A new decade brought new changes to campus. New buildings were established and growth continued all over, bringing a fresh wave of individuals and an era of new leadership.

Life On Campus

Post-war campus featured plenty of social opportunities. The college hosted socials like the Fall Frolic, Sagamore Christmas Ball, Spring Dance, and Saturday night dances for students to enjoy and mingle. 

In 1951, the very first Greek organizations came to campus. Delta Kappa fraternity and Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority were the initiators of Greek life for Southeast. Sigma Sigma Sigma became the first National Panhellenic Council (NPHC) sorority on campus. 

In 1952, Sigma Tau Gamma became the first Interfraternity Council (IFC) fraternity on campus. Greek life is still a huge part of Southeast life today.

The expectations were that students on campus would pursue their studies diligently, attend classes, and live decent and well-regulated lives. The dress code on campus was also enforced at this time.  

New Leadership 

In May of 1956, Dr. Mark F. Scully is announced as the new Southeast President. He remains in that position until 1975 and still has his name on places across the Southeast campus. 

Known for his strict enforcement of the Student Handbook and its moral code, Dr. Scully was a stickler for the rules. Those who failed to comply were expelled or lost their driving privileges. 

Under Dr. Scully, enrollment at Southeast grew from 1,500 enrolled students to 8,000. In order to accommodate this huge boom in student population, three residence halls, five academic buildings, and a new student center were constructed between 1958 and 1973. 

Social Change

In 1954, the Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka ruled unanimously that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. Following the ruling, the first African American students enrolled at Southeast. 

Cleasta Slayton and Helen Carter joined the student population shortly after the Supreme Court decision. This case is still one of the cornerstones of the Civil Rights movement and helped establish that separate-but-equal education was, in fact, not equal.

Just a couple of years later, Ron Staten became the first African American to play intercollegiate sports for Southeast, joining the 1957-1958 basketball team. 


World Timeline

  • 1950 - The Korean War begins
  • 1952 - The first effective polio vaccine is developed
  • 1953 - Disney's "Peter Pan" is released
  • 1953 - Dwight D. Eisenhower is inaugurated as president of the U.S. 
  • 1953 - Elvis Presley launched his musical career
  • 1954 - The Civil Rights Movement begins
  • 1954 - Brown vs. Board of Education decision in the U.S. Supreme Court
  • 1954 - J.R.R. Tolkien publishes the first volume of "The Lord of the Rings"
  • 1955 - Albert Einstein dies
  • 1957 - Sputnik 1 launches, marking the beginning of the Space Age
  • 1958 - Pizza Hut is founded
  • 1958 - NASA is established
  • 1958 - The cassette tape is invented
  • 1959 - Alaska is admitted as the 49th state, followed by Hawaii as the 50th
  • 1959 - The Vietnam War begins

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