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Life on the Quads
A Centennial View of
the Student Experience at the
University of Chicago
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Thanksgiving Day football program, Chicago vs. Brown, November 30, 1899.

Thanksgiving Day football program, Chicago vs. Brown, November 30, 1899.

 

Walter Eckersall, pregame notes, 1905.

Walter Eckersall, pregame notes, 1905. "Don't let Mich[igan] ever see you weaken," wrote Eckersall prior to the Thanksgiving Day showdown in 1905. "Don't give an inch in your blocking.

Physical Culture and Athletics

A Championship Season
Alumnus William Comerford (PhB 1934) wrote to Hutchins and declared that his son would not attend the University of Chicago. He also warned Hutchins that the decision would "drive from Chicago's enrollment the real American youngsters who in the long run are the healthiest students."

For the healthy students who remained, football continued at the intramural and club level, which gave many the chance to participate rather than observe. Meanwhile rumors continued to float around campus about the resurrection of varsity college football, and a significant division among students arose over the issue. Some believed football was an essential feature of student life while other students formed organizations like OAF (Organization Against Football) to bar its return. The administration eventually took the middle ground and reintroduced football to the University in 1969 at the same varsity level at which it competed in other intercollegiate sports for men and women. Student athletes played without scholarships, and crowds numbered in the hundreds rather than the thousands. From its humble beginnings to its lofty heights, football at the University of Chicago had come full circle.


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