Old Traditions at Rally Day 2011
is among the grandest and oldest of traditions
at Smith College. The annual celebration began the first
year the college opened, in February 1876, as a day for
students and the college community to gather, rally and
celebrate George Washington’s birthday.
Today, 135 years later, the
beloved celebration continues, with some old traditions intact,
and a few new ones added. For those keeping track, here’s
a rundown of Rally Day traditions, starting with the new.
The commencement speaker
is announced during Rally Day. Rally Day provides
the perfect venue and timing for students to be the first
to hear who their commencement speaker will be. This tradition
began three years ago.
Smith Traditions tea. If you want to know what
Rally Day is all about, come to the Smith Traditions tea,
featuring a presentation by college archivist Nanci Young,
on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 5 p.m., Campus Center 205. Refreshments
Seniors gather as a
class before Rally Day ceremony. For the third
straight year, seniors are called to gather outside the
Campus Center Carroll Room on Rally Day, Wednesday, Feb.
22, at 12:45 p.m., and walk to John M. Greene Hall together.
Each senior will receive a “Smith College 2011” pennant
to wave during the celebration.
Smith Spirit Squad cheers
in the ceremony. Also for the third year, the
Smith Spirit Squad will set the rallying tone with a rousing
cheer to kick off the ceremony.
Rally Day Convocation
streamed live on the Web. For the first time,
for those who can't attend Rally Day, the event will be
filmed and available to (available as of Feb. 23 at 1:30
The Rally Day Carnival is
back! After a one-year hiatus, the Rally Day Carnival, a
collection of fun activities in the Campus Center, has returned.
Seniors wearing funky
hats and graduation gowns for the first time. Among
the most cherished traditions, seniors (sorry non-seniors,
not yet) don some of the craziest, loudest, most colorful
hats they can dream up during the Rally Day ceremony, while
parading for the first time in the gowns they will wear
on commencement day.
The Smith College Medal. A
vaunted tradition, the Smith College Medal annually honors
outstanding Smith alumnae who “exemplify in their lives
and work the true purpose of a liberal arts education.” Cheer
Faculty and Gavel Awards. Smith
students nominate and recognize one tenured and one non-tenured
faculty member with the annual Faculty Teaching Award, and
honor two Smith staff members with the Gavel Award.