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Throwback Thursday: Campus Queen

At left, Jane O'Brien Thomas, Class of 1948, is crowned Campus Queen by outgoing Queen Sally Johnson Class of 1947. At right, Campus Queen Audrey Koch Feathers, Class of 1950, is shown with her court on Campus Night in October 1949. TAU cover photo is of Queen Marcia Lawrence Gauquie, Class of 1957, with a few of her court. (Photos courtesy UAlbany Archives)

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 22, 2018) — Contrary to some reports, beauty does tend to linger.

While some longstanding UAlbany campus traditions, such as an elaborate Moving-Up Day and class rivalries faded and vanished by the more sophisticated, politicized, egalitarian — and some would say cynical — mid 1960s, the crowning of a Campus Queen & Her Court was maintained for another decade.

Beginning in the 1940s, the coronation was held on Campus Night, later on Campus Day and for a time as a part of a fundraising event called Campus Fair. The winner, a senior, was chosen by a panel of judges and assessed on a combination of comeliness, character and poise. Very often, the Queen from the previous year, although graduated, would return to campus to crown her successor.

By the late 1970s, the Campus Queen was no more. Many students had tried to keep the tradition alive, even bowing to gender sensitivity in 1960 by inaugurating a Campus King. That monarch didn’t have the attraction or staying power of the Campus Queen, however, and few photos exist.

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