As Gage Stuntz ’13 waited with his classmates on the steps of Martin Science Building, he glanced down at the buttons with Latin words, Randolph logos, and funny phrases adorning his stole. For generations, seniors have passed down robes and buttons to their sister class, the sophomores. Stuntz was anxious to carry on the longstanding tradition.
Women and men from the Class of 2013 participate in the Daisy Chain tradition.
As the Class of 2015 marched across front campus with a long cord of ivy interwoven with daisies, Stuntz was proud. “To me, that says that we did a good job teaching them the traditions,” he said. “Now they are doing them and want to pass them on as well,” he said.
One of the most frequently heard concerns during the transition to coeducation was whether the College’s traditions would endure. Randolph students have not only embraced the longstanding traditions inherited from R-MWC, but they have also revived long- abandoned ones and even created a few new traditions of their own.
“The men who get into the traditions do so for the same reason that the women do. It’s a really fun thing to do,and there is a sense of community,” said Karen Rose ’13.
Stuntz remembered splattering the Even Post with red, blue, and gray paint when he was a first-year. That tradition—part of the class rivalry—helped Stuntz find his place at the College. “It got me to get out of my comfort zone and be more social,” he said. “It helped me meet really amazing friends as well.”
Last year, Rose decided to bring back a long-forgotten tradition called calithumping. In the early 1900s, seniors would serenade their professors on Halloween. The faculty members were then expected to respond with songs or speeches. Elements of calithumping evolved into another loved tradition, Pumpkin Parade.
In the fall, Rose and 20 other students visited and sang to several professors and staff members on Halloween night. “We had some pretty cool responses,” Rose said. One professor sang to them in a wizard costume, another read poetry and gave out candy, and another had a Halloween-themed egg hunt prepared for them.
The Pumpkin Parade is still the most popular tradition and is enjoyed by all.
“Traditions give us a feeling of continuity… passing them down is a great feeling.” – Karen Rose ’13
The past few years also have seen the birth of a number of new traditions, including Homecoming. Rose said Homecoming is a great time to reconnect with recent graduates, and the culminating bonfire is a fun way to bring the campus together.
“Traditions give us a feeling of continuity,” Rose said. “A hundred years ago, they weren’t doing the exact same things, but it was the same sort of spirit. Passing them down is a great feeling.”