Field Day: An annual day to frisk and frolic


Photos courtesy of MOUNT MARY ARCHIVES


Since the Mount Mary College bells rang in September, marking the beginning of her 100th year, students, faculty and alumnae have been reminded that Mount Mary’s deep, feminine roots rest in tradition.

Some of the activities Mount Mary students participated in 100 years ago, like step-singing, remain a tradition. Others, like Field Day, disappeared along with the transistor radio and the typewriter.

Field Day, archery, horseback riding and synchronized swimming were all staples in the required curriculum for Mount Mary students.

Field Day was an annual celebration for Mount Mary students. The students were sorted by class and then divided further for group and individual sports. The involvement of all students in Field Day boosted school spirit and bonded the classes.

According to Sister Ellen Lorenz, class of 1957, Field Day ignited the student body with pride and vigor.

When required athletic studies were dropped from the curriculum in the early 1970s, the more intense sports like archery, horseback riding and field hockey were terminated for liability reasons. That meant Field Day also ceased to exist.

“The tournament in the spring has grown into an enormously active Field Day, including the playing off of the tennis matches and the horse show. It is a big day for everyone. One girl frankly admitted, ‘I have a lot of fun in spite of the fact that I’m a failure as an athlete.’” Student Statement, “The Autobiography of a College”

Mount Mary’s focus on sports shifted to “lifetime” sports. These activities included bowling and golf because they were forms of recreation women would be able to participate in regularly throughout their lives.

Through the years, Mount Mary has evolved to reflect the reality of the time. Those changes are seen in the evolution of campus sporting events, such as Field Day.

Thank you to Ann McIntyre, Mount Mary College Archivist, for the assistance she provides the Arches staff. Ann has generously spent time locating, scanning and explaining photographs for our Centennial page.


 “The climax of the spring season is Field Day demonstration, including the inter-class trace and field meet, a baseball game, an archery tournament, the tennis doubles tournament, and the horse show which is held on our own campus.” Faculty Statement, “The Autobiography of a College”















“With the coming of the cherry blossoms and the blooming of the hawthorn, baseball and track are uppermost in our thoughts. After a spirited game of batting and pitching, catching and fumbling, we very classically hurl javelin and discus, and then, those who are still game, wind up a bright spring morning with a sprint in the relay or dash.” Student Statement, “The Autobiography of a College”

“There are some of us who prefer to keep healthy in our own little way rather than by playing games with others. We satisfy individual tastes with a horseback ride, or a tramp on the golf course, or a plunge in the pool, a stab at the archery target, a swing at tennis, or badminton and ping pong.” Student Statement, “The Autobiography of a College”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *