"I think it would have been lots of fun to have had a Miss Radcliffe contest this year," Nancy M. Homer '60 commented the other day.
"I can't see anything harmful in it," added another Moors Hall Freshman.
But the opinions of these and other girls will make no difference. The Miss Radcliffe contest, an annual CRIMSON-sponsored event, will be no more. 'Cliffe President Wilbur K. Jordan officially killed it this summer, acting on the recommendation of the Radcliffe Student Government Association and the Board of Deans. Annex freshman are now forbidden to enter the traditional contest. The reason: "It was incompatible with other college policy to have one girl represent the entire College, which is what had come to be expected of the Miss Radcliffe Contest."
Neither Nancy Homer nor any of her classmates will have to worry about losing her "individuality." For the nine previous winners, however, President Jordan's ruling will make no difference. If, indeed, they were typical Annex girls--and many think they weren't--those nine classes must have enjoyed fascinating careers at Radcliffe.
Beginning their search for the Radcliffe freshmen of their dreams in 1947, beauty-conscious Crimeds discovered that Idaho grows more than potatoes.
A Crimson Discovery
Among the punch cups, cookies, and hordes of eager Harvard freshmen at a series of orientation tea-dances in Phillips Brooks House, the CRIMSON found Helen Clark '51, the daughter of a former U.S. Senator from Idaho. She was named "Freshman of the Year."
The title of "Miss Radcliffe" was first given to Rachel Mellinger '52 the following year. Again the "prettiest annex freshman" from a class of 239 was chosen at the PBH tea dance.
Announced as the youngest Miss Radcliffe was Priscilla High of Darien, Conn., who won the title for the class of 1953. She was 17 at the time of her election.
In 1950 the contest grew considerably in complexity and publicity. From 14 candidates, the CRIMSON picked Miss Radcliffe of 1954, Lois L. Ebeling.
Miss Ebeling--whose middle name was Love--measured 5 feet, 8 1-2 inches, weighed 132 pounds, and wore a size 14. She had a twinge of a southern accent, the result of spending the early years of World War II in Texas with her family.
Her title reportedly won the Philadelphia miss an opporunity for local modeling as well as a "guarantee of endless fall phone calls." Admittedly nervous in the preliminaries, Miss 'Cliffe of '54 was even more nervous after the election, mumuring, "I can't believe it."
"Flowers from the University Florest, a meal ticket from the University Luncheonette, a Harvard scarf from J. August, stationary from Bob Slate's a book from the Harvard Book Store, a record from Briggs and Briggs, tickets from the Brattle Theater, perfume from the Coop, and cigarettes from Philip Morris Company" were the gifts accompanying the title of Miss Cliffe of '55.
Dean Watson Refuses
The jackpot winner was Linda Bartlett of California. Miss Bartlett may have been wanted by the Crimeds for their title, but when she was asked to appear a week later at a pre-Army game rally, Associate Dean Watson refused to give his permission.