The 60s were full of change at Southeast. Not only was life on campus rapidly changing with students breaking barriers and starting new traditions, but money was being poured into infrastructure to help create what sits on top of the hill today.


Making a Mark

In 1962, Billy Joe Thompson, Sr. became the first male to earn an associates degree in nursing at Southeast. The nursing program today is a top program with Southeast, preparing nurses for the future of healthcare. 

In 1964, Curtis Williams became the first African American to play intercollegiate sports for the University. He became a conference champion in the high jump, long jump, and triple jump and earned four letters in track and three in basketball. 

In 1966, President Scully received a silver medallion, to be worn with the academic robe and passed down as a symbol of his leadership.

Technology was rapidly changing as well. In 1962, the very first computer arrived on campus. 

Life on Campus

In the year 1960, President Scully implemented a series of regulations on campus that included a ban on kissing, compulsory ID checks, and the enforcement of a dress code. These measures were put in place to uphold a sense of discipline and decorum among the students and staff. However, in May 1966, there was a notable change to the dress code policy. Women were granted the freedom to wear slacks and longer shorts when downtown or on campus after 4 p.m., with the exception of Kent Library. This modification reflected an acknowledgement of evolving societal norms and a desire to provide greater flexibility in attire while still maintaining certain guidelines in specific areas.

Growth around the world initiated other changes within University life. In this decade, the first traffic committee began because of the increased use of cars. The University started its first campus security force as well. 

Growth at Southeast

In 1960, several new buildings were unveiled on campus, including Dearmont Hall, a women's dormitory, Magill Hall, a science building, and Parker Hall, a women's physical education facility.

The following year, Brandt Hall made its debut, adding to the growing campus infrastructure and creating a building dedicated to music. 

In 1961, the Board of Regents agreed to a $2.5 million loan from the Federal Housing Administration to build six dormitory buildings, plus the cafeteria east of Magill Hall. The Greek Housing Complex was inaugurated, featuring six buildings with a total of 92 living spaces. Fast forward to 1968, and construction commenced on the Towers Complex, further expanding the campus's architectural footprint.

Traditions Started

Several traditions that still stand today started throughout the 60s. In 1965, the very first outdoor commencement ceremony was held at Houck Field. Although commencement has since moved indoors, it was an exciting shift for the University and reflected growing enrollment. 

In 1967, students started sticking their gum to the original "Gum Tree." To this day, it's a favorite story and tradition on campus. 

World Timeline

1960 - The first episode of "The Flintstones" airs

1960 - The Beatles form in Liverpool

1961 - John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as president of the United States

1962 - Marvel's Incredible Hulk superhero makes his first appearance

1962 - Marilyn Monroe dies

1963 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom 

1963 - John F. Kennedy is assassinated 

1964 - The Beatles make their first visit to the United States

1964 - The Civil Rights Act abolishes segregation in the United States

1965 - Winston Churchill dies

1965 - Malcolm X dies

1966 - Walt Disney dies

1967 - The "Summer of Love" sees about 100,000 young people in hippie attire converging near San Francisco 

1968 - "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" debuts on National Education Television

1968 - Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated 

1969 - The first manned mission to the moon is recorded

1969 - The Woodstock festival is held in Bethel, New York

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