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   Date: 2/9/10 Bookmark and Share

New, Old Traditions Grace Rally Day 2010

Rally Day is Wednesday, February 17; all Smith classes are cancelled

Rally Day 2010 schedule

Rally Day Medalists

Rally Day 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.

New Rally Day traditions:

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 two years ago.

The Rally 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.

Seniors 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.

Smith Spirit 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.

Longstanding Rally Day traditions:

The Rally 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 Madeleine throughout 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).

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 on your fellow Smithies.

Faculty 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.


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