May Madison Moments Through the Years
|1917 Executive Board of the Student Association|
On the initiative of students, and with input and consent from the faculty, the first formal Honor System was adopted by the student body on May 31 and the first Honor Committee was selected.
Classes were cancelled on May 10 so everyone could participate in the first campus “clean-up and planting day.” At 8 a.m., groups of students and faculty spread out over the campus and began plowing and hoeing, planting flowers and crops, weeding, pushing wheelbarrows, and picking up trash. At noon, when all the tasks were completed, students enjoyed a lunch served by the Household Arts department and enjoyed various recreational activities including a baseball game between students and female faculty members.
The Harrisonburg State Teachers College competed in its first tennis match, hosting the team from George Washington University on May 19. Three singles and two doubles matches were played at the school's tennis courts (then located where Carrier Library now stands). HTC was defeated 3-2.
Members of the College's varsity swim team traveled to Washington D.C. to compete against George Washington University in HTC's first swim meet, which they lost 39-19.
|Construction on Wilson Hall|
At 8 a.m. on May 19, at the top of the Quadrangle between Maury and Reed (Keezell) Halls, workmen began digging out the foundation for what would become the school's main administration building, Wilson Hall. Even President Samuel P. Duke pitched in, helping the workmen shovel dirt from the foundation.
Student applications to two sororities – Sigma Sigma Sigma and Alpha Sigma Alpha – were approved in mid-May by the respective national offices. Local chapters of SSS and ASA were officially installed during a three-day event in May, which consisted of pledging, initiations, a joint sorority banquet, election of officers, and a Pan-Hellenic Conference.
In what became known as the May Revolt, the student body, led primarily by the freshman and sophomore classes, strenuously demanded a broadening of privileges. Throughout May, students threatened a sit-in, a hunger strike, a class boycott, and a march on Hillcrest (the president's residence). None of these actions occurred, however, as the faculty unanimously revised the regulations governing student privileges, allowing:
More weekends off-campus
Non-compulsory attendance for movies and other campus entertainment
Longer light-on time during final exams
Freedom from wearing stockings on certain occasions
In mid-May, 25 male students were granted permission by the faculty to form a men's social club. Not long after, the group adopted the name Sigma Delta Rho and became the institution's first fraternity.
After 52 years of presenting students and faculty with many pages of memorable photographs and stories, the Schoolma'am was renamed. Editors felt that the title no longer fully described the Madison student body. The student body voted on May 12 to change the name of the yearbook to to Bluestone.
On Friday, May 1, the school welcomed more than 400 students' parents as guests of the College in the first annual Parents' Day. During the day-long program, parents visited classes, met with faculty members, took a tour of the campus, and met with President G. Tyler Miller to review the academic program of Madison College.