Today in Milligan History, 5/8

Today in Milligan History

an ongoing project of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

Good Day, Milligan!

Proverbs 8:15 – By me [Lady Wisdom ] kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just . . . .

This is Friday, May 8, 2015, and on this day in Milligan history . . . 


1871    Joshua Perkins of Butler, TN, deeded property to house a school which would provide secondary education for young people in East Tennessee. Baptist preacher L. L. Maples came up with the name for “Enon Seminary” in Butler, basing the name on a reference from John 3:23 – “John was baptizing at Aenon because there was much water there.”  Butler, TN, sat on the Watauga River. Enon later underwent a name change to Holly Springs College. Milligan College graduate James H. Smith (1882) moved to Butler in 1882 and became president of the seminary. Later Enon Seminary became known as Watauga Baptist Academy.  The college and the entire town of Butler now lie at the bottom of Lake Watauga. Butler Museum, Butler, TN; and

1882    The Atlantic Missionary of June, 1882, reported on the week-long closing exercises of Milligan College. On Monday, May 8, class examinations and declamations commenced, to last through Wednesday. Mildred Kozsuch, Historical Reminiscences of Carter County, Tennessee (Johnson City, TN:  The Overmountain Press, 1985), 61.

1946    Two Milligan College alumnae, “The Payne Sisters,” Gladys Payne Crouch (1927), of Nashville, TN, and Hazel Payne Crouch (1927) led the singing at the North American Christian Convention in Indianapolis, IN (May 8-12). Theme for the Convention that year was “The Great Commission.”    Edwin V. Hayden, North American Gold: The Story of 50 North American Christian Conventions (Joplin, MO: College Press, 1989), p. 55.

1956    The North American Christian Convention opened in Louisville, KY, running May 8-11. Among the featured speakers was Milligan College history professor Henry Webb (Fide et Amore, Milligan 1950-1990). Edwin V. Hayden, North American Gold: The Story of 50 North American Christian Conventions (Joplin, MO: College Press, 1989), pp. 61, 67.

1960    Francis Gary Powers Story: Part V: The New York Times headlined the news: USSR chief Nikita Khrushchev claimed that the Soviets had downed an American spy plane deep over Soviet territory. He claimed to have “parts of the plane, and we also have the pilot, alive and kicking.” The pilot was Milligan College graduate Francis Gary Powers (1950) of Pound, VA. Francis Gary Powers with Curt Gentry, Operation Overflight (Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, 1970), p. 110, 153

1961    Professor Eugene Price (1922-2007; Fide et Amore; at Milligan 1949-1995), served as Master of Ceremonies for the annual awards banquet, where the faculty recognized Jim Lura (1961) as the most outstanding member of the graduating class. The Stampede, May 26, 1961, pp.1,3.

1966    Donna Lynn Andre Crouch (1957) gave a spring concert at the America House in Tübingen, Germany, singing to a packed house that included her voice teacher Harmann Achenbach and America House Director George Serbinoff.  Mrs. Crouch was studying music at Tübingen while her husband James Crouch (1957) served as a missionary of the European Evangelistic Association.

2007    Milligan College Associate Dean, Registrar, and Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness Sue Skidmore (1965; Fide et Amore; ΦAΘ;  at Milligan since 1980) announced the appointment of Cindy Wymer as the Assistant Registrar and Director of Testing.  Wymer, who assumed her duties June 11, now serves as Director of Institutional Research & Effectiveness and Director of Testing.

2010    In a departure from the tradition of recent years, Milligan College held graduation ceremonies on Saturday afternoon (not Sunday) at 2:00. Dr. Marshall J. Hayden (1963) returned to his alma mater to receive the college’s highest honor, the Fide et Amore, and to speak at the commencement ceremonies. The change from Sunday to Saturday eliminated the annually recurring conflict between Milligan College graduation and Mothers’ Day.

Birthdays:  In1884 Harry S Truman in Lamar, MO . . . in 1892 Ezio Pinza in Rome, Italy . . . in 1895 Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in El Paso, IL. . . in 1908, Dean and Professor of Mathematics Guy Oakes (1908-1974; at Milligan 1942-1973, academic dean 1952-1970) . . . in 1994 Milligan College junior Faith Caylan Cambron in Johnson City, TN . . . and in 1996 freshman Tilly Grace Erwin.



In 1541 Hernando de Soto caught sight of the Mississippi River.

In 1816 The American Bible Society was organized in the Dutch Reformed Church on Garden Street in NY City.

In 1845 three hundred delegates from Georgia, Virginia and South Carolina meeting in Atlanta, GA, formed the Southern Baptist Convention.

In 1878 Paul Hines made baseball’s first officially recorded unassisted triple play.

In 1967 a court indicted Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali) for refusing induction into the United States Army.

In 1984 Minnesota Twins Kirby Puckett, who had played minor league ball with the Elizabethon, TN, Twins, made his major-league debut with four singles.


Do you know something that happened on this day in Milligan history?  Is this the birthday of a Milligan personality?  The anniversary of a Milligan event?  If so, send it to Phi Alpha Theta at