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Northwest Missouri State University


Students make their way to and from the Union and Colden Hall in the 1960s on Registration Day.The 1971 Tower Yearbook, which had left out traditional organization group photographs, was vehemently protested by Northwest's Greek Community.The 1971 Tower Yearbook staff had no idea they would be angering the Greek Community when they failed to include traditional organizational group photographs in the yearbook.  Hundreds of yearbooks were ruined when Greeks staged a protest, throwing the books in the fountain in front of the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building.The green beanie was worn by freshman students during the 1950s to indicate their "new" status.  Walk-Out Day signaled the end of having to wear the beanies.Students gather outside of the Administration Building for annual Walk-Out Day activities.President Harry S. Truman visited the Northwest campus on several occasions.  He dedicated the opening of the Martin Pederson Armory, located on campus, on Feb. 20, 1955.  The armory was renamed in 2008 as the Jon T. Rickman Electronic Campus Support Center.Eleanor Roosevelt gave a lecture at Northwest to students and faculty on Feb. 13, 1959.  Her topic was America's leadership role in the Post-World War II world.  The event was attended more than 1,250 people.Students ring the Bell of '48 to celebrate the campus's first celebration of contributions and achievements made by black men and women to the university and the nation.  The event was called Black Week.A famous visitor to the Northwest campus was actor Vincent Price.  Price, along with English, Speech and Theater faculty and students, attended an elaborate tea behind the Administration building in the mid-60s.  According to Northwest student, Trudy Kinman, who attended the tea, "Price, who was extremely tall, well-spoken and funny, patiently posed for pictures wearing a long, velvet cape for well over an hour."Students held a nightly weekday news show during the 1970s.President Foster shines a student's shoes during the early 1960s during Parents' Day Activities.Skating was once allowed on Colden Pond and many students took advantage of this wintry entertainment.  By the 1980s, skating was banned due to fears of students drowning or injuring themselves.For four days in March 1974, the nationwide trend of streaking hit the Northwest campus.  An estimated 60 students streaked in front of Hudson Hall one night.Swimming was a popular sport in the 1960s and early 1970s.  Featured is the 1969-1970 Swim Team, coached by Lewis Dyche.The Northwest Greek Community started in the late 1920s after initially being banned at Northwest. Fraternities like Tau Kappa Epsilon and Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority play an important part of Northwest life and in particular, Northwest Homecoming.The first general Homecoming took place on Oct. 10, 1924.  The Tower Queen contest began in 1923 to help sell Tower Yearbooks.  The Tower Queen Contest has become an annual event at Northwest.Students participate in Northwest Homecoming Parade in 1952.Crowds line a Maryville street during the 1952 Northwest Homecoming Parade.  The Northwest Band was always a popular spectacle at the yearly event.The 1952 Northwest Homecoming Queen and her royal court smile at the crowds during the Homecoming Parade.The Northwest 1962 Homecoming Queen arrives in a pomped, horse-drawn carriage for the start of the Homecoming Football Game.The Tower Queen descends from her carriage to help kick-off the start of the 1962 Homecoming Football Game at Northwest.The 1962 Tower Homecoming Queen and Royal Court receive bouquets and corsages prior to start of the Homecoming Football Game.Following the 1962 Football Game, the Homecoming Queen is driven away in a convertible.Crowds pack downtown Maryville prior to the start of the 1962 Homecoming Parade.The Northwest Tower Queen, attired in her evening finery, rides on a float with her royal court during the 1962 Homecoming Parade.The 1962 Northwest Homecoming Parade was one of many elaborate floats like this tribute to the Olympics.A Camelot float filled with lovely medieval-dressed Northwest students is paraded down a Maryville Street.  Camelot, due to the Kennedys and the musical, was a popular theme during the early 1960s.  Camelot, the musical about King Arthur, first appeared on Broadway in 1960.Northwest's tribute to the musical The Teahouse of the August Moon rolls down a Maryville Street during the 1962 Homecoming Parade.  Teahouse was adapted in 1952 by playwright John Patrick from a novel by Vern Sneider. The play opened on Broadway in New York City at the Martin Beck Theater in 1953 and was a tremendous hit, winning many awards including: the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play of the Year.A detailed Native American float glides down a Maryville street during the 1962 Northwest Homecoming Parade.Northwest's version of Cinderella is showcased on an elaborate float during the 1962 Northwest Homecoming Parade.  Cinderella was the only Rodgers and Hammerstein musical written for television and was broadcasted live on CBS on March 31, 1957 as a vehicle for Julie Andrews, who played the title role. The broadcast was seen by more than 100 million people.The crowd disperses the town square after the Homecoming Parade and heads back toward College Avenue.The 1969 Tower Queen and her royal court pose for a group picture prior to the start of the Homecoming Parade.

Student Life

During Northwest's State College years, students formed new clubs like Cardinal Key and Blue Key, national honorary service societies. A swim team developed and the football team grew to more than 100 prospects. Memorial Stadium was renamed Rickenbrode Stadium in 1961 after longtime registrar William A. Rickenbrode. Northwest also switched from a system of quarters to a semester system with students starting classes after Labor Day. Registration for classes became an ordeal for everyone involved, taking two full days and allowing little flexibility for freshmen and sophomores.

By 1962, the student population increased to 2,500 and freshmen outnumbered upperclassman. Prior to 1961, all freshmen were required to wear green beanies. When ordered by an upperclassman or a member of the M-Club to button, a freshman was required to place a finger on the button on top of the beanie and bow, curtsy or kneel. Walk-Out Day signaled the end of freshman beanie hazing and marked the end of the new student initiation (hazing) period. Hazing of freshmen was formally abolished in 1961 when freshmen began to resist the tradition. By 1962 Homecoming had become an even more elaborate event with large, detailed floats made of tissue paper and chicken wire.