The Genevan, Geneva College’s yearbook, had a far bigger influence on the students in the 1920s than it does today. The idea of purchasing a college yearbook has lost popularity among today’s students, most likely because there are other (digitalized) ways to remember who was in your college class and to preserve college memories.

In the 1920s, however, the yearbook was a much more highly anticipated publication. As the source of many of the documents and photographs used on this website, The Genevan does an excellent job of encapsulating the life of the college in any given year. Click a year to see The Genevan Editorial Staff: 1920, 1928.

Featured in each edition of the yearbook, in addition to class information and a description of clubs and events, was the “Geneva At Work” cartoon series, which depicted various moments from the past year in comic form. (Click a year to see the cartoons: 1927, 1928.) Also, the yearbook would include collections of photos with various captions written underneath, usually poking fun at those in the pictures. It seems clear that these things were meant to be “in good fun” and not offensive, yet some of the comments made are on or over the line in terms of the modern definition of political correctness. Click here to see photos.

The 1926 issue of The Genevan also included a collection of jokes. The humor is, for the most part, lost on those of us who didn’t live through the 1920s, but just the same they can give today’s college student insight into the “college humor” of the 1920s at Geneva.

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