The traditional May Day was established at Grove City College as an annual event in 1916. The first ceremony, which was directed by the Dean of Women, Lois Cory Thompson, was highlighted by the crowning of the May Queen, Lula (Caven '16) Heckathorne. The celebration was held in the square in the front of the old Recitation Hall, which was located on the lower campus.
The first Coronation Ceremony was organized to follow closely the historical coronations of queens during the Elizabethan era. Costumes of the court were designed to resemble the dress of that time. The titles and roles of each court member were also indicative of that era. This tradition is followed today and is represented in our Coronation Ceremony.
Beginning in 1920, the Grove City co-eds presented the first pageant of dances in honor of the Queen. During the next six years, a full symphony orchestra accompanied the pageants and added to the festivities. From 1927 to 1966, Esther Post served as the coordinator of all May Day activities. All presentations were held on the lower campus football field until 1952, when the Recreation Building (Physical Learning Center) was completed. A heavily jeweled crown was rented each year for the May Queen until 1937. At that time, President Weir C. Ketler, Class of 1908, and his wife purchased a crown for the May Queen, their daughter Eleanor '37. This crown has been worn by each succeeding Queen.
The day's activities were further expanded in 1957 when the Recognition Convocation was established. During this program, college men and women are honored by special groups for their outstanding academic achievements and contribution to campus life. Also established in 1957 was the Greek Sing, now titled All-College Sing, which offers student groups a time to display their musical talents.
Each year the celebration has become more and more extensive and includes numerous activities in addition to the highlighted crowning of the May Queen, now called the Spring Queen. The activities, which continue for the entire weekend, have enabled Parents' Day to be now designated as Parents' Weekend.
The year 2012 is a very special Parentsí Weekend. It marks the 20th anniversary of the returning queens. Since 1937 all former May/Spring Queens have been invited to return every four years and participate in the Spring Pageant.
In addition to the above mentioned activities, there are ceremonies, productions, athletic events and exhibits too numerous to mention individually. These activities ensure a full and exciting weekend for all.