Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving Traditions on College Campuses

Today's students often assume they will have several days away from classes at Thanksgiving...sometimes, a full week.  My wife reminded me that the private Iowa college she attended didn't have classes on Thanksgiving and academic life resumed with classes on the following day.  I think the institution that I attended held classes until 5:00 pm on the day before Thanksgiving, but didn't expect us back until the following Monday.

Checking a bit, I found an interesting video where an archivist from Mount Holyoke College presents diaries and photographs reflecting Thanksgiving at the institution in the 1850's.

Cottey College Thanksgiving traditions have changed in various ways over time.  Accounts of basketball games between student societies in the early 1900s can be found on the Cotteyphile website.  Field hockey became the focus of student attention by the 1930s.
For a while, there was a tradition of alumnae returning to Cottey on Thanksgiving, though this became "Dad's Day" in 1960.

The emergence of football on college campuses in the late 1800's soon led to scheduling of key contests on Thanksgiving Day.  Images for a couple of examples follow:

Drury College played a football game with Missouri School of Mines & Metallurgy in 1928.