Admission 25 cents. What a bargain when the first Campus Carnival “midway” opened Saturday, April 21, 1956.
The Marquette Tribune described a gymnasium “filled with all the features of a regular traveling carnival like side shows, games of skill and concessions, all sponsored and operated by various Marquette organizations in competition with each other.”
Fast forward to 1966, when the Board of Governors of Schroeder Hall felt the Carnival Committee ignored the hall’s entry for a Carnival activity. In a spirit of minor rebellion, the hall’s leadership decided to host a rogue celebration.
The hall hired Tom and Jerry to perform a concert on campus for $2,000, then-students Bob Sullivan, Arts ’68, and David Jorling, Law ’71, remember. The bargain was possible because the singing duo was not quite famous until their song Sound of Silence hit the airwaves and became a No. 1 hit single. Of course, by then, Tom and Jerry were better known as Simon and Garfunkel.
“They tried to renegotiate the contract for $20,000,” Jorling says, after the song took off. “But with the help of the university’s legal staff, we held them to the contract. We expected their concert would be disappointing since they would not want to be there, but they gave an excellent performance. ... The Old Gym was jammed. ... It still remains one of the best concerts I have seen over the years.” — JMM