Braniff Hostess College

Balconies of The Hostess College

The "infamous" pool area

Original keychain for the Braniff "Hostess" college.
This was recovered from the third floor of the college in 1996,
but it dates to the original Braniff era.
Photo © 2001 and 2008 Brooke Watts

Girard's "Dove" was a focal point of the college. A large backlighted Dove was located in the Cafeteria.

Girard designed dorm room. Hostess is wearing Pucci's Second Wardrobe for Braniff
This was considered the "busiest" of all "hostess" outfits Pucci would design.
Notice Girard's "Dove" on the wall, and South American artwork.
Each of the three dormitory levels had its own "scheme" floor was yellow, another blue, another green. The walls were covered with the same 56 different herman miller fabrics that adorned Braniff's aircraft seats.

Cabin mock-up in the Hostess College. Hostesses had to learn how to propely prepare and serve Braniff's First Class Cuisine as part of their training. The mock-up was full-size and included First Class and coach areas for training. The windows were "backlit" to simulate day or night.

Ms. Helfrich and her classmates in one of the many colorful rooms.

Despite the "sexy" image Braniff Hostesses were known for, the women at the college were kept under lock and key. Curfew was strictly at 10pm, and if a trainee was a minute late, they were dismissed from the program. Men were not allowed in the dorm rooms. There was a special "social room" for entertaining male guests on the basement level. However, marriage was a strict no-no. If a hostess married, she was fired.

And air of "paranoia" and fear kept the hostesses in line at the college. The administrators hinted that the dorm rooms and halls were "bugged," and cameras were in the hallways. Even the cafeteria workers were thought to be in on the evaluation. None of that was true of course, but Braniff liked that the rumour persisted.

Braniff hostesses were always reminded what "their place was." Even at graduation, the head instructor would made a comment on how the hostess might be "out of regulation."

Hostesses still lined up to join Braniff, and former hostesses have fond memories of the college.

Panama plaque (shown in cabin mock-up above) designed by Alexander Girard.
Brooke Watts/Braniff Pages Collection

Bought by Girard for Hostess College, these Panamanian "Molas" were on the walls of dorm rooms throughout the Braniff College. Each was an original; hand sewn by "Cuna" Indians in Panama. This Mola, from the third floor,
is now in our Private Collection.
© 2001 Brooke Watts


What started out as a training ground for young pretty hostesses is now a retirement home! Granted, it is a "Highly Upscale" retirement home (with Massages, Concierge Service, Gates, Transportation and a Full-Time Activity Director...sort of like Braniff days?)

This picture shows the famous or maybe "infamous" Hostess "fireplace pit" which was designed by Alexander Girard in 1968 to be a meeting and socializing place for Hostesses. The seats shown were originally covered in a Neutral "Girard" fabric, that by the refurbishment in 1999, needed to be replaced. At Least they kept the "vibrant colors" theme. It is located on the main floor across from the Marble "check-in" desk (on the left) and the Dining Hall.


Hostess wearing "Pucci II" in front of the "fireplace" at the Hostess college Circa 1968

Early 70s Hostess class in "fireplace pit"

Cover from "The Dallas Times Herald"

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