Losing our Traditions

by Joe Cerniglia | 10/29/03 6:00am

To the Editor:

Licyau Wong's Oct. 24 article "Homecoming's story chronicled" was a nice historical primer, but it had one small but important inaccuracy. Wong states, "The reading of alumni telegrams ceased in response to the country's participation in World War II."

Although it is possible there were wartime lulls in the tradition, alumni from the 1980s will recall that the reading of these telegrams in fact persisted at least through the end of that decade. These telegrams were always warmly written and filled with good-natured ribbing of the opposing team. Then-Secretary of the College McGean '49 was the official reader, who would use them as preface to the official speeches. "Send those bulldogs packing back to New Haven, care of the Hanover S.P.C.A," was the text of one of them, as paraphrased from memory. It was a great and quaint tradition, a way for alums who could not be present on the big night to put in a good word for the Big Green. It's bewildering why they ever went away.