Chapter Fourteen - The Spahr Years
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IN the twenty-five years 1934 to 1959, three presidents succeeded one another on campus: Corson for a decade, Prettyman in a brief climax to his forty-four years as Professor of German Languages and Literature, and the thirteen stormy seasons of William Wilcox Edel. But it is a quarter century dominated throughout by Boyd Lee Spahr.

The charter amendment of February, 1912, had created the new office of President of the Board. The President of the College remained as an ex officio member, but subordinate to whatever authority the other chose to exert. It is inescapable that this change, moved and put through by young Spahr, leader of the progressive anti-denominational group, was conceived as a means of escape from the parochialism of the past. The first incumbent, Presbyterian Judge Biddle, had remained benignly inactive while Morgan strove in his vigorous way to prove that a college of impeccable academic standing could be developed in close alliance with the Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Church.

Spahr entered the office in 1931, "against the tearful protest of Dr. Morgan," as anti-church stalwart Paul Appenzellar described it, and with the support of all those who desired complete independence.1 Through the years he had been constantly active in trustee and alumni affairs. His relationship with Morgan had been outwardly cordial, though he was aware of Morgan's opposition to some of his favorite projects, such as the



union of Law School and College. He would now combine more constant attention with more generous giving. The President of the Board would become the real executive authority of the College, a busy lawyer at a distance of more than a hundred miles, yet with a finger on virtually every detail of its administration.

This control became complete with the final retirement of Morgan. Spahr had agreed to the Waugh dismissal, probably because Morgan had brought campus tensions to a point that seemed to preclude any other solution. The peak years of the Spahr era begin with the election of Fred Pierce Corson as President of the College, June 8, 1934—Methodist clergyman whose classmates of '17 had recognized his ministerial dedication and executive talent in the nickname "Bishop." He had earned his B.D. at Drew in 1920 and served various pastorates for a decade before becoming District Superintendent of the Brooklyn South District, New York, an eminence which his alma mater had crowned with a D.D. in 1931, his first of a score of honorary degrees.

Corson, with no previous experience in academic administration, readily accepted the Spahr role. Spahr's interests ranged everywhere, from fundamental policy down to athletic control, fraternity rushing or some detail in the alteration of a building.2  Letters flowed back and forth between the Presidents, sometimes two or three in a day. The telephone, certainly in later Spahr years, was much in use.3  Spahr's success in the law brought not only more and more munificent giving but the capable management of estates willed to the College, sometimes under complex terms. Always a keen amateur historian, he gave much time to tracing Dickinson figures of the past down to potential donors of the present, performing this service with thoroughness and skill. By the same token, he was filling the chapel and other walls with portraits of the Dickinson great, so that the campus itself would speak to all comers of its long history. Through the years, he would continue to seek manuscripts and rare books for the Library's Dickinsoniana Collection, which had had its curatorial staff since 1932.

Every year throughout these years the proofs of the Col-



lege catalogue were sent to Spahr, who meticulously read and revised them, thought and phrase, colon and comma. The President of the Board, annually reelected, was apparently oblivious to rising alumni resentment of one-man control, and certainly there was no alumnus ready to give an equivalent in time and money.4  The large Board had its majority of Methodists, the one necessary condition to receiving the conference funds, with Spahr seeing to it that as many as possible were men who put College loyalty first.5  In Board as in College, each president appointed all his committees. Spahr's large and congenial Executive Committee soon became responsible for all major decisions, which were then regularly endorsed by the full Board. All opinion was represented on it, all were in friendly consultation; and yet Spahr, adroit and tactful, not unwilling to compromise, remained always the deciding voice.

In Duffield's day the few local trustees had run everything. Now they were campus observers for Spahr. Most of the total of forty or fifty had little to do and little to contribute. Spahr himself deplored the general concept of membership as purely honorific.6  In 1936, thirty-nine trustees gave $5,680, Spahr, Appold and Appenzellar each having put in $1,000. Many sent only token sums and seven nothing whatever.7  Appenzellar, succeeding Methodist Appold as Finance Chairman in 1935, dourly estimated only 20 per cent of all giving as from church-related sources.8

In Corson the anti-denominational group felt that it had found a clergyman wholly dedicated to academic administration—a precise, efficient, budget-minded manager and, to cheer their hearts, a Methodist willing to concede that many of his faith lacked the intellectual ideals which must sustain a front-rank liberal arts community. On these terms he won cordial acceptance by the militantly anti-clerical business executive Appenzellar, banker and Chairman of the Board of the Dictaphone Corporation, who was bringing new order and promise into the financial structure of the College. Appenzellar expressed his immediate approval by remodelling the President's House.9  Thus began a cordial relationship which, considering this trustee's explosive temperament and habit of peremptory command, must have been something of a strain on the President of the



College, jarring also at times the nerves of the President of the Board.

Corson, with what most college presidents would consider an overdose of trustee prompting was at least left almost wholly in charge of the curriculum. Here he could make his own mark in the educational world—as long, of course, as it brought no additional expense. History indeed repeats itself and these Dickinson presidents of the Spahr era would see the repetition of some of the phenomena of the Duffield years, 1821 to 1832. Historian Boyd Lee Spahr was fully aware of the past evils of "trustee interference." Morgan—surely with his own situation in mind—had been at pains to emphasize them in his 1933 History. Yet here again we find the same legalistic interpretation of trustee duties and prerogatives taking hold. Trustee authority becomes increasingly remote, until meetings cease altogether to be held on campus. There was but one token point of contact. Beginning in 1935, two professors met with a trustee Committee on Honorary Degrees, a reform originally proposed by Waugh. Beyond this the rift was complete and, as in former days, was reflected in on-campus distrusts and divisions.

These years bring also the emergence of aggressive student opinion, hostile to administration, critical of faculty, and at times more effective than either in bringing advance. The student body continued at about 550, dropping sharply during the war years, and at the peace rising steadily beyond 1,000. Part of this growth would come from a gradual relaxing of the limitation on co-eds to 25 per cent.10  The women had Metzger, spacious and archaic, as their only domain until Old East was given a quick face-lifting and opened to them in 1946. At the same time, Biddle House became a men's dormitory, but there would be no further progress here until Morgan Hall was completed in 1955. Corson established a student health service in 1936.11  The need for a student union, acknowledged in 1935, had token recognition with the building of South College in 1947, but social life remained centered in the fraternities and sororities throughout this period.12

The fraternity spirit permeated everything through these years, with separate, competitive loyalties which often outweighed any feeling for the College as a whole.13  Here drinking



and other convivialities of dum vivimus vivamus were sheltered and fostered. President Corson at once addressed himself to the problems of control. New rules for chaperonage, along with the point system on extra-curricular activities, added unwelcome duties for the underpaid faculty.14  "Hell Week" was curbed for a while after the death of a student in 1935.15  Yet by 1940 Corson must needs acknowledge that drinking involved the women as well as men, and we have, deep in the shadows of this past, the awesome spectacle of Mrs. Meredith redoubling her vigilance.16

Dickinson, still fearfully and devoutly conservative in social regulations, had moved ahead of many colleges in the problem of subsidized athletics, so worrisome to Morgan. The Board of Athletic Control (President, Treasurer, Dean of the Law School, two faculty, two alumni and one Senior student) had been established by trustee action June 8, 1934. Primarily intended to control the increasing athletic budget, the Board brought other forms of regulation as well. Limited scholarship inducements would be offered, but with no relaxation of academic requirements. In November, 1934, Spahr, who when younger had supported athletic subsidies, was strongly protesting the Board's decision to remain in the Eastern Pennsylvania Athletic Conference. It imposed a choice between full subsidies or consistently losing, and he urged the scheduling only of schools equal in standards and size.17

It was in this period that football fire and fury earned Dickinson's brightly jerseyed players the title of "Red Devils"—deplored by Corson, who vainly sought to substitute a more temperate soubriquet, "Colonials."18 "Mac"—Richard Henry McAndrews, former professional baseball player—had been the bright centering force in Dickinson athletics for more than twenty years, as he would continue to be for more than twenty. Mac would lose all control of himself in the excitement of a game. Morgan was his apologist when a Philadelphia coach complained of his "antics" in 1934—the "strictures not unmerited," Jim Henry confessed, but "a fine man at heart and the soul of kindness and helpfulness to the boys."19

"Old Mac" has a stellar role in the lore of all these years—Old Mac, who, "taking his morning swim in the pool found



that he had company in the form of a baby shark, brought from Baltimore by fast car, by students with the shark's interests at heart." This from John Nicholson, whose long academic career reached its peak in the Library at Kent State, recalling fondly the Mermaid's goings and comings, the white horse holding center stage in chapel, a host of vivid and affectionate memories of this campus.

What is Dickinson? It is made up of all these things, for me, for all Dickinsonians. It is made up of many more things like these, as well. Its ancient past, its mellow middle years, its merry, warm—hearted modern times, its rich tradition, its willingness to venture into new, still-to-be-explored ways, its resistance to change, and yet its willingness to accept change when change is for the good of Dickinsonians and for Dickinson herself. Dickinson is, for me, a memory, and a very happy one. Dickinson is a ghost for me. I have said to myself, time and time again, "I cannot go back to Dickinson, for it will have changed, and will not be the same as the memory I have of a richly blessed campus." And yet I have come back, over and over again to Dickinson, and found her still the same . . . quiet, and filled with comfort; unchanged and unchanging; and yet always somehow renewed. This is part of the mystery which makes a great college great for all men and women who come within her influence.20

Nicholson's tender recollection was supported by a librarian's precise insights, notably in the meticulous study of undergraduate reading which he had made in collaboration with Russell Thompson.21 This was a recognition of the expanding emphasis on library use in higher education. At Dickinson, where active growth had been delayed until the Carnegie grants of 1931-36, the collection expanded from 52,192 volumes in 1933 to 63,300 in 1938; the budget from $6,050 to $15,027 in the same period. This was being achieved by Librarian May Morris, in office since 1927. At her retirement in 1956 the figures would be 102,326 volumes and $48,576. Here "Maisie," who reckoned a sense of humor and "a glint in the eye" among the essential qualifications for librarianship, was building her own little empire in open alliance with the younger and more progressive faculty.

These were a minority, but an active one. In the Spahr era we see the gradual disappearance of the small, perennial faculty



group, known to generations of alumni accepted into their lore with love or friendly derision. Ernest Albert Vuilleumier of Chemistry had succeeded Baldy Sellers as Dean in 1933. Sellers, of limited genius but transcendent devotion, had somehow accumulated a small fortune on his miniscule salary, and left it all to Dickinson. His will, penned late one night near the end on an English Department memo pad, opens quaintly, "If I should die before I wake . . . ", and goes on to particularize the disposal of $60,000.22 Vuilleumier's faculty, as John Nicholson remembered it, was made up of "sound scholars and devoted teachers. Very fortunate are those of us who remember Mulford Stough and his provocative history classes; and Russell Thompson with his wry and dry humor, and his continuing good-natured feud with his long-time friendly enemy Mulford Stough. That happy feud enlivened a good many classes for students who will remember the long-distance arguments which transpired between the two. There was Dean Vuilleumier's benignant way of handling all students. There was the encyclopedic memory of Herbert Wing, and his astonishing book and paper filled office. There was Whit Bell with his students crowding around him at the end of class. And there were so many more."23

The scientists led in publication—"Vooley," Herber, Rogers, Parlin and Eddy. Dr. Eddy's expertise in hair classification had launched him toward fame in 1934 with his solution of the "Babes in the Wood" murder case.24 In the humanities, Dr. Doney's wide influence is reflected in the new literary magazine, The Hornbook, founded in 1932 with Craig R. Thompson as a student editor. Doney and Wing applied Harvard standards to their work, but there were those on this faculty whose success as professors ran far ahead of their formal credentials—Charles Lowe Swift, in English, ex-schoolteacher and newspaperman, friend and drinking companion of H. L. Mencken; or the equally original Stough, whose response to a Middle States questionnaire on himself is barren indeed but does include, on background experience, the debonair, "Fishing over the continent has helped me much in geography."25

Corson, efficient and thorough, was a perfect trustees' man on campus. His control over the faculty was complete. In those dark Depression years he kept the institution solvent. Salaries



were minimal and based on each individual's absolute need. They were now reduced but, as in Civil War days, with the reduction contingent on a deficit. Corson therefore must have earned some faculty gratitude by keeping his accounts in the black.26 In the year 1933-34 expenses had equaled income at $165,804, but in 1940-41, costs of $264,126 came well within the $299,000 income—statistics which go far to explain trustee approval of the Corson regime. A favorite story of Dr. Paul Herbert Doney told of his summons to the President's office to be informed that his services—certainly outstanding—were to be rewarded by a raise in salary. The raise, not specified at the time, turned out to be $50 for the year. Carlisle merchants were cudgeled into giving college and faculty discounts an effort long to be echoed in town resentments.27 New trustee bylaws of June 7, 1935 regularized faculty rank and made a step toward tenure for full professors. As young Professor Mary B. Taintor recalled, Corson rarely if ever gave the answer one wished to hear, but at least it was always uttered with unmistakable precision.

In setting out to modernize the curriculum, the President took and held the initiative, organizing faculty committees to do the work but keeping his own superior coordinating role before them. An honors program supported by oral and written examinations and a thesis, similar to but more stringent than Waugh's, came first.28 On September 12, 1936, Corson asked and was given faculty authorization to appoint a committee "to study the correlation of work during the Senior year." This brought into being the "Committee of Eight" and a two-year study resulting in a long advance toward the ideal of academic excellence. Its chairman was Herbert Wing, Jr., who had been carrying much of the programs in both Greek and History; his colleagues were Carver, Doney, Landis, Prettyman, Sellers, Thompson and Vuilleumier. By June, "a definite change in academic policy" could be announced, though the work of formulation continued.29 In September, 1938, it was virtually ready for application to the Class of 1942. Freshman and Sophomore work was to be a liberal preparation for the more specialized Junior and Senior years, and sophomore comprehensive examinations would determine fitness to enter the upperclass pro-



gram. Seniors must take two broadly conceived courses, World Literature and Philosophy of Life, and must pass comprehensive examinations in their majors to graduate. Some freedoms, such as unlimited class absences for A students, offset the rigidity of the requirements. "Independent study" existed in the form of reading periods in lieu of class, followed by testing or papers.30 After Freshman year, participation in at least one extracurricular activity was expected, with more dependent upon each student's standing.31

Favorable comment in the New York Times sealed the College's commitment to quality education along these new lines.32 Yet factors were present or approaching which would limit or defeat much of the effort. While World Literature, first taught by Swift and more lately by Amos Benjamin Horlacher, became one of the most popular and effective courses, Philosophy of Life never got off the ground, due to opposition in the Department of Religion.33 It was a proposal in which the President had taken a warm personal interest, and he would have been one of the fourteen faculty involved in teaching it. To the historian it is interesting as a modernized revival of the old presidential Moral Philosophy course, intended to top off everything else with a guide to right living.34 The plan for senior comprehensives, adopted by the faculty on March 31, 1941, would be postponed soon after for the duration of the war, and the war would bring with it new influences affecting the whole program.

The shadow of world conflict had first been felt in 1938 when Chinese students ceased to come from Fukien Christian University, held back by the crisis of invasion.35 Oblivious to turmoil abroad, a new major financial campaign was launched in 1940, only to be brought to a sudden halt by the Japanese attack in December, 1941.36 It had two accomplishments in that brief period. About $15,000 was raised, and a new founding date, 1773, acquired.

"I guess I put my foot in it a little with President Hutchison of Washington and Jefferson at the Harrisburg luncheon," Boyd Lee Spahr had confided to Corson, January 25, 1939. He had ridiculed the practice of adopting an official founding date based on that of "an earlier academy," only to learn afterward



that his fellow guest had done exactly that. Nine months later, representing Dickinson at the inauguration of Haverford's new president, he found W. and J. called out and marching to the fore, with rank as the second oldest college in Pennsylvania. This Spahr's devotion to his school, always alertly competitive, could not brook. Here was a point of prestige, as he told Corson, "which I think we should conserve." Others might "smile tolerantly at it," but "I am not going to yield second place to Washington and Jefferson and I think you agree with me."37

He had already given, in advance of the campaign, $7,500 toward completion of property holdings on the Mooreland campus, and $10,000 toward the renovation of Bosler Hall. Bosler must be expanded for library purposes and, in keeping with his ideal of a coherent architecture for the whole campus, given Georgian lines and a facing of the native limestone. Other contributors were mustered, and the work completed in October, 1940.38 As affairs were managed at this time, no one dreamed of consulting Miss Morris, and the result, from a librarian's viewpoint, left much to be desired. Maisie, presented with a completely uncentralized addition, handled the situation well. Her new "Spahr Room" brought a warmer, more constant and more personal rapport between this trustee and the Library. Her "Sharp Room," dedicated to recreational reading, set for the whole campus a new standard of attractive furnishing and atmosphere and became the scene of her Thursday afternoon Library Teas, bringing students and faculty regularly together, the one place besides the President's House where a College guest could be graciously entertained.

In 1942 Dr. Wing first offered his course in The History and Interpretation of World War II, in effect a very wide-ranging background survey which was continued, with variations, until his retirement in 1961. A two-course offering in Aviation, under Dr. Parlin and sponsored by the Civil Aeronautics Authority, ended its second and last year in 1942. Beginning on March 1, 1943, a large segment of campus and faculty was taken over by the Thirty-second Training Detachment (Air Crew). A group of 140 entered each month for a five-month course, with a maximum student body of about 700. Conway and East were barracks. Classes were in Denny, Tome and West. The old gymnasium was converted into a mess hall. In all, 2,260 cadets passed



through the program until its sudden termination, January 29, 1944.

The outbreak of war had brought grave anxiety as to the College's financial future. Now, with only 195 undergraduates and the war still in progress, there was a new sense of emergency. Plans were made to enlarge housing facilities for women students, and the alumni asked for $30,000 in contributions, more than doubling the recent Annual Giving figures. The President's statement of the case to the trustees, February 12, 1944, was published at once in the Alumnus, suppressing, however his revelation that the government occupancy had, in fact been remarkably profitable, accumulating a surplus of between $125,000 and $150,000. Nor was it published that salaries had dropped back from government to College level with appointments still on the emergency year-to-year basis.39 Happily, not only did the alumni meet their goal, but Annual Giving continued to move upward from the $30,000 figure.

President Corson, having added a sense of crisis to plans for the immediate future, was now, simultaneously, himself a point of crisis. "Bishop" of 1917 was in line for an actual bishopric in the Methodist Church. The news broke in the late summer of 1943, shocking those trustees who had thought that Corson, like Reed, "would count it but honor and privilege" to serve the College through life. It was now rumored that "Bishop" had been actively seeking this consummation for the last five years.40 Shocked or no, the Board might have responded simply and normally by casting about forthwith for an advantageous replacement. But "the fly in the ointment" (a phrase recurrent in Morgan's correspondence) was Paul Appenzellar. The Chairman of the Finance Committee had done wonders with the College portfolio, had arranged with the Chase Manhattan Bank for loans at 1½ per cent, and had given generously himself. Appenzellar, with that tight, nervous mouth in the large face, willful, domineering, had accepted Corson as a friend and as a convert to the idea of College over Church. He now sensed betrayal. At least four times already he had struck cold fear into his colleagues of the Spahr group by threats to resign, once because of the suggestion that a Democrat be given an honorary degree.41

Appenzellar and manufacturer Robert Rich, who favored



Corson's elevation, became protagonists in a wordy battle. Spahr, who in September had been mildly urging Corson to decline any bishopric, by April, 1944, was warning him that acceptance would mean instant termination of his college presidency—at the same time reminding both contestants of "an old tavern in Philadelphia where there was a large sign on the wall, 'Gentlemen must not discuss politics or religion.'" 42 There followed negotiations with Corson in which the trustees enacted salary and retirement benefits to offset the economic advantages of the episcopacy. Appenzellar felt certain and Spahr reassured that this action included an agreement on Corson's part to decline. The correspondence leaves one with an impression that Dr. Corson was as eager for the new office as any churchman might be expected to be, but pursued it hoping that if successful it would appear as a draft, an irresistible call to duty. He seems also to have regarded it as one which could be successfully combined with a college presidency. On Sunday, May 28, 1944, he himself delivered the commencement address marking his tenth year as President and wearing for the first time the purple gown in which Dickinson Presidents still appear.43 Less than a fortnight later he became, on second ballot a Bishop of the Church—and the storm broke.

As early as December 6, 1943, Appenzellar had contemplated using Corson's new ambition to "begin a movement to take the College out of any church connection"—let the Board simply tell the managers of the two conference funds to discontinue payments and that would be that, small loss and a final liberation. Spahr, however sympathetic, saw it nonetheless as profitless contention.44

Corson, triumphant at his election by the Jurisdictional Conference at Ocean City, opened one telegram which was far from congratulatory. Bob Rich, standing near, saw the flush of anger as the Bishop reached its conclusion:

                                                     PAUL APPENZELLAR 45


Treasurer Gilbert Malcolm received, as promptly, a demand that Appenzellar's $1,000 check be returned and daring him to sue for the remainder of his $20,000 subscription.46 Sumner Drayer, mild-tempered manufacturer of Miss America Candies, was staggered by a "terrific" letter.47 To Spahr came ink-splashed longhand letters blasting all Methodists and hinting at a willingness to withdraw his resignation in return for an all-out fight, seasoning rancor with poetry—from Tennyson, "His honor rooted in dishonor stood," and from Milton's "Lycidas," "a favorite of mine . . . this line which took on new meaning as I recall our recent 'mess,' 'As killing as the canker to the rose'—There's church control to a college!"48

Spahr hastened out to Carlisle. He would not break with the Church, but he would instantly erase the possibility, for which Corson had already provided, of combining presidency and bishopric. He met with the Board of Deans and passed on to the Executive Committee its recommendation that Will Prettyman take over as Acting President.49 He then urged Appenzellar to reconsider his resignation—ventured to "suppose" that the next President would be a Methodist, "but I am certainly gun-shy at selecting a clergyman. . . .I don't propose to have the College act as a nursery for bishops."50

In his last trustee meeting as President, Corson had recommended a Committee on Student Life—two faculty and two trustees to survey the communal situation as a whole rather than from the fraternity and other viewpoints Spahr appointed Russell I. Thompson as chairman, Arthur V. Bishop and trustees Lloyd W. Johnson and S. Walter Stauffer. He had in his hands Thompson's "View of the Future of Dickinson College," written in that spring, a personal appraisal of the institution and its potentials, a full and lucid statement by a professional educator and devoted alumnus. It may well have been the first such thing he had read. Thompson's reports to the Committee were equally perceptive and clear.51

Simultaneously, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, while continuing accreditation, was pointing out to Prettyman areas of serious weakness in the structure he had inherited in the program of objective and comprehensive testing, in a preponderance of high grades, inade-



quacy of laboratories, the summer session, the lack of a policy on faculty tenure, the financial structure. Prettyman reported to Spahr, who advised him upon what answers to return.52

Raphael Smead Hays, Carlisle manufacturer who figures in this history as the discreet student assistant of "Docky" Reed, was the first to suggest that in recognition of his long service the new President be elected without the pejorative "Acting."53 This was done. Thompson could well have been the right choice of a younger man. But "Dutch" Prettyman, old-timer, heart and soul a professor, humorous eye and lounging walk, possessed an experience and commanded an affection that promised well. Here, as one of his students, Dr. James Morgan Read, '29, has described him, was "a tremendously large human spirit," a teacher who taught, for the most part, "by the simple force of his personality," in love with his discipline and yet always with the whole range of learning and culture in view. That was not all. Prettyman had been an innovator in the use of teaching aids, the first to play records to his language classes and show films. Read had been the first to benefit by the student exchange program with German universities which Prettyman had inaugurated and financed by money-raising departmental events.

Characteristically, Prettyman dedicated his administration first of all to a blessed release from rigors of the past. "A new President—A New Spirit"—so the students hailed him in a newspaper keyed to progress, The Free Dickinsonian. Its mimeographed pages took a bold stand for mature journalistic responsibility, rejecting both the old Dickinsonian's carefully supervised reporting and the carefree abandon of that "low obscene scandal sheet" recently published for the first time, the Drinkinsonian.54 It made a plea as well for mature and responsible student government. Prettyman actually consulted the students on their needs and desires. He reactivated the health service, relaxed the rules on smoking and opened the door to frequent dances which, as he sagely observed, "put them all in a very good frame of mind."55

To Spahr, he recommended two policy reforms: the adoption of a faculty retirement plan, and that Dickinson become coeducational "in the true sense of the term," that is, three hundred women in the student body of six hundred.56 He must



have known that neither stood a very good chance of Board approval, but could readily concur himself with Spahr's first proposal, a D.D. for "the Reverend Howard L. Rubendall, '31, a Presbyterian clergyman who has recently become Headmaster of the Mt. Hermon School in Massachusetts," another teacher known for his popularity with students.57

On March 13, 1945, before he had been a year in office, Prettyman suffered a severe heart attack. He would remain an invalid, dying on August 7, 1946, soon after the long-delayed election of a successor. In the interval, the College was run by an "Administrative Committee" of Spahr, Malcolm and Vuilleumier, a triumvirate whose reign accomplished little and left one of its members, "Vooley," much embittered.58

Spahr's long-standing effort to integrate College and Law School was renewed.59 The basement of Tome was renovated, and Prettyman had thought this would stave off the need for a chemistry building.60 Spahr was for making the old gym and army mess hall into an attractive college commons such as Haverford and Swarthmore had, but not to replace the fraternity dining rooms. Edna Appenzellar, Paul's wife, had promised "a dining hall on the English university plan" a year before, but now it must be done without her help. It was authorized on December 15, 1945, together with a new women's dormitory to be built on Mooreland and replace Metzger.61 Yet alas, in the midst of these pleasant preoccupations new factors were beginning to emphasize the lack of trustee-faculty accord. Faculty elected a committee to codify bylaws and committee structure. Wing opposed any change, and Spahr enjoined the committee to drop the matter pending the election of a president, yet giving an impression that he considered any action by an elected committee a threat to constituted authority.62

Students, meanwhile, were present in greater force than ever before, more than half of them the older, purposeful veterans of the war. Here, as at other colleges, they had lost touch with tradition, the songs, customs, high jinks. Efforts were made repeatedly to arouse interest in the mores of college life, in particular those which had given this college its individuality, but to little avail.63 A rigorous schedule of "Attendance Regulations," with an accompaniment of penalties, enacted February



1, 1946, had to be purged of its system of demerits in October.64 In March, 1946, the Student Senate, out since 1943, was revived with both men and women members, a reform first proposed by Waugh.65

These students wanted the leadership of a president, and he must be a "recognized educator."66 The stormy "demonstration" of December 7, 1945 (a day for the veterans to remember) had made clear that they wanted much else besides: abolition of "faculty politics, " responsible student government, more and better courses, a relaxed and well-defined social policy, vocational guidance and placement, a new Dean of Women.67 But the president came first, and the Harrisburg Patriot confidently predicted that one would be elected when the Board met at the Union League in Philadelphia, December 15.68

High on Spahr's list of candidates was Arthur Sherwood Flemming of the Civil Service Commission, who would later become President of Ohio Wesleyan and then enter Eisenhower's cabinet as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. He had visited Dickinson and expressed a very definite interest, and yet, deeply involved in war and post-war programs of the government, at last declined.69 Spahr continued his search. No choice was made that winter, and only rumors reached the campus. One had it that Charles S. Swope, President of West Chester State, had visited Carlisle and made a particular survey of the President's House to be sure it suited him. Cornelius Fink, the only AAUP man on the faculty, brought his copy of the Bulletin to May Morris with its account of West Chester's place on the censured list, condemning Swope's administration.70 Whitfield Bell and Russell Thompson, casting about for some trustee who might present a counter case, brought the article to Dean Hoffman, Harrisburg newspaperman, and were deeply relieved to learn of Swope's removal from the list.71 The search became desperate. Then came Malcolm to the rescue with the name of his classmate of 1915, Bill Edel, who was due for retirement after thirty years' service as a Navy chaplain. Here was a Methodist clergyman, but one with a fresher, broader ministry behind him, a man experienced in dealing with young men, a new outlook, new view of disciplined living. Instantly



approached, he instantly accepted, and his name was presented and approved, June 7, 1946.

It cannot be said that those who had hoped for a "recognized educator" were happy in the choice. This new man—friendly eyes behind thick lenses in a round, earnest face—had been Superintendent of Education on Samoa from 1924 to 1926. He had received a Dickinson D.D. in 1935. At the first Dickinson ceremony attended by the author of this chronicle, September 18, 1949, he delivered "The Sermon-Theme, 'HOW DIZZY CAN YOU GET' "—a question which, as it then seemed, only time could answer. Yet the mantle of Morgan and Corson had fallen upon a very different sort of fellow. No professor with ideas or ideals of his own would now be confronted with an abrupt threat of dismissal. Edel fully accepted the trustee concept of an authoritarian chain of command, but it would now be administered on campus by a man with a highly sensitive ego, conscious of his share of the poetic-artistic temperament, greatly eager to be loved and admired, and determined to prove himself a great college president.72 To be able to confer a benefit of any sort gave him joy. He rejoiced to find dates, names, personal relationships falling into patterns that seemed to give a special sense of order to the world. He faced his whole task with the duties of obedience and command in mind, and with a ritualistic piety. He himself must preside at every meeting, introduce every speaker, appear in every photograph. The conferring of degrees gave him a solemn pleasure, careful in the formation and utterance of the words by which the transformation was wrought. Every College gathering took on the character of a religious service, opened with a prayer and generally closed with a blessing. Chairing faculty meetings, he always stood when speaking on behalf of the trustees.

He made himself perhaps the hardest-working president the College had ever had, his office always open to faculty concerns, reviewing (and at times amending) committee recommendations, reading and initialing the minutes of student groups—keeping a finger on everything, his West College light often burning far into the night. Displeasure might be expressed in a friendly question, in non-appointment to a committee (there were committees enough to take in everyone), or non-adjust-



ment of salary. Faculty rank was honorary, occasionally a compensation for low salary, and at least once promotion to Associate was made to ease the hurt of dismissal. This gentler management was to be exercised over a changing faculty and student body, each group with its own growing ideals and spirit of independence; and in an era, too, of educational experimentation in ever wider and more fluid patterns. Edel must deal with these trends on the one hand, and on the other with an increasingly conservative Board of Trustees.

Vuilleumier, Chairman of Chemistry, suave and popular professor, had not been happy as a member of the administrative triumvirate with Spahr and Malcolm. He gladly yielded the Dean's office to Russell Thompson, whose experience contributed much to the successful launching of the new regime. Horlacher, Navy colleague, critic and friend of the President, came in as Dean of Men. Library staff was admitted to the faculty with the status of an instructional department, and a regularization of faculty ranking begun—notably with McAndrews; "Mac" became Assistant Professor of Physical Education after thirty-four years as Instructor.73 In response to those earlier student demands the curriculum was modernized, with courses in Russian language and literature among the innovations. These last were authorized by the trustees, 1947, "because of the development of the United Nations and the new political alignments," over the recorded negative votes of Rich and Feroe, and survived only until 1950.74 Greek and Latin had been dropped as requirements for graduation just before Edel's election, with Dickinson the last college in Pennsylvania to take this step.75 The quality-credit system of grading was adopted, and senior comprehensives ordered to begin in 1949.76 The Ph.B. disappears with the Catalogue of 1946-47.

The Middle States Association, still with an eye askance at Dickinson, had sent President Levering Tyson of Muhlenberg to interview Edel, November 15, 1946. Edel a month later proposed a self-evaluation by his faculty, a reappraisal which led up to the visit of the Association's accreditation team, March 7-9, 1949. The Middle States report attested to "a well-organized liberal arts program," though inadequate in speech, music and fine arts. Languages overemphasized grammar and composition,



giving too little attention to literature. A separation of Philosophy and Religion into two departments was advised.77 There were other criticisms but it was, as Dr. Edel reported to the trustees, "generally favorable." The report, however, was not to become a basis for faculty action or discussion. Like the College Charter and Bylaws, it was kept out of general circulation in that defensive withdrawal of administration behind boundaries of its own.

A group of thirteen faculty members brought in a chapter of the American Association of University Professors, December 10, 1948. The Swope incident had created an appreciation of the value of AAUP, but the leadership came from a newcomer, Dr. William Lonsdale Tayler of Political Science.78 Tayler's response to the question, "Do you recognize any responsibility that has a religious connotation resting upon you as a teacher?" had been, "Yes, indeed. To try to practice what I teach—World Citizenship. International understanding and good will to all people."79 It was a doctrine which he would continue to promote with freshness and cheer.

In December, 1946, Edel had asked Spahr for a committee to bring faculty salaries into line with those of other institutions and with the cost of living. He wanted men with a fresh viewpoint, suggesting Stauffer and Masland as experienced employers and William C. Sampson, a superintendent of schools.80 Three years later he shocked the Board with a faculty tenure plan, but was persuaded to withdraw it without formal presentation.81 Crowning all this effort, at the start of the year 1950-51, the trustees granted a bonus of one half of one month's salary in "recognition of faculty assistance in economical administration."82 Salary improvement, when it came, would be under AAUP pressure.

To the Board, first things must come first, with a revival of the deferred financial campaign. A preliminary conference, November 25, 1946, had set primary goals: a women's dormitory, a student union (generally in later references, "student center," "union" being a controversial term in Carlisle) and increase of endowment by $2,500,000.83 The monetary goal was a much smaller, unnamed sum when the "Ten Year Development Program" was launched in a four-day convocation, complete with



parade and honorary degrees, celebrating the College's 175th Anniversary, April 22-25, 1948.84

A survey by the firm of Marts and Lundy, 1947, was viewed by the trustees with an optimism it hardly justified. It shows rather that the cultivation of potential donors had been long neglected and reveals a divided, unenthusiastic constituency. Simultaneous campaigns by both Church and Law School darkened the picture.85 The new President was far behind in the personal contacts which require long cultivation, but forward in creating occasions and distinctions. He joined enthusiastically with Spahr in regularizing the named professorships, creating a core to which others could be, and were, added at $50,000 each—celebrating them in bronze outside his office door.86 Memorial tablets and memorial names flowered everywhere. The vernal celebration of Founders Day was revived. The two top upperclassmen were dubbed Junior and Senior "Sophisters," a word culled from the historic past, and rewarded with scholarships, a place in convocation ceremonies and their names in bronze.

The President came back from a trip to England in the summer of 1951 with refreshed zeal and the idea of chairings. Now each inward and spiritual chair would have its outward and visible one. The professor, after delivering an address on his discipline, would be seated in it by presidential pressure on the shoulders, and at that moment by prearrangement a group of "chairmen" would rush forward to bear seat and seated from the Chapel platform to the faculty section below. This novel "custom" was accepted by faculty with mixed feelings, but by the students with delight and derision, roaring with laughter at the presidential antics and professorial response.

To offset all this with a fixture of ceremonial dignity came the "Great Mace of Dickinson College," carved in wood to Edel specifications and surmounted by a bronze mermaid, the gift, 1951, of Frank E. Masland, Jr. In the same year the Mary Dickinson Club enlisted the women of the College community in its support.87 Here also came the first "Joseph Priestley Celebration," to become an annual occasion of high distinction. In 1954 Mary Dickinson Club pressure brought the Board of Trustees its first woman member, Mary Sharp Foucht, already a



long-time supporter of the College Library.88 That same year valuable support came with the formation of the Parents Advisory Council, a group of forty fathers, ten for each class, selected by the President. Yet a huge job of personal research and solicitation remained undone. Also in 1954, George Shuman, Jr., who had remained with the College in administrative posts since graduation, was called to the Spahr office and given the direction of a reactivated Ten Year Development Program—leaving it to him to inform Edel of the changed situation.89 The spadework of college development followed, searching and thorough, arouslng new interest, such as that of Homer C. Holland, '13; bringing into the Board such stalwarts as Rolland L. Adams, '27; and achieving steadily mounting financial figures.90 The supporting Development Council, organized May 4, 1956, included five trustees, five alumni, three parents, three "friends," two faculty (Taintor and Tayler) and two students.91

In 1950 Dr. Edel would occasionally remark good-naturedly that he had now completed a four-year course in college management and was prepared to carry the torch unaided. From this declaration of independence one could date the rising spirit of faculty resistance to the President and the invisible trustee authority. Or, if you prefer, the opening might be set in 1949, when a young instructor had put his job on the line by openly inviting his colleagues to "A Cocktail Party.92 Certainly, the opposition came from new faculty and from students with more sophisticated backgrounds than those of the Central Pennsylvania Conference. Carlisle itself was changing as Turnpike and expressways brought the cities nearer. Always the Law School, and then the coming of the Army War College in 1951, fostered a more liberated social life. More and more, the trustees felt themselves confronted by a conspiratorial threat to legitimate power. More and more on the other side, the neglect of basic educational progress in favor of "window dressing" was deplored. A primary irritant here came from administration efforts in behalf of the few Seniors failing their comprehensives. Against stout reslstance, the requirement was at last "temporarily suspended," due to "present world conditions."93 It would not be restored. Faculty bylaws were adopted to forestall



smooth control by prearrangement and from the chair, including a rule on secret ballot when voting on any name, or when requested.94

On March 5, 1951, the nomination of a close friend of Boyd Lee Spahr for an honorary degree was voted down, and the name of William Faulkner substituted. Faulkner to older shepherds of the Dickinson community, was not an admired author. Others, however, had lost all patience with the easy bestowal of these honors and had taken alarm at the President's view that honorary degrees might reasonably be awarded to the number of 10 per cent of the graduating class. The Faulkner vote was rescinded, and a special meeting called to restore the Spahr friend.95 Immediately after making its concession on Faulkner, the faculty voted, "That a Committee on Academic Standards be instituted; that the committee consist of four members of the faculty (one from each rank), chosen by the faculty, and of the Dean of the College, ex officio; that the members of the committee be elected at the next faculty meeting; that the chairman of the committee be elected by the members of the committee."96

An elected committee! It was a crossing of swords. Happily, the President did not invoke—as he would later—that by-law which enjoined him to submit to trustee approval any faculty action which might be thought to affect "fundamental policy of the College."97 A special faculty meeting followed, March 24, to discuss "The State of the College," with Edel warmly denying a lack of any sense of direction and Ben Horlacher bluntly presenting faculty dissatisfaction with administrative concealment of policy and action and with the lack of a tenure policy. The new committee was elected on May 9: Eric W. Barnes, Benjamin D. James, Walter T. James, Bertram H. Davis.

Dr. Edel's characteristic response to these events was an eloquent plea at the trustee meeting of June 6 for an increase in faculty salaries. The average of $4,120 was, as he pointed out "less than a common laborer can earn in many parts of the country." The Board met this with what was intended, apparently, as incentive rather than immediate benefit. It raised all maximum figures, "but without any change in the lower limits."98 The action was widely publicized and some professors



found themselves subjected to increased charges by town creditors who did not understand that the Corson regimen remained intact. No one received any actual raise.

At this same time, student power was stirring from its winter's sleep. Demonstrations reminiscent of 1945 were followed by an open hearing on student complaints, filling Bosler Hall, March 5, 1952. Grumbling was loudest and most effective in the matter of compulsory chapel, twice a week, with its vestigial dusting of religion and its "cultural" programs geared to strict economy. There was a response at the May 5 faculty meeting when Horlacher moved that the trustees be asked to set aside certain student fees "as a fund to be used for projects suggested by the Student Senate and approved by the Faculty." The reply from Dr. Spahr was couched in terms which were to become increasingly familiar: "It should seem apparent upon reflection that the trustees acting through the College administration cannot abrogate their functions in this matter."99 Administration then followed Horlacher's cue to a more effective solution. Let the students themselves pay a $10 fee in support of a cultural affairs program managed by a joint student-faculty committee. It was done, and at a stroke it changed for the better the character of both College and town.

Independent student comment continued in The Drinkinsonian, the fraternity skits and, brighter yet, "The Dickinson Follies." The "Follies," born in 1949, now celebrated rumors of an Edel deficit with "Out of the Red," full of song-and-dance comment such as "Higher Education is a Mess!''l00  "Let's face reality," the Dickinsonian editorialized, May 12, 1954. "Queen Victoria died over fifty years ago, but the social concepts formed in her time seem to live on at Dickinson." The old standards, old ideas of "discipline," were in slow retreat. At times the President would speak out against "vulgarity, obscenity and sacrilege," and then balance that with an intervention which he liked to call "executive clemency." Executive clemency was assuredly a disturbing factor, and nearly wrecked the newly formed Student-Faculty Judicial Council in 1958, in the dreadful case of the Phi Kappa Psi brother who had been sniping at professors with the house air gun.101

President Edel, with segments of faculty and student body



pitted against him, faced also a triple threat which he christened, in poetic imagery, "the three Black Beasts"—inflation, the draft and a paucity of students reflecting the low birthrate of Depression years.102 In 1950 he had succeeded in enlarging the quota of co-eds as an emergency measure of the Korean War of 1950 to 1953.103 The Reserve Officers Training Corps unit, hurried through under this impetus in 1952, became a favored Edel project, adding military glamor to the commencement ceremony and replacing one of the older College traditions, the "Doll Show" (later "Doll Dance"), with a Military Ball.104

Edel was aware that the population explosion would, in the course of time and nature, remove one Black Beast from his view. He must hold his faculty together through the lean years.105 The faculty with which he had come into office was well worth the effort. It had a good corps of veterans. Whitfield Bell was back from war service. Eric Barnes, in whose appointment Spahr took justifiable pride, had brought together a new English Department, coherent and able. There were unusual younger men such as Walter Thomas James and John Wesley Robb, both of Philosophy and Religion, a group whom Edel characterized to the trustees as "among the most brilliant and valuable teachers we have."106 Yet as the faculty-administration rift widened many would go, much of the coherence would be lost, and a new emphasis on "loyalty" as a condition of employment would not better the situation.

Illness took Russell Thompson from active service in 1950; Frederic W. Ness, '33, succeeded Acting Dean McCullough in 1952. For six years he had been Assistant to the Vice Chancellor of New York University. His functions were to be all of those usually assigned to a college dean: admission policies, curriculum, departmental organization, library, faculty enlistment, promotion, separation. They were detailed by the President in a letter to all faculty.107 It was not long, however, before Dr. Ness learned that all matters "related to money" would remain with the President. In short, Edel would still wield the scepter of Morgan and Corson. Barnes went on leave in 1951, submitting his final resignation two years later. A professional actor as well as a brilliant scholar, he has left his mark upon the College with the Mermaid Players and in the Library's



superior section on Shakespeare.108  Bell, Boyd Lee Spahr Professor of American History, left in 1953, returning as an alumnus trustee and attempting, more fully than Barnes though with no better effect, to convince Boyd Lee Spahr that all was not well on campus. Bell left a continuing contribution in the Boyd Lee Spahr Lectures in Americana, inaugurated on March 7, 1947, with Lyman H. Butterfield. They were placed under the aegis of "Maisie's" Library to protect their scholarly character from administrative pressures. Kuebler, a classmate of Ness who had been openly deploring the decline of the standards set by the Committee of Eight and had once presented a motion consigning all honorary degrees to a limbo of trustee decision alone, left in 1955.109

Explicit criticism of the President was coming to Spahr from these men and from others. Barnes' was perhaps the most devastating. His view was broad, his statements made with diplomatic precision. He had "gathered that the College felt that the quality of the individual instructor was a secondary matter." Edel, "without academic awareness of the problems involved," insisted upon making all decisions himself. Corson and Edel, neither an educator, had alike failed to develop "a real atmosphere of learning on the campus." To complaint from the campus, Sydney Kline added the viewpoint of a parent and trustee. Spahr referred all this to Edel, disturbed and yet content to accept the presidential rebuttals.110  With the chain of command still apparently frank and strong, criticism of Edel was criticism of the Board. Not until a break in that chain appeared would his feeling change.

Buildings, always the happiest area of trustee endeavor and accomplishment, brighten the Edel years. Renovation of the old gym as a commons had been completed in 1947, to last until the collapse of one wall in 1953. South College, acquired from the Federal Works Agency, went up in 1948. The long-projected women's dormitory was opened on the Benjamin Rush campus four years later, bearing the name of Sumner M. Drayer, "largest single subscriber of any living person to the Ten Year Development Program."111   Metzger would remain, for Freshman women. Mathews House, for women, came in 1957, the year when the mysterious Nickel Potato Chip building was ac-



quired. In 1953, old Colonel John Montgomery was honored in the naming of faculty apartments, added to an early mansion with the area's only authentic Greek Revival facade. Morgan Hall, 1955, for men, gave Dean Ness an opportunity for an improved Freshman program, with a step away from dependence on fraternity housing.112 Spahr gifts of 1956 and 1958 added the squash courts to South and relieved a desperate situation in the Library with new stack space, study space and lighting. A gift of C. Scott Althouse had made possible the new chemistry building of 1957, and in the next year the interior of Tome was entirely rebuilt.

It depends upon one's point of view whether the new Allison "Church-Chapel," opened in 1957, should have crowning achievement honors or be rated a "fly in the ointment." Stately, well-designed, it was from the very first a point of contention and would remain resolutely moot. On the night of January 20, 1954, the church at the corner of High and West had been swept by fire. President Edel, an opportunist of the first order, was at work on plans for a new and greater edifice even before the ashes were cold. An acute illness of the aging President of the Board gave Edel more freedom in developing a scheme by which the College would exchange a section of the Rush Campus for the old Allison site and would agree to contribute a substantial sum to the new building and to share in its maintenance. Spahr was in basic agreement, believing that his twenty-year-old hope of giving the Library all of Bosler would be realized.113  Not so, though he would not be informed of it until long after the fait accompli. The Church fathers were determined to have a temple in which no secular voice would be raised. This brought up sharp questions as to the justification of Dickinson's $200,000 contribution—answered by statements that the money would come entirely from "Methodist sources."114  Yet as with the earlier church, its value to the broad educational program remained a debatable issue.

Administration and trustee organization, meanwhile, were being consolidated. By 1954, Class Deans had been gradually eliminated, and the Deans of the College, of Men and Women, were coordinating their work with that of faculty advisors.115

Middle States had recommended such a change five years be-



fore. A trustee Committee of College-Fraternity Relations, authorized on December 4, 1954, enunciated "general principles" which would take the brotherhoods under the wing of the Board and away from "College rules and regulations." This brought a prompt and pungent objection from Edel, with a reminder of the confusion such trustee involvement had caused in the 1820's. Edel won his point on this, but the Committee was continued through 1956 after a faculty attack on racial discrimination by national fraternities, sparked by Julien Ripley of Physics, had brought old and new concepts of brotherhood into collision.116

The Board meeting of June 10, 1955, was the scene of a carefully prepared Spahr effort to smooth out all troubles for a fresh start. It was preceded by a trustee-faculty dinner, on campus. This had been suggested by the AAUP chapter six months before, and Spahr, as soon as he had heard of it. had begun to prepare his address on the subject assigned to him, "The Trustees' Vision of the Dickinson College of 1965."117 Chapter President Davis spoke on the character and ideals of the Association. No immediate rapport was established, but it was certainly an historic confrontation of the two groups. Next day, out at the Masland Company's guest house on King's Gap where the summer trustee meeting was currently being held, a charter amendment was authorized admitting Shuman and Ness to Board membership as Financial and Academic Vice Presidents.118 Vice President Malcolm, formerly Treasurer and Alumni Secretary, had been in this position since 1947. The three (none eligible for President of the Board) were intended to bring a closer, firmer liaison with the campus. In operation this change would be found only to increase frictions within the Board, and would be eliminated in the revision of 1966. For the faculty, salaries and tenure now received positive action. A survey conducted by the Chapter of AAUP had revealed all the inequities of a continuing thrifty paternalism. President Roger E. Nelson had brought them to Edel's attention in a lucid and forceful way in the spring of 1953.119  New faculty had been of necessity taken on at better salaries, and in one case a department chairman inadvertently learned that he had an Instructor, without doctorate, receiving more than himself.120  Edel's ap-



peal for a $1,000 to $1,500 rise in base pay for the four ranks and of $500 in top par for Instructors was couched in terms very close to those of President Davis' address at the dinner:

I am proud to be able to bring the College to the place where it can be among the leaders in restoring to the profession of teaching its proper standing in the competitive economy, and to the individual teacher the sense of dignity and self-respect that rightly belongs to him. The college professor, at the peak of his profession, stands on a level with the lawyer or the physician at the peak of his, and deserves comparable remuneration.121

In 1954, at the Chapter's urging, Edel had renewed his earlier recommendation on tenure. It had gone to committee, and now, at this meeting, had favorable action at last with "indefinite term of office for Professors and Associate Professors."122 President Edel, with the dignity and self-respect of his own office much in mind, topped off his report with a statement on "This Year of Accomplishment," followed by "A Personal Word" deploring the derogatory statements of some present and departed members of faculty and "by an equally small group of alumni." To this the Board responded with a rising vote of "complete confidence."123  Complete confidence is not indicated, however, in the creation at this meeting of a Committee on Educational Program. Its chairman would be Dr. Carl C. Chambers, '29, Vice President for Engineering Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania, and the only university professor on the Board. Later, when Spahr was pressing again for trustee participation in the selection and promotion of faculty, Chambers' reply would be a resounding negative. "Dr. Chambers is very much on the faculty side on all questions," Merle Allen reported to Spahr in reply to an inquiry. "He is tainted with AAUP,"124

In this way, with spotlights and music, the stage was set for the climactic events of the spring of 1956. All that fall and winter the drums of anti-Communist hysteria has been beating. Curtain rises upon Dr. Laurent Raymond LaVallee, in his first year as Assistant Professor of Economics, informing Dr. Edel that he had been named as a Communist and summoned before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, where he



would invoke the Fifth Amendment. That was on December 23. He appeared before the House, March 1, and was suspended from the faculty by Edel on the 19th to await, as the bylaws provided, a hearing before the Executive Committee of the Board.125  In the meantime, a faculty Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure had been elected and active: Davis, Flaherty, Ripley and Taintor. A special faculty meeting, March 21, approved the Committee's report asking LaVallee's release from suspension, the submission of the President's charges to the faculty for a hearing, and a revision of the bylaws to accord with AAUP recommended procedure.126

The nervously legalistic psychology of the Board was in full flower at its hearing in Harrisburg, April 20, 1956. Its charges were "Insubordination," "Incompetency," and "Disloyalty to the Government of the United States and Dickinson College." Spahr, overriding Judge Woodside, would not accept pleading the Fifth Amendment as evidence of guilt.127  The other charges sufficed to the satisfaction of the Board, though not at all to that of the faculty, some of whom found it particularly odd that a colleague should be dismissed on the basis of evidence which had shown him to have been, in his teaching, entirely competent and unbiased. 128

So began a chain of events which would change the history of Dickinson College as no other had done. Immediate reactions are always interesting. Even before the hearing Bishop Corson, a trustee since 1944, had declared it certainly justifiable to dismiss atheists as having no "place on the faculty of a Christian College," advocating "a full investigation" and hinting darkly that Dickinson's troubles could be traced to "violation of the no-liquor rule."129 It had, indeed, been a year of heavy student drinking. Edel, oblivious to these implied reproaches, was busy with his speech to honor the College at one of the Newcomen Society's publicity-oriented luncheons.130  It was held in Morgan Hall, May 10, and climaxed by everyone downing a health to her Majesty the Queen—with fruit juice in plastic cups. Trustee Woodside was demanding that Christopher Miniclier be penalized for his Dickinsonian editorial of April 13, admonishing the Board in stiff, plain language on the LaVallee case—"Gentlemen, this cannot go on if Dickinson is to remain a college of



any reputation." Spahr checked that punitive impulse as he would do time and again—recalling how he himself, as the student editor of fifty-six years before, had faced up to the anger of Dean Morgan.131 He was now out of patience with the whole matter, wishing that Edel had simply refused reappointment to LaVallee and so escaped all the expense and bad press.132

This had been, Dr. Edel reported to the trustees foregathering again at King's Gap, "in several ways a very difficult year." He had, however, glad tidings to announce: a Ford Foundation gift of $406,400, to be held as endowment for the increase of faculty salaries. Of this, $135,466 was an "Accomplishment Award" for the recent advance in salary scale—something for which the AAUP Chapter could surely claim its due share of credit. Edel, however, recognized the benefaction in two named chairs, one for Henry Ford in Education, one for Edsel Ford in Economics.133  The first went to Edgar M. Finck. "We had a fine 'Chairing' ceremony for Ed Finck today," the President wrote to Spahr, February 20, 1958. "When the 'chairmen' carried him from the platform there was tumultuous applause." Ford's Director of Educational Affairs attended the ritual and "seemed very much impressed."134

Finck, who pronounced AAUP 'a blatant 'pinkish,' intransigeant pressure group employing many reprehensible tactics of a labor union, including academic blackmail,"135  was sharpening a faculty rift which Wing, with a single-handed program of dinners and evenings, was laboring more conscientiously to heal. Two parties, one loyal to administration, the other to professional ideals, were now nearly equal in a balance any incident might overset.

On June 19, 1956, Bertram Davis, President of the Chapter of AAUP, received notice that his contract would not be renewed. For six years he had been one of the English Department's most scholarly and effective teachers, and Chairman William Sloane had recommended promotion to Associate with tenure. Edel informed Spahr of this action, casually, at the close of a newsy letter of August 24. Some faculty, he predicted, would be "very much upset," but he anticipated no "serious trouble." Yet Sloane had instantly resigned his chairmanship in



protest—serious trouble had already come, and would grow. A month later, yielding to an aroused faculty, the departmental recommendation was followed. But bitterness and divisions continued. Davis resigned, leaving at year's end to join the Washington staff of the Association, rising to its top post of General Secretary in 1967.136

The Edel star had begun to wane when "Sputnik" of October 4, 1957, gave a positive aspect to rivalry with Russia and in American education a new impetus to the sciences—promptly reflected in Roscoe Bonisteel's gift of the planetarium in Tome.137  Two months later, Edel announced that he would retire on his sixty-fifth birthday, March 26, 1959. Spahr had initiated this move and would have been content to have had it earlier. Faculty, too, had touched upon the idea in presenting a silver plate, 1956, marking the President's tenth year in office: "Long ago another sailor wandered the wine-dark, loud-roaring sea. He, too, was beset by monsters, but he after ten years was safely at home in Ithaca."138  Now, with the spring of 1958, the most threatening monster of all reared its head above the waves. In March the AAUP Bulletin published its committee report on the LaVallee case, and at the Association's annual meeting in April censure was voted upon the Dickinson administration. The professor was not held blameless in his refusal to answer questions, but "this factor does not remove the serious breach of procedural due process that occurred or remove the justification for faculty concern in regard to its continuing damage to the College."139

The first strong reaction to censure came from the students, again exciting trustee ire, and again with Spahr showing a defensive partiality for the student editor.140  On campus, desultory months followed the announcement of a presidential change a year and a half away. A remedial chapel series "America at the Crossroads," with Robert M. W. Welch, Jr., among its highlights, seems not to have affected outlooks or moods. Administration took from AAUP the initiative in surveying educational problems, first with the autumn study sessions at Camp Shand, followed by panel discussions in faculty meetings. Horlacher, Sloane and others led faculty efforts to improve the curriculum.141  The establishment of Art and Music Depart-



meets came on May 29, 1958. Art studio had begun on a non-credit basis under Mary Virginia Snedeker in 1955, with regular courses in the next year taught by Joseph Sherly Sheppard. In Music, Dr. Lloyd Ultan joined Ralph Schecter whose courses in appreciation and history had been popular for many years.142  Both innovations, filling a lack noted by Middle Srates in 1949, had been delayed by faculty fear of credit courses in "skills" set up on an economy basis.

The President won faculty applause and gratitude with his plan for "Refresher Leaves" at full salary for all who had given ten years of service. Yet faculty unrest and frustration remained.143  Warlow and Bowden appealed to Chambers as the Board's only "higher education pro" to intervene somehow in the continuing inequities and questionable appointments. Chambers was sympathetic. He sent a copy of their letter to Spahr with a plea that something be done, though himself at a loss as to what it might be.144  All depended, really, on the coming of a new President; and here, with faculty excluded, pressures of church affiliation were uppermost. Spahr, working with a representative committee of the Board, was nonetheless intent, as before, upon making his own decision.

William Wilcox Edel, the while, was gliding toward retirement upon a long wave of testimonial dinners and gifts. Most memorable of these was the "Arts Award," a companion piece, in humanities, to the Priestley Celebration and endowed by the contributions of nine trustees totalling $32,155.145  By special request of the Board he continued in office from his birthday to commencement, where he was borne on high through the heart of the throng of students, parents and alumni in a self-imposed "chairing." Home, then, to California, while his classmate, "Red" Malcolm, always ready to meet an emergency, would take over the presidency until Spahr's choice of a younger successor, already approved in committee, could be confirmed.

With Gilbert Malcolm, familiar to all the College through so many years, there would be, at long last, a release from the unpredictable. Heavy ceremony would go by the board. So it did at his installation in that commencement of 1959. First they draped him in the purple gown. Then they laid in his hand the huge ritual ring attached to a golden chain and intended to



be passed from Dickinson President to Dickinson President until the end of time. This gem had been the offering (since restored to him) of a California clergyman, inventor of the "Telephone Prayer," and was associated in some arcane fashion with the name of King Solomon.

But the ring is too much for "Red." Up it goes in the air to the limit of his long arm—"What am I bid?"

Roars of delight! The cool, sweet breath of change.



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