1934-1935

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Enrollment

Student List

Grade 2:

  • Kenneth Nolin

Grade 3:

  • William Gordon

Grade 4:

  • James Adair
  • William Anderson
  • Mary Jean Baird
  • Ruth Nolin
  • Paul Grice

Grade 5:

  • Rosella Hutchison
  • Fred McGeoch
  • Ralph Reed

Grade 6:

  • Ann Adair
  • Ada Margaret Hutchison
  • Robb McLaughlin
  • Willard Galloway
  • John Grice

Grade 7:

  • Mildred Heasty
  • Dorothy Bradstreet
  • Chester Chesbrough
  • Ruth McFeeters
  • H. Earle Russell
  • Winfield Whitcomb

Grade 8:

  • William Adair
  • Ralph Galloway
  • Paul Jamison
  • Mary McLaughlin

Grade 10:

  • Scott Hoyman
  • Grant McClanahan
  • Margaret McLaughlin

Grade 11:

  • Wallace Jamison
  • Mary McFeeters
  • Donald Moore
  • Mary Thompson
  • Martha Adair


Schutz enrollment increased slightly this year over the previous 2 years, from 31 to 33. but the high school was smaller by far, with only eight students across just 2 grades. As the Great Depression continued in the United States and members of the UPNA had less money to give, the economic pinch tightened on the Egypt Mission. Under an adaptive policy known as Retrenchment, the UP Board of Foreign Missions now retired missionaries at the ends of their terms of service when due for furlough. Often these were couples with school age children who returned to the States permanently. Throughout the Great Depression, no new missionaries were commissioned. The Egypt Mission’s educational and medical projects were put on hold, and some were abandoned. The missionaries’ salaries had been cut in 1930; the children’s allowances, which parents used to cover the costs of attending Schutz, were reduced by 10%. These cost saving trends continued for the next 4 years. The Board of Foreign Missions' 10% reduction in the children’s allowance now threatened the children’s schooling.

Nevertheless, Egypt Mission and Sudan Mission families remained on the field. Of the 33 students enrolled at Schutz this year, 26 were Egypt Mission children, five were children from the UPNA Sudan Mission, and only two came from sending bodies other than the American Mission in Egypt and Sudan.

The high school this year had only eight students, and none in 9th grade. The 11th grade had five students. They were the remnant of the largest class Schutz had had, which the year before had numbered nine. The five remaining students, boarders all, had quite literally grown up together at Schutz during the school year and at Sidi Bishr in the summers. The 10th grade class behind them was made up of three boarders, all of whom had been at Schutz and Sidi Bishr with this year’s 11th graders, and together besides, for elementary school in Assiut. Three of the four 8th graders were the younger siblings of the 10th and 11th grade students. Moreover, most of their parents worked on the same station—Assiut, so these students had seen each other daily, and in effect been living together with and within each other’s families, almost all their lives.

Faculty and Staff

Faculty/Staff

  • Jo Gerringer, High School English and literature, resident
  • Janet Sharp, all elementary grades, resident
  • Helen Godfrey, High School Latin, history, resident
  • Becky Needs Askren, piano, commuter
  • Mme. Demidoff, French, commuter
  • Miss Sturgis, matron, resident during the week
  • William Nolin, Principal, High School algebra and geometry, resident


The number of Schutz teachers during this time remained the same, even though almost every year between 1929 and 1943, at least one teacher finished her 3 year term and went back to the States. Throughout the Great Depression, the Women’s Board of Missions took on funding teachers at Schutz, providing salaries and travel costs, even recruiting teachers for Schutz. The Women's Board, already having a 75 year commitment to the work of the Egypt Mission, learned of the need for teachers at Schutz early in 1930, and took on the work of recruitment and financial support of Schutz teachers, all of whom were young women recently graduated from college. The Women's Board continued their support of Schutz faculty throughout the Depression.

The Great Depression’s effect of freezing Egypt Mission staff in place did not apply to short-term workers, who returned to the United States in any case at the end of 3 years; these missionaries would have had to reapply to become career missionaries. Even in the best of economic times, only a few did this. All the teachers at Schutz who were sent out from the States were short-termers. After the initial hiring of two teachers in 1924 and the addition of a 3rd teacher in 1925, at least one Schutz teacher rotated off staff every year for most of the next decade.

Retrenchment had already lasted 5 years. There is ample evidence indicating that the members of the Egypt Mission were feeling strapped, financially. They watched the exchange rate closely, because depending on its favorability to the dollar, the exchange rate could increase or decrease the amount of local currency available to them. The Schutz School Committee, in its report to the Winter Association in January, 1935, noted, "The decrease in childrens' allowance, which is the chief source of income [to the school] is making it exceedingly difficult to finance the school on its present appropriation...The Committee has made every attempt to economize. Teachers' salaries have been reduced, and during the current year all music lessons are being handled by the staff. It is not thought wise to reduce our staff further so long as our enrollment remains at the present figure."

There was no turnover in Schutz teaching staff this year. Miss Sharp, Miss Gerringer and Miss Godfrey continued their short-term assigments. Mme Barbara continued to teach French to all levels. Mr. Nolin taught a combined class of algebra and geometry to the eight in high school. Mrs. Nolin had charge, as before, of some music instruction. The school had an atmosphere of stability in spite of the economic pressures of the time. The continuity of staff contributed to the strong sense of cohesion at Schutz this year, formed in the main by the upper grades’ long experience with each other as boarders at Schutz and sharing life on their parents’ home station of Assiut.

Then in January of 1935, the Board increased children’s allowances, relieving the Schutz finances of further economies for the academic year. Becky Needs, the piano teacher, had married Leslie Askren (no relation to the Egypt Mission Askrens) an anthropologist working out of Alexandria. She returned in the spring as the piano teacher, still a commuter to Schutz from Alexandria proper.

Boarding Life

The school dining rooms continued to be on the west end of the 1st floor wing, this year. The kitchen on the floor below in the western wing of the ground floor, on the southern side of the building, now served the boarding department. leaving the kitchen and pantry on the first floor open for classroom use. A piano was put into the kitchen, which was then dedicated to piano practice. Mr. Nolin, whose main assignment for the Egypt Mission remained Mission Treasurer, was also responsible for facilitating all Egypt Mission personnel entry and departure through the port of Alexandria. He maintained his Mission office downtown in the Attarine Building, but the Nolin family lived at Schutz.

Miss Sturgis continued as school matron, and according to both boarders and Mr. Nolin, she ran a tight ship. She regularly dosed all the boarders with Enos Fruit Salts, a popular British product originally offered as a sailors’ remedy for indigestion and hangovers. Miss Sturgis believed the dosing important for good digestion. She held weekly infirmary hours on Saturday mornings, during which she bandaged wounds, took temperatures, and where she kept sick children abed and apart from the dormitory population. She managed the menu planning, the building cleaning and the laundry. She had charge of the domestic staff, and planned the special boarding events like picnics, outings to the sea, and birthday celebrations.

Boarders continued the practice of doing assigned chores individually and in teams. Chores included the personal—cleaning their rooms ahead of room inspection, making their beds and changing their own bed linens, and the general, such as sorting clean laundry for everyone in the rooms sharing a given flat or a wing of a floor, sweeping halls, making sure toys shared in common were put properly away, cleaning blackboards, managing the loan and return of library books, (for girls) mending clothes and darning socks, (for boys) taking care of the carpenter shop tools, and (again for the girls) several times a week, picking bouquets of flowers from the many flower beds in the gardens, for the dining tables.

Mrs. Nolin, who had a family of small children of her own to raise in the surrounding Schutz environment, found time to teach some music lessons, organize a school orchestra, and be the unofficial liaison between school and home. She knew the Mission families better than the teachers did, and corresponded with the parents concerning their children, supplementing the boarders’ weekly letters home. Mrs. Nolin also served as hostess to parents and guests visiting Schutz.

Unusual Events The students were excited about the wedding In November of a Schutz teacher, Becky Needs, who also taught at the Egypt Mission’s Alexandria Commercial School, to Leslie Askren, an archeologist based in Alexandria, working for an agency unassociated with the Mission.

In February of 1935, a significantly severe winter storm brought high winds, large hail, and a brief episode of snow. The storm blew down two of the mat houses out at Sidi Bishr and did severe damage to trees in the gardens at Schutz. Though the rubber trees in the Schutz gardens were damaged, they remained standing, and in the days after the storm, the boys made rubber balls out of the oozing latex harvested from the rubber trees. Normal winters saw rainy days and temperatures at or above 40˚ F, which everyone felt as quite cold, living in buildings without insulation or any heating, whose architecture was intended to increase summertime air flow.

In the late spring, a 6th grader, Robb McLaughlin, came down with the measles. To prevent an epidemic of the serious disease, all students were sent home for the next few weeks. School resumed at Schutz on May 20th for final exams and graduation ceremonies.

Sports, Clubs, After School Activities

Sports continued to be a daily part of Schutz students’ lives. The Bric-a-Brac had become an annual publication some time between 1929 and 1934, and a calendar of the year’s important events as seen by the editors of the 1934 Bric-a-Brac Sports mentions “Finals of the singles tennis tournament,” naming the winner. The publication has a 2-page entry on baseball at Schutz, with frequent mentions of basketball, croquet, bicycle riding around the campus on the garden paths, climbing trees, running races and playing games in the extensive gardens as usual activities after school and on Saturdays. The Scarabus Beetle Patrol was now two years an active, registered Boy Scout troop at Schutz. The boys supplemented their weekly meetings with hikes, cooking picnics off-campus, and at least one joint activity with an Egyptian Scout troop.

Academics

The 3rd and 4th grades went on meeting in the Salemlik, the small, one-room reception building on the grounds just east of the Schutz main building. The Schutz building housed the rest of the class rooms, the piano practice rooms, and the library; the assembly room doubled as the chapel, mostly on the 1st floor. The dormitories and teacher’s rooms were on the two uppermost floors. The Nolins lived on the ground floor; the family lived mostly in the west wing, where the school kitchen was. Mr. Nolin's office and the guest rooms were located in the eastern wing.

The curriculum continued to be standard, matching what was done in schools in the States at the time. Back in 1924, the Schutz School Committee had settled on the Illinois public school curriculum, and they went on using that system as a guide for their own standards and any replacement of text books. The Schutz curriculum for high school students returning to their senior year in the States included geometry, algebra, Latin, formal debating, recitation of memorized pieces of poetry and written essays on assigned topics.

It appears that the literary clubs founded by the first two teachers at Schutz, the Société Littéraire and the Socii Literati, were no longer functioning by this time.

Five students graduated from the 11th grade this year. One of them returned that fall to college in the States. The other four elected to do additional academic work in the sciences, French and music while living at home with the parents at Assiut College. The girls in the group, of whom there were three, were the only females enrolled in the college.

Religious Life

Schutz teachers were largely responsible for the religious education and Christian practice at Schutz. They taught Sabbath School classes on Sunday mornings, saw to it that boarders went to the Scotch Presbyterian Church in downtown Alexandria. The teachers either conducted daily devotions themselves, or supervised older boarders leading mornng and evening worship for all boarders, morning and evening. The boarders, both boys and girls, had a rota for playing the piano to accompany hymns sung at daily devotions and during Junior Church on Sundays. The teachers offered grace at every meal.

Under the supervision of the teachers, students at Schutz continued to prepare for their examinations to join the church, studying the Westminster Shorter Catechism together every Sunday afternoon. Presumably they would have done this with their parents, at home. Christian Endeavor meetings were held on Sunday evenings, with the programs planned and delivered by the students. Frequently, the teachers, visiting parents and members of the Egypt Mission Alexandria Station were invited to present a themed talk to the students. This program depended on others of the same age, and would have been a benefit of being together at Schutz and unavailable to the students when at home.

Just as in the previous decade, Schutz students were invited off-campus for (segregated) Sunday evening gatherings at the homes of Dr. Campion (a dentist in Alexandria) and Mr. and Mrs. Givens, who offered English speaking youth in Alexandria access to a youth movement called CCSM . Along with the highly appreciated sumptuous teas provided by the hosts in both places, the Schutz students heard Christian inspirational talks and joined in singing Gospel hymns. Many male Schutz alumni from this period credit Dr. Campion’s Crusaders program with their foundation in a personal Christian commitment. The girls continued to enjoy the refreshments at the Givens' house, but were less impressed with the inspiriational aspect of their gathering.

Schutz activities roused some parental disagreement this year with a skit in which the performers did tap-dancing to the song “Captain Jinks.” One student refused to participate in the skit because he considered dancing a sin. But other students, in fact, took tap dancing lessons this year. Characteristic of the UPNA, dissent was an honored personal choice, but did not oblige the majority to yield to a particular scruple. However, there is no doubt that all the Egypt Mission parents would have frowned on mixed sex social dancing.

There are accounts from students attending Schutz this year of boys and girls strolling together on the roof, on Sunday evenings after Christian Endeavor meetings. The practice seems to have been to walk in groups, girls with girls, boys with boys, and occasionally a boy would walk up to the group of girls and take the arm of a chosen girl, and then walk as a couple apart from, but still with the segregated strollers. “It was the closest thing we had to dating,” remembers Ada Margaret Hutchison, who was in the 6th grade this year.

Holidays

American holidays were regularly celebrated at Schutz, carried out in ways that would have seemed completely normal to the students’ peers back in the States. Halloween always meant elaborate costumes and a fun house, all created by the students on their own initiative. The teachers organized bobbing for apples and caramel popcorn, and provided prizes for winning costumes in various themes. Thanksgiving meant attending worship at the Mission church downtown in the Attarine Building. The Alexandria Mission Station, with Schutz students and teachers, formed the largest number of Americans in the city. The American Consul was invited to the Thanksgiving service, after which he read the President's Thanksgiving Proclamation. Everyone then returned to Schutz for a regular turkey dinner with all the dishes one would have found on a Thanksgiving table in Pennsylvania, Iowa or Missouri. Christmas included a performance from the Schutz orchestra, group singing, a play or scenes from a play, recitations, and a visit from Santa Claus. Valentine’s Day was celebrated with hand-made valentines for everyone from everyone, and a themed party at dinner including dressing in red and white, or as romantic characters in books. In the spring, the whole school had a half-day in honor of Shem-el-Nessim, an annual Egyptian holiday.

Administration

The financial difficulties caused by the Depression were the most trying aspects of Schutz administration this year. Mr. Nolin, like all members of the Mission, watched the exchange rate daily. He was responsible for the marketing, at least in making cash available for the shopping that Miss Sturgis was charged with providing for meals. He also had oversight of all Schutz grounds and kitchen staff. all repairs and maintenance, groundskeeping, and any odds and ends requiring ready cash. Having enough, at not too great a disadvantage to the school’s bank account, would have been a regular preoccupation for Mr. Nolin.

And while teachers were recruited and hired in the States by either the Women’s Board or the Board of Foreign Missions in Philadelphia, they were sought and given contracts according to specifications that Mr. Nolin, as chair of the Schutz School Committee gave both Boards. The Schutz School Committee was responsible for the local hires of maintenance and kitchen staff, the matron, the music and French teachers. And Mr. Nolin, by default the chair of the Schutz School Committee, carried the brunt of enacting those decisions.

The curriculum and teaching arrangements devised and worked out by the teachers and Mr. Mark Roy, only a decade earlier, continued to be the norm at Schutz’s ten-year mark.