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College News

A New Look at Old Catawba

January 04, 2006

Category: Academics


Catawba College was already over 70 years old when the school opened its doors in Salisbury in 1925. The drama of Catawba's early years was played out at the institution's birthplace in Newton, North Carolina. The late Dr. William F. Palmer, a Catawba College professor emeritus of education, was working on an illustrated history of those early years in Newton when the project was interrupted by his untimely death in the fall of 2005.  

At the next Catawba College Community Forum, Dr. Palmer's collaborator, Catawba history professor Dr. Gary R. Freeze, will present a tribute to Dr. Palmer and his work on "Old Catawba."  The presentation will preview some of the many new photographs and artifacts that Dr. Palmer located and will add commentary from Dr. Freeze's own research into the early years of the institution. New materials include a list of the first students, an early library circulation list, "students being silly," and much more. The illustrations and much of the text of this presentation will be published during the coming year by the Catawba County Historical Association. 

Gary R. Freeze is a native of Statesville, North Carolina, with degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  While still at Chapel Hill, he was recipient of the Horace Williams Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and since coming to Catawba in 1994, he has been elected Teacher of the Year on four separate occasions. Dr. Freeze is the official historian of Catawba County and has completed two award-winning volumes on that county. His most recent work is a sesquicentennial history of the city of Newton.  

Come hear Dr. Freeze in person at the next presentation of the Catawba College Community Forum at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 in Tom Smith Auditorium of Ralph W. Ketner Hall on the campus of Catawba College. Admission is free and open to the public.