christian life and extracurricular activities.  In the spring, they discussed Christianity
and the curriculum, teaching methods, academic freedom, and the college’s
responsibility to the church.  In later
years, members discussed current events, new programs or facilities at the
college, or heard talks by their colleagues. 

The faculty club records in the archives seem to end around
1978, though the Campus Club continued to meet into the 1990s.  The Faculty Club and Campus Club records are in the archives.  

Categories
Faculty

Dr. Charlie – the gentleman-historian

Wofford’s history department has a century-long tradition of
teaching and writing about South Carolina history.  The first professional historian to teach
history at Wofford, David Duncan Wallace of the class of 1894, went on to earn
a PhD in history at Vanderbilt before returing to Wofford in 1899.  He remained as a historian at Wofford until
1947.  Wallace’s legacy lasted for years
after his death, as two of his students also taught in the department, one for
over twenty years, and the other for forty.

CauthenCE The first of these was Charles Edward Cauthen.  A 1917 Wofford graduate, Dr. Cauthen had
played end, halfback, and fullback on the football team while a student.  He is credited with a play that secured a
victory over Furman in 1916, the last such victory for decades.  Like many members of his family, he was a
member of Kappa Alpha at the college and was a lifelong supporter of the
fraternity.  After Wofford, he trained as
a naval aviator during World War I. 
Later, he earned his master’s degree at Columbia University and his
doctorate at the University of North Carolina and joined the faculty of
Columbia College, Wofford’s sister Methodist institution.  In 1943, he was called to the history
department at Wofford, where he would make his home for the next 21 years. 

Doctor Charlie, as some of his students called him, was
known for many of his colorful expressions in class.  “The political platform only stands until the
train leaves the station” was one. 
“Remember, primary sources are more reliable than secondary news” was
another.  When a student disputed Dr.
Cauthen on a historical fact, he would demand “Please give us your source,
sir.”  Like other historians who taught
in the department, he was known for his dry sense of humor. 

Dr. Cauthen was also a writer and editor.  He edited the family papers of the three Wade
Hamptons as well as the Records of the South Carolina Executive Councils of
1861-62.  His book, South Carolina Goes to War, was a chronicle of the state’s
political history during the Civil War. 
That book, with a new introduction by Dr. Tracy Power, was reprinted
recently by the USC Press.  He was
working on an essay on the Coming of the Civil War for the book Writing
Southern History when cancer made him too weak to continue writing.  Dr. Lewis Jones, his successor as department
chair, completed the essay. 

Dr. Cauthen is sometimes the overlooked of the triumvirate
of Wallace, Cauthen, and Jones.  Both
Wallace and Jones had longer tenures; Cauthen, being the one in the middle,
sometimes appears somehow less significant.  Wallace was the pre-eminent South Carolina
historian for so long, and his four-volume magnum opus will likely never be
supplanted as a history of the state. 
Dr. Jones also taught at Wofford longer, wrote more, and interacted with
students from the greatest generation through the baby boomers and the early
Generation X students.  That’s a little
unfair to Dr. Cauthen, for he was an eminent scholar and teacher in his own
right, and he influenced the growth and development of a generation of
historians who became influential.  He
was devoted to the college as much as his predecessor and successor as
department chair.  He had strong family
connections to the college, and to the Methodist Church in the state.  Dr. A. V. Huff, the former dean at Furman and
a history major in the class of 1959, explained that it had been a great
pleasure for him “in some small way to follow in his footsteps as a student of
South Carolina history.” 

Dr. Cauthen’s son, Dr. Charles E. Cauthen Jr., a 1952
Wofford graduate, compiled a book of his memories of the Cauthen family, of his
time at Wofford, and of being the son of a Wofford faculty member, and a copy
of these is in the archives.  I drew on
them as I wrote this post.  

Categories
Faculty

Dean Covington

Can anything good come out of Moultrie?

CovingtonPS

If you know anything about Dean Philip Stanhope Sheffield
Covington, you don’t have to ask. 

Born in Moultrie, Georgia, Philip Covington graduated from
Emory University in 1934 and embarked upon the study of law.  He practiced law for three years in Georgia
before deciding to pursue teaching and graduate study in English.  After he earned a master’s degree in English
at Duke University, he taught in Florida and in Charleston, SC before becoming
associate professor of English at Wofford in 1947. 

Three years later, he took on the thankless job of dean of
students, and in 1953, new president Pendleton Gaines named him dean of the
college.  When President Gaines resigned
abruptly in 1957, the trustees turned to Dean Covington, naming him acting
president until they could bring Dr. Charles Marsh to campus in 1958.  As chief academic officer from 1953 to 1969,
Phil Covington hired a generation of faculty members, all of whom are now
retired.  He had a particular knack for
picking professors, and most famously, hired geologist John Harrington after
sitting next to him on an airplane. 

Phil Covington was more than an administrator and teacher,
he was a lover of tradition, skillful in the use of words, and by all accounts,
a clever and engaging member of the community. 
Though he respected tradition and later in life said he wanted nothing
about Wofford to change, he could poke fun at tradition and never took himself
or his office too seriously.  The stories
of him are numerous and humorous, and according to Dr. Lewis Jones “not more
than a third of them are apocryphal.”  One
of my favorites is the oft-repeated tale of how he was asked how he determined
faculty salaries, and after staring out the window for a moment, he replied
that he observed the flights of birds. 
Another favorite is the story about low enrollment in one particular
department – he was overheard to say, as he looked out his office window, “I
wonder what Dan Olds and his physics student are doing today.”   Most
of those stories, unfortunately, were never written down. 

He created a few euphemisms that remain with us today.  “The Wofford Way” is attributed to him.  He meant it not entirely as a compliment.  He meant it in sort of an English way of
“muddling through.”  His founder’s day
addresses were the stuff of legend.  He
once gave a talk about Benjamin Wofford’s bones.  A Shakespearean scholar, naturally he chose
Mark Antony’s funeral oration in Julius Caesar as his text.  (Keep an eye out, in a few weeks I’ll post
the talk on Founder’s Day this year.) 
Despite poking fun at Old Ben every now and then, he had a great respect
for the college’s founder, saying that his “very action in founding this
college was a profession of faith in the eternal verities.” 

At Dean Covington’s funeral in 1988, Dr. Lewis Jones quoted
a 1951 Old Gold and Black story that
began, “’On November 28, 1912, the population of Moultrie, Georgia was
increased, for better or worse, by one.’ 
We know now—it was for better.”

If you have a Covington story or quote, why not share it
with me?  Leave a comment about Dean
Covington so others can enjoy.

Categories
Faculty Photographs

The Faculty, the late 1860s version

One of the rituals surrounding the start of each academic year is opening convocation.  For a good number of years, this has been a full-dress convocation, with faculty, librarians, and administrators processing in academic regalia.  

One of the rituals that we have observed in more years than not is the annual photo on the steps of Main Building.  The tradition of taking a photo of the faculty is a fairly old one.  Below, I'm sharing the oldest faculty photo in our collection.  

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Pictured, from left to right: Whitefoord Smith, professor of English, 1855-93; James H. Carlisle, professor of mathematics, 1854-1875 and president of the college, 1875-1902; David Duncan, professor of ancient languages, 1854-1881; A. H. Lester, professor of history and Biblical literature, 1866-1873; Warren DuPre, professor of natural science, 1854-1875; and A. M. Shipp, president of the college and professor of mental and moral philosophy, 1859-1875.  Click on the photo for a larger version in a pop-up window.)  This group served together for an extended period of time; in fact, with the exception of Lester, they were together from 1859 to 1875.  Three of them were elected to the original faculty.  

The modern faculty is considerably larger and more diverse than this group, with 118 full-time professors teaching at the college this fall.  
Categories
Faculty Methodist

Bishop A. Coke Smith

There’s a story, and I can’t find the citation this morning,
that a man had moved from Columbia to Spartanburg in the late 19th
century, but was shortly thereafter seen on the streets of Columbia.  When a friend inquired why he was back in the
capital city, the man replied that to live in Spartanburg, one had to accept
three things as fact, that Wofford College was the greatest  educational institution since Oxford, that
Dr. James Carlisle, Wofford’s president, was the greatest astronomer since
Copernicus, and that Wofford professor Coke Smith was the greatest pulpit
orator since Saint Paul.  And he’d be
darned if he could accept them all! 

SmithAC001 Alexander Coke Smith may not have been the greatest pulpit
orator since Paul, but he must have been pretty good, because within two years
of his graduation from Wofford, he had been assigned to Washington Street
Methodist Church in Columbia, which, despite its encounter with fire in 1865,
was arguably the most important Methodist pulpit in the most important city in
the Conference. 

Born in Lynchburg, in Sumter County, in 1849, Coke Smith was
the son of The Rev. William H. Smith, a member of the South Carolina Annual
Conference.  He studied at Wofford from
1868 to 1872, and after his graduation, he taught in the Reidville, SC high
school for a term.  He joined the South
Carolina Conference in December 1872 and was appointed to the church in
Cheraw.  The next year, he was sent to
Washington Street Church in Columbia, where he served for three years.  This was quite a leap for someone who was so
new in the ministry, for Washington Street was (and remains) a large and
influential congregation.  At the end of
1876, he was sent to Greenville, where he served Buncombe Street Church for
four years.  He then went to Trinity in
Charleston, serving for three years, and at that point, he was made the
presiding elder for the Columbia District. 
Before he had passed his 32nd birthday, he had been appointed
to large churches in three of the state’s largest cities, and had met with
success in each appointment. 

In 1884, he was named to fill a vacancy on Wofford’s board
of trustees, and in 1886, when Wofford professor William Wallace Duncan was
elected a bishop, Smith was elected to fill his chair on the Wofford
faculty.  At the same time, the trustees
voted to relieve Smith of the teaching obligations that came with being
Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy, the chair to which he had just been
named, so that he might work on behalf of the college in the churches around
the state.  By the 1880s, it had become
common for one of the faculty members to act as financial agent of the college,
serving essentially as the college’s development officer.  W. W. Duncan did this, as did Coke Smith, and
later, John C. Kilgo.  All three were
effective in raising funds and promoting the college to Methodists in the
state, and each man used his position to launch himself to an even higher
position in the church hierarchy.  Smith
also served as the college’s treasurer, handling much of the institution’s
business. 

After four years at Wofford, Smith was elected one of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, South’s missionary secretaries by the General
Conference.  He left that position
quickly to take a professorship  of
practical theology at Vanderbilt’s divinity school.  After two years, he moved back into the local
church, but this time, in Virginia.  He
served in the Old Dominion until his election as a bishop in 1902.  He actually came close to being elected in 1898, and in 1891 and 1901, he had attended the great ecumenical conferences.  It's unfortunate that his time in the episcopacy was actually quite
short, for he died in Asheville, NC in December 1906.  

Categories
Academics Faculty

John G. Clinkscales: The Mathematician-Politician

Say,did you hear the one about the math professor who ran for governor?  

Clinkscales001 That sounds like a joke, but in the case of Dr. John G. Clinkscales, it’s a true story.  In 1914, running on a platform of
compulsory public education, Clinkscales won some 40,000 votes and placed fourth in the race.
  That may not sound
like much of an achievement, but every one of the three men who finished ahead of him at some point served as the Palmetto state’s governor.
 

Born in Abbeville County in 1855, John George Clinkscales came to Wofford as a student in 1872.  He graduated in 1876, and
in 1889, returned to take a master of arts degree.
  He continued his education with further study at Cornell and Johns Hopkins.  Before he came to Wofford in 1899, he taught at Clemson for five years, at Columbia College for four, and at Williamston Female College for one.  The latter two colleges were both
Methodist-related, and the latter has since become Lander University.
  Before he began his college teaching career,
he taught in the public schools of Spartanburg County, and for four years, he was the superintendent of education in Anderson County.
  In 1912, Erskine College awarded him an
honorary doctor of laws degree.
 

He became a popular professor of mathematics and astronomy in 1899, probably taking many of the classes previously taught by President James H. Carlisle.  However, one of the reasons he was brought to Wofford was his speaking ability.  Dr. Carlisle did not want to undertake the public relations aspects of the presidency, so over the course of his administration, several faculty members undertook these duties.  Clinkscales became a popular figure on the lecture circuit, speaking in churches and civic groups around the state.  On top of his teaching responsibilities, he was for a quarter century one of Wofford’s “field representatives” – traveling the state as an ambassador of the college – a task he continued even when Henry Nelson Snyder became president and took to the circuit himself. No doubt this involved a mixture of student recruitment, alumni relations, fund-raising, and otherwise showing Wofford’s colors throughout the state.  It also probably put him in touch with Wofford alumni, Methodists, and other citizens around the state and helped him immensely in his subsequent campaign for governor. 

Clinkscales was also something of a writer.  From one of his personal experiences came his first book, How Zach Came to College, published in 1904.  The book tells the story an uneducated young man who came from a Western North Carolina valley to attend Wofford in the 1870s.  In fact, the story is somewhat fictionalized as there were actually two brothers, Zachary T. Whiteside and his brother, Andrew S. “Zeb” Whiteside, who were both part of the Class of 1877.  Zach and Zeb did not have much money, and as such they lived in spare rooms in Main Building, cooking their meals.  Soon other students joined them, and from that the college’s first dining hall emerged.  Dr. Clinkscales would have been a student at the same time as these two, and I would not be surprised if their story made its way into his speeches, and eventually into a book. 

Clinkscales002 As a lifelong advocate for public education, Clinkscales entered the 1914 race for governor not because he thought he could win, but because he thought somebody should speak for education.  In those days, all of the candidates for statewide office traveled the state together for a stump meeting in each county, and each had an opportunity to speak. Clinkscales was tired of the level of anti-progressive demagoguery that he had been hearing for years in state politics, and told friends that if someone wouldn’t run on behalf of compulsory education, then he would.  He kept his word.  His platform was fairly advanced for the day, and the two leading progressive candidates had much better political organizations.  In defeat, his campaign had more influence than many other losing efforts in that at its next session, the legislature approved and the governor signed a bill enacting compulsory school attendance. 

Clinkscales continued to be an active speaker, Methodist layman, and advocate of education in the state.  He gave up his field work in the late 1920s, and declining health forced him to stop teaching in the late 1930s.  He continued to live in his campus home – now called the Kilgo-Clinkscales House – until his death on January 1, 1942.  

Photos: Clinkscales’ portrait, presently on display in the Daniel Building, a photo of Clinkscales taken by Herbert Hucks ’34 at Commencement in the late 1930s.

Categories
Documents Faculty Religion Sports

A March Madness tribute?

This cartoon has been sitting on my desk for several months, ever since I wrote a Wofford Today column on Dr. C. C. Norton, Wofford's longtime dean of the college and professor of sociology.  Dr. Norton was best known for his annual presentation of A Christmas Carol, but he was also known as a caricaturist and cartoonist in the South Carolina Methodist Advocate.  In the Norton Papers here in the archives, we have a collection of his cartoons and caricatures.  One of his cartoon series, Church Folks, looked at life in the South Carolina church of the mid 20th century.  

Here's one of my favorites of the cartoon panels.  Though the young fellow is wearing a helmet and carrying a football, I think the sentiment works just as well for March Madness. 
NortonCartoon001