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Page 12 text:
Physical Education Building w% Dean Hardin, leit, and Dr. Cline, light, as they conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws upon the late E. Weldon Jones in 1940. Visionary — Yet Practical That was all. But from that simple paragraph I wrote a Sunday morning front page editorial appeal to everyone in the church, in the college and in the community to unite in keeping Centenary a college of all religions, all peoples, striving always for the betterment of each branch of that earthly trinity. I don ' t know how much this had to do with the quick ending of the question then at issue, but it was a happy ending — for all. I mention this not only as an insight into Pierce Cline ' s mind and heart, but because, while every word of that editorial was mine, every ideal in it was his. The earthly trinity was his life, his goal — high and hard to reach, yet always kept at eye-
Page 11 text:
editorial. Yet I never wrote an editorial dealing with Centenary or matters related to it that didn ' t come from his heart. He would come into the office, plank himself down in the hard chair, tell me something without any explanation of why he told me, and depart. The point is that our own understanding of each other was so complete that neither of us had to explain. Sometimes I ' d call him up and ask a question seemingly unrelated to anything of the moment. He ' d talk for 30 minutes and every word he spoke would be exactly- along the lines of the information I was seeking. During the red-hot fight over college dancing he came in one day, sat on the straight chair, leaned forward, and with his eyes actually glistening, said: " Did you ever stop to think that besides the Holy Trinity, there ' s an earthly trinity? It is made up of the church — regardless of sect — the school and the community. Together they can reach any objective, any ideal. With any one of the three lagging, the other two are helpless. When they fight each other all three are destroyed. When they fight side by side all opposition is destroyed. Think it over. "
Page 13 text:
level, too. I have met no man who could rise higher in vision without taking his feet off the ground of practicalism than Pierce Cline. I called him up one day just after the Army courses started at Centenary. " What about all this Army demand for science and math and so on, " I asked. " Is education being shot to pieces culturally by this war? " " It is amazing, " he came back without hesitation — and I could vision a twinkle of amusement in his eyes — " what this Army of ours wants our young men to have as education. Why " — his voice rose, but distinctly in mock indignation — " they actually want our 1 boys to have a big, broad, sound foundation in English! And think of this — they want them to have more geography than most colleges offer! And his- tory! And foreign language! Just imagine! Of course they want sound math, science, too. " He hesitated a minute. Then he said: " The Army is good for colleges. It shakes them up — culturally! " He knew that was what I had in mind from the start — that the cry for science and needs of war would not break up simple foundations of cultural education; that needs for science can only be car- ried to their greatest extent when culture is included in the foundation. A lot of editorials have come out of that three or four minute telephone conversation. The tenacity with which Pierce Cline kept after things worthwhile was never better illustrated to me than during the long period of negotiations and stale- mate involving the now existing consolidation of Centenary and Dodd Colleges. Many who simply see the actual consolidation may not realize that the events leading to it covered several years and that these events are divided into two periods — one period of negotations which failed and a second which succeeded. Back in the 1930 ' s I went to Doctor Cline ' s office one day to talk with him about the private negotia- tions which I knew were going on to bring Cen- tenary and Dodd together as one great Shreveport educational institution. I was not seeking news, but merely a background of information and understand- ing which would enable me to be ready when the time did come for publication. I knew that Doctor Cline was pledged to silence concerning the names of certain persons involved — and so was I. Neither in that discussion nor in many that followed did either of us mention the name of the anonymous benefactor who first offered $50,000 in cash and then obligated himself to about double that sum to further higher education in the Shreveport area-- yet each of us knew that the other was fully in- formed. What we talked about chiefly was the great benefit that would come to education itself in this area through such a merger — of the great need for it. Here again that " earthly trinity " of Pierce Cline ' s was predominant — school, church and community — although it was not at this time given a name. Dr. George S. Sexton, then president emeritus, Jimmie Serra, president oi the class of ' 36, and Dr. Cline at the 1936 commencement. Dr. Cline joined the students in celebrating Founders Day. Lett to light, Mrs. Betty Drafts, Dr. Cline, and Mrs. Barron Johns, Jr., in 1941.
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