Curator: Gabriellle Ferranto
Memory is an important aspect, especially for a college’s culture and history. Events that have occurred at Fontbonne University have changed throughout the decades and contribute to shaping the campus and the students. There are a variety of important events at Fontbonne that are no longer around or have changed in some form. Some of the historical events that I bring attention to in this collection are the dances, the May Day queen celebration, the Fontbonne Carnival, College Day, and cheering on the Saint Louis University Billikens. These are valuable because of the uniqueness and the character it represents for the university.
Campus events are important to Fontbonne because they will always shape Fontbonne’s identity. As different events occur, they become history that contributes in defining the unique campus and student’s who attend. Fontbonne has deep historical roots with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet, Catholicism, and having a strong female influence because of the initial establishment of the college being all female. These ties have influenced many of the events, whether it was because of the beliefs of the establishers, faith, or gender. Many of the events also represented the time period and what was valuable to that generation. I chose artifacts of events that depict how they are different from our current college culture, which gives us a nostalgic feeling of past times. Memory is important to humans, and the ability to look back at these nostalgic images and objects lets one depict their own feelings and outlook on them. Even if events at Fonbonne change, events will continually occur and become a part of our collective memory of the institution.
May Day was a celebration that occurred in the early years of Fontbonne’s establishment. The May Day crown is an important part of Fontbonne’s memory of celebrating students who were selected for their achievements to be named the queen. The May Day queen was crowned each year, and many names were engraved to remember each student's importance. It is unknown when this celebration officially stopped, but it continues to show the values of the institution within the early twen
This is a pamphlet for the Fontbonne Carnival, which is one of the few present and preserved in the Archives. It is a key piece of Fontbonne’s history because many are unaware that a carnival was one of the events Fontbonne held for many years. This student activity occurred over the decades. The earliest we know of was in the thirties, but the tradition continued until the seventies.
PDFs of the complete program and an insert listing donors and sponsors are included here as supplemental files.
This is a cover photo from the Globe-Democrat's Roto Magazine that shows students dancing at junior prom in Medaille Hall, which used to be a ballroom. Dances are traditional events for Fontbonne that add to the school’s identity. Fancy ball gowns, tuxes, and ballrooms were a value of class and elegance during this period. Dances were a social norm at Fontbonne; expectations have changed since the 1950’s.
Lining cars around the horseshoe drive as shown in this photo was a tradition on College Day, which is now celebrated as All Saints Day. This event has always been enriched in Fontbonne’s values but has changed in the way it is celebrated. College Day was an important event for students and continues to represent Fontbonne’s identity and its Catholic roots.
This photo has many unknown facts, but it is known that the women in the photo are celebrating an award for Saint Louis University. In the past, Fontbonne has had a connection to the nearby Jesuit institution, even though that is now uncommon. This event may have been a celebration with connection to the college’s catholic background and in relation to some sport. This memory shows the different relations of schools within this time and how it has changed.