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May 30, 2012

Student Traditions - Tree Day

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Sophomores of the class of 1902 at Tree Day in 1900

A tradition at the College for Women (later Flora Stone Mather College) was Tree Day. The sophomores presented an original play after which they planted a tree on campus and sang their class song.

One hundred years ago, on May 28, 1912, The Reserve Weekly (the student newspaper) reported on the event:

“In spite of the hot, hot sun; in spite of the late arrival and consequent confusion in placing of chairs, the May Day festivities of the sophomore class of the College for Women proved delightful in the full sense of the word. The delay in the seating caused a delay in producing the annual play last Friday afternoon [May 24, 1912]. When this matter was finally straightened out and moving picture men had been placed to everyone’s satisfaction and President Thwing had personally supervised the retreat of a small army of urchins from the ‘pit,’ the tree day play was produced for the benefit of the other classes and the visitors. The senior girls attended in cap and gown; the juniors were arrayed in dainty frocks of white, the freshman lassies appeared in gingham ‘school day’ dresses and industriously consumed stick candy throughout the whole performance. The orchard stage was utilized for the affair and proved a most pleasant setting for the play. It will be noted that the play was entitled “?” and dedicated to President Thwing.

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May 18, 2012

Student Traditions - Spring Olympics

The end of the academic year brings nice weather and end of year stresses and triumphs. All of which seems to foster student traditions. Some, such as Hudson Relay, have lasted over a century. Others are of shorter duration. During the late 1980s and early 1990s the Spring Olympics was a week-long competition among the south side residences, Michelson, Kusch, Glaser, Staley, Howe, Tippit, and Alumni.

Each house decorated its lobby, created banners and cheers, and competed in vigorous competitions. Talent contests, volleyball games, 5-legged races, and egg tosses were part of Spring Olympics. The most ingenious Spring Olympics event was probably the shopping cart race, pictured below.


Inclusion of Spring Olympics in student yearbooks was somewhat sporadic. The 1991 through 1993 yearbooks have lovely 2-4-page articles. Spring Olympics was mentioned in the 1988 yearbook. But it appears not at all in the 1989 volume. The yearbooks did report the winning dorms for three years: Michelson (1991), Glaser (1992), Michelson (1993).

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