50 years ago
One of the prize-winning floats in the 1961 Moving-Up Day parade was Kappa Nu fraternity’s “Snoopy swings Beethoven.” While Charlie Brown conducted Snoppy in an off-key rendition of a Beethoven sonata, a bust of the composer rocked back and forth on the piano.
Eleven floats and the UB marching band appeared in the Moving-Up Day parade. The weekend of activities also included a concert by the Brothers Four in Clark Gym and a dance at the Town Casino.
Initiated in 1922 by Irving R. Templeton, chair of the Faculty-Student Activities Committee, Moving-Up Day—or MUD—took place on the first Saturday in May and was the day when each class moved to the next step of the academic ladder and lowly freshmen were able to burn their “frosh” hats.
In the early years, only freshmen—wearing silly costumes and clowning in the street—participated in a parade through downtown Buffalo. All classes assembled after the parade for the presentation of awards and the installation of new officers for student organizations.
In 1924, the UB band was joined by the Shredded Wheat Band from Niagara Falls, the Buffalo Fireman’s Band and a group known as Larkin’s Band. Two camels and large number of ponies also took part in the fun.
Eventually, all classes participated in the parade and there with floats designed by sororities and fraternities, and other student organizations. Beginning in the 1940s when a campaign for MUD queen became part of the festivities, the parade would begin in downtown Buffalo and proceed to campus, where the reviewing stand for the judges of the floats was located.
In 1963, Moving-Up Day became Spring Weekend and by 1978 it was known as Spring Fest.
—John Edens, University Archives