Today is Veterans Day, a day set aside to celebrate the service of all U.S. military veterans. During WWI and WWII, Centenary College was an all girls’ school, and they supported the military force by staying ‘war conscious’. It doesn’t sound like much, but aiding in the war effort was important for those on the ‘home front’ and Centenary did whatever it could to help.

Cal open meeting 19181918 articles from scrapbook


Top: Patriotic promotion was everywhere during wartime, as can be seen by the Callilogian Society Open Meeting program, 1918.

Left: A page from a war-era scrapbook highlights the work of Centenary’s Junior Red Cross.

The school organized the Junior Red Cross of Centenary Collegiate Institute during WWI that saw its hundred members providing garments and ‘comfortbags’ for French refugee children. The JRC of CCI also created Surgical Dressing classes and trained over fifty to prepare dressings for the Red Cross.

During WWII, girls were urged to improve common wartime skills such as typing, home nursing, knitting, and first aid to promote defense work. The Guild, a Centenary club whose purpose was to unite its members in a spirit of friendliness and service, hosted several events to aid the war effort. Its members collected money, old clothes, stamps, paper, and tinfoil, knitted sweaters and scarves, and hosted events at the Red Cross.

Home Nursing Class, 1941 - 2

Home Nursing Class, 1941 – 2

Centenary also focused on improving the minds and bodies of its students. Nutrition classes stressed better eating and buying habits. Phys. Ed. emphasized building strength and endurance. The college offered home nursing classes to teach students about health and sickness. First Aid classes trained students to be of aid in an emergency.

“Right here at Centenary we can begin to learn the right habits, acquire the best attitudes, and form the most correct opinions about the situation at hand. We cannot blindly ignore the conditions of war, neither can we fail to see the results that will inevitably arise from it. Let us learn to appreciate what we now have and let us also resign ourselves to the fact that perhaps we may have to relinquish some of the pleasures that we are now taking for granted. “ (Spilled Ink 1942, Vol 1 No 1).


“High on top of Mount Bethel Road at Oak Hill Manor there is a tower…”

This sentence appears in the January 28, 1958 issue of the student newspaper, Spilled Ink, along with a picture of the tower. What was it? It was Centenary College’s new radio tower! In mid-February of 1958 WNTI began broadcasting from a studio in Van Winkle Hall.

1953 or 1954: Carol Burgess Lackland, '54, and others broadcasting at Centenary Junior College's radio station, five years before WNTI.

1953 or 1954: Carol Burgess Lackland, ’54, and others broadcasting at Centenary Junior College’s radio station, five years before WNTI.

The call letters ‘NTI’ were requested by the college and are the initials of a Latin phrase that translates to “Know Thyself”, a fitting motto for an educational institution. When the station opened, it was directed by a member of the faculty and staffed by students in radio and television programs. The station was on air from 3 to 7 pm Monday through Friday, as well as covering special college events. The college began broadcasting 24 hours a day around 1980, when the ability to record programming ahead of time became available.

Broadcasting in 1960

Broadcasting in 1960

The station hosted yearly Theater of the Air contests, in which local high schools produced half hour radio shows. During the first contest, students presented the gift of a radio to Centenary College’s President Seay to thank him for establishing a radio facility.

1958 president seay rcvs radio

1958: President Seay, center, receives a radio as thanks while Ernest Dalton, Director of Public Relations, looks on.

Late 1930s: Bette Cooper, Miss America 1937, and others on WEST out of Easton PA.

Late 1930s: Bette Cooper, Miss America 1937, and others on WEST out of Easton PA.

Before Centenary had its own station, students were able to get practical experience in radio by broadcasting over local radio stations and by simulating real broadcasts in their own mock radio station. 


Most recently the radio station had 3 full time staff that appeared on air, 29 community volunteers who broadcast on a weekly basis (including 2 student-run programs), and a 137 member street team – those who did not appear on air but helped at WNTI events.

On October 12, 2015, it was announced that WNTI would be purchased by Philadelphia public radio station WXPN. The changeover happened October 15 at noon, but WNTI will live on with the launch of WNTI.org Internet Radio from Centenary College. Friday, October 30, 2015, marks the new beginning for WNTI.org, and the Centenary community is looking forward to attending a celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony from 5 to 6 pm in the parking lot of the Lackland Center. The event is open to the public and we are eager to celebrate the launch of WNTI.org.


Peith History

The Peith Logo

Created by: Misses Chaplain, Morrow, Stevens, Richardson, Ellis, and Porter.

Year Introduced: Spring 1880

Colors: Blue & Gold

Secret Letters: D.V.V.

Society Paper: The Meteor

Greek letters: Theta Epsilon Nu (first mentioned in 1914 Hack Yearbook)

Nicknames: Peith, the Evergreens

The original society, the Evergreens, was changed to Peithosophian after the members became disgusted with the name.

The Peiths of 1904

The Peiths of 1904

Lit society Anns

peith ann_0001

Peithosophian Anniversary of May 10, 1889 Back Row: Misses Norris (Oration), Yelter (Essay), Penny (piano), Mathews (Pipe Organ solo), Fisher (Recitation), and Wolf (Poem). Seated: Misses Warne (Essay), Lizzie Beers (President), and Carrie Beers (Editress).


Alpha Phi History

The Alpha Phi Pin

The Alpha Phi Logo

Created by: O. A. Stevens

Year Introduced: June 1875

Colors: Ruby, Gold & Blue

Secret Letters: M.V.S.Q.H

Society Paper: The Journal

Nicknames: Philos, Zetas

The Zetas of 1904

The Zetas of 1904

Young men in this fraternity were trained in debate, discussion, impromptu speaking, essay writing, and journal work. Philomathean’s secret letters were jokingly translated to “Maude Valentine studies quite hard”. Along with the Whitney Lyceum, Alpha Phi Fraternity held their last meeting in 1910, the year C.C.I. became an all girls school.


The first issue of Centenary’s Spilled Ink (the old student newspaper) always had one or two articles about the start of the school year and incoming freshmen. The following articles offered some advice for new students as they began navigating their new college. A different era, but still, the sentiment stays the same: make the most of your time here at Centenary.

Welcome Back_1

Spilled Ink, Fall Issue, 1941. pg 1. (Centenary was a two year school for several decades)

Spilled Ink, Fall Issue, 1944. pg 1.

Spilled Ink, September 30, 1944. pg 1.


Recently the Director of the Taylor Memorial Library discovered a glassine envelope containing five negatives of photographs, two of a group of students, and three of a famous visitor. These pictures were taken the day Eleanor Roosevelt visited Centenary College.


Cover of the Spring 1950 Alumni Bulletin: Roosevelt shakes hands with President Seay.

On February 9, 1950 Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the United States, traveled to Hackettstown and spoke at what was then Centenary Junior College. Roosevelt had been the First Lady from March 1933 to April 1945, until her husband died in office. She became more popular with time and many referred to her as First Lady of the World.

When she arrived on campus, her first stop was the president’s home, where she met President and Mrs. Seay and was welcomed to the College by a group of students. Following introductions, a short press conference was held in the President’s office.

eleanor roosevelt5

Negative 1: A Welcoming Committee. (Negative 2 is of the same group, sitting down)

Centenary was very lucky to have arranged a visit with Eleanor Roosevelt; she explained that she accepted the college’s invitation to speak because she just happened to be free, she had not yet been to this part of New Jersey, and because she enjoyed addressing groups of young people, particularly women.

negative 3: Roosevelt is greeted by Centenary students.

Negative 3: Roosevelt is greeted by Centenary students.

She spoke in Centenary’s Whitney Chapel to an audience of both students and members of the community; so many people attended that the overflow was seated in the Little Theater on campus (She spent a few minutes speaking to that group before giving her speech in the Chapel). Her remarks were broadcast over radio stations in Morristown, NJ and Easton, PA.

The topic of her remarks was taken from the title of a freshman orientation class at Centenary: “Living in Today’s World.” She spoke about the challenge of selling democracy in the face of the threat of communism and the H-bomb (the hydrogen bomb). Mrs. Roosevelt said scientific knowledge had outrun our development in human relations, and that “we must learn to live by reason and not by force.”

Negative 4: Eleanor Roosevelt wearing a corsage given to her by President Seay.

Negative 4: Eleanor Roosevelt wearing a corsage given to her by President Seay.

Negative 5: Roosevelt giving her speech in the Whitney Chapel.

Negative 5: Roosevelt giving her speech in the Whitney Chapel.


Trevorrow Hall in the 1950s

Trevorrow Hall in the 1950s

trev005Within the past year, the college has seen a number of improvements on Trevorrow Hall, including updating science laboratories and lectures halls, as well as installing an elevator to the three-floor building.

Trevorrow Hall was one of the improvements to Centenary College set forth by the Reverend Doctor Robert Johns Trevorrow, president of the college from 1917 – 1943.

President Trevorrow came to Centenary Collegiate Institute during a period of financial crisis, and worked hard to pull the school out of debt. After 7 years of meticulously examining the college’s expenditures, Trevorrow was able to pay off a mortgage of $81,000! Having brought the school out of debt, he dedicated himself to creating his 10 Year Plan, which would invest in the college’s future through scholarships, curriculum reorganization, and a physical expansion of the campus.

The school was in dire need of more classroom space, and in 1940 a building was planned that would house Science, Home Economics, Art, and Clothing. During the Annual May Fete of 1941, the final stone was placed. The faculty suggested the name Trevorrow Hall. In the Centenary College history, Through Golden Years, author Leila Custard writes,“now at last there was adequate housing for the Departments of Science and Home Economics, while the Art Department glorified in its sky-lighted spaciousness and its gallery for special exhibits” (192).



Clockwise from top left: Students in Home Economics, A lesson in fashion sketching and textiles, Laboratory Science, and a Chemistry presentation.

The building has remained relatively unchanged, with fashion classes on the first floor, sciences on the second, and art on the third.