Freshman Week 1970, Part I

Last Friday I found an entire folder of pictures taken during Freshman Week in 1970. (I’d never seen them before, which I suspect is because they were filed rather unhelpfully under “Students.”) They’re really very good, I think. At least they evoked real feeling for me–I see them and clearly recall how frightened, lonely and excited I was when I left home for the first time to go to school, how disjointed the world was for a few weeks. It’s too hard to pull out just one or two pictures from this batch, so I’ve decided to declare this entire week “Freshman Week, 1970: The Reprise.” The images seem to track the new students from arrival through the course of the week, so I’ll try to follow along as best I can (bearing in mind that sometimes I have to guess what’s going on.)

First we see them moving in:

I think this next one was taken in Will Rice. I had no idea that students were allowed to paint their own rooms and I assume that they no longer can, but I honestly don’t know:

And finally, a little time for socializing in the RMC:

Tomorrow we’ll get our id cards.

Bonus: My granddaughter came to the Woodson with me today. She was so eager to see the photo files that we couldn’t keep her in her stroller!

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18 Responses to Freshman Week 1970, Part I

  1. Leoguy says:

    I was a freshman in 1970. Can’t wait to see all the photos. And, yes, we could paint our rooms. Or, at least, we did anyway.

  2. Becky W says:

    There was still one room (in the mircohall, 2nd floor Will Rice old dorm) that was painted all black in the early-mid 1990′s.

  3. Norie Guthrie says:

    Where was the first picture taken?

  4. Whit Matteson says:

    We refinished the wood floor in our room in Will Rice, and nobody ever said anything. At least we refinished most of it – we stacked all the furninture in a two-foot strip along one wall and sanded down the rest of the floor, etc. Our room had been used over the summer as some kind of staging room for painters, and there were paint rings all over the floor. We also had a 220V circuit installed – we just asked, and they put it in. It was 1969, and I brought an LGP-30 with me (a computer about the size of a washer/dryer combo). It generated so much heat, though, that we could only use it in the wintertime, with the windows open. Wish I had pictures; it might have been the first computer in a residential college.

  5. Grungy says:

    Are there still buildups?
    Melissa – are you aware of the engineering that went into some dorm rooms?

    • Pat Campbell says:

      Most of the materials for the modifications came from Buildings and Grounds, just for the asking. My recollection was that B&G also first allowed us to paint the rooms in the fall of 67. It took them a couple of years and the help of the Masters to limit the all-black paint jobs.

    • Joseph Lockett ('91) says:

      There are still build-ups… but they are *institutional* build-ups, pre-supplied to every college room.

      The days of student-designed furniture (and of bolting into the walls) appear to be gone.

  6. Wendy Kilpatrick Laubach '78 says:

    Did you notice that the RMC picture features the glass curtain that you wrote about some months back?

  7. mjthannisch says:

    At Lovett, you could paint the ceiling, and some did. There were some amazing build ups there. Of course I went the other way. We won rude room of the year for being the most naturally rude. (I really think it was the used cuspidor that turned the trick). :)

  8. Deborah Gronke Bennett says:

    I remember one room on the first floor of Hanszen College whose door opened directly onto the breezeway between the office and the tower section. Typical of my baby-boom era (1976-79) it was 2 double rooms overcrowded to 5 people. They built up all 5 beds and put them in one of the double rooms. That was the sleeping and study room. The other double was furnished with couches and a bar. That was the socializing and dating room. It was a pretty neat arrangement.

    • Richard Miller (Hanszen '75 & '76) says:

      If you are talking about the pair of rooms between the office and the entrance to section 2 then each room could hold three people quite well. Three of us had one of the rooms in 74-75 and built up all three beds. Jim Lesiker & I spilt the back half and Jeff Mandell had the front part right by the window. I also had one of the rooms on the 5th floor of the old tower my sophmore year.

  9. John Eldridge (Lovett '74) says:

    I was a freshman arriving in 1970. It was exciting, and pretty well organized– but not compared to what my Rice freshman son experienced last August. Many of my closest friends today are people I met freshman week 1970. I’d love to see the other pictures from that archive!

  10. John Eldridge (Lovett '74) says:

    Great– I may recognize some people.

  11. Bob Roosth, WRC, class of 70/71, BSEE./MSEE says:

    I don’t recall painting our rooms. I do remember building bunk beds from 2x4s.

    I also remember a project that a number of us took on to build a lounge in the un-used and un-finished attic at WRC. We built walls and brought in couches from somewhere. I think the materials may have been “liberated” from the Sid Rich construction site next door. I know some of the tools, including a stud gun came from there.

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