Student Wives Club/Poly-Annas was at first a support organization for the wives of students, started in 1949. It later became a support organization (1968) for both wives and female students of Cal Poly. The club disbanded in 1975. The collection contains notebooks, scrapbooks and cookbooks relating to the club’s operation and activities from 1949-1975; arranged chronologically
The Student Wives club, chartered in the Winter Quarter of 1949, was created for the wives of Cal Poly Voorhis students (who were all male at the time). Many members of the club were homemakers, having no job outside of the home and several children. These women were not only mothers and wives who washed and cooked and ironed, but were also study mates and typists for their student husbands.
Within the club, women could share their joys, sorrows, and problems and gain support from other women undergoing the same experiences. The club quickly became an outlet for these women to meet in the evenings while hubby could baby-sit at home. Hoping to "promote worthwhile projects" within the community, members established a student loan fund and held fundraisers for scholarships. They also sponsored family gatherings such as potluck dinners, dances, card clubs, and holiday parties, to name a few. The club became so active that in the academic year 1957-1958 members were presented with honorary associate membership Student Body Cards by the student government, A.S.I. (Associated Students, Inc.)
1957 also marked the first year of the P.H.T. (Pushing Hubby Through) ceremony. Held on June 4th in the Voorhis Chapel, it was a mock graduation exercise complete with caps, gowns, and diplomas to recognize the wives for their hard work and dedication throughout their husbands academic careers. Cal Poly President Dr. Julian McPhee gave the address and Mrs. Julian McPhee presented awards to 26 women. By 1974 it was estimated that 4,100 women had received P.H.T. diplomas. The ceremony continued every year until 1975, when the club disbanded.
It was not until 1961 that Cal Poly Pomona began to admit women to the College. In 1968, a dynamically changing student body led the Student Wives Club to change its name to the "Poly-Annas," so that married women who were students themselves could be included in the organization. After many blood drives, fashion shows, luncheons, clothing drives, programs for needy children, loans and scholarships to students, P.H.T. diplomas, and countless other contributions to the campus and community, the club disbanded in 1975.
The collection arrived in no discernable order and was rearranged into chronological order. The highly acidic 1949-1958 scrapbook was interleaved with acid-free paper, and some of the loose news clippings were gathered into folded acid-free paper adjacent to the location where they were found. The rest of the collection consists mainly of club organizational binders and scrapbooks, along with a cookbook compiled by club members.
1. Oral Histories of Cal Poly Pomona: Student Papers from the Pflueger Collection, UA2001/7/1 Paper #49, "Cal Poly Student Wives Club" by Marilyn Winterbourne (assisted by Irene Lovewell)
1 copy, 20 pgs. (no numbering)
Paper about the history of the Student Wives Club. Includes 1 page history, list of advisors, list of presidents, year-by-year chronology, brief history of PHT ceremony, copy of 1968 newsletter announcing name change from "Student Wives Club" to "Poly-Annas," club officers for 1967-1968, and a copy of the bylaws (rev. 5/72).
2. Dean of the College Records: P.H.T. Ceremony files (1959-1963) in boxes 3 and 4 of UA2000/18/1-4.
3. Commencement programs (1957-1980) document box: for 1963 PHT ceremony.
University Library Special Collections