Lighter Side Of News Recorded In Albrightian Through the Years
While glancing through Albrightians from 1903, some really rare humor and so-called headline data can be found. It's really worth a student's time to browse around in the dusty crannies of the Alumni Room to catch up on what's been in the news in the last fifty years.
In 1903 the biology department was pleased to receive a peculiar Begonia leaf as a gift. The "young ladies" of the college gave a Leap Year Social in 1904. Another of the main social events was the entertainment provided by the Elocution club. Tragedy marred the social calendar fun by the loss of the chemical laboratory by fire in 1914. Students grieviously mourned the loss!
The young ladies of 1915 proved to be a little demure than usual by forming a noisy "Barbarious Cowbell Society" to promote the general welfare of the sex. They were known as sexfragists.
Paper Called Sophomoric
In 1918 the co-eds had to beware! At the Y.W. and Y.M. Hallowe'en social the girls were sold at an auction block. This sounds a little like the Roman Empire days. But the college was progressive, nevertheless, because an Intercollegiate Prohibition Association was organized this year. It even became the largest group in Pennsylvania Colleges.. 1918 was really the year for social whirls. In the fall the junior class held a straw ride as did the senior class. An "apple dumpling" supper followed the senior event. However, all was not well because a frantic editorial was written in one edition to make a plea for deliverance of the paper from a sophomoric college paper. Staff members were afraid the "unity" of the paper was not being maintained.
Apparently in 1919, although social correctness was the keynote of the day, alright "agonizing errors" were made occasionally. During the regular annual faculty receptions a worthy junior boy was introduced by a dignified senior as "Miss King." One of the main social events was the first reunion of the Albright military association. This was held at the Y.W. and anything from "Mess' to "Jazz" seems to have been on the program.
A slightly morbid tone was characteristic of the 1921 editions. In stead of publishing a theatre column of later issues, arbitrary columns appeared. As was the custom, the usual frosh-soph rivalry was introduced in the traditional football bout called the "battle of the little red buttons."
In 1924, frosh customs were similar to the ones today but other classes, excluding seniors, also had customs. When "knickers" were worn over golf hose on the outside. No sweaters were allowed except under coats or in the dorm. The sophomores were required to keep their heads covered until emancipation day when they advanced to junior customs. Class seniority was observed when entering and leaving doors. Only seniors could wear white flannels.
1926 marked the year for "radical' ideas. But the campus tried its best to subdue modernism. Although a dermatologist claimed fast life and wild parties would make a flapper old at thirty, Albright girls were regarded as exceptions. A chapel speaker renounced evolution in favor of fundamentalism.
Women Took Honors
Stop! Look! and Listen! you students who complain about cutting classes. In 1932 only seniors earned the right of a free cut system if they maintained a dean's list standing. The feminine brains were really showing them. The two college groups which had the highest scholastic averages in the school were senior women and the Pi Alpha Tau sorority.
Freshmen classes have increased slightly in size since 1933. That year 95 enrolled at Albright. These 95 were really "beaten" by the sophomores. The peak of orientation was reached when the annual initiation of frosh took place on Penn Street. Their ridiculous escapades ended by a performance of a frosh snake dance for the sophomores. Too bad this custom had to end! The Home Ec. department was more concerned about the diet of the day students than about the boarding students! They opened a lunch room for commuters to provide wholesome food at a low cost. The dining hall though, seemed to be more interested in promoting better relationships with boarding students, waiters and the chef. Thus, the Waiter's club was organized.
All Kinds of Festivals
In 1934 a sudden interest was taken in festivals. These festivals were of all types. A music festival was inaugurated. Besides this, the first annual Greek festival was presented. Athletes as well as dramatists had their chance to display talent. Greek games and intramural track and drama presented on the science hall steps gave a suitable Grecian atmosphere. Even a so-called Greek princes was crowned. Looks like Albrightians banished Roman for Greek customs! Dr. Douds surely must have promoted such ambitions. This same year it was found that since '21 Albright had contributed the most to the teaching profession.
Lowell Thomas Speaks
Big personalities really invaded the campus in 1935. Clarence Munn, an all-American, and all around athlete, became head coach of sports. Lowell Thomas was the commencement speaker.
In 1936 the caretaker really stumbled upon some unusual treasures. He found old rare volumes stowed away in the locker rooms in the basement of the ad building. It was also at this time that the science hall was dedicated.
Home economics majors would have been few and far between in 1937. Just imagine! physics was required of the girls. Dr. Masters was installed as president. About the same time, the Albright commuters really got hard up! Can you imagine. They started a drive for second had furniture.
Dr. Memming and Dr. Geil rated headlines in 1938. Memming presented his views on Hitler while Geil described the operation of a device for hypnosis sleep induction for Albrightians. Students went slightly bizarre by revealing a strong attitude in favor of a compulsory chapel system.
In 1939 Dean Walton's former residence was turned into a new Zeta house. Male frosh outnumbered the girls 3 to 1. The Domino Club journeyed to Philadelphia for participation in the University of Pennsylvania Cultural Olympius.
1940 Mardi Gras
The girls' dorm was turned into the scene of gay festivities and a coronation ceremony at the Mardi Gras in 1940. The faculty also had their night of fun. Some of the merry makers were President Masters, Dr. Horn, Dr. Geil,, Prof. Speicher and Miss Benninger. As Abba Dabba Indian prince, Dr. Salami thrilled students and faculty at an Easter banquet. Everything from the political science of worms to the cultures of crayfish was presented to students as an April Fool's joke when professors switched eight o'clock classes and attempted to confuse sleepy, bewildered students. Relieved students witnessed the long awaited cessation of chamber music sessions in the chapel.
Another group of relieved students were the seniors who in 1945 were not required to take gym. The 1946 May Day theme was "A Perfect Day.' Each dance contributed to one phase of a day. The Clair de Lune dance ended the day. 62 women, selected for "grace, beauty and agility," participated.
And so as the years roll by, and the Albrightian weekly stores away in its dusty volumes the data which will comprise future memories and serve as a bridge in time. Now after 50 years of progress in The Fourth Estate, The Albrightian includes in its 1954 edition a Happy Birthday wish to itself.
Source: The Albrightian, April 9, 1954 (by Sally Lanz)