Welcome Back!

Welcome readers to the start of our 2018 blog. The Special Collections and University Archives staff is back from Winter Break ready to share posts about what we do, our collections, and the projects we are working on. Upon our return this semester, we were greeted by Old Man Winter’s cold temperatures and a bit of snow, and it looks like more of the white wintry-mix may be in the forecast for next week.

Chalked snowman in the lobby of Simpson Library

Simpson Library Snowman

I must confess, I’m a longtime fan of those perfectly symmetrical six sided flakes, and from looking at photographs and newspapers in our Archives, no matter what decade students are snow lovers too. Everyone loves a good snow day! So let’s journey into the Archives to see how students have embraced campus snow days through the years.

One of the earliest photographs we have showing the campus transformed into a Winter Wonderland is from the portico of Monroe Hall in 1925. Check out the vintage cars in the background!

The portico of Monroe Hall
Later in 1940 The Bullet reported it’s “Snow Use! You can’t keep the Willardettes in when the snow is falling,” referring to the freshmen’s big snowball fight.

Snowball Fight, 1941

Snowball Fight, 1941

“Blizzard Hits Campus” was the main topic of the February 25, 1947 Bullet. The article noted that “this is the worst snow storm in five years” and that students used “large pieces of cardboard for sledding.” Always inventive, students in later years would trade their cardboard for trays from Seacobeck, sledding down the hills behind Mason and Randolph and the Jepson Alumni Center.

Blizzard of 1996

Blizzard of 1996

Various snowmen also dotted the Mary Washington landscape with each new snow.

Look closely, these 1962 students fashioned a snow cat!

Look closely, these 1962 students fashioned a snow cat!

But the best snow photos are of friends having a great time together.

Friends walking in the snow, 1990.

Friends walking in the snow, 1990.

Students pile on top of one another in the snow, 1980

Students pile on top of one another in the snow, 1980

Enjoy the next campus snow and share your great pics with University Archives at archives@umw.edu!

January 29, 2018