The first Washington Banquet at the college took place in 1889. The event was a celebration of President George Washington and always took place near Washington’s Birthday in February. The first celebration was a catered banquet hosted by the three literary societies of that time: the Sherwoods, the Eurodelphians, and the Philolexians. During the banquet portion of the evening, toasts were made to President Washington. Various members of the literary societies presented speeches about different high points of Washington’s life. In later years guest speakers were brought in for the banquet. It seems that 1966 was the last year that the Washington Banquet was celebrated at the college.
The literary societies of Kalamazoo College hosted the Washington Banquet at The American on February 22, 1898. The toast master was W.E. Post and speeches on the following topics were made: The College Woman, The College Man, and The True American.
The Eurodelphian, Philolexian, and Sherwood Societies of Kalamazoo College hosted the Washington Banquet on February 21, 1896. The toastmaster was H.C. Jackson and other speakers included Pauline LaTourette, Caroline Swartout, George Stroebe, and Helen Coleman.
The first annual banquet of the literary societies of Kalamazoo College was the Washington Banquet held on February 22, 1889. The program honored President George Washington - "First in War, First in Peace and First in the Hearts of his Countrymen." The college's Glee Club provided music and toasts were made by President Wilcox and members of the literary societies.
Two Kalamazoo College students cutting out decorations for the annual Washington Banquet in February, 1956. The hatchet was a common motif for the banquet, one of the largest annual social events on campus for many years. The students are not identified. This photograph was taken by Wilbur Leon Riegler for the Kalamazoo Gazette.