“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.