Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sesquicentennial Stories: The Promise of UK #123

The Golden Jubilee, October 12-14, 1916, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of classes on the Woodlands-Ashland campus.  The act establishing the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky was passed by the Legislature in February of 1865, but the actual operation of the school did not happen until October of 1866, hence the celebration in October, 1916.  The only person who was present on both occasions was James Kennedy Patterson.
Tug of War
Events for the Golden Jubilee included a tug-of-war between the freshman and sophomore classes (the freshmen won), an alumni smoker at the Phoenix Hotel, an alumnae dinner, the “K” dance at the armory to benefit the Kentuckian, and a parade of the classes and faculty.  There were also speeches and burgoo before the dedication of Stoll Field and the football game against Vanderbilt.

During the parade on Main Street there was a competition among the classes to come up with the most original and novel ideas.  The freshmen typified childhood, the sophomores staged a Kentucky circus, the juniors represented important events, and the seniors represented themselves. 

  Seniors as diplomas - costumes reached 8 feet high

 The juniors captured the $100.00 prize by illustrating the changes and happenings of the University’s fifty years.

Junior parade entry - 1880 was the year women were admitted
 After the parade, the students and faculty convened in the chapel for speeches and honorary degrees.  Among the fifteen recipients were Thomas Hunt Morgan, James Lane Allen, and Henry Watterson.  Thomas Hunt Morgan became a Nobel Prize winner in Medicine in 1933 for his contributions to science – he developed the gene theory of heredity.

Dr. James K. Patterson delivered an address, “Fifty years of the University” and Charles W. Dabney, president of the University of Cincinnati, spoke on “The University and the State.”  The Alumni Association presented a portrait of Dr. Patterson.

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