With true competition status came the need for judges, and Badger yearbook staff strove to give the pageant validity — and publicity — by employing celebrities. Over the years, judges included radio, film, and TV personalities such as Fredric March '20, Bing Crosby, Don Ameche x'31, Phil Silvers, Arthur Godfrey, Fred S. Meyer (MGM vice president), and Billy Rose (Broadway theater producer); John Robert Powers of the same-named modeling agency; and “Pogo” cartoonist, Walt Kelly. And as the contest grew, the judging criteria became more sophisticated. On December 21, 1944, the Daily Cardinal reported that George Petty, Sr., one of the first pin-up artists, “nationally famous for his stimulating drawings of women for Esquire and other magazines, will judge the co-eds for their photogenic beauty, personality, and stature.”
I wasn't surprised.
By 1961 those rather subjective three aspects had been expanded into seven, with verbalized standards. Professional photographer Duane Hopp '55, who was assistant professor at the Photographic Media Center on campus from 1958 to 1986, still possesses his original 1961 Judge's Guidelines, and he provided me with a copy. I now had a concrete piece of the puzzle, with which to analyze the contest itself.