Do you have any history or old photos of MSU's cheerleading team?
Though I couldn’t find an exact date for the founding of the cheerleading team, the earliest indication of one is from the 1904 yearbook, which included a list of their chants.
For many years, the cheerleading squad was all-male and usually a very small group. Being the head cheerleader was considered extremely prestigious, as they led all of the chants.
In 1954, women were added to the team for the first time - over 50 girls tried out and six were selected. One of these six was Betty Lou Lundstedt - seen below in the bottom row, far right.
Betty Lou speaks candidly (and does a cheer!) in a video from the MSU Alumni Association.
The girls were an instant hit and since then, the team has expanded and the uniforms have gone through about a million changes. Take a look at some highlights and be sure to check out their alumni flickr for more photos!
As most of you know, Morrill Hall’s days are numbered.
Built in 1900, Morrill Hall was the result of the new Women’s Course that had recently been created with the help of Mary Mayo. Although female students had been attending the college since 1870, numbers were remarkably low due to two significant factors. The first was that there was no female housing. The college could only find so many faculty members to take the women into their homes during the school year. The other issue was that agriculture was the only program until 1885 (when engineering was added) and not many women were interested in the limited courses available.
After 25 years of women attending the school, only 24 had actually graduated with degrees. It was 1895 and MAC was struggling to maintain its student population and its reputation. Something needed to be done.
In the fall of 1896, 42 women entered the trial program in old Abbot Hall . It was an instant success and the decision was made for the program to have its own building. Morrill Hall cost $95,000 to build and included state-of-the-art kitchen laboratories and sewing rooms among other instructional facilities. The women would also be able to live comfortably in the same building, with their own dorm rooms, lounges, gymnasium, and cafeteria. There was even a pond and garden area where the parking ramp stands today, known as “the Lagoon,” complete with an island in the pond to picnic.
The Women’s Course was a five-year-program which consisted of cooking, sewing, human nutrition, household management, home nursing, and house architecture. The home economics courses were extremely popular and as attendance expanded, Morrill was able to house up to 120 students as well as all faculty. Faculty members’ rooms were strategically placed near the fire escapes to prevent the girls sneaking out at night after their strict curfews. Despite it all, it was said that bringing women to the college was a success for the men as well - as their manners and personal upkeep improved dramatically as the amount of eligible women on campus increased. These men would refer to the Women’s Building as “The Coop,” because all of the “chicks” lived there.
As the Women’s Course continued to thrive, the Home Economics (now the Human Ecology) building was built next door to provide more classrooms and the buildings of West Circle (including the one named for Mary Mayo) were opened to house more female students. In 1937, Morrill Hall was officially given its current name (pressure had been on the school to name it Morrill for years, but they worried that its synonym “Moral” may have only fueled the male students more). At that time, it was also converted to fit its current use - providing a home to several different liberal arts departments (today it houses the offices for History, English, and Religious Studies).
In the years since then, Morrill Hall has shown signs of its age in many ways - from a 480 sq. ft. portion of the basement ceiling collapsing in 1991 to the bats and cockroaches living in its wooden frame. Many of its most decorative aspects are long deteriorated and English professors haphazardly arrange their piles of books in the hopes that they can balance out the tilting floors without another collapse. A few years ago, Morrill Hall was slated for demolition and as of now, the planned date of its take-down is March 2013. By this time, all of the current offices will be moved to the new expansion in Wells Hall.
What are the plans for the empty area in old campus? A park was the first thing proposed, adding to the already expansive green space nearby, but recent news has seemed to indicate it may be another Morrill Hall, this time built to house the numerous foreign languages (over 30) in one place.
Although Morrill Hall will soon be gone forever, the Women’s Course and the building that was its home for so many years will always be a part of MSU’s history.
- Among all of the previously mentioned problems, one of the main issues surrounding Morrill is its sinking foundation. However, any and all claims that those windows that currently sit just above the ground were once the windows of the first floor should be laughed down.
- Another claim is that the reason the hallways are so wide is because of the women’s fashions at the time - with hoopskirts they had to be able to pass each other in the halls. This is adorable and the kind of fact people love, but it also unfortunately doesn’t have much stock in reality.
On the banks of the Red Cedar
There’s a school that’s known to all;
Its specialty is farming
And those farmers play football;
Aggie teams are never beaten,
All through the game they’ll fight;
Fight for the only colors:
Green and white.
Smash right through that line of blue,
Watch the points keep growing.
Aggie teams are bound to win,
They’re fighting with a vim!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Michigan is weakening,
We’re going to win this game.
Fight! Fight! Rah! Team! Fight!
Victory for MAC!
”—Original lyrics of the fight song, written in 1915 by an MSU cheerleader named Francis Irving Lankey and lyricist Arthur Sayles.