Banner

Student Life 1918

This is a student handbook given to students as a project of the local YMCA. Scattered throughout its pages are tidbits of helpful information. Particularly helpful for those new students, the freshmen of Wabash.

Here are some examples from the handbook.

Just scrolling down through the topics listed in this Table of Contents shows us that pretty much all a student needed to know about the College and the town may be found in its pages. [Editor’s note: College NOT Collage. Original typo.]

The two pages above give the reader an overview of Wabash which includes a little history as well.

The page above offers some simple truths to the new student. I am especially fond of the advice, “If you have read a book, return it.” But maybe that is because I work in the Lilly Library.

This page features customs and a discussion of permitted absences and the guidelines for expulsion. Included in these two pages are the rules regarding the Senior Bench and Junior Fence, the accepted customs of Chapel Period – required every day at 9:45 a.m. The school color is scarlet, we are the “Little Giants” and freshmen may expect a class battle between the sophomores and the freshmen on the first Friday of the fall term.

Much as Chapel is required each morning, students were expected to attend a local church twice a month. Churches were to be of the family’s own choosing and to assist with that choice, there is a listing of the churches in town.

This page features a different sort of religion – athletics. Specifically football and the schedule was a tough one!

The advice to new men still mostly applies, even after 103 years. “If you don’t know ask; we have all been there.” That is still just as true today. “…treat every man as your brother.” Again, still good advice, and still true, just as is this, “Don’t brag, be modest.” And the best one of all, “Don’t forget that you need regular exercise each day.”

There are calendar pages for each day of the school year and also a complete listing of students and faculty which included their local addresses.

Boosters at the ball game were expected to know the yells. These seem stodgy and old-fashioned to us now.

This page tells the reader where to find various classes and services.

A listing of trains in and out of town, as most students arrived via rail at that time. And, if you wanted to get over to Indianapolis all it took was a short hop on the Ben-Hur Interurban line.

Folded inside the back cover is this map of Crawfordsville listing those places of most interest to a student.

A listing of the class officers let freshmen know the Big Men on Campus.

The entire book was supported by advertising from downtown merchants. Here are several ads which appeared in its pages.

By looking at these ads, we get a better idea of the things that were of interest to these students. Cigars, billiards, movies, “Vodevil” books, stationery, jewelry [think fraternity pins]. photographs and lots of ads for clothing stores.

Altogether this little book would have contained all of the information that a well-informed Wabash man of 1918 needed. How lucky for them that the “Y” committee went to the effort to gather it all in one place.

All best,

Beth Swift
Archivist

Wabash College

Crawfordsville