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Announcer passes the torch

Nov. 10, 1998

BY JEFF SCHELDT

Reporter

Jeff_Scheldt@baylor.edu

Dr. George Stokes, the master of ceremonies for Pigskin Revue and All-University Sing, was honored at Saturday night's Pigskin performance by President and Mrs. Robert B. Sloan Jr.

Stokes has decided to pass the mic after 40 years of announcing acts at Pigskin and 38 years of contributing to Sing.

'Forty years is long enough to do anything, and 40 is a good number to quit on,' Stokes said.

President Sloan presented Stokes with what Stokes described as a 'stud, hoss' Waterford vase and gave his wife, Katy Stokes, a dozen roses.

'The president was in top notch form. We lapped it up like warm milk by kittens,' Stokes said.

Stokes said his favorite part of his job as master of ceremonies is his interaction with the audience. Stokes refers to the people who attend Pigskin and Sing as 'the world's greatest audience.'

'We used to have a piano and we'd pass out song sheets and we'd do community sing between numbers,' Stokes said.

Stokes also said he enjoys talking with students and praises the clubs' hard work.

'There were over 900 students that performed this weekend. It's notable that they worked hard for many weeks and I support them,' he said.

Stokes has seen the acts change dramatically through the years. In the beginning, Stokes said, students would stand on risers and sing musical numbers.

'He's seen the show grow from a meager production to a nationally recognized event,' said Lois Ferguson, assistant to the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. 'He has been the face of Sing and Pigskin to students for 40 years.'

After serving in an anti-aircraft battalion in Italy, France and Hawaii during World War II, Stokes obtained his master's degree from Baylor in 1947 and his doctorate from Northwestern University in 1954. Stokes was a professor of speech and radio here at Baylor and was the public address announcer at Baylor football games for 26 years. Stokes retired from teaching in 1983.

Stokes' love for music reaches past Pigskin and Sing. Stokes has recently earned 12 hours of electric jazz guitar from McLennan Community College and enjoys listening to swing music but especially western swing. Stokes now spends time on his land near the Bosque River raising Coastal Bermuda hay with his son-in-law.

'I like any act that is entertaining without trying to grind too many axes. The war numbers really touch me, and I like the country and western acts, too.'

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