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Centennial Celebration. Records, 1936-1950

Identifier: RG09-01

Scope and Contents

The files begin with copies of the scripts used in Broadcasts over radio stations WSOC and WBT as part of the Centennial Celebration. Next, there is a file on general correspondence involving the Centennial Celebration. This particular file contains a letter signed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., congratulating the College on its centennial anniversary. The third file contains correspondence with the various delegates and V.I.P's invited to speak at the college. The vast majority of the letters are from presidents of various colleges and universities at the time. The files then contain a large amount of information on the Centennial Pageant. Original copies of musical scores and scripts are available. Information is also available on the costumes rented, the list of cast members and the dimensions of the stage. The files also contain two Centennial Scrapbooks. One scrapbook focuses mainly on the pageant, while the other scrapbook focuses on all other activities of the Centennial Celebration. Material printed specifically for the celebration, i.e., copies of speakers' addresses and the Centennial brochures, are available. In Oversize storage, there is a blueprint for the stage that was set up, but never used.


  • Creation: 1936


Biographical / Historical

In 1937, Davidson College was 100 years old and the college was primed for a big celebration. Both the Charlotte Observer and the Charlotte News published elaborate special editions in May for the forthcoming festivities. The faculty had been organized into committees, alumni classes invited, professionals hired for special events, invitations sent to the sister institutions, and V.I.P.'s invited to preach and praise. The whole celebration was scheduled to last three days, June 6th, 7th, and 8th. The celebration began with the Baccalaureate Service on Sunday, June 6th, preceded by the Processional to Pomp and Circumstance." The Davidson Symphonic Band announced a concert Sunday afternoon and there was another religious service that night with Dean Gauss from Princeton making the principal address. Monday was devoted to more processionals, music, and at least five addresses or greetings. For the actual Commencement Exercises on Tuesday, June 8th, Governor Clyde R. Hoey agreed to speak, and the College awarded 17 honorary degrees in addition to the students' bachelors. The climax of the celebration, however, was to be the Centennial Pageant to be presented on Monday, June 7th, the night before graduation. A large percentage of the undergraduates were involved and the underclassmen had agreed to give up a few days of vacation for this once-in-a-lifetime gala. Costumes had been rented, musical scores had been composed and scripts had been written. According to the Centennial brochure, "the historical pagenant is confidently expected to be the most elaborate and spectacular ever presented in this state." On Monday, June 7th, however, the rains came. No preparation had been made for an indoor performance nor would such have been feasible in any event. Much to the chagrin of the faculty, staff and students, the pageant was cancelled and no attempts were made at rescheduling."


3.00 boxes_oversize (3 boxes + oversize)