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Scholars’ Day

April 29, 2016

This Tuesday saw the celebration of Scholars’ Day by students and faculty alike. Scholars’ day has been an annual tradition for the college for a number of years. Through the years, some traditions have changed and some have remained the same. In recent years, the event has been known by a few different names: Scots’ Day, Founders’ Day and Scholars’ Day. The last is the name used by the college and the day is now generally celebrated as a day to honor those who have excelled at Monmouth College with the annual Honors Convocation. This year’s convocation saw high attendance from students, faculty and parents.

The day off from classes provided a night of celebration for the college, and a great excuse for friends to get together and enjoy the activities that are quickly becoming traditions. Some of these traditions include the student softball tournament, which saw the introduction of a team of all professors this year. In the evening, students gathered in the evening behind Pattee Hall around the sand volleyball pit to play games and enjoy the nice weather.

Another Scholars’ Day tradition are the Scholars’ Day presentations in the CSB. Students from different majors presented poster presentations, some of which students have been working on all year. This tradition, as well as the Honors Convocation, provide a day of celebration and admiration for students who have been working hard in the classroom all year.

In the past, Scholars’ Day wasn’t always a day for academics. Professor Doug Rankin remembers Scots’ Day during his time at Monmouth College. Rankin said, “When I was a student in the mid-70s, it had been a particular format for a few years. In those days, it was called ScotOlympics and was held on a Saturday in the spring.” The event was more akin to Greek Week than what we now know as Scholars’ Day. Rankin said “It was a Greek theme with the biggest event being a chariot race which went from campus, down around the square and back. The chariots were built by the fraternities using steel frames and bicycle wheels.” Rankin said that other events included tug of war and softball.

Some of the traditions have not changed. Perhaps the most well-known tradition is the sound of bagpipes filling the campus, our dorms and sometimes our rooms in the early morning on Scholars’ Day. While current students are aware of this tradition, Rankin said in the past warning was not always given. Rankin said “Usually there was no advanced warning and bagpipers would wake students on the morning of the event. Faculty didn’t like that because it interfered with lesson plans late in the semester.” While Tuesday’s events are more formally organized, students all over the campus enjoyed the relaxing day off, by celebrating their Fighting Scots pride.

Timothy Yates
Staff Writer

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