Thursday, April 3, 2014

Pledging TAZ, 1964

A Tau Alpha Zeta pledge paddle from the MSMC College Archives.
Its owner, Jitterbug, is unknown, but we wonder if it once belonged to
TAZ alumna  Helen Connelly '47, the student body president
(1946-47) famous for her awesome jitterbugging.
STUDENTS PLEDGING TAU ALPHA ZETA sorority in the spring semester of the 1963-64 academic year were in for a challenge.

TAZ, as it was known, was one of the oldest and largest sororities at MSMC, predating even the Chalon Campus opening in 1930. It was active for more than 40 years. Members were known for their look-alike sheath dresses.

We found a document in the sorority files from February, 1964, letting the pledges know what to do and how to behave.  Some of the requirements are pretty old school -- smoking rules, housedresses and bermuda shorts -- and others would probably be considered hazing today: paddles and Hell Night.


  • Memorize sorority songs.
  • Know Greek alphabet perfectly.
  • Make a notebook for weekly signatures of each active [member], with separate section for merits, demerits, and activity points; keep always with you.
  • Make a green painted paddle with TAZ inscribed in gold, and pledge name on the reverse side; keep always with you.
  • Make an alphabetical address book of active members with pledges in back.
  • Give actives a seven-course dinner during pledgeship.
  • Call actives "Miss".
  • Be courteous to actives at all times.
  • Stand when actives enter the room.
  • Eat lunch with your Big Sister once a week (find out when it's convenient for her).
  • Attend all meetings
  • Wear old housedresses to meetings.
  • Wear no make-up to meetings.
  • Wear pledge pin over heart at all times.
  • Wear no other pin but pledge pin.
  • Answer to pledge name and correct members on this matter.
  • Meet pledge mistress at the appointed times.
  • Maintain at least a "C" average.
  • Pledge pins must not be worn with bermudas, etc., formals, or on pockets.
  • No smoking in presence of actives unless you have their permission.
  • Have your formal picture taken before Hell Night.
  • Enter Spring Sing as the United TAZ pledge class.
  • Attend the TAZ charity.
  • Write a letter to Miss Pat Kirk.
We're sure TAZ alumna Pat Kirk '63 appreciated getting the letters. She had just joined the newly created Peace Corps and was stationed in Liberia.

TAZ members in spring of 1963. A year later they'd receive the
homage of the 1964 pledge class.

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