North Carolina Newspapers

    /3‘^
THE BENI^TT BANNER
"‘Believing that an informed campus is a Key to Democracy’ ’
f^RCHlVES
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28, 1972
BENNETT COLLEGE, GREENSBORO, N. C.
VOL. XXXVI, NO. 2
THIS IS BENNETT
■ B
HISTORY OF BENNETT COLLEGE
PRIOR TO 1926
PART 2
The original aim of tiie
school was to educate teach
ers. Bennett soug-bt only those
who had already obtained the
rudiments and who could read
the Third Reader at the time
of entrance.
During the first commen
cement exercises held on May
19-20, 1875, the public was
able to witness first-hand the
accomplishments of the stu
dents who were most serious
about this opportunity to grain
an education. During the ex
ercises which were held at
the Church, students partici
pated in selected readings, re
citations, dialogues, and
songs.
Even though whites public
ly admitted their approval of
the institution, little or no
aid was given to the develop-
' ment of Bennett. The blacks
of the area siupported the
seminary with encourage
ment and what money could
be raised. A “collection for
land” in May of 1875 from
the blacks of the Methodist
Church netted $105. A Society
agent made the following re
port:
This amoimt was made up
of sniall contributions, the
Sabbath - school children
bringing their pennies, which
at the suggestion of their
parents and pastor, they have
been saving for this purpose.
One little fellow, who had
received a Sabbath-scbool
prize of a dollar, brought it
and placed it on the altar.
The next principal was
Rev. Edward O. Thayer, a
graduate of Wesleyan Uni
versity in Middleton, Conn.
He arrived in Greensboro on
his 23rd birthday right after
his college graduation in 1875.
Upon his arrival on Decem
ber 4, he described the col
lege thus:
“The seminary was a day
school, held in the unfinished
basement of Warnersville
Church. I taught with the
help of one colored assistant,
classes from the first reader
to theology. The only prop
erty was twenty acres in the
outskirts of Greensboro.”
During Rev. Thayer’s five
and one-half years, seven
acres of land were added to
the property. A $10,000 gift
from Lyman Bennett made
possible the construction of
the first building which was
completed in 1878.
The trademark of the col
lege, the bell, was acquired
in 1878, as a gift made pos
sible by Lyman Bennett and
his contacts in Troy, N. Y.
The 250 pound bronze bell
bears the inscription: ‘Ben
nett Seminary. From Friends
in Troy, N. Y. ‘To proclaim
liberty to the captives, and
the opening of the prison to
them that are boimd.’ Isiah
LXI:1.”
In the same year an organ
and a collection of several
hundred books were housed
in the new building.
Financial support was ren
dered by other citizens of
North Carolina. The North
Carolina Conference gave
some money for the erection
of the first building. How
ever, the total collections to
the Freedmen’s Aid Society
in 1878 amounted to only
eighteen dollars. Substantial
amounts were received each
year from student fees: June,
1876, $74.45 in rent and tui
tion; May 1877, $133,17 in
tuitioq and donations; 1879,
$201 in tuition; and 1980,
$183.50 in tuition. In order to
be indei»endent and self-sup
porting, the seminary tried
to collect as much as possible
through tuition. Due to the
competition of rival schools
in the area, Bennett was not
able to demand complete fees,
about $25.00 a year from aU
the students. At the same
time the Freedman’s Aid So
ciety realized that few stu
dents could save enough from
their wages to pay the entire
costs of education.
Bennett Seminary sought to
train ministers and teachers
for effective work among
their own race. Thayer re
ported that all students were
not coming with these ideas
in mind. He mentioned that
some came only because their
parents sent them, or because
of the respectability gained
from an education.
Thayer’s first faculty con
sisted of himself and one as
sistant; however, by 1878 the
faculty was enlarged and
Thayer, himself, received his
Master of Arts degree from
Wesleyan University.
Bennett Affair
Well Received
The Bennett Chapel rocked
with “pure down home soul”
as the Bennett College Music
Department paid tribute to
Mabalia Jackson in a two-
hour presentation of black
gospel music rendered by
members of the college com
munity, North Carolina A&T
State University, and the gen
eral community, on October
15.
Narrated by Bennett’s own.
Miss Black North Carolina,
Sylvia Freeman, the program
consisted of various forms of
black expression with stress
on black gospels. Miss Free
man ’73 cited excerpts from
Mahalia Jack§on: A Portrait.
Later during the -course of
the show she rendered a se
lection, “Precious Lord,”
which was well-received by
the largely-attended event.
The spirit of enjoyment be
gan with a rocking edition of
“Give Me a Clean Heart” by
the A. & T. Gospel Choir.
The group succeeded in
livening up the at first silent
audience.
Dance interpretations were
presented by Kristen Dennard
’76 and Lucia Davis ’75.
Lucia’s presentation was ac
companied by a beautiful solo
by Bonita Chavis ’75.
Other participants were
M'rs. .Thelma Spruill Robin
son whose rendition of “Never
Grow Old” effected both
young and older members of
the audience. Soloist Robert
Taylor, who was accompanied
by Mrs. Yvonne C. Johnson
and Jacqueline Hemphill,
sung several popular black
spirituals. Three members of
the Morton Temple Holiness
Pictured above are the principles of the recently held An
nual Greensboro Alumnae Dinner-Dance which netted over
$1200 for the college scholarsbip fund. ShQwn here are Dr. and
Mrs. Isaac H. Miller, Mr. and Mfs. Zack A. Bi owning, and Miss
Gwendolyn Sneed and Oscar Lane. Mrs. Browning serves as the
Director of Alumnae Affairs and Miss Sneed, an instructor of
Clothing, is the president of the Greensboro Chapter.
Church also offered two selec
tions.
Members of the Delta Sigma
Theta Sorority and the pledg
ees of Alpha Kappa Alpha
Sorority sang selections. Miss
Freeman represented the
Swing Phi Swing Social Fel
lowship, along with Effie
Jones.
The program ended with
several new selections by the
Bennett College Gospel Choir
under the directorship of
Loyce Harper ’73. Clad in
African costumes, the choir
ended the evening with a
really emotional piece. The
lead singing was done by
Johanna Lee ’74 who left the
audience clapping and stomp
ing their feet to the beat.
Entertainment
The Co-Curricula office has
suggested that classes and
dormitories begin to plan so
cial activities for themselves
and the campus, instead of
leaving all the planning to
the office.
A few suggestions are: par
ties, and dances; dormitory
open house and Sunday after
noon teas; and social hours or
dinner parties. A different
dorm or class could plan
something each week. So far
Barge Hall has planned a
dance for Nov. 4th. For more
information contact Mrs.
Necia Boyers, director of Co
curricula activities.
2ND ANNUAL CAREER DAY HELD
On September 26, the
Placement Office sponsored
Career Day which featured
representatives from business
firms, graduate schools and
various professions. Those
who attended included: Uni
versity of N. C. Chapel Hill
School of Medicine; Greens
boro National Bank; Greens
boro Public Schools; Greens
boro Daily News; N. C.
Mutual Insurance Co.; Sears
Roebuck and Co.; Board of
Education, Burlington City
Schools; Wachovia Bank &
Trust; North Carolina Na
tional Bank; North Carolina
Central University; Western
Electric: Internal Revenue
Service-Greensboro; U. S.
Dept, of HUD; Burlington In
dustries; Eastman Kodak; Re
search Triangle; Employment
Security Commission; and the
Civil Service Commission.
Alumnae consultants were:
Susan Tropez White, Darwin
Prioleau, ’71, Sylvia Potts,
M>ary Barber, '71, Maxine
O’Kelly, Connie Shaw, ’72,
Janice Gwyn, ’71, Betty
Jones, ’71, and Geraldine Wil
liams, ’72.
The keynote speaker was
Miss Betty Jones, Assistant
to Public Relations Greens
boro Board of Education,
Public School System. She
cited statistics on changes in
education and ways of adapt
ing to varying conditions and
steps to getting where you
want to be.
Co-operative Education, a
tool for career development,
was explained to recruiters
and students. Co-op students
cited their previous work ex
perience. Participants were:
Carolyn Floyd who worked
at Langley Research Center
Library of NASA and Evelyn
Cohens who worked with
O.E.O. as a staff assistant.
Evelyn summed up her ex
perience by saying, “I did
learn to solve problems, even
to cry a little. I learned who
I am and what I am.”
Maxine Haith O’Kelley class
of ’49 presented a stimulat
ing account of her three ca
reers. She received a degree
in Biology at Bennett, a M.A.
in Public Health Education
in 1950. She taught in the
Winston-Salem school system
for three years before work
ing for Carolina Biology
Supply Company in the field
of Parasitology and human
biology. After seven years
she returned to teach courses
in guidance at UNC-G. Pres
ently Mrs. O’Kelley is coun
seling in the Burlington City
Schools.
ATTENTION
ALL SENIORS!!!!!!
The time has come to
purchase your class rings,
so be on the look out for
samples in the Bennett
College Bookstore. Get
your MONEY together al
so!!!!!
Senior Class
Ring Committee
    

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