News - Euca Balm and Tour Logistics: The Chemistry Behind Those College Degrees

Euca Balm and Tour Logistics: The Chemistry Behind Those College Degrees

Carla Morris

Unemployment during the Great Depression topped 20 percent four years in a row and left colleges nationwide overwhelmed with “indigent students.” In Greenville, President Leslie R. Marston turned to chemistry professor H.J. Long for a solution, and Long turned to chemistry for an answer.

Profitable Enterprise Based in a Chemistry Lab

He worked out formulas for household products that students manufactured, packaged and sold. The Saturday Evening Post (June 3, 1939) reported the success:

Orders poured in beyond the capacity of Greenville’s lab. Collegiate Industries was organized and other colleges were invited to join in the undertaking. Twelve finally did. By the end of its first five years, Collegiate Industries had to its sales credit 2100 bars of Euca Balm, more than 6000 six-ounce bottles of vanilla, 3500 tubes of dental cream, 56,000 bars of soap, 21,000 bars of hard-water soap, 1600 boxes of face powder, 2600 cans of talcum, 870 bottles of cough sirup, 1000 bottles of camphor-cream liniment and 3000 bottles of shampoo. Student commissions on these sales were about 40 per cent.

The work-learning configuration accomplished more than paying student bills; it added to their development as “whole” persons, a key goal of the College.

One Student, 16 Instances of Experiential Learning

Today, young graduates like Emily Kaiser ’16 welcome the confidence that comes with hands-on experience. Off the top of her head, she recalls 16 instances related to her major in music business, where she honed skills that will help her coordinate tour logistics and produce events.

Becca WinemillerSocial work major Joshua Statler ’17 emerged from his internship at a pregnancy support center better equipped to encourage fathers and focus on their needs and values. “We all have our own biases,” he says, “and we, as professionals, must learn to put our ideals off to the side and accept individuals/clients as they are.”

Learning Not to Fear Failure

And then, there is Becca Winemiller ’17 whose experience in product development with Innovative International taught her not to fear failure.

Becca’s Depression-era predecessors embraced this timeless lesson in the chemistry lab and in conversations with customers. Her successors will likely find new opportunities to embrace it, too.

(Pictured above, Becca Winemiller '17 holds a jar of Collegiate Industries cold cream, courtesy of the Greenville University Archives, Ruby E. Dare Library, and the cord case using pop-up technology that her Experience First team developed).

This story originally appeared in the Summer 2017 RECORD.

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This story was published on August 03, 2017

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