From the Archives & Special Collections: Campus Life 50 Years Ago

Do you ever wonder what campus was like back in the day? Here in the Archives & Special Collections, we have lots of material about campus history, which gives us an opportunity to look back on our university’s history, and how much it’s changed. Today, we’re looking back 50 years to the 1967-1968 school year.

From left: Thompson at Thompson Hall, 1968; 1968 Tamanawas, page 72.

1968 Tamanawas, page 139.

Did you know that back then…

… tuition for the whole year only cost $1,150?

… 32 Puget Sound students were named to Who’s Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges, which honored students who demonstrated exceptional scholarship, citizenship, and involvement?

… homecoming included a parade through the streets of Tacoma, the election of a royal court, and a trike race?

… someone put soap in the fountain in Jones Circle?

… we had an organization called House of Critics who met occasionally to discuss “topics of debatable interest”? During the 1967-1968 school year, these topics included the draft, deferred recruitment for Greek life, and birth control.

… elected ASUPS officers included a Song Queen, Songleaders, a Yell King, and Cheerleaders?

… construction on Thompson Hall was completed, making it both the largest and tallest building on campus?

… campus organizations included a synchronized swimming team called the Silver Seals?

… KUPS was founded? It became fully functional the following school year, but after two years of work, they secured funding, equipment, and a location on campus during the 1967-1968 school year. (The Trail, May 24, 1968)

… the athletics department’s colors were green and gold, not maroon and white?

… activity credits included ice skating, skiing, and posture?

Some things, however, haven’t changed much. Many of our current student organizations, including Greek chapters, academic and pre-professional organizations, and musical groups, were active on campus by the 1967-1968 school year. You could take classes in many of the departments that we still have at Puget Sound, and many students today would recognize the names of past faculty members such as James R. Slater, John D. Regester, Raymond S. Seward, and, of course, President R. Franklin Thompson, all of whom have given their name to places on campus. Most of the dorms had also been completed by then and were occupied by students.

All information was taken from the 1967-1968 bulletin and 1968 Tamanawas unless otherwise noted.

The Archives & Special Collections is open on Mondays through Thursdays from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. or by appointment.

By Julia Masur


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