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News Report on the Establishment of Peabody Park in 1901

THIS NEWSPAPER STORY appeared in The News and Observer (Greensboro, North Carolina) on 25 June 1901. It reports on the creation of Peabody Park at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (then the State Normal and Industrial College) and on President McIver’s plans for the Park’s development.

Donation to the State Normal

Gift of $10,000, the Second Received from Mr. George Foster Peabody. $5,000 to be Used in Developing an Educational Park.

Greensboro, N.C., June 24.—Mr. George Foster Peabody, of New York, has just given President Charles D. McIver $10,000 for The State Normal and Industrial College. Of this amount $5,000 is to be used in developing an Educational Park on the college grounds, and the other $5,000 is to become available as soon as a certain sum shall be raised by President McIver and the friends of the institution.

The educational park is a unique idea. The college owns 125 acres of land, about half of which is very broken and in forest. This is the exercise ground of the students. It is proposed to beautify the park and to make several miles of well graded walks through it. Each attractive spot—hill, spring, and dale—is to be dedicated to some great educational leader or event, and all to be marked by blocks of granite with appropriate inscriptions. Most of these blocks will be secured by private donations, and it is hoped that various people will provide pavilions and rustic seats near the monuments in which they are most interested.

The students spend one hour of each day on the grounds, and thus, incidentally, they will become familiar with the story of Archibald D. Murphy, Calvin H. Wiley, George Peabody and others who have made our public school system; with the date of the foundation and with the history of the University, the Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges, Wake Forest, Trinity, Davidson, Guilford and other denominational colleges; with the orphanage work, the benevolent work of the State in educating the deaf, dumb and blind and in caring for its afflicted. In short, there is to be written on stone or bronze in this forest, which is the exercise ground of the future teachers of North Carolina, the educational history of the State, just as the military, church, and political history of the State can be read from portraits and inscriptions on the walls of our University and colleges.

It is intended to emphasize the idea that the deeper and broader development of a State’s civilization is educational rather than military or political, however important the latter may be; that the renowned “victories of peace,” so much lauded, are wrought through education and culture.

Whatever history shall be written in the park will be written on the minds and hearts of future generations; for the State Normal and Industrial College will probably never have less than a thousand representatives teaching in all parts of North Carolina.

Mr. George Foster Peabody is a native of Georgia. He is a distant relative of the great philanthropist, George Peabody, whose gift of $3,000,000 to the public schools of the South in 1867 has done so much for this section. This is Mr. Peabody’s second gift to the State Normal and Industrial College, his first of a thousand dollars having been made about a year ago. He is a prominent member of the Southern Educational Conference, and was with Mr. Ogden’s party on their visit to the South last April. He is a trustee of Hampton Institute, and one of its best friends.

Every true friend of education in the State will rejoice with Dr. McIver in the large donation the State Normal College has just received from Mr. Peabody. The $5,000 that is to be spent on the college park could be spent for no better purpose. Particulars are given in our news columns.


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