Goucher History: The Christmas Ornament

Sean Varner
Features Editor

T’was three weeks before Christmas, when all through the Ath, a thousand sat toiling over English and Math—browser tabs open to things they daren’t mention, in hopes their professors would grant them extensions.

Their spent heads were hung, dangling down from their necks, in thought of their lives, which they assumed utter wrecks. When on the Great Lawn, there arose such a clatter, they sprung from their desks to see who the hell interrupted quiet hours.

Away to the windows, they shot in a flash, tripped over each other in quite a mad dash. When, what to their wondering eyes should appear, but a secondhand Chevy and no reindeer. They all pushed and they shoved to see this great cause, and there on the lawn stood old Varner Claus.

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History of Goucher: Four Sundays in May

Sean Varner
Features Editor

In May of 1959, the G.E. College Bowl became the stuff of phenomenon at Goucher. Dominating both student and faculty thought and discussion, Bowl was a CBS television game show in which teams of students from various colleges and universities nationwide competed against one another on consecutive Sundays. Goucher’s profound investment in the show arose from the team that it had sent to represent the college.

Every college that has ever competed on the show seems to have a picture of their team, except for Goucher. So here’s a picture of the Rensselaer team. (Photo: Google Images).

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History of Goucher: An Election Batting Average

Sean Varner
Features Editor

It’s late October in a leap year. This signals two things: (1) a presidential election is soon upon us; (2) baseball season is over.

Four Goucher students suppport Richard Nixon during the election of ‘68. (Photo: History of Goucher College 1930-1985.)

I can think not of two things more opposite than elections and baseball. I’m sure I could, if I tried—dental floss and an ostrich rowing a canoe come immediately to mind. But that’s not the point: the point is that I’m trying to make a point, and that point is this.
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History of Goucher: Desegregation

Sean Varner
Features Editor

It was 1951, and it was a fine autumn day. (One imagines so, I mean. There’s no way of knowing for certain, unless one was kicking around back then. Even so, memories being faulty and all that, the matter’s still a puzzler.)

President Otto Kraushaar sat in his office, sipping a pensive cup of coffee and thinking on his day—or, perhaps, about that new I Love Lucy show, or going to the drive-in with Mrs. President Kraushaar to see The Man From Planet X, or Fats Domino, or some other thing that people thought about in the early 1950s—when a visitor dropped in to see him: she was a well-spoken, well-dressed black woman. A graduate of Radcliffe College, she was the mother of a daughter who was preparing to enter college in a year’s time, and she had come to Goucher to inquire about its policy toward black applicants.

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What’s in a Name?

Sean Varner
Features Editor

I have written in the past about the buildings on this campus, about whom they are named after and when they were built and how much it cost to build them. So put the torches and pitchforks down: I’m not dipping in the same river twice. I’m approaching the river from the other side and thinking about taking a bath.
Never have I looked at the genealogy behind the building names—at the meanings and origins of the surnames christening buildings on this campus, and how those meanings and origins have become unfitting in the context of the buildings that now bear them.

Where and when did the names of Goucher’s buildings originate? And how did they come to exist? (Photo: Google Images).

Stimson (after Dorothy Stimson) – It’s a patronym, a surname based on the name of one’s father, in this case of the male Stephen (i.e. son of Stephen). Stephen itself originates from the Greek stephanos, meaning crown or wreath; the wreath or crown of leaves awarded to athletic champions in ancient Grecian society was thought to be the greatest obtainable award.
Conversely, in modern Goucherian society, being sentenced to live in Stimson is considered to be the greatest achievable punishment.
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The Paper Known as ‘Q’

Sean Varner
Features Editor

Most people hate it when other people throw things at them. Some people don’t, and we call them loons. Take, for example, me—not as a loon (though some may hold that true), but as someone who hates having things thrown at him.

I mean, if I were to be strolling down Van Meter highway when, from out of the hedge work, a brick-wielding assailant popped and tossed the old square stone at the Varner head, I’d be remiss to tell you I wouldn’t be miffed.

The editorial staff of the 1917-1918 Goucher College Weekly.
[Photo: Goucher Special Collections and Archives].

Really, there are only two things people like having thrown at them: (1) a rope in the event of a misstep into a pit of quicksand and (2) numbers.

It is the latter that I’m about to throw at you now. (If you’re presently getting sucked down into the earth by some of the quick stuff, I do apologize.)
They’ll come in this order: 30, 15, 12/1915, 01.03, 6, 96 ¾.


There are about 30 days in a month.


15 is half of 30. Thus, half a month is 15 days.  Semimonthly means “twice per month,” or roughly every 15 days. This newspaper publishes twice a month. The Latin word for fifteen is quindecim.

“Ah,” I can hear you say. “That’s where this guy was going.”

“Yes,” I say, “but this newspaper wasn’t always called The Quindecim.”

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Back From the Future, Part 1

Sean Varner
Staff Writerr

We need a name—and a character to go with it. Wilbur? Janice? Dusty? Ah, I know: Toodles.

No, perhaps Toodles was ill advised.

Martin. Martin Bubbles. Marty, for short, that’s what I’ve decided: Marty Bubbles. He’s a junior, and he lives in Sondheim.

Well, not really. This is all fictional. That is, until it’s factual.

Bear with me.


Marty went to bed in Sondheim one night in April 2012, but accidentally awoke in 1965. Read more of this post


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