BREAKING NEWS: September Luncheon for CNC First Decaders Cancelled. Details in article CNU News Briefs.
1. NEW Article: Celebrating CNC's Class of 1972, the Second Baccalaureate Class, Part 1.
2. RevisedArticle: Remembering CNC's Super Superintendent: Mike Cazares. Part 2: Mike's Greenhouse.
3. NEW Article: CNU News Briefs
4.The Naked Lover's Excuse, an excerpt from Barry Wood's essay on Jim Windsor.
5. Blast(s) from the Past.
6. NEWCartoons: Gary Larson's Insects.
FIRST DECADE HISTORY
Celebrating CNC's Class of 1972, the Second Baccalaureate Class
By A. Jane Chambers
All commencement photographs are from the 1972 Trident yearbook.
CNC's class of 1972 was the first to have an outdoor commencement (graduation) on the college's campus--a practice that became so popular and practical that it is still continuing on the Great Lawn of the CNU campus. The first two photographs in this article, from page 42 of the 1972 Trident, show some of the 1972 degree candidates lined up outside one of the buildings waiting for the signal to begin the academic procession. The tassels on their mortarboards (academic hats) are worn on the right because they have not yet been awarded their degrees. Do any of you readers recognize yourselves or others in this line? Your feedback is welcomed.
As a member of Christopher Newport's English faculty, I attended every commencement for three decades. Some years there were two or even three of them. Newport Hall was then the home of the English Department, so my office and classes were there. I feel certain that the building in the above Trident photo (p. 45) is Gosnold Hall and that the audience is facing the back of Newport Hall, in front of which a temporary stage has been erected. Do you see any of your relatives and/or friends in this picture?
The faculty always leads an academic procession and is seated first, in the front rows. This picture (p. 42) shows some members of the CNC faculty seated. Do you recognize any of them? Following the ceremonial rules, once seated, the men have removed their mortarboards; the women have not. The tassels on their mortarboards are on the left because they have completed their academic degrees.
Below is the program for the 1972 graduation, with a few comments added at some points.
The 1972 class was the second CNC graduating class to enjoy the outstanding music of the Continental Army Band based at Fort Monroe, which first entertained the class of 1971 and quickly became a favorite at other CNC commencements.
The Invocation, "Desiderata," read by Dr. Albert Edward Millar, Jr., was an early 20th century inspirational prose piece of some 300 words written by American Max Ehrmann. The title is Latin meaning "things desired," and a copy of the piece is easy to find on the internet.
Two photographs of the "Graduating Class Gift "(line 4) will be shown and discussed in Part 2 of this article. Dr. Ruth K. Mulliken, who delivered the "Commencement Address," is also in one of the photos.
Four-year degrees in five disciplines were awarded in 1971, the first year CNC had a baccalaureate class--biology, English, government, history, and psychology. Three additional degrees were offered in 1972, making the Class of 1972 the first to have the Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in Management Information Science (MIS), the Bachelor in Business Administration, and the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.
Part 2 of this article will be published in September and Part 3 in October--both with more photographs and details of possible interest. Stay tuned! And feel free to send us your Feedback (see below). We would especially appreciate your help with identifying people in the 1972 graduation photos.
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Published August 20, 2021
Remembering CNC’s SUPER Superintendent,
Part 2: Mike's Greenhouse
Revised August 2021
by A. Jane Chambers
The Greenhouse project is another example of the dedication
of the early CNC people
and the strong sense of family that existed then.
Without folks like Mike Cazares and Jean Pugh,
I am not sure there would have been a CNU today.
--Dr. Harold Cones, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biology
In 1970, when the Biology Department hired its first botanist and horticulturalist, Dr. Dave Bankes, CNC had no greenhouse. Chances the state would fund one were nil, so the department decided to build its own greenhouse. Dr. Harold Cones remembers how “Mike’s Greenhouse” began: Biology chairman Dr. Jean Pughtalked to Mike Cazares and they agreed that Mike would do the work as he had time (including Saturdays) and would get the bricks (with his own truck) for the head house from the state penitentiary, which had provided the bricks for the other four CNC buildings, and Jean would buy the other building materials. CNC either paid for the bricks or got the state to donate them and also paid for the six or eight metal trusses for the head house roof. Jean bought the rest of the materials, including concrete for the floor.
Dr. Jean Pugh in the 1971 Trident, p. 18
Mike Cazares in the 1970 Trident, p. 18.
Consulting with Dave Bankes, Mike drew up the design. He did not need blueprints. After all, as his daughter Sandy Allard said, he had built his own cinderblock house on Menchfield Road, from the foundation to the roof, with the help of no one except his wife. He had done everything himself, including carpentry, plumbing and electrical wiring, and had also built his own detached garage, which served as his workshop.
Building the Head House
Dave Banks, 1971 Trident, p. 18
Most members of the Biology Department, and some students, pitched in to help Mike build the greenhouse--working mainly on Friday afternoons and Saturdays. Biology professors Dave Bankes and Ron Mollick helped, and Jean Pugh and Harold Cones were there regularly. Not everything the novices did was always done perfectly of course. Harold remembers that when the concrete (paid for by Jean Pugh) was delivered for the floor, he was one of those helping to smooth it after it was dumped, but, he recalls, “It was never really smooth, I’m afraid.”
Ron Mollick, 1971 Trident, p. 18
Harold Cones, 1971 Trident, p. 18
Laying bricks for the head house was a major challenge, even under Mike’s well intentioned instruction. Harold laid most of the bricks--a task, he remembers, "not as easy as it looks”--and he’s not laid another brick since. He recalls the bricks were “beautiful, handmade, with lots of interesting color and quality variations, and no two alike.” Alumnus Tom Sobieski (BS, 1973) recollects that “one of the students convinced someone that he could lay bricks,” but his brickwork “resembled more a wave than a straight line,” so he was asked to resign from that job.
Brickwork underway on the head house part of the greenhouse project 1972 Trident, p. 19
Building the Greenhouse
Mike and his volunteer crew next tackled phase two: building the actual greenhouse. Using glass for it was out of the question, recalls Harold, because glass was extremely expensive. Mike found a product suitable for both the sidewalls and the roof of the greenhouse--greenish-yellow fiberglass sheets, and Jean Pugh, as usual, generously provided the money to buy this material.
Building the frame for the greenhouse was very hard work, because the wooden roof rafters (photo, right) were not only very expensive, but also very long and very heavy. Once the framing was completed, the Cazares Crew covered it with the fiberglass sheets “and voila,” Harold remembers, “we had a green (actually a yellowish-green) house.” Mike then built plant tables, installed lighting and plumbing, and turned it over to the College. It was named “Cazares Greenhouse.”
Mike was interviewed later by a Daily Press reporter. The subsequent article, “Supervisor leaves his mark on CNC,” including the photo left here, appeared in a “Peninsula People” section. Mike's daughter, Sandra Cazares Allard, emailed me a copy of it. The reporter wrote that although the Cazares Greenhouse was only “about the size of a small house, …to the biology department, and the CNC employee who built it, the structure is an important part of the Shoe Lane campus.” Mike’s sense of humor was evident in his reply to the reporter's question, “What’s grown in the greenhouse?” He said, “I call them weeds, but the professors call them all sorts of exotic things.”
The reporter stated that Mike had “an architect’s drawing of the campus in his office, identifying the building as Cazares Greenhouse” and that Mike pointed to the location of “his” building and said, “I’m in good company.” The greenhouse was to the right of Gosnold Hall, CNC’s first science building. I remember viewing it from classrooms on the second floor of the back side of Newport Hall. Between Newport Hall and the greenhouse was a large expanse of lawn later occupied by the new Science Building, and behind the greenhouse was a thick patch of woods. The 1972 Trident photo below (p. 14) shows on the right some of the fiberglass sheets attached to the frame of the greenhouse. The man standing there might be Mike.
As time passed, the greenhouse suffered structural problems. To save money, the department had decided to put a flat roof on the head house, which increasingly leaked badly. Also, the roof rafters, as Harold Cones remembers, “were so heavy that they sagged, giving the greenish-yellow house a bowed back.” However, improvements made to the head house kept it functional, and eventually, the greenish-yellow greenhouse was replaced by a glass greenhouse in the same spot. Physics professor Dr. George Webb headed that project—getting it financed, approving the plans, and overseeing professional builders. The Cazares Greenhouse thus served our College, particularly the botany students, very well until it was razed to make room for Forbes Hall, the current science building.
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Published February 14, 2014 as PART 2 with title beginning
Memories of rather than Remembering.
Revised August 2021
Published again August 20, 2021
CNU NEWS BRIEFS
by A. Jane Chambers
1.Covid Cancels September's On Campus Alumni Events.Beginning August 12, CNU temporarily re-mandated wearing of masks indoors by everyone on campus, including visitors, vaccinated or not, in shared spaces on campus, because of “the reality of the delta variant power and prevalence in Newport News.” Nowthe University has cancelled all campus alumni events scheduled for September--including celebration of the institution's 60th anniversary and the annual luncheon of the CNC First Decaders. The decision is sad, but prudent at this time.
2.LGBT+ Group at CNU for Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Allies. “Allies” are members who are not LGBT but support LGBT+ friends and colleagues. Anyone can belong to this affinity group without being publicly labeled. Baxter Vendrick, Senior Director of Alumni Engagement, says all CNU emeriti faculty are encouraged to participate in the group and his office is “currently working on an alumni chapter specific to this community.” The group was spearheaded by Dr. Geoffrey Klein, who is openly gay and is an Associate Professor in CNU’s Department of Monocular Biology and Chemistry and also Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, Research and Assessment. For more information or to join, email Geoffrey.email@example.com.
3. Alumni Pay 10% Less to Belong to CNU’s Lifelong Learning Society. Classes Start in September.This is a membership organization for retired people who enjoy opportunities to learn in a diverse environment of sharing and fellowship. Members enjoy a variety of activities throughout the year, including lectures, courses (some taught by CNU emeriti faculty) discussion groups, luncheons and field trips. Classes and lectures are held in the former Yoder Barn. Click here to learn more or to join it (and save 10%): https://cnu.edu/lifelonglearning/program/.
A Memories Book Bit:
The Naked Lover's Excuse:
A Jim Windsor Joke
Professor Barry Wood's Memory
Excerpt from page 168*
Editor's Note: Having demonstrated CNC's President James C. Windsor's traits of "forbearance, integrity, and rationality," in this part of his essay Barry Wood gives an example of Dr. Windsor's fourth important character trait: his sense of humor.
He could tell a joke and could find his place in a joke. To illustrate, every year, in June, we held a dinner meeting for the communities' leaders, both to review the year completed and to look forward to the year ahead. Jim had made one of our usual points--that we were at the bottom of all public colleges and universities [in Virginia] in funding per student. I believe it was Senator Hunter Andrews who interrupted to observe, "Well, someone has to be at the bottom."
Jim paused in deference, but then replied: "Hunter, that reminds me of a story--it seems that there was this young couple who had just moved into a new house, and after the husband had left for work the next morning, the young wife's old boyfriend showed at the kitchen door, only to find the young wife still had passionate feelings for him. And so passion filled the air. As it happened, the young husband, remembering too heatedly his prior night, had turned his car around and sped home.
When he opened the front door calling 'Honey,' shock waves went through the kitchen. The young wife opened the refrigerator and said to her lover, 'There's nothing in here--so hide there.' The ardent husband comes into the kitchen, and seeing his wife naked, sweeps her into his passion, only to hear a strange noise coming from the refrigerator. He quickly lets go of his wife, opens the door, and, amid his shock of seeing a naked man, shouts 'What are you doing in here?'
To which the clothesless man replied--'Well, everybody has to be somewhere!' So you see, Hunter, being somewhere does not always make it right." Hunter, being himself a rather clever jester, laughed a good laugh--as did the whole crowd. Well, after the next General Assembly Budget Session, we were still in last place. But Jim, reassuming patience, still smiled.
*“James C. Windsor: President, 1970-1979," by Barry Wood, in Memories of Christopher Newport College: The First Decade, by A. Jane Chambers, Rita C. Hubbard, & Lawrence B. Wood, Jr. (Hallmark, 2008). TO ORDER BOOK: Send check for $20 made out to Jane Chambers to: Dr. Jane Chambers, 15267 Candy Island Lane,Carrollton, VA 23314. The money (minus mailing cost) is donated to the CNC First Decaders' Treasury.
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Published September 1, 2017.
Published again August 20, 2021.
GARY LARSON'S INSECTS
On March 15, 1989, a newly discovered insect species was named after Larson by Dale H. Clayton, head of the Committee of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago. The Strigiphilus garylarsoni is a chewing louse of a genus found only on owls (Wikipedia).
BLAST(S)FROM THE PAST
NEW CATEGORY INTRODUCTION: As your webmaster, I attempt to occasionally add new features to our website that might be of interest to you. I have amassed a sizeable quantity of what I consider "quality" quotes made by often famous persons. So here goes...
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Dr. Jane Chambers, Editor and Head Writer
Ron Lowder Sr., Webmaster
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