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Encyclopedia of Baldwin Wallace University History: Alumni - P

An Index of Historical Content and Their Sources

Paice, Jill

Citation: Kieth A. Peppers, 2020.

 

Before rising to stardom on stages across the country and internationally, Jill Paice was a BW student working her way through the Music program at BW. Within a few short years, Jill was performing in productions on the West End, on Broadway, and across the pond at the New London Theatre. Jill originated the role of Laura Fairlie in world premiere of the Woman in White, Harris in Curtains at the Ahmanson theatre in Los Angeles, Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with The Wind at the New London Theatre, and as Milo Davenport in An American in Paris at the Theatre Du Chatelet.

Citation: "A Real-Life Fairy Tale," Pursuit, vol. 36, no. 1 (Fall 2004): pg. 8.

Jill Paice '02 feels like she's living a fairy tale.

"I am having the most amazing experience and I feel constantly that my life has turned into the most wonderful movie," she wrote in an e-mail about being selected for a leading role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical The Woman in White, which opened September 15 in London's West End. Truly, the fact that this role is only her third job since graduating, does sound more like a movie script than reality.

Paice, a musical theatre major, was a success in B-W productions throughout her four years, but so were hundreds of other young women in schools throughout the country.

"What Jill looks like matches her voice and has all the skills to compete at the highest level," said Victoria Bussert, director of the musical theatre program. "Jill was devoted to her studies," Bussert added, "and she has great parents who keep her focused."

In her Junior year, Paice earned her Equity card while performing in a Great Lakes Theatre production of Gypsy. She readily tells those who ask her that going to a school near a large city was a distinct advantage because of the off-campus performing jobs available.

Just two months after receiving her degree from B-W, Paice landed a national tour of Les Miserables where she was in the ensemble and understudied the role of Cosette. In February, 2003, less than a year after graduation, she created the leading role of Sophie in the Las Vegas production of Mamma Mia!

After a year with the show, Paice returned to New York to pursue, what she thought would be the best of the best, a role on Broadway. While that came through for her in the late spring, when she won the role of Hodel in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, it soon turned out that her Broadway opportunity would have to be postponed. 

The casting director for the London production of Mamma Mia! happened to be the casting director for The Woman in White as well. He remembered Paice from the Las Vegas show and asked her (along with hundreds of others, she pointed out) to submit an audition tape for the Webber show. She heard nothing and put it out of her mind, but then got a call that Webber was in New York and she was to sing for him. She did that and waited some more. Then she got the call to fly to London and sing for Webber again. This time, she said, renowned director Trevor Nunn, was also there.

"Nothing was said after the audition," she recalled. "Then my agent called. He said 'well you're not going to do the Broadway job.'" Paice wondered what had gone wrong, until he told her she had landed a leading role in The Woman in White.

Paice admits that she experienced a brief moment of concern because her long-time dream had been Broadway. However, she couldn't pass up the opportunity to create a character in an Andrew Lloyd Webber show.

So in July she left for London to begin rehearsals for the production which also stars Michael Crawford (of Phantom of the Opera fame).

An aside to the excitement of rehearsals and creating a role in a new show was having a New York designer send dresses for opening night and for a gala which was attended by Prince Charles.

Following the opening, a two-page review appeared in the New York Times which featured a photograph of Paice.

In London, the Sunday Times said, "this is a big, triumph, a very palpable hit, no question.... The producers will not have to look for a new show for the Palace for a decade or so."

The Daily Mail noted, "...Gripping, ground-breaking. Well worth the wait."

To read more about Jill Paice and The Woman in White visit www.womaninwhitethemusical.com.

Pflaumer, Hermann

Citation: “Alumni Notes,” The Exponent, November 4, 1919, p. 3.

Rev. Hermann Pflaumer, a missionary in charge of an orphanage at Urmiah, Persia was murdered last fall by the Kurds and Turks while defending the Assistant at the Orphanage, Miss Bridges. Mr. Pflaumer was a student in Berea in 1907 and 1908 and is well remembered by Prof. Ficken who was a fellow student in Baldwin-Wallace at that time.

Poe (Squire), Maria Myra

Citation: Cassidy Knauff, “Maria Myra Poe (Squire): First Graduate of Baldwin Institute” (essay, Baldwin Wallace University, 2017).

 If you ask mostly any student on Baldwin Wallace University’s campus, many will be able to tell you that BW has always been a progressive school. John Baldwin established Baldwin Institute, later Baldwin University, on the notion that education should be inclusive. Because of this belief, it became one of the first colleges to admit Women and African Americans. However, unbeknownst to many people, the first graduate of Baldwin Institute was in fact a woman, Maria Myra Poe.

Maria Poe was born on October 15, 1829 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Reverend Adam Poe and his wife, Elizabeth. Her father was a well-known Methodist preacher and was prominent in Baldwin Institute’s founding. He served on the Board of Trustees, and was President of the Board during the 1849-1850 year.[1] Perhaps because of her father being so involved in the Institute, Maria was enrolled. He probably wanted his daughter to have a well-rounded and religious education. There are handwritten records from the time Maria was at Baldwin Institute of her attendance at the Seminary, which was required for students twice each Sabbath and daily each morning.[2]

She completed her four-year studies in 1850, and is listed in the Alumni Directory as the first person to graduate from the Institute. She was the only graduate that year.[3] Maria graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, though it is not known what her exact studies were during her time here. In the 1849-1850 Catalogue of the Corporation, Faculty and Students of Baldwin Institute, the classes that students took during their time in school are listed. A typical female student would have taken classes listed under the “Academic Course for Ladies,” which includes Latin, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, French, Zoology, Botany, and much more.[4] Based on this, we know that Maria studied various aspects of life that many other women during this time were not exposed to. Regarding her housing while she was a student, little is known. It is documented that in 1850, at the age of 21, Maria Poe was living in a residence with around ten others. It appears as though she lived with a family by the name of Sheldon, along with three others around her age who came from Vermont, Connecticut and Ireland.[5] The Sheldon family, who resided in Middleburg Heights, most likely housed students. Whether she was still a student during this time, or had already graduated and was trying to get on her feet, will remain a mystery.

Soon after graduation, Maria married John Roscoe Squire on September 15, 1852 in Richland, Ohio. John, born in Vermont, was a local druggist.[6] One can only wonder if she disappointed her father by not marrying a reverend. The couple had two children together, a daughter in 1853 and a son in 1857. Neither of them survived past a year.[7] This had to have had a devastating effect on Maria and John.

Maria Squire (Poe) died on March 20, 1887 at the age of 58 in Delhi, Ohio. She is buried in the Ashland Cemetery in Ashland, Ohio. Beside her grave are those of her infant children, as well as her husband. One thing she did leave on this Earth was her last will and testament. Written in fading, cursive lettering, it is stated that she desired the debts of her and her late husband, John, to be fully paid. She wished for a monument to be placed at her grave, the cost not exceeding $100.00. Lastly, she left her property to her younger sister Hattie, as she and her husband were to be appointed as executers of her will.[8] Based on these small requests, we know she must have had a close relationship with her sister.

During my research, it was hard to come across much information on the life of Maria. Based on what I was able to find, she lived a rather quiet life. There is no record of her ever leaving Ohio, and she remained a housewife until death. What she looked like still remains a mystery, as do many other aspects of her life. What has been found has all been circumstantial evidence, but based on this, we are able to put together the pieces of information and connect the dots to Maria’s simple but historically important life.

[1] Catalogue of the Corporation, Faculty and Students of Baldwin Institute, Berea, Ohio, for the Academic Year 1849-1850. Cleveland, Ohio: Steam Press of Harris, Fairbanks & Co., Herald Job Office, 1850.

[2] Catalogue of the Corporation: 21

[3] Triennial Catalogue of Baldwin University 1876. Berea, OH. Page 23.

[4] Catalogue of the Corportion: 16

[5] Year: 1850; Census Place: Middleburgh, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: M432_673; Page: 181A; Image: 555

[6] Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research. Ohio, Marriages, 1803-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001.

[7] Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

[8] Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

Citation: Kieth A. Peppers, 2020.

 

Maria was born on October 15, 1829 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Reverend Adam Poe and his wife, Elizabeth. Her father was a well-known Methodist preacher and was a prominent figure in the founding of Baldwin Institute. She completed her four-year studies in 1850 and is listed in the Alumni Directory as the first person to graduate from the Institute (and the only graduate that year).  Maria graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, though it is not known what her exact studies were during her time here . A typical female student would have taken classes listed under the “Academic Course for Ladies,” which includes Latin, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, French, Zoology, Botany, and much more.

Powell, Ward

Citation: H. C. Beyer, “Athletics,” Baldwin-Wallace Alumnus 13, no. 2 (1935): p. 10.

Ward Powell was universally and officially placed on all All-Ohio and All-Ohio Conference honor teams at the close of the basketball season. He was the leading point scorer of the State, scoring 282 points during the season, for an average of 17.6 points per game. Powell lives in Bay Village, Ohio, and is a Junior in College. He was chosen as an end on the All-Ohio Conference football team last fall.

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