STUDENTS 1942 Commencement

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 19: STUDENTS
1942 Commencement

STUDENTS 1942 Commencement

1942 Commencement, page 01. [1942_graduation_001.jpg]

STUDENTS 1942 Commencement

STUDENTS 1942 COMMENCEMENT provides Images and transcription of a seven-page 1942 commencement program titled, “Freedom Our Great Trust.” The program includes prayers, short speeches, music, hymns, and lists of participants and class members.

A Philosophy of Freedom,” a talk by Birdena Bishop at the 1942 commencement, is captured below in images and a transcription of Bishop’s original six-page handwritten draft.

GALLERY: 1942 Commencement Program

MAY 22, 1942

TRANSCRIPTION: 1942 Commencement Program

Page 01 (front cover). [1942_graduation_001.jpg]



May 22, 1942

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Fantasy in G. John Sebastian Bach


Processional – American – Ernst Bloch


A Mighty Fortress Is Our God — Martin Luther — 1529

1. A Mighty fortress is our God
A bulwark never failing:
Our helper He amid the flood
Of Mortal ills prevailing;
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe
His craft and power are great
And, armed with cruel hate,
Our earth is not his equal

2. Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing
Were not the right man on our side,
The man of God’s own choosing;
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabath His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle

3. And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us
The prince of darkness grim —
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him

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4. That word above all earthly power,
No thanks to them abideth
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also
The body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still
His kingdom is forever.


Scripture Lesson — Peter, Corinthians, Galatians

      For so is the will of God, that with well doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

      But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

      Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.

      Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

      For brethren, ye have been called into liberty: only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love served to one another.

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The Home Road — John Alden Carpenter


A Philosophy of Freedom [See images of original document and transcription below.]


Historical Sketch


Choral — John Sebastian Bach


Those Actively Engaged


The Four Basic Freedoms


Values Reconsidered


Presentation of Gift


Presentation of Diplomas and Certificates

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The Spirit

1. Winds of God unfailing fill the sunlit sails
Of a great Ship sailing where conjecture fails;
Seekers we, and we must discover,
Doubt we not though the chart is hid —
Chart we may not see,
Plotted by the world’s great lover
Down in Galilee;
Captain prince and pilot he.

2. If ye then perceive and if the heart desire,
Shall the mind achieve and spirit shall aspire;
Then shall man see him, and shall praise him
In the fern, in the sea and cloud;
Every flower and tree
In the sap of life must raise him,
As in Galilee
In the form of man rose he.

3. His is each profession, every man his priest
Who in work’s expression finds his joy increased;
In his Church are the ploughman, sailor,
Merchant, prince, artisan and clerk,
All whoe’er they be,
Craftsman, thinker, tinker, tailor
Come to Galilee,
Find a plan and that is he.

4. Those who love him wholly need not him confess,
Since their lives must solely him in them express;
He’s the goal that man ever searches,
How should man see that goal afar?
Each in his degree
That doth love him, of his Church is.
Down in Galilee
Founder of our Church was he.

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Senior Prayer

Eternal Father, we have been blessed by Thy guidance to this time. Thou has given us hope and strength when by our own efforts we would have failed. For friends; for hardships overcome; and the inspiration of all who have taught us here, we thank Thee. We shall try by our life in the days to come to repay the debt we owe to the past. We pray that Thy spirit, which we have felt here in many ways, will be in our hearts always.



Glory Now to Thee Be Given — Bach

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ORGANIST — Arthur Dodd
FIRST SENIOR — James Centers


Nelle Shuler
Hattie Sturgill
Louise Hawn
Rose Oliver
Marbeth Peters
Irene Garrett
Flora Ford
Sarah Shepherd
Thelma Centers
Lucille Beeler

TEACHER — Birdena Bishop
SECOND SENIOR — Bonnie Ayers
ALUMNUS — William Hayes
THIRD SENIOR — Theda Howard
FOURTH SENIOR — Velma Peters
FIFTH SENIOR — Gwen Hendren



Charlsie Vaughn    Velma Peters    Mary Pace
Gwen Hendren    Bonnie Ayers
Willard Enix    James Centers    Bill Turner
Calvin Jones    Oral Howard
Ruth Ann Cornett    Frances Hall
Becky Begley    Reba Garrett    Delia Taylor
Theda Howard    Bertha Lewis

GALLERY: Commencement Speech Draft

Birdena Bishop


Birdena Bishop, a Teacher

We all have a fairly definite idea as to what we mean by freedom. We think we possess freedom — in this our beautiful, progressive, democratic land — and we are willing to undergo almost any sacrifice in order to preserve it. Such is our political and religious freedom, but I would have us think for just a moment about our personal or spiritual freedom.

When we look for the word in our dictionaries we find that the Latin, “liber” l-i-b-e-r means free in the sense of generous, liberate – to set free from bondage, liberty — a synonym for freedom itself. We speak of having had a liberal arts education.  Our years in high school have been just that, a liberal education or a freeing education. What has been set free? Our minds. They have been unlocked, opened. They are free to travel just as far as our sympathies and understandings reach. We have dipped into a number of fields of knowledge, perhaps we have had little more than an introduction, but we have a speaking acquaintance, we know just as surely as when we are presented to a new friend, that here or there we have found something that bears further acquaintance, something that must be cultivated. So it is that we all find our special interests, and abilities, and we are prepared to keep right on advancing, studying, putting into practice, working in school, or out of school to use that individual talent which we have found to be ours to the end that we create something which is our worthy contribution to the sum of good things that men have done and will do.

But our interest is not selfishly confined to our own works. We have gained sufficient appreciation in a number of fields so that we warmly lend a helping hand and give encouragement to our neighbors whose labors lie in different directions.

Had our liberal education not set us free we would be bound by ignorance (which means simply lack of knowledge). We might also be bound by other negative, unbeautiful traits — intolerance, fears, hate, envy, jealousy, suspicion, superstition, prejudice — all of them more dreadful, more fatal to our freedom of soul and spirit, than clinking chains of iron. We might have been our own jailers.

How good to know that truth and knowledge have been set before us and we have partaken. Let us guard and cherish this inner freedom which is ours when our thoughts are good, our aspirations and ideals high. How do we become and stay free?  The way is so simple. It is the Christ – way.

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See Also:
STUDENTS 1942 Graduating Class
BIRDENA BISHOP 1942 A Philosophy of Freedom PMSS Commencement Speech