First Annual North Carolina Debate Championships: a Window into the History of Debate at Davidson

45 years ago this week, March 24-25, 1972, the First Annual North Carolina Debate Championships were held at Wake Forest University. As A. Tennyson Williams, Jr., then Director of Debate at WFU, explained in a letter sent to debate team coaches and instructors around the state:

“Every debate school in North Carolina is invited to enter 2-man switch-side teams in varsity and/or novice (first year debaters) competition. There will be six rounds of eliminations beginning at the semi-final level (if there are enough teams to merit semi’s) in both divisions. Each school may enter 1 or 2 teams in each division. Please try to provide one qualified judge per 2 teams… I hope you will be able to enter some teams. North Carolina Championships could be an effective tool for building support for debate in the state and within your school.”

Davidson College has a rich tradition of debate, or as it was sometimes known, forensics. Eumenean and Philanthropic Literary Societies, founded in 1837, held both internal debates based on members’ research and formal debates with each other. Although the exact formation date of the official Debate Club on campus is unknown, Davidson students began competing in intercollegiate debate competitions in the 1890s and helped found the Intercollegiate State Oratorical Association in 1890.

A photograph of some debaters on the balcony of Philanthropic Hall circa 1915, from Roy Perry’s scrapbook.

The Debate Club was most active between 1909 and the beginning of World War II, before fading out as student interest waned for the next few decades. The Davidsonian reported on a string of debate wins in April 1924, pointing out that between 1909 and 1924, the college debate teams had entered thirty matches and won twenty of them. The headline of the April 17, 1924 edition of the paper read “Davidson Debaters Down Emory Stars at Queens,” and the lead story crowed about the college’s success:

The rebuttal showed Davidson’s superior strength… It was here that the debate was cinched and even the consensus of opinion of the audience was that Davidson had added another victory to her string of intercollegiate debating wins.
Earlier that month, The Davidsonian reported that Davidson and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill “met in what is believed to be the first inter-collegiate debate conducted in a foreign language in North Carolina. The entire debate was in Spanish.” Davidson debaters lost that one, but the volume of newspaper coverage demonstrates student body interest in the Debate Club.
The 1917-1918 debate teams, standing on the steps of Old Chambers. These student teams won debates with Lafayette College and Roanoke College.

However, despite all of the early interest in debate, much of this activity centered around extracurricular clubs and societies and was not necessarily supported by classroom work. The study of rhetoric had been offered from the beginning days of the college, although specific speech and debate courses did not get offered until 1912, when Archibald Currie, who also taught Latin, Greek, mathematics, political science, economics, and education, led the first course in public speaking. After 1920, Dr. Currie dropped his broad Renaissance man duties and retained only his appointments in political science and economics, and the public speaking course was dropped until the 1950s and then offered sporadically until the hiring of Jean Springer Cornell in 1971.

Jean Cornell with members of the debate team in 1976. From left to right: Nancy Northcott (Class of 1977), Eric Daub (Class of 1979), Maria Patterson (Class of 1979), Jimmy Prappas (Class of 1980), and Ellen Ogilvie (Class of 1978).

Jean Cornell taught speech and debate at Davidson from 1971 until 1987, and directed the department of forensics that would develop into part of today’s Communication Studies interdisciplinary minor. Cornell earned a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University, a MS in journalism from Northwestern University, and a MA in speech from University of Arizona, and taught speech and debate at the University of Arizona at Tucson and Scripps College before coming to Davidson. Cornell served in a leadership role in Delta Sigma Rho – Tau Kappa Alpha (the honorary forensics organization), coordinated Mecklenburg and the surrounding counties’ Bicentennial Youth Debaters in 1976, and served as the editor for the Journal of the North Carolina Speech Communication Association.

Cornell would be prove to be an extremely effective debate team coach, and it was she who received the letter in early 1972, asking for Davidson to join the First Annual North Carolina Debate Championships. The Davidson and Wake Forest teams won nearly all of the honors at these championships, with Davidson’s novice team of Les Phillips and Paul Mitchell (both Class of 1975) taking second place, and the varsity pairing of John Douglas (Class of 1974) and Rick Damewood (Class of 1975) tying for third with a team from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Phillips won first place honors individually in the novice division, and Douglas placed third individually for the varsity division. Both divisions debated the national intercollegiate topic of 1972: “Resolved: That greater controls should be imposed on the gathering and utilization of information on U.S. citizens by government agencies.”

Score sheets from the First Annual North Carolina Debate Championship in March 1972.

In late fall 1972, Cornell sent a memo to John M. Bevan, then Dean of Academic Affairs, detailing the debate program and its need for greater funds:

“Needless to say, the weak need not and do not apply. We have had the number one students in the freshman, sophomore, and junior classes as debaters… Due to our limited budget, several of the Extended Studies students have not been able to debate in these tournaments, and we have had to decline invitations to such prestigious schools as Princeton and Dartmouth… In two years (spring, 1974) we should have the manpower and proficiency to have our own tournament for neighboring high school students. Who knows what else we might do? Maybe even become a real power in college debate.”

Four members of the debate team stand behind trophies they won in 1975. From left to right: Gordon Widenhouse (Class of 1976), Paul Mitchell (Class of 1975), Mark Gergen (Class of 1978), and Randy Sherrill (Class of 1978).

Cornell built a successful debating program, and during the 1970s, Davidson was ranked consistently in the top 20 teams in the “small school” category nationally, and occasionally cracked the top 10. During the 1970s, Davidson debaters won their match-ups roughly 55-60% of the time, and Cornell grew the program through special debate workshops prior to the academic year, as well as through course credits. As part of her work coaching the Davidson debate team, she helped plan the North Carolina Debate Championships in 1978 when they were held on our campus.

Members of the 1976 debate team pose together for the picture. Back row, left to right: Steve Smith, Mark Gergen, Coach Jean Cornell, Robert Enright, and Mike Daisley; middle row: Unknown, Gordon Widenhouse, unknown, unknown; front row: Randy Sherrill, Ellen Ogilvie, Nancy Northcott, and Maria Patterson.

Jean Cornell retired from Davidson in 1987, moved to Arizona, and passed away in November 2015. Today, the Mock Trial Association carries on the tradition of hosting debate competitions, and the Communication Studies department has expanded its range of academic offerings beyond speech and debate to focus on interpersonal communication, public communication, and mass communication, but still hosts the Speaking Center.

Davidson’s First Die-In

Many current Davidsonians are aware of the December 2014 die-in on Main Street, in which “a group of about 200 students and several faculty and staff members staged a die-in protest on Main Street Saturday night to protest police violence against people of color.” (The Davidsonian, December 10, 2014) However, this was not the first die-in at Davidson – the Davidson Peace Coalition organized a die-in on April 22, 1985. While our records on the Davidson Peace Coalition are not robust, we do have documentation of the die-in and reactions to the protest from the student newspaper, The Davidsonian.

Letter to the Editor from the Davidson Peace Coalition, April 19, 1985.
Letter to the Editor from the Davidson Peace Coalition, April 19, 1985.

As their Letter to the Editor states, the Peace Coalition organized the die-in as “a symbolic action to show our concern about the increased militarization, by U.S. aid, of Central America in particular and our earth in general.”

A photo capturing students participating in the die-in inf front of Chambers Building.
A photo capturing students participating in the die-in in front of Chambers Building.
This image of the die-in ran in the April 26, 1985 issue of The Davidsonian. The image and caption were the only coverage of the event, outside of Letters to the Editor.
This image of the die-in ran in the April 26, 1985 issue of The Davidsonian. The image and caption were the only coverage of the event, outside of Letters to the Editor and write-in opinion pieces.

In the issues following the die-in, The Davidsonian published a series of Letters to the Editor responding to both whether Davidson students should protest U.S. aid to the Contras in Nicaragua, and whether U.S. policies in Central America were justified.

James Lewis' letter expressing disapproval of the die-in.
James Lewis’ April 26 letter expressing disapproval of the die-in. Peggy Pierotti, the Photo Editor of The Davidsonian, had penned a much-criticized editorial that defined the “truly useful and utterly useless aspects of Davidson life” for the April 10, 1985 issue of the paper, called “Student Reflects On Life at Davidson.”

James Lewis’ Letter to the Editor inspired several responses from fellow students who disagreed with his read of the die-in:

Gordon Watkins' response to John Lewis, "Die-In Tried to Dispel Apathy," ran on the opinions page of the May 3, 1985 issue.
Gordon Watkins’ response to James Lewis, “Die-In Tried To Dispel Apathy,” ran on the opinions page of the May 3, 1985 issue.
Sharon Spong and Stu King's Letter to the Editor in response to John Lewis ran in the May 3, 1985 issue of The Davidsonian.
Sharon Spong and Stu King’s Letter to the Editor in response to James Lewis ran in the May 3, 1985 issue of The Davidsonian.
Anne Blue's response to John Lewis also ran in the May 3, 1985 issue. Anne Blue Wills is now a professor of religion at Davidson College.
Anne Blue’s response to Lewis also ran in the May 3, 1985 issue. Anne Blue Wills is now a professor of religion at Davidson College.
Russell Booker's sardonic response to the conversations on campus surrounding U.S. involvement in Nicaragua ran alongside a political cartoon on the subject in the May 10, 1985 issue of The Davidsonian.
Russell Booker’s sardonic response to the conversations on campus surrounding U.S. involvement in Nicaragua ran alongside a political cartoon on the subject in the May 10, 1985 issue of The Davidsonian.

Lewis then responded to his critics, also in the May 10 issue:

Lewis' "Contras Like 'Founding Fathers'" takes aim at the letters responding to his April 26 opinion letter.
Lewis’ “Contras Like ‘Founding Fathers'” takes aim at the letters responding to his April 26 opinion letter.

The May 10 issue was the last of the 1984-1985 academic year, and when publication of the newspaper began again for the fall semester, the die-in stopped appearing in the editorials page. The Davidsonian is one of the College Archives’ most heavily-used resources, and these opinion letters make clear why: the student newspaper provides valuable insight into what students thought and cared about while they were attending Davidson College. Furthermore, sometimes mentions in The Davidsonian are the only documentation we have of campus events or student groups. The Davidsonian continues to publish today, and we continue to meticulously gather and preserve the newspaper!

Celebrating Davidson’s Music History: James Christian Pfohl

As October heads to a close, so too does Archives Month. The theme set this year by the Society of North Carolina Archivists was “Celebrating Archives: North Carolina Arts, Crafts, and Music Traditions,” and we’ve had events all month long to celebrate Davidson’s archival history in those three areas (such as a mandolin concert and an art exhibition focusing on pieces in the College’s collections from North Carolina artists). In that vein, the blog this week highlights one of the most seminal figures in the history of the Davidson College Music Department: James Christian Pfohl.

James Christian's Pfohl's faculty portrait, circa 1945.
James Christian’s Pfohl’s faculty portrait, circa 1945.

Student musical groups and organizations date back to the mid-1800s, with students forming the choir for religious services and more casual gatherings, including playing in the cupola of the Old Chambers Building. The first glee club was formally established on campus in 1890, a college orchestra appears in our archival records in 1892, and the glee club, chapel choir and a whistling club were all mentioned in the first issue of Quips & Cranks in 1895. Students (such as Alonzo Pool in 1892-93 [Class of 1893] and Daniel McGeachy in 1895-96 [Class of 1896]) or outside music instructors (Gertrude Williamson and Eulalia Cornelius, both in 1896-97, for example) were sometimes paid by the college to instruct non-credit-bearing courses.

By 1925, the demand from students for music instruction was such that the February 12th issue of The Davidsonian featured an article urging the administration to hire a music director:

“We find a student body of six hundred young men with latent musical tastes and talents that, would in time, if properly husbanded, make the musical standard of our church second to none, not even of the celebrated German communities. When the call was issued for candidates for the Glee Club this year, one-sixth of the entire student body were interested enough to appear for the trials. Every year the incoming freshman class brings in a wealth of talent along instrumental lines, but the case is usually that only the three or four best secure enough recognition to sustain them in their musical work, and by their senior year, their talent has all but atrophied with disuse.”

The cure for that atrophying of student musical talent would be to hire a musical director, who “would have charge of the musical organizations of the college, stimulate interest in things musical, and would train the students in the rudiments of music, both of singing and appreciation.” Perhaps in response, in 1927 the college hired Ernest J. Cullum as Director of Music and Associate Professor of the History and Appreciation of Fine Arts. The history of music and arts appreciation courses Cullum taught, the first offered for credit at Davidson, were listed through the history department. Cullum stayed on until 1931, when funding for the position was cut. During this time teachers from Charlotte and Mooresville were engaged to offer private lessons in piano, organ, wind, and string instruments, and students funded the hiring of Carol Baker from Charlotte to direct the Glee Club for several years in the mid-1920s.

When James Christian Pfohl (1912 – 1997) was hired by the college in 1933, he was a recent graduate of the University of Michigan (Bachelor’s of Music, organ) and would go on to earn a Master’s of Music (musicology) from that same university in 1939. Pfohl was instrumental in building the music program at Davidson – he began as the sole employee of the department, when he focused on developing student music organizations in addition to working as the college organist; as he put in a summary report in 1951, the year before he retired from Davidson, student groups were fundamental the establishment and growth of music program: “In many ways I feel that organizational work has been our most important, as it has been from these groups that the influence of music has spread on the campus and throughout the entire area.” Similarly, in his obituary (April 1, 1997), the Charlotte Observer exclaimed that “He was a musical zealot, a tireless builder of organizations such as the music departments at Davidson and Queens colleges, the Charlotte Symphony and Jacksonville Symphony orchestras and Brevard Music Center.”

"What Can You Do About It?" ran in The Davidsonian early in Phofl's tenure at Davidson - November 15, 1933.
“What Can You Do About It?” ran in The Davidsonian early in Phofl’s tenure at Davidson – November 15, 1933.

Pfohl was indeed a tireless builder – by his second year on the job, he had established the Davidson Concert Series, a new symphonic band, and a new symphony orchestra. According to Mary Beaty’s A History of Davidson College, then College President Walter Lee Lingle (Class of 1892, President 1929 – 1941) convinced the college’s Board of Trustees that music was an important part of maintaining Davidson’s academic profile: “This is done in many other high grade colleges… the great Educational Associations of America are stressing the importance of Music and Fine Art in colleges.”

In addition to his work building new organizations and initiatives, Pfohl also maintained the work of the Glee Club, football band, and ROTC band. He also organized broadcasts of the Symphonic Band over Charlotte radio station WBT. As evidence on this growth and interest, additional music faculty were hired – by 1935, Warren Babock, Moreland Cunningham (Class of 1935), Franklin Riker, and Louise Nelson Pfohl were also working in the department.

Another one of Pfohl’s major initiatives began in the summer of 1936, when he established a summer music camp for boys at Davidson, inspired by his experience as a scholarship student at the Interlochen Arts Camp as a youth. The music camp Phofl began still continues today – it was held at Davidson until 1943, when it spend one season headquartered at Queens College in Charlotte. In 1944, Pfohl moved the camp to Brevard, NC., and in in 1955, the camp and its programs were renamed the Brevard Music Center.

A postcard showing Pfhol leading the summer camp band in 1936.
A postcard showing Pfohl leading the summer camp band in 1936.

By 1938, Pfohl had made another lasting contribution to Davidson: he provided lyrical arrangement for “All Hail! O Davidson!,” the college’s alma mater. The words were written by George M. Maxwell (Class of 1896) on the occasion of the college’s centennial in 1937; originally intended as a fight song, Phofl envisioned the song as more of a hymn. By 1952, “All Hail! O Davidson!” began being printed in commencement programs. The lyrics have been changed a few times since 1938, most recently by committee in 1996, to reflect coeducation.

Sheet music for "All Hail! O Davidson!" (image from a 2010 entry on the song in Davidson Daybook).
Sheet music for “All Hail! O Davidson!” (image from a 2010 entry on the song in Davidson Daybook).

On May 25, 1943, the faculty voted that: “Credit will be given for Applied Music within such limitations as the Curriculum Committee may prescribe, provided that, so far as concerns requirements for graduation, there be allowed a maximum of 30 hours credit in Music, of which 12 may be Applied Music.” This expansion of credit-bearing courses was a boon for the department, and Pfohl was elected a full professor of music by the Board of Trustees in 1946, replacing his previous position as “Director.”

A Davidson Symphonic Band Christmas card, circa 1940s.
A Davidson Symphonic Band Christmas card, circa 1940s.

In 1949, Pfohl began working as the conductor and music director for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Three years later, he resigned his position at Davidson in 1952 in order to conduct the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (while simultaneously remaining in his position with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra until 1957, and continuing to lead summer camps at the Brevard Music Center until 1967). In 1959, he began music directing for an educational TV program in the Jacksonville area, The Magic of Music. In 1961, Pfohl left his post with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and went on to direct the York (PA) Symphony Orchestra and Reston Little (VA) Symphony. His accomplishments included conducting four performances at the White House, establishing the Mint Museum Chamber Orchestra (1944 – 1961) and serving as inspiration and sounding board for the founders of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He retired to Jacksonville in 1983, where he remained until his death in 1997. Pfohl was survived by his second wife, Carolyn Day Pfohl (his first wife, fellow Davidson and Queens College faculty member Louise Nelson Pfohl passed away in 1968), and three children: James Christian Pfohl, Jr., David Pfohl, and Alice Pfohl Knowles.

The cover of
The cover of J.C. Pfohl’s 1933-1934 scrapbook, covering the first year he began working at Davidson.

The music department has flourished since James Christian Pfohl’s time at Davidson – currently, students can major or minor in the subject, with a vastly expanded curriculum led by faculty and artist associates. Pfohl’s legacy of establishing student organizations and gaining credit for applied music left a strong base for future generations of faculty and students to build upon, and his family recently donated several scrapbooks assembled by Pfohl during his time at Davidson and beyond. Come into the archives to see more about music history at Davidson in the 1930s through 1950s!

Kissing the Mystic Scarab: the Blue Pencil Chapter of Sigma Upsilon

Nearly 100 years ago, on January 18th, 1915, Davidson College’s fledgling Blue Pencil Club turned into the Blue Pencil Chapter of Sigma Upsilon, a Southern literary honor society. The seven founding members included five of the founding Davidsonian editors (Francis Wilson Price, William Andrew McIlwaine, George Warren Gignilliat, James Enoch Faw, and John Payne Williams), as well as the Poet for the Class of 1915 (John William Stuart Gilchrist), and the editor-in-chief of The Davidson College Magazine (Uhlman Seymour Alexander).

The founding members of the Blue Pencil Chapter of Sigma Upsilon, including
The founding members of the Blue Pencil Chapter of Sigma Upsilon, including faculty members elected during the first meeting in January 1915: Dr. Sentelle (Class of 1894, Professor of Religion and Philosophy, later Dean of Students), Dr. Fulton (Professor of English), and Dr. McConnell (Class of 1899, Professor of History, Economics, Mathematics, and Latin, later Dean of Faculty).

The founders stated that “the object of the club shall be to promote more effective literary work among the students” of Davidson, and that membership would be “based upon literary ability in it’s broadest sense.” The members also voted to publicize the organization in The Davidsonian, and at a meeting the next month, voted that members be required to produce two papers per year for the Blue Pencil Club for possible future publication, in addition to leading literary discussions.

The minutes from March 8th, 1916, provide insight into what a typical meeting in these early days was like: after a vote on new members, “a Motion to admit women into the Club was unanimously voted down,” the Blue Pencils decided to pay $15 to get a club picture in Quips and Cranks, and “the new members each read a two minute quotation from some Shakespearian [sic] character in costume… They then took initiation ceremony and the social side of the club received emphasis.” Meetings frequently featured “stunts” (such as new initiates having to compose and read aloud essays on the subjects of “Is it a Submarine? If so, Why?” and “‘A game of golf as played on a bird propelled ocean liner,’ with all of the details, and he was arrayed in the costume of a count of the time of Elizabeth.”), burlesques of the faculty, and pastiches and parodies of famous authors.

A page from Hugh C. Hamilton's (Class of 1920) scrapbook, showing individual member's photographs grouped in front of the Sigma Upsilon seal.
A page from Hugh C. Hamilton’s (Class of 1920) album, showing members grouped in front of the Sigma Upsilon seal.

The Blue Pencil Chapter continued its reputation for japes and prolific writing until its dissolution in 1970. William C. Doub Kerr (Class of 1915) established the Woodrow Wilson Creative Research Award and Willa Cather Creative Writing Award for members of Sigma Upsilon in 1937, and wrote to Cather that year, as Jan Blodgett wrote here on Around the D back in 2009.

Willa Cather's note
Willa Cather’s note reads: “My Dear Mr. Kerr; Thank you most for your friendly letter. But, honestly, I think the “new sails” have a better chance of making port when they are not taught “creative writing.” It can’t be taught, for one thing!*
Sincerely yours,
Willa Cather.
* Perhaps it can be guided a little, modestly? I don’t like to be too sure.”

The late 1930s were a busy time for Sigma Upsilon – the chapter members collaboratively wrote “A College Novel” between 1937 and 1939, including this prologue by Chalmers Gaston Davidson, both a student and later faculty member of the Blue Pencil Chapter:

Dr. Davidson (Class of 1928, Professor of History, and Directory of the Library) was not shamed in the minutes of a November 1936 meeting, unlike his fellow faculty members of Blue Pencil, when Dr. Erwin (Class of 1906, Professor of English) and Dr. Cumming (Class of 1921, Professor of English), who “were caught red-handed with two ice-creams.”

While early initiations seemed to be chapter-specific, by the 1930’s Sigma Upsilon seems to have established organization-wide protocols. Davidson’s chapter added to the official Sigma Upsilon initiation ceremony, however, as these handwritten notes circa the 1930s illustrate:

circa 1939
“In order to indicate your submission to the noble ideas of this fraternity to which you have pledged your allegiance. you will kneed before the mystic scarab and bestow upon it the symbolic kiss of fealty.”

Notable Davidson alumni who kissed the mystic scarab include: Sam Spencer (Class of 1940, President of Davidson College 1968 – 1983), Jason McManus (Class of 1956, former Editor-in-Chief of Time Inc.), and Charles Wright (Class of 1957, U.S. Poet Laureate), and many English and History professors had been inducted as faculty members. In the course of going through our archival collections on the Blue Pencil Club/ Chapter, I discovered so many former members who went on to teach here at Davidson or other academic institutions – who else have we missed that enjoyed ice creams and secret initiations?

Finals Stress: Then and Now

Today is the final day of classes for the Fall 2013 semester, and the sturm und drang of final exams and papers is evident all over campus –  E.H. Little Library is more packed with students than ever! Student stress is so apparent this time of year (and in general at Davidson) that Academic Affairs, the SGA and The Davidsonian sponsored yesterday’s “Balancing Academics and Co-Curriculars: A forum hosted by Dean Wendy Raymond.” Last week, in a presumably student-led charge to relieve finals-related stress, several anonymous, encouraging messages appeared on the brick walkways closest to the library:

Chalk messages surrounding the E.H. Little Library, 3 December 2013
Chalk messages surrounding the E.H. Little Library, 3 December 2013


Previous generations of Davidson students felt similarly tried by the academic rigors of the college, and expressed some of their concerns through their letters home. Henry Elias Fries (class of 1878) wrote his mother in December on 1874, saying that:

… the semiannual judgement day as Col. Martin calls it, is now at hand, & we look upon it with dread. I am reconciled to my fate; many of us are about on a par, & we feel rather feeble in the knees…

Fries’ apprehension over his exams didn’t end with the semester – he again wrote to his mother on January 3, 1875, requesting that she send his exam results as soon as possible (reports were sent to students’ parents or guardians rather than to the student himself):

The reports were sent off last night, & judging from those which were sent around here I feel rather scared, lest the remaining returns which Dr. P spoke of will be below 60… If I get through without failing I will be very glad indeed but the reports are gone & my fate is sealed. If I get through without failing please send my report as soon as possible…

Fries during his college days, and the first page of his 13 December 1874 letter to his mother
Fries during his college days, and the first page of his 13 December 1874 letter to his mother


Hopefully most of our modern students are not as dread-filled as young Fries, but if they are, numerous departments and organizations have put together several events to help students de-stress as they prepare for their exams. Tomorrow is Reading Day, which will include a Puppy Extravaganza in the Smith 900 Room during the common hour, a Theatre and Dance party in the Scene Shop in the Cunningham Theatre Center (RM 120) with free food from 12 PM to 1 PM, the Curry Club’s Finals Feast  in the Multicultural House’s Upstairs Lounge from 5 PM to 6 PM, a Reading Day Study Break at the Black Student Coalition House from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM, the Student Government Association’s Finals Fest in the Baxter Davidson Room (Chambers) from 9 PM to 10:30 PM, and the traditional DCPC Cookie Break from 10 PM to 11 PM. The following day (Friday the 13th) there will be an Ice Cream Study Break in the Smith 900 Room beginning at 10 PM (yours truly is a backup scooper this year, so say hello if you see me there!). Additionally, Davis Cafe (in the Union) is discounting coffee to 0.99¢ until December 20th, in order to keep the Davidson community well-caffeinated throughout this trying time.

Here in the library, the staff supplies some quick, mindless study breaks starting on Reading Day, in the form of puzzles, Legos, Mr. & Mrs. Potato Heads, and games of Twister, Battleship, and Connect Four.

Tents in the 24 hours study room, Potato Heads, and various Lego creations from previous semesters
Tents in the 24 hours study room, Potato Heads, and various Lego creations from previous semesters


If you’re feeling stressed, stop by the library or one of the events mentioned above to give your brain a bit of a rest. As the chalked encouragements remind us all, you studied – don’t worry!