Class of 1964 – Flashback to Madison College Days: Campus Life

by Jenny Nehrt, Student Assistant    

In continuation of our blog posts commemorating the Class of 1964’s 50th reunion, James Madison University’s Special Collections explores life on campus, back in the day.

Freshman unpacking, 1964 Bluestone, pg. 93

All college students can relate to the anticipation that occurs before they get to their dorm room, their new home for the year, and begin the tedious task of unpacking and meeting their new roommate.  Students today might be surprised to know that students’ at that time had housemothers who watched over them and kept the shenanigans to a minimum.
The housemothers of 1962, 1962 Bluestone, pg. 31

Housemothers served as surrogate mothers to the young women on campus. They were important to campus not only because they ensured that the rules were being followed, but also because they took seriously their role to make sure “their girls” were always safe.
Mama E
Mama E’s Christmas nativity for her dormitory, 1964 Bluestone

At times, the housemothers had to crack down on their charges, especially in relation to the sometimes slovenly tendencies of college kids. However, the students always knew it was with their best interests at heart.
messy room
With three girls to a room in many dormitories, things could get a little messy. A college dorm room: the same in 1964 as 2014!  1964 Bluestone

Uh-oh, someone’s in trouble… SGA 93-0401

However, it wasn’t all rules and regulation.  Something many current students can recognize is how chaotic a group of young people living together can be.
Not even the showers were safe! 1963 Breeze, pg. 81

Moments of peace could be scarce but the days were filled with fun and camaraderie!
pillow fight
Pillow fight! 1964 Bluestone

We’re glad the Class of 1964 had a great time coming back to campus, and look forward to when the class of 2014 return to Harrisonburg for their 50th!


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