Winter Carnival


Trying to think of something to do in the short time before the next semester begins? Here are some activities students at Centenary enjoyed throughout the years.


A 1923 student included in Leila Custard’s history Through Golden Years writes:

One of my pleasant recollections is a sleigh ride we went on – horses, bells and all. It was beautiful. The country was glistening with snow and made a lovely sight.


There was plenty for students to do on campus and off. During the Winter Carnival of days past, students would go ice skating, sledding, and tobogganing. The school would also host ski trips to nearby resorts.



Forget about snowmen, follow in the footsteps of Centenary students and personalize your artwork. One of the highlights of the Winter Carnival was the Ice Sculpture Contest, where dorms would create something unique out of snow.

Make the most of your time before the semester begins! We’ll see you soon!



This year marks the 150th anniversary of the charter of Centenary University! To celebrate, the blog will be highlighting past posts about Centenary’s history.

Academics are an incredibly important aspect of a college education (hopefully the most important!), but many students found that their most memorable moments were spent outside the classroom.

150.08 The RecreationAside from classes and educational pursuits, students spent their free time enjoying outdoor activities. In Centenary’s early years, students went hiking, skiing, horseback riding, etc. Horseback riding was very popular, and there was a Riding Club for students taking riding classes, and an Outing Club that regularly scheduled excursions to local stables for all students. Swimming was also a popular pastime. In the 1930s, Centenary started hosting a yearly interclass swim meet. Each class competed in events including the egg and spoon race and ‘swimming with arms alone’. The 1940s marked the beginning of the Aquatic Club, which promoted interest in swimming, life-saving, and water fun.

One of the earliest and most accessible sources of extracurricular entertainment for students was academic. Students joined societies to strengthen their elocution, performed music or sang in recitals, and joined clubs that furthered their educational interests. The music department was the institute’s largest in its earlier years, and there were many musical clubs for students – The Mandolin and Banjo Club, The String Glee Club, the C.C.I. Concert Band, and the C.C.I. Orchestra, which thrived for many years. Students in Chorus gave town concerts and even produced records. Many students enjoyed activities that would help develop professional skills: Students in the school’s radio program spent their time planning radio shows. The radio station was directed by a member of the faculty and staffed by students in radio and television programs.

Let’s not forget social activities! Students had many yearly events for students as a chance to get to know each other better and to unwind. The school held several dances a year, each hosted by a different class. They also created the Winter Carnival with a winter themed dance, skiing, snow sculpture making, sleigh rides, and concerts. The Ice Breaker at the start of the school year welcomed new students to Centenary, and the Songs on the Steps at the end of the school year bid farewell to graduating Seniors. Students found many activities to entertain themselves while they were at Centenary.




Winter 6

Winter Carnival, December 5 1952

hatchery pond skating 1948

Winter Carnival, December 5 1952

Long ago the students of Centenary held a yearly celebration they called the Winter Carnival.


The girls (remember, Centenary was an all girls school) enjoyed a winter themed dance, and if there was snow, winter festivities like skiing and snow sculpture making.

Other events rounded out the spectacle, including vocal concerts, sleigh rides, relay races, and the crowning of the Snow Queen. How did they choose the Snow Queen? She was chosen for her beauty, her participation in the Winter Carnival, and her winter attire; the Snow Queen was considered the most typical girl of the Winter Carnival.

Winter 7

President Seay crowns Dana Andrews the Snow Queen, 1957

The Winter Carnival was first mentioned in passing in a 1945 issue of the student newspaper and was written up in a 1946 issue. That year it was too warm for skiing and skating but the girls still enjoyed their weekend dance with blind dates from Hoboken school Stevens Tech.

Winter 3

Winter Dance, December 5 1952

The next big mention for the Winter Carnival was in 1954 when it was sponsored by the Outing Club. The article says the Winter Carnival was a new idea and it was hoped that it would grow in importance – looks like it had gone into hibernation for a while! For the next two decades the Winter Carnival would come and go, ending one year and being brought back a year or two later. The last mention of the Winter Carnival was in a 1972 issue of the student newspaper.