By Savannah Cooper | Staff Writer
Picture Baylor without McLane Stadium, Ferrell Center or Fountain Mall, but with a 11 p.m. curfew for students and formal attire for game days. That was what life on Baylor’s campus was like 50 years ago for the class of 1967.
Friday afternoon in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center, nearly 70 Baylor Bears came back to campus for their 50-year class reunion. “We’re the class from heaven, we’re the class of 1967,” The proud class of 1967 proclaimed without any shyness in their voice, expressing their pride for Baylor decades later.
Belton native Pam Dial Taylor, Baylor homecoming queen and former president of the Central Texas Baylor Club, said that despite the school having gone through a lot in 50 years, she believes the Baylor spirit is still alive and well.
“We’ve been through many things in our lifetimes in these 50 years, but people who love Baylor University and our Bears in their heart are never going to say anything except we keep on going, we look to the future and we know that that Baylor spirit can not die; it just doesn’t,” Taylor said.
Among the Bears were married couples, former roommates, teammates and all other types of students in between. Some who came hadn’t seen each other in 50 years, while others had reunited beforehand.
Four years ago, at a Waco music festival, former Collins dormitory roommates Mary Bowlin Lightfoot and Alice Meador Smith reunited. They remember where on campus they were when President John F. Kennedy was shot, as well as when they were switchboard workers connecting each incoming call to its desired room.
When visiting Collins, a community leader showed them their old room and it immediately brought back fond memories. Lightfoot said she is excited that everyone is back together.
“It’s great coming back. We were roommates and we have reconnected and it’s fun to just come back and be together,” Lightfoot said. “It’s a family. It’s really family.”
Smith said she had serious nostalgia coming back to campus again.
“It was so deja-vu. It was the chiming of the bells — it just brought you back,” Smith said.
Diane Baker Cole and J.L. Cole met while working on the same college council for Seventh and James Baptist Church, and this past June they celebrated their 50-year wedding anniversary. Coming back and reuniting with old classmates brought back good memories on campus.
Diane Cole remembers how the same campus size made everyone involved in campus life.
“We have some great memories of Baylor. Back in the ’60s there were some fun things going on; it wasn’t as big so everyone was a lot closer,” Diane Cole said. “Everyone was involved in campus life.”
Some of J.L. Cole’s best Baylor experiences happened in the old Brooks Hall.
“My favorite memory revolved around freshman year around Brooks Hall, they’ve since torned it down — no air conditioning. But it housed the ROTC program,” J.L. Cole said. “It was a very active building without a lot of great friendships. Good old 416 Brooks.”
Baylor’s campus life today doesn’t consist of curfews and suits and ties, but the Baylor spirit is still strong. Even 50 years later, the Baylor family and its spirit is as strong as ever thanks to this class of 1967.