Exhibit opens celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Milligan College’s Humanities Program

“What does it mean to be human?” The Milligan College Humanities program is a unique four-semester course sequence that combines art, literature, philosophy, theology, and more to help students grapple with this key question. Almost every undergraduate student who passes through Milligan participates in this course sequence, Milligan’s alternative to taking separate history, literature, and art classes to satisfy general education requirements. The 2018-2019 academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the program, which over the intervening years has become a central part of the Milligan experience. As part of the celebration, The Holloway Archives at Milligan College has opened an exhibit on the history of the Humanities program in the lobby of the Gregory Center.

Jack Knowles, humanities professor, teaches a class outside (undated photo from the 1970s)

The exhibit is divided into four sections. The first is a timeline of the development of the program, from 1965 when a restudy of the general education requirements began, and 1968 when the program began its first year, to 2018 when the Master of Arts in Humanities began its first year. The second section walks through the founders of the program, with photos of beloved long-time humanities faculty and others. Alumni and current students will recognize many faces in these archival photos. The third section covers the Humanities European Study Tour, a faculty-led tour of Europe that began in 1971 and continues to the present. Several yearbook spreads document the development of this popular study abroad option, including years when the group traveled around Europe in a van and camped. The last section includes articles about the Humanities program from The Stampede, including an amusing cartoon of what one’s brain looks like after studying humanities!

Cartoon by Doug Hartley, The Stampede, April 7, 1995, p. 4

“I hope students and alumni alike come by Gregory to see the exhibit,” says Katherine Banks, College Archivist and curator of the exhibit. “I think they will all find something interesting in it, whether it’s a photo of a favorite professor or seeing what the Humanities experience was like for students thirty or forty years ago.” The physical exhibit will be displayed in the Gregory Center lobby throughout the month of April. A digital version of the exhibit is available for viewing on MCStor, Milligan College’s digital repository.

Archives Intern mounts exhibit on the history of Wonderful Wednesday

Written by Larrun Maynor (’19) and Katherine Banks

A new exhibit has been installed in the Welshimer Library with items from the Holloway Archives. Larrun Maynor, Class of 2019, has curated the exhibit as part of her archives internship with the Holloway Archives.

Larrun Maynor (’19) with the exhibit.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Wonderful Wednesday. Wonderful Wednesday is a day that most, if not all, Milligan students look forward to in their spring semester. It’s a day shrouded in mystery, however, since only a handful of people know the actual date it will take place and these are sworn to secrecy. This annual tradition began on April 30, 1969. President Jess Johnson made a declaration on the Seeger Chapel steps that there would be no classes for the day and that students instead could “hearken to the opportunities for food, fun, and fellowship.” Activities in the early years included discussion panels, picnics, softball games, and folk dancing. In the later years, activities such as races up and down Sutton Hill, Jell-O wrestling, and tug-of-war over the creek became popular. One tradition that has remained a crowd favorite is the waterslide. The exhibit highlights many of these activities through photos, yearbooks, and other documents.

1984 Wonderful Wednesday activities

When asked about her experience while doing research, Larrun replied, “I truly enjoyed searching through the archives to find the different images and documents that are being displayed in this exhibit. There were so many fun pictures to choose from, especially in the yearbooks.”

Katherine (Katie) Banks, the college archivist and internship supervisor, says, “I hope that Milligan students and faculty alike will drop by to see the history of this surprise holiday. Larrun has picked out some great items to show the day’s history. Visitors might be surprised to see how much the holiday has changed since 1969!”

You can also view parts of the exhibit online through MCStor, Milligan College’s digital repository.

Milligan’s Archive Internship opportunity

Each fall semester, students are invited to apply for one volunteer Archive Internship opportunity at The Holloway Archives at Milligan College. The internship begins the following spring semester. All majors are welcome to apply. Please stay tuned for announcements coming this fall.

Have a Milligan history question? Contact the archivist here.
Find out more about Milligan’s archives here.
Find us on Twitter at #MilliganArchives

Helsabeck Archives Receives North American Christian Convention Archives

Milligan Libraries is excited to announce that the Helsabeck Archives of the Stone-Campbell Movement recently received the North American Christian Convention archives. The large collection of over 100 boxes contains material spanning the history of the convention. Included are photos, audio and visual material, and papers documenting the 90 year plus history of the independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ’s annual convention.

“When the NACC (North American Christian Convention) contacted us about donating their archives, I was thrilled,” Katherine Banks, Information Resources Librarian & College Archivist, says. “Because the Helsabeck Archives is focusing on collecting the history of the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ branch of the Stone-Campbell Movement and the Convention is such a pivotal part of that branch’s history, I knew it would make a wonderful centerpiece collection for the archives.”

Letterhead from the NACC Executive Director Records collection

First held in 1927, the North American Christian Convention was a gathering of the independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ (“4 C’s”). As such, it was not a denominational meeting, but a meeting highlighted by discussions, exhibits, worship services, and preaching. Beginning in 1950, the convention was held annually until 2018, after which it changed its name to Spire. The convention has been held in conjunction with other similar meetings at times, including a long tenure with Bible Bowl, a youth Bible quiz competition.

“This collection is a superb addition to the Helsabeck Archives,” remarks David Kiger, Theological Librarian and Assistant Director of Library Services. “Our goal with the Helsabeck Archives is to be a vital research center for Stone-Campbell Movement history. Because of Milligan and Emmanuel’s long-standing connection with the convention, the NACC archives is one giant step in that direction.” Former Theological Librarian John Mark Wade donated the shelving necessary to house this unique collection in the Helsabeck Archives.

Newsletter title from the NACC Executive Director Records collection

The first collection made available for research from the larger NACC archives collection is the Executive Director Office’s records. “This has been a fascinating part of the larger collection to work on,” says Banks, who prepared this collection for research. “For anyone wanting to know the work and planning that went into preparing for and debriefing from the convention every year, this will be a valuable resource.” A finding aid (detailed record of the collection, including a list of the contents) can be found on MCStor, Milligan Libraries’ institutional repository. Other parts of the larger archives will be opened for research as they are processed.

We are grateful to the North American Christian Convention for choosing the Helsabeck Archives and Milligan Libraries to preserve their history!

The Helsabeck Archives of the Stone-Campbell Movement, located in the Seminary Library branch of Milligan Libraries, is open by appointment 8:00 AM-4:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

Holloway Archives Mounts New Archives Exhibit for Fall 2018

The Holloway Archives has installed a new exhibit for Fall 2018. “We Must Rebuild”: Milligan College’s Fire of 1918 focuses on the Milligan of one hundred years ago and the devastating fire that changed the college. “When I realized that it was exactly one hundred years since this pivotal event in Milligan’s history, I thought it would make a interesting exhibit,” says archivist Katie Banks. “While researching for the exhibit, I found some really fascinating items.”

The exhibit displays what Milligan College was like a hundred years ago. Henry J. Derthick had been president for about a year, and the campus was almost unrecognizable from what it is today. The Great War had also affected the school, including the introduction of the Student Army Training Corps, a program to train men to be officers while living on campus and attending the host institution. Just days after the war ended, the Administration Building–the main college building–burned, leaving students homeless and the college without its records, teaching materials, library, and classrooms. But through the perseverance and hard work of President Derthick, the college recovered and flourished with new buildings and improvements, including a new Administration Building–renamed years later as Derthick Hall.

The old Administration Building after the fire, circa 1918

This story is told through items such as photos, letters, and student publications. One item is a letter from Herbert Hoover, dated October 21, 1918, at the time representing the United States Food Administration, asking the college to help in a food conservation program. Another interesting item is a brick recovered during more recent Derthick Hall renovations believed to be from the old Administration Building that burned. The most sentimental item in the exhibit is a letter from President Derthick to Josephus Hopwood expressing his thoughts about the fire. “Milligan has been the object of your love for so long a time that I know you are deeply moved over the loss. We must rebuild and in a very large way. Your child must accomplish even greater things in the future than she has in the past.” [Derthick to Hopwood, 1918 November 19, Hopwood Correspondence, The Holloway Archives at Milligan College, Milligan College, TN] These lines reveal Derthick’s ambition to keep the college going and even strengthen it, which he ultimately would do.

Detail of the exhibit showing a brick believed to be from the old Administration Building.

Be sure to come check out this exhibit on the first floor of the Welshimer Library! Library hours are Monday-Thursday 7:45 AM-Midnight, Friday 7:45 AM-5:00 PM, Saturday 11:00 AM-5:00 PM, and Sunday 2:00 PM-Midnight. You can also view other portions of the exhibit in MCStor, Milligan College’s institutional repository.

If you would like to know more about Milligan’s history, set up an appointment with archivist Katie Banks to visit The Holloway Archives!

Archives Intern mounts exhibit on the Stone-Campbell Movement

Kristen Williams, Class of ’18, completed the Holloway Archives Internship at Milligan College this past Spring semester. One of the highlights of Kristen’s internship was curating and installing the “Legacy of Christian Unity: The Stone-Campbell Movement” archive exhibit at P. H. Welshimer Memorial Library. Starting in January, Kristen began researching primary resources of prominent Stone-Campbell figures in the Holloway Archives collections. With the Stone-Campbell Journal Conference being hosted at Milligan in April 2018, Kristen prepared to curate an exhibit to showcase Milligan’s connection with the Stone-Campbell Movement.

When asked about her research, Kristen replied, “I didn’t have any real knowledge about the Stone-Campbell Movement. Learning about the Stone-Campbell Movement and seeing it reflected by prominent people at Milligan was really interesting. Taking the time to research and learn about the movement has helped me better understand what it’s all about and see the impact it has had on Milligan College.”

How does one select from so many historical items for an exhibit? “When I was deciding on which items to place in the exhibit, I looked for books, pictures, and scholarly papers. I found interesting papers that dealt with the theme of Christian unity, which made it really easy to make the connections between the different items.”

“I displayed the exhibit in chronological order. I started with an excerpt from Beside the Waters of the Buffalo: A History of Milligan College to 1941 by Cynthia Ann Cornwell. The excerpt showcased how the division of one church led to the creation of a new church that would later become Hopwood Memorial Church and later a part of Milligan College. I then focused on major figures related to Milligan College: Robert Milligan, Frederick D. Kershner, P.H. Welshimer, B.D. Phillips, Mildred Welshimer Phillips, and Henry Webb.”

When asked to reflect on her internship experience, Kristen shared, “The archives internship has been so fun and interesting! I have enjoyed researching and being in the Archives. I loved finding pieces like Mildred Welshimer Phillips’ badge from the 1950 International Convention of Disciples of Christ. This little badge was tucked away in her folder. It was also really neat to have the exhibit be a part of the Stone-Campbell Journal Conference that was hosted here at Milligan.”

Kristen Williams graduates from Milligan in May with a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a minors in Multimedia Journalism and Women’s and Gender Study. Kristen received the Get Real Ministries “Love God. Love People” Scholarship and was the recipient of Milligan Women’s Soccer Scholarship. Kristen actively served as Assistant Editor for The Stampede, Milligan’s student newspaper. Kristen will attend graduate school in East Tennessee State University’s library science program starting this fall.

Milligan’s Archive Internship opportunity
Each fall semester, students are invited to apply for one volunteer Archive Internship opportunity at The Holloway Archives at Milligan College. The internship begins the following spring semester. All majors are welcome to apply. Please stay tuned for announcements coming this fall.

Have a Milligan history question? Contact library@milligan.edu.
Find out more about Milligan’s archives here.
Find us on Twitter at #MilliganArchives