VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 7 POSTED ON: 12/31/2011
Jones notes on Memphis State College The Red Horse Again - Jones was elected formally as President in October of ’39 following Brister’s death - The Civilian Pilot training program began in the fall of ’39; Professor Charles E. Lane of the physics department was in charge of the Civilian Pilot Training program (266) - Much public interest in seeing the curriculum expanded enough to get the school made into a 4 year public institution - UTK was far enough from Memphis that many Memphians could not afford to send their children there - “Many people were outspoken in their demands for a West Tennessee institution equal in all respects to the University of Tennessee.” (The CA, October 11, 1939, paraphrased on 267) - President of UTK asked presidents of all state Universities to meet with him in Nashville to discuss a plan to have them all unified into one system; Jones says presumably the UT system - Jones and the president of Austin Peay both were uninterested in that plan and it was not discussed further - 400 students attended a rally in the spring of 41 to support changing the name to Memphis State College (he phrases the it as ‘to eliminate teachers from the title’), petition was made to the governor which was granted - $10,000 in the appropriation for that year was devoted to ‘national defense’; the money was used to construct the NYA workshop on campus - Classes offered in the NYA workshop were vocational training to prepare people to contribute to the local defense industry efforts - Efforts of the college turned towards national defense in earnest after the attack on Pearl Harbor, many students left the school to participate in war work - Jones announced that reductions in enrollment necessitated a decrease in the budget and consequently he laid off 4 teachers, including the head of the English department, a history professor and two other teachers - 300 students staged a protest about the firing of the English and History professors; they signed a petition that they then sent to the Governor asking for the two to be re-installed - Some faculty members charged in the local news that the College was being dominated by local politics and that was the reason for the firings - May 1942, the College was given approval to establish a Naval training V-I course - Last edition of Tiger Rag printed May 28, 1942 for the war years; copy was posted to bulletin boards for the rest of the War because the school could not afford to print it - Army began a liason training program in the fall of 1942; turned out 22 new trainees every four weeks - Naval air program was training Ferry Command pilots - Many students worked in defense industry after school hours; some worked as many as 56 hours per week - Students worked at Fisher Aircraft, Army General Depot, National Defense Training School, Chickasaw Ordinance Plant and others. - Civilian Pilot Training participants lived in Mynders Hall in ’42; they were originally just living on the 3rd floor so they built a staircase over the porch so they could get to their rooms without bothering the co-eds who lived on the first and second floors - December ‘42, SACS charged that Jones had dismissed the two professors the previous spring in violation of established principles of tenure and the school’s SACS accreditation was suspended - February ’43, 400 aviation cadets were sent to the school; the rest of the girls were moved out of Mynders into Scates; cadets took over all of Mynders; the remaining men who were not enlisted were moved into the 3rd floor of the administration building and the gym; Phi Lambda Delta gave its meeting space to the undergraduate men left on campus for socializing space - The dining hall was used only by the cadets and the students cafeteria facilities were set up in the NYA workshop - Flora Rawls became the principal of the Training School as of May ‘43 - Contributions to the war effort: o The 43rd detachment of the Army Air Forces College Training Program (Air Crew) stationed on the campus o The College participated in the flight training program of the Civilian Aeronautics Administration from its beginning in 1939 o Classes in Engineering, Science and Management War training sponsored by the federal government were taught on campus o College participated in the reserve program of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Corps o Classes in civilian defense and first aid training for hundreds of West TN citizens. - Army Air Force removed its training detachment in July 1943; removal ‘might have been brought about by a lack of co-operation on the part of the College’. - Jones took responsibility for the problems with the Army and resigned 9 days after the detachment severed their relationship with the College - 990 students in ’42/’43 school year; smallest enrollments since the 3rd year of the school’s existence Probation - Sanders assumed the temporary presidency of the University in August of ’43 after Jones resigned - Sanders grew up in Indiana and was a history professor before coming to the College as President - He had no administrative experience and no political entanglements in Memphis when he came to be the President of the college - Sanders major objectives were to regain the school’s SACCS accreditation and attempt to restore their relationships with various branches of the military so they could begin being a training program again - He also established a faculty administrative committee composed of the heads of departments and divisions and officers of administration with the Pres of the College as chair - Robison was appointed as the Registrar, Lamar Newport of the science department became the new Bursar and so the Dean was relieved of his excess duties - Prof. Newport offered a course in aviation science that summer; school was interested in establishing a permanent aviation ground school program - Newport was coordinator for the ground school and the Civilian Pilot Training Program - May ’44; Memphis State College became a part of the Tennessee College Association - ’43 and ’44 enrollment was an all time low of 560 students - School began offering night classes for the first time in the fall of ‘44 - Late ’44, the school was accredited by the American Council on Education - Enrollments went back up for the ’44-’45 school year - There was no college football team from the fall of ’42 through the spring of ‘46 - Group of students who had been attending a dance in February of ’46 marched to President’s house and demanded that Sanders explain what he would do to re-instate the football program; he refused - They marched on to Mynders and proceeded to wake up all the co-eds who were sleeping there in addition to the Nellie Angel Smith, who was serving as Dean of Women - Smith proceeded to chew out the students and then proceeded to confine all the co-eds to campus indefinitely as punishment for those who participated in the march - No one brought up the football team again for a long time - SACCS accreditation was restored on March 29, 1946 - NYA activities on campus ceased and the building was converted for the use of the Industrial Arts department - The student store and recreation center were moved to the gym - Spring of ’46 the Federal Housing Surplus Administration donated surplus war buildings to the College to use as married student housing for GI’s and their families - Sanders resigned in May of ’46 because he had obtained the main objective he has President, which was to restore the School’s accreditation Interim Administration - Robison becoming acting Dean; R.P. Clark became acting Registrar - The State Board of Ed appointed a committee of professors from the College to select an interim President; committee consisted of Henry B. Evans, Grover Hayden and Flora Rawls - Enrollment more than doubled going into the ’47 school year; the interim committee had hired 30 new teachers in anticipation of increased enrollment but they had to hire more to meet the demand of the new enrollments - They also took responsibility for the new married student housing which was called the Veterans Housing Program during the summer of ‘46 Foe of the Status Quo - Jack Smith grew up in McNairy County where his father helped create the Shiloh Battlefield memorial park during Smith’s early childhood - After the Shiloh memorial was completed, the family returned to farming in the bottom land - His parents were quite interested in education and made sure he and his older brother got as much as possible - He went to high school in Savannah because there was no public high school in McNairy county at the time; taught school after he graduated high school - He married a fellow teacher in 1918 and then went to fight in WWI with the American Expeditionary Force - Smith and E.C. Ball became friends in the fall of 1921 after Ball hired Smith to teach for him in the Alamo city school system - They continued their association for decades afterwards - First associated with the campus as the manager of the men’s dorm in 1927 - Smith had served as both an athlete and a coach in his own sports’ career and was very close to the male athletes who lived in the dorm while he was managing it - Worked there through fall of ’33 when he became the Dean of the College, also served as registrar in ‘36/’37 - Went to work for the State Commissioner of Education in ‘37 - Was only there a year before going to be president of TN Tech - School gained SACCS accreditation under Smith and built its sports teams - He left to become Director of Instruction for Memphis City Schools in 1940 - Board of Education elected Smith as President of MSC in August of ‘46 Studious GI’s - School had 9 departments with 50 teachers when Smith took office in ‘46 - Enrollment for fall of ’46 was over 1,500 and over 1,000 of the students were freshmen - 779 veteran trainees enrolled that fall - Budget was increased by $115,000 per year; $800,000 in capital improvement funds were approved and $85,000 was spent to establish the evening school - Veterans Village could house 75 families that first year - The assumption was that the school would attain the massive growth of reaching an enrollment of as many as 2,000 students - About 850 veteran trainees attended MSC via the GI Bill every year for the 12 years the program existed - May 1947, Humphreys became the head of the school’s new Health and Physical Education department and Prof. E.I. Crawford became the head of the new Department of Business Administration - 3,053 students attended the school over the course of Smith’s first year as President of the College - The Division of English became the Department of English in the fall of ‘47 - First Student Government Association officers were elected in October of ’48 under the direction of Enoch Mitchell - Graduation exercises that June were held at Prescott Memorial Baptist (first time they were ever held off campus President on Loan Smith took leave of absence from Presidency to be the State Commissioner of Education in January 1949. Lamar Newport, the school’s Bursar, was appointed acting President while Smith was working as State Comm. He filled the position for 20 months. Newport was the coordinator for the Civilian Pilot program at the University during WW2. He continued Smith’s policies in his absence. Interest in potentially merging the College with the UT system People in the community felt the school’s growing enrollment should be met by new stature for the organization; Newport formed a 17 person committee to study what would be involved in bringing graduate study to the college and making it eligible for University status 1949-1950, the school introduced pre-professional curricular paths that would prepare students to go to dental school, law school, engineering school, etc. Campus got its own post office that year as well School was also removed from the black list of the American Association of College Professors after 6 years in ‘49 1949, additions to the Admin. Building, the Training School and major repairs to Mynders were completed. State Board of Ed allowed the establishment of the Graduate School in November ’49, commenced graduate level courses in June 1950 Touched off a year of new construction on the campus; water tower was demolished in 50; in February 50 work began on the Field House with seating for 4,000 students; school issued a contract for a new cafeteria and student center that year as well; these were the first new buildings on campus since the construction of Manning 20 years earlier In the Space Age One of Smith’s first acts back at the school was to work on getting an Air Force training unit at the college. He also wanted to make an addition to Manning. 100 students were enrolled in the Graduate School. At this point, the Governor, the Commissioner of Education, President Smith and the President CE Brehm of UT all agreed that Memphis State College should be absorbed into the UT system. Generally believed that the College would be incorporated and a committee from UT studied the instructional framework and organization of Memphis State College in anticipation of making recommendations for how to incorporate the College into the UT system UT Board of Trustees received over 300 telegrams from East TN residents objecting to incorporating Memphis into the UT system Board approved the plan and sent it on the Legislature, it faced stiff opposition from Republicans in the state legislature Dec 17, 1950 editorial from Memphis newspaper supporting the College’s incorporation into UT’s system Act to incorporate was voted down by a count of 14 yeas and 18 nays in the State Senate in March of 1951. Air Force Officers Training School located at Memphis in July of 1951 Fall of ’51 the College was divided into 4 schools, Graduate School, Arts & Science, Business School and the School of Education Alumni Association re-organized as Greater Memphis State, Enoch Mitchell served as secretary and ‘director of placement’; filed for incorporation in January of ‘52 17 Master of Arts students graduated in the Spring of ‘51 Field House was dedicated in February of ’52 January ’53, agreed to have the school year changed from being organized as trimesters to being organized as semesters, practice officially began in the fall of ’54; school also conducted a 12 week summer session; Later that year the Athletic department partnered with Le Bonheur’s charity fundraisers to use selling tickets to Tiger football games to raise money for charity Shelby Delegation to State Legislature tried to get University status for the College in ’55; they were defeated ’55 retirement benefits were extended to all College employees Memphis 5 first sought admission to College in the fall of ’54; they filed suit in Federal District Court to gain admission in March of ’55; Federal Judge Marion Boyd found in their favor in October of ’55 and agreed to the State Board of Ed’s plan to allow for gradual admission of black students to the College Plan was to allow admission, beginning with the Graduate School, in the spring of ‘56 City of Memphis offered to make a $100,000 gift to the school with no strings attached if the legislature would grant the school University status; much of the money was eventually spent to improve the Memorial Gymnasium Bill passed the legislature with little effort in January of ‘57 “With the official change in title came a relaxation of a tension almost as old as the institution, for from the outset every leader and head of the school had sought to widen the base of service rendered to the youth of the surrounding territory. Clothed in its new roles, the former teacher training college at last could embark on its dreamed of voyage to richer shores of culture” (313). July 1, 1957, the college officially became Memphis State University; granted membership in the Association of University Women on that day as well Long time Professor Rayburn W Johnson also made a donation of $100,000 to construct Johnson Hall for classes in the social sciences to be held in.
"Jones First 50 Years Notes on Memphis State College"