Memories of Doyle
This month we are sharing some thoughts about life on campus in the early 1980s sent to us by Mark R. McCallum, PC class of 1982.
Strange how one life affects so many others.
That thought surfaced because of an unexpected intersection at Homecoming. Between signing copies of my novel Taking Three, I found myself sharing stories with Judy Bolton Jarrett Brown from the Class of ’63 about her painting of Neville Hall.
Turns out, we are connected. While not on the scale of Clarence Oddbody’s insight to George Baily in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, her revelation made both of us smile. See, I asked if she ever did a painting of my dorm — known in her day as Doyle Infirmary, to others as Doyle Hall and to us happy few, the Doyle Experimental Laboratory.
When I mentioned Doyle, she grabbed my arm and said her relative, E. Clay Doyle, donated the money for the building and was its namesake. I told her I had the privilege of being exiled there in 1978 as housing overflow along with 11 others. We embraced our outcast status so much that when the administration secured alternative housing, we refused to leave. What followed was the stuff legends are made of.
In the ensuing years, we did things that still make us laugh. In addition, we created “The Epic of Doyle” which chronicled our bottle rocket/water balloon battles with Georgia Hall, which I’m told still continue today. We established the National Doylian Society and each semester during pledge week invited worthy new residents to become members, complete with a certificate designed by Will Morris. We periodically issued press releases about our experiments to the Blue Stocking. For a decade, my resume listed “Public Relations Director for the Doylian Society” and I never was questioned about it. We played intramurals together, dodged Dean Nixon together and even let modern technology catch up with us. Search “Doylians” on Facebook and you’ll see that we’re still bonded.
After all, Doylians really did have a wonderful life. What a shame it would have been if it had never been built.
Original 1978 Doylians
Mark R. McCallum
HISTORICAL NOTE: Doyle Hall was originally called Alumni Hall Dormitory, and was the first building on the current PC campus. The building was renovated into Doyle Infirmary in the 1940s using funds from E. Clay Doyle. Our apologies to Mark for the one rather raucous picture, but we couldn’t resist.