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Full listing > Accession MC2007/34
Accession #MC2007/34
TopicJustiniano Collection: Memorabilia 1950-1954
KeywordsDances, May Day, 1953, Young, Neher, Pat Thomas Holt Mahlandt, Diversity, Multicultural, Alumna, Alumni,
TitleBecker (Class of 1954), Myrtis Becker Justiniano Collection
LocationUnit 8, IS, Memory Shelves
CitationBecker (Class of 1954), Myrtis Becker Justiniano Collection, MC2007/34, Archives and Church of the Brethren Collection, Funderburg Library, Manchester University, North Manchester, Indiana.
AccessResearchers are responsible for determining copyright status of archived materials where this is relevant to their intended use of the materials.
ProvenanceFrom Myrtis Becker Justiniano, Class of 1954.
Scope and Content1.  Two May Day dolls representing the Queen and attendant. It was the first year that they used the purple robe. Jean Childs Young was the first to wear it.

2.  Two Oak Leaves articles about 1953 May Day festivities, the May Day Queen, Jean Childs (Young) and her Court.

3.  Tassle.  This was Myrtis' graduation tassle from 1954.

4.  Items of interest: copper oak leaf cut out (candleholder), 4 magnets, 2 homecoming buttons, 1 acorn magnet, one "Manchester Match Factory" replica matchbook.  The acorn and needlepoint pieces were made for the 1954 Class Reunion.    The "Match Factoy" was made for a Homecoming or Valentine Banquet.

5.  May Day, 1954 Souvenir Program featuring Marvel McClurg as Queen.

6.  Official program for Homecoming, October 16 - 17, 1953.

7.  Commencement Activities May 21 - May 31, 1954, bulletin.

8.  Various articles from the Oak Leaves.

9.  The Constitution for Oakwood Hall, 1950.

10.  The Acorn, 1951.

11.  Memorabilia from trip to Chicago from Senior Ditch Day.

12.  Program for "Freshman Days," September 1 to 6, 1950.

13.  Invitation for Commencement Exercises, 1954.

14.  Program and menu for Junior-Senior Reception, May 7, 1954.

15.  "Black and Gold" handbook for 1950 - 1951.

16.  Student identification card, 1953-4 Winter Term.

17.  Various programs:  Alumni Banquet, 1954, "Stairway to the Stars," Valentine Banquet 1952, Construction paper nametag, "Our Royal Holiday, May Day," 1953, "Drifting in Dreamland," Junior - Senior Reception,1953,  Homecoming program 1950.

"Stairway to the Stars."  At this reception the Junior invited Seniors as they guests. The reception was held at the Honeywell Center.

The Alumni Banquet was held to welcome the graduates to the Alumni Association.


See also:  

  • More photographs of Jean Childs Young and Phyllis Heeter Hunn and Art Hunn that are not part of the Becker collection are in Photo Box #54, May Day (Courts).
  • The "Aurora" features Jean Childs Young as Queen in the 1954 issue.
Date of Accession21 February 2007
Bio History Note

Items saved from Myrtis' years at Manchester College, 1950 - 1954.  The dolls are replicas of the May Day Queen of 1953 and one of her attendants.   Mrs. O. W. Neher  always had a breakfast for the court the morning of May Day and these were used as centerpieces.  The materials used in the clothing was the same as the real dresses used and so was the style.  In 1953 Jean Childs Young was the May Queen and Phyllis Heeter Hunn was the Maid of Honor.  Myrtis was the coronation chairman that year.  Some of the other items were from banquets, Jr. - Sr. Receptions, etc. 


Archivist, Jeanine Wine, met wtih Myrtis Becker Justiniano Thursday 4 June 2009 during Alumni Days.  Myrtis went through the collection and gave more information about the individual objects and May Day festivities during 1953 and 1954.  Myrtis was the Coronation Chairman in 1953 and was in charge of everything with all of the Queen's committees under her.  A group went to Ft. Wayne to buy the pattern and material for the dresses.  There was also a committee for the float.  Mrs. O. W. Neher's wife put on a special breakfast for the Queen and her court.  In 1953, Jean Childs Young was the May Day Queen.  There is a photo of the Queen's Court at Mrs. Neher's table along with the dolls.  Leftover material from the dresses would go into the clothes of the dolls.  There were originally eleven dolls representing the: Retiring Queen, Maid of Honor (Phyllis Heeter Hunn), May Queen (Jean Childs Young), two attendants representing the Freshman Class, two attendants representing the Sophomore Class, two attendants representing the Junior Class, and two attendants representing the Senior Class.

A note received from the daughter of Mrs. Neher, Dorotha Brandon Williams, written on 7 June 2013, was received in the Archives following the dolls' "publication" in the "Manchester Magazine."  She writes: My mother took such delight in serving breakfast to the May Day Court at our home on 608 Miami. She started this even in 1943 and repeated it every year.  I'm not sure how long.  She also made the dolls' dresses with their dress materials.  She was always sure the hair was the right color. She even made several for some of the girls as their little sisters wanted them too. 

The Mayday 1953 "Our Royal Holiday" crown program was made for the banquet and was created to stand up on the table. 

Myrtis' Senior Year Program - May Day.  Jean Childs Young was the outgoing Queen and Mel Honer? was the Queen (check on t his).  Myrtis was on the coronation committee and they made the stage look like a crown.  That year they celebrated 34 years of May Queen.  The lineup began with Freshmen first, on the lowest level (one on each side)..then second the Sophomores (one on each side), then Juniors (one on each side), then seniors on the top closest to the Queen (one on each side).

Dining Hall protocol: An upper class boy would sit at one head end of the table and an upper class girl would sit at the other head end.  There might be 8 people per table.  There was a certain number of pieces of food per table. If one piece was left might be "auctioned off" by selling it to purchasers holding up a certain number of "1," "2," or "3."


Nametag:  The nametag cut to look like the Administration Building was worn by Myrtis when she was a Big Sister during her Senior Year.  A Big Sister would come early to school to help Freshmen during orientation.  This would have been during the Fall of 1953/54?

Black and Gold = copy of the constitution of the student government.


Dancing:  There was no dancing and all dancing done on campus was squaredancing...even events sponsored by the College off of campus did not have dancing.  The students would get all dresse up and have no place to go but to bars in Ft. Wayne if they wanted to dance.  Myrtis' class was the first to go to the Trustees about this situation and started the discussion that eventually led (not that year) to dancing on campus.  Pat Thomas Holt Mahlandt, was the female student who approached the Board of Trustees about the dancing issue.

Archivist Note

Items were received prior to April 2006 and were accessioned into the collection on 21 February 2007.

Description prepared 21 February 2007 by Jeanine M. Wine, updated 23 February 2007, updated 14 June 2009, and last updated 23 November 2012 by Jeanine M. Wine.


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