Center for Archival Collections
Archival Chronicle Gallery
August 2010: Volume 29, Number 2
One Hundred Years of Student Life at BGSU
This issue of the Archival Chronicle gives a glimpse of student life at Bowling Green State University over the past one hundred years. Whether taking notes in the classroom or gathering with friends, students have always remembered these years fondly. The photographs in this issue are found in the University Archives.
At right, after three weeks of initiation, the end of the hazing period was marked with a tug-of-war between selected members of the freshman and sophomore classes. If the sophomores won, initiation continued until Homecoming. The freshmen usually triumphed.
|Students posed for the photograph at left, showing what could happen to an unwary freshman who forgot to tip his beanie to an upperclassman.|
|Other games, such as this wheelbarrow race were also played to mark the end of freshman "initiation." The friendly competition helped to build lasting memories. |
Finally, the freshmen got acquainted at a campus-wide mixer.
(Below) The huge increase in post-World War II enrollment thanks to the G.I. Bill brought more students to campus than residence halls could accommodate. The gymnasium was pressed into use, barracks-style, to handle the overflow.
(Below, right) Bunk beds are still in evidence in contemporary residence halls. These students may have gathered to watch a television show together.
|The men of the Beta Sigma fraternity (left) show the layout of a typical residence hall in 1948. Bunk beds have always been a popular way to save floor space. Desks with built-in shelves quickly filled with textbooks. There were no restrictions on smoking at that time.|
(Lower left) Today's students are interested in a variety of foods from around the world. Menus now offer Asian cuisine (including Chinese stir-fry and Japanese sushi), and Mexican foods like burritos and tacos, as well as American "comfort foods" like macaroni and cheese.
A drafting class in the Industrial Arts curriculum drew men and women students.
Flight training was part of the curriculum for the V-5 and V-12 students during World War II. Students today may also learn to fly.
|Chemistry demonstrations in large lecture halls during the early 1950s have been replaced by laboratory sessions where students conduct experiments themselves.|
An Owens Community College student visits the BGSU scanning electron microscope lab.
|Students look over the merchandise in a popular men's store downtown.|
Two freshmen women ask a police officer for directions. Getting acquainted with downtown Bowling Green was one of the pleasures in the early weeks of the semester. The Cla-Zel Theater (seen at left in the photograph above) drew students for matinees and evening dates. Shopping was always a popular pastime.
|Howard's Club H has been a downtown watering hole for decades. At left (taken during the early 1970s), students enjoy relaxing after a week of hitting the books.|
Students have been doing their part to help their community since BGSU opened its doors. At left, students load plasma into the Red Cross van after a blood drive on campus. The Bloodmobile comes to campus at least twice a year.
(Lower right) Members of Alpha Phi prepare signs advertising their fundraiser. Fraternities and sororities competed with each other in campus-wide events during the 1950s "Charities Week".
(Lower left) While Dance Marathon takes place each spring, as a single 32-hour event, it is the culmination of months of preliminary work by the students getting sponsors and hosting other events that contribute to the total amount of money raised for the Children's Miracle Network, a benefactor of Mercy Children's Hospital of Toledo, Ohio
At right, the Sadie Hawkins Dance gave women the chance to ask the men on a date. Prizes were awarded to the couple who most resembled comic strip characters Daisy Mae and Li'l Abner.
An award given to the most successful student at the pie-eating contest.
The powderpuff football game was played between sororities.
Delta Gamma members come out for a pep rally before a big football game.
Students listen to the jukebox in the Falcon's nest, an important gathering place, since women students were not permitted to go to "public dance halls."
Homecoming is the highlight of the fall semester. Residence halls and Greek housing units competed for the best decorations. (Above left) Students referred to Bowling Green's ketchup industry, encouraging Freddie Falcon to "can" Baldwin-Wallace.
Homecoming parades were held on campus in front of the Administration Buildings (now University Hall). Cars and floats were decorated and looped past sidewalks crowded with spectators. Again, prizes were awarded for the best exhibit.
1948 Homecoming Queen Marion DeConick was crowned just before the football game.
|Celebrations for spring semester were held in the weeks before commencement. The May Queen and her court presided at a formal campus dance. The event was held for over thirty years, and at one time featured a May pole.|
|Honors Day was marked by an assembly to present awards to students who had achieved special distinctions during the academic year. New members were inducted into Book and Motor, scholarships were distributed, and speeches given recognizing the work these students had put into their class work and community activities.|
Commencement marks the culmination of years of study. The diploma certifies that graduates have completed all the requirements for the degree in their fields of study. They are ready to embark on professional careers or continue through graduate school, adding their own contribution to the store of human knowledge.
(Above) Summer Graduates, May 1915. For many years, women typically wore white dresses rather than academic gowns at graduation ceremonies. (At right) Graduates in the 1930s wear typical commencement attire. Academic gowns for women completing their undergraduate work typically have white collars, which men's gowns do not have.
(Below) The weather was cold on Commencement Day in 1990. (At right) Dr. Vicki Williams (2002) shares a smile with Dr. Robert DeBard.
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