Flashback: 1962

by Katharine Reece MFA '12

Flashback

HEAVYWEIGHT LECTURES

Renowned theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, Aldous Huxley, and Robert Frost all spoke on campus. Frost said, “If I ever thought, when I was writing anything, that this would sell—pay the gas bill or something like that—I couldn’t write it.” (He also said “You don’t write just for yourself and the wastebasket,” though. Being a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet is complicated.)

IN FASHION

The trim, easy two-button suit was the important item in men’s fashion, popularized by President Kennedy. The sartorial impact of his wife was not lost on SLC students: on campus, waists were tiny, sleeves long and tight, and necklines modest in imitation of the First Lady.

STUDENTS THEN WHO ARE FACULTY NOW

Judith Serafini-Sauli ’63 (Italian)

CURRENT EVENTS

The US established a military presence in Vietnam; Rachel Carson’s environ-mental call to arms, Silent Spring, was published; Marilyn Monroe died; Target and Walmart opened their first stores; the Supreme Court abolished mandatory prayer in public schools; Andy Warhol premiered his Campbell’s Soup Cans exhibit; and the media first used the term “personal computer.”

CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS

In October, the US and Cuba played a game of nuclear “chicken,” terrifying people on campus and around the world. Serafini-Sauli recalls nervously gathering to watch the news on the TV in the “Caf,” a snack bar and student lounge in the space currently occupied by the bookstore. In the October 30 issue of the student newspaper, editor-in-chief Ellen Bay Schwartz ’64 wrote: “At this moment I have spent the last two days listening to the reports on the Cuban crisis, and seriously wondering if this is the world that I want my children to inherit.”

THE CAMPUS NEWSPAPER

Bay’s austerity was uncharacteristic, given that the newspaper staff changed its name from The Campus to the The Establishment in fall 1962, lacing each of its articles with snark and openly refusing to be serious. Members of the faculty told the paper’s adviser, Joe Papeleo, to shove the paper you-know-where, and a letter to the editor inquired, “Is it correct to call it a newspaper? I searched carefully, but could find no news.”

FATHERS WEEKEND

Dads of Sadie Lou ladies were invited to campus in May, where they attended classes, panel discussions, and various performances and art shows. The tradition began in 1958 and lasted for a decade.

PUERTO RICAN “FIELD TRIP”

The purpose of this spring break adventure—the fifth time an SLC group had made the trip—was partially “to do away with the stereotype that all Puerto Ricans are juvenile delinquents.” The College’s international relationships and sensibilities have since evolved.