In USF’s earliest days, the university lacked an intercollegiate athletic program to use as a rallying point for a proper homecoming. While President John Allen knew that USF lacked the resources to create a viable athletic program, his focus and motto for USF was “Accent on Learning.” With no athletics to focus school spirit, Allen was fond of the “All University Approach,” with events held for students, staff, and faculty alike. Dean of Women Margaret Fisher announced that USF would not host beauty of popularity contests and campus, and if there ever was a homecoming, there would be no King or Queen. She explained, “The evaluations we make of people need to be serious.” In 1963, the university held an “Autumn Antics” event, a weekend of various activities such as dances and concerts. Campus Edition jokingly described it as “a sort of homecoming celebration minus football—and, presumably, alcohol and sex.” A tradition of rivalry did begin that year, when a faculty softball team trounced a team composed of students.
In the earliest days of USF, students had to be creative to make their own fun. At the time, USF was not home to any Greek organizations, but students simply formed their own clubs named after Greek-sounding names. With no budget for live bands, students held “stereo dances” instead. Students volunteered to wield machetes at the overgrown land northeast of campus, carving out Riverfront Park. Sometimes students pulled various stunts for no apparent reason at all, such as when 33 Beta Hall students crammed into a single bunk in an attempt to set a record. Every Sunday, resident students reigned in their rambunctiousness to attend formal Sunday dinners at the cafeteria.