Stained glass window
Senior Order Timeline

1937- The members of Senior Order petitioned to have “The Shack” moved from the Women’s College in order for it to be used as their clubhouse.
1939- The women were involved in discussing rules for student conduct and were involved in the creation of the first honor code on campus. Somewhere along the line, SO members began a traditional annual orange juice drive to raise money for charity that lasted until at least the 1970s.
1940- Blue Key and Senior Order members became in charge of Orientation Week, including addressing the new class with a Prospectus speech on growth.

  • Sammy Wyche's Postlude to Orientation Prospectus: Growth
    You should now be giving thought to what you expect to accomplish at Furman in the next four years, to what college offers that you need, to the difference college is to make in your life. What you will find here will be opportunity for growth--growth intellectually, growth spiritually, and growth socially. You have, of course, been growing all your life in all these respects, but college is an opportunity for directed, concentrated accelerated growth at greater breadth and at greater depth than you have ever known before.

  • Judi Frederick on social growth:
    "Your four years of college must be years of academic challenge and growth; they should be years of spiritual quest. Yet, the person who grows only within himself, within his own mind and soul, will be chatting himself of some of college's richest opportunities for growth. Intellectual achievement and spiritual concern are hollow indeed without growth in your relationships with other people. College is buildings and books and suitcases and contains and megaphones, but more importantly, college is people. At no other time in your life will you be so intimately and constantly exposed to so varied and challenging a group of people.”

    “College is a community of exciting minds, of the intellectually elite- of scholars, of scientists, of researchers, of writers-of vibrant, superior minds. College is youth-dreamers, amateurs, sweethearts, campus politicians. College is football rallies and concerts and decorating for Christmas and operas and house parties and blind dates. College is a dormitory, a homesick friend, a boy from halfway round the world--shared happiness’s, hopes, sorrows, disappointments. College is a conference championship, an intramural victory, a dunk in the fountain, a study date in the library. To gain the most from your short years here you must grown intellectually and spiritually and you should grow socially. You will learn about friendships and more about love--more about how to accept people for themselves and how to be yourself with them, how to sympathize with others and yet maintain your individuality and independence."

1945- Senior Order petitioned the development committee to consider buying 40 acres of land on Paris Mountain for a retreat center and raised all of the money for it. It took 20 years, but finally in 1967 Camp Parker was instituted as a campus retreat center for students to go and rest there. That year they were also instrumental in urging the development committee to acquire land and money to build what is now James B. Duke Library. 1
1946- Senior Order was put in charge of the annual Hanging of the Greens ceremony which is a Christmas celebration where the men and women would dress up in medieval costumes, eat a roasted pig, and celebrate the holidays with each other. The Senior Order initiation ritual was also written in 1946.
1949- The women attempted to link SO with the national society Mortar Board.
1950- Senior Order raised their standards and changed their constitution to state that a member must have a GPA 3 points above the campus average for the last 5 semesters. The campus average was the equivalent to a 3.6.
1951- The women worked on creating more social opportunities between the two campuses.
1954- Senior Order adopted “Do Much, Say Little” as their motto.
1955- “After the convention action in November 1955, Blue Key and Senior Order calmly passed a resolution approving of fraternities for their “worthwhile contributions” to campus life. A Hornet poll in December, the first of its kind, showed overwhelming student support for fraternities and for the appointment of a director of social activities. In the following months, a student-faculty committee of six students (including 3 Senior Order members) and three faculty members attempted to improve the atmosphere by bringing about several reforms, including a reinstitution of all-University picnics beginning in the spring of 1956, a dating lounge, study days before exams, better postal service, unlimited cuts for juniors and seniors who had a 2.2 average, and abandoning of double cuts on days before holidays.”- Alfred Reid2
Senior Order sponsored the Pledge Service and Honor Week in 1955, but its main purpose was to build school spirit. Meetings were held every Monday night to discuss school problems.
1956- - “ Senior Order works behind the scenes and also participates actively in various university events, such as Homecoming and high school weekend. Senior Order conducted the pledge service for freshmen in the fall and plans a Senior Order banquet for Women’s College alumnae who were members of the organization.” - Bonhomie article.
1957- A Senior Order Shop was created, selling coffee, cookies and knickknacks, to raise money for their philanthropic projects.
1959- SO women instituted a “Senior Order Sweetheart”.
1960s- SO and Blue Key, a men’s honor society, were put in charge of giving tours on campus for freshman orientation and perspective students.
1961- SO sponsored a drive on campus to raise money for a TV and a break room for dining hall workers who worked long hours with nowhere to take a break.
1962- The women in charge of raising money for all of the women who lost all of their belongings at Central Wesleyan College in a campus-wide fire.
1963- Senior Order women were in charge of promoting and passing a campus square dance, which was highly controversial considering it was a Baptist school at the time.
1964- An article was published on Friday March 6, 1964 in the Paladin entitled “Senior Disorder.” It read: “The campus is in an uproar because the women who were supported by the "underlying current" of popular opinion were not chosen. The Paladin is selecting 8 additional women who were not picked for Senior Order based on their scholarship, leadership, citizenship and service. The Paladin suggests that only 8 women were chosen, but according to the 12% of the student body rule, 16.08 could've been chosen. One cause of discontent by the student body is the apparent misconception of the actual criteria used by the old members of Senior Order in selecting the new. According to the tapping ritual, leadership, scholarship, service and citizenship are the determining factors. Based on the old Zoo tradition (which is the nickname for the Women’s College), these factors are not the ones of primary importance, however. Unanimity wears the jewel-studded crown; and even the principles lauded in the lapping ritual bow down to total agreement.” 1965- Dr. Blackwell becomes president. The Senior Order women wrote thank you letters to every faculty and staff member and made them gifts of appreciation. The Women also secured nameplates for the portraits in the parlors of the Women’s Dorm.
1966- The women sold color pictures of the Bell Tower for $1.25 each to raise money for their charitable causes. “As an ideal, Senior Order challenges every Furman girl to seek a clearer vision of true living and to strive to retain the spirit of truth, honor and love.”- Bonhomie
1967- The retreat center Camp Parker is finally established on Paris Mountain for Furman students thanks to the hard work of Senior Order women who labored for 20 years for it to come to fruition.
1970- SO members raised money for and created a meditation room on campus for students.
1998- SO members got “Unit Six”, a notorious freshman hall, remained “Chiles Hall” in honor of M. Chiles.

Written by Julianna Battenfield


Works Cited

1Alfred Reid, Furman University, 129.
2Alfred Reid, Furman University, 160.