The Spirit of Piedmont: A look back through the student life at Piedmont


Staff Writer

As the college grew and eventually changed names, the extracurricular life of Piedmont’s students also grew and broadened.

One of the main cultural activities that the college started was the inauguration in 1903 of a Lyceum series.

Of course being a church heavy institution, the college also held mandatory morning chapel services Monday through Friday as well as a prayer meeting on the third Thursday of every month. 

In 1905, a new society for women was formed by Floyd Blachshear, later Ms. Johnathan Clarke Rodgers. This society was called the Current Topics Club, or CTC.

According to Lane, the society was started because, “it was felt that the WFK was spending too much time on bygone cultures.”

These societies provided most if not all of the extracurricular life for the students. 

These “clubs” held dinners, debates, dramas, music recitals and other forms of entertainment. To participate in the society events, a student had to be in good standing with the college.

The events were chaperoned by the faculty who frequently actively participated in the events.

This form of chaperoning of the students did not end after the function, though.

“In 1904, two young ladies who permitted young men to escort them home from a J.S. Green Society entertainment were given 25 demerits each.”

In 1908, Gus Edwards founded three student “enterprises” on campus.

The first was the 400 Club. The club’s mission was to increase enrollment at the college to 400 students.

To reach its goals of obtaining students, this club developed Picturesque Piedmont, a pamphlet with pictures depicting Piedmont’s serene beauty.

They also developed another recruiting pamphlet called “A College Education at a High School Cost.”

Edwards’ second enterprise was the Piedmontonian. This was a small booklet of essays and general comments written by students of the college.

The third enterprise was a student run newspaper called “The Hustler.” It was published for only one year, due mainly to the fact that the name had an unfortunate connotation unknown to its own day.

Student activities provided by a few groups were the way the college operated for most of its time until the 1980s when the board of trustees began to make changes.