Buildings Students

Shipp Hall at 50

About this time last year, I wrote a post about the 50th anniversary of DuPre Residence Hall.  DuPre and its close relative, Shipp Residence Hall, were both built as part of a campus expansion plan developed in the late 1950s.  This plan included the construction of Milliken Science Hall, the renovation of Main Building, the opening of the Black Music-Art Building, and two new residence halls.

A. M. Shipp Hall, opened in September 1963, represented the culmination of this plan.  Built to house 168 students, it was slightly larger than its sibling across the lawn.  It included a nice lounge area that has been a popular meeting place, an apartment for a house mother, and two interior courtyards.  As in DuPre, students were housed in rooms with individual sleeping and studying rooms, which students came to call “cubes.”

The Board of Trustees decided to follow a tradition just before the dorm opened and name it in honor of a former president of the college, in this case, the college’s second president, Albert Micajah Shipp.  President Shipp served from 1859 to 1875.  When the residence hall was formally opened in October 1963, several of his grandchildren were in attendance.

Shipp is special to me personally since I lived there for three years.  In 1991, with the opening of the dorm that is now known as Carlisle Hall (the New Dorm for those of us 1990s alums), most of the women in the senior and junior classes decamped from Shipp.  That made Shipp available for junior and senior men, and in my case, the occasional sophomore.  I never lived anywhere else.  And, though it may be a stereotype that women take better care of their residence halls than men, in this case, it was probably accurate.  Having been the home of women students for years, Shipp was in really good shape.  I did notice that after three years, it was looking a little less so.

Along with DuPre, Shipp was thoroughly renovated a few summers ago, and continues to serve another generation of students.

Photos – a Shipp postcard, construction photos, the dedication program.

Alumni Students

The Class of 1963

Each year for the past decade, our fifty-year class returns and escorts the graduating class to the Commencement exercises.  Here are a few thoughts about life at Wofford during the Class of 1963’s years here.

Wofford opened the 1962-63 school year with the largest enrollment in its history – 833 students were enrolled.  569 were living on campus.

The 215 freshmen that arrived in the fall of their senior year made up the largest entering class ever.

DuPre Hall opened in the fall of 1962, and the OG&B called it “one of the most functional, luxuriant dormitories in the southeast.”  Mrs. Anne Daniel (known as Mama D) was the residence hall supervisor for DuPre

Ten new faculty members arrived in the fall of 1962, their senior year.  Among these were Dr. James Seegars in psychology and Mrs. Constance Armitage – later Antonsen – in Art History.

Milliken Science Hall was completed and opened during the Class of 1963’s freshman year.  Their freshman year also saw the college’s basketball team set a record of 25-6.

William F. Buckley spoke on campus in October 1962, on the subject “The Decline of the Intellectual”.

Students frequently complained in the newspaper about the lack of light on campus at night.

The football team record in the fall of 1962 was 2-8.  There’s not much to say about that.

Apparently there was a big argument about whether students should wear ties, or coats and ties, to class.  The student government endorsed it, and those favoring it argued that it made students more serious, distinguished them from high school, and they’d have to wear a tie every day after college anyway.  Detractors thought it took more than a coat and tie to make someone a gentleman, that it wasn’t hard to tell the difference between a Wofford student and a high schooler, and having to wear a tie after college was no justification.  The proposal went nowhere.

Speaking of going nowhere, students were again debating an honor system.  But in February 1963, the committee reached an impasse, “feeling that the [student body] vote would be unequivocally opposed to an honor system now.”

The Drifters and the Declarados played for the Homecoming Dance.  The Glenn Miller Orchestra performed for the Winter Ball.

Placement Office notes appear regularly in the paper.  One issue had job announcements for the Boy Scouts, the IRS, and Sears, Roebuck.

One editorial, noting all of the new buildings on campus, paid special mention to the bomb shelter. That same editorial, in talking about the nice facilities, lamented the cost, saying that it “would soon reach the elite circle of the $2000 school.”

A committee was to meet with food service director W. E. Buice to discuss why students were dis-satisfied with the food in the cafeteria.

In February 1963, Edward Greene joined the college staff as director of development – he soon moved into the business office and kept the college solvent for 30 years.

President Marsh announced in March a new cooperative program between Wofford and Converse “designed to further strengthen curricular offerings at both institutions.”  “It was stressed that neither institution would lose its identity or sacrifice any of its tradition.”  The program would allow students, primarily juniors and seniors, to take courses at the other college, no more than 1 per semester, and grades would transfer as if they had been earned at the home institution.


Academics Students

Commencement Season

It’s getting close to Commencement again here at Wofford, and in just a few days, we’ll send another class off into the world.  I like to show some of our Commencement-related artifacts and documents each year around this time.  Today, I’ve got a program from the 1859 ceremony, complete with the names of all of the speeches that members of the senior class had to give.

Documents Photographs Students

From the Journal: The Changes in College

An anonymous alumnus, possibly a member of the Class of 1884, wrote this in an early issue of the Wofford College Journal, the student literary magazine that began in 1889.  The Journal, which is still published today, also contained campus news in those early years.  These were the reminiscences of that alum about his student days.  He was a student in the preparatory department before becoming a college student.  The facilities he describes were a bit rough!

I entered college, or rather “Prep,” as the Preparatory’ Department was then called, so young that I, with two others, formed what one teacher, now professor, called his “barefoot class,” because we, like the famous Kansas statesman, went without the usual foot protectors.

An early Main Building photo

The college, as I first remember it, was a plain brick building. No steps led up to the front piazza. Two buttresses jutting out from either side alone told where the old wooden steps had been. The wings were stained a peculiar shade of pink, while the towers and portico were painted a different hue. No garden, laid off in drives and walks, reached up to the very base of the building, but all in front was simply a field in which the boys played ball, the “home base” being near where’ the old oak tree now stands.

Inside, there have been as great, if not greater changes. The chapel was without plastering overhead, and on looking upward the lathes looked down on you in derision. Going from there to the recitation rooms you find,

“Within the master’s desk is seen,
Deep scarred by raps official,
The warping floor, battered seats,
The jack knife carved initial.

The charcoal frescoe on its wall,
Its doors worn sill betraying,
The feet that creeping slow to school
Went storming out to playing.”

There have been great changes both in faculty and in courses of study. The only professor here now that was teaching then is the President, who was then Professor of Mathematics.

The five professors, who had been teaching in the college for twelve years and were destined to teach for two more, at the time I entered “Prep,” were, Rev. A. M. Shipp, D. D., Whitefoord Smith, D. D., Warren DuPre, LL.D., James H. Carlisle, LL.D., and Professor David Duncan. Professor Lester resigned the year I entered.

The class of 1884

When I entered college proper, 1880, they changed from the old collegiate classes to the university plan. According to this plan a young man might enter any class for which he was prepared, provided the hours in that class did not conflict with the hours of any other to which he belonged. So you might find the phenomenon of a man, who combined in one person, all the dignity of the Senior, all the learning of the Junior, all the self esteem of a “Soph,” and all the pomposity of a “Fresh.” What a wonderful person that must have been!

Besides changing the plan of study they also changed the names of the classes to Junior, Intermediate and Senior. Ah! well do I remember how it puzzled the boys to understand how it would take four years to graduate when there were but three classes. As neither the plan nor the names seemed to work well, in five years, they returned to the same old system and called the classes by their former names.

In 1875, they discontinued the Preparatory department, and substituted the Introductory and sub-introductory classes. How the “Ducs.”‘ (Introductories) resented being classed with the “Subs” (Sub-Introductories,) and how indignant were both at being called ‘Preps,” any old student of those times knows.

The [Literary] Societies are now the pride of the college, but to enumerate the changes that have taken place within them would make this paper too long.



Academics Documents Students

A class trip to Charleston, 1889

This article, from the December 1889 issue of the Wofford College Journal, details some of the exploits of Wofford’s Class of 1890 as they took a senior class trip to Charleston, by rail, a few weeks before Thanksgiving.  Student travel was no doubt as enlightening to them as it is to our students today – and no doubt, as nerve-wracking to their professor as it is to our faculty today.  And some of those sights remain popular in the Holy City as they did in 1889. 


A Senior on the campus is quite a different individual from a Senior off the campus. This fact was clearly evidenced a few weeks ago. The noon train from Spartanburg to Columbia, Nov. 12, ‘89, pulled out of the car shed with a precious burden in the shape of the entire class of ‘90 bound for Charleston, under the escort of our genial Professor of Greek.

Wofford’s Class of 1890

Once in motion, all ideas of Senior dignity vanished. Stiff necks and urbane countenances gave place to lounging postures and Freshman grimaces. Not until we reached Union, however, did the true genius of the crowd display itself. At this point of our route an extra coach was tacked on, of the which we at once proceeded to take possession; leaving our genial Professor in blissful ignorance two cars in front to peruse at his leisure, the programme of the Gala Week. From this point to Columbia we held high carnival, for the melodious strains of “By, by, my Honey, I’m gone,” “Hang the Facul-tee” etc. etc., completely drowned even the roar of the rushing train.

We reached our destination at 10 o’clock P. M. and immediately instituted a diligent search for lodgings. At the end of two and a half hours, our entire party, not excluding our courageous escort, was peacefully ensconced upon the billiard tables of the Waverly House. Billiard tables not being a faithful field for Natural History investigation it was but natural that a science loving Senior class should soon tire of them. Accordingly as soon as day dawned, we betook ourselves to the Battery to see the sun rise over the bar and the thermometer fall below a stiff sea breeze.

We next visited the Charleston Museum, which is a great place and contains many wonderful things. Among other things there is a skeleton of a donkey. This struck one gentleman with particular force, and while contemplating it in wrapt attention he was overheard to murmur: “How wonder-and fearfully we are made,” or words to that effect.

We “did’, the most prominent places of interest in the quaint and historic old town, including Magnolia, the Citadel, St. Michael’s, Sullivans lsland, the Harbor, the Medical College, White Point Gardens, Fort Moultrie and the News and Courier. We regretted very much that lack of time prevented our visiting the Charleston Hotel.

Three days in the city served to satisfy our sight-seeing propensities, and accordingly most of us packed our Saratogas and, Saturday morning, left behind us the City by the Sea, famous for cyclones and great men, earthquakes and wiggle-tails.

We reached home safe and sound and have resumed “the even tenor of our Senior way.”


Photographs Students

The Class of 1913

Wofford looked a lot different a century ago.

This is a composite photo of the Wofford Class of 1913 – one of several class photos in the archives collection.


38 students took degrees from Wofford that year.

Alumni Students

J. Lyles Glenn, Wofford’s second Rhodes Scholar

J. Lyles Glenn, Jr – Wofford’s second Rhodes Scholar

John Lyles Glenn, Jr was a highly-accomplished student at Wofford, involved in student government, athletics, oratory, and other campus activities.  It’s probably not surprising, then, that the Chester native was Wofford’s second Rhodes Scholar.

Glenn came to Wofford in the fall of 1908 at age 16, but even at that young age, he was the captain of the class football team each year.  He also played class baseball and was the catcher on the varsity baseball team for four years.  The college wasn’t playing intercollegiate football in these years because the Methodists thought it was too violent.  Glenn also became involved with the Preston Literary Society, one of the two (at the time) debating and oratorical societies on campus.  He later became a monthly orator, corresponding secretary, treasurer, and finally president of the Preston Society.  He was a speaker in both the freshman and sophomore exhibitions and a junior debater.

In student body politics, he achieved distinction every year.  He was the historian of the freshman class, vice president of the sophomore class, and president of the junior class.  To top it off, he was the student body president in his senior year.

In his senior biography, his classmates wrote “Pud is the model of what most of us wish to become.”  “He is an all-around athlete, a football star, yet his name has never been omitted from the distinction list for any of his studies since he came to college.

After graduating in 1912, taught in the Wofford Fitting School, and he was invited to teach Greek in the college during the 1913-14 academic year.  He was named a Rhodes Scholar in 1914 and set out for Oxford.  He studied at Exeter College, but his work was soon interrupted by the outbreak of World War I.  He found a position with the Herbert Hoover Belgian Relief Association and spent six months behind German lines with the organization.  He also was an ambulance driver behind French lines for six months.  After American entry into the war, he went into an Army camp and became a second lieutenant, serving with the First Division.  He was wounded at Catigny, and received the French Croix de Guerre with Palm.

On his return to the United States, he first served as an instructor at Fort Gordon, Georgia, then entered the practice of law. Ten years later, President Herbert Hoover named him to a position on the U. S. District Court in South Carolina.  J. Lyles Glenn, Jr was a highly-regarded jurist, and his death ten years later, at age 46, was a shock to alumni, friends, and the state’s legal community.

Alumni Fraternities Students

Where are all the Chi Phi brothers?

Would all of the alums who are members of Chi Phi please stand up.

Members of Chi Phi with Professor Henry Nelson Snyder, center,1896.


Oh, that’s right, that fraternity hasn’t existed at Wofford for over 100 years.  What happened to it?

Chi Phi was the third fraternity to be established at Wofford, after Kappa Alpha and Chi Psi.  These first two got started in 1869, and the Chi Phis were chartered in 1871.  Over its forty years at Wofford, the Sigma chapter initiated a number of students who went on to become prominent in the community.  A short list of those would include Howard B. Carlisle ‘1885, James A. Chapman ‘1883, a noted textile leader, Dr. John G. Clinkscales ‘1876 of the Wofford faculty, Thomas Carey Duncan ‘1881, a noted textile leader, William Preston Few ‘1889, the first president of Duke University, W. Thornwell Haynes ‘1893, an American diplomat, and approximately 160 other alumni.

Though the number of active fraternity members was never especially large, the actions of some fraternity and anti-fraternity students caused the trustees to ban all of the Greek-letter organizations in 1906.  All of the fraternities had to surrender their charters, though many of them simply went underground.  After several years of agitation by students and alums, and after what really amounted to an ultimatum from a group of students, the faculty and trustees relented, and in the fall of 1915, fraternities were allowed back, subject to the rules of the college.

However, the national organization of Chi Phi declined to allow the chapter at Wofford to have its charter back.  President Snyder, himself a Chi Phi from Vanderbilt, worked his connections to try to get the fraternity back on campus, but to no avail.  He reported to one correspondent that the objections came from the northern chapters.

The Chi Phis left a few items behind for us to remember them by.  Among these are a few group photos, some alumni bulletins, and assorted fraternity pins.  The pin below, which belonged to James A. Chapman ‘1883, was recently donated to the library by his great-granddaughter, Mrs. Laura Chapman Jackson Hoy, who is now a member of the Wofford board of trustees.

Chi Phi pin, 1883
Chi Phi pin, inscribed JAC, WC 83
Documents Students

Notes from 1900

Occasionally I like to share articles from student publications of long ago.  The Journal, which began publication in 1889, served as a mix of alumni newspaper, campus newspaper, and literary magazine until around 1915.  Here are some excerpts from the October 1900 issue.  It looks like some things stay the same.  

Opening:  Dr. Carlisle says that the number of students now in Wofford is larger than ever before in the history of the college. This fact is a source of much pleasure to both students and faculty, as well as to all friends of the institution. We are very glad to welcome so many new men to the college which has done so much for Christian education in South Carolina. We cannot but feel that this large opening is indicative of an awakening appre­ciation of the excellence of our college, among the people of the State and of adjoining States.  It is a little remarkable that every junior of last year has returned and entered the Senior class. There are several additions to the Sophomore and Junior classes, and the Freshman class is very large.

So, in other words, enrollment was up and retention was good!

Football:  The re-introduction of foot-ball into Wofford has already had one good result—that of crea­ting a livelier, more wholesome college spirit and college patriotism among the boys—if one may judge from the en­thusiasm manifested at the mass-meeting of students on Oc­tober 1. And if one may judge from the practice that is held every afternoon on the athletic field, the management will be able to put out a very creditable first year’s team.

We believe that this game will build up the physique of a large number of students, who play, hardening them and serving as a finishing school to the development obtained in the gymnasium. There will, moreover, be a more general effect.  The foot-ball men will be physical models for the whole college, and to be able to play foot-ball, many will rigorously train themselves, who would not do so, were this stimulus and goal lacking.

The eleven that Wofford puts in the field will of course follow the precedent that her former teams have established, of playing only clean, honorable foot-ball, with the earnestness and honesty that are characteristic of Wofford men.

A good football team will raise school spirit, and the players will be known for their sportsmanship and good conduct.

The Lyceum:  The students of Wofford for the past two years have had opportunities that were as rare as they were valuable, in having access to the most excellent lecturers of America. The Wofford College Lyceum, of which Prof. J. A. Gamewell is president, and the exis­tence of which is due in a large measure to his untiring ef­forts to secure a first-class course of lectures for the people of Spartanburg, is not one of the minor opportunities a stu­dent enjoys at Wofford. The lecturers that come to Spar­tanburg to appear before the Lyceum visit only a few cities in the South.

Any one of the lectures that have been given by the Lyceum would have been worth far more to the poorest stu­dent than the price of the ticket. We think that a student who misses one of these lectures has lost an opportunity very valuable, indeed. Every student should consider, as a part of his necessary expenses at college, the price of a season ticket to the Wofford College Lyceum.  Surely the first lecture by Dr. E. Benjamin Andrews, on the noble Robert E. Lee, will be attended by all.

There’s always plenty going on around campus, and students should take advantage of opportunities to hear good speakers.

Buildings Students

DuPre Hall at Fifty

Fifty years is a pretty long life for a college dormitory.  But this fall, the A. Mason DuPre Residence Hall turns 50

DuPre Hall, constructed in 1962

In February 1961, the college announced plans to build two new residence halls on the north side of Main Building.  Main was then undergoing renovations itself, and the administration wanted to create a “mall” surrounded by Main and two new residence halls.  The college could also see the potential for baby boom enrollment growth, and new residence halls would allow for modest growth in the student body, up to about 1,000 students.

With the approval of Spartanburg City Council, the college acquired Cleveland Street, which ran directly behind Main Building, and moved forward with construction.  They broke ground on Tuesday, September 5, 1961.  The building was designed by the Boston architectural firm Perry, Shaw, Hepburn, and Dean.  It was a different design that many previous residence halls, as it was the first on campus to have the “cube” style where each student had a separate sleeping and study room.  The little rooms shared a larger sitting room, and several rooms together shared a series of small hall bathrooms.  Paid for with federal loans, the dorm was budgeted at about $582,000.  The cost was ultimately $750,000.

DuPre under construction, December 1961

In the spring of 1962, the college announced that the project would be named in memory of Dean A. Mason DuPre, who had been the college’s first dean.  Dean DuPre graduated from Wofford in 1895 and worked for over fifty years on the campus.  Named dean in 1920, he was also acting president in the 1920-21 school year when President Henry Nelson Snyder was involved with the Methodist Educational Campaign.

DuPre under construction, January 1962

The college contracted with Dean DuPre’s cousin, the noted artist Grace Annette DuPre, to paint a portrait of Mason DuPre to hang in the new residence hall’s lobby.

DuPre Hall opened for the fall semester of 1962 and was formally dedicated during Homecoming that fall.

DuPre first floor plans

Over the years, DuPre has had its share of ups and downs.  For many years, it was the senior male residence hall, and it quickly became the scene of pranks and occasional vandalism.  The DuPre clipping file has several mentions of discharged fire extinguishers and trash strewn about the halls.  Perhaps the nadir of DuPre was in the early 1990s, when it became a tradition (?) for the seniors to rip out ceiling tiles on Commencement weekend. In 1993, student leadership in DuPre worked very hard to end this dubious custom. In the summer of 2011, DuPre and its neighbor across the mall, Shipp, were completely renovated, and the dorm became more comfortable and energy efficient. With that renovation, perhaps DuPre will be around for another half century.

The DuPre Lounge

Photos from the DuPre Residence Hall file, college archives.