Memories from Dixie Conley Gordon ’62

How can I ever pick out one favorite memory from college?  My entire college experience was piled with favorites.  Even a couple of heartbreaks were memorable.

One of the most unique memories is that many, many of us started together with freshmen beanies and walked across the state together after 4 years of learning and fun.

I loved every minute of it.

Dixie Conley Gordon

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SMU Memories from Ann Newman Taylor ’60

My fun dancing memories:                                                                Taylors & Bookouts '60

Say Hey Dance, the fall get-acquainted dance. Did the Cell Block Seven play? They were great fun in their black and white striped “prison uniforms!”

Homecoming Dance: Joan Baker was our 1959 Queen.

Manada Dance: Harry James and his orchestra played our freshman year.

Rotunda Ball: James Garner of Maverick fame chose our Rotunda beauties and visited campus our junior year.

Figi Purple Garter Ball: “How high can you go?”—and the Figi Island Ball.

ATO Black and White Ball: One year the favors for their dates were black and white panties!

ATO TGIF dances with Trini Lopez and his band before Trini was rich and famous—great “push” music.

Friday afternoon Jam Sessions in the Student Center.

The football team’s “After Spring Training Blast” at White Rock Terrace.

Lou Ann’s: My high school teachers said to be sure to go there!

Wish we could do it all over again!

— Ann Newman Taylor ’60 

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SMU memories from Kathy Vernon Clark


SMU memories from Kathy Vernon Clark

I loved to see Peruna running around the field after a touchdown. My brother, who had graduated in 1957, was in SMU law school when I entered as a freshman. When he had been a freshman, he had been one of the “blue shirts” who helped with Peruna. Just last year I mailed him the blue jeans jacket with big, red SMU letters embroidered on it which he had worn then. It had been in my closet every since I graduated, and he had given it to me.

I first knew about Peruna when my Dad pulled his chair up close to the big floor model radio, put his ear to the speaker, and listened to the static of an SMU football game. Every now and then he would yell, “Go, Ponies!” No one else could hear what was happening! Some of those years were the Doak Walker years. Later, he wrote letters of encouragement and support to the first black football player — I believe it was Jerry Levias.

I learned to love SMU when I was very young. My Dad had grown up in the Dallas area and earned three degrees from SMU. My mother had a master’s degree from SMU. She used to tell me that she went to SMU because that was where Dad was. And then my brother enrolled. I applied and was tentatively accepted when I was just a junior in high school. SMU was the only university that I ever considered attending. After graduation I became a lifetime alumnae (#419) and have supported SMU with annual contributions. When I think of SMU, I think of family, because we all graduated there.

My brother graduated from SMU the spring before my freshman year. He had invited me to a fraternity dance that spring (April, 1957). So when I arrived that fall, his fraternity brothers already knew me. It wasn’t long before they began watching for a chance to catch me without my freshman beanie. That turned out to be the day I put on a new, matching, yellow cashmere sweater and skirt. Three or four of them ganged up on me, and my clothes were thoroughly wet by the time I climbed out of the fountain in front of Dallas Hall. There went that new outfit! At least there were no cell phone cameras to create a lasting memory of the event!

I hope you’ll join me to reminisce on our memories and more at our 50-year reunion,
May 13-14. To see more memories from our committee or to register for our reunion, visit

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SMU memories from Margaret Rose Trigger Miller-Butler


So many memories! So little space!

* Pinning ceremonies on the front porch
* Walking “all covered up” to the post office
* Shoney’s, Orange Julius and Goff’s
* Rush, Phi Beta Phi membership and “house boys,” Lyle and Skipper
* Working with Dean Fitzwater to have the first telephones in the students’ rooms
* My roommate Alice Heldenfels Sallee, a year as pledge trainer
* Working with Mike Engleman, editor of the campus newspaper
* Student Senate with Doug McLean and Wendell Shakleford
* Student Center with Fred Bryson
* The Fine Arts Committee
* A.W.S. Presidency

~Margaret Rose Butler ’61


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SMU Memories from Shari Smith Wooldridge ’60

OK, a little walk down Memory Lane? First experiences: guys hanging around theSharon Smith '60 freshman dorm looking over the new crop of girls, going through rush in high heels and gloves in August and, of course, bobby sox and sweater sets.

Classes were amazing. “Western Civ” with the world’s largest textbook and what —200 in the class? I was that wide-eyed girl from Guthrie, Oklahoma — in total culture shock! I was 200 miles away from home, and I might as well have been on the other side of the world. We studied, threw ourselves into campus activities, played bridge on the floor and hopscotch on the front walk of the Theta house.

SMU provided the bridge that allowed us some room to grow and a chance to begin to figure out who we were. By May of 1960, most of us thought we were grown up and knew what our futures would look like. Were we in for many surprises! Maybe the biggest surprise is that 50 years have come and gone much more quickly than we could ever have imagined.My first real awareness of the larger world was the Suez Canal crisis. We were listening to the news and imagining that our guys would all be drafted and be gone to war like our fathers and uncles in WWII. I am constantly amazed at how little we knew and how innocent we all were in the late 50s.

Shari Smith Wooldridge ‘60


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SMU Memories from Jane Kent Hedges ’60

My earliest memory of SMU was watching Doak Walker, Kyle Rote and their teammates play football in the Cotton Bowl. My first visit to campus was shortly after WWII whenDallas Hall '60 there were temporary buildings all down Bishop Blvd. to accommodate returning vets.

I knew SMU was the place for me as soon as I realized my education would go on after high school, but I thought Doak, Kyle and the rest would still be there!

Registration for my first semester was held in Fondren Library in a maze of hallways, rooms, stacks, etc. I lost my purse along the way and had to retrace my steps to retrieve it.

At the end of the semester, “Dead Week” was from Wednesday to Wednesday and I had four major tests during the week and three finals on the first day of exams. (I learned later that I could have changed that!) After that semester, I figured my college career could only get easier! I don’t know if it was easier, but it sure was more fun.

Jane Kent Hedges ’60

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SMU Memories from Gene Taylor ’60

How exciting it was to go to our first SMU football game in the fall of 1956!

We were playing Notre Dame, ranked Number 3 in the preseason polls. To say that we were underdogs would be an understatement. With less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the score tied at 13-13, SMU ran a Statue of Liberty play where the quarterback, Charlie Arnold, faded back to pass. But instead of passing the ball, he dropped it into the hands of Lon Slaughter, who ran for the touchdown. SMU won the game, 19-13. What a win for the Mustangs!

— Gene Taylor ’60

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SMU Memories from Marty Leonard ’59

I was a freshman living in the basement of Virginia Hall, so my room was very accessible from the outside. We had one pay phone in a booth that we all could use, but it was kept locked at night. The doors at either end of the dorm were locked with an alarm which, if opened, would sound. I was the only student in our dorm who had a tool kit including a screwdriver. All of this sets the scene for what happened on Thursday, May 10, 1956 at 10 p.m. with a new moon overhead.


We got word that there was going to be a panty raid, which, of course, was frowned on by the University and our dorm mother. But we thought it sounded like a fun idea, which would be called cool now. The boys who initiated the raid were known to some of us. Naturally we were going to cooperate by giving them the underwear they wanted, so it was being thrown out the windows to encourage these friendly “thieves.”

One of the leaders was a guy from my home town who was known for being a little wild, although he was on the varsity football team. I managed to unscrew the lock on the phone booth with my handy screwdriver so we could call the guys to egg them on, which we did. Remember, there were no such things as cell phones in 1956, so text messaging was non-existent.

Those of us who lived on the basement floor opened our windows so the guys could come in to retrieve our garments. There was lots of commotion and I was running down the hall when one of the guys, his face covered with panty hose, running toward me, grabbed me around the waist and said, “How the heck do I get out of here?” He and I ran down the hallway to my room, and he escaped through my window. At that point, the dorm mother called all of us to gather in the living room to keep us from any further cooperation with these “raiders.”

Needless to say, the campus security and the police were involved at this point and the power on the campus was turned off. Before that happened, some of the boys had made their way to the sorority houses and, aided and abetted by their victims, pulled off a successful panty raid. No one was hurt and no one was arrested or spent the night in jail. Lots of undergarments were the prize for the night. For this freshman, it was quite an initiation to this Methodist University!

Believe it or not, this panty raid was news and made the newspapers and even warranted a photo in Life Magazine. Those were the innocent and good old times!

Marty Leonard ’59

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Our SMU Memories from Susan Downs and Tom Armstrong ’59

Where do we begin with our memories from our years at SMU? After looking at the Rotunda and the pictures we have kept, we wondered how in the world we ever had time to go to school with all the activities going on!…Homecoming, Sing Song, Manada, fraternity and sorority parties, football, basketball, etc.Armstrong

Tom and I had our first real date for Homecoming 1956. Tom picked me up in his ’51 Chevy (black with a louvered hood) for the great bonfire on Friday night. The football game was at the Cotton Bowl. I wore a new grey wool suit with a round black velvet collar from Neiman Marcus that I still have to this day. A crowd of 62,500 watched Texas A&M defeat SMU 33 -7 (the worst conference defeat in 12 years). We then danced the night away at the Homecoming dance and ended the wonderful weekend with breakfast at the Tri Delta house. We went out together for 14 straight days. We started going together that weekend and shared the rest of our SMU experience together.

Phi Gamma Delta’s Fiji Party was always such fun. I even boiled chicken bones in the Tri Delta house kitchen to make necklaces for the party one year much to the surprise of the cooks! The costumes were always a challenge.

Another great memory was the Tug of War between the freshmen and upperclassmen across the fountain. Tom ended up in the water along with the rest of his group!

What a wonderful 50 plus years it has been for us, and SMU has always been a part of the memories through the years.

See you in May!

Susan Downs and Tom Armstrong ‘59

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SMU Memories from Hayward McMurray ’59

I was a Statistics major at SMU, but I have felt my most exciting, fascinating class was Elizabeth Walmsley’s Art History. I’m sure many of my fellow ’59ers will have positive memories of the time spent under her most capable tutelage. McMurray

My passion at SMU was Mustang basketball. I was statistician for our basketball team during the four years of our ’59ers class. This was the heyday of basketball on the Hilltop starring, among others, Jim Krebs, Rick Herrscher and Bobby James. Can you imagine Moody being packed with 9,000 fans as a regular occurrence? We had three conference championships and a co-championship with a trip to the NCAA finals to add a little spice.I have one more candidate for Outstanding Professor: Chemistry Professor Dr. Harold Jeskey. Wow, what a man and exuberant supporter of SMU athletics! Nobody could exceed him in his undying support for our Ponies. So sorry we lost this great man this past summer.

The icing on the cake was Kentucky’s appearance at Moody after winning the NCAA title the year before. Breathtaking game! With two minutes left and leading by one point, SMU took and missed a shot. Kentucky instantly called a time out. Everybody knew what was to happen there was no 35-second clock in those days and a team could hold the ball as long as it wanted, which Kentucky did. For those final hectic two minutes, there was not a person seated in jam-packed Moody. Screaming and yelling like you wouldn’t believe! With five seconds of play left, Kentucky took a shot, it bounced off the rim, and Rick Herrscher must have jumped 30 feet in the air and just threw the ball to the other end of the court. And our Ponies beat defending NCAA Kentucky by one point!

Hope to see you in May! Look for your invitation soon.

Hayward McMurray ’59

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