Tag Archives: FSU Homecoming

The Year Without a Homecoming Queen

Serious drama began unfolding in October 1972 in the lead up to Florida State University’s homecoming week. As reported in the Florida Flambeau, students had an unconventional choice for Homecoming Queen: Ron Shank.shank

Mr. Shank’s candidacy for homecoming queen stirred up plenty of controversy. Administrators balked. Rallies were held in his support. Lawyers were consulted. In response to Homecoming Committee chair Dr. Marshall Hamilton’s comments that Shank was destroying the dignity of Homecoming, an commentor wrote:

On the contrary, Dr. Hamilton, we think Ron might enhance the dignity of Homecoming. He certainly appeared dignified in the picture in yesterday’s Flambeau. Such pomp and outright elan–if you will–certainly couldn’t harm the ceremony.

One person even wrote in to express his fears of a racist conspiracy being afoot; Mr. Shank merely being used as an excuse to cancel the entire homecoming court, which had had African-American Queens the previous two years.

Conspiracy or no, that’s exactly what happened. The Homecoming Committee declined to have a Homecoming court for the year of 1972, and University President Stanley Marshall elected to not get involved.

Let’s close with some words from the man himself:

I ran for Homecoming Queen because I don’t believe in parading Women (or Men) around on a stage under the auspices of a beauty contest when physical beauty is only a minor part of a person’s true beauty and definitely not the sole criteria of one’s worth.

Read all about the controversy in the Florida Flambeau in the DigiNole: Digital Library.

Homecoming at FSU

It’s Homecoming Week at FSU and there have been many exciting events happening around campus for students and alumni. Homecoming is always a festive time of year at FSU, with events like Pow Wow, Warchant, the Homecoming parade, and the Homecoming football game to keep folks busy all week.

Please enjoy some photographs and ephemera from past Homecoming activities.

 

Homecoming Prop Outside Pi Beta Phi House, "FSU's First, Welcome Alums" (Lillian M. Mandyck Photograph Album, 1948)
Homecoming Prop Outside Pi Beta Phi House, “FSU’s First, Welcome Alums”, 1948 (Lillian M. Mandyck Photograph Album)
Florida State QB Ed Pritchett of Decatur, Ga., scores FSU's second and final touchdown during the game against North Carolina State. This marked FSU's first homecoming win since 1958.
Florida State QB Ed Pritchett of Decatur, Ga., scores FSU’s second and final touchdown during the game against North Carolina State. This marked FSU’s first homecoming win since 1958. (FSU Historic Photograph Collection)
A decorated pickup truck with the name "Jennie" on the front carrying several women dressed in Seminole-inspired costumes makes its way up the street passing the Capitol Radio Labs during the 1948 Florida State University Homecoming parade, as spectators in formal wear watch.
A decorated pickup truck with the name “Jennie” on the front carrying several women dressed in Seminole-inspired costumes makes its way up the street passing the Capitol Radio Labs during the 1948 Florida State University Homecoming parade, as spectators in formal wear watch. (FSU Historic Photograph Collection)
Student Cars in Homecoming Parade
Student Cars in Homecoming Parade, 1948 (FSU Historic Photograph Collection)
Football program from FSU vs. Stetson (10/27/51)
Football program from FSU vs. Stetson (10/27/51)(FSU Vertical Files)
1953 Homecoming program
1953 Homecoming program (FSU Vertical Files)
Florida State University's 1970 homecoming Queen Doby Lee Flowers poses in the traditional headdress. On November 13, 1970, she became the first black Homecoming Queen in the history of FSU. She was a social welfare student and was sponsored by the Black Student Union.
Florida State University’s 1970 homecoming Queen Doby Lee Flowers poses in the traditional headdress. On November 13, 1970, she became the first black Homecoming Queen in the history of FSU. She was a social welfare student and was sponsored by the Black Student Union. (FSU Historic Photograph Collection)
 1955 Homecoming queen Margaret Ann Ballinger shown crowning 1956 Queen Laytie Brown with the traditional headdress, both in formal wear.
1955 Homecoming queen Margaret Ann Ballinger shown crowning 1956 Queen Laytie Brown with the traditional headdress, both in formal wear. (FSU Historic Photograph Collection)

To see more photographs, ephemera, and artifacts related to the history of Florida State, check out the FSU Heritage Protocol Digital Collections or like the Heritage Protocol Facebook page.