Old Traditions Grace Rally Day 2010
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, 134 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.
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 two years ago.
Day tea. If you want to know what Rally Day is all about, come to
the Rally Day tea, featuring a presentation by college archivist
Nanci Young, on Monday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m., Neilson Browsing
Room. Refreshments served.
gather as a class before Rally Day ceremony. For the second straight year, seniors
are called to gather in the Campus Center Carroll Room on
Rally Day, Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 12:45 p.m., and walk to
John M. Greene Hall together. Each senior will receive a “Smith College 2010” pennant to
wave during the celebration.
Squad cheers in the ceremony. Also for the second year, the Smith Spirit
Squad will set the rallying tone with a rousing cheer to
kick off the ceremony.
Day Show. Though it’s gone through some changes,
the Rally Day Show is back. This year’s version will star
House Presidents, class leaders and others modeling clothing
from Smith’s past and reciting headlines from the Sophian and The
the past 100-plus years. Don’t
miss it Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. in the Campus Center
Carroll Room (doors open at 7:30; food will be served at
9 p.m., following the show).
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.
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 on .
and Gavel Awards. Smith
students nominate and recognize one senior and one junior
faculty member with the annual Faculty Teaching Award, and
honor two Smith staff members with the Gavel Award.