The Beginning of A New Year: A Few Items Given to Students at the Beginning of the 1953-1954 Academic Year

As campus is filled with the excitement of returning students and the beginning of a new academic year, the staff of the Southern Appalachian Archives thought it fitting to look back at student arrivals from previous years. Today, we would like to highlight three items that given to Mars Hill students arriving for the 1953-1954 academic year.

First, we have the “Mars Hill College Blue Book of Regulations and Instructions for Students.” Filled with campus rules and regulations, the “Blue Book” served as a reminder of what was expected of Mars Hill students during their time on campus. Students who have viewed this booklet today often comment on how some of the rules have not changed while others seem outrageous by today’s standards.


Second, we have “The Students’ Handbook of Mars Hill College.” This booklet was given to each student on behalf of the Baptist Student Union (BSU) and provided a helpful guide to student life on campus, both academic and social. This particular edition is prefaced by a wonderful letter addressed to students from Mars Hill College President Dr. Hoyt Blackwell.


Lastly, we have a beautiful map of campus, possibly from the 1953-1954 academic year as well, that was inside “The Students’ Handbook.” This map highlights a campus that is similar to todays but with some distinct features such as the original auditorium located on the upper quad and the Coyte Bridges Dining Hall located in what is today Renfro Library. Our older alumni will also notice the presence of Rivermont Dormitory as well as Melrose Dormitory, now Turner Residence Hall.


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