Mom’s Weekend ~ a historical recap

This weekend will mark the 91st iteration of Oregon State’s Mothers Weekend, but the event hasn’t always taken the shape it does now, in fact it wasn’t called Mothers Weekend until 1947.

Brochures and programs referred to it as Woman’s Day although yearbooks typically called it Mothers Weekend as early as 1928, likely because it fell on the weekend of Mother’s Day. The first of these weekends took place back in 1924 when it was simply called Woman’s Day.

The event had been put on by the League of Women and the idea had been presented to President Kerr by the Dean of Women at the time, Kate Jameson who said later that her idea was “to take just one day and devote it to women themselves”. That one day featured a women’s track meet, singing and a banquet for the 200 mothers who attended. By the early 60’s that number had grown to over 2000 mothers and the festivities now included flower shows, fashion shows, drill team competitions and even turtle races.

The first Woman’s Day featured a theme of “Women’s Opportunities” and later themes of the decade would include women in the fine arts, women of achievement, pioneer women and mothers. The Associated Women Students group began hosting Woman’s Day shortly after the day’s inception and began installing new officers on that weekend every year. The event soon featured pledges towards women’s honorary groups as well as sororities, honors towards these groups also became part of the celebration.

Dances, theater acts and musical performances became a routine part of Woman’s Day by the mid 30’s and eventually the mothers of male students were added into Mother’s Weekend.

In 2015 the holiday has expanded to fill three days full of events including animal shows, concerts, open houses, sports tournaments and more. No matter the time period, the goal of showcasing Oregon State and celebrating the mothers of its students has been consistent and this weekend will be another chance for beaver fans to celebrate the school and their family.

Want to see more pictures of moms? Check out the Mom’s Weekend / May Day set in Flickr!

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