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The May Queen

1936 May Queen crown

The Greenville Woman’s College began celebrating May Day as early as 1834 at the Greenville Female Academy, the college’s predecessor.  Celebrations included crowning a May Queen and her court, dancing around a maypole, and a picnic with the men from Furman University.  This crown was worn by the May Queen of 1936, Lena Stoddard.

1936 May Queen

Lena Stoddard as May Queen. The boys holding her train were sons of the Greenville Woman’s College cook.

When the Greenville Woman’s College merged with Furman University in 1938, the May Day tradition came with it.  May Day was celebrated yearly at Furman until 1966.


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