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Back to school by Magan Hendon
time tracks

Presidential greetings

Back to school

Down the Corridor


The beginning of the school year has always brought excitement to North Texas. Over the years, students have taken part in numerous traditions and events during the first weeks of the fall semester.

In the early years of the institution, the first or second issue of the Campus Chat student newspaper printed an official greeting from the president to welcome students to campus.

"I bespeak for you a most pleasant, most profitable and a most prosperous year's work with us, and invite you to my office at any and at all times," was the message from President W.H. Bruce in the 1919 welcome.

The first week of school often coincided with the Texas State Fair, the Denton County Fair or both. Faculty and students could be seen wearing their college insignia as they loaded onto buses and cars on their way to the fairs.


Among back to school events, the Women's Forum candlelight ceremony welcomed freshman girls to campus. (1953 Yucca)

The Women's Forum held a "Big Sister, Little Sister" candlelight ceremony at the beginning of the semester to welcome and adopt freshman girls for the year. This tradition served to promote a friendlier spirit between freshman and upperclass women.

Students had yearbook photos taken early in the semester, and they attended an annual all-college mixer during the first week of classes. Sponsored by the campus YMCA and YWCA, the event featured games and contests among the classes as well as refreshments and a chance to mingle. The 1927 party was described by the Campus Chat as a time for students "to leave your homesickness, blues and worries locked in your rooms together with your studies and come out your happy normal self to meet, greet and be one of the carefree crowd."

Many decades of North Texas students looked forward to the first Saturday after classes started, when the Saturday Night Stage Show began for the academic year. Organized by Floyd 'Fessor Graham, music faculty member from 1927 to 1973, the event included style shows, singers, movies and the Aces of Collegeland, among other entertainment.

Today, incoming freshmen and returning students participate in Howdy Week during the first week of classes. Events include department open houses, parties and cook-outs, and the annual Mean Green Fling featuring live music, games and free food.


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