Panty Raids

Crowds of men estimated anywhere from two hundred to two thousand congregated in front of Stuart’s Tea Room about 9:15 on Monday, April 20, 1959, and then charged down to the women’s residence halls, gathering recruits as they went in UT’s major entry in the national “panty raid” trend. Girls in the residence halls shouted encouragement, threw fresh fruit, dumped trash cans full of water, and finally allowed delicate, laced unmentionables to float down to the chanting crowd below. One student said that he and two other men scuffled over a white object that came floating down only to discover that it was a washcloth. Twenty male students were charged with participating in the panty raid, and each had to meet with the Administrative Council. The council expelled seven, put three on probation, and dismissed the remainder with warnings.

On May 15 and 16, 1962, UT and Knoxville police teamed up to stop panty raids at New West Hall (Massey Hall) and Sophronia Strong Halls. Reports were that Tuesday’s raid began when girls called to passersby to come after some panties, and approximately five hundred men organized at about 11:30 and moved toward Massey Hall. The cyclone fence held the action down to yelling and milling about. The men dispersed about 1:30. On the 16th, two policemen were injured in the raid that began at Massey and moved to Sophronia Strong. Twelve men were expelled and 18 others were put on probation for participating in the raids.

A November 17, 1971, panty raid on Presidential Court women’s residence halls was followed by a November 18 campus-wide panty raid on all women’s dormitories. Women retaliated beginning at 12:15 a.m., November 19, by staging a “jock” raid, first at the Presidential dormitories, then at Melrose and Hess, then at Fraternity Row, and finally at Gibbs Hall.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Panty Raids
  • Author
  • Keywords Panty Raids
  • Website Name Volopedia
  • Publisher University of Tennessee Libraries
  • URL
  • Access Date October 25, 2021
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update October 9, 2018