Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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Rollins Chapel: Sacred and Profane
Rollins Chapel’s solid exterior requires no cosmetic cleaning, even though the building is 128 years old. But does this tour group knows the best story about the place? Back in the age of parietals — strict rules about when female visitors could be in the dorms — Rollins was open 24 hours per day. It seems that when visiting young ladies were unable to find late-night private time with their gentlemanly Dartmouth hosts, Rollins was used as a venue for, um, trysting. At a certain point, President John Sloan Dickey ‘29 had had enough of the profane in a sacred place, and he announced that the College’s home for ecumenical worship would be closed at night. The justification? “More souls have been conceived in Rollins than saved there.”
Addendum: In the manner of the Hovey murals, Rollins has had its own minor controversy regarding forbidden art. The Chapel has numerous Christian-themed stained glass windows dedicated to past Dartmouth Presidents. As Noah Riner ‘06 tells it:
In 1964, renovations to Rollins Chapel resulted in concealment of five stained glass windows commissioned for the chancel area of the Chapel. These windows depict Christian figures, given in honor of past Presidents of the College. Former Dean of the Tucker Foundation Richard P. Unsworth had the windows covered in the face of the declining spiritual interest in students. According to George Hawthorne, former College Architect, Unsworth’s idea was that by concealing the windows, students would be more attracted to the chapel.
The stained glass windows have a rich history and are of the finest quality; their artistic value alone made their restoration imperative. Accordingly, the college authorized the uncovering and restoration of the presidential windows in 2006. The windows can be covered when necessary for artistic or religious reasons.
Oh! the things that they’ve seen.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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