A look back at Homecoming 1953

In honor of the class of 1954, who will celebrate this weekend as part of the Oktoberfest activities TMN looks back at Homecoming 1953.

The Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck had just been released in theaters, the first vaccine for polio had just been announced, and the structure of DNA had just been discovered winning James Watson and Francis Crick the Nobel Prize in Medicine. This year Fort Hays State is honoring the Class of 1954 for homecoming and a lot has changed since they were seniors so we thought we would take a look back at what campus and homecoming was like for them in 1953.

In the fall of 1953 Fort Hays State College had 1,284 students on Campus a 17% increase from the previous year. This year the university boasts an enrollment 13,825 students.

The schedule of events for Homecoming 1953 including; the Tug of War and the Homecoming Ball.

If you were a freshman at Fort Hays in 1953 you would be required to wear a black beanie if were a male or gold armband if you were a female to all football games. This gave upperclassmen the opportunity to haze freshman until the end of football season if they were not wearing the required apparel. To determine if the freshman were required to continue wearing the beanies and armbands during spring outdoor sporting events the following semester there was a track meet held during Homecoming weekend pitting these freshman against the sophomore class called the Tug of War. The article above states that the freshmen of 1953 failed to defeat the sophomores and outlines other opinions the State College Leader editorial staff had at the time. The previous year the freshmen class defeated the sophomores and the sophomores were required to hold an all-school mixer in the freshmen’s honor.

Images outlining the Homecoming Queen candidates, the elected queen (Ms.Joan Pennington), and her attendants (second and third place winners Ms.Kay Haun and Ms.LaFaun Foreman). There didn’t use to be a Homecoming King. Instead a member of the football team was elected to escort each candidate.)

Images depicting the winners of the house decorating competition that was held each homecoming between the various Greek houses.

During the 1953 school year the President’s Residence was under construction for then president Morton C. Cunningham for whom Cunningham Hall is named.

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