THE WINTER CARNIVAL

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Winter Carnival, December 5 1952

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Winter Carnival, December 5 1952

Long ago the students of Centenary held a yearly celebration they called the Winter Carnival.

 

The girls (remember, Centenary was an all girls school) enjoyed a winter themed dance, and if there was snow, winter festivities like skiing and snow sculpture making.

Other events rounded out the spectacle, including vocal concerts, sleigh rides, relay races, and the crowning of the Snow Queen. How did they choose the Snow Queen? She was chosen for her beauty, her participation in the Winter Carnival, and her winter attire; the Snow Queen was considered the most typical girl of the Winter Carnival.

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President Seay crowns Dana Andrews the Snow Queen, 1957

The Winter Carnival was first mentioned in passing in a 1945 issue of the student newspaper and was written up in a 1946 issue. That year it was too warm for skiing and skating but the girls still enjoyed their weekend dance with blind dates from Hoboken school Stevens Tech.

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Winter Dance, December 5 1952

The next big mention for the Winter Carnival was in 1954 when it was sponsored by the Outing Club. The article says the Winter Carnival was a new idea and it was hoped that it would grow in importance – looks like it had gone into hibernation for a while! For the next two decades the Winter Carnival would come and go, ending one year and being brought back a year or two later. The last mention of the Winter Carnival was in a 1972 issue of the student newspaper.

CURRENT ARCHIVAL PROJECTS

Library staff members have been working on several archival projects over the past few months. Here’s a look at what’s been going on!

Colleen Bain, a staff member from the Archives at Centenary College, traveled to Rutherfurd Hall with Centenary English Professor Dr. Lisa Mastrangelo to take part in their Tea and Talk series. They discussed the history of scrapbooking in America, using scrapbooks from Taylor Memorial Library’s archival collection. The collection includes scrapbooks kept by the first President of the school, wives of administrators, and the students themselves.

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One of the scrapbooks from Taylor Memorial Library’s collection

The two are also working together for Dr. Mastrangelo’s Advanced Composition class. Students in this class work closely with items from  TML’s Archives for their writing assignments, and meet with Archives staff members to learn more about the history of Centenary College. The class has partnered with the Archives for the past two semesters and will run a third time during this spring semester. In late January, Bain and Mastrangelo will also talk to the faculty about the use of archival materials (specifically scrapbooks) to teach advanced college writing.

A new project this semester is an upcoming lecture on the history of Centenary College, which will be held at the Hackettstown Library. Archival members have just begun gathering information and images for this talk, which should take place in about two months.

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A sleigh ride around Hackettstown

CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD

Centenary’s history as a Methodist college meant that Christmas was traditionally the dominant winter holiday. In the 1940’s, the student newspaper interviewed foreign students to see how they celebrated Christmas.

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Velma Arosemena

Velma Arosemena, Panama: “Except for the warm weather, Christmas is almost the same in Panama as in the United States. A Christmas tree, imported from the States, is decorated with balls and an angel at the tip-top. Also, cotton is draped on it to give the effect of snow. The entertainment usually takes the form of an intimate family reunion, or a great party with the proper Christmas greetings. Everyone is anxious for the clock to strike twelve to utter Christmas greetings. It is customary to exchange gifts and greeting cards. A Christmas tree is decorated and gifts for all members of the family, from the youngest to the oldest, are on the trees.” Spilled Ink, December 20, 1944.

christmas round the world

All entries from Spilled Ink, December 10, 1949.

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Marita Ho

Marita Ho, China: “Most of the Chinese are not Christians. Christmas is a very quiet holiday. There are no parades or feasts on Christmas as on other Chinese holidays because so few celebrate Christmas. Those who do celebrate have a Christmas very similar to ours. They have a Christmas tree trimmed with glass ornaments and colored lights. They exchange presents and spend a quiet day at home with the family in remembrance of the birthday of Christ. The Christmas dinner in China…is a simple affair of only eight courses instead of the twenty-course banquets sometimes given. “

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Asta Tamm

Asta Tamm, Estonia: “Christmas in Estonia officially begins a week before December 25th with the traditional housecleaning. Everything from the rafters in the attic to the jars of preserves in the cellar is thoroughly scrubbed until the house glistens. After cleaning day the next two or three days are spent in the kitchen baking and preparing for the holidays. The day before Christmas eve is called ‘Big Friday’ no matter what day it happens to be…It is a quiet, holy day. The next day, called ‘Christmas Saturday’ is a busy one. The tree is brought in and trimmed…Christmas carols are sung and the grandfather or father of the house reads to his family the Christmas story from the Bible…Christmas itself is celebrated for two days, the 25th and 26th of December. The first day of Christmas is a quiet one. All the gaiety, feasts, parties, opening of presents, singing and dancing is done on the second day of Christmas.”

Hanna-Rose & Ruth Zimmerman, Germany: “Christmas is very similar…to Estonia. Preparations for the holidays are made weeks before. There are the traditional Christmas eve church services. There, however, presents are opened on Christmas eve around the tree. The Christmas party is usually held among the family. Two days of Christmas follow and are similar to those in Estonia.”

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Hanna-Rose Zimmerman

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Ruth Zimmerman

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Anna Thoroddsen

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Lyda Thorsteinsson

Anna Thoroddsen & Lyda Thorsteinsson, Iceland: “Great preparations are made for the holidays. The house is cleaned, baking is done and the Christmas Men come. In Iceland there are not one…but nine Christmas Men. There is one who peeks in the window, one who licks the pot, one who deals with good children and one who deals with bad children. Children listen with wonder and fear to their parents about the Christmas Cat, the cat to which they will be taken if they are bad children. There are two days of Christmas in Iceland.”

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Tien Oei

Tien Oei, Holland (Dutch East Indies, modern day Indonesia): “St. Nicholas was once a very rich and kind and generous man. He loved children and during his lifetime constantly gave them presents in exchange for laughter and fun. He is always pictured dressed in a long purple robe. He has a white beard and on his head is a high headdress similar to those worn by bishops. With him always is Pieter, his helper. Pieter carries the presents in a huge bag in one hand, and a long switch for bad children in the other…On the eve of the 5th (of December) when St. Nicholas is expected the children leave their wooden shoes by the door filled with hay for St. Nick’s horse. This is the day when presents are exchanged in Holland, rather than on Christmas itself. The two days of Christmas, the 25th and 26th of December, are much more serious days.”

Pat Melarkey & Janet Bond, Hawaii*: “Of course there is no snow in Hawaii…On Christmas day, big luau parties, or feasts, are given. There are many all over the islands on Christmas day. They are given on a long table out of doors. Much singing and dancing accompany these feasts and it is a very gay affair. Everyone is dressed in bright clothes, either shorts and colored Hawaiian shirts or native costumes such as muu-muus or halokus, adorned with leis. The luau is for the family and friends, and the more the merrier! The feast consists of opiis, or a raw sea food, poi which is a pasty substance made from pounded tarrow root, lomi-lomi salmon. There is always a roast pig complete with head and an apple in its mouth…Of course there would be much pineapple and okolehau.”

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Pat Melarkey

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Janet Bond

 

Christmas celebrations even in America vary greatly, and yet Christmas itself does not. Everywhere one finds the spirit of peace and good will, of friendliness and giving.

The Centenary College of today welcomes all celebrations – not just Christmas festivities. During the holidays, sentiments of good-will and happiness can be found everywhere. The Taylor Memorial Library wishes everyone a wonderful holiday and winter break. See you in January!

*Hawaii became a U.S. state in 1959, 10 years after this article was written.

CENTENARY IN WWI and WWII

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

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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).

WNTI

“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.

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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. 

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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.

PEITHOSOPHIAN SOCIETY

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

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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).