Newcomb Makes it to Broadway (Video)

  • - [David Banush] Okay, I think we'll go ahead and get started.
  • Good evening, all.
  • I'm David Banush, Dean of Libraries, and I welcome you to Tulane University,
  • to Jones Hall, to special collections here in the Howard Tilton Memorial Library.
  • I'm very pleased to introduce
  • the university archivist, Ann Case, who is the mastermind behind this
  • exhibit this evening and the program is accompanying its opening.
  • But I'd also like to acknowledge and thank Donna Capelle Cook,
  • who is our director of technical services here at Howard Tilton Memorial Library
  • and is also the co-chair of our anniversary committee.
  • We have a number of anniversaries that we are celebrating this year.
  • One is the 300th anniversary of the founding of the city of New Orleans.
  • One is the 80th anniversary of the founding
  • of the Howard Tilton Memorial Library.
  • This, for those who don't know, is the original
  • Howard Tilton Memorial Library, though it is now known as Jones Hall.
  • And in 1968, the current Howard Tilton Memorial Library,
  • across the street or across the way, opened
  • and we are celebrating the anniversary of that building.
  • So as part of this, we've had an ongoing series of events, including exhibits
  • and other programs.
  • And this is the latest in our adventures in celebrating anniversaries.
  • So without further ado, I'll turn it over to Ann
  • and she will give you some background and introduce our speaker for this evening.
  • Thank you.
  • - [Ann Case] So I thought I would just take a few minutes to tell you
  • what led me to put together this exhibition at this particular time.
  • A few years ago, I found this amazing set of images
  • that look like something you might see in one of those
  • old Time-Life books.
  • There were young soldiers standing in front of wooden,
  • tall, wooden barracks, and they were wearing long trench coats
  • and their feet were sunk about two inches in mud.
  • And I thought, oh, that looks like something you'd see in Europe, in Poland
  • or something like that.
  • And then I looked in the background and I recognized
  • Tulane buildings and said
  • "Wait, these pictures were shot on Tulane's campus.
  • How, how can this be?"
  • So I started doing a little investigating
  • and learned that this was Camp Martin Student Army Training Corps.
  • And I just had no idea that there had been
  • this whole military cantonment built on campus in 1918.
  • And then I realized that that was exactly the same time that Newcomb
  • College moved to the Uptown campus from the Garden District.
  • And I thought, "Huh, you've got all these Army boys
  • "right on this side of Freret St.
  • "and you've got all these college women on this side of Freret St.
  • There might be some very interesting stories there."
  • And then I learned that Spanish
  • influenza hit New Orleans at exactly the same time.
  • And it quarantined all of these people right in the same place at the same time.
  • And I thought
  • "There may maybe some really interesting stories there".
  • So I thought that I would look into it and see what I could put together.
  • So that is what I thought I would put together an exhibit,
  • investigate what life was like on campus and in 1918-1919 academic year.
  • But before I introduce our speaker,
  • I would like to quickly thank my colleagues for their assistance
  • in putting together this exhibit: Dean Banush, Donna Capelle Cook,
  • Katherine Morzac, Anthony DelRosario,
  • Bernadette Birzer, Lori Schexnayder.
  • The helping hands from facility services who help the hang our service flag,
  • which you'll see in the gallery.
  • Rick and Mike as well as our conservator, Sabrina Johnson
  • and the consultant, Jessica Hack,
  • who made sure that it was in condition for hanging in the first place.
  • And to Jillian Cuellar and all of my colleagues in Special Collections
  • who patiently left me alone for the last few days
  • so I could get an exhibit finished on time.
  • So--and onto Beth Willinger, who I'm very happy to introduce.
  • Beth is retired from Tulane University after more than 25 years
  • as the executive director and research
  • professor at the Newcomb Center for Research on Women.
  • As a sociologist and feminist scholar, she has published and lectured widely
  • on the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the women of New Orleans,
  • gender inequality in the state, and the social history of Southern women.
  • She is coeditor with Susan Tucker of Newcomb College 1886 through 2006.
  • She received Ph.D. from Tulane University, served as Interim Dean of Newcomb College,
  • was the founding director of Tulane's Women's Studies Program
  • and is the recipient of the Newcomb Mortarboard Award for Outstanding Teacher,
  • the 2007 Newcomb Distinguished Fellow Award and was named
  • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities 2003 Humanist of the Year.
  • Beth.
  • [audience applause]
  • -[Beth Willinger] I am delighted to be here this evening
  • to talk about Newcomb College's moved to the Broadway campus.
  • I would like to thank Ann particularly for inviting me to do so
  • but I'd also like to take this opportunity
  • to thank all of you who are in the
  • Louisiana Research Collection staff and the University Archives
  • for your help over many, many years.
  • As Ann mentioned, I was trained as a sociologist, so
  • I didn't have the benefit of learning research skills as a graduate student.
  • And so many times the staff of the collection
  • was particularly helpful
  • in getting me through some of those kind of awkward moments.
  • So I've used a number of your collections and always
  • find it wonderful to just sit and read. So thank you for that.
  • And where we begin with Newc--
  • I say here Newcomb makes it to Broadway
  • and I kind of use this analogy of a play because
  • Newcomb's arrival on Broadway, just getting there, had all the drama,
  • the uncertainties of finance, the writing and rewriting of the script,
  • the design and redesigning of the set, the backstage maneuvering
  • and the years of planning, the most complex Broadway play.
  • The major players in this play were the students.
  • 428 were in residence in-- in the 1918-19 academic year.
  • 68 seniors, 75 juniors, 73 sophomores,
  • and the largest freshman class ever to enroll, 191 students.
  • 21 special students comprised the group.
  • As before, the great many, 264, came from New Orleans.
  • So Newcomb, like Tulane, was always
  • almost, at the beginning, a very local, we say commuter school.
  • Another 127 were from other towns and cities in Louisiana.
  • 40 were from Mississippi and 21 from Alabama.
  • All in all, 22 states were represented in the student body.
  • So tuition was set at, guess $125. That was equivalent to about $2,000 today.
  • An additional $250 was required for room and board.
  • That's equal to about 4,000.
  • So we could say that probably for about $6,000 a woman could go to Newcomb.
  • However, that was difficult
  • and a great many Newcomb students were always on scholarship.
  • Scholarships were very important, even into Newcomb alums that were still alive
  • and we did oral histories with, would talk about how important
  • having a scholarship was to their ability to come to Newcomb.
  • So that has always been very, very important.
  • Now producing this play was Brandt Van Blarcom,
  • and I always find his name funny, Dixon, who is at the present
  • with Ellsworth Woodward, Pierce Butler, Ann Northrup, Clara Baer,
  • Evelyn and John Ordway, Gertrude Robert Smith
  • were several of his script writers.
  • Those were some of the most popular faculty,
  • and the ones who had been at Newcomb for--almost from the very beginning.
  • So that play was actually set in motion when Mrs. Newcomb died,
  • and she left her considerable fortune
  • as was intended to the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College.
  • As expected, we knew this, that her fortune in
  • that is interesting that The New York Times says that
  • her fortune at that point where it's about a million and a half, but actually
  • it was more like two and a half million actually closer to 2.6 million,
  • which today is about 77 million, a little bit more than 77 million.
  • So her daughter--her, her
  • intention was always to have Newcomb College as a living memorial
  • to her daughter Sophie, who died of diphtheria at the age of 15.
  • Mrs. Newcomb originally gave a gift of $100,000
  • in 1860 or 1886, pardon me.
  • And then the first academic year was 1887.
  • But I'm sure most of you already know this.
  • Brandt Dixon was always president.
  • He didn't want to be to begin with, but they talked him into it.
  • He said $100,000 was insufficient to begin a college
  • they promised him that more money would be forthcoming.
  • Just please come.
  • Okay,so the first campus then was in a house,
  • which was very typical for women's colleges,
  • in a residential home on DeLord Street.
  • And that's now Howard about Camp and Lee Circle,
  • and they bought another house next door.
  • So it was about two houses that didn't last long for any number of reasons.
  • And so then in 1891 they actually moved to the Washington Avenue campus.
  • Now on the Washington Avenue campus, there is still today,
  • at least that I know of and we have plaques on them,
  • five residences, five homes that had been used as either
  • classrooms or residence for students at the time.
  • The main buildings have been torn down.
  • They had been sold to the Baptist Seminary and were torn down after that.
  • But Newcomb's success then in growing a population for students prepared
  • for collegiate work, which was really quite advanced to begin with.
  • And as you probably know, Dixon had to start a high school in order
  • to prepare more of the women students for actually college work.
  • And he always insisted on Newcomb being a very--as fine
  • a college of the first rank, he'd always say
  • as any of the colleges for women in the north.
  • So the beauty of the campus
  • was really something that everyone was taking with,
  • it really had a very sentimental--there was a very sentimental attachment
  • to the Washington Avenue campus and the beauty of this surrounding area
  • led them to think that at first that they wanted to buy more land in that area.
  • And there was a square across Washington where to just
  • expand the college in that direction.
  • However, what Dixon says is that the neighbors
  • got wind of this and kind of had some forethought and the property prices
  • kept going up and up and up so that financially it became out of reach
  • for them to think about staying on the Washington Avenue campus as it was.
  • So the additional problem then was Mrs. Newcomb's will
  • and her relatives engaged in a very long, lengthy, difficult legal battle over
  • who should actually be the inheritant, have the inheritance of her will.
  • And it wasn't pleasant.
  • It was actually quite ugly.
  • And--but one of the interesting things is that we know more about
  • Mrs. Newcomb because of these court cases than we would otherwise have known.
  • I'm sure that she turned over in her grave many, many times, thinking about
  • all the people who were now learning about her most deep, her deepest secrets
  • and what she was a very, very private woman.
  • So this would have been just terrible for her to think that all these people
  • were learning all these nasty things about her life
  • or unpleasant things about her life.
  • So it was finally decided, the legal case was finally decided
  • in favor of the college in 1909.
  • And--but it was really touch and go for quite a while.
  • So Brandt Dixon without the board's knowledge,
  • and this is always interesting because
  • Newcomb, of course, was under the board of administrators so--but
  • Dixon without their knowledge actually
  • put in an option to buy land on Napoleon Avenue just south of Broad Street.
  • And at the time there was nothing there whatsoever.
  • He convinced the board then to buy that-- to purchase that land in 1906.
  • However, the board had an entirely different idea
  • about where Newcomb should be located, and they purchased the land in 1908
  • which was two blocks of Newcomb up-- called Audubon Place, now Newcomb Place.
  • It was two blocks of Audubon Place in two squares
  • bounded by Zimple, Broadway, Plum, and Audubon,
  • and that was to be the future site of Newcomb College.
  • It was purchased for $400,000.
  • Right, so--so the intention
  • then to build Newcomb on Broadway-- on Napoleon was dropped.
  • And there were several reasons.
  • One that the board was insistent that a closer union between Newcomb
  • and Tulane would be cost effective if there was--could
  • be more sharing of laboratory facilities, library facilities,
  • the possibility of faculty being able to teach in both colleges.
  • And then at the time the Napoleon Avenue
  • location it was not served by public transportation.
  • It really was even more isolated
  • and out of the way than the Uptown campus so this was decided.
  • Now, remember, if you will, there was 1908.
  • Okay, 1908
  • but--they--not everyone was, you know, in favor--
  • hello -[walking by] Hi.
  • favor of this campus location, and particularly the Newcomb alums
  • because they felt they would once again be really subserved by Tulane. Right.
  • So they were very concerned about Newcomb
  • retaining its integrity and its independence.
  • So they worried about that.
  • And it comes across to--quite a bit.
  • So they were saying that one of the things that they were wanting
  • particularly was that the buildings
  • be very separate and distinct from those of Tulane
  • and that a complete plan be drawn up with the whole campus,
  • not a building here, a building there, but a total complete picture of the campus.
  • So in 1909, the, the Newcomb alums formed in a committee and really pressured
  • the Board of Administrators to move in the direction
  • of getting an architect and designing the campus buildings.
  • So this was the competition that went out 1911 to architects
  • across the country through architectural journals.
  • They were not interested in people who did not have architecture
  • experience they were really looking for,
  • you know, very full--fully developed architectural firms to take over.
  • So they had initially 56 architects, which I think was huge, that submitted
  • preliminary drawings and then 27 were whittled down and from the 27 were 8.
  • And then finally James Gable--Gamble, pardon me, Rogers of New York
  • was hired to design 12 buildings for Newcomb College.
  • However, bids made on the buildings in 1912,
  • were deemed to be way out of proportion to the Newcomb fund
  • and the board decided not to build the buildings at that time.
  • New--Dixon got together with Rogers
  • they tried to trim down the buildings, cut some of the costs.
  • They submitted the plans again in 1914.
  • Again, the board rejected those as being too expensive
  • and especially then when the war was beginning, they felt that it was not
  • a particularly auspicious time to beginning--to be building a new campus.
  • So that again was delayed.
  • But the Newcomb alums prevailed and in 1916
  • they really did force the board to move
  • on the building of Newcomb college.
  • They did a wonderful report, very detailed, comparing Newcomb
  • with other women's colleges, those particularly in the Northeast.
  • The ones you would think of historically as being very, very strong
  • and found that Newcomb actually had the largest endowment
  • of any of them this includes Harvard, Barnard, Goucher,
  • the--Mount Holyoke, Vassar, et cetera, Smith--
  • had the largest endowment however, it lacked the facilities and equipment
  • and the resources for students.
  • And so they said for these reasons, then that was why Newcomb's
  • tuition in part was so low, that in order to raise tuition, in order
  • to have a first rank facility, they had to build new buildings.
  • So this, I think, argument somewhat helped.
  • So they pressured the board, and the board then decided to fund three buildings.
  • Not eleven, three: the administration building,
  • the art building, of course we all know the art program was very strong,
  • and the Josephine Louise dormitory to house 200 students.
  • It was only possible for about 100 students to live on the
  • Washington Avenue campus in the various houses that they had around.
  • So is--in celebration then on February 24th, 1917
  • following a parade of about 150 cars, there was a huge thing
  • and Ann has some of the information on that parade which was evidently, quite
  • an astounding event.
  • As--even as parades go in New Orleans.
  • And they travel from Washington Avenue to Broadway and the piles
  • then were dropped, or however you drop piles, were that the new buildings
  • and that the person doing that was Perrine Carson Dixon
  • who was president Dixon's granddaughter, 12 year old granddaughter.
  • So she was the one who was charged with dropping or beginning the piling.
  • So,
  • so with, you know,
  • we talk about the alums wanting the distinct campus
  • and distinct from Tulane, a separate and distinct--so
  • what we see then in Tulane's campus is this gray, buff kind of massive stone
  • of the Tulane campus and as Ann pointed out
  • you can see this, that's the Loyola over there.
  • So it's kind of an interesting thing.
  • Now Gibson hall was built in 1894.
  • So at this point it already had served, you know, quite a few years
  • but we can see the architectural, the Romanist style, you know, very
  • heavy brick, the gray box.
  • And so this was what kind of set them apart.
  • So the Newcomb alums, them wanting a distinct location were on the other side
  • that was being met on the other side of Freret.
  • And in fact even--I think much later
  • alums would talk about how Freret was really the dividing line.
  • That they didn't cross Freret.
  • That there was very little back and forth between
  • and--Tulane campus and the Newcomb campus.
  • And you can see then where Newcomb is located as opposed to Tulane
  • and it doesn't seem so far, but there was quite
  • a psychological distance between them.
  • And what we see in this slide with the administration building in the center,
  • and here in the center, is this symmetry that Rogers designed.
  • Notice how all the buildings were to face a quad.
  • This was supposed to be another dormitory.
  • This, of course, turned out the gymnasium.
  • And we had the chapel
  • and the science building and how--this was home academy, pardon me.
  • And the chapel, the library.
  • Library was there.
  • And it was very, very symmetrical.
  • Now, Karen Kingsley then talks about this,
  • and Karen has a--we have an excellent article in here
  • that Karen goes into quite detail about the architecture of the buildings.
  • But we can really see how the open quads were in many ways
  • defined as airy as being a feminine nature.
  • And then it was very patterned and, and, and really quite lovely to look at.
  • And there were supposed to be gardens surrounding this.
  • The curved pathway that was supposed to be welcoming to everyone.
  • And as Karen says, then we have the she calls it the colonial revival, actually
  • with a light columns and the balustrade that goes around
  • the light windows, the white surrounding the window,
  • all of which give it a much more feminine feel.
  • So while Newcomb's buildings then were constructed of the red brick
  • and very, in many ways, plain
  • if you will in some ways but also patterned with--
  • but in very stark contrast
  • to that heavy gray, buff stone of the Tulane campus.
  • And so in many ways then, the Newcomb alums won that one aspect
  • even though they got their--only their three buildings.
  • In what we can see here was that there was quite a--
  • how would it be said-- you have to say quite a disappointment
  • because what everyone talked about with the old campus was its beauty.
  • And so here everyone arrived to this new campus.
  • And finally on September 27th, Newcomb made it to Broadway.
  • And when the dormitory opened for students September 17th, 1918
  • and on September 26th the classes began.
  • So we see then the Newcomb buildings and Newcomb Hall
  • and this is the--this one actually shows a little bit better sense of it
  • and this is the art building
  • and the dormitory permeated-- this is the dormitory.
  • I think this show is really better--what Karen's talking about with the, the,
  • the porticos, the columns,
  • the more feminine approach to it.
  • And one of the things that I've always found interesting
  • was the real address for Newcomb is 1225 Broadway.
  • And it is then that portico that's supposed to be, you know, a
  • rounded portico with a closed roof and overhead.
  • Although everyone always really looks at Newcomb Hall from the Newcomb Place side.
  • So it's, it's very kind of interesting in that respect
  • from that quad rather than the quad from Broadway.
  • So now that--from the very beginning, then what we find is
  • with the board's decision to build only three buildings
  • that Newcomb was under built from the very, very beginning.
  • That in there was--everybody trying to be a little bit kind
  • about that, but the, the music building--
  • they were held in three different rooms--houses, houses on the campus
  • and those were--just a minute and I'll tell you which one.
  • They were 37, 57, and 61 Audubon place.
  • So already we're finding that the campus is under built.
  • They have to use other buildings for the music program.
  • The infirmary was at 1101 and 1137 Broadway.
  • That's kind of where the chapel is, you know.
  • And Dixon lived at 43 Newcomb place,
  • which was where we know that--even most of us remember the Newcomb dean's house.
  • So, so from the beginning then
  • there was a sense that it was not quite up to what it should be.
  • And these of course, are the Newcomb students at the School of Music,
  • and it shows the house, and it's not here anymore in person,
  • but anyway it's an interesting the house,
  • and I thought that was kind of interesting of design also.
  • But there was a--as I'm saying,
  • an immense histology leaving the old Newcomb.
  • The graduating class described itself
  • as the war class because they started when the war, World War I broke out
  • and they lamented that it almost converts us to fatalism
  • to observe that old Newcomb's last class 1918
  • has exactly the same numerals as her first, 1891.
  • The fact that we are the last class to graduate from these grounds
  • has add, added tenfold to our devotion.
  • Dixon wrote "There was an air of funeral gloom over
  • "many of the exercises and old Newcomb that spring.
  • It seems the dominant feeling that we were being expelled, driven from home."
  • Students particularly were concerned
  • that the spirit of old Newcomb would not continue into the new
  • and those of you who know Newcomb alums know that everybody's always talking
  • about the Newcomb spirit, right?
  • So the Newcomb spirit was fearful that it would not continue
  • from the old to the new.
  • And there was a poem in The Arcade, which we'll talk about,
  • which was a call and a response poem between new Newcomb and the old Newcomb.
  • It has new Newcomb stating
  • "There is nothing, I think, you can give me.
  • "I stand in my splendid new pride.
  • "While you in your age and your weakness seem
  • puny in size and small by my side,"
  • to which old Newcomb replied
  • "But without me, your strength would be nothing.
  • "For you in the pride of your youth cannot live without that which I give you.
  • And I speak not in envy, but truth."
  • Okay, so it was not, as we see, all is expected at the new campus.
  • For one thing, as Ann has pointed out in her exhibit, soon
  • after the classes began on September 26th, the college was closed on October 10.
  • This is something probably like Katrina, right?
  • You just get here and you leave
  • and a rigid quarantine was put in place.
  • All the resident students, all the students living in
  • Newcomb were not permitted to go home.
  • They had to remain on campus.
  • Okay, so the top floor of Newcomb Hall was used as infirm--as an infirmary
  • as well as the other two houses that were, were used as infirmaries.
  • It was almost 100 students,
  • Newcomb students, who contracted the flu at that time.
  • Now, classes did not resume, now remember this October 10,
  • until November 16th.
  • That was five days after the armistice were signed.
  • Okay so here is this, more than a month of missed classes
  • and what did they do, right?
  • What went into effect is Saturday classes were already in effect.
  • They always had Saturday classes, but--and
  • it was actually a Saturday, November 16th when they started back.
  • But for the holiday, they had only Christmas Day
  • and New Year day, New Years day off.
  • And that's how they made up the time they missed.
  • So a real play actually was created at this--up at the new campus with the--
  • by the sophmore class titled The Spirit of Newcomb.
  • It had three students commenting on the new campus.
  • "If you only knew how everything is, and stiff, and bare." says the art student.
  • "Worst of all bare.
  • This year the art department is doing nothing but gardening.
  • So there will be something to, to paint next year besides red brick."
  • [audience laughter]
  • Dixon himself wrote, "Without--one, without vision,
  • "could observe only the present facts.
  • "A bare, muddy waist with scanty grass,
  • "a few destroyed trees and three very large red brick buildings,
  • naked and forlorn, forlorn," we certainly know that.
  • So the--as we said, the Tulane board
  • insisted on keeping the Newcomb fund in 2.25 million.
  • Dixon and the Newcomb alums had wanted to reduce it to 2 million.
  • That they were basically meeting their operating cost
  • with the interest from the endowed fund.
  • And even in these early years, the board of administrators
  • tried to take Newcomb's funds for various causes throughout the years.
  • And Newcomb, especially under Dixon, held on to it very, very tightly.
  • But in addition then to these new moves and we said that the campus
  • was really under built, one of the things that also happened was in the old campus,
  • the sororities had rooms in the basement and at the new campus,
  • they were unable to do so because there wasn't sufficient room.
  • In the basement of Newcomb was the assembly hall and the chapel.
  • So there also was a move by the faculty
  • who were not very pleased with fraternities and sororities to begin with.
  • So they voted that for the first year on the campus
  • that there would be no sororities rooms available
  • and they did not agree with the fact that sororities should be off campus.
  • Now, as we know, that is what has happened over time.
  • But that was not at that moment in any way the wishes of the faculty.
  • So Tulane, the Board of Administrators,
  • voted to give to the student at their residence,
  • at the southwest corner of the campus.
  • And we can kind of see that in one of those film.
  • And as--to the students as a clubhouse stating
  • the need for something of this sort has been
  • particularly acute since the occupation of the new campus.
  • So each class was given one room
  • and they were allowed to decorate it however, they chose to do so.
  • The senior class had a furnishing--a furnished--a furniture shower
  • where people were supposed to get the furniture to house in their room.
  • And what they said to seniors can be seen, I love this particularly,
  • seniors can be seen on ladders plastering up the cracks in the ceiling.
  • Now, I think that's an image we don't expect to it--to, to,
  • to have of women in 1918, or in 2018 actually.
  • I've seen our students up on ladders making cracks in ceilings of the buildings
  • But the students then tried in many ways to create a new spirit on campus.
  • They continued camp--cap and gown day which was begun in 1910
  • where the seniors give to the juniors a cap and gown.
  • The sophomore class began a new tradition of requiring freshmen
  • to wear a little green cap which Ann has also in the exhibit.
  • It's kind of a felt beanie cap
  • and that was the wearing of the green
  • which clearly was symbolic also of Newcomb being on the--close
  • to the Tulane campus with the green of Tulane.
  • And with--after the resumption of classes,
  • the Newcomb Music School --oh, I forgot to show those--
  • Newcomb music school began its weekly recitals.
  • But here we have Zip, Bev, Ruth, and Jan posing at the JL sundial
  • and we have some of the first residents of the Josephine Louise dormitory.
  • And I, I like this photo also because it's not the box--the
  • individual boxes of what we usually see kind of in the yearbook.
  • But clearly every woman submitted the photo
  • she wanted to submit of what she thought to look like.
  • So we see very individual photos here of the women in JL.
  • And one of the things
  • that changed too, that we see is in The Newcomb Arcade.
  • The Newcomb Arcade was the literary magazine
  • that was written by the Newcomb students and the alums.
  • And what we see in this first one here
  • is this was the old administration building, Newcomb Hall on the Washington
  • Avenue campus and then that we see is June 1918.
  • And then in November of 1918 we see the cover of the new photo,
  • the new arcade which was designed by Fowler. What was her first name?
  • And so the--we
  • see the changing from that, the whole kind of total building to what I perceived
  • this as the open door so opening still for so much more to come in.
  • So we have that changes and then we have the first music recital.
  • It was held in--I thought was interesting--in Dixon Hall.
  • I'm not sure which of the buildings, the music buildings,
  • whether we said of the three houses was actually--they called Dixon Hall
  • but it was not the Dixon Hall we know today.
  • That was not built until 1929.
  • So there was some time in the coming.
  • Students held a tag day to benefit the, the Newcomb relief unit
  • and they gave--they really spent quite a bit of money
  • or gathered quite a bit of money to send the relief unit overseas,
  • which is--Ann also shows that and--in the exhibit
  • that the unit went to France in January of 1919
  • in some--here too we, we see our familiar names
  • Caroline Richardson, if you know Caroline Richardson Hall.
  • And she then was a dean at Newcomb and Anna Many
  • and that is the Anna Many lounge in Caroline Richardson Hall.
  • So these are familiar names even to us today.
  • And then the students held
  • the first Arbor Day on February 28, 2019.
  • Now the trees at the open--at the old campus,
  • Dixon thought were really responsible for much of the Newcomb spirit
  • and so in--early in 1909 he had the-- Mr. Muller, who was the gardener,
  • begin taking seedlings to grow.
  • And so when they got to the new campus
  • and February 2019 they planted the first oak trees on campus
  • each--the president of each class was-- adopted a tree
  • for the class and then planted it to be in--and
  • they were to be cared for those particular trees.
  • So that was as they said that the recognition
  • of the old Newcomb spirit and moving to the new campus.
  • Now, quite surprisingly and I was quite surprised
  • as student interactions went, there appeared
  • to be very little interaction between Newcomb and Tulane students
  • on the campus that year, despite the proximity.
  • One thing is that two male students were enrolled in practical music.
  • The men taking courses in the music
  • were some of the first cross, cross enrollment that existed.
  • Many people think the first enroll--cross enrollment was actually Newcomb taking
  • courses over at Tulane.
  • But in fact, it was really the Tulane students coming to Newcomb.
  • The second was that Dixon wrote that one of the many struggles of that
  • first year was the close proximity of Camp Martin,
  • who soldiers boys seemed to feel that Newcomb territory should be invaded.
  • It was necessary to persuade the officers quite regularly
  • that the seed of war was across the Atlantic.
  • So capping off this most unusual and difficult year
  • was the announcement by Brandt Dixon
  • at a reception that he and his wife always hosted
  • annually for faculty, alums, and seniors,
  • that he was retiring at the end of the year.
  • So that closed a chapter,
  • probably the first act of Newcomb's long history up to that point.
  • But the seniors--and I have to close with some of what the seniors wrote.
  • "We are not very sad at leaving Newcomb, but we are not leaving behind
  • "any memories of favorite spots or cherished customs,
  • "some of us who loved water, may miss the pond
  • that is the campus." Probably not that different than today.
  • "A few who like animals may, in the future,
  • "sigh for the numerous iron dogs who haunt the campus
  • and seek food in the various wastebaskets."
  • Another senior wrote: "This is the most disheartening
  • "senior year any class has ever spent.
  • "Yet some spark was in the senior class and it insisted on flaming up.
  • "Perhaps the dreary conditions fanned it.
  • "Only the barrenness of the campus could have called forth Arbor Day,
  • "the blank brick walls of the main building were the inspiration for Ivy Day.
  • "The need of a more cooperative spirit brought up college dances.
  • "It will be well for other classes to do well at Newcomb.
  • We gave the first seed."
  • And does anyone have any questions?
  • -[Ann Case] Well, thank you very much.
  • -Oh yeah, thank you. But this was great fun.
  • [Audience Applause]
  • -[audience member] So would the Newcomb become part of Tulane?
  • -I'm sorry?
  • -[audience member] Did Newcomb become-- I'm--forgive me, I'm not from the area.
  • Did Newcomb end up becoming part of Tulane or--?
  • -Yes, [cross talk] and basically in 2007, and it wasn't very
  • it was another one of those unpleasant situations.
  • [laughter]
  • Once again and, and it was the
  • following--they used Katrina as the main reason.
  • And but there had been plans to
  • merge the undergraduate colleges for a long time.
  • It was just trying to find a way in to be able to do that.
  • So now there is a Newcomb-Tulane College where freshmen enter
  • into the liberal arts programs, through Newcomb-Tulane College,
  • they stay there until they--they're either going to the School of Liberal Arts or
  • the business school or they decide a major and then they go to the,
  • the college of their major, whatever that would be.
  • But yeah, so Mrs--the whole thing is--oh, this is interesting, right?
  • Someone doesn't really know that whole ugly story.
  • Mrs. Newman--Mrs. Newcomb gave her money to the Board of Administrators.
  • That was one of her big problems.
  • So the Board of Administrators had control of her money,
  • and it was not under the control of Newcomb College per say.
  • So that, that--in
  • that, that's what it came down to with the 2007 decision
  • is that the Board of Administrators--she had given to the Board of Administrators
  • the right to do what they felt was best with her funds.
  • So they did.
  • [inaudible] last word.
  • -[audience member] That's probably not a new problem.
  • The under grad that I went to in West Texas, had a huge endowment
  • from a really wonderful couple, the Carr family.
  • And they specifically said the name of the university
  • has to be the name of the town, San Angelo, and then it has to go
  • towards medicine, science, and it has to stay local.
  • And so it's very interesting because local universities in Texas that
  • tried to acquire this small university that had [inaudible] Newcomb.
  • I mean two and a half million dollars at that time must have been--I
  • don't know what's that equivalent, but I imagine at least 200 million.
  • -It was considerably more than Paul Tulane gave.
  • -[audience member] Yes. -That's what everybody says.
  • It was more than Paul gave.
  • [laughter]
  • -[Ann Case] There is another class coming in here at seven,
  • but we have a reception out in the hall. Everyone's welcome.
  • And the exhibit is just across the way as well.
  • So thank you, everybody, for coming.
  • And thank you Beth.
  • That was great.