Guilford College
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member GeoGordie
N 36° 05.394 W 079° 53.326
17S E 600040 N 3994491
Campus located in Guiford County .. Greensboro, NC Between the intersections of New Garden Road and West Friendly Ave.
Waymark Code: WM8KA
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 03/08/2006
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member GeoGordie
Views: 73

Quaker Heritage In 1837, Guilford College opened its doors as New Garden Boarding School founded by the Religious Society of Friends, known as Quakers. In 1888, the academic program was greatly expanded and the school renamed Guilford College. Today, Quakers make up about ten percent of Guilford's student body and approximately 18 percent of the faculty and administrative staff. The college continues to appreciate and honor its Quaker heritage as the foundation for its character, distinctiveness and quality. Quakerism has traditionally represented a mode of life rooted in simplicity, one that highly regards the individual, peace and social concern. It also has been a mode of inquiry, a search for truth by the individual sustained by the whole community of seekers. These characteristics have nourished the college from its beginnings. Guilford's original purpose was to train responsible and enlightened leaders, both women and men. Its method was the liberal arts, viewed not as a static body of knowledge but as a stimulus to intellectual and spiritual growth. The Friends tradition harmonizes well with the college's atmosphere of free inquiry. Liberal education requires an atmosphere of academic and personal freedom, founded on intellectual and moral responsibility, and an atmosphere of commitment to ethical values and human beings. The combination of these qualities contributes to Guilford's character. Through the years Guilford has remained true to the vision of its Quaker founders. It has continually sought new methods of challenging students, bringing them into contact with vital ideas and experiences, and helping them to arrive at their fullest potential as individuals and as members of society. History The land, described as "this majestic wilderness," was settled in the 1750s by Quakers who named it New Garden. John Woolman, the Quaker missionary who visited the settlers shortly thereafter, called them "planters of truth in the province." During the American Revolution this peaceful scene was disturbed by the decisive Battle of Guilford Courthouse, four miles to the north. Quakers cared for the wounded of both sides and buried the dead in New Garden Meeting's cemetery. Today one can see a marker to the unknown British soldiers interred there as well as visit the battlefield, now a national military park. By the 1830s the majority of Quakers in North Carolina lived in and around Guilford County. They decided to establish a school on a coeducational basis that was chartered in 1834 and opened in 1837 as New Garden Boarding School. The campus later became a station on the Underground Railroad as well as a center of resistance to Confederate conscription and requisitioning efforts. The school never closed during the Civil War, and during Reconstruction, with support from Friends in the North and Great Britain, soon recouped its strength. This led to the development of Guilford College, the fourth oldest degree-granting institution in North Carolina. The college remained largely isolated until the 1920s, when the old trail to Greensboro became the Friendly Road. The street name still symbolizes the longstanding friendship between town and gown. Today the campus is an area of greenery, quiet, and scholarship within Greensboro's city limits. It is one of the very few college campuses in the nation listed by the United States Department of the Interior as a National Historic District. HISTORY OF THE FRIENDS HISTORICAL COLLECTION The Friends Historical Collection, housed in the Hege Library, documents over three hundred years of Quaker history. Quakers moved into North Carolina from Virginia as early as the 1660s and George Fox, founder of the Religious Society of Friends, visited the area in the fall of 1672. Early Quaker records in North Carolina date back to 1680, with the recording of minutes at Perquimans in the Albemarle Sound area. The North Carolina Yearly Meeting safeguarded their records, removing them to Baltimore during the Civil War. Later, the minutes were returned and then remained with a building given to the boarding school by the Yearly Meeting in the 1880s. By 1900 there was a librarian or custodian of the collection. In 1909, when a new library replaced one destroyed by fire, the vault housing the Yearly Meeting records was incorporated into the new library. These minutes form the core around which the Friends Historical Collection developed. The relationship between Guilford College and North Carolina Yearly Meeting and North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative) continues, with minutes from over 130 yearly, quarterly, and monthly meetings from the Southeast placed in the collection. Ownership is retained by individual meetings. A second component of the collection is an extensive collection of over 9,800 books, approximately 300 periodical titles, international in scope, and over 500 manuscripts or manuscript collections documenting Quaker history, genealogy, and scholarship. A circulating Quaker collection is always accessible to researchers; many sources are also duplicated in the non-circulating Quaker reference collection. Rare books, including 40 seventeenth century imprints and books from the original library at New Garden Boarding School, are housed in closed stacks. In preparation for the college centennial in 1937, Dorothy Gilbert began collecting private manuscripts for the "Historical Collection of Guilford College," from which the present name, Friends Historical Collection, was taken in 1980. Primarily nineteenth and twentieth century, these manuscripts are rich sources documenting the early history of the college, Quaker family life, antislavery activities, the Civil War and Reconstruction and involvement in Quaker organizations. Quaker costumes, including men's, women's, and children's clothing and hats are a part of the collection. Artifacts include the key to the original Founders Hall of the New Garden Boarding School, an 1841 sampler by Martha Hunt, and a hunting rifle made by the Lamb family of Quaker gunsmiths of Jamestown, North Carolina. Some artifacts were received as gifts from alumni during their Centennial Presentation Service on May 22, 1937 and others were acquired in more recent years. Manuscript collections, rare books and artifacts are made available by appointment. The Guilford College Archives, also housed in the Friends Historical Collection, document the concern early North Carolina Friends had for education. Gathered at New Garden for Yearly Meeting in eleventh month, 1830, Friends pondered a query from the Discipline concerning the education of children. Recognizing deficiencies in the education of their children, Friends, led by Nathan Hunt and Jeremiah Hubbard, began planning for a school. Beginning in 1832, subscriptions were collected to establish a Boarding School, to be located at New Garden. A charter was granted by the North Carolina legislature in 1834 and construction began. The school opened the first of eighth month, 1837, with fifty students enrolled. With the opening of the school, Friends had achieved Nathan Hunt's dream for Quaker education in North Carolina. By the 1880s trustees of the school began a reorganization of the curriculum with the goal of establishing a college. On August 15, 1888, the institution began its first year as Guilford College. A recent college records management policy assures that twentieth and twenty-first century college records, like their nineteenth century counterparts, will be accessible to future historians. Continuing scholarship at Guilford College and a Quaker presence in the school, community, and state is testimony to the wisdom and sacrifices of early Quaker leaders and families. Essential support for the Friends Historical Collection by Guilford College, the North Carolina Yearly Meetings, the North Carolina Friends Historical Society and the Guilford College Friends of the Library assures that the collection will continue to flourish.

Marker Name: Guilford College J-35

Marker Type: City

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