In the fall of 1957, the College of Charleston was gearing up for what was then one of the school’s biggest social events: the annual Pep Supper.
A tradition that began in the early 1920s to celebrate the end of the First World War, the festivities commenced each year with a parade through downtown streets and culminated in a dinner and dance at a venue such as the Francis Marion Hotel or Hibernian Hall. On the cusp of basketball season, the College’s cheerleading squad—pictured here in The Cistern—was at the helm of it all, organizing the event and attending to every detail. Today, Pep Supper still kicks off the season, though in a rather different form. The cheerleaders passed the pom-poms to Fraternity and Sorority Life in 1974, and the organization has transformed the celebration into a weeklong fundraiser and food drive for Lowcountry Food Bank. Added to the festivities were a vigorous banner design competition and the main event, a large-scale dance contest between the Greek organizations held in TD Arena, with winners crowned in categories for best choreography and most food donated. In 2017, the collective effort resulted in nearly 30,000 pounds of goods gathered for the food bank and ushered in an undefeated home season—a record for the men’s basketball team.
Photograph Courtesy of The College of Charleston