At each annual conference you will note the presence of two special
items. They preside over all formal gatherings and are passed from
President to President as a symbol of the care-taking of our Association
Like the Cromag, the Two-Step Blanket is placed on stage next to the podium at all SEAHO Conference events.
The following history was written by Gary Kimble, long-time leader in the Association, and describes the blanket, it's symbolism and our tradition.
"As Boyer noted in his book, it is important to celebrate and foster
traditions. As a profession, traditions and celebrations are an integral
component of our daily work on our college campuses. What would our
lives be like without the traditions of homecoming, commencement and
convocation, not to mention our annual conferences for both students and
professionals? These memorable experiences truly enhance our lives both
personally and professionally.
As an association, SEAHO has many long-standing traditions that we
celebrate annually. We have our awards and other means of recognition,
our opportunities for involvement like the annual case study
competition, and our opportunities of social interactions. We also have
another tradition that the many new professionals who attended the
closing luncheon might have found somewhat strange. At the closing
luncheon, participants witnessed the passing, from the outgoing
president to the incoming president, of our traditional horse blanket.
Since that experience happened without explanation, I thought I would
explain the history of that exchange.
In 1964 during the annual ACUHO-I Conference at the University of
Michigan , a group of housing directors from the southeast met to
discuss the idea of forming a regional association. In 1965 SEAHO was
created as an association to sponsor an annual conference to facilitate
an exchange of ideas and dialogue among professional colleagues in
housing. Don Moore of Emory University volunteered to host the first
annual meeting at Emory University . At that meeting, Malcolm Gray,
Director of Housing at Mississippi State University , proposed the name
SEAHO be adopted. The association continued to meet for the next ten
years as an unstructured body with a housing director typically
volunteering to host the annual meeting.
With the addition of exhibitors and increased conference
participation, SEAHO began to accumulate a conference reserve. In 1977,
with an association balance of $2,564.79, SEAHO established an
administrative committee to oversee the "reserve fund.” It became an
annual tradition for Bob Stewart, Director of Housing at the University
of South Carolina , to report on the reserve fund. It is believed that
Bob first mentioned the legendary steed, "Two-Step” in 1978. "Two-Step”
became the means in which Bob reported the annual income and expenses of
SEAHO. Of course, he reported the information as "winnings and losses,
and the cost of oats” to maintain the mythical steed. Thus from year to
year, when a new president assumed office, the Association and
"Two-Step” became his or her responsibility. To make this transfer a
more "visual” tradition, a horse blanket was donated with "Two-Step”
lettered on it. So, at the conclusion of each term of office, during our
closing luncheon, the blanket is passed to the new president. The
Association, and the caring of "Two-Step” are given, with the
expectation that both will flourish and prosper."