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School traditions from the ’40s would be unrecognizable today

Though Loyola seniors may feel like veterans, having taken classes in the now-nonexistent Damen Hall, there’s much more to Loyola’s history than a radiator-shaped building from the 1970s. Loyola life today and in the 1940s are essentially the difference between night and day.

 

Commuter-only university

 

Residence life? Non-existent. According to Born in Chicago, a historical text about Loyola, it was not until 1955 that Campion Hall (6551 N. Sheridan Road), Loyola’s first dorm, then called Loyola Hall for men, opened its doors for students. Prior to this opening, the university was an all-commuter school.

 

Males only

 

It was not until 1966 that Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus became co-ed. At the time, Loyola was a far cry from being the butt of jokes inspired by the lack of men on campus.

 

Different kind of dance

 

Though Hamilton’s Bar and Grill existed, there was still a large emphasis on formal dances among Loyola students.  According to the Loyola Digital Special Collections’ “Loyola Traditions” online exhibit, from 1949 to 1961, a “Beanie Dance” was held for freshmen at both Loyola and the former Mundelein College.  It was called this because the Loyola freshmen men were given beanies to wear for their first week of classes and would give their beanie to the Mundelein lady who caught his eye.

 

Strange sports

 

Loyola sporting activities also were a little different than today’s intramural basketball and soccer teams.  Loyola freshmen and sophomores battled to hold the title of champion Push Baller. The ball was eight feet in diameter, and whichever team pushed it to the opposing team’s goal line would be named champion, while the loser had to take a swim in Lake Michigan.

 

vguerrero@luc.edu

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