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Textile and Costume Museum
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What We Wore Under Oaks and Arches: The Early Years

Exhibition Dates: April 2001 - February 2002

As Louisiana State University celebrated the 75th anniversary of the dedication of its current site, What We Wore Under Oaks and Arches commemorated the campus’s past by looking back to the students, faculty, and staff who first walked under its magnificent oaks and through its stately arches.  Overseeing the dedication on April 30, 1926, was LSU President Thomas D. Boyd whose black silk vest was featured in the exhibition along with a silk top hat belonging to Dr. Charles Coates, one of the student body’s most liked faculty members from the early years and coach of the university’s first football team.  A major proponent of the University’s continued growth and enhancement and supporter of the first student-elected “Darling of LSU” was state governor and later congressional senator Huey Long.  A velvet floor-length dress and hat worn on the evening of December 13, 1935, by the first female student to accept the title, Miss Ursula Compton (Kent), documented the event.  Uniform jackets from Julie Bonnette (Martin) and Larry Landry, both cheerleaders for the University’s football team and his LSU boxing team robe, athletic letter sweater, and University’s mandatory military training for all entering male students was also evidenced by the uniform of another student, Dorothy Colvin (Howell), a female sponsor for the cadet corps’ military band.  A 1947 cheerleader uniform worn by  Mary Sue Disch (Maeder) and featured on the front page of the New Orleans States newspaper on December 6, 1947, attested to the largest crowd ever to witness a non-bowl football game in the South.  Student activities outside of the classroom included "tea dances", fraternity parties, sorority functions, and snow days and were represented by garments worn by Sarah Hoyt (Minor) and Walter Peevy.  The return of servicemen to university studies following World War II was documented by the dress suit worn by Alfred Platte to a Sunday evening movie in “Tiger Town”.  Period photographs of featured students supported the exhibited dress. Visit the virtual scrapbook for this exhibition.

Read more on our other past exhibitions