With fears of a Swine flu pandemic grabbing headlines worldwide, this month’s “Looking Back” photo recalls an outbreak of a different sort that took place on the College’s campus. In November 1974, the campus community had to be inoculated against Group C Meningococcal meningitis. One week before the Thanksgiving holiday, students lined up outside the original Phelps Hall to receive their vaccine shots, which had been sent to the College courtesy of the U.S. Army and were administered by Department of Health officials.
According to the 1975 Seal, from which this photo was taken, the line for vaccinations was “twice the length of Phelps” and some students reported waiting up to five hours to receive their shot. The yearbook also reported that only one percent of the 1,540 throat cultures taken revealed positive traces of meningitis, although, “there was quite a high incidence in the Pub, and all employees were treated.” Were you on campus at the time? We’d love to hear what you can tell us about this moment from College history. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post your thoughts below.