Over time, old campus traditions evolved or were replaced by new activities. Western Week originated in 1947. It was initially a male-only event in which participants dressed as cowboys competed in contests that included nail-driving, tobacco-spitting, potato-peeling and corn-husking. Campus women wore cowgirl costumes. The event soon incorporated fundraising elements, with funds used to purchase presents for “Orphan’s Christmas,” another annual event in which students became “big brothers” or “big sisters” to residents from three regional orphan’s homes; the gifts were distributed by a faculty member dressed as Santa.
National fraternities and sororities arrived by the end of the 1950s and joined the college’s well-established student organizations. Together, these groups engaged in a variety of social activities and collaborated with college administrators to bring to campus distinguished visitors such as Senator Lyndon Johnson, Pearl Buck, and to host concerts by the Dallas Symphony.