Celebrating 150: May Day

University students dance around the maypole during May Day festivities circa 1912. Photo courtesy of Pickler Memorial Library’s Special Collections Department.

As the spring semester winds down and the weather warms up, spring fever is a fairly common phenomenon on campus. The quad is overrun with students, some actively throw Frisbees while others sit in hammocks and study for their approaching finals. Although these rites of spring have become an unofficial tradition at Truman, the University does have a history of formally welcoming the warmer weather. In the early 1900s, the school regularly conducted May Day activities on campus to celebrate spring.
Leota L. Dockery, chair of the faculty committee, wrote about the University’s May Day festivities in the Index in 1914, calling it “one of the most picturesque and inspiring events in the life of most of our schools and colleges.” Most of the departments on campus participated in some way, and all of the students had the opportunity to vote for the Queen of the May and the Lord of the May.
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