U of U Students’ proposal of the trip to the Utah-Colorado football game in Boulder

By Ashley Ji Won Oh

This article is about the Utah homecoming football game against Colorado in Boulder. During World War II, the football team at the University of Utah participated in flight courses as part of a national program to teach 20,000 college men to reinforce and strengthen the nation’s air defense. This is because football was a nice distraction from the tough wartime abroad. Student groups held seminars about the effects of anti-Semitism on Utah’s campus. Even though the atmosphere was heavy and tragic, Utah football was a great way to forget for that moment. (War years)

U Archives D Athletics- Football 1940-1949 Fd 1 #005

A University of Utah team practice sometime between 1940 and 1949. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

The A. S. U. U. council proposed a chartered train trip to Boulder, where the Utah homecoming football game against Colorado would be held. The proposal indicated that from this trip, students would be able to build a strong friendship and boost school spirit. The deans council emphasized that responsibility and feasibility of trust were the most important to consider for approving the proposal. (Whitney)

After weeks of delay, the Boulder trip proposal was finally approved by the deans council. The train was scheduled to depart the Union Pacific depot at 6 p.m. Friday, November 1, 1940, for the Utah-Colorado football game in Boulder on Saturday, November 2. The transportation fee for men was $12, and for women, $16. The reason why women had a higher rate is that they were required to ride in sleeper cars. The University of Colorado had a dance on Saturday evening, following the game day. Many university students attended those events. (“‘U’ Students Will Take Grid Jaunt”)

Campus royalty honored their name on Thursday due to Mary Margaret Malmsten and Robert Johnston, elected queen and king of the annual homecoming events. Marie Folsom and Ruth Hunter were elected aides to Queen Malmsten and King Johnston. After Jack Buckle, the homecoming committee president, started the events, the first official presentation of the royalty would proceed on Friday both at the gathering and the rally. Johnston, a junior, was known as a “glamor boy.” He also was the wounded quarterback of the university football team. (“Football Player”)


The Utah-Colorado football game was featured in the 1941 Utonian, the University of Utah yearbook. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

The university students who planned to participate in the trip to Boulder had to be respectable and certify that they would show up at the football game at Boulder. The Chronicle‘s features editor, Richard B. Pyke, was critical of the strict regulations for the trip to Boulder. “At any other university,” he wrote, “the problem of arranging for a student train would be a commonplace procedure, with student officers taking charge.” Not so at the University of Utah, Pyke noted, where senior administration reserved the right to sanction the trip and establish rules governing deportment. (Pyke)

The University of Utah football team won the Utah-Colorado football game 21-13 in Boulder. Members of the alumni club there celebrated the U’s victory by having buffalo steaks at a post-game dinner. According to a November 7, 1940, story in the Utah Chronicle, club members could “hold their heads up” after defeating the University of Colorado. (“Redskin Alumni Feast”)

This article about the trip to Boulder for the University of Utah football game against Colorado is an effective way not only to study and research in-depth about university’s football history but also to compare the university’s football culture in the past and now.

Ashley Ji Won Oh graduated in December 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication.


John Whitney, “The Boulder Trip,” Utah Chronicle, October 17, 1940, 4.

Football Player[,] L.A. Transfer Capture Crowns,” Utah Chronicle, October 24, 1940, 1.

Redskin Alumni Feast on Buffalo Steaks after Colorado Hunt,” Utah Chronicle, November 7, 1940, 3.

“‘U’ Students Will Take Grid Jaunt – Special Train to Carry Injun Envoy,” Utah Chronicle, October 24, 1940, 1.

Richard B. Pyke, “We’ve Grown Up,” Utah Chronicle, October 31, 1940, 4.

Hinckley, Shane. University of Utah Football Vault. Salt Lake City: University of Utah. 2010.

Kerr, Walter A. Intercollegiate Athletics University of Utah 1892-1945. Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1975.