Commons Club

East College, c.1950

The Commons Club was founded March 12, 1924 and was intended to provide non-fraternity men at the College social contacts and privileges such as their Greek classmates enjoyed. Forty-three members were enrolled during the first term and quarters were found in the section of Old East that the S.A.E. fraternity had recently vacated for their own house. Professor J. Fred Mohler was the club's first faculty advisor and served till his death in 1930.

Early provisions were made to ensure that the group would never evolve into a Greek fraternity and the stated aims of the new group pointed out some of the unresolved and underlying issues evident on the campus at the time concerning social life. These goals were to promote unity and co-operation with all students and faculty, to vitalize the campus with "a true spirit of democracy," to ensure an equal opportunity for all male undergraduates, and to build loyalty to the College above any other organization. It took as its motto "Dickinson for Aye."

Predictions for long term success were few but when the Commons Club absorbed the Buchanan Club, growth was steady. In 1939, for example, still resident in East, the Club numbered thirty members and was now advised by Professors Vuilleumier and Stough. When the Air Crew Training Program arrived in 1943, the club lost its quarters and the war reduced membership to only two. Recovery after the war was significant - a home was found in the McIntire House and membership by 1950 regularly reached into the thirties. The traditional scholarships continued with the club winning four Inter-Fraternity Scholarship Cups in a row from 1946. In 1952, the Commons Club was named as the recognized representatives of independent men on campus. After a time back in East, the Club relocated in 1956 to the Conway Hall annex facing Louther Street. The faculty advisor at this time was Milton Flower of the Political Science Department. In 1957 and 1958 membership fell to below a dozen and in 1959 the Commons Club was officially dissolved.

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Dickinson College Archives
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