Friday, January 11, 2013

Furman 1954

My two youngest grand kids were over the other day and came upon a crumpled up old purple beanie cap with a big F on the front and started asking questions about it.

"Well," I said, "I don't know why I saved it all these years, because at the time, I really hated that hat."

"You hated your hat?"

Furman University 1908 (and 1954)
"That's right, boys.  In 1954 I enrolled at Furman University in Greenville, SC and all freshmen, were required to wear a beanie like that so that the upperclassmen could recognize them and order them around to do things like carry their books and stuff. Among other things they called us PLEBES, which was what the early Romans called the unsophisticated, lower class of citizens. We had to do whatever an upper classman told us to do."

"Was it like that at ALL colleges?

Present Furman Library
"No, that kind of harassment had mostly disappeared from colleges by the end of the 1930's but Furman was a little slow to change. I don't believe they tolerate that kind of thing anymore. I understand that the place is quite different now. They moved to a new location, new campus and everything. In fact, Furman is now considered one of the 10 most beautiful campuses in the country. And I hear that it's an excellent school now. But their modernization didn't occur until 1958...and that wouldn't have done me any good.

I was there in the fall of 1954. What could have helped make the place tolerable for me were those South Carolina girls who were in some of my classes. There was one who was just about the prettiest girl I had ever seen. She ranked right up there with those CHS beauties that I had known and missed terribly.

But there was a problem.  A big one.

That dorm was on the other side of town.

...and the official name of the womens dorm was....The ZOO.

Now, I don't know it for a fact, but I have a theory about that:  Furman, being that it was one of the foremost Baptist institutions in the country, I contend that it was no accident  the girls dorm was located many miles away from the boys dorm AND named the ZOO...and I think the reason was to discourage the Furman boys from getting together with the Furman girls to...


Traditionally, DRINKING is also high on the Baptist "Not to Do List."
And that is the subject of my next chapter of Furman 1954 entitled, "Does Ed Myers really have a STILL in his dorm room?"  

"Looks like Ed has struck again!"