Bob Jones Academy is 94 years old. That’s a lot of history.
Most of the records and artifacts of that history have been in various boxes and drawers scattered all over campus and in private collections of graduates and faculty members. The Academy Archives was established to collect, organize, and preserve as much of that history as possible. Bill Pinkston, a BJA faculty member for over 50 years, was tasked with the project.
As Mr. Pinkston began the rather enormous task, he observed, “I am surprised at treasures we have, and shocked at significant pieces of BJA history that we don’t have. We have the engraved silver tray given to Miss Markham when she retired as well as Dr. Stuart Custer’s Salutatorian Pin. We have a textbook Miss Lee, later Mrs. Brown, used to teach biology in the 1940s and a Bible class assignment sheet from the 1950s. But we have only scattered issues of the TRIANGLE for 1956–71. For six of those years we have no issues at all!”
About what Academy graduates might have that Academy Archives would like to add to its collection, he said “Anything and everything Academy. We don’t want to steal a family treasure or heirloom, but when it comes time to downsize, or when grandmom doesn’t feel the need of keeping it anymore, do not pitch it. Send it our way.”
These are some of the items BJA’s Archives would like to add to the collection:
- TRIANGLES prior to 1971. We have multiple copies of everything after that time.
- Awards & Certificates. We have records of who received awards and certificates, but we don’t have descriptions of the awards and certificates, much less actual examples. Sports and competition awards, such as certificates, ribbons, and medallions, are lacking.
- Buttons. They were highly popular in the 1960s through 1980s. We have an extensive collection from later years but are missing society and other BJA organization buttons from the early years.
- Newspaper clippings. We would like to have magazine or newspaper items about BJA students or events, whether a photocopy or scan of the clipping or the clipping itself. If possible, the date and name of periodical in which it appeared should be included with the material.
- Society & Academy Organization Pins. Pins (used as necklace pendants) or charms for bracelets. Over the years, societies had different styles. We have only two of these in our collection.
- Diplomas & Cases. Our goal is to have samples of each of the various styles of diplomas and the signatures on them. We have samples of the past 15 years, but our collection is very spotty prior to that.
- If you saved the poem you wrote as a sophomore, your junior English term paper, your biology lab manual, or that Bible class project, we would like to add it to the archives, whether the original or a photocopy or scan. The teacher comments, as well as the level of the work for what grade could be significant in the future. Of course, if you prefer, we will redact your name from the assignment.
If you have something you would like to donate to the archives, please label it with as much information as you know. Information such as the date, owner, and reason increases its significance. Items can be dropped off at any Academy office.
In time we hope to open the Academy Archives for viewing and reminiscing as well as for research. And even now, while the archives are still in development, you’re welcome to make an appointment to locate pieces of BJA history that are of interest to you.
- In 1930s, the Bob Jones College “J Club” honored those who excelled in sports. From the beginning, Academy students were included as “wearers of the ‘J’.” After Academy societies were formed, outstanding athletes still earned chenille J’s with “Academy” written across them. Chenille “BJA” letters were introduced in the 1970s and are well represented in the Archives. We would like to add Academy J’s or BJA Society chenille letters to the Academy Archives collection.
- In 1939 BJA school rings were first ordered. We have no record of what the eight rings ordered that year were like. While we would like anyone owning a no-longer-used BJA class ring to donate it to the Academy Archives, we will be happy to pay the 1939 price for any class ring. In 1939 “girls rings” were $9.40 and “boys rings” were $11.40. (A $2 deposit was required when ordering.)
- In the early 1960s Academy cheerleaders made their own blue BJA sashes in home economics class and were permitted to keep them after they served on the squad. If you run across one at the bottom of grandmom’s trunk, please don’t pitch it. The Academy Archives has a special spot for it.
- Pins (charms), like the Flamingo and Mohawk Society pins in this photo, were popular in the 1950s-70s. The Academy and various Academy groups (ISC, FTA, Tau Sigma Epsilon, Debate Association) had pins. The Academy Archives has only 4 pins and would like more.