Guest Blogger: Debbie Levey, CEE technical writer
When undergraduates moved into brand-new Baker House in 1949, Dick Holmgren ’50 remembers that changes were afoot.
“It was much more elegant than the dorm we were used to,” Holmgren said. “In keeping with the much classier quarters, someone decided that we students should also clean up our act. So the edict went out that all student should wear coats and ties in the dining room. To us students, of course, this was an outrage. Our rights were being trampled on, to say nothing of our pocketbooks, with all the additional washing, drying, and pressing.”
In typical MIT fashion, Holmgren and his buddies decided to design their own ties “so we could claim that we WERE following the rule. Everyone got crayons or little bottles of paint, and created neckties for each other,” as shown in the photo he provided.
“As I recall, the whole episode ran out of steam soon. I think that the dining room managers gave up on the issue, and soon people looked almost as grubby as in the beginning, although maybe a little better than in the very beginning.”
Holmgren sits first on the left in the bottom row. He identifies Max Schubert ’50 and George Spencer ’51 second and third left. Joe McCluskey ’50 and Jake Bartas ’50, SM ’52 stand first and second left in the back row.