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Homecoming Traditions

Homecoming got its start on college campuses as a fall celebration of the first football game of the season, for which alumni would return to their alma maters. For Villanova, in particular, originated as an annual homecoming known as Alumni Day, which consisted with a football game, dinner, and alumni business meeting. The alumni returning is a long tradition as the alumni association started in 1875.

Homecoming photographs, December 1941

Homecoming really took off as an all campus event around the 1930s. It was not until the 1950s when Homecoming became a multi-day event for the entire Villanova community.

Here are some of the major traditions:

Dorm Decorations

Dorm decorations, 1960

Dorm Decorations, 1960

Dorm, 1950s

Dorm Decorations, 1950s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During Homecoming week the dorms would have a decoration contest for the best decorations. The theme usually surrounded Villanova’s victory on the field.

Bonfire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Homecoming bonfire was a long-standing Wildcat tradition that kicked off the weekend’s festivities.

Parade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A surprising tradition, certainly not seen today, is the Homecoming parade where prior to the big game Wildcats would have a car parade through campus to the football field. Like the dorm decoration there would be float decoration contests.

Game Day

Kissing booth, 1983

Kissing booth, 1983

Homecoming, 1983

Homecoming, 1983

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, Homecoming revolved around the big football game. Longstanding foes have been Georgetown University and Temple University.

Homecoming Dance

Dance, 1939

Dance, 1939

 

And to cap off the festivities was the annual Homecoming dance.

Homecoming court, 1983

Homecoming court, 1983

Homecoming court, 1990s

Homecoming court, 1990s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many more images of Homecoming can be found in the Digital Library and Villanova University Archives


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Connelly Center 41 Years Young

40 41 Years of Connelly Center

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the Connelly Center. Leading up to the anniversary Distinctive Collections was hard at work digitizing photographs of Connelly over the years. While COVID may have dashed in-person celebrations, the University Archives invites you to check out Connelly over the years and celebrate September 21st as the anniversary of the official dedication ceremony.

Connelly Center, March 26th 1979

Connelly Center, March 26th 1979

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the heart of campus, Connelly Center originally opened with a game room, music listening room, ice cream parlor, terrace for entertainment, and lounges. Some of the amenities and look haven’t changed.

 

More photographs of the early days of Connelly Center can be found in the digital library.


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Photo Friday: 1842 Day Gifts Continue To Support Falvey Memorial Library Patrons

Beaudry Rae Allen '13 MA, Preservation and Digital Archivist, removes dust from books in Falvey Memorial Library's Special Collections.

Beaudry Rae Allen ’13 MA, Preservation and Digital Archivist, removes dust from books in Falvey Memorial Library’s Special Collections. Photo courtesy of Shawn Proctor, Communication and Marketing Program Manager.


Tuesday, Sept. 21, is 1842 Day, Villanova’s day of giving! This is a special day honoring Villanova’s founding in 1842 and celebrating all the things that make Villanova great. Your gifts to Falvey Memorial Library these past five years have enhanced the library’s collection—impacting Villanovans for years to come. Beaudry Rae Allen ’13 MA (pictured above), Preservation and Digital Archivist, purchased preservation supplies with support from 2018 donations. Allen was able to “rehouse thousands of at-risk, rare materials—including 10,000 photo negatives, 35 scrapbooks, photographic albums, and University logos—and inventory more than 1,100 CDs and DVDs.” The funds also allowed the Library to purchase a specialized vacuum to safely clean books in Special Collections. Preserving these rare materials ensures scholars can access resources for future projects.

Support Falvey Memorial Library by giving any amount to our campaign! To donate, please use this link or scan the QR code below. Thank you to all of our past and future donors! Be sure to download the Reading Room as your zoom background!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Foto Friday: “B” for Blue and “W” for White

""It’s College Colors Day, so, of course, we’re reppin’ our blue and white!

 

Keep the celebration going and check out “Wildcats Past & Present: Moments from the History of Sports at Villanova.” The online exhibit features assorted and unique items representing the various sports played at Villanova College, and later Villanova University. Villanovans have always shown their school spirit–explore sport programs, basketballs, baseball, photographs, newspaper clippings as well as championship memorabilia from University Archives’ collection along with books and scrapbooks from Special Collections.

The exhibit, based on a legacy exhibit curated by Teri Ann Pirone, was curated by Susan Ottignon, former Collections Librarian, with assistance from Laura Bang, Distinctive Collections Librarian, and Michael Foight, Director of Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement. Graphics provided by Joanne Quinn, Director of Communication and Marketing.

 

 


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 

 

 


 


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Jim Croce ’65 Image Discovered In Digital Library

 

Jim Croce sings to a female student

Jim Croce ’65 sings to a female student

Legendary singer Jim Croce ’65 left his stamp on Villanova and on the music world before his untimely death at age 30. While an undergrad, Croce was a leader of the oldest singing group on campus, The Villanova Singers, who can be heard on campus even now. After graduating, he penned and sang #1 hits, such as “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “Time in a Bottle.” He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1990. His music legacy continues, with his songs featured in films and television, including Django Unchained, Logan, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Stranger Things.

On the 55th anniversary of Croce’s debut album Facets, Falvey is sharing a recently discovered image from his senior yearbook, contained in the University’s Digital Library. Here, Croce, seen lounging in a campus tree and wearing loafers and a sweater, strums his guitar as a co-ed listens on.


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From the Archives: Welcome to Villanova!

From the University Archives: Welcome to Villanova

A Peek into First Year Orientation

The next installment of the University Archives exploring past traditions of Villanova is how incoming first year students, or also known as Frosh or Yearlings, experienced their first days on campus in the first half of the twentieth century.

Freshman Orientation

Upon arrival incoming students were given logistical and academic information, housing details, class schedule, introductions to faculty and upperclassmen, religious registration, and introduction to student organizations. The first day also required a physical exam by a doctor. All of this would be guided by the Orientation Committee (White Cappers), who were the Sophomores.  The committee who would prepare incoming students with “regs” (dinks, ties, identification buttons, and handbook) and teach them the “Frosh rules and regulations” and the very important Hello Habit.

Much of orientation was like an initiation where cultural aspects to Villanova life were heavily indoctrinated and Freshman learned the college songs, yells, and rules. Orientation Committee reinforced etiquette and rules from day one. Frosh would be taught they would have to partake in trunk carrying (help move-in all students in their dorms), coal shoveling, gridiron marking, and stadium cleaning. Noted in the 1946 Belle Air yearbook, infractions would result in haircuts or being molasses and feathered.

Description of Etiquette Expectations

after we had a chance to become acclimated to the surroundings a series of impromptu meetings were held in the amphitheatre with the white cappers scolding yearlings...bellowing instructions to wear the regs...omit smoking cigarettes...learn the college cheers and songs...carry matches for the upperclassmen...get the "hello habit"...

keep coats buttoned and hands out of pockets...and above all stand erect while in the presence of upper classmen.

 Belle Air, 1937

First day of freshman year

First Day for Yearlings, Belle Air, 1943

 

Frosh being directed to jump

Frosh being directed to jump, Belle Air 1967

…and be sure to remember the “Hello Habit”Hello Habit Request for Freshmen

The Hello Habit was simply students saying hello to each other as they passed each other on campus. The gesture was serious business for upperclassmen as they would patrol the halls making sure Frosh did it as well as lament in The Owl and Villanovan for years how the time-honored tradition was at constant risk because of freshmen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Owl, 1931

 

It was later in the school year Freshmen got  “revenge” on the Sophomores during annual Frosh-Soph field day called “Muff Day” and annual Tug-O-War in the Spring.

Frosh-Soph game

tug of war

Belle Air, 1938

Changes

Many of the rituals, dress, initiations, and student hierarchies were abandoned by the late 1960s. Mostly because the university had become co-ed, the student body became more diverse, and the styles and trends of a college student focused more on individualism. In the 1980s, Villanova saw a significant cultural shift as orientation became more about preparing students for their college experience as a whole, including how to navigate the academic rigor and learn the support systems throughout campus.

For more images of campus life: https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Collection/vudl:171664

 

 


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From the Archives: AIDS Awareness Week

AIDS Ribbon Illustration, 1995

In continuation of presenting traditions of the past, the University Archives draws attention to Villanova’s AIDS Awareness Week held in the early 1990s. June as Pride Month is a celebration of the progress of LGBTQIA+ community and the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies a time of reflection of forty years ago when the world started to live through another epidemic that suffered from rampant misinformation and government inaction. Just like with COVID-19, health inequities and social injustices, stigma, fear and bigotry around HIV/AIDS fueled the spread and destruction of so many lives. AIDS remains decades on an unspoken epidemic, but is so clearly entrenched in our history and its affects reverberate through the LGBTQIA+ community and beyond.

Through articles from the Villanovan, the University Archives highlights how Villanova community responded to the AIDS crisis. Villanova established an AIDS task force in the 1980s as the virus was gaining media traction. Into the late eighties, lectures and panel discussions would be sponsored by student organizations or departments on campus about the virus and transmission. Though, through perceived lack of interest and advocacy, the task force faded away by the end of the eighties. The necessity to address the crisis really emerged in the early 1990s and the task force was reorganized in 1992 (Compitiello, 1992). By the early 1990s, AIDS cases had peaked and college campus across the nation were faced with the reality of positive cases on campus (CDC, 2001).

In 1991, the University started AIDS Awareness day, which expanded into AIDS Awareness Week in 1993. Awareness Week included invited speakers, panel discussions, student performances, masses, and vigils. The main goals were,

Raise awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS; to offer HIV/AIDS educational programs during the week; to create an opportunity for spiritual reflection on the impact of HIV/AIDS upon the University community at the beginning of the Lenten season; to provide members of the University community with opportunities for reconciliation and for consideration of their own personal outreach in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and to raise money for local HIV/AIDS care advocates and provider (Lee, 1994).

Panel discussions and lectures would cover questions related to AIDS in relation to discrimination, health care, and how perception is affected by the Church and what is the Church’s response to HIV/AIDS.

One of the most longstanding traditions has been selected panels of the Names Projects AIDS Memorial Quilt on display at the Connelly Center (which continued in to the 2000s).

In 1994, Villanova started to contribute to the quilting project. Here are images from the “Have a Heart” Quilting Bee campaign in 1995. Students could help with quilting and banner making at St.Mary’s Library.

For more information on the AIDS Awareness events on campus, visit the Villanovan in the Digital Library: https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:183783

 

 


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Falvey Then and Now, Through the lens of an Intern

  In my senior year of college, I found myself in a stressful living situation and so became a frequent visitor to the basement reading room of Falvey Library. We became fast friends since we spent so much time together (the moment it opened until its closing). At a time of immense confusion and uncertainty, Falvey embraced me with a quiet, steady sense of permanence that I so desperately needed. Yes, it was an escape, but it was also the perfect place for reflection without distraction. It was where a young woman could uncover her inner strength and achieve academic success through focus and fortitude. These very qualities would help me get through the tragedy of the 9-11 terrorist attacks that I experienced in New York, not long after graduation.  

  Twenty years later, the library beckons again, this time as an intern finishing up a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Clarion University. It’s proven to be a very different experience than as an undergrad, especially amidst a pandemic where movement is limited. Students and faculty are finding their own ways through another stressful period of history, and the library evolves. There’s still permanence in those physical walls, though they’ve become less significant for me. Indeed, what I’ve learned most is that the library has played a key role in tearing down metaphorical walls in order to improve access to information. Of course, it’s not just the building itself that holds weight, but the precious information it maintains waiting for students and faculty to discover. 

  With urgency, the pandemic has revealed the importance of information without barriers and the speed in which researchers and scientists need unencumbered access to digital journal articles, studies, and data sets. These concepts drive the Open Access publishing movement, which has been of particular interest to me as information needs change amidst this pandemic. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Sarah Wipperman in the Scholarly Communications Department on a guide to Open Access (OA). Sarah was generous with her time, patient with questions, and incredibly knowledgeable about copyright, fair use, and scholarly publishing in general. We explored big picture concepts pertaining to new ways of publishing such as: What is Open Access? How can it affect stakeholders? What OA options and funding are available at Villanova and beyond? How will publishing in various ways affect the breadth of readership? The guide we developed presents students and faculty with information regarding different avenues for publishing their work. Each scholarly publishing experience is unique, but arming writers and researchers with quality information and options prior to signing agreements and publishing is essential. We hope that the document we created will be a useful tool in helping Villanovans make pivotal publishing decisions now and into the future.  

  While this internship hasn’t been in person, I still hear the student and faculty voices, this time in the articles I’ve read and archived for Beaudry Allen with the Documenting Covid Digital Archives project. While I archived articles about significant events in the past year which seem indelibly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic such as lockdowns, local BLM protests, themes of racial inequity, sexual assaults, vaccination efforts, effects on learning and the economy, I found myself eventually gravitating toward the stories told by individuals, which vary according to experience and societal lens. A look back on the year from the Villanovan Magazine, “A Letter to the Class of 2021”, Philadelphia Magazine’s “Coronavirus Pandemic Impact Stories” provide the viewpoints of regular Villanovans and Philadelphians struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel in this pandemic. We hope that the content captured during this difficult time will provide future generations with a balanced perspective and general history, as well as a means of processing the events of these last 18 months. Afterall, the effects of the pandemic reach well beyond the virus itself. Experience has shown this Villanovan that while we cannot control negative events that arise, we can process and learn from them, and try to make sense of what has occurred. In due course, these experiences will shape us, and the university itself, in ways we’d never imagine.  

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*The intern, age 9, joined by the Wildcat, at Sibling’s Weekend (circa 1986) with a lifetime ahead of her. 

By Anne Walkenhorst                                                                                               

Scholarly Communications and Digital Archive Intern 

Clarion University of Pennsylvania (ALA accredited) MLS spring 2021 

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From the Archives: New Exhibit, Old Tradition

By Beaudry Rae Allen

Junior Week Committee, 1934

Distinctive Collections is excited to announce our new Spring exhibit, Blazers & Class Rings: Junior Week at Villanova.

Corsage pinning, 1951

Corsage pinning, 1951

Take a peek into Villanova traditions from the past with this digital exhibit that explores Junior Week, one of the most popular week-long events on campus. The honored tradition of Juniors receiving their senior blazers and class ring, celebrating all things Junior, and, of course, a special visit from Mother. All the items in the exhibit are from the University Archives.

Junior Week Mascot, 1948

Junior Week Mascot, 1948


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TBT: In 1985, Villanova Welcomes Journalist Ed Bradley as Commencement Speaker

Villanovan Article on Ed Bradley as Commencement Speaker

 

Happy Commencement Week, Villanova seniors! To celebrate your graduation, we throwback to 1995 when Commencement featured 60 Minutes Co-Editor and journalist Ed Bradley (1941-2006.) Bradley, a respected journalist, won 19 Emmy Awards in addition to a Peabody Award for his investigative report on the AIDS crisis in Africa.

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Last Modified: May 13, 2021