I’d like to introduce you to a historical UNH tradition. If you had attended UNH in the 1950s its possible you would have encountered the The Sphinx, and the Beanie Scene.
The Sphinx was a sophomore honor society. They guided incoming freshman through their first week of orientation, and would get them all pumped up for UNH. You probably experienced something similar upon your own arrival. One of the practices of The Sphinx was to introduce the freshman to the Beanie Scene.
The Beanie Scene worked like this: if you were a freshman you were required to buy a blue beanie with a ball on top as soon as you arrived on campus. The beanies were to be worn until the varsity football team won a home game that season. By the way, in the year 1950, no one would have been wearing that beanie for long- the football team (pictured in the banner) went undefeated and untied.
The returning students would greet the freshman with a hearty “Cheery hi, frosh!”
The appropriate response was to grasp your own beanie by the ball on top, lift it straight up, and answer reverently “Cheery hi.”
Yes, the last freshman class who was required to wear these gorgeous chapeaus was that of 1971. Hey, that could be some current wildcat’s mom or dad!
So now I am curious, do any of our alumni readers remember The Sphinx? How about your relatives, students? If any of your grandparents attended UNH, it is quite possible they saw this one. Maybe you know or are related to someone who played on the undefeated football team. If you’ve got a story a comment would be great. If there are contemporary traditions among residence halls or student organizations that are similar to the beanie scene, stories about that would be welcome as well.