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An Honorary Model

As The Sandspur celebrates its 120th anniversary, Managing Editor Annamarie Carlson ‘14 has collected a series of notable dates and events that mark the publication’s contribution to Rollins.

120 years seal

Dec. 20, 1894: Vol. 1 Issue 1

The first issue of The Sand-Spur was printed as a literary journal with its original motto, “Stick to it.” The 30-page journal contained a variety of short stories and essays as well as short blurbs on various news events. At the time, The Sand-Spur cost twenty cents per issue and was distributed once per trimester schedule, which Rollins was operating on at the time. The first issue included the following editorial:

It has been well said that all things have been created for the good of man. But how sand-spurs benefit us has been a subject of no little speculation and this inability to use them for our advantage has, at many times and in various places, been painfully felt.

We have at last profitably utilized the sand-spur in that we have made our cherished publication its namesake. We feel no hesitancy in making our discovery public, being assured that such an announcement will be hailed with joy as extensive as is the domain of the sand-spur.

Unassuming yet almighty, sharp and pointed, well rounded yet many sided, assiduously tenacious, just as gritty and energetic as its name implies, victorious in single combat and therefore without a peer, wonderfully attractive, and extensive in circulation, all these, will be found, upon investigation, to be among the extraordinary qualities of The Sand-Spur.

Henry Buckingham Mowbray ‘1897 was the first Editor-in-chief of The Sand-Spur. He led the campaign to change the Rollins colors to blue and gold to win over a girl:

But there arose complications for there was a fellow student of mine, Miss Marie McIntosh, who had a sallow and pimply complexion and who volubly contended that oleander pink was most trying for her to wear. Another complication was that I hoped. . . to secure the affections of Miss Marie. So to ingratiate myself with her, as editor of The Sand-Spur, I waged a campaign against oleander pink and presented in print the advantages of Blue and Gold (1949 essay, “Youthful Days in Florida”).

He was the future donor of the Rollins’ Mowbray House.

Rex Beach ‘1897, also an editor on the original staff of The Sand-Spur, became a famous American novelist, playwright, and Olympic water polo player. He attended Rollins at the age of 14 and served as an editor for the paper at age 17. The Rex Beach House is named after him and his ashes are buried by the Alumni House on campus.

March 18, 1895: Vol. 1 Issue 2

The second issue of The Sand-Spur included a variety of stories and interesting quotes.

The Sand-Spur began the successful campaign to change the colors of the college:

The new Rollins stick-pins which are seen displayed on lapels and other conspicuous places, surely show the weakness of the College color. Imagine pins of like pattern with gold mountings instead of silver; royal blue enamel instead of pink; and on the blue ‘Rollins’ or ‘R. C.’ in gold. It would be a pin to be proud of, while our present one perhaps is not (8).

In an attempt to encourage the teaching of the Bible: “The editors of The Sand-Spur have no desire to ‘run the college.’ They have their hands full to run The Sand-Spur” (9).

In reference to Rollins College:

We may be few here at Rollins, but never say we are feeble. We are surely not, if mottoes are any criterion, such as ‘Stick to It,’ ‘Build for Eternity,’ ‘Find a Way or Make One.’ We are surely not if one can judge by the number of organizations; for our clubs and societies are remarkably numerous compared to our numbers. Every one here who belongs to anything, belongs to several…All things considered, there is not a better college in America at which to attend school than Rollins (11).


Nov. 1, 1899: Vol. 5 Issue 1

The Sand-Spur is formatted like a traditional literary journal. The change included the following editorial:

With the appearance of this issue of The Sand-Spur its editors give greeting to their fellow students, the faculty, and the many friends interested in the student life of Rollins College. It has been their aim to produce a publication original in composition, interesting and instructive, and above all worthy of representing the institution which stands for the best in all things and which deserves all the honor that its students can in any way bring to it. They have striven to publish a volume…reflecting the students’ interests in their entirety, and confirming to the spirit that permeates Rollins. In the past The Sand-Spur with its plucky motto has been well received. May this volume be found worthy of a place beside its predecessors (4).


Feb. 1912: Vol. 17 Issue 1

The Sand-Spur changed its name to The Rollins Sandspur and officially became a monthly magazine. The newspaper costs fifteen cents an issue and a dollar for a whole year. These changes included the following editorial:

Before us lies a copy of the first Sandspur published at Rollins College. It appeared eighteen years ago, with the following editorial staff, which contains a number of names now known far beyond the boundaries of the campus where they then worked…

Here is the latest number of The Rollins Sandspur which marks at once a continuation of, and an advance over, former numbers. For eighteen years The Sandspur has fought its way through difficulties, sometimes as a quarterly, sometimes as an annual, once or twice with no issues at all. With the growth in size and scope of the college, the time seems ripe for a monthly magazine, and for the future The Sandspur will appear monthly through the college year. In future the purpose of the magazine will be more especially to publish news of the college happenings and items of interest to former students and friends of the institution. To all such, then, we submit this present number, trusting earnestly that it will fill a very real want, and that its failings may be corrected in future issues.

Our name is to us an endless source of self-congratulation. […] We think that among college papers our name stands out as peculiarly choice, and it shall be our endeavor to make the paper itself measure up to the same standard (3).


Nov.20, 1915: Vol 18, Issue 1

Starting in 1915, The Rollins Sandspur became the official newspaper of Rollins College. It was printed on broadsheet and looked like a traditional newspaper with each paper around 6-8 pages in length. Alfred J. Hanna worked as co-editor-in-chief of the paper. These changes were accompanied by the following editorial:

Just twenty-one years ago the first Rollins College student publication, The Rollins Sandspur, appeared. There were on that editorial staff several names which have since come into prominence. Little did anyone foresee that the local editor of The Sandspur of ’94 would materialize into a famous and nationally popular author of short stories of the present day—Rex Beach. Yet that is history. The publication has passed through various vicissitudes during the time that it has been attaining its majority, sometimes appearing as a quarterly, sometimes as an annual, but always true and loyal to its original motto, ‘Stick to it.’ This year the entire student body of Rollins, the oldest institution of higher learning in Florida, has united in ‘a strong pull, a long pull, and a pull altogether,’ to make of The Rollins Sandspur of 1915, and of all future years, a paper which will excel, if that be possible, all past efforts, and thus instill into the hearts of the students a spirit of devotion to their alma mater, which will be inextinguishable.

The Rollins Sandspur this year attains to its majority. On account of the vast amount of experience accumulated during this long period of time, it is to take on a more modern and more active form. From now on, the editors are to put forth a weekly publication embodying news of college happenings and items of interest to the alumni and former students.

We have gotten over the antiquated idea of publishing a monthly magazine or picture book; the student body is a living, spontaneous, exuberant mass of humanity, and a live organ of news is the demand of the day. With the aid of our generous advertisers, the supporting interest of the alumni and former students, and the steadfast loyalty of every present student, we shall endeavor to retain the character of The Sandspur as it was described in the first issue (2).


March 30, 1923: Vol. 24, Issue 22

The first April Fool’s Issue—The Razz-Berry—is published featuring joke articles including, “Amusement Park to Be Built in Lake Virginia.”


Oct. 7, 1930: Vol. 33 Issue 1

The Sandspur publishes the following “Rat Rules” for freshmen at Rollins:

Rats must keep of the grass. Any grass.

Rats must keep off the Beanery steps and out from under the canopy until all upper classmen have gone in. They must not sit down until all upper classmen are seated.

Rats must button to all upper classmen, thumb on the button, fingers outstretched.

Rats must rise when upper classmen enter the room and must hold open doors for them.

Rats must learn all college songs, especially the “Rouser,” the Alma Mater, “Rolling Along,” and “Glory, Glory to the Sophomores.”

Rat caps must be on at all times, except at social affairs and on Sunday.

No dates for two weeks. This rule is not being strictly observed, but woe to them who disobey.

Rats must use side doors.

Rats must run errands for upper classmen within the limits of Winter Park up until ten o’clock at night.

Rats must not wear pins, rings, or emblems of any sort of any high or prep school.

Rats must wear their names, home and school addresses on a slip of paper.


May 24, 1956

First Fox Day Coverage

Sept. 30, 1966: Vol. 73, Issue 1

The following editorial re-stated the purpose of The Sandspur:

With this, the first edition of The Sandspur, it is only proper that we define our editorial and news policy—and our purposes.

We feel that The Sandspur should be and will be a newspaper written and edited by students. We feel that the process of acquiring a college education involves more than academic pursuits and that the weekly production a university newspaper is a vital part of this learning process for interested students.

Thus, we have made our goals twofold. First, we feel it is our duty to serve the college community. This means that The Sandspur is not a student newspaper, nor is it a house organ for the administration. The Sandspur is a college newspaper, with items of interest for all segments of our diversified community.

And in this respect, we will publish only news we feel will inform, enlighten, or benefit members of the college. We will strive to evaluate articles on the news value and not whether someone would or would not like to see the information in print.

Our editorial policy will be one of open-mindedness. We will strive to bring to light the important aspects of all issues and clearly define for our readers our feelings on important subjects of the day.

We shall not hesitate to point out what we feel is wrong and right with the college system, our social norms, or our goals of life. We shall, as always, thoroughly research our topics for editorial discussion and hopefully present special insights into current problems.

These policies are not new nor are they novel. They are a continuation of ideas used in the production of The Sandspur of past years (2).


Sept. 24, 1976; Vol. 83 Issue 1

The Sandspur once again clarified its editorial goals in the following editorial:

The Sandspur has never had a closely defined editorial format, formula, or publishing concept to which it has had to restrict itself, preferring instead to lend itself to the range of imagination and intelligence of its many and respective editors as to the way, shape, and form in which it was edited, compiled, and published.

Being the oldest collegiate student publication in the State of Florida, The Sandspur has always had faculty advisors (and more recently, a Publications Union) to which it is directly responsible, but never censors; rather, the student Editor-in-Chief has always exercised his or her own discretion, taste, and judgment regarding his or her particular editorial formula.

We have sought and will continue to seek to attempt to maintain our standards compatible with those expressed in the Statement and Purpose of the College, particularly,

‘Rollins fulfills its purpose when the encounter or the person with the world is kept at the center of the College’s concern. Rollins seeks to broaden his understanding of influences that have shaped the present and to develop intellectual competence, personal effectiveness, and methods by which knowledge can be discovered and applied…Within this setting the College hopes to enlarge the individual’s awareness of his capabilities and limitations, stimulate his alertness to contemporary issues and events, deepen his sensitivity to beauty, and contribute to his physical well-being… We want the members of the College’s community to appreciate the values of various cultures and institutions and as responsible participants, to identify and correct deficiencies in social structures… Our central goal at Rollins is the development of the intellectual maturity desired by persons not simply seeking for ways to get along, but for ways to realize more of the human potential.’

Our content will not be restricted to campus news alone. Not only is there not enough news of interest and importance to justify an issue devoted entirely to campus news, but the overall intellectual and aesthetic value of the publication would, within this limitation, be deadened. Instead, we will attempt to give an overall look at the different aspects of life in the world, the United States, Central Florida, Winter Park, and the campus itself as seen through the eyes of members of the Rollins community.

Most importantly and finally, our central purpose is the utilization of creative energy into the skillful expression of intelligence and interest by means of the printed word (2).


Sept. 20, 2002: Vol. 109 Issue 1

First Full-Color Front Page


Aug. 30, 2012: Vol. 119 Issue 1

New Format Released

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