From its inception in 1951, the Associated Women’s Students sponsored awareness events. One such popular event was a Women’s Week to mark women’s accomplishments and activities. They capped off the week with a Sadie Hawkins-type dance — The TWIRP Dance (which was also a fundraiser). The woman partner arranged the date and purchased the dance ticket = TWIRP (see our header); at the end of the evening the attendees voted (by bid) to select a King of the event.
The dances begin in 1954 and were held at various venues, both on-campus and downtown. 1965 appears to be the last in the series.
The dashing king of the Dance is First-Year Student Benny Dean (right). Mr. Benjamin Dean, BA ’60 is the brother of Kay Frances Dean, BA ’64. Ms. Kay Dean Toran (PhD., Honorary, 2012) has served on the University’s Board of Regents since 2006, and helps support both the Class of 1964 Endowed Scholarship and the Class of 1964 Leadership in Ethics or Diversity Endowed Scholarship. Part of the UP family. Defining a legacy of commitment.
The yearbook page from 1960– sixty years ago– prompted this fact-check: in that year women constituted 35% of the undergraduate population at UP. The education school had not yet been separated, but we do find certain stereotypes fulfilled: women dominated the nursing enrollment (124-0), and they were over-matched in Engineering (1-188). Today the undergraduate ratio of women is approaching 60%. The picture constantly changing, and different doors constantly opened (there are even male students in the School of Nursing, the first of whom graduated in 1973.)
Photo & article credits:
top, 1960 LOG, p. 109
middle, 1957 LOG, p. 162
bottom, The BEACON, Oct. 22, 1954
For Kay Toran, see Portland Magazine, Winter 2020