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Alumni - History

Early CSCers

Early Cornelia Strong College Members at Croquet

Strong College was established by the University's College of Arts and Sciences in 1994. The College of Arts and Sciences had for many years been developing special programs for undergraduates, including the freshman Seminars, Writing Across the Curriculum, and the University Honors Program. Dean Walter Beale suggested that a residential academic program be established in Moore-Strong Hall when the residence hall was scheduled for renovation.

shieldDr. Laurie White, Assistant Director of the Honors Program and long-time Lecturer in English, was chosen to head this new project. Dr. Robert O'Hara, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Critical Inquiry in the liberal Arts, joined Dr. White soon after, and he helped to steer the program in the direction of a residential college modeled after the Harvard University Houses in which he had served as a graduate student.

The new college was named for Professor Cornelia Strong, one of the two people for whom Moore-Strong Hall had been originally named.

In the spring of 1994, while Moore-Strong Hall was still in the midst of renovations, a planning room for the new college was set up in Room 200 in the Foust Building and it soon came to be called "the War Room." (A plaque was dedicated there in the summer of 1996 to mark the place where Strong College was founded.) Dr. White and Dr. O'Hara began to collect all manner of objects and ideas for the new college in the War Room, and brought a steady stream of visitors through to help with the planning. Dr. O'Hara picked up a copy of Elizabeth Ann Bowles' book A Good Beginning: Tbe First Four Decades of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro from the Alumni House and set it on an empty table in the War Room under a sign that read "Strong College Library." That book was the first of the hundreds the College has since received from generous students, faculty, parents, and friends.

  Strong College opened in the newly renovated Moore-Strong Hall in August of 1994. Its early days were hectic, as all present will attest: exploding sinks, missing furniture, leaking ceilings, and a wide variety of other crises made everyone realize how well the College's motto had been chosen. In the fall of 2003 Strong College seized upon an opportunity to move from Moore-Strong to South Spencer, hoping to take advantage of the latter building's intimate environment and central location. More leaks, collapsing ceilings, damaged furniture, misplaced ephemera, and other mishaps followed.


Moore-Strong Residence Hall

  Through all of these changes Strong College has gone from strength to strength as its traditions and sense of identity have grown ever stronger. Tuesday afternoon Tea, Friday Fellows Lunch, the Blue Lemur Coffee Bar, the College Council, the JCR Library, the Newsletter, the Strong­L list-serve and discussion group, the annual Halloween and Valentine's Dances, the fall Croquet Tournament and the Spring Buffalo Creek Regatta are some of the college's more conspicuous traditions. Scott Thomason, CSC '99, wrote a history of the early years of Strong College for his senior thesis, and a copy of that work is available in the Junior Common Room.

Page updated: 05-Jan-2009

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