Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE)

 - Class of 1917

Page 48 of 302


Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1917 Edition, Page 48 of 302
Page 48 of 302

Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1917 Edition, Page 47
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Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1917 Edition, Page 49
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Page 48 text:

y°(?ri y or was immediately rejected by the state legislature, the grounds tor the refusal being that they wanted the state university located at the capitol, to aid in its growth. The system of normal schools was then discussed, and after a long and stormy struggle in the senate, the first state normal school in the state, one of very few in the United States, was brought to Peru. In connection with the school, the names of three men stand out, perhaps, a little above the rest. They are Major Daily, Dr. John F. Neal, and Col. T. J. Majors. Major Daily was largely instrumental in transferring the old school from Pawnee City to Peru. Dr. Neal, aided by Rev. Hiram Burch and Mrs. C. B. McKenzie, donated the ground upon which it stands, and Colonel Majors has always had its best interests at heart in all ways. The first appropriation for the maintenance of the new school was one of three thousand dollars. Another of ten thousand was soon secured ; and later, through the efforts of Colonel Majors and his associates a third of thirty-five thousand dollars was secured for the erection of the oldest building upon the campus today, the old training building. This fiftieth anniversary has been further signalized by its outgrowth and the completion of its successor, the magnificent structure which bears the name of the man to whom, among others, we owe the existence of our school, T. J. Majors. For the last half century since her establishment, the history of Peru has been practically that of the great state with which she was originated. A steady, symmetrical expansion, at all times proportionate to, at times exceeding, the demands made upon her. Starting with the inevitably few, through the whole-hearted support and sacrifice of her backers, she has attained that eminence which only wise jurisdiction and excellence of ideals can bring. Year by year she has grown. Year by year she has strengthened and broadened, her alumni going to the four corners of the world as her best advertisements, her colors upheld on many a hard-fought football field. Under her present administration she stands at what is now the zenith of her greatness. May she grow greater with the years. Peru the Cibola of many a youthful Coronado, the sunny little city of our dreams; can we ever forget her! With the coming of the warm days of spring, the awakening of the roadsides and fence corners, can we help a retrospective thought, tinged, perhaps warmly with regret? Will we want to come back? The clear Sunday afternoon, warm with the breath of a laggard summer, the inevitable walk to the river, the bluish, sun-crowned bluffs of Iowa, the lagging steps as home and supper draw near; they arc indelible in our memory. Unforgetablc is the thrill of a Peruvian dawn, or the gold and purple glory of her sunset hills. Ask an alumnus what days of his life he values most, and his answer will be that those nearest his heart arc those spent in a quaint, old-fashioned town on the river, days born in the rosclight of a dream, buried in the gold of its attainment among the hills and hollows of old Peru. G. Talbot Hunt, ’17. i 7

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provide for them. All honor to those far-sighted ones, who in that time of strife and clamor conceived and established institutions which have been the foundations of Nebraska’s marvelous empirical education. Most notable of these, was, of course, our state university; but Nebraskans, looking into the future saw our state university too heavily burdened, and set to work to devise a method of taking care of a special type cf education which has come to be paramount in the civilization of today. With the advent of a new generation would come a cry for teachers, and people would clamor for scientific and practical instruction in the art of | edagogy. Then it was that the novel system of normal schools came into being, and in 1867, as Nebraska came to her own, as a state, there was conceived and dedicated to the profession of teaching, an institution, little heralded it is true, but one of the greatest educational centers in the west, the Nebraska State Normal of Peru. Far down in the southeastern corner of Nebraska, tucked away within the encircling arm of the protecting hills, a mere pocket in the bluffs along the river, lies the little town of Peru. First impressions of Peru differ. To the person first seeing it from the dear antique old bus, it may seem a remnant of the days of John Alden, and it would not be a difficult feat of the imagination to transform the bewhiskered driver into a veritable twentieth century Rip Van Winkle. To the pilgrim of the open road, seen thru the swimming, smoky light of Indian Summer, it may seem only a shimmering wave upon wave of glistening emerald, dotted by chimneys, and jewelled by a few glinting spires, an arboreal haven of rest, and a green allurement for birds. In the winter of 1860, a charter was granted for the establishment of a school of college rank in Peru. The matter rested for a term of five years, when it was once more taken up; and in 1866 occurred the real inception of the school in Peru. C. B. McKenzie, a man of unusually commanding personality, a teacher with lofty ideals, was elected principal, and his wife elected preceptress of the then unimportant and little-noticed school. It was planned to turn it over to the Methodist Church conference for a female seminary. In the early history of Peru, no man stands out with such distinction as C. B. McKenzie. Those were years that tested the mettle of character, and to the man whose wisdom, perseverance and unflinching courage gave us our Peru of today, we owe an incalculable debt. In the spring of 1867, the present Peru State Normal consisted of one low, ramshackle frame building, crowning the sparsely vegetated crest of the high hill southwest of Peru. It was at the time a struggling Methodist academy, which the townspeople and surrounding countrymen were bending every effort toward keeping in existence. They gave willingly of what they had, their efforts were untiring and unceasing, but several hard years followed one another, and finally, seeing their cause hopeless, rather than see the fruits of their labor come to nothing, it was turned over to the state legislature, a group of men among whom was T. J. Majors, to be given to the State, with the express reservation that the state University be located there. 'Phis proposal 1917

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y bri y o 7 }t $Jagrant af Para "Out of the mists that round thee lie, Come forth, O spirit of years gone by!" The pageantry of the middle ages was an unconscious thing. Gleaming armor and challenging trumpets, fluttering pennons and all the colorful splendor of procession, joust and tournament, were a natural accompaniment to the life of the mediaeval nobles. Of the nobles, 1 say; for drab indeed was the existence of the ‘‘submerged half,” the mass of the people, in that day. Twentieth century pageantry is something quite other than that. Today through the pageant we seek consciously to revisualize for ourselves the dignity and meaning of that marching past which has made us, our time, our town, our state, what it is now. And the pageant of today, in England and America differs from the pageantry of old in another fundamental. It is the artistic creation of the whole community. The influence of this type of civic art. in knitting together the heterogenous elements of an American commonwealth, into a sense of genuine kinship, has yet to be measured. Nebraska is feeling the proud significance of her statehood in this her semi-centennial anniversary year. This comes home to Peru with special force; for Peru is one of that chain of river towns forming the link between the old eastern home and the pioneer outposts of the west. More than that, here in Peru, in the very year when Nebraska achieved statehood, was proclaimed Nebraska’s belief that a sound citizenship demands a trained teaching corps and the struggling Methodist seminary, which had already taken upon itself this high civic task, was transferred to the state as its first normal school. It is especially fitting, then, that Peru commemorate this anniversary. At a meeting of the Peru Commercial Club in April, 1916, President Hayes proposed that a community pageant be made a part of Peru’s 1867-1917 celebration. The suggestion was adopted, the club pledged its hearty support, and ever since then the Pageant of Peru has been growing from a vision into a reality. In most communities undertaking a pageant, a so-called “pageant-master” has been employed to write the book and direct the enterprise. Peru, however, followed the precedent of the University of North Dakota. The Normal School faculty elected as a pageant committee six of its members: Professor F. C. Smith, (chairman) ; Miss Esther Clark, Miss Rose Clark, Miss Mutz, Miss Bowen, and I)r. House. 'I'his committee was to organize the project, to write the book of the pageant, and to be responsible for its presentation during commencement week, 1917. The task loomed large, and the committee set to work at once. The library staff saw to it that all the important pageant literature published in this country was soon on the shelves,—a fascinating literature, too, one that kindles the reader’s imagination and fires his civic zeal, as he sees what other communities have done to honor a noble past. Further inspiration was gained through witnessing the presentation by the city of Lincoln, of the “Gate City Pageant,” in June, 1916. During summer school the committee formulated the big problems of the enterprise, [9J7_

Suggestions in the Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) collection:

Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 1


Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1912 Edition, Page 1


Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1915 Edition, Page 1


Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1923 Edition, Page 1


Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1928 Edition, Page 1


Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1929 Edition, Page 1


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