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. Continue reading “Lynchburg in History: U.L. in History”

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. Continue reading “LC in History: Last Class”

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.

Continue reading “LC in History: An Honor to Hopwood”

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. Continue reading “LC in History: Celebrating Students”

LC in History: Our Own Voltaire

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

It has been often said that each one of us had a double somewhere in the world.  As a historian, I tend to equate the people I know with historical personalities.  One member of our faculty resembled the great Greek philosopher, Socrates. Another could have been the twin of the Italian patriot, Giuseppe Garibaldi. A retired member of the administration was a “dead ringer” for Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, the father of Italian unification.  Don Evans, who taught art at Lynchburg College from 1948 until his retirement in 1983, not only looked like the greatest of the French philosophes, François Marie Arouet de Voltaire, he acted like him. Continue reading “LC in History: Our Own Voltaire”

LC in History: Origins of the Arts

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

Last week while I was waxing nostalgic about the play, “Journey’s End, I only briefly mentioned the man responsible for our being there in the first place.  There were dramatic presentations at Lynchburg College from 1903, but until 1949 there was no department of dramatic arts; then Bob Hailey arrived.  Over the next 44 years, Dr. Robert Carter Hailey Sr. built one of the most popular programs and departments on campus. He essentially started with nothing, and when he retired in 1993, the Dillard Fine Arts Center was regarded by many as proof that dreams really do come true. Of course, Bob did not accomplish great things without the help of hundreds of students and faculty members, but he was like the Pied Piper. Continue reading “LC in History: Origins of the Arts”

LC in History: Gender Ratio Displacement

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

As part of the history department’s celebration of Women’s History Month, last Wednesday Jane VanBoskirk, ’70 presented her one-woman show “Eleanor Roosevelt – Across a Barrier of Fear” to an enthusiastic “town and gown” audience. As perhaps the most influential First Lady in our nation’s history, Mrs. Roosevelt served as the eyes and ears of her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was a victim of polio. She was also one of his most trusted advisers, and there were only a few New Deal programs implemented between 1933 and 1945 that she did not influence.  She was dedicated to gender equality, racial equality and providing the less fortunate with every possible opportunity to build better lives for themselves and their families. Continue reading “LC in History: Gender Ratio Displacement”