The Collegiate Way: Residential Colleges & the Renewal of University Life  ‹›


                          PLANNING NEWS
                     Cornelia STRONG COLLEGE

No. 1: 8 March 1994                  Per aspera (for sure) ad astra


Because the many people who are involved in the Moore/Strong project 
(hereinafter Cornelia Strong College) are scattered to the four 
winds and rarely able to come together, we propose to occasionally 
send out this occasional publication to let everyone know what’s 
going on (at least as far as we can tell).  The “War Room” is our 
planning room in 200 Foust where ideas for Strong College are taking 
shape, where our College Library is beginning to grow, and where our 
first endowment fund (The Franklin Fund) is accepting contributions.  
If you haven’t yet had a tour of the War Room please snag Laurie or 
Bob anytime and insist that you get one.  All friends of the College 
are welcome to visit the War Room at any time for inspiration, 
study, and to scrawl ideas on the walls.


The Senior Common Room consists of all the faculty fellows and other 
associates of the College.  We hope that the members of the Senior 
Common Room will eat once or twice each week with the undergraduate 
members in the dining hall, attend occasional College functions, and 
generally make themselves known.  Our target number is about 20-25 
fellows and associates representing a cross-section of the 
University.  As of this writing the SCR includes (we think):

Folks who pretend to be in charge:
  Laurie White, English & Honors    Bob O’Hara, CCI & Biology

Fellows (faculty) and Associates (others):
  Ken Caneva, History               Rob Cannon, Biology
  Linda Danford, Classical Studies  Steve Danford, Physics & Astro.
  Susan Haire, Political Science    Tim Johnston, Psychology & CCI
  Julian Lombardi, Biology          Marilyn May Lombardi, English
  Mark Schumacher, Jackson Library  Carl Schurer, Photographer
  Sheila Schurer, Arts & Sciences

Honorary Associate: Charles Vere, Lord Burford  (A visitor from 
England who toured the College grounds with Laurie, Bob, and several 
undergraduates last Fall and allowed us to pick his brain regarding 
his experience as a student at Oxford.)


Cornelia Strong (1877-1955) was Professor of Mathematics at UNCG (in 
one of its earlier incarnations).  We quote: “A word often used by 
former students to describe Miss Strong was ‘brilliant.’  A native 
of South Carolina and the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, she 
received her early education at the Agnes Scott Institute.  In 1903 
she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell, where she was 
elected to membership in Sigma Xi.  Professor John Henry Tanner was 
so impressed by her work that he later requested that she be given a 
leave of absence to return to Cornell to help him write a high 
school algebra book.  Her quest for knowledge carried her to 
universities across the country, Cornell, Harvard, Michigan, 
California, Colorado, and Wisconsin, and in 1931 she received her 
Master of Arts degree from the University of Michigan.  From 1905 to 
1948 she was a member of the mathematics faculty at the Normal in 
Greensboro and one of the most valued members of the entire faculty.  
One of the achievements of which she was most proud was the 
introduction of astronomy to the curriculum in 1931.… As a teacher, 
she was known for her ‘thoroughness, her insistence upon accuracy, 
her infinite patience.  Her … students … came to understand and to 
apply logic in their reasoning … and (at least some of them) 
experienced … the rare moments in their lives when the wonder and 
the beauty of the mathematical universe flashed upon their sight.’”  
(From A Good Beginning.)  “Cora,” as she was called, lived with her 
sister at 109 Adams Street.  None of us have yet made a field trip 
to see if her house is still standing.  Care to go?


Per aspera ad astra being interpreted means “Through rugged ways to 
the stars,” “Through the bars to the stars,” “Through rough places 
to the stars,” etc.  It was originally said by some ancient Roman 
but we have no idea which one.  Bob remembered it from his High 
School Latin book and thought it appropriate, both in consideration 
of Professor Strong’s introduction of astronomy to the University’s 
curriculum, in acknowledgement of our collective efforts in 
establishing the College, and as a serious sentiment of value for 
our members.  Pogo’s immortal “We are surrounded by insurmountable 
opportunity” came in a close second in the polls.

The symbol of our College is a triangle of three stars (anyone good 
at blazoning arms?), honoring Professor Strong’s work in astronomy, 
and representing that for which we aim as we pass through the rugged 
ways around us.  This symbol was developed by Laurie and Bob as a 
result of many hours of painstaking and tedious semiotic research in 
the Jackson Library.  The possible uses for it are unlimited.  Carve 
it in a desk near you today.


The College Library is now aborning in the War Room (200 Foust).  
Donations in kind are accepted at any time: books, periodicals, 
maps, videos, etc., etc.  We have already had one undergraduate 
bring in a whole box of books for the collection, and several 
faculty have made donations as well.  Scan your shelves and see what 
you can donate!  Drop donations off at any time.  If you have books 
that might not be suitable for a permanent collection (trade 
paperbacks, etc.) bring them by anyway, and we will try to exchange 
them at local bookstores for items of greater durability.

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2021