Bygone WashU quiz

Freshmen women moving onto the South 40 in 1959.
Freshmen women moving onto the South 40 in 1959. (Photo courtesy of WUSTL Archives)

Washington University in St. Louis has been around since 1853. With 165 years of history, the institution has seen many changes to student life. How well do you know WashU’s bygone traditions?

1. First-year students at WashU used to always sport one item of clothing. What was it?
a. Fuzzy socks – First-year students were given a pair of fuzzy socks to wear to promote campus comfort.
b. WashU scarves – First-year students sported scarves in their ResCollege colors, like the different Hogwarts houses.
c. Beanies – First-year students were coerced to sport these caps to promote school spirit and unity.

2. Thyrsus, WashU’s oldest theater group, has some famous alums. Who did NOT participate in Thyrsus while on campus?
a. Tennessee Williams, the famous playwright, who dropped out of WashU after losing a playwriting competition
b. Novelist and short-story writer Fannie Hurst, AB 1909
c. A.E. Hotchner, AB ’40, JD ’40, a playwright and novelist

3. Which was NOT a former name of Washington University in St. Louis?
a. Washington Institute
b. Eliot Seminary
c. Washington Seminary

Black and white photo of football tackle
Homecoming football game at Washington University in 1950 (Photo courtesy of WUSTL Archives)

4. From 1890 to 1905, the football team had a one-game schedule, and it was called the Purities for their strict academic code.
True
False

5. What does WashU’s motto, “Per Veritatem Vis” mean?
a. Strength through knowledge
b. Strength through truth
c. Strength through community

6. Chancellor Wrighton invented the glow stick, which is why we use them at Convocation.
True
False

Freshmen on campus in beanies
Freshmen students at Washington University used to wear beanies. (Photo courtesy of WUSTL Archives)

7. Washington University’s campus has not always been located where it is now.
True
False

8. Which of the following used to be a club on campus?
a. Banana Club – Students passionate about this equator fruit would have cooking competitions to see who could most creatively incorporate bananas into a dish.
b. Ugly Club – Club members interrupted students in the main hall to award titles such as “Ugly man,” “Pretty man,” “College fool,” “Solemn man” and “Ladies’ pet” to their classmates.
c. Triangle Club – A group of mathematicians infatuated with the sturdy shape would go out at night and draw triangles on all the buildings and sidewalks.

9. During World War II which activities were suspended on campus?
a. ThurtenE Carnival
b. Student Senate
c. Spring Formals
d. All of the above

Beaux Arts Ball at Washington University in 1960 (Photo courtesy of WUSTL Archives)

10. In 1971, students organized Burt Wheeler Day, a celebration of the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. It included which traditional competition?
a. Tug-of-war
b. Pie-eating competition
c. Slam-dunk contest

11. Orientation is a crucial part of the first-year experience. Today, this involves programs such as Convocation, The Date and Our Names Our Stories. But a few decades ago, orientation looked a little different. Which was an old orientation activity?
a. First-year students were bussed to Cuivre River State Park to engage in activities such as horseback riding, sports and skits to bond with their new classmates.
b. First-year students were bussed to the Gateway Arch and rode to the top in groups. Once at the top, they sat in a circle and shared one secret about themselves as a bonding experience.
c. First-year students walked to Forest Park together and had a giant picnic and played lawn games in order to get acquainted with their surroundings and bond with their classmates.

12. Why did students take over Brookings in December 1968?
a. To protest the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program
b. The Association of Black Collegians took over Brookings to protest how campus police were treating black students on campus, among other issues.
c. All of the above

13. WashU’s student run newspaper, Student Life, has been a part of the university for a long time. What year was this publication established?
a. 1862
b. 1878
c. 1900

14. Sororities don’t have houses on campus because there is a law in St. Louis against more than 5 women living in a house together.
True
False

15. How and when did WILD get its start?
a. A group of students in a band called the Tritons got together in Brookings and “crashed the Quad” with an impromptu concert. It was so popular that they did it again the following semester.
b. Student Union organized it in the mid-1970s.
c. A student wrote an essay arguing for the creation of a film festival in Brookings Quad and then started one. It later morphed into a concert.

16. Students upset about the Vietnam War did what in protest of the ROTC?
a. More than 100 students organized a hunger strike to last until the university abolished the ROTC program. It lasted 25 days.
b. In anger, students burned down two ROTC buildings.
c. About 85 students organized sit-ins in their dorm rooms that were largely ineffective.

Answers: 1. c, 2. a, 3. c, 4. True, 5. b, 6. False, 7. True, 8. b, 9. d, 10. a, 11. a, 12. c, 13. b, 14. False, 15. c, 16. b

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