TCU used to be a lot smaller, a lot stricter and a lot cheaper.
With the class of 1965’s 50-year reunion quickly approaching, one of the reunion’s organizers said a lot of things have changed about the Horned Frog experience in the last half-century.
Nick Encke, a 1965 TCU alum and co-chair of the 1965 reunion, currently has two granddaughters attending TCU. He said they keep him up-to-speed on what it’s like to be TCU students.
“To me, it’s like night and day,” Encke said. “But it was probably just as big a thrill for me when I came to TCU as it was for my granddaughters when they got to come to TCU.”
The tuition rate for the 2014-2015 school year is $38,510, or $1,340 per credit hour.
The rate in 1961, when Encke started his freshman year at TCU? $17 per credit hour.
“And that was frozen,” Encke said. “It didn’t matter if you were there four, five or six years—that amount was frozen until you graduated.”
The cost of attendance was lower in other areas as well. The cheapest meal plan option for this year’s freshmen rings up at $2,240 per semester.
“My meal plan couldn’t have been much more than $150 to $175 per semester,” Encke said.
The cost didn’t cause problems for students like it does today, Encke said.
“I do not remember of anybody leaving TCU or trying to graduate early because it costed so much,” Encke said. “Because in those days it didn’t, even though the dollar was worth more.”
Before the current Greek housing facilities opened, fraternity men lived in Milton Daniel Hall. Sorority women occupied Colby Hall.
In the early 60s, Clark Hall was the new residence hall on campus.
“I can say as I look back, there wasn’t much new,” Encke said. “It was old and drab. Tom Brown was a pit. Nothing was air conditioned. Clark had blown air, but I don’t think it was air conditioned.”
Encke said the dorms had strict rules.
“Dorm hours for girls were 10 p.m. during the week and midnight on the weekends,” Encke said. “They had to be in the dorm by that time.”
Women couldn’t be in men’s rooms and vice versa.
“It’s a different world,” Encke said.
There were no women’s athletics programs in 1965.
“I can’t say that was that much different than any other school,” Encke said.
Encke said football was still a big deal in the early 60s, but the program “fell off” in the 70s.
“We probably were still good at baseball and decent at basketball,” Encke said.
Present-day college students—in the times of tennis shoes, yoga pants, t-shirts, athletic shorts and the likes—might have had a hard time in the early 60s.
“Girls did not wear pants or shorts to class,” Encke said. “They wore dresses.”
However, men were not excused from the dress code.
“Boys didn’t wear tennis shoes or shorts to class,” Encke said. “They wore pants.”
Encke said he wasn’t sure why TCU had rules regarding dress.
“Was it considered more of a religious school then? I don’t think so,” Encke said. “Was that proper? I don’t know.”
Encke said there was no such thing as a parking ticket on campus.
“We could all park on campus, no one had to park in the football lots or anything,” Encke said. “Everybody parked in the quad, which is now grass.”
Encke said the size of the campus extended from the business buildings to Milton Daniel, Colby and Sherley Halls.
“Today, our campus is as pretty, if not prettier, than anybody’s,” Encke said. “Back then, it was just average. Nothing fancy about it.”
Encke said Worth Hills was a golf course in the early 60s.
“We called it ‘goat hills,'” Encke said.
Since there were no cell phones, students would meet at the old student union to hang out.
“You really had no way to communicate but just to meet at the student union,” Encke said.
Encke said there was no divide between students in Greek life and independent students.
“It just seemed like, in the student union, it didn’t matter if you were green, white or blue or in a fraternity or a sorority or whatever, you socialized with [everyone],” said Encke, who was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. “The independents to me were never any different than the fraternity or sorority people.”
On most weekends and special occasions, many students could be found at the student union. Dancing.
“We loved dancing,” Encke said. “One of the dances we did in that day was called the push. The other dance we did was the mashed potato.”
The Panty Raids
Encke said there was always one or two panty raids a year. Female students would throw their undergarments out the window to the men walking around for the raid.
“The girls just loved them,” Encke said.
Encke said the odds are pretty low that the panty raids could make a comeback.
“It might be fun if they did though,” he said.
The story has been updated on 10/17/14 at 11 a.m. to reflect the correct descprition of the panty raids and the role the men played.