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Page 8 text:
OF THE ING OF No sooner had the Seminoles been chased back to the Everglades, namely the year 1822 when Florida was organized as a territory, than its progressive leaders sought to provide facilities for higher educa- tion. With amazing political rapidity legislation was finally passed in 1853 authorizing the location of the seminary east of the Suwannee in Ocala and the sem- inary west of the Suwannee in Tallahassee. Although the return of the Seminoles to Tallahassee in 1947 might have been an unexpected innovation, coeducation itself is definitely not a new trend. The West Florida Seminary which incorporated some of the land and buildings formerly called Leon County Female Academy, was until 1859 open only to men. That year, however, the women staged an invasion and fought for their right to wield a cook book and darning needle. But their victory was shortlived for the men soon had to fight for the right of the mag- nolia and mint julep in the Civil War and WFS was converted into a military school. * The soldiers marched on and so did time. In 1882 coeducation again came to the fore, or to be more geographically exact, to Tallahassee. Enrollment reached an all-time high of seventy-four. In 1889 there were four faculty members. The president taught: philosophy, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy and political science. Student govJ- ernment was unknown and the catalogue stated Pres- ident and faculty will exercise a wholesome supervi- sion over the students. " In 1897 the Naturalist ' s Society, Murphreean Lit- erary Society and the Debating Society were active organizations on campus and the following year the Athletic Association came up to bat. There were still no dormitories and students boarded in private homes. Chapel was held every morning which all students were required to attend. Church attendance was also compulsory. A student could enter the classical, literary or scientific course, but the faculty made the rest of his decisions for him. Once he got in a particular class it was very difficult to get out. He had to have the consent of the faculty to change from one of these to another and of his parents if he were a minor. Such was life at WFS during the " Gay Nineties. " A new name arrived with the new century: Florida State College. But in 1905 this name rode out with the Buckman Bill which authorized the consolidation of the schools located in Bartow, Lake City, Gaines- ville, DeFuniak and Tallahassee into two state insti- tutions, one for men and one for women. Tallahassee ' s offspring was christened Florida Female College. And thus began the long imprisonment of fair womanhood behind the red brick walls. All students were required to sign an honor code. The teachers and matrons ate in the dining hall with the students. After dinner they enjoyed a social hour together before beginning the evening ' s work. In 1909 the name Florida State College for Women was adopted. The seal of the three torches was first lit by members of Miss Abernathy ' s Art Class who burned with inspiration and school spirit. Students were required to " Submit to such regula- tions as will insure faithful study and exemplary con- duct. " The faculty and president were the admin- istrators of these regulations. Mail was subject to inspection by the president or matron. During 1912-13 a system of Student Government was inaugurated. Officers of this organization were supervised by a committee of faculty members. Ath- letics were also conducted by a faculty committee. There were five tennis courts and two basketball courts. Clubs were organized for walking and swim-
Page 9 text:
OLD SCHOOL THE NEW.... ming— someone should have told them the automobile had been invented! A candidate for admission to FSCW had to present a record for good moral character as well as a scholas- tic record. In 1914 the Romance Club and the Home Eco- nomics Club were organized. Although seemingly related the Romance Club had as its members French and Spanish students. In 1915 the Flambeau broke into print! It was then the custom to place the students ' mail in a wire basket at one end of the tiny post office. One girl would stand on a chair and call out the names. This system was uniquely labeled " mail call. " Physical education consisted mostly of exercises with Indian clubs and dumb-bells. There were four F Club members. The favorite recreation of student government was campusing. One girl was called before Student Gov- ernment for cutting breakfast three times and another was campused for wearing a skirt with a split up the side. During World War I students contributed every moment outside of class time to war work. Miss Harris, head of the home economics department, supervised the students in canning, pickling and dry- ing the college garden products. Despite the shortage of tin cans the group was given a car load of the scarce items by the government to carry on their project. When the cans arrived, they were unloaded in a leaky old warehouse near the station. Unfor- tunately this warehouse was in the city limits of Tallahassee and, of course, it rained that night. In order to save the cans a group of volunteers armed with a mammoth supply of towels attempted to wipe out the trouble. By the following evening the " can- can " girls were thoroughly dried out. But the cans were saved along with the day which proves again the point: Never underestimate the power of an FSC woman. The period between the first and second world wars was characterized by building and expansion. Enrollment increased annually and in 1941 FSCW was the third largest women ' s college in the United States and ranking high scholastically as well. School spirit, augmented by the Odd-Even rivalry, reached its peak every Thanksgiving when home- coming, color rush, demonstrations and sports reigned supreme. During World War II the students gave many hours of work to Red Cross projects and USO duty. With the end of the war FSCW students welcomed the return of veterans to their brother university at Gainesville. The numbers of returning students reached an amazing proportion but the Tally lassies failed to see the disadvantage in this. However when it was deemed necessary to install a branch of the University of Florida at Tallahassee, the girls were quick to agree that the crowded situation should by all means be alleviated. So after forty years FSCW ' s Sleeping Beauties were awakened by the handsome princes, and Experiment: Coeducation got underway. Dale Mabry, a former army field, was converted by a few quick strokes of the paint brush into TBUF. Perhaps because of its noted ancestry, coeducation seemed to like FSCW as well as the rain. Keen-sighted legislators soon realized the modern- ized aspects of this system and in May 1947, Florida joined the ranks of progressive states. FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY-a new name and the beginning of a new history in educational development.
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