This Month in our History

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St. Thomas College football squad, 1893 (University of Scranton Archives)

November 24, 1892 - Football

Not long after classes began, St. Thomas College students formed a football team. They played their first game, a Thanksgiving Day match against Carbondale High School, in November 1892. The victorious players enjoyed a celebratory banquet at the Hotel Harrison in Carbondale after the game. Football would be a part of University of Scranton campus life until the 1960s.

Other Football Milestones

  • 1898 - First fully scheduled football season  - In nine games, they outscored their opponents 114 points to 6, losing only their opening game to Keystone Academy (now Junior College) by a score of 6-5 and holding their opponents scoreless for the rest of the season.
  • 1908 - Undefeated football season without a single point scored against them.

November 17, 1916 – First Basketball Game

The senior class of St. Thomas College organized a basketball team at an October 1916 class meeting, electing Benjamin Mahon as team manager. The first game, played on November 17, 1916, was unfortunately a 25-15 loss to Dunmore High School. The team’s overall record for the 1916-17 season would be 7 wins and 5 losses.

November 29, 1927 - Middle States

In November 1927, the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools of the Middle States and Maryland officially accredited St. Thomas College. College President Bro. George Lewis, F.S.C. received the good news in a brief letter from Adam Leroy Jones of Columbia University.

November 1931 - College Band

While St. Thomas College students had formed an orchestra in 1915, the College Band did not make its debut until a 1931 Thanksgiving Day football game against traditional rival Canisius. On the night before the game, the band marched through the streets of Scranton, followed by the entire student body in an enthusiastic show of school spirit. Wearing uniforms dyed a “distinctive shade of purple,” the band would play a concert each spring in addition to performing at athletic contests and student assemblies.

November 16, 1939 - Televised Athletics

The University of Scranton’s football team had a banner year in 1939. Not only was the team undefeated, they also played the University’s first night games under the newly installed lights of Scranton’s Athletic Park and traveled to New York City to play in one of the country’s first televised football games.

The program’s success was not ensured, however. In 1961, football at the University of Scranton was canceled due to the rising costs of maintaining a team. Club teams continued to play throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

November 1967 - Long Center dedicated

November 2011 - Pilarz Hall dedicated 

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