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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Freshmen anticipate Homecoming

For the past 100 years, Homecoming has marked the beginning of a student's Dartmouth experience, and this year will be no different for the Class of 2009.

Beginning with the Freshmen Sweep, when '09s parade from dorm to dorm and gather on the Green, the evening culminates with the bonfire around which freshmen will run nine circles, continuing a tradition that dates back to 1904.

The bonfire itself is the most well-known and anticipated event of the weekend, rich with tradition and revelry. Members of the first-year class build the bonfire throughout the preceding week and the structure is lit on Friday night.

"I am interested to see what the bonfire is like. I've heard lots of different stories from upperclassmen, so I'm excited to see it for myself," Emily Marshall '09 said.

By and large, the Class of 2009 is excited to partake in the weekend's festivities.

"I think that it is a very special tradition where people gather to celebrate the amazing spirit of Dartmouth. I expect it to be something I can look back to with a lot of emotion -- a defining moment of my Dartmouth experience," Hanh Nguyen '09 said.

Some freshmen claim to know exactly what to expect from the upcoming weekend, in terms of both College-sponsored events and student-organized parties.

"The freshmen bonfire parties, banging music, having a good time and the football game, of course," Jarrell Mitchell '09 said of his plans for the weekend.

Other members of the Class of 2009 are unsure of the specific festivities to come but still await the weekend with anticipation.

"I know everyone's really excited about it so I'm curious to see what it's about, but I don't really know what goes on, besides the bonfire and the football game," Stephanie Trudeau '09 said.

As the freshmen arrive on the Green after the Sweep, they are welcomed by upperclassmen and alumni, eager to officially accept a new class into the Dartmouth community.

Traditionally, the events of the weekend have continued long after the bonfire and football game are over, including alumni gatherings and parties on Webster Avenue and throughout campus.

When asked what he expected post-football game, Scot Parsley '09 said, "Lots of alcohol. I expect that if we win the game, alcohol will be flowing in the streets and there will be massive amounts of partying and good times."

Originally intended as a time to remember alumni and read telegrams from graduates around the world, Homecoming now serves as an opportunity for alumni to return and relive their college days and their own first Homecoming.

The large number of alumni who return to the College during Homecoming weekend serve as a testament to the importance of the weekend and the strong ties that remain among Dartmouth students years following graduation.