TNVANBUR-L ArchivesArchiver > TNVANBUR > 2004-09 > 1096018614
From: Ladye Jane Hunter <>
Subject: Burritt College Alumni Association
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 04:36:54 -0500
Thought this might be of interest.
Alumni reminisce about days at South's first coed school
By WILL STEWART Staff Reporter for the Southern Standard
Bill Hutcheson, right, talks with Velma Rogers about the good times as a
student in the 1930s at Burritt High School in Spencer.
Though it was a coeducational facility, Burritt High School in Spencer had a
very strict rule when it came to members of the opposite sex talking to each
other, recalled Bill Hutcheson.
Not that it mattered, the 1937 graduate said, as that was just one of the
many school rules he broke during his time there.
"That was Rule 11," Hutcheson said. "That said boys and girls couldn't talk
to each other without a chaperone. There was even a partition in the chapel
separating us. If you got caught talking, you got a demerit. If you got over
21 demerits a year you'd get kicked out. I got 21 demerits three separate
years while I was there."
Hutcheson was one of about 60 people to attend the 57th annual Burritt
College Alumni Association meeting held Saturday at Spencer Civic Center.
Like Hutcheson, a number of those in attendance were former students
recalling their time there, but most were children or other relatives of
"It's mainly family members and children who come these days," said alumni
association president Larry Boyd, a McMinnville resident whose mother
graduated from the high school. "We're trying to keep alive that part of
Founded in 1848 as a two-year, post-secondary institution by the churches of
Christ, Burritt College was the South's first coed college and attracted
students from across Tennessee and surrounding states. Not long after the
founding of the college, Burritt High School and Burritt Elementary School
"For a long time, Burritt was the educational foundation of Van Buren
County," said alumni association board member Don Northcutt.
That changed in 1937, however, when the state stopped appropriating funds to
the school, choosing instead to fund a publicly run Van Buren County High
School. At the height of the Depression, this was the death knell for the
school, which subsisted only a year longer on donations and tuition before
closings its doors forever.
Burritt's alumni association was formed in the late '40s and has been
meeting yearly ever since to give its members an opportunity to reminisce.
At this year's meeting, much reminiscing was done, deceased students were
remembered and lunch was enjoyed.
Before adjourning, the group presented plaques to retiring association
secretary/treasurers R.L. and Juanita Haston, who have served in those posts
since the organization's inception.
Southern Standard, (McMinnville, TN) Wed, 15 Sept 2004
|Burritt College Alumni Association by Ladye Jane Hunter <>|