Debbie Trimble rep­re­sented Hillsdale College in Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Girls Contest in 1969. Col­legian.

“Debbie Trimble will rep­resent Hillsdale College in the Glamour Top Ten College Girls Contest.”

That’s not some­thing you read everyday in the scholarly boon­docks of Hillsdale. 

Sur­pris­ingly, in December 1968, The Col­legian ran quite the beauty contest. 

The Col­legian pub­lished, “Next month Hillsdale College will be par­tic­i­pating in Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Girls Contest.”

The contest had two points of cri­teria, as printed on Dec. 12, 1968. “The Col­legian is looking for a girl who: Reflects indi­vidual thinking in her approach to fashion and its role in the life she leads; is well groomed and has a good figure.”

In addition, the com­pe­tition sought someone who “is an out­standing achiever in some campus or com­munity activity. For example: arts, social work, science, sports, pol­itics or business.” 

The broad nature of that second cri­teria does not lead me to believe that they were looking to say, “Can­didate, your science exper­iment was extremely ground­breaking.”

Like any good beauty pageant con­ducted remotely, Glamour offered a coveted prize to the winner. 

The Col­legian printed, “If Hillsdale’s rep­re­sen­tative should be chosen she will receive: national recog­nition for herself and the college in the August issue of Glamour, and in news­papers throughout the country; a per­sonal gift from the editors of Glamour; and an all expense paid trip to a foreign country where the winners will be guests at an out­standing Fes­tival or Inter­na­tional Exhi­bition.”

I too love trav­eling abroad to an unknown des­ti­nation with a promise of being a guest at an unnamed con­vention. Safety: it’s a lifestyle. 

 On Feb. 20, 1969, they announced the lucky Hillsdale winner. 

“Debbie Trimble, a sophomore from Malvern, Pa., will rep­resent Hillsdale College in Glamour Magazine’s annual Top Ten College Girls contest,” The Col­legian reported. 

Trimble was one of four semi-finalists from 15 appli­cants sent to The Col­legian. 

There is some­thing com­forting about knowing that only 15 people applied for this contest. Even in its party days, the girls of Hillsdale had enough sense not to apply to win the world’s most ambiguous trip. Go us. 

Yet, this was not the college’s first expe­rience with a fashion-forward com­pe­tition such as this. On March 10, 1961, the news­paper announced Terry Grieger as the college’s rep­re­sen­tative to Glamour Magazine’s 10 Best Dressed College Girls in America contest. 

The Col­legian printed, “The winner was chosen by a com­mittee headed by Mrs. Marian Stebbins, coor­di­nator of college rela­tions. The other members of the com­mittee included: Mr. Richard Hickory, alumni director; Mrs. Edrie Dixon, Miller’s Fashion Shop, Coach Frank Waters, and Miss Marian Willoughby, assistant pro­fessor of home and family living.” 

It is inter­esting that the football coach and namesake of our current football field also doubled as a fashion judge. 

The article con­tinues to describe Grieger as the fashion editor of The Col­legian. In a com­pe­tition for the best dressed girl, that seems like cheating to me. 

Grieger also wrote a recurring column entitled “Fashion Wise” in which she rec­om­mended Gold Dust eye­liner by Charles of the Ritz on Oct. 14, 1960. She did deserve the title of Hillsdale’s best dressed after all. 

Out of the nine girls who were nom­i­nated for the coveted title, Grieger was the lucky winner. To earn her prize, Grieger along with the other nom­inees modeled three chosen outfits before the judges, as reported on March 3, 1961. 

That could not have been a com­fortable scene for the football coach. 

Unfor­tu­nately, Grieger wasn’t chosen as one of the Ten Best Dressed College Girls in America, and she missed a very enticing prize. According to the Col­legian on Feb. 24, 1961, “If Hillsdale’s best dressed girl is chosen one of Glamour’s Ten Best Dressed College Girls in America she will be pho­tographed for the annual August College Issue and will spend two weeks in New York in June as a guest of the mag­azine.”

Well, if the winner had to go on a sur­pris­ingly low infor­mation trip, at least this time she wasn’t trav­eling inter­na­tionally to an arbi­trary des­ti­nation.