Alumni Oral History

Patterson Oral Interview Part 5

This is the final segment of the D. F. Patterson oral interview – it runs about 10 minutes. In it, he talks about some of the college's fund-raising experiences from his time on the board in the 1950s and 1960s as well as his optimism for the college's future.  This tape was recorded in 1980.  

Alumni Oral History

D. F. Patterson Alumni Memories Part 4

This is the fourth segment of former board chairman D. F. Patterson's 1980 oral history interview. In this portion, he talks about President Snyder, fraternities, and some trustee issues from his time on the board. Running time is about 6 minutes.


Part 3 of D. F. Patterson’s alumni memories

In this segment, which runs about six and a half minutes, Mr. Patterson talks about courses and faculty members, his graduation in 1929 and those of his brothers, and how Wofford changed during the time that he, his brothers and sons attended Wofford.

Documents Students

Fraternity Houses – from the “Old Bull Session”

I used to think the Old Black and Blue was a fairly recent innovation, but I've discovered the students enjoyed putting out a spring spoof edition of the Old Gold and Black for some time.  In one of the oral history tapes I posted recently, D. F. Patterson talked about an article in one of these issues – from 1928 – where students scandalously paired a faculty member with a professor's daughter.  We happen to have that issue of the student newspaper, and I read the article with some amusement.  The editor, according to Mr. Patterson, got sent home for a while over the issue.  

But even more amusing was the front page article about a new and fancy Fraternity Row for the campus, complete with lake and dancing pavilion.  Here's the article

Plans for Fraternity Row Completed

$50,000 houses to be built on beautiful site on campus

Lake in front

Converse girls permitted to make extended visits to frat houses, says Miss Gee

Plans for a fraternity row on the campus were announced today by Mr. W. C. Herbert, head of the faculty committee, which has gone very fully into the matters with the Pan-Hellenic Committee.  Mr. Herbert states that he is determined that Wofford’s fraternity row shall be second to none in the South, and gives many interesting details of the plans as they are developed thus far.

The row of handsome fraternity houses will be In the rear of the campus, facing the C & O railroad tracks.  From this eminence is obtained a view scarcely equaled in the city, with the panorama of endless box cars, pulled by puffing engines, which belch forth clouds of vari-colored smoke, and rain down showers of delightful cinders.

The gorge between the railroad tracks and the houses will be converted into a sparkling lake.  Mr. Davis, treasurer of the college, has consented to supply the water for the lake.  A dance pavilion will be built out over the lake, which at night will be brilliantly lighted.  The college will furnish the electricity.

No fraternity will be permitted to build a house costing less than $50,000.  President Snyder insisted upon this figure, since he did not wish any of the fraternity houses to be inferior in beauty or cost to the other buildings already on the campus.  The present furnace in Main Building will also heat the fraternity houses.  This furnace has been found especially effective in heating the college chapel on annual occasions for several years. 

The fraternity row is expected to give much life and color to the campus and the previously dull and uneventful life of the boys will be gladdened by the presence of Converse girls at frequent dance and bridge parties.  Mrs. A. M. DuPre was active in securing the consent of Miss Gee for the Converse girls to visit the fraternity houses whenever they wish, without permission.  They must always be back at Converse in time for breakfast, however. 

Well, some of the comments in this article would have been quite shocking to a student in 1928, particularly the implication that the dean of women would have permitted Converse students to stick around at the fraternity houses all night, or that dancing would have been permitted or bridge games allowed on campus.  And each of those houses, at $50,000, would have cost more than the Andrews Fieldhouse that was then under construction.  

Still, the debate over fraternity houses and student life makes for an amusing subject to joke about, then and now.