1. NEWS FLASH: Farewell Gosnold Hall, Second Original CNC Building.
2. Seldom Known Facts about Our Pledge of Allegiance, Part 1.
3. Remembering Nancy Ann Ramseur: Colleague and Friend.
4. NEW Feedback
5.NEW Humor:Grandma's Birth Control Pills.
6. NEW Cartoons: Houseflies.
Note: Seldom Known Facts about Our Pledge of Allegiance, Part 2, will be posted July 26.
Don't follow the path. Go where there is no path and begin the trail. When you start a new trail equipped with coiurage, strength and conviction, the only thing that can stop you is you!!
Civil rights pioneer
Why do we tell actors to break a leg?
Answer shown at the bottom of this page
Farewell, Gosnold Hall,
Second Original CNC Building
by A. Jane Chambers
Photos and Mollick family details
courtesy of Beth Shepherd Mollick
Retired Christopher Newport couple Beth and Ron Mollick were very surprised Monday, July 8, to discover two-story Gosnold Hall under demolition. After working out at CNU's fitness center, the couple were cooling down by walking the campus when they stumbled upon the scene. Since the truck entry was open, they walked on in and Beth took these three pictures. Workers would not allow them to go inside the building, however, because of asbestos risk.
The photo above shows Dr. Mollick, surrounded by debris, peering into his former office in Gosnold. His long career in Christopher Newport's biology department began here in the fall of 1968. Gosnold had a major role in the lives of both Ron and Beth, for in the second year of his teaching, 1969, young instructor Ron taught biology to a class of Riverside School of Professional Nursing students that included an A student named Beth Shepherd, who would later become his wife.
As Beth photographed the beginning of the end of Gosnold, her mind was filled with memories not only of meeting her future husband there, but also of hours spent taking additional courses required for her nursing degree: chemistry, microbiology, and anatomy and physiology--all taught by professors other than Ron. She and Ron were married in 1972, after she completed her RN degree. After earning further degrees, Beth moved from Riverside nurse to Riverside faculty, while Ron, after finishing his PhD at N.C. State, rose up the ranks at CNC, then CNU, from instructor to full professor. He retired in 2011; she in 2013.
Built in 1965-66 and opened for classes in September 1966, Gosnold was the second building on what was then called the Shoe Lane Campus (The first building, Newport Hall, later renamed McMurran, opened in September 1964). The above photo of Gosnold is from the inside of the covers of the 1966 Trident yearbook--the only picture I have found thus far of the total structure. The two separate one-story units in front were razed about 2010, when construction began on Forbes Hall, CNU's latest science building, located immediately in front of Gosnold.
Gosnold Hall was the science building at CNC until replaced in 1984 with the unnamed "new Science Building" behind Newport Hall. From that point onward, Gosnold continued to serve the college off and on in ways many and varied--for example, providing temporary classrooms and offices for faculty and staff and being used as storage space. At one point in the early 2000s, the food and beverage cafe Einstein's was even located there.
Did Gosnold Hall once have a central role in your life? Are you sad to see the two-story building that held classrooms, labs, and offices demolished?
The above photo appeared in the New York Tribune in 1915. The location was America. Note the 15-starred American flag hanging on the left. Note also the American flag on the right, which the children are saluting. Then read further to learn more facts about our Pledge of Allegiance than most Americans know.
The Balch Pledge and the Bellamy Pledge
For over 30 years, two different Flag Pledges were observed simultaneously in America: The Balch pledge (created 1887) and the Bellamy pledge ( created 1892, with later modifications).
The BALCH pledge was written by a Civil War Union Army veteran, Captain George T. Balch. Serving in his last years as auditor of the New York Board of Education, Balch worked with both the federal government and private organizations to distribute flags to every American school, and in 1887 he wrote the following short pledge meant to promote patriotism by teaching children, particularly immigrant children, loyalty to the United States:
"We give our heads and hearts to God and our country; one country, one language, one flag!"
This pledge was received with enthusiasm by numerous public schools-- plus the Daughters of the American Revolution and a Union military veterans organization called the Grand Army of the Republic.
For five years (1887 - 1892) the pledge composed by George T. Balch (photo left above) was the only Pledge of Allegiance used in the U.S. A. Among its critics was Francis Bellamy (photo right above), a Baptist minister and Christian socialist who found Balch's pledge "too juvenile and lacking in dignity."
Having resigned from his Boston church, where his socialist views of Christianity were not always appreciated, in 1892 Bellamy was working for a popular children's magazine, The Youth's Companion, which was planning to participate in a National Public-School Celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. The magazine's marketer, James B. Upham, wanted the magazine to instill in student readers the idea of American nationalism and to encourage them to raise flags above their schools. Some critics believe Upham's motive was more commercial (to sell flags) than it was patriotic.
Upham had Bellamy write a pledge for the occasion, which read:
" I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
As a socialist, Bellamy considered using the words equality and fraternity in his pledge (echoing the French Revolution) but did not do so because he knew school superintendents were against equality for women and African Americans. He also was a firm believer in separation of church and state; therefore, unlike Balch, he did not include mention of God in his pledge. Upham and Bellamy got the National Education Association to support the Youth's Companion as major sponsor of the Columbus Day celebration and also convinced Congress and President Benjamin Harrison to make the public school flag ceremony the center of the celebration. Bellamy's Pledge of Allegiance was first used, nationwide, in public schools on October 12, 1892, during Columbus Day observances.
The Balch Salute and the Bellamy Salute
The Balch Salute that accompanied the Balch pledge instructed students to stand first with right hands outstretched toward the flag, then to move those hands to their foreheads in a military style salute, and next to move their right hands to their hearts. And at the end of the recitation, they were to drop their right hands to their sides. The picture above, dated as 1899, is the best one I've been able to locate on the internet of children reciting this pledge. Apparently they were speaking the last words of the pledge, because their right hands are placed at an angle over their hearts. Notice the teacher with her back to the wall, guiding them.
The above photograph shows students in 1941 reciting the Bellamy pledge while giving the salute created in 1892 by Francis Bellamy. The 1915 photo at the top of this article also recorded that salute. Bellamy's pledge was printed on September 8, 1892, in The Youth's Companion, as part of the "Official Programme" of the National Columbian Public School Celebration of Columbus Day, with the following instructions concerning how to salute the flag:
"At a signal from the Principal, the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the Flag the military salute—right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it. Standing thus, all repeat [the Pledge] together, slowly. At the words, ‘to my Flag,’ the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, towards the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation; whereupon all hands immediately drop to the side.”
As can be seen in the many photographs on the internet of students reciting this pledge, the "palm upward" instruction was seldom followed. Students almost always began and ended their recitation with their right hands outstretched towards the flag palm down. Because of the similarity between the Bellamy salute and the Nazi salute adopted later in Germany, our Congress ruled on 1942 that the Bellamy salute be removed and replaced with the hand over heart salute during the Pledge of Allegiance.
On Tuesday afternoon, July 2, 1974, after teaching a Summer Session class, as I was walking toward Smith Hall to pick up my campus mail and socialize a bit before driving home, I saw Dr. Marshall Booker, Dean of Faculty, leaving Smith as I approached it. I called out a cheerful “Hi, Marshall!” He stopped, looked at me somewhat strangely, then stammered, “Have you…You don’t know, do you?” “Know what?” I asked. He seemed on the verge of tears. “I can’t tell you…I just can’t” he said, shaking his head and walking away quickly.
“Does anybody know what’s wrong with Marshall Booker?” I asked as I entered the familiar Admissions and Registration Office. Before I could say more, Registrar Jane Pillow pulled me into her office and closed the door. It was obvious to everyone that I had not yet checked my mailbox, which held this 3:00 P.M. Memorandum from President James C. Windsor:
We have received notification through the American Embassy in England that Miss Nancy Ramseur, Dean of Admissions, has been killed in an automobile accident. The College, and each of us personally, have suffered a great loss. All offices of the College will be closed for the remainder of the day.
Nancy Ramseur as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid. 1970 Trident photo, p. 15.
When H. Westcott (Scotty) Cunningham, Dean of Admissions at William and Mary, accepted the challenge to launch and successfully pilot Christopher Newport College of The College of William and Mary, the first person he hired to assist him was William and Mary Registrar Nancy Ann Ramseur. Both alumni of W&M, the two already had an excellent working relationship, and they began working together on the CNC project well before the new school was to open—among other things, writing and publishing the first CNC Catalogue.
Nancy held a number of first titles during her thirteen years at CNC: first administrator hired, first registrar, first coordinator of admissions and financial aid, and then, in 1970, first dean of admissions—the first woman to serve as a dean at CNC. As the College grew, so did her duties, and she fulfilled them exceptionally well. She seldom took a day off and if she had unfinished work to do, she would take it home with her to finish it there. Sadly, she was also the first in our CNC faculty-staff family to die, and to die young, suddenly and, ironically, during a very happy time in her life.
Nancy was one of the first people I met when I joined CNC’s English faculty and also the first member of the CNC faculty-staff family to become one of my closest friends. We enjoyed many activities together, such as almost monthly Charades parties with Jane and Graham Pillow and others, occasional movies in downtown Newport News, yearly camping trips at Big Meadows, and of course plays and various other events at the College. Music was one of Nancy’s great loves. In Williamsburg, she had been a member of the Bruton Parish Choir. In Newport News, she joined the Peninsula Choral Society. She also sang in the choir at her church in Hilton Village, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.
She had a dry wit inherited from her British mother. Once a group of us were playing the card game Rummy Royal, the object of which is to “go out” (and thus win the pot of pennies) by playing (discarding) all of one’s cards. Nancy, unlucky all evening, was finally dealt a hand so very bad that she could not play a single card, while everyone else was close to “going out.” Relatively quiet up to that point, she said, in a matter-of-fact tone, “Well, here I sit…mildewing.”
Nancy Ramseur and Jane Pillow in the Admissions and Registration Office in then-new Smith Hall in 1967. Reprinted from Memories of Christopher Newport College: The First Decade, p. 148. Photo from the Pillow family collection.
Nancy Ramseur and Barry Wood socializing in the first floor hall of Christopher Newport Hall in the first year of its existence, 1965-66. Then the only building on the Shoe Lane campus, Newport Hall housed the Admissions and Registration Office on the first floor. 1966 Trident photo, p. 16.
At her work, Nancy was highly regarded for her professionalism. A somewhat private person herself, she also highly respected the privacy of all others. One example in particular stands out in my memory. Once a young male student left CNC for a few years, to begin undergoing procedures to change his sex. The student then returned to CNC, with a new name and new sexual identity, to complete the necessary degree requirements. To keep the academic credits earned earlier, under his male name, this student had to tell a few key people, including Nancy Ramseur, the facts. At that time, sex change operations were a subject of ridicule if not hatred, much more so than today. So carefully did Nancy guard this student’s secret that several years passed before she told me about this student’s situation and the fact that once she had to go downtown to the police station to intervene when the student had been arrested for using a women’s restroom. She did not tell me the student’s name, nor did I ask her for it.
CNC’s first Campus Center, completed in 1973, included the Gaines Theatre, which quickly became a major location for many cultural events on the Peninsula. Appropriately, after Nancy’s death, with the help of CNC professors Barry Wood and Rita Hubbard, the College initiated an annual concert series to be housed there and named it the Nancy Ramseur Memorial Concert (later, Artists-in-Concert ) Series. This series was announced by CNC President James C. Windsor during his Remarks at the Memorial Service for Dean Nancy Ramseur, held on July 8, 1974, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. The series ran successfully for 28 years, but ended in 2002 because of budget cuts at CNU.
I was too grief-stricken to hear anything said at the Memorial Service for Nancy, but fortunately, Jim Windsor’s speech has been saved, including these remarks:
She was compassionate, but candid; gentle, yet strong. Nancy felt deeply for others, and would not tolerate unfairness or thoughtlessness. She was a person of great integrity, who merited and received the respect and admiration of her colleagues and those she served. Each of us is poorer because of the great loss which we share, but each of us is infinitely richer because we have had the privilege of knowing her.
Published June 20, 2014
Republished June 28, 2019
Re:Pledge of Allegiance article,Part 1
FROMChristine Fisher Abbott: What an interesting, and unsettling article. I have been a teacher for over 40 years and have a minor in history. Sadly I never learned about the earlier pledge until this article. There are many times in your life when you realize how little you really know. This was one of those times. Thank you so much for sharing, and allowing me the opportunity to learn something new.
FROM Fran Newman: I drove that bus in 1968-69 back and forth to CNU. It had 5 gears and could hardly get up the hill on J. Clyde Blvd. when we went to Deer Park for a picnic! I also drove the white long one. Aah....the memories! Class of 1971.
Editor: Fran's bus driving memories are immortalized in a 2016 article titled Driving the Two Riverside Hospital Buses in 1968-69, located in the tab First Decade Historyon our CNC website (www.cncdecaders.com).
FROMDenise Roxann Machamer: The Green Bomb! I ended up walking over to CNC (CNU) instead in 1971-72 because of the nurses' required dress code. While the rest of the females wore mini skirts or cut offs and sandals, we wore knee length dresses or dress slacks. So getting off our noticeable bus was extra embarrassing. Graduated Riverside class of 74. Thank you for all your wonderful work.
FROMDonna James:Rode that bus when labs were downtown. Graduated Riverside class of 1967.
FROMJayma Valentine: That bus brings on demented memories!!! 1969, 1970, 1971 and 19
Re: Nancy Ramseur article
FROMVera England: Jane, thank you so very much for the article on Nancy Ramseur. I admired her and was deeply shocked by her death. And have thought of her often, especially when driving/riding in England. I appreciate your words and am sorry for your loss.... I know you feel it even so much later.
FROM Charlie Snead: Dean Ramseur was a lynchpin in the strange saga of my AB, MEd and 40 years career in public education. In late spring of 1966, I had very little confidence in my academic potential but needed to transfer to a four year degree program. My highly admired psychology professor and Dean of Students James Windsor was counseling me on my options. When he suggested W&M I lowered my head and said that although my smart girlfriend went there ... He gently interrupted and said “You earned a B in my class and could certainly be successful at W&M.” He pulled a catalog from his bookcase and thumbed to the admissions section, where he noted that late admissions was ending the next day. He then whirled around and dialed the W&M admissions office and then Nancy Ramseur's office.
After he explained my situation, Nancy said “Send him right over to my office and I’ll have transcripts and a note for him to take to Williamsburg right now.”
Nancy, James Windsor, and yes, you, Jane Chambers, are among God’s angels who looked over his many children and even me! Thank you.
Editor: I don't recall any former student calling me an angel before, Charlie. Thank you!
A doctor who had been seeing an 80 year old woman for most of her life finally retired. At her next check-up, the new young doctor told her to bring a list of all the medicines that had been prescribed for her. Looking through these, his eyes grew as he realized Grandma had a prescription for birth control pills. "Mrs. Smith, do you realize these are birth control pills?”
"Yes, they help me sleep at night.”
"Mrs. Smith, I assure you there is absolutely nothing in these that could possibly help you sleep!”
She reached out, patted the young doctor's knee and said, "Yes, dear, I know that. But every morning, I grind one up and mix it in the glass of orange juice that my 16-year-old granddaughter drinks. And believe me, it definitely helps me sleep at night.”
You gotta love Grandmas!
Thanks to Danny Peters (BS, 71) for this one.
Published July 12, 2019
Published June 28, 2019
SILLY DILLY ANSWER
ANSWER: Because every play has a cast.
Dr. Jane Chambers, Editor and Head Writer
Ron Lowder Sr., Webmaster
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