Evolution: The Guilford College "G"

The "Guilford College G" has gone through many iterations over the years. According to college marketing chief Ty Buckner, until quite recently (about 10 years ago), there really wasn't an "official G." Quaker athletic teams usually designed their own, leading to a plethora of "G's" in every sport...which led to confusion...which led to the need for change and standardization, hence the current design.

As I find this subject particularly interesting, and delve deeper into the photos and written records of the school (The Quaker, The Guilfordian, etc.), this blog post will expand quite a bit. Please check back often if, like me, you're curious about the evolution of our beloved "G."

Guilford Football team of 1899. A few sewn-on G's...and a few that appear to be drawn on the shirts in white paint...or chalk. 
Typical of early football teams was the general lack of a "uniform."
(Photo: Guilford College.)

Football team, 1900. Nary a "G" in the crowd but quite typical for early football teams, with thick sweaters and crude padding being more important than a cohesive "uniform." Grid men of this era sometimes wore varsity letter sweaters on the field but more often away from the field. 
(Photo: Guilford College.) 

Women's basketball team, circa 1890s. A classy, dainty "G," 
but these ladies played tough! 
(Photo: Guilford College.)

Women's tennis team, early 1900s. 
(Photo courtesy of Guilford College.)

Not a "G" in sight here...but I'm digging the old-school pennant! 
(Photo by Guilford College.)

Baseball team, 1911. Photo by Guilford College. 
A few "Gothic G's" are in the midst, a tradition that would 
continue throughout the years, primarily on baseball jerseys. 
I remember the baseball team wearing it during my 
time at Guilford in the 90s. 
(Team photo: Guilford College.)

The Gothic G is also seen capping the gemstone on a large number of alumni class rings, such as this one worn by Chip Cummings, Jr. '70.
(I took the slightly blurry photo...) 

Men's tennis team, 1911. Notice the differing "G" design of the player on the right - a "G" enclosed in a diamond pattern.
(Picture courtesy of Guilford College.)

1911 Basketball team, with uniforms that are...uniform! 
(Picture by Guilford College.)

Wearers of "G." Guilford letter men (multiple sports) of 1913-14. Future Boston Red Socks and New York Yankees pitcher Ernie "Stretch" Shore (one of the tallest guys on campus at 6'4") towers in the middle of the picture: courtesy of Guilford College.

Baseball team of 1913-14.
(Photo by Guilford College.)

Baseball team of 1919. The "G" worn on their uni's is the
inspiration for our current "G."
(Photo: Guilford College.)

A typical Guilford College varsity letter from the 1930s.
The arrow through the middle represented the Track team.
(Photo from personal collection.)

Cheerleaders, mid 20th century. Future U.S. Congressman,
Howard Coble '53 is front and center.
(Picture courtesy of Guilford College.)

Officers of the "Monogram Club" (varsity athletes who lettered
in several sports) convene to plan their next win, circa 1949.
(Picture by Guilford College.)

This co-ed wears a "beanie," circa 1967, the last year freshmen were required
(by upperclassmen) to wear the dorky, humiliating cap. Here, the "G"
resembles a "refrigerator magnet" alphabet letter.
(Photo by Guilford College.) 

Legendary alumni and coach "Rock" Maynard '43
wears a squiggly, cursive, 70s-era "G."
(Picture courtesy of Guilford College.)

The "copycat G" used during various periods (at least on football helmets) in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Again, not sure why we thought it was perfectly 
O.K. to ape the athletic logo for the Green Bay Packers, 
the University of Georgia, Grambling University, etc. 
Although we used it, it wasn't ours and never would be. 
Glad it was discontinued for good! 
(Drawing by HelmetArchive.) 

Our mascot, Nathan the Quaker, flirting with some co-eds during Serendipity.
Here, Nathan wears a rather generic, "round G."
Date of photo unknown, but I'm guessing late 80s or early 90s.
(Photo courtesy of Guilford College.)

My old key chain from the early 90s.
The "G" on Nathan's sweater was pretty much the "standard G" of that era.
I believe the font is actually called "Guilfoyle."
(Pic is my own.)

The "diamond G" from 1999-2002. Most of the alumni pretty much detested it
(including me) and was discontinued after a short time.
(Drawing courtesy of HelmetArchive.)

The "square G" from 2003-2005, getting closer to the
historical "G" designs of the College's past.
(Drawing courtesy of HelmetArchive.)

The official, current (2014) and standard "G" of Guilford College, probably best described as the "rectangle G." Introduced circa 2005, it's modern yet historic, having roots in the "G" design of our 1919 baseball uniforms. 

Honestly, I wasn't crazy about it at first, tending to prefer the "Gothic G." 
(It just seems more traditionally collegiate.) However, I've really warmed up to this retro design for it's historical symbolism, and sport a number of items bearing this "G" (T-shirts, ball cap, scarf etc.). It's here to stay for the foreseeable future. 
(This logo is owned by Guilford College.)

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