Month: May 2016


campus 1909

Centenary Collegiate Institute c. 1910

Before the campus of Centenary College was built in Hackettstown, the land it now sits on was a cornfield, described during the laying of the cornerstone in 1869 as “desolate – not a tree – not a shrub” (Custard, pg 10). In fact, the town hadn’t yet grown to reach the campus. There was no street in front of the grounds and Church Street, which runs from Main Street directly to the college, was not yet opened. Shortly after opening, the grounds were beautified with the planting of over 200 trees and 800 shrubs. Only a few years later, the lawn seemed “like a very pleasure garden” (Custard, pg 57).

The campus had a broad representation of ornamental species, thanks to the work of early arborists. Over the years, some species have died away due to harsh weather or other natural causes, and the campus has gained some newer plantings. In the spring of 1954 Mrs. Marjorie T. Bingham, instructor of biology, directed a project to mark the trees of Centenary with small metal plates giving the name of the species. This project recorded over 40 varieties of trees. In the 1990s, another survey was done of the trees on campus and printed into a booklet called The Trees of Centenary. A joint effort by members of the Centenary community, it listed all the trees on campus that could be identified and included several photographs of leaves and bark.

gray birchHeading the publication was Professor Lewis T. Parrish, then professor/department chair of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Parrish, who came to Centenary in 1959, was a pillar among Centenary’s faculty for over 3 decades and came to Centenary with a well-rounded resume. He had previously held jobs as a metallurgist, meat packer, haberdasher, farmer, and a US history and mathematics teacher.

japanese cherry

At Centenary he was the head of the Science Club, participated in Faculty vs. Student sports like bowling and softball, received grants to study genetics and biology, advised one of the sororities, and was a member of several faculty panels. Professor Parrish was in awe of the flora around campus and hoped creating The Trees of Centenary would benefit those who loved it as well.

Custard, Leila Roberta. Through Golden Years: 1867 -1943. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc, 1947. Print.


This post was written by guest contributor Courtney Butrymowicz. Butrymowicz, a student in Dr. Mastrangelo’s Spring 2016 Advanced Composition class, had the opportunity to work with archival materials to learn more about Centenary College’s history. This is an excerpt from her Archival Scrapbook Paper.

Editha Trevorrow was an invaluable person and staple to Centenary College and the surrounding community during her time as Dean of Students, interim President, and wife of the late President of Centenary, Robert Trevorrow from the years 1917 to 1943 (Custard, 195). She kept many scrapbooks during her years at Centenary, but one has contents that could only be described as deeply moving. The fact that students felt the need to invite her to their weddings and tell her about the births of their children after they had graduated, shows that Editha had a huge impact on these students’ lives. Other pieces of ephemera indicate that her role in the Centenary College community was just as prevalent and important.

edith trevorrow1Editha Trevorrow was very active on campus as Dean of Students and made a huge impact on the students during their years at Centenary. Editha attended bi-monthly meetings with the Student Council, which helped resolve any disputes between students and administration (Custard, 185). She was very active in teaching and mentoring students as well. In 1929, Centenary became a Junior College, helping and teaching young women in high school and college. Editha Trevorrow took over recruiting and helping high school girls come to Centenary. She drove trucks to and from the school, and had meetings and interviews with prospective parents and girls interested in college. This boosted the Centenary enrollment rates, per the ten year plan, and now Editha was well-known amongst a huge majority of Centenary students (Custard, 175). She was invited to tea parties hosted by societies on campus, class parties, recitals, dances, and prose and poetry readings, which were performed by societies and students alike (Custard, 165). Editha received weddings invitations from former students and as well as their children’s birth announcements (Editha Trevorrow Scrapbook). She held a Weekly Young Women’s Christian Association meetings and was the chairwomen of the Junior Red Cross (Custard, 168). She helped young women form committees and knit to help the soldiers in World War II (Custard, 168).Pages from 1943 HACK

After her husband’s passing, Editha took over the role of Centenary President until the college could find a replacement. The transition was smooth because Editha was already the Dean of the college, and so already understood the administrative duties of a President. She also previously had a good repertoire [sic] with the students and faculty as Dean of Students.

            The scrapbook should be kept in the archives because if the scrapbook was not in the archives, people would not know what college was like in the 1930s and 1940s. By not having the scrapbook, Centenary would lose part of its rich history. Dr. Trevorrow and Editha Trevorrow influenced Centenary in a substantial way: they paid off Centenary’s debt, introduced new and innovative programs and classes for the college, and helped the surrounding community…This scrapbook truly captures her life at Centenary and what it was like for a student to go to Centenary.

Custard, Leila Roberta. Through the golden years 1867-1943. New York, Lewis

            Historical Publishing Company, Inc. 1947. Print.

Frey, Raymond. The Campus History Series Centenary College, New Jersey.

            Charleston, Arcadia Publishing. 2012. Print.

Trevorrow, Editha. Scrapbook, bound with twine. Approximately 10 by 14 inches

             (beginning with wedding announcements and invitations-1934). Taylor Memorial

              Library, Archive. Centenary College, Hackettstown NJ.

This document was reproduced as it was written by Courtney Butrymowicz for her Advanced Composition class. No changes have been made.