Reunion each year fittingly brings home to campus members of Upsilon Omega Pi, the campus spirit club. 2016 commemorates the club’s 65th year anniversary. Upsilon Omega Pi’s first president, Dennis Moran ’51, brought about the merger of the campus pep and spirit groups, adopting the cool greek-letter name [ΥΩΠ decoded: UoP] in 1950-51.
Since its beginning, Upsilon pep club activities centered around basketball and dances and University life. In their first years members hosted a reception for homecoming princesses and their escorts; sponsored “Stag Nights” with Upsilon men cheering as a unit at basketball games; and hosted several post-basketball game dances in Education Hall. For the University’s all-school carnival in 1951, members contacted firms and businessmen for prize donations, and also participated in the carnival with their penny-pitching booth giving 80% of their profits to the student council. (Also, the ΥΩΠ Club of ’56 saw the first suspension of charter; 2016 marking the 60th year since they were levied a $25 fine and suffered suspension for allowing alcohol to be served at an October club meeting.) Other Upsilon projects were the construction of a large bulletin board in the Pilot House for student activity notices and other club communication; and helping to renovate the campus infirmary in 1958.
From the start, beginning in 1951, Upsilon Omega Pi also hosted an annual high school senior weekend at the University [an early version of Campus Visitation Day], and also served as sponsors of the University’s first jazz concert in 1958.
In 1953, the group officially changed its name from “Upsilon Omega Pi Pep Club” to “Upsilon Omega Pi Spirit Fraternity”. School spirit was always the foundation of Upsilon in its activities at UP, as found in this preamble to their constitution in the 1984 Upsilon Omega Pi Reference Manual:
“Whereas there is a need for greater student participation in student body activities, and a need for the development of the student social welfare, we have resolution to organize Upsilon Omega Pi Spirit Fraternity at the University of Portland.”
For more about Upsilon Omega Pi
Wally Pilot: https://sites.up.edu/museum/851/
Upsilon Omega Pi Hearse: https://sites.up.edu/museum/upsilon-omega-pi-hearse/
The Freshmen 15: https://sites.up.edu/museum/the-freshmen-15/
First row: Farrell Bjorkman, Don Zenger, Jerry Fuller, Ken Strode, Manuel Mike, Bud Nash, Dan Duffy, Al Anderson, Kev Wagner, Dick Donovan
Second row: Earl Farley, Tom Sears, Jim Newman, Frank McCanna, Dave Sutherland, Joe Brozene, Jim Popham, Lloyd Weisensee, Jim Vincent, Jim Malone
Third row: Newt Acker, Al Weber, George DeLong, Jerry McCarthy, Jim Creegan, Dick Crisera, Dick May, Gary Jacobson, Dick Gibbons, Dick Davi, Tom Condon
Fourth row: Faculty Advisor: Jim Headrick, Tom Cooney, Don Mayfield, Dick Van Hoomissen, Norm Wirth, Jim Flynn, Bob Christensen, Al Rousseau, Kenny Uphoff