Last fall we were asked about the number of Homecoming celebrations that had been held over the years at Presbyterian College. Our best calculation after considerable research and subtraction of several years during WWII when celebrations were not held placed 2012 as the 78th year of Homecoming festivities at PC. You might think we have lists in the Archives for this sort of information, however, most questions we receive in the Archives take detailed research and close reading in several different sources.
Last week, while perusing the bound volumes of the student newspaper, The Blue Stocking, I found in the September 26, 1925 issue, that Presbyterian was scheduled to play Oglethorpe on Home-Coming Day, Nov. 13th of that year. The discovery of this information negates the 78th Homecoming theory.
It is not unusual for us to find interesting information when looking for something on a completely different topic. After finding the clipping on the right, I followed up by reading subsequent Blue Stocking articles throughout the fall of 1925. Click on the images for larger, easier to read views.
You might notice on the football schedule that our first game of the season in 1925 was against “Clemson at Clemson.” Our 14-9 win that day was reported the next week as “Blue Stockings tame Tigers for first time in histry.” Normally the paper was published and distributed on Saturdays, but this particular issue was published early, before the game – it appears that everyone wanted to attend the afternoon game at Clemson….see what I mean about finding other information in the middle of research?
A few weeks later on October 24th, The Blue Stocking reported the following: “Plans are fast taking shape for P.C.’s greatest Home-Coming Day. This year Home-Coming Day will be on November 13th and it’s a Friday….in addition to the football game, the Oglethorpe orchestra will perform in Clinton on the night of the 13th under the auspices of the Clinton Kiwanis Club. Reports reaching Clinton at present from the Georgia school are that they are going to come to P.C. in force, bringing a band and approximately 100 students. If this is the case, P.C. will need all possible support. Make your plans now, Alumni and be in Clinton on the 13th.”
I imagine that the Oglethorpe crowd may have come to Clinton on the train during that fall of 1925. The writer of this column actually came to PC on the train once during high school in the late 1960s. Yes, passenger service was still available between Atlanta and Clinton at that time.
Looking ahead in The Blue Stocking to the November 14 issue published the day after the Home-Coming game, we are told in the headline that the “BLUE STOCKINGS COMPLETELY OUTCLASS OGLETHORPE TEAM: However, Georgia Lads Win Hard Fought Game By One Point Margin.” A detailed description of the game filling three long columns includes statements like, “the South Carolinians out drove, out passed, out punted and out generalled the Petrels, but the lucky S.I.A.A. champions won on two bad breaks in the second quarter” and “the fact that the Blue Stockings garnered 12 first downs to 9 for Oglethorpe is only a slight measure indicative of how the charges of Walter Johnson played rings around the much-vaunted eleven from Atlanta.”
The Editorials column for Nov. 14th has numerous short statements including this rather interesting item: “College of Father versus College of Son – may they meet again.” This, of course, is in reference to William Plumer Jacobs’ college, Presbyterian College, playing the college of his son, Thornwell Jacobs, President of Oglethorpe College for nearly three decades, 1915-1943. Sorry, off on a tangent again…
The article about the PC Alma Mater to the right was also found in the November 14th, 1925 issue of The Blue Stocking. The Presbyterian College Alma Mater in use in 1925 had been written by John Henry Townsend, Director of the Glee Club and other musical activities at the college. Professor Townsend taught at PC from 1923-1926 [Presbyterian College Catalogs 1923-26]. The words to Townsend’s Alma Mater as well as our current Alma Mater written by William Plumer Jacobs III can be found in the Blue Notes Archive, in the School Spirit column written by Nancy Griffith in September 2009.
Near the bottom of the article on the right, one can feel the reverence with which the song was held in 1925. This excerpt of verse two of Townsend’s Alma Mater says it all:
All honor to thy learned walls,
Thy campus and historic halls,
We’ll sing thy praise through all our days,
Our well loved Alma Mater.
If any of our readers are aware of Homecoming festivities that occurred at Presbyterian College before 1925, we would love to hear from you in order to get the most accurate history of this event possible. Our historical record is a group project and we appreciate your comments, recollections, and photographs.