Social media addicts take throwback Thursday pics seriously. They post pictures of themselves from 20 years ago when they were teens in high school, elementary school, or preschool. Or at a party snapping pics with someone famous before the someone famous won an Oscar, a Tony, a Grammy or an Emmy.
I've never gotten into Facebook's Throwback Thursday thing. It's kind of silly to me. I post "throwback" pics once in a big bunch, usually around holiday, and then I'm done. Waiting until Thursday to post a memory is kind of silly to me, but the trend has been strong since 2011.
A true throw back is a photo more than ten years old. Not every pic in this slide show is from ten years ago. For example, I didn't find any throwback pics of the Razorbacks from the 20th century. However, since Razorback athletes all have new uniforms, any pic before this season is a throwback. I did find a few pictures representative of UAF as a multicultural and diverse campus, however.
College campuses have gotten in on the throwback Thursday action and it's pretty cool particularly the pics of college campuses from sixty, seventy, and even one hundred years ago.
My favorite Throwback pic in this slideshow Temple University's photograph of their Dean Laura H. Carnell in 1912. Sexual politics play a major role in the lives of women in academia today and Dean Carnell's photograph makes major statements about being in the right place at the right time and the power of truth in matters of devotion and desire to education. It's clear to me, after I read her back story, that devotion and dedication placed her in such a position.
Another favorite pic is of the sleeping men in a classroom at ASU. They may have been posing for the camera, and the guy with his hand over his face may have been hiding from the camera. Stealth photography wasn't possible back in the 1920s, so the photographer couldn't have surprised students for a yearbook photo. Nevertheless, the photograph is funny and creative. I can only imagine what the yearbook captions read: The Snoozers, Biology 101 comes to mind. In addition to the humor, I think of the privilege those men shared. I also think of the abuse of privileges prevalent throughout the world by white men. College was not allowed or open to everyone back then, and it's particularly telling that there are no women in the photograph. People were dying and fighting to do what they did, (go to college), yet these guys are sleeping. Classic photograph.
Throwback Thursdays at college campuses are visual history and a good way to build solidarity and school pride. College isn't a big deal anymore. Lots of people attend college and graduate. The US still has a long way to go to push the majority of its population into college, and Throwback pics are a great visual reminder that college isn't some new, unreachable ideal in this country.
When I look at these photos I am also reminded of how the college application and admissions process have changed over the years. There is virtually no excuse for any person out of high school in the United States not to have taken some college courses in his or her lifetime because there are so many easily accessible higher education programs available, particularly at the community college level.
When I look at these pics I wonder if the students enrolled back in the day abused financial aid or did they hold their college admission sacred like a passport to a brighter, cleaner world. Was college harder back then or is harder now in the information age where innovation is a must?
Send a message to your schools PR program and tell them to tweet, Instagram and FB your Throwback Thursday pics of your college campus.