GOIN' TO THE CHAPEL
As Carolina began to evolve from an
elite academy to a citizen of the academic
world early in the 20th century, the topic
from the chapel lectern in Gerrard Hall
wasn't always that old-time religion.
Although chapel would be required in
various forms through the mid-1930s
(strict for freshmen, looser as the student
moved up in class), the administration had
to acknowledge it might be losing its
Edward Kidder Graham (class of
1898) , dean of the College of Liberal Arts
and later UNC president, used "chapel
talks" to introduce students to the issues
facing the state and country, and to instill
in them a sense of the University's service
mission and their obligation to service
once they graduated. Part of this, accord-
ing to historian Louis ROWld Wilson
(class of 1899), was an effort to revive
chapel exercises that he said had "reached
a low state" with juniors and seniors basi-
cally exempted and the lower classes
allowed a certain number of cuts.
An enduring image of Gerrard is the
1918 photo of students punishing the lit-
tle building with snowballs.
"Grallam put life into the Chapel pro-
gram and used it as a means of promoting
sUldent morale and interest in the honor
system and in the development of a
Student Council,"Wilson wrote."The Chapel
platform became a place where student
. opinion was sought and e:A'Pressed, where
matters of student life were seriously considered, and where ideals of campus and
post-canlpus life were formed."
Marvin Stacy '02, who took Graham's
deanship in 1913, continued the practice.
"The discussions which took place in
Gerrard Hall between 1909 and 1918,
under the direction of Graham and Stacy,
went far towards explaining the progres-
sive, informed attitude of North Carolina
in the succeeding decade 1919-28 in
which the State threw off its earlier
lethargy and girded itself for a notable
advance in its economic , educational,
industrial, and social life," Wilson wrote.
The YMCA was a vibrant component
Gerrard Hall was a multiple-use lecture hall during its days as the chapel.
An odd addition to the campus symmetry, Person
Hall was the first chapel.
Chapel was moved from Gerrard to the original
Memorial Hall in the mid-I 920s.
Nove/JIber / D ece /JIb er 200 I