Answered By: Marie Rose
Last Updated: Nov 17, 2015     Views: 105

The first Sphinx was published in 1899-1900. The cadets most responsible for it were James P. Quarles, W. W. Smoak, J. R. Westmoreland, and John W. Moore. J. R. Westmoreland later became the father of General William Westmoreland and Chairman of the Board of Visitors. But it was Quarles more than anyone who brought it to fruition. He was a senior but had previously attended Davidson and Clemson where he gained experience working with yearbooks.

It was called The Sphynx (spelled with a "y"). Everyone thought this was a wonderful name, for how better can the secrets of life be told than by a Sphinx? Thus the name was adopted and a poem by Emerson was used to convey this idea. The poem reads:

   Say on, Sweet Sphynx! Thy dirges
   Are pleasant songs to me.
   Deep love lieth under
   These pictures of time.
   Which fade in the light of
   Their meaning sublime.

In 1901, the name of the yearbook was changed to Citadelograph because certain members of the staff, notably T. I. Weston, thought the name Sphynx bore no real relation to The Citadel or to the life it portrays. The Citadelograph was continued in 1902 but in 1903 the name was changed back to The Sphinx. The spelling changed with an "i" taking the place of the "y" in Sphynx.

The reason behind the change back can best be explained by a 1903 Sphinx quotation, "We desired a title which would be characteristic of our school.... This famous old building, The Old Citadel, has been watching 'sphinx-like' the course of events and actions of men for now over half a century..., but over it all she only muses, and neither by look nor word does she betray her thoughts." (Source: The Sphinx,1903, p. 12)

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