Frances C. Vick was born on March 22, 1917 to Zeb Cuthbertson and Helen Williams Cuthbertson in Union County, North Carolina.
In 1934, she graduated Valedictorian from Wingate High School. She then enrolled in the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French, graduating in 1938. She taught high school at Harmony and Oakboro, North Carolina from 1938 to 1940. In 1940, she accepted a position as Professor of English and Dean of Women at Gardner-Webb College in Boiling Springs, North Carolina where she remained for nine years. Despite a busy schedule, which included Sponsor of the Student Government Association, Director of May Day, Director of Drama, and Editor of the college catalogue, she pursued graduate studies in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1947 she completed an exemplary thesis, The Relationship of Heredity to Action in Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene.
She left Gardner-Webb College in 1949 to marry Air Force Captain Giles Wesley Vick, Junior. Two sons were born to the couple, and when they were of school age, Mrs. Vick resumed her college teaching at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. For five years, she was a valued member of their faculty and also served as editor of the college catalogue.
In 1961, Frances returned to Union County to teach at Wingate College and became the chair of the English Department. She also had many other duties, which included editing the college catalogue, directing May Day and commencement.
Mrs. Vick completed her active teaching career in 1982 and continued to be highly engaged in the community. She played a major role in planning the Union County sesquicentennial celebration in 1992 and held leadership positions in the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Colonists. Mrs. Vick was the founding president of the American Association of University Women at Wingate and was an involved member of Delta Kappa Gamma as a past chapter president. She served on the official board and was a trustee of Central United Methodist Church in Monroe. Mrs. Vick was a lifelong member of the Rock Rest Home Demonstration Club and was instrumental in achieving state recognition of the Rock Rest Clubhouse.
During her retirement, she wrote two books: The Cuthbertson Families of Mecklenburg and Union Counties of North Carolina, which was recognized by the North Carolina Society of Historians, Inc. in 1995 and Rock Rest: More than a Century 1876-2001
English printing monopolist, John Baskett, printed The Vinegar Bible in 1717.* This Oxford edition contains a misprint in the heading of Luke 20 which reads “parable of the vinegar” rather than “parable of the vineyard."
Scholars debate the number of Vinegar Bibles originally printed and the number in existence today, given that the American Bible market was provided primarily by London printers.* It is believed, however, that approximately twelve Vinegar Bibles remain in the world today.
Throughout their entire Wingate careers as professors and until their respective passings, Giles Vick and Frances C. Vick were lifetime members of the Wingate University Friends of the Library. Their support of the organization and the Library was ever constant. Major and Mrs. Vick attended every author’s luncheon without fail.
The Ethel K. Smith Library is honored to have been chosen as the recipient of the Vick personal library. Dr. G. Wesley Vick, III and Dr. John C. Vick donated their parents’ entire collection to the Ethel K. Smith Library, making the largest monograph contribution (3,500 titles) in the Library’s history.
The Vicks loved science, literature, and history and read extensively. They enjoyed collecting and over the years they accumulated a large private library which included several rare manuscripts. Due primarily to the eclectic and book collecting interests of Major Vick and the literary pursuits of Mrs. Vick, numerous titles have been added to the permanent collection. All the books added to the Ethel K. Smith Library are recognized with a bookplate that signifies they are a part of the Giles and Frances Vick Library.
The complete program for the recognition ceremony honoring the Vicks' donation to the Library is available below.
S.L., F.B.A, editor. The Cambridge History
of the Bible: The West from the Reformation to the Present Day.
The University Press, 1963.
Giles Wesley Vick, Junior was born January 7, 1918 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The second of five children, G.W. was the son of a Methodist minister, Reverend Giles Wesley Vick, Senior and Annie Pitts Vick. He attended Guilford College, transferred to Duke University, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Physics in 1938. When World War II broke out, he was teaching at Wood Junior College in Mississippi. He enlisted in the United States Army and was sent to Massachusetts Institute of Technology for training in meteorology.
Major Vick had a distinguished twenty-one year military career. During World War II he served in the Army Air Corps and later in the United States Air Force. His war time service assignments in forty-five countries included China, India, and Saudi Arabia. As a meteorologist and navigator, he flew missions over the treacherous “Hump.” This famous operation provided military supplies and support for the Chinese Resistance against Japan and required flying over the mountains between India and China. The route over the Himalayas was immediately dubbed "the Hump" by those who flew it. Though relatively short, the route is considered the most dangerous ever assigned to air transport.
Following the war, Major Vick continued in the Air Force as a meteorologist and in the late 1940’s contributed to the United States Air Weather Service Project called the Thunderstorm Project. This vital research into the structure of thunderstorms provided a better understanding of the effect of thunderstorms on airplanes. The severe turbulence occurring inside most thunderstorms was considered as one of the worst hazards of flying at the time. As a result of the findings of the project, air travel today is much safer in all types of weather.
Major Vick retired from the Air Force on May 3, 1963. He then joined the faculty of Wingate College to teach physics, mathematics, and meteorology. He also served as the Director of Student Aid for five years. During his tenure at Wingate, he won ten National Science Foundation Scholarships in science and science education. His additional graduate studies included scholarship at the following institutions: University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Colorado, University of Wyoming, North Carolina State University, Peabody College, and East Carolina University.
In 1982 Major Vick retired from teaching but continued to be active in his church and community until his death. He was a member of the Monroe Central United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, the Wingate Lions Club, and the Union County Retired Teachers Association.