Baylor by Decade: 1955, 1975

The Baylor Bulletin (otherwise known as the university catalogue) always gives us great insight into the many changes that have occurred down the years at our university. Join us as we explore “Baylor by Decade,” a periodic series in which we look at the changing campus community.

Baylor University School of Business, IBM 405 Electric Punched Card Accounting Machine, c.1950s (1)
Students gather around the School of Business’ IBM 405 electric punched card accounting machine. That’s some serious machinery! TC photo files-Baylor-Departments-Hankamer School of Business


    • In this decade, the university started charging tuition based on the number of hours taken in a quarter. It cost $9 per quarter hour, and the average total cost of attendance was $265.
    • The library had a collection of approximately 227,000 volumes. (Compare that to the approximately 68,000 volumes twenty years earlier in 1935–that’s a big increase!)
    • The School of Business had an Electronic Tabulator available to accounting majors, an IBM 405 punch card system (see above).
    • The dormitory buildings had many of the latest styles and amenities, including:
        • all were built of stone and brick and were fireproof
        • steam heated
        • partially sound proofed
        • furnished with Venetian blinds, desks, chests, beds, mattresses and chairs.


Architectural sketch of Burleson and Old Main towers to be restored, c. 1975
After the 1953 tornado weakened the structural integrity of the Old Main and Burleson towers, they were removed, and the building remained tower-less until 1976. Pictured in the 1975-1976 catalogue is a rendering of what the renovated complex would look like when the construction was complete in 1976.


  • By this point, the university switched from a quarter system to a semester system. The average total cost of tuition was about $600.
  • Moody Library served as the primary library on campus (having moved out of Carroll Library in 1968). It housed 500,000 volumes, as well as 2,500 magazine and periodical titles.
  • Chapel was now called “University Forum.” Students were required to have three semesters of University Forum to graduate (reduced from four semesters), and they had to attend 75% of all meetings to receive credit.
  • The normal course load for students was 12-18 semester hours. The Bulletin suggests that for students who work three+ hours daily, this should be reduced by one course.

Baylor by Decade: 1915, 1935

Homecoming football game, Baylor vs. TCU, 1915
Photos from Baylor’s second Homecoming football game. Baylor beat TCU, 51-0. 1915 Baylor Bulletin, p. 65.

“With every loyal student it is God, home, country, Baylor”—so sayeth the 1915 Baylor Bulletin. In its early years, the Bulletin was the imprint under which all university catalogues were published, along with the faculty/staff/student directory, annual reports, and even selected faculty publications and speeches. Eventually, it became primarily the university catalogue, but the Bulletin always gives us great insight into the many changes that have occurred down the years at our university. Join us as we explore “Baylor by Decade,” a periodic series in which we look at the changing campus community.   


  • Not only were all students expected to attend Chapel at 10 am every morning, they were also expected to attend a Waco church (as selected by their parents) every Sunday.
  • The library system housed 28,570 volumes. (In comparison, the University Libraries added more than 24,000 volumes in the last fiscal year.)
  • The Chemistry Lab in Carroll Science Building accommodated 68 students. (We have certainly added space with the development of the Baylor Sciences Building!)
  • All the girls living in the University Girls’ Home were expected to do one hour of housekeeping every day.
  • Students paid $75 in tuition for the entire school year, and the total cost of attendance was approximately $250.00.
  • For the Homecoming Football game, Baylor beat TCU 51-0.


            Rufus C. Burleson statue, Baylor University's Burleson Quadrangle, 1935


  • The library system housed 68,015 volumes in Carroll Library, which was newly rebuilt after a fire in 1922 and considered to be a modern fireproof library facility.
  • Students paid $75 per year in tuition, and room and board cost between $28 and $35 per month.
  • A 50-cent fee was charged for each change of class after completion of registration
  • There was a total of 2,458 students enrolled in Baylor, representing 30 states and 9 different countries
  • The Baylor University Press was equipped with modern machinery, including Linotype machines, a No. 4 Miehle press, a Babcock pony press, and a Chandler & Price cutter, which were all operated by electric motors! (This was clearly a big deal. Imagine hand-cranking all of this heavy machinery, and you’ll understand why.)

Facts compiled by archives student assistant Amanda Means