Readers: There are three new subject categories in this newsletter: Modern Muse, Words (bottom of the page) and Blast from the Past (also at the bottom of the page). We hope you enjoy the content!
ARTICLES ON THIS PAGE:
(Today through August 13th)
1. NEW Announcements.
2. NEW article: Ferguson Center's Colonnade Extension: Photo Update by A. J. Jelonek.
3. REVISED article: Surviving Humid Heat in CNC Buildings with No Air Conditioning: 1964 - 1968 (Includes additional photographs).
4. CNC First Decader Dr. Michael Engs Featured in First Book about African American Students at William and Mary.
5. Dr. Al Millar's Daughters Recall Visiting Their Dad on Campus as Children (a Memories book bit).
6. NEW cartoons: Summer Heat.
My parents always believed that I was The Best! With thoughts like that behind you, it's impossible not to strive for excellence. No one wants to disappoint their parents.
Founder, Ford Modeling Agency
(March 25, 1922 – July 9, 2014)
My thunder comes before the lightning. My lightning comes before the clouds. My rain dries all the land it touches. What am I?
NOTES TO OUR READERS
1. PLEASE CHECK IN WITH US:We care about you! We hope you and your loved ones have not been infected during this Covid-19 Pandemic and have not suffered major damage emotionally and/or financially. Please take a few minutes to email a note... please ... to either Dave Spriggs (email@example.com) or Jane Chambers (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will list on the website both those of you who are doing okay (cheers!) and those who request prayers to help them deal with losses.
2. VOLUNTEER AS A CLASS INFO HELPER: Having one (or more!) of you per class who will email news that needs to circulate within your class--whether good (Larry won the Lottery!) or bad (Larry has died)-- would be a tremendous help! Dr. Jane is finding it increasingly difficult to keep up-to-date with our several hundred readers. Once or twice a year she might also ask the Class Helpers to do some other little chore which might take an hour or two of their time. Contact her if you are willing to be a Helper-- email@example.com(or 757-238-9629).
3. WRITE AN ARTICLE FOR OUR WEBSITE:You've probably noticed that articleswritten by our readers appear on our website from time to time, as in this current issue (the article about the colonnade). Some of these have been penned by CNC/U professors emeriti--e.g., Harold Cones, Sam Bauer, Jane Webb; others have been authored by First Decaders--Wade Williams, Mary Ellen Wilkinson, Mike Smith, Brenda Burnette Tagge...just to name a few. Also, many of the news articles about our readers, although not written by them, contain content (and often, photographs) provided by those readers, who are credited for that material. A few examples are the articles about Pat Garrow, Lois Wright, Pam Vaughan, and Joel Lewis.
Seriously consider writing something for our website. It will NOT be graded! Contact Dr. Jane (see last line of item 2 above) to discuss your idea for an article.
Ferguson Center's Colonnade Extension:
by A. J. Jelonek
Artistic rendering by Glave & Holmes Architecture of the extended Colonnade linking Ferguson Center and the Fine Arts Center. All other photos in this article were taken by A.J. Jelonek, who also wrote the article.
Hello, First Decaders and other readers. I am A. J. Jelonek, from CNU's class of 2015 (making me a Sixth Decader!), and my purpose here is to give you all a photo report on the Fine Arts Center, adjacent to the Ferguson Center. In mid-July, I made a second trip to the campus to check out the continuing construction of the Fine Arts Center. Everything is progressing nicely. Since my April visit, most of the building is covered in bricks, and the domes are almost completely enclosed by glass, as you can see in my photo below.
If you compare this picture above with the architectural rendering at the top, you can see that the Ferguson Center for the Arts is at the far left and that the colonnade will be extended to join the Fine Arts Center with its sister building, the Ferguson Center. This feature of the project is one I've been anxiously waiting to see! I was lucky on the day in July I stopped by the building site, because the workers were raising into place pieces of that additional colonnade.
I learned some interesting facts about the colonnade from CNU Executive Vice President William (Bill) Brauer, who is also an alumnus (CNC class of 1977)--and Second Decader. The colonnade pieces are made in Michigan, then trucked about 700 miles to CNU. Each section consists of six pieces--four for the arch support legs, and two for the roof. In the image above, wires are being attached to one of the leg supports on the truck bed.
Moving these colonnade pieces into position is a major task, requiring a crane and several workers, because each of the four leg pieces weighs around 13,550 pounds! The above photo shows the crane hoisting a wired piece off the truck while workers control the position of the piece.
Since the pieces were brought in horizontally on the truck, each one has to be rotated 90 degrees around in the air to become vertically-oriented. The piece shown above is in mid-rotation.
Once the piece is vertical (above), workers remove some of the wires that were only needed for the rotation. Then, when the piece is ready (below), the crane lifts it higher into the air to fly over the construction fence.
The crane then lowers the piece to the ground to be guided into its final destination in the colonnade (photo below). This entire process of moving just one section of the four leg pieces into final position took about 45 minutes. I did not stay to watch the workers securing the piece into the ground. An entire archway section--4 leg pieces and 2 top pieces--takes a day and a half to install.
The colonnade extension is expected to be completed around the end of August, and the Fine Arts building finished by Spring of 2021. Below is one final picture of the Fine Arts Center, which I took from the other end of the Ferguson Center's colonnade, by the Diamonstein Concert Hall. The Trible Library's cupolas and Christopher Newport Hall's gold dome are peeking out from behind the Fine Art Center's three-story wing.
I hope you enjoyed this photo report. Thanks to Bill Brauer for the colonnade facts and to Jane Chambers for graciously allowing me to share my photographs and information here. And thank you also, Jane, for all the hard work you do in creating content and community for this website.
ANDREW ADRIAN (A.J.) JELONEK is the Venue Coordinator at the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. A native of Leesburg, VA, A. J. received his B.A. in Theater from CNU on May 9, 2015, with a minor in dance. At CNU, he appeared onstage in various theater productions, was a brother of Alpha Psi Omega, the national theater honors society, and served as the president of Initiative Student Theatre and the secretary of the Film Club. Maybe one day he will also be performing at the Kennedy Center.
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Published July 31, 2020.
Surviving Humid Heat in CNC Buildings
with No Air Conditioning:
1964 - 1968
Revised July 31, 2020
by A. Jane Chambers
If you took or taught classes at CNC between 1964 and 1968, you probably remember the ordeal of being in Newport Hall or Gosnold Hall on hot, sticky days when neither classroom building was air conditioned. Both were designed for air conditioning, but not funded for it for several years. How did we faculty and students survive the often overwhelming and humid heat on the Shoe Lane campus in those years, especially in summer classes?
Glued inside each 1965 CNC yearbook, the Trident, was a copy of this color photo of Christopher Newport Hall--the only picture thus far located showing all of the original Newport Hall.
Notice in the above photograph of CNC's first building, Christopher Newport Hall, that the two separate one-story units on the front had some tall, very narrow louvered windows which opened outward. When cranked straight out, these provided some small relief from the heat, especially on breezy days, for those using the first campus library (left) and/or the lecture hall (right).
Less fortunate were the people using the offices and classrooms in the two-story unit of Newport Hall. The only windows that opened there were the small rectangular transoms below the fixed windows visible in the above Trident photo. Located in all the offices and classrooms, these transoms were essentially useless, because they opened only a few inches. Even worse, there were no shades, blinds, or curtains on most windows to block the sun's heat.
The one area on Newport's first floor that was air conditioned from the beginning was the Computer Center, because, unlike humans, the computers could not tolerate any humidity at all. On extremely hot days, especially during summer sessions, Professor Graham Pillow had more visitors than usual in that Computer Center because some faculty and staff, including me, would create excuses for stopping by there to cool off for a while. The photo on the right, from the 1969Trident, shows Graham Pillow working at a now obsolete machine in his Center.
Hotter than the first floor was, of course, the second floor, which housed faculty offices and classrooms. I don't think classes were ever cancelled there, however, even in extreme heat. During one summer class meeting, English Professor Barry Wood placed a thermometer on a patch of shade on his classroom floor, and it quickly read over 100 degrees!
The above picture of Barry Wood (left) is from the 1969 Trident; that of Steve Sanderlin (right) is from the 1972 Trident.
In his essay "Remembering the English Department's First Decade," Professor Steve Sanderlin wrote: "Teaching under such conditions was a real challenge! Dress rules suddenly changed: in summer sessions, students (but not faculty) could wear Bermuda shorts. Cold beverages, previously forbidden, were allowed in the classrooms. Huge, heavy roll-around fans were brought in, but these only blew the hot air around and made so much noise that one had to scream loudly to be heard. For the first time in my career, I taught without a coat and tie. Some of us longed to be back in the old Daniel building!" (Memories of Christopher Newport College, p. 42). Built in 1914, the Daniel building, although not air conditioned, had excellent ventilation because of its very high ceilings and tall windows that opened wide.
Like Newport Hall, Gosnold Hall (1966 Trident photo above), completed in September of 1965, also had no air conditioning--plus the same style windows as Newport. In his Memories book essay "Marine Biologist Finds CNC His Perfect Port," Professor Ron Mollick (1971 Trident photo left), a San Diego native who joined CNC's Biology Department in the fall of 1968, wrote that initially he thought that his office in Gosnold was "uncomfortably hot" because of "malfunctioning air conditioning equipment," but , he added: "I soon learned that most buildings on campus were not air-conditioned! I immediately purchased a great big box fan that I placed at my door. It blew a gale and required that I weigh down every paper on my desk" (p. 57).
President Cunningham and Registrar Jane Pillow at the reception and mailboxes area inside the newly opened Smith Hall in 1967. Daily Press photo.
Ratcliffe Gymnasium and the combined Captain John Smith Library and Smith Hall Administration Building opened in the fall of 1967. Both had central air conditioning. The hotter the weather, the more time students and faculty spent in those buildings, of course. And faculty also often lingered longer than necessary in Smith Hall, reading their mail posted in the reception area and socializing with colleagues in various offices.
Finally, in 1968, funding was allocated for the much-needed air conditioning of both Newport Hall and Gosnold Hall. Dr. Sanderlin recalled in his Memories book essay that the installing of the central air conditioning system in Newport was "not without some mishaps .... One day as I was walking down the hall on the second floor, I heard a loud noise and anguished cries. The maintenance man installing equipment in the attic had fallen through the ceiling and landed on a student sitting in a classroom! Fortunately, no one was badly hurt. But this incident and others were not uncommon for a while" (p. 43). Accidents aside, what a relief it was for all when we were able to retire our electric fans.
The choice was clear. In an age of segregated schools,
I would integrate every school I attended from tenth grade on.
This was my means of protest. I could never let it be said that no
black person had attended or would ever attend this school or that school
....I had no fear of being the "only" one.
Michael S. Engs (Ed.D)
in "Christopher Newport College 1965:
A Sanctuary from the Draft," p. 197.
As a son of college-educated parents, his father a military officer and his mother a teacher, in the 1950s Michael S. Engs attended racially integrated schools on military bases. Not until his father retired and his family settled in Newport News, Virginia, in the early sixties did he experience school segregation, beginning his high school studies at then all-black George Washington Carver High School. After he finished the ninth grade there, his parents sent him to Walsingham Academy, a private Catholic school in Williamsburg, so that he would be better prepared for college. He was the first African American to attend Walsingham, where his dreams of attending college were encouraged, and where he made the vow quoted above.
Michael Engs as a CNC freshman. 1966 Trident, p.64.
Michael next became the first black student at Christopher Newport College. He completed his freshman and sophomore studies at CNC in 1965-67, when the young college was a two-year branch of The College of William and Mary (W&M). In his above-mentioned essay in Memories of Christopher Newport College: The First Decade (2008), he recalled with fondness his two years there: "What struck me...was the ease with which [CNC] accepted people of color....There were no 'special programs' or assumptions that deficiencies in a student's educational background might exist. No suggestion that race was the basis for your being accepted. What Christopher Newport offered was a level playing field, a place where I could succeed or fail on my own merits" (pp. 197-198).
After his success at CNC of W&M, in the fall of 1967 Michael enrolled as a junior at W&M itself, in Williamsburg, where he completed his four-year degree in English in 1969. He is now featured in Building on the Legacy: African Americans at William & Mary, An Illustrated History of 50 Years and Beyond (Donning Publishers, October 2019), written by Jacquelyn Y. McLendon (Ph.D), Emerita Professor of English and Africana Studies at William and Mary. In a July 15, 2020 email to me, Dr. McLendon wrote that Michael "was one of the first group" of black students and "one of the first two black undergraduates to receive a degree."
The photo above shows pages 40 and 41 of Building on the Legacy, with the cover of Memories of Christopher Newport on page 40. On that cover, middle right side, next to the head of Captain Christopher Newport is the CNC freshman portrait of Michael Engs shown at the beginning of this article. Dr. McLendon wrote to me that in her historic book "the discussion of Michael Eng's time at W&M begins on page 41 and continues to 43" and that "according to the index, his name appears on pages 39 - 43" (July 15, 2020).
In 2017, I became aware that the first book about blacks at William and Mary was being written, and that Michael would be included in it. I was contacted then by Dr. McLendon, who had been directed to me and to the Memories book by Michael, with whom she had been corresponding while researching material for her book. I was told then that the book would include the 1966 CNC yearbook photograph of Michael, quotations from his essay in Memories, and other information provided to Dr. McLendon through her correspondence with him and with me. I pointed to additional essays in our book that included material about Michael, such as Barry Wood's discussion of Michael as a student (pp. 243-244) and Kim Lassiter's memory of him as a classmate (178-179). I've not yet had a chance to read Building on the Legacy, however, which has had positive reviews. A hardback, with numerous photographs in color as well as in black and white, it costs $46.95 and is currently available only at W&M's bookstore. I will request that CNU buy several copies of it to be housed in Trible Library and Klich Alumni House.
Professor Emerita Dr. Jacquelyn Y. McLendon earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in English at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. She was Assistant Professor at Hofstra University, and then at Amherst College, before joining the faculty at William and Mary, where she served as Academic Coordinator for the 50-Year Celebration of African Americans in residence at W&M and as Professor of English for 28 years. She is also Director Emerita of Black Studies at W&M, has publishedscholarly books and articles on African American writers, focusing onwomen and the Harlem Renaissance, and has edited American and African American literature anthologies. She is currently a freelance writer in Hampton, VA.
Photo of Dr. Jacquelyn Y. McLendon courtesy of W&M.
Dr. Michael S. Engs was in ROTC at W&M and afterwards served 3 years in the U.S. Army. Then he moved to Arizona, where he earned an M.A. in Counseling & Guidance at the University of Arizona and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University. He had a 33-year career as an administrator and faculty member in the Pima County Community College District in Tucson, AZ. After retiring in 2007, he then worked as an educational consultant and also taught graduate-level courses at Northern Arizona University-Tucson and undergraduate-level courses at Pima College.
Excerpts by Heather Millar and sisters on pages 200-201 *
"The memories are still vivid."
My sisters and I have fond memories of growing up on the Christopher Newport campus, a place we came to know and love as our second home. It was such a treat for us to visit campus and surprise [Dad] during one of his classes. As my sister Ginger said, "I can still see him now standing at the front of his classroom. I would wait patiently for him to notice me through the little window on the door. As soon as he saw me, he would get that little sparkle in his eye and then bring me into the classroom to introduce me as he would stand there beaming." He always loved showing us off to his students.
We would wait in his office until he finished class, which really meant we could rummage through all of his funny E.T. memorabilia and Dallas Cowboys paraphernalia, talk to his colleagues in the offices next to his, and look at all the funny gifts his students left him. Visiting with Dad in the summers was another special treat. He would let us play in the classrooms, write on the chalkboard, pretend we were students and sit in the desks, type on his typewriter, and run up and down the halls....
Several times, my sisters and I would try to clean and help organize his office, but to no avail. Dad said he "couldn't find anything for days" when one of us tried to help. I'm not quite sure how each office he occupied through the decades he taught always ended up in a chaotic mess, but he always managed to get it "just the way he liked it."
*"Remembering Dad: Dr. Albert E. Millar Jr.," by Heather Millar with Valerie Butcher and Ginger Dupuis, in Memories of Christopher Newport College: The First Decade, by A. Jane Chambers, Rita C. Hubbard, & Lawrence B. Wood, Jr. (Hallmark, 2008). To order book: Send check for $20 made out to Jane Chambers to: Dr. Jane Chambers, 15267 Candy Island Lane, Carrollton, VA 23314. Money (minus mailing cost) is donated to the First Decaders' Treasury.
GOODBYE (Good bye, Good-bye, Good by) was originally (late 14th- early 15th c.) an English blessing spoken to someone who was leaving: "God be with ye" ("ye" meaning "you"). By the 16th century this short blessing had become a contraction with variations like God be wy you, God b'uy, God buy. Influenced by greetings like good morning and good evening, it eventually became goodbye. The even shorter form, bye, began in the early 1800s.
BLAST FROM THE PAST
This new category in our Newsletter will feature a "Top 30" song list from the first or second CNC decade along with a random photo or two taken on campus during that time period. Hope it brings back some good memories! Note that your webmaster was a member of the group "Royale 7" which was number 21 on this chart!
Published July 31, 2020
Dr. Jane Chambers, Editor and Head Writer
Ron Lowder Sr., Webmaster
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