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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Shirley Carpenter, Miss Modern Venus, Sigma Chi Derby Day, 1956

Shirley Carpenter

Women's academic achievements did not overcome traditional gender stereotypes. During the late 1930s, the campus elected a king and queen each year. The king was the most popular professor and the queen, the most popular female student. In the coronation staged at Memorial Hall, the woman wore a crown and an evening gown. In addition, many student organizations selected a woman each year as their beauty queen. The Yackety Yack included a section called "Vanity Faire" with photographs of women students chosen for their attractiveness.