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Heritage Club: Sentimental Journey

To see more photos of the event, click Heritage 2010.

By Lauren Elder, Claire Moncla, and Vanessa Mosharaf

During Heritage Club 2010, the BAA asked participants the following question: What was your favorite Baylor experience?

HerJamesVardamanJames W. Vardaman ’51:
“The whole experience. I didn’t finish high school, and [at Baylor] I was able to appreciate ideas and words. My favorite professor was Dr. Bruce Thomas in the history department, and I suppose he opened my mind. Because of him I majored in history, and because of him I decided I wanted to be a professor like him.”


Wayne, att. ’52-53, and Pat Mitchell Young ’59:

Pat: “There is just a sweet spirit here. My major was English and secondary education and my minor was music education, so I sang in the oratorial chorus. We went up to Dallas and sang Beethoven with the Dallas Symphony. That was really a life-size experience. Also, I was in the band the year we won the Sugar Bowl, and that was really neat. They took us to New Orleans, and we were there in the French Quarter. And then on New Year’s Day, we played at the Sugar Bowl.”

Wayne: “Talk about a legacy, our three sons were all in the same fraternity: Sigma Chi. Our first grandson to come here pledged Sigma Chi, and all three sons came for his pledging. He was the only triple legacy pledge they have had at Baylor.”


Lynn Hawkins ’60
“Well, I enjoyed working in Friday Night Missions with little children every Friday night, followed by Singspiration. Baylor had a Singspiration every Friday night. They moved it around—it was either in the [Barfield] Drawing Room or sometimes in Memorial lobby, the girls’ dorm—but most of the time it was in the drawing room. We went in and sat down on the carpet, and somebody had an hour’s program and we sat around and sang Christian songs for about an hour; sometimes someone would have a piano special or a violin special or something like that. So that was a big thing.”


J. C. Ewing Jr. ’60
“Oh, Dr. Henke in the accounting department. Dr. Henke and Dr. Parsons—if it hadn’t been for them, I wouldn’t have kept on. They were excellent mentors and did everything they could to help me. Also Baylor Drug—everyone of that age knows the Baylor Drug. Everybody goofed off there—till you got caught by the professor, then you went back and started to going to the library when you were supposed to.”


Sharon Smith Robertson ’60 (left) and Ann Clark Sanders ’60
Sharon: “Rushing AO together—we did that when we were freshmen. So we did that together, then we were roommates together.”
Ann: “But she got to spend all her time over at the SUB visiting with everybody.”
Sharon: “I was social. She was straight A’s.”
Ann: “It wasn’t straight A’s, but almost. I was a home ec. major and I had to go to lab, lots of labs, and she’d be over having such a good time while I was studying.”
Sharon: “I was an education major, which wasn’t really very hard. We roomed together three years. We had different suite mates every year. She went to the home ec building and then she graduated in January, and I was there until June. We went to high school together.”
Ann: “We’ve been friends forever and ever. We don’t see each other as much as we’d like, but it’s nice that you can just pick it up at any time.”
Sharon: “We’re having fun looking at everybody; everybody’s changed in fifty years. If they look the same, I hate them.
“What else, Ann? Pledging AO was probably the funniest. That was when the members made us go clean their floors with a toothbrush, but that was it. It wasn’t bad, bad. And we had sit on the floor in the SUB in our little red skirts and our little white blouses and sing songs and things that y’all have to do now. And we shined shoes. It was very fun.

“And we were in one of the first Sings. It wasn’t elaborate at all. We were in choir robes the first time. And then we graduated to doing the mambo or the samba or something. It wasn’t elaborate at all, but it was fun. We never won, but we had fun. Oh, I know what y’all don’t do. For the Homecoming parade, the person on the float—if the float won, she was the queen. Y’all don’t do that now, do you?

“We had to be in our rooms by 8:30. We all had a floor mother, and our floor mother sat in a chair in the hall so we wouldn’t get out. If we went anywhere on the weekends, every day we had to sign out.”


Frank ’60 and Sylvia Edwards McDonald ’60
Frank: “She’s my favorite memory.”
Sylvia: “We were both senior church music majors, and we met our senior year. We went to see The Boy Friend the night he proposed to me, and he had three cents in his pocket. I said yes, and it’ll be fifty years May 29. So we met and married within nine months. We love Baylor. And our kids came to Baylor. We met as seniors; we had five classes together. But we met at Seventh and James; we had mutual friends. The Lord had His hand in it, for sure.”
Frank: “I stretched my four years into five and enjoyed every minute of it. And she shrunk hers into three.”
Sylvia: “So it worked out just fine.”


James Franklin Palmer ’58, MA ’60
“I was in Brooks Hall on the fifth floor. If you went all the way down—no elevators—and forgot your pencil, you had to go back up five flights of stairs to get it. We lived in the attic; actually, the fifth floor was the attic. There were eight of us that lived up there. And there were little cubby holes up there; nobody knew about them except us. You could look into the next suite, and they didn’t know we were looking in. So we used to take water guns and we’d point the water gun and spray them with water, and they didn’t know where in the hell it came from!”


Syntha Traughber West ‘60
“One of the very favorite memories was in Jacksonville, Florida, when the band and the football team went to the Gator Bowl for the season of 1960. I was head twirler that year, and on Friday night, they had an extravaganza; that was the first time that my husband, Royce, who played football, and the rest of the football team got to see me perform. I was in the center with a whistle in my mouth—speaking of high kicks—and my two batons, and I whistled and tried to kick up at the same time, and I fell right down. There I was, and they said to Royce, ‘Where’s Syntha, Royce? We came out to watch her perform; where is she?’ And I was on the ground on the fifty yard line.”

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