“I think it’s important to get involved in things on campus to promote school spirit. It’s not just a dance group. You’re a representative of the school.”-Sherry Nowell, Mean Green Dollies member, 1976
In 1974, the university launched a new spirit organization, a dance team named the Mean Green Dollies. The idea for this group originated with Dr. Bill Miller, chair of the Faculty Athletic Committee, and Ruthie Hejl, the University Spirit Coordinator. Linda Lewis was the team’s first choreographer.
The name, Mean Green Dollies, was deliberately chosen to prevent the newly formed group from being called the Eaglettes. The group’s advisor did not want the dance team to be mistaken for a drill team.
The team was made up of twenty members. Ten were freshmen and sophomores, ten were juniors and seniors. To qualify to be a member of the team, women needed a 2.0 grade point average, a physical activity clearance, and had to be enrolled with a course load of 12 semester hours. The membership of the team was chosen by a committee after a tryout. Members had to schedule two-hour rehearsals for five days each week.
The Mean Green Dollies performed at football games, basketball games, and special events on campus, but their debut performance was at the 1974 Homecoming. The Dollies took part in the Homecoming parade and performed at half time, a show which included a performance to “Hello Dolly,” which was arranged by Mark Taylor.
Shary Deweese served two years as the Dollies president. She stated that “the charter members of the Dollies feel that it has been a privilege to be a first-year member.”
By 1976, Linda Ann Davis had become the Spirit Coordinator for the athletic department. In this position Davis became the director and choreographer of the Mean Green Dollies. She also coordinated the activities of all spirit organizations for athletic events.
In 1976, the Dollies, along with the Marching Band and the Talons, won the Spirit Award, “for the finest example of loyalty and dedication to North Texas State University that could ever exist.”
In 1978, Linda Davis submitted her resignation, leaving for a career with Southwest Airlines. The Dollies went into “a state of hold” according to Assistant Athletic Director Andy Everest. It would take ten years before the university launched the Dance Team and this new organization started its work to uplift the spirits of UNT students.
While we know a bit about the history of the Mean Green Dollies, the University Archive does not hold any photos of the team. Special Collections encourages any donations to fill gaps like this in the collection. Please see our website for more information on contributing materials.