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Aryan Literary Society


The Aryan Literary Society was established in the fall of 1879 in order to offer a little friendly competition for the existing Moore Literary Society. Then Principal, George L. Maris, believed both the Normal School and the Moore Literary Society would greatly benefit from another society with similar aspirations. The organization chose the name “The Aryan Society” because Aryan means “excellent” or “honorable.” The society also began publishing a paper called The Aryan Review, which later merged with the Moore’s Moore Literary Gazette to form The Amulet, the first student newspaper at West Chester.

In the early days of the Normal School, the Aryan and rival Moore Literary Societies offered students a place for socializing, scholarly debating and writing as well as musical performance. They also served as the first libraries for students; the books owned by the societies later became the core collections of the library and some are still held in Special Collections.

The Aryan Literary Society’s motto was Finis coronat opus or “The end crowns the work” and the colors were blue and gold.

At the height of the societies' popularity almost every extracurricular event was sponsored by one or the other society and almost every student belonged to the groups and took pride in their membership. However by the late 1930s the two societies lost favor among students as the number of other campus organizations grew and the cost ($1) of joining the societies appeared worthless. By 1940 the two societies were no longer listed as campus organizations in the course catalogs or yearbooks.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Aryan Literary Society Records

 Collection — Box: 1-5
Identifier: 018
Abstract The Aryan Literary Society Records is a collection of materials relating to the society's events, business (such as bylaws and constitutions) and publications.  The Aryan Literary Society was one of two literary societies at West Chester during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  The societies served as the main social outlet for West Chester State Normal School students and also provided a place for healthy debate and publication.  The Aryan Literary Society published its own periodical,...