1953 - 1954

Director: George F. Kramer

Officer Body

  • President: By Milligan
  • Vice President: George Terrell
  • Secretary: Billie A. Jess
  • Treasurer: Paul R. Simmers

Award Recipients

  • Best Act: "The Vaulteers" - Dick Haberstroh, Dick Heintz, Luke Howard, Ed LaPorta, By Milligan, Co VanderBunt, Ted Walton, and Eric Winter
  • Best Female Trouper: Billie Jess
  • Best Male Trouper: By Milligan

Start of an Era

In the summer of 1953, Dr. Field accepted a teaching position at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.

The Gymkana Troupe once again faced uncertainty about whether or not it would go on. This time, however, instead of a faculty advisor taking over, one of Gymkana's own took on the job - George Kramer.

Under his leadership, the Troupe began its performance season early in the fall semester.  The season included an appearance by the Terrapins (George Kramer, Paul Simmers, and Carolyn Cheek), the previous year's Best Act, at the halftime of the Mississippi-Maryland football game in November.

The Troupe traveled to local high schools during much of the rest of the semester.

Foot juggling, with Eric Winters and Dick Heintz, progressed from juggling inanimate objects to actually tossing women (Nan Johnson and Billie Jess) around, somewhat like the Risley Tumbling act performed by troupers in 1949-50.  However, in this act, known as “The Jokers”, Eric played the part of the clown, ready to cover up any mistakes with a little humor. 

"Apache Dance" a variation of modern dance, was performed by Beverly Stubbs and Coe VanderBunt.

Over semester break, the Troupe took a one week tour of army bases entertaining about 9000 troops.

In honor of its work in entertaining servicemen, the USO presented the Troupe with an award of recognition in March of 1954.

"Gymkana on Broadway" was the 1954 Home Show theme. The show included  a bubble machine, a dry ice machine, special effects and scenery to give a touch of Broadway.   



(possibly incomplete)

  • Maryland-Mississippi Football Halftime
  • St. Michael’s High School
  • Lafayette Square USO
  • Rising Sun High School
  • Poultry Association Convention
  • YMCA Conference
  • Frederick Sasser High School
  • Semester Break tour of military bases (Quantico, Fort Lee, Fort Lejuene, Fort Eustis, and Plymouth)
  • Dundalk High School
  • Washington Society for Crippled Children Telethon