Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
June 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

'97s celebrate Senior Week

The members of the Class of 1997 are commemorating the end of their Dartmouth experiences this weekend, rounding out a week of senior activities and celebrations.

Senior Week Committee co-Chairs Emily Michaels '97 and Tracy Rosen '97 were in charge of determining which activities would be included in this year's schedule.

Senior Week began Tuesday with "On the Town in Hanover," a special event which Rosen said was "a last hurrah here in Hanover."

Seniors were granted discounts and special deals at a number of local businesses, including 5 Olde Nugget Alley, the Dartmouth Co-op, the Hanover Inn and Murphy's on the Green.

In addition, a number of groups performed at Casque & Gauntlet senior society on Main Street, including the Dodecaphonics, Final Cut and Groove Merchant.

Wednesday's activities included both on-campus and off-campus options. Interested seniors were given the opportunity to reserve space at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge for hiking and an overnight stay.

Back in Hanover, seniors enjoyed an afternoon barbeque with a DJ and volleyball on the Gold Coast lawn, catered by Blood's Seafood Catering and Party Rental.

Wednesday night, seniors attended the last of the year's four Senior 'Tails in Collis Common Ground, with drinks subsidized by the 1997 Class Council and music from a DJ.

On Thursday, the senior class reserved Storrs Pond for an afternoon of outdoor activity, including volleyball, softball, frisbee, soccer and swimming, if anyone was willing to brave the water.

The afternoon also included another dinner for the seniors who signed up. Seniors were offered their choice of lobster, steak, chicken or vegetable stir fry.

Later that night, the movie "Animal House," created by Chris Miller '63, was shown on the side of Blunt Alumni Center, with free sundaes.

"They did [a showing of "Animal House"] our freshman year," Rosen said. "They do it every once in a while."

Friday included free canoeing at Ledyard Canoe Club all day long, but Rosen said the Senior Week activities wind down by the start of the weekend, as family and friends flock to Hanover for the Commencement activities.

"They call it Senior Week, but it's really three days or so," she said.

Yesterday, the College held its 143rd Class Day exercises at the Bema following graduation practice.

The exercises were scheduled to include speeches by from Government Professor Linda Fowler, class orator Anne Jones '97 and senior class historians Chris Miller, Jennifer Pariseau, Sariya Sharp and Caleb Scott.

Sam Keating, the president of the Senior Executive Committee -- who is responsible for organizing Class Day activities -- also gave the Address to the College, while Senior Class Vice President Matthew Shafer delivered the Address to the Class of 1997.

The Senior Executive Committee members chose the faculty speaker, class orator and class historians for this year's ceremonies from the nominations solicited from the senior class, Keating told The Dartmouth in an interview last month.

College President James Freedman, Dean of the College Lee Pelton and Senior Class Dean Teoby Gomez also presented awards to selected students and a distinguished faculty member.

According to tradition, during the speeches, the members of the senior class are seated inside a cedar garland. After the completion of the ceremonies, each member is invited to break off a piece and place it on the Lone Pine Stump.

This part of Class Day "is based on a ceremony from the first Class Day," Keating said.

At the same time, they read a poem that was also read at the first Class Day ceremony, entitled "When Shall We All Meet Again."

Organized events were scheduled to conclude with a nighttime candlelight ceremony on Saturday.

This tradition began in 1993 to replace past traditions which were under protest. The new tradition is for each senior, one by one, to recall his or her four years at Dartmouth and blow out a candle until the circle is completely dark.

Graduating seniors used to smash clay pipes against the Lone Pine Stump -- signifying the breaking of ties with the College -- until Native Americans students complained in 1993 that they considered the breaking of these objects, which are sacred in many Native American cultures, to be sacrilegious.

In 1993, seniors instead smashed clay cups, but this tradition was discontinued after the cups failed to break cleanly and several seniors were injured by shards of clay.