Centenary Struggles for Survival

“Resolved that the committee appointed…is hereby
instructed to make an effort to rebase the College from
its present embarrassment in view of its obligations to the
State, provided that they deem it safe and advisable to do so.”
(Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Centenary College of Louisiana, July 26, 1866.)

The fervor of Southern patriotism soon abated, leaving in its wake the horror of war and its aftermath. Classes met again in 1866, but the College languished in a state of “financial embarrassments.”15 Lack of documentation from this time period makes it difficult to determine when and to what extent formal instruction in music resumed in the postwar years. By 1889-90, the College offered vocal—but not instrumental—study.16 In the absence of College ensembles, the 1892 Board of Trustees allocated $25 to hire musicians for commencement.17 During its last two decades on the Jackson campus, the College employed other voice instructors and, by the 1895-96 announcements mentions a “Course of Instruction in Vocal Music,” which any student could elect at extra cost. At the turn of the century, Centenary faced declining enrollment and shaky finances. A proposed move to Shreveport offered a glimmer of hope for the struggling College’s future. Classes met for the last time on the Jackson campus in 1907.18