Jones First 50 Years Notes on Memphis State College

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					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.

				
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