Spurring on: SPURS celebrates 90 years

Trinity’s largest and oldest sorority reflects on years past and looks to the future


Coates Library Online Archive

The roster of the ladies in the SPURS in 1932

Almost a third of the Trinity student body participates in Greek life, with ten sororities and seven fraternities on campus. The largest sorority, Spurs Sorority (SPURS), which claims 95 members, also happens to be the oldest and is celebrating 90 years this Saturday at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens.

SPURS, which stands for sisterhood, pride, unity and respect, was founded in 1932 by Marilyn Zirkel and Laura Meyers at Westmoorland College in San Antonio after the introduction of male students. It was not initially created to be a Greek organization.

“SPURS was founded as a support group for the athletic teams, mainly basketball and football,” said Mary Phillips, sophomore computer science major and co-alumni chair of SPURS. “The original members of SPURS put on programs and did drills at half-time at games.”

Its evolution into a sorority did not occur until ten years after its founding.

“SPURS did not become a social club until 1942 when Westmoorland merged with Trinity,” Phillips said. “By the 1950s, [SPURS] was the largest club on campus with its focus on social and service events.”

The transition into a Greek organization stimulated the group’s development. Their involvement throughout the community has broadened since its creation as a cheer squad, and even their nickname, SPURS, suggests this new leadership role.

As Ellena McGrath, senior art history and communication double-major and rush chair of SPURS, said, “We have two sports captains, four senators on the Student Government Association and the president of the pre-law club.”

SPURS also now works with the organization Family Violence Prevention Services, which is dedicated to ending domestic violence by providing housing, education and other tools to adults and children. They aid by organizing events and directly helping the individuals involved in the organization.

“We’re evolving from a pep squad. We’re now leaders instead of only cheerleaders,” McGrath said.

The SPURS take pride in the origins of their creation, and their standards are still upheld today. With their anniversary and alumni weekend coming up, the SPURS strive to honor their history as the largest and oldest sorority on campus. With their near-centennial anniversary, the entire weekend will be filled with events.

According to Ella Charbonnet, sophomore marketing major and co-alumni chair of SPURS, they plan on celebrating with alumni on Friday at Tycoon Flats, attending the tailgate on Saturday before their official 90th anniversary celebration and finishing off with a brunch at Bombay Bicycle Club on Sunday.

Phillips and Charbonnet, who organized the weekend, as well as McGrath, are all looking forward to the weekend, and they’re excited to show off their loyalty to the club.

“I think it’s really special to have students still care about Trinity even 20 years after graduation,” McGrath said. “It boosts morale when over 100 alumni come for the weekend.”

The pep that originally accompanied their creation is exemplified through this jam-packed weekend, and this isn’t lost on Charbonnet.

“My favorite thing about SPURS is the pride we have for being in this club,” Charbonnet said. “We have so much energy.”