Centre illustrated history book the perfect graduation gift
May 13, 2010 By Laura Pasley
Sure is an ideal graduation gift for members of the Class of 2010.
Hardin devotes a chapter to the years when Thomas Spragens
was president of Centre. During the 24 years he served as president,
Spragens led Centre into an era which elevated the College into a
new prosperity and radically altered the face of the campus.
Alumni and other friends of Centre College have an abiding—some would say obsessive—interest in the details, great and small, of the institution's history.
They have a chance to experience all of this in Our Standard Sure: Centre College Since 1819. The history is edited by C. Thomas Hardin '63, former director of photography at the Courier-Journal, and written by Bob Hill, a retired Courier-Journal writer and columnist.
The book tells the history of Centre College from the days preceding its founding to the present time. Complete with more than 700 pictures and fascinating stories from Centre’s past, it is a compelling book for anyone who has once called Centre home or has an interest in the institution—and it is the perfect gift for new Centre graduates.
The idea for the history, Hardin explains, was originally conceived during a conversation with fellow alums Gary Bockhorst '63 and Clarence Wyatt '78, Pottinger Professor of History at Centre.
A library tour with Bob Glass, the College’s archivist, assured Hardin “that the book would be okay because of his and others' work over the years to preserve the rich history of the College.”
Hardin says that of his favorite aspects of the book are the photographs, many of which are being published for the first time.
One of these images represents a personal success in research for Hardin: in the moments before the Grace Doherty Library closed one night, he discovered early Kodachrome slides from the 1940s.
With this find, Hardin discovered an important addition to the book—a photograph of Old Main in the snow. Old Main was an important academic building on Centre’s campus, demolished in 1965, but its importance in the history of the College is preserved in Our Standard Sure.
Many of the most memorable moments for those who attended Centre are mentioned in the book. The athletic history of the College, especially the C6 H0 upset of 1921, is vividly captured. The photograph of a game ball autographed by Bo McMillin is of special interest to any history buff, and Hardin confirms, “That's Bo’s signature. To satisfy myself during book editing, I compared Bo's signature on the ball photo with the one in the book that appears in our book, plus with another one that I'd seen.”
The book also features five photographs that depict five different perspectives on that game-winning touchdown.
Another Hardin favorite, he says, is “the photo of the Centre–Kentucky State (now the University of Kentucky) game. I believe the photograph was made by Wilbur Cook.” Cook, a 1923 Centre graduate, was an amateur photographer and professor of biology at Centre for many years.
Hardin explains the look and composition of the photo itself makes it a favorite. “It has Old Main the background; it has a massive attending crowd; you can see the big K and the Kentucky banners in the background; but the real secret is that the football field runs east and west, unlike the current field that runs north and south.”
At 280 pages, full of never-before-seen photographs and fascinating Centre stories, Our Standard Sure: Centre College Since 1819 is sure to be on bookshelves of alumni, students and history buffs for years to come.
The cost of the book is $60, including shipping, or $50 if picked up from the College. To order, contact Jeanine Sanders at Centre College, 600 W. Walnut St., Danville, KY 40422, call toll-free (877) 678-9822, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.