President Seay

SO THIS IS CENTENARY

The archives staff has been working on digitizing many projects, including Ellen P. Kratz’s booklet “So This is Centenary”. Ellen P. Kratz, more often known as Pat, was a freshman at Centenary in the Fall of 1959. She was very involved in Centenary activities; she played on the freshman softball team and became the art editor for the student newspaper Spilled Ink.

In a rare collaboration between Spilled Ink and the Hack (Centenary’s yearbook), Pat put her art skills to use when she created her cartoon flip book “So This is Centenary”. Pat’s booklet was created in order to help raise funds for Centenary’s next improvement project, a new swimming pool.

Ellen Kratz

Pat Kratz (left) and two others with President Seay.

Ellen Kratz.2

Students showing President Seay their collaboration.

The book was well received by President Dr. Seay, who stated that “If you like to laugh, read ‘So this is Centenary.’ ”  1000 copies were ordered, each being sold for $1.50. The following September, plans were made to build an additional wing onto the Reeves Student Union.

Plans to start renovation on the Denman gym and swimming pool were set to begin in November of 1962 and were not completed until February of 1964.

New Pool.1

The new wing cost $475,000 with an additional $125,000 in construction.

Kratz ended up getting married the next year and left Centenary to start her new life. The library is very lucky to have this small piece of history left behind by Ellen P. Kratz.

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.

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. 

m

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.

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT VISITS CENTENARY

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.

roose

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.