Parisian Dreams

Dr. Clifton W. Potter, UofL History Professor~

Last Friday my wife, younger grandson, and our son returned from a trip to France. We had been part of a group that toured the battlefields, cemeteries, and memorials associated with the American soldiers who fought and died in World War I.  Our son is a museum curator, so he was one of the tour guides. I had not been in France since 1973, but slowly my command of French returned. That made all the difference in my enjoyment of our journey. Why bother to learn foreign languages? They are the gateways to truly understanding another culture. One can read the great classics in an English translation, but it is not the same. It is possible to grasp the basics of an author’s work, but the nuance is lost. This is particularly true of authors like Voltaire. Being able to speak a foreign language gives a student the chance to avoid being an ordinary tourist, but to enter another culture.        

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Lynchburg in History: Our College Lake

Dr. Clifton W. Potter, UofL History Professor~

Virginia Christian College, which was our name until 1919, was in a rural setting outside the city limits of Lynchburg, just beyond the terminal point of the streetcar line.  When Westover Hall was constructed in 1890, some of the land around the structure was cleared, but the site was still heavily wooded in 1903 when Dr. Hopwood purchased the property.

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Lynchburg in History: U.L. in History

Dr. Clifton W. Potter, UofL History Professor~

On April 18, 1903, Dr. Josephus Hopwood and the men who would form the core of the first Board of Trustees of Virginia Christian College paid $13,500 ($382,000 in 2018 dollars) for the deserted Westover Hotel, its contents, and a large tract of land.  The defunct resort had been built in 1890 during a nationwide land boom as the anchor of the West Lynchburg Land Company. Read More


Soulmates

Dr. Clifton W. Potter, UofL History Professor~

After Josephus Hopwood and the young woman with whom he was engaged decided to part as friends, his thoughts turned to someone whom he had met while visiting his older sister soon after he left the army. Sarah LaRue was a classmate and friend of his niece, and she enthusiastically began a regular correspondence with Joe Hopwood. She was Kentucky born, a member of a distinguished Huguenot family, and the latest in a long line of teachers. It was with eagerness that she embraced her future husband’s dream of a life devoted to education. They were married August 19, 1874, but they postponed their honeymoon because it was time for a new school year to begin. Thus began a collaboration that would endure far into the twentieth century.

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LC in History: Last Class

Dr. Clifton W. Potter Jr., LC History Professor~

One hundred years ago the members of the Class of 1918 were preparing for graduation and the challenges facing the United States during the second year of America’s involvement in the Great War.  Their diplomas would be the last ones to bear the name Virginia Christian College.

Today the members of the Class of 2018 are preparing for graduation and the challenges facing our nation in the complex world in which we live today.  Their diplomas will be the last to bear the name Lynchburg College. Read More


LC in History: An Honor to Hopwood

Dr. Clifton W. Potter Jr., LC History Professor~

Until last year, Lynchburg College was the only senior institution of higher learning in our area that did not have a building on either the Virginia Landmarks Register or the National Register of Historic Places on its main campus. On Saturday morning at 11:15 we shall gather on the porch of Hopwood Hall to unveil and dedicate the bronze plaque that corrects that omission. Hopwood Hall has received both honors.

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LC in History: Celebrating Students

Dr. Clifton W. Potter Jr., Staff Writer~

Two events mark the beginning of the end of the academic session, the Student Scholar Showcase and the Academic Awards Banquet.  This year they both occurred last week, the former on Wednesday and the latter on Friday. A month from now we shall be in the midst of graduation weekend; where does the time go?

Last week both students and faculty were able to enjoy the 18th annual Student Scholar Showcase because there were no classes. Those persons who were responsible for organizing this wonderful activity have my sincere admiration. However, this experience reminds me of what I learned of a similar annual affair which occurred before I entered Lynchburg College. Read More