Editors’ Note: Green Key Special Issue 2022

In this year’s Green Key special issue, we explore what this tradition means to Dartmouth.

by Thomas de Wolff , Jessica Sun Li and Adriana James-Rodil | 5/20/22 5:05am

by Caroline Kramer / The Dartmouth

This editors' note is featured in the 2022 Green Key special issue.

The warming weather in Hanover has drawn students out of their rooms, flocking to the Green and the river. And even though some classes are still in the midst of midterms, students can’t help but let spring term traditions take over. The return of green grass and sunshine is indicative of the transition in the campus atmosphere; there is an unmatched excitement that accompanies spring term which is possibly best encapsulated in Green Key weekend. 

As we return to one of the most normal-looking terms since the pandemic first hit, we also see the return of some of Dartmouth’s most long-standing traditions. For three class years — the ’23s, ’24s and ’25s — this term is an entirely new experience: it’s their first ‘real’ spring, and notably, their first Green Key. And for the ’22s, they are carrying the torch through vague memories of their freshman year — rapidly approaching graduation. This special issue is dedicated to all the campus communities — from academic group projects to performing arts to Greek spaces and everything in between — who are looking to bring the key parts of spring term back to campus. 

We chose the theme “Unlocking Green Key” because Green Key, for many, is something of a mystery. Three years of students have heard a great deal about this glorious weekend — the music, the crowds, the general carefree atmosphere — but have little concrete understanding of the specifics of what actually goes on. We designed this issue with the goal of uncovering what goes on — both in public and behind the scenes — to make the magic of Green Key happen year after year. Within these pages, we’ve covered fundamental aspects such as procuring funding and choosing artists, looked back at how certain traditions have risen and fallen over the years and explored what Green Key means to students — and why this weekend has stood the test of time. 

Green Key has certainly evolved since its inception, but some key themes — live music, warmer weather, good times — are ever-present. In seeking to unlock Green Key, we hope to discover the Dartmouth of the past as we decide how we’re going to shape the Dartmouth of the future.

In the midst of warm weather and festivities, we hope this special issue helps you unlock your Green Key!

Thomas de Wolff '24, Adriana James-Rodil '25, and Jessica Sun Li '24