Geneva Cabinet Through the War Years - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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President's Desk
June 6, 2016

Geneva Cabinet Through the War Years

Two weeks ago, my wife and I went to the viewing of the wife of Chuck Sterrett. Chuck was a Geneva grad, long-time friend of my mother and father, and then of me. His youngest daughter, Lori, came by my office a few days later with a box of Chuck’s memorabilia, including about a dozen old Cabinets and a few copies of Geneva’s old literary magazine, Chimes. The collection is now in McCartney Library. Here are a few excerpts, in chronological order. Read to the end.

1939 Chimes – First paragraph of “Heaven on Earth” by Eleanor Coleman (my mother) “Until two summers ago I rather liked the idea of going to heaven. Not that I wanted to die – I was only curious to see what it looks like. But having seen what I want in the way of paradise, I’m exceedingly worried lest the real thing fall short. I’d like to live in Glacier Park for all eternity.”

3/1/40 – Cabinet Headlines: “Footballers Guide Monthly Convocation,” “Geneva’s Nine May Queen Candidates Tell What They Like in Their Men” “Chicago Approves of Football Ban”

11/8/40 Cabinet news – “Geneva sports fans will be celebrating their annual migration day tomorrow afternoon when the Covenanters meet the Wash-Jeff Presidents on the college field at Little Washington, Pa. This contest has been dubbed the ‘battle of the beatens’ as both teams sport the poorest records among colleges of the tri-state area…. Note: Geneva’s team had 19 players available.”

–“Dr. Pearce [the President] addressing convocation ‘gave reasons why Christ’s followers should be proud of the gospel.’” Hitler’s plan, which excludes religion, was described.

12/19/40 Cabinet – “Student Introduces New Grade-Raising System – John Patterson, Beaver Falls, bagged an eight-point buck, ‘which was a former resident of McKean County.’ He trailed the buck through knee-deep snow armed only with a light pistol. He cashed in on the meat by passing it out to the proper persons. He said, ‘You want A’s? Just trot into class with a cut of venison and slap it down on your prof’s desk.’”

11/14/41 Cabinet  –  “Cuban Girl Sees First Snow Here  –  ‘Edelmira intends to remain in her room all day on her birthday…. It is the custom in Cuba to stay indoors all day with one’s family.’”

12/19/41 Cabinet  –  “Geneva Alumnus Present At Pearl Harbor Incident – ‘No word was received by his family until Friday evening, December 12, when a cablegram arrived with the message: Am Okay, Ren.’ ‘Harvey McClung Is First Alumnus Killed in Action’”

2/6/42 Cabinet  –  “To Wed or Not to Wed; The question is this: should a couple get married if the boy has to go to war?” Some of the answers: “Yes. It will give a soldier something to come back to.” “No. War hysteria brings on too many hasty marriages.” “No. The future is too uncertain. It isn’t fair to the girl when there’s a possibility she may be a widow.” “I would. Happiness should be taken today.”

– “Professor Tweed: ‘I am going to speak on liars today. How many of you have read the twenty-fifth chapter of the text for the day?’ Most of the class raised their hands. ‘Good. You are the group to whom I wish to speak. There is no twenty-fifth chapter.’”

11/1/44 Cabinet  –  “Our G.I.’s: ‘Two letters were received early in Sept. from Deane Sterrett by his parents. Deane, you’ll remember, is a prisoner of war in Germany – his letters seemed quite cheerful – he spoke of devoting the mornings to study and of getting a good suntan, playing ball in the afternoons… Brother “Charlie” is in the Rainbow Division, located at Camp Bruber, Okla.” Note: that division went to Europe a few days later and was destroyed in the Battle of the Bulge: 5,949 dead, 59,148 prisoners of war. Charles Sterrett was one of those prisoners.

5/9/45 Cabinet  –  “Our G.I.’s: Good news! Mussolini is dead! Hitler is dead! And Chuck Sterrett is in New York and coming home!” Note: he came home and went to the Reformed Presbyterian Seminary in Pittsburgh and served as a minister of the Gospel until he retired.

Bill EdgarDr. William Edgar, Interim President


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