Class of 1913 – the 20th graduating class from the school (first in 1893)
A year before Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated (starting World War I)Woodrow Wilson inaugurated as president in MarchLincoln Highway, the first automobile road across the U.S. (New York to California), dedicated in OctoberR.J. Reynolds introduced Camels, the first packaged cigarettesMost popular baby names: John and Mary
February 18, 1891 – the General Assembly of North Carolina agreed to fund a “normal” school for women (State Normal and Industrial School). [This was the third time advocates had asked for the funding. First time was in 1887, when NCSU was funded instead.]May 1891 – Greensboro chosen as site for the school (city gave $30,000 to help fund construction)Charles Duncan McIver, the leader in advocating for founding, named the first president of the institutionOctober 5, 1892 – School opens with 176 students. By the end of the month, enrollment had grown to 198. There were a total of 223 at the end of the first school year.Mrs. McIver described the school as having “two buildings, ten acres of mud, and one tree.” Buildings (l to r): McIver house, Wooden dorm, Main Bldg (now Foust), Brick Dorm
The school we now know as UNCG has been through a number of name changes since its founding in 1891.
Teaching staff includes lots of names that are now familiar because buildings were named after the people – Mary Petty (Petty Science Building), Anna Gove (Student Health Center), Walter Clinton Jackson (Library), Harriett Eliot (EUC)
Remaining buildings: Forney (library), Foust (main building), Spencer Dorms (Spencer Bldg), 1st phase of the dining hall (Dining Room – kitchen)
View from Spring Garden down College Avenue. College Ave is unpaved, but there are sidewalks. Not many cars – As a graduation gift, Foust gave each of the 47 graduates in the class of 1913 a ride in his car. Primary means of transportation was a trolley that you could take to get downtown, to the railway station, etc.You can orient yourself a bit via the Spencer tower.
The newest building on campus: Woman’s Dormitory. Woman’s Dormitoryopened in 1912. Named in honor of the “Noble Women of the Confederacy,” it subsequently became known as “Senior Hall.” Located behind Spencer, about where the dining halls are now. The Craftsman style building was razed in 1964.
Behind Woman’s Dormitory was a newly constructed dairy barn, that sat near where the Quad currently stands. The University had 50 cows. The farm supplied the school with milk, pork, and produce, and also served as a horticulture teaching laboratory.
Students enrolled at State Normal in 1913 had their choice of five degree paths.
Tuition fee waived if student promises to teach for two years in a public or private school in North Carolina. About 2/3 of all students ended up teaching. Additional fees for science classes, non-residents, music lessons, and special business coursesClasses for Fall semester started on September 22nd and went through December 23rd
Chapel – just before lunch each day. “Thoughunsectarian in its management, the College is distinctly Christian … Prayers, with the reading of the Scriptures, and singing, are a part of each day’s exercises. Attendance on this service is required.”Walking Period: “A regular outdoor walking period is observed, healthful open-air sports are encouraged, and, under the direction of teachers of physical training, each student is required to take prescribed forms of physical exercise.” Daily from 4:30 to 5:15.Dorm life – letter from Rhoda Baxter (Spencer Hall) to Foust (October 31, 1913) – reporting two students “for being out in the hall conversing audibly at least five minutes after the seven o’clock bell had rung.”Dorm rules: “Shopping, visiting, and receiving friends to a reasonable extent are not prohibited, but no night may be spent out of the dormitories without a written request from parents or guardians, and even then, permission will not be granted if, in the judgment of the authorities, it would be unwise to do so. Under proper conditions, visits from gentlemen will be allowed, when written requests for that privilege are made by parent or guardian addressed directly to the Lady Principal.”Campus bell alerted students of meal times, class times, walking period, chapel, etc.
Strict dorm rules meant that extracurricular activities were primarily limited to campus. Literary Societies were one of the primary drivers. Soon after arriving at State Normal, students were sorted into one of the two literary societies – Adelphian or Cornelian Society. These groups sponsored debates, put on plays, held special luncheons, produced the campus’s bimonthly newspaper, etc. No sororities, though, as McIver was adamantly opposed to selective organizations. Other groups on campus included the YWCA, the College Chorus and Orchestra, and some smaller groups that promoted volunteer work.1913 saw the founding of the College’s Dramatic Club. Previously the two literary societies took turns giving the campus’s one big theater production each year. But, in 1913, they joined forces and chose the strongest actresses to join the Dramatic Club. They put on their first performance during the 1913 graduation weekend.
Campus Athletic Association was founded in 1900, and organized frequent competitions between the classes.Didn’t compete against other schools, as it wasn’t considered “proper” for women to be overly competitiveMost popular sports were basketball and field hockey
One social topic that was starting to be discussed heavily throughout the country was women’s right to vote. North Carolina was one of only seven states where women had absolutely no right to vote – not in national, state, or local elections. One of the campus literary societies held a debate over suffrage in 1909. Not unanimous (as was the case throughout the country). Student newspaper includes editorials stating that women would vote only with their hearts, not their heads.Continued to be a major campus issue up until the suffrage amendment was ratified in 1920. Interestingly, NC did not ratify it until 1971, more than fifty years after it became law. The only state to wait longer was Mississippi, which ratified it in 1984.
Contact us. We’re open Monday-Friday, 9-5. Limited compared to the rest of the library, but we’re here for you.
Campus Life in 1913
• State Normal and Industrial School (18911897)
• State Normal and Industrial College
• North Carolina College for Women (19191932)
• Woman’s College (1932-1963)
• The University of North Carolina at
Greensboro (1963- )
Flashback to 1913
State Normal and Industrial College
President: Julius Foust
60 teaching staff
Average student age:
20 years old