Saturday, May 16, 2009

89 things you probably didn't know about Lee

The birth place of what is now Lee University was a single room in the Church of God Publishing House in Cleveland, Tennessee, as seen above.

Since then, a lot of history has flown by, and only the highlights have been recorded for posterity. How many of the following facts about Lee University are a complete surprise?

1. Although the school began in 1918, the concept first originated in 1911.
2. The location of the Humanities Center was originally a softball field.
3. Jazzman's Cafe was originally a commuters lounge.
4. The Student Center and snack shop was originally in the Centenary Room.
5. The Centenary building is the oldest structure on campus and was once used as a female dormitory named East Wing Hall until the mid-1980s.
6. The Vest Building was once home to Lee's library, and was also at one time Lee's administration building.
7. The old music building was located in the field next to the amphitheater.
8. Carroll Courts was built with three more mirroring buildings in mind for future expansion.
9. O'Bannon-Bowdle was constructed with the option to add a third wing behind the laundry rooms in the future.
10. The school began as the Bible Training School. It was renamed Lee Academy and Lee College in 1947.
11. Lee was named after the university's second president. The first left the denomination after financial trouble in the church.
12. Lee owns PaulConn.com.
13. The Humanities Center was originally sketched with a circular clock in the clock tower.
14. Four Lee presidents have no campus structures in their namesake.
15. Nora Chambers was Lee's first teacher.
16. The Vindagua was the original sponsor of the Parade of Favorites.
17. President Conn and Walt Mauldin were both yearbook editors while students at Lee.
18. The campus post office was originally located in lower Simmons for girls and and in the Academic Building for boys.
19. Lee's Sevierville, TN campus now provides a home to foster care children.
20. The school moved to the former campus of Bob Jones University in Cleveland, TN in 1947. The land was bought for $1.5 million.
22. Billy Graham attended college at Bob Jones University when it was on Lee's campus for one year (in 1936) and stayed in what is now Medlin Hall.
23. Medlin Hall was originally named Walker Hall, and later Memorial Hall.
24. The average full-time faculty salary is $46,000.
25. The first Vindagua yearbook was published in 1942.
26. Lee featured a high school division from 1930-1965.
27. Simmons Hall was originally Hadassah Hall.
28. The campus auditorium once stood where the dining hall is now and seated 800 people. Today, the Dixon Center seats 500 and the Conn Center seats 1800.
29. Ellis Hall was between Hughes Hall and the Beach Building before being destroyed by fire. It originally housed married students.
30. The Conn Center's orchestra pit, which was directly in front of the stage, was closed and carpeted over.
31. Cross Hall was built as a men's dorm, which is why the windows facing Tharp Hall are frosted.
32. Atkins-Ellis Hall was once a men's dormitory.
33. Sharp-Davis was constructed to be a coed dorm with men in Davis Hall, which explains why the rooms and beds are longer on one side.
34. Tharp Hall once served as residences for teachers and staff.
35. Other residences for staff included The Jeep, South Hall, North Hall, Battle House, Victory Hall and Harmony Hall.
36. The campus newspaper was originally titled Campus Hi-Lites, then the Lee Clarion (for alumni) and the Clarionita (for students), before becoming the Lee Collegian and returning to the Lee Clarion.
37. There used to be a telephone booth on Church St. where the Ped Mall now lies.
38. Lee's mascot was originally the Vikings before transitioning to the Flames.
39. The tennis courts were originally behind Nora Chambers Hall.
40. President Conn attended 2nd-8th grade at what is now the Mayfield Annex. He proposed the winning bid of $850,000 for the complex.
41. Walker Arena originally featured suspended ceiling tiles.
42. Like the Ladies of Lee choir, there was once a Men of Lee ensemble.
43. A student center was originally planned to be built on the field in front of Walker Arena by Parker Street.
44. According to a 1970's campus map, a classroom building was planned for construction in Alumni park and a greenhouse was going to be built next to the Beach Building.
45. The faces of Dr. Hammond's children are hidden in the trolley in the Lee mural in the lobby of the Humanities Building.
46. There are currently less post office boxes in the student union than there are students who attend Lee.
47. In the 1980s F.J. Lee was considered to be the first president of the college and A.J. Thompson was ignored.
48. Lee's oldest building, Old Main, was destroyed in 1962 to make way for a new administration building.
49. Chapel services were originally every day of the school week, then shifted to four times a week, and are now three times a week.
50. All students were once required to attend Sunday School and church in Cleveland.
51. Health services began in a dorm room in the late 1950s before moving to a room in the administration building. The health clinic was originally located in a house on the current ground of the tennis center before moving to a location next to Hughes Hall and eventually into the Leonard Center where it is currently.
52. All dormitory students were required to eat in the dining hall.
53. Providence Hall, apartments for married students, was originally located on the ground of the PCSU, before being replaced with a parking lot, and eventually the student union itself.
54. In the early 1970s Lee offered a mid-winter term during the month of January.
55. Walker Building was originally the Alumni Building and served as the location of humanities classes before being renamed.
56. Lee purchased three .edu domain names before government policy changed to state that schools can only own one .edu name.
57. Sunday school and Sunday morning worship services were once provided on campus as "on-the-job" training for young ministers.
58. Lee discouraged "frequent weekend trips because of their negative effect on educational achievement." Applications for trips had to be approved by the dean with three days notice and mailed home for a signature from a parent. "The management of the institution will look with disfavor on frequent week-end trips made by students."
59. A letter of notification was mailed to parents after mid-term when a student was making a D or F in a class.
60. The original sketch for the Beach building included small windows for the basement level.
61. No student was allowed to room off the campus without permission from the president.
62. Nora Chambers first floor was originally classroom space for the home economics department.
63. Vehicle policy in the 1950s: "Students have little or no use for cars during the school term. Cars on the campus are detrimental to the school, as well as expensive for the student. We suggest that cars be stored before school opens."
64. Loan policy in the 1950s: "Students are not expected to make debts while in school, either by purchasing things or borrowing money. The school cannot afford to make loans. Students are not expected to ask for such favors of the office."
65. Nora Chambers was originally called Georgia Creel Hall.
66. Original dating/social policies: "All social functions, hikes and picnics are chaperoned..."
67: In the 1940s every student was "expected to donate to the school two hours' work each week."
68. College Arms used to be a Lee-owned student apartment building on Centenary Avenue.
69. Commencement used to be held on the lawn between the Higginbotham Administration building and the fountain.
70. Global Perspective trips became a requirement at Lee in 2002.
71. The new science building is expected to cost $14 million. The Humanities Center cost $10 million. O'Bannon-Bowdle cost $8 million to build. The School of Religion building cost $5 million. The PCSU cost $3 million. Schimmel's Park cost half a million.
72. In 1987 the city council voted to permit Lee to close a section of Church St. and form it into a pedestrian mall.
73. Two roundabouts were originally planned for Parker Street intersections at 11th and 15th street.
74. Livingston Hall, the first modern apartment complex built on campus, was erected in 1995.
75. "Vindagua," the name of Lee's yearbook, means "to provide with or as if with a window." The derivation is Scandinavian.
76. Lee College plates featuring illustrations of different campus buildings were produced in the late 1940s to raise money for the school.
77. The largest bell in the PCSU bell tower was cast in 1923 and weighs over 2,600 pounds. It originally hung in an Anglican church steeple in London, England.
78. The original restaurants in the PCSU food court included the Selona Grill, which has since been replaced by SubConnection.
79. The Rahamut Room, which houses Jazzman's Cafe in the PCSU, was named after Lee professor Dr. Janet Rahamut who was killed in her home by an intruder in summer 2000.
80. Lee's art program was originally housed in two homes on the current grounds of the School of Religion Building.
81. Ellis Hall burned down in November 1993 after three local residents poured gasoline in a first floor prayer room and lit the building on fire at 2:15 a.m. All 76 residents emerged safely.
82. Deke Day began in 2002.
83. The Humanities Center clock tower is 95 feet tall. The bell tower is 72 feet tall.
84. Only three Lee students have interned at the White House. Two in 2002 and one in 2004.
85. When President Paul Conn attended Lee students were not allowed to go to the movie theatre, so he would "sneak off" to it.
86. In 1918, tuition cost one dollar per week, five dollars per week including room and board.
87. The access to the Bowdle-O'Bannon attic and dome is in the fourth floor lounge.
88. Lee College became Lee University on May 10, 1997.
89. Dr. Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind series, among other books, attended Bob Jones College when it was on Lee's campus in 1946.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved reading the history of Lee that you have here. I remember Ellis Hall quite well, my room was two doors down from where the fire began. I was surprised though to learn that Atkins-Ellis is no longer a mens dorm.