SHSTC's Silver Anniversary: 1953-54
Fall, 1953

Sam Houston was beginning its 75th academic year; April 21, 1954, would be the official anniversary day and many special activities were planned for Homecoming and the Spring semester. The Alumnus bragged about several of the unique qualities of "the oldest State Teacher-training institution in Texas" among them were air-conditioned classrooms, a Senior Division ROTC program, the largest FFA chapter in the world, an 84,000-volume library, and "the only completely student-produced newspaper in the South" (SHA, Oct. 53, 2).

The enrollment had grown to 1,780 (10/17/53). ROTC had nearly 600 men and several Caballeros were included. There were four companies in each of two battalions; Lt. Col. Tom Burke headed the first battalion. Dickie Cole was Company Commander of Co. F; platoon leaders included Hank Koym, Company A and Richard Greenwell, Company G (9/26/53).

The Houstonian offered "good advice" to freshmen.

Of all the freshmen who have come to this college in the past sixty years, only between fifty and sixty-five percent completed more that one semester.

What happened to the other half? The answer to that varies but primarily it is due to improper adjustment.

Some of these students came here to study and prepare earnestly for a chosen career. Others came just to have fun and "kick" around awhile. Some of the male segment came to avoid the draft while the females put finding a husband as their chief goal. This is not to condemn these practices entirely.

Most tried to do everything at once, to go out every night, to study as little as possible. The studious-minded freshmen who left soon forgot their original good intentions.

Had those past incoming freshmen used their time more sparingly, spending as many hours studying as they did on social activities, the story might have been a lot different.

A student can both have his fun and do satisfactory work in his studies at the same time, if a little judgment is shown. But when he puts one too far ahead of the other he is doing himself harm as a student and as a person.

Perhaps the new crop of freshmen would do well to remember the record of previous classes as the year progresses (9/26/53).

As the year got under way, it was decided that each student would receive one grade point for Physical Education; previously it had to be taken but no credit was given (10/3/53).

The Caballeros were active with campus organizations: Bob Dalehite was on the Student Council; Johnny Bob Mooney was Chairman of the Dance Committee for the SUB and Darrell Ray Murray was on the Special Events Committee (10/3/53). Murray was also in the Lowman Rifles along with Cecil Neely (10/17/53). Dan Rather, who had graduated in August, was a journalism instructor for Sam Houston (11/7/53).

The Cabs had a dance in the SUB on October 17 (10/17/53). The group took a pledge class of eleven men, all from different cities in Texas; the pledge class consisted of Charles Ball from Bryan, George Buckow from Houston, Bob Haeberlin from Orange, Van Hereford from Conroe, Bobby E. Jones from Centerville, Hank Koym from East Bernard, Hector Long from Sterling City, Bill Smith from Alvin, Jerry Stout from Beaumont, Bruce Woods from Baytown, and L. O. Wray from Silsbee.

The Student Council had made an important decision to cancel the Halloween Carnival. The primary reason for its existence was the SUB building fund and since the SUB was a reality and was operating efficiently, the Carnival was not necessary. Caballero Bob Dalehite, parliamentarian for Student Council, stated that, because of the heavy social calendar for the school and the fact that the football team was playing out of town on that weekend causing many to go home, the Carnival would be canceled (10/24/53).

The college was pushing intramurals for the first time since they started. There was not much structure to the whole program in the past, but now there was specific organization. The Caballeros were practicing nightly for the upcoming football intramurals. Within the next five weeks they would play Companies F, G, H, C and the Wesley Foundation (10/10/53).

In the third game the Cabs played to a 20-20 tie. Johnny Bob Mooney scored on two long runs for the Caballeros, but the play that turned the game into a tie was a 70-yard pass interception by the opponents (10/31/53). On the 29th the Cabs beat Co. A 20-12. "Willis Gresham, John Mooney, and Jerry Inman were the scorers for the Caballeros. . ." In the Monday night game, the Cabs won 24-20. The scorers for the Cabs were Mooney, Inman, Bruce Woods, and Jerry Martin (11/7/53). The Cabs were successful in intramurals going into the finals against Co. E in December.

Homecoming had been a success, with a party at the VFW Hall for actives and alumni. The Sadie Hawkins Dance was approaching and the girls were hunting for the boys, for a change. Hector Long was quoted as saying "it would be easier for him if it was Sadie Hawkins week all year long." He decided that the girl should take him wherever he wanted to go. He wanted to double-date with Jackie Carroll, though, because "You can't trust some of these girls." Jackie Carroll "stated definitely that they have to ask him before 4:00. When they come to pick him up, they must be on time, and be polite on the date" (11/21/53).

Just before Thanksgiving fourteen men, including Caballeros George Buckow, Hector Long, and Dwain Erwin, lost all their possessions in a fire which destroyed the rooming house in which they lived. The house was located at 1604 Avenue K and was owned by Dr. Don O. Baird, professor of Biology. Many of the organizations on campus gave money to help these fourteen boys and the faculty each contributed ten dollars. The Student Council met in a special meeting and decided to have an All-College Drive to help (12/5/53).

Just before leaving for Christmas ROTC awarded scholarship ribbons to various men; both Tom Burke and Bob Dalehite were recipients (12/18/53).

Upon returning from Christmas, the Caballeros put the final touches on a new idea: the Moulin Rouge Party.

A `Moulin Rouge' type French dance to be sponsored by the Caballero Club will be the first social activity of the second semester.

The dance will be held in the SUB ballroom January 29 and will begin at 8 p.m. Music will be furnished by the Houstonians, college dance band.

According to Johnny Bob Mooney, Caballero's dance chairman, the ballroom will be decorated in a French night club theme. Posters will surround the walls much like those seem in the recent movie, Moulin Rouge.

Plans call for an entertaining floor show to be presented at various times during the dance. Numerous talent, including a girl's `Can-Can' line, will provide the entertainment. The floorshow will follow the theme as closely as possible, Mooney said. Refreshments will also be served. This is the first time the French type dance has been tried at Sam Houston, and it will be much on the same order as Texas A&M's "Rue Pinalle" dance, Mooney stated.

Committees for the dance were appointed at a recent Caballero meeting. The art committee is composed of Jerry Stout, George Buckow, and Van Hereford.

Serving on the door and waiters are Hector Long, Hank Koym, Bob Dalehite, David Hicks, Jim Lanier, and Cotton Greenwell.

Members of the entertainment and food committee are Bob Haeberlin, Jackie Carroll, and Hector Long (1/16/54).

Moulin Rouge Begins
Spring, 1954

Officers for the spring semester were President, Larry Rice; Vice-President, Bob Dalehite; Treasurer, Willis Gresham; Secretary, Hector Long; Reporter, Bob Haeberlin. Captain Malcolm Fellman became the Caballero's new Sponsor.

The first issue of the Houstonian for the Spring semester included a long article about the first Moulin Rouge Dance. The room was decorated "with murals covering the larger walls of the ballroom and a snack bar. The characters portrayed. . .were much like those in the recent movie, Moulin Rouge." L. O. Wray emceed the floorshow which consisted of four acts: a Philo Can-Can line; the recent winners of the Press Capades, "Two Fifths and a Half Pint," a three-man group made up of David Goodman, Max Williams, and Darrell Ray Murray; a five-man combo called "The Mellowtones" and the Baseball Sextet sang "Down By the Riverside" and "We Three" (2/5/54).

There was a rumor circulating around campus that the ROTC graduates would have to actively serve for only ninety days; it had begun because there was a notice that the Army "will not have enough money to pay the 14,5000 men that will graduate from ROTC this year." But the rumor was quickly squelched when three options were made public: the Army would either "ask Congress for the extra $22 million to pay new second lieutenants, involuntarily release thousands of experienced officers to make way for the new officers," or authorize shorter tours of duty for new officers. Two Caballero alumni, Lloyd Grubbs and Jerry Inman, were going through basic training at Fort Bliss and Dan Rather had gone off to the Marines (2/5/54).

The enrollment at Sam Houston was 1,740, up from last year (2/27/54). According to the Houstonian, the three men's social clubs pledged 22 men: the Ravens took five, the Esquires took six, and the Caballeros took eleven: Bobby Ellis from Crockett, Darrell Ray Murray from Huntsville, Dickie Cole, Bob Smith, Phil Womack from Groveton, Bobby Doonan from Gladewater, John Burge from Alvin, William Stroud, James DeShong from LaMarque, George Rowland from East Bernard, Bobby Lewis Crysler (2/20/54), and Louis Preisler from Hungerford.

The Caballeros had announced that their third annual Dream Girl Dance would be on Friday, March 12 (3/6/54). However, the dance was put off until later because "the Caballeros are busy, as is everyone else, with Pioneer Roundup and in order to do the dance properly and since it so closely followed the Moulin Rouge dance," it was postponed, according to SUB Director, Elliott T. Bowers (3/13/54). The dance was rescheduled for April 2. Bob Dalehite was general chairman; in charge of decorations were Johnny Bob Mooney, Jerry Stout, George Buckow, David Hicks, Jim Lanier, and Jimmy Inman; the floorshow was put in the hands of L. O. Wray, Darrell Ray Murray, and Hector Long; publicity was handled by Jimmy DeShong, Buckow, and Bobby Doonan; and presentation of the Dream Girl would be done by Willis Gresham and Larry Rice (3/20/54). But the dance was actually held on Friday, March 22. Beth Johnson, a sophomore English major, was named Dream Girl of 1954. Music was provided by the Houstonians.

Decorations for the dance consisted of balloons hanging from the lights and a large Caballero crest behind the bandstand.

The crest was made of chicken wire and crepe paper and included in the design around the Caballero crest were the symbols and crests of the other societies and social clubs on campus. These include Esquires, Ravens, Anne Gibbs, Philos, Eclectics, C.B.'s, and Loulies. (3/27/54)

The Governor of Texas came to Sam Houston on March 2 to help celebrate Texas Independence Day and Sam Houston State's 75th Anniversary. In his speech in Old Main auditorium, he reviewed Sam Houston's life and accomplishments and recalled the history of Sam Houston State Teachers College and its impact on Texas education through the years (3/6/54).

Established by the Sixteenth Legislature, [Sam Houston State Teachers College] became a model for other teacher training institutions which were founded later. Sam Houston Normal Institute, as it was known originally, lighted the way for the school that followed, just as its namesake helped to light the way for statesmen. For 75 years, the college has performed a valuable service by producing many thousands of capable young teachers, dedicated to helping preserve freedom of though and the American way of life. (SHA, Feb 54, 11)

His speech was followed by the traditional walk to Sam Houston's grave.

Pioneer Roundup was under way with the groups building and planning their activities. The deadline was March 15. Since ROTC had allowed their men to grow beards this year, there were 98 men registered for the Raven beard contest, more entries than ever. The prize was a .22 rifle. The Caballero entries included Jim Lanier, Richard Greenwell, Larry Rice, Dwain Erwin, Jerry Stout, Bob Dalehite, Hector Long, George Buckow, Bobby Conner, George Rowland, Jimmy DeShong, Hank Koym, Jimmy Inman, Bobby Ellis, L. O. Wray, Bobby Smith, and Karl Deubner. The goal for this year's Roundup was $6,000. (Last year it had made $4,000 and the year before $1,600.) For the first time part of the money would be given to a charity: "10% of the total intake will go to helping orphans through college" (3/6/54). Part of the Cab's entertainment was a group composed of Caballero brothers Rice, Mooney, Doonan, Ellis, Inman, Greenwell, Charlie Johnson, Louis Preisler, Wray, and Long. Hank Koym portrayed the Lone Ranger. Others in the show were Bobby Smith, Phil Womack, and Willis Gresham. (3/20/54)

April 21 was the final day of the official anniversary year, and several convocations were planned. A pageant was presented and two dinners were held to culminate this historical year (SHA, 34, 12-17).

Just before graduation the Cabs elected officers for the Fall semester: President Richard "Cotton" Greenwell, Vice President Hank Koym, Secretary Bob Dalehite, Treasurer Van Hereford, Reporter George Buckow, Parliamentarian Bobby Ellis, and Publicity Chairman George Rowland. (5/15/54)

The speaker for May's graduation was Senator Lyndon B. Johnson who spoke to the 233 graduates. He began by saying that "There is no other event in life which has quite the same magic as Commencement" and covered many subjects ranging from economy to peace, but stressed the need for a unified people: "And nothing---absolutely nothing---can be done unless the American people understand all the issues and are united." He stated his confidence in the youth: "A generation that took Korea in its stride is certainly ready for the problems of the present and of the future--no matter how great. . .This day is the symbol of your preparation" (SHA, 34, 20-22).

During the summer months Old Main had a patch-up job done. For many years cracks had developed in the walls, primarily due to the ivy which had been growing on it. "During the years, the roots had penetrated the walls and during freezing weather had expanded, producing small cracks. These small cracks filled with dust and more roots. These in turn froze and produced and greater expansion and larger cracks." All work was completed by the beginning of the Fall semester (SHA, Aug 54, 6).

1954 Alcalde Picture

Seated: Capt. Malcolm Fellman, Sponsor; Bob Haeberlin, Willis Gresham, Hector Long, Bob Dalehite, Larry Rice
Standing: Hank Koym, Charles Ball, Jerry Stout, Bobby Jones, Charles Johnson, Bill Smith, Ronnie Reeder, Richard Greenwell, Van Hereford, Johnny Bob Mooney, Bruce Woods, George Buckow, Jim Lanier, Joe Cronin, David Hicks, L. O. Wray, Jimmy Inman.