Vignettes about Events & People


The first student newspaper at Cowley College was called the Pepper Box.

The Pepper Box

Technically, the first attempt at a student newspaper occurred in 1922, the year the college started, with a small paper called "The Profiteer." Word has it that it was laboriously typed and tacked to the student bulletin board. There were only three issues, and none were kept on record at the college.


The following year, "The Pepper Box" was printed commercially, and in the four issues that appeared, it makes reference to some of the early life in the college. From Volume 1, Number 1, November 1923: EXTRA- "This is the first edition of the Pepper Box. Each student will receive a free copy. Read it, realize what a big part a paper like this plays in school life, then dig deep down into your pockets and come across with that subscription. ‘Every student a subscriber’ is our aim." Here’s an excerpt from a front-page story about the college fielding a basketball team: "The college’s best bet is its new coach, Stark, a Missouri University star. He is a man who knows basketball from A to Z and understands how to give it to his men. He insists that the men work during the practices, and the fellows are going at the pre-season training with a vim. Although he is handicapped by a lack of experienced men, Stark can be depended upon to give his utmost efforts toward turning out a winning team. To do this, he needs the enthusiastic support of the entire student body. We have the peppiest faculty and school in the state, and we are going to have a team that will whip every junior college team it plays. Watch our smoke!"


The Pepper Box was published monthly and had a subscription rate of 50 cents per year in advance. The single copy price was 5 cents. Evelyn Parkhill served as editor the first year, and the sophomore class reporter was Audra Wooldridge, who turned 98 years old on March 11. Here’s what was written under the masthead on Page 2: "With this issue, the Pepper Box makes its bow in the journalistic world. From such a humble beginning as the ‘Profiteer’ of last year, we have aspired to a real publication. To show that we appreciate the opportunities offered us, let’s boost for a continually bigger and better paper. In undertaking a task with as far-reaching result, as the founding of a school paper, we, as the original members of this college group, should aim to put out a publication that will furnish a proper traditional background for future classes in A.C.J.C. Naturally, our first attempts will seem crude in the light of succeeding issues, but eventually, in proportion to our enthusiasm, the Pepper Box will broaden out into a full-fledged weekly. Contribute toward this end not only your good wishes, but your hearty, active support. Let us dedicate the Pepper Box to the fostering of school spirit, and to the promotion of closer relationships among us all." And this was written in the Dec. 21, 1923, edition of The Pepper Box: "If you think you are beaten, you are; If you think you dare not, you don’t; If you like to win, but think you can’t, It’s always most certain you won’t; If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost; For out in the world, we find Success begins with a fellow’s will; It’s all in the state of mind."

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