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    May 5, 2020

    Meredith College Commencement Trivia

    Test your knowledge on Meredith College's commencement celebrations and Class Day tradition!

    Whitney Rains Taheri, '09 / Via Facebook Submission
    1. When did Meredith College's first class graduate?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      1902

      The Immortal Ten, Meredith's first graduating class, graduated in 1902.

      Via Meredith College Archives
    2. Where has Class Day never been held?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Belk Dining Hall

      In the early days of Class Day, students would lay the daisy chains in the shape of the graduating class' numerals on the old steps that lead to the second floor of Johnson Hall. In more recent years, the ceremony has been held in the McIver Amphitheater, Jones Auditorium, and in the main courtyard behind Johnson Hall.

      Via Meredith College Oak Leaves 1974
    3. What color graduation gowns were worn the longest?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Black

      Black gowns were worn during Commencement prior to the recent change to a maroon gown.

      Via Ellen Frazier, '11
    4. True or False:
      In the early days of the tradition, members of the graduating class wore identical dresses during Class Day?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      True

      The styles of those early Class Day dresses can be seen on the class dolls of the early 1900s. This photo shows the Class of 1925's doll wearing a replica of their Class Day dress.

      Via Meredith College Class Doll Archives s3.amazonaws.com
    5. What items do the big sisters of even classes give to their little sisters on Class Day?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Sticks & Stones

      The even classes give their little sisters bags of sticks and stones "to protect them from the Odd Spirit's bones." The featured photo is of the sticks & stones given by the Class of 2002 to the Class of 2004.

      Via Meredith College Archives.
    6. The Alma Mater is sung numerous times during Commencement Weekend. Who wrote it?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Dr. Richard Tilman Vann

      According to Norma Rose in a 1957 issue of The Alumnae Magazine, Richard Tilman Vann, the second president of Meredith College, wrote the words of the Alma Mater “sometime about 1902,” and it was in 1907, that Vann “wrote the music as we sing it today."

      Via Meredith College Archives
    7. When did the graduating class begin wearing maroon gowns for Commencement?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Spring of 2012

      Via Meredith Magazine Summer 2012
    8. How many days did the first Commencement Celebration last?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      4

      In the Spring of 1900, the Commencement Celebration took place from June 3 until June 6.

    9. In its early years, on what day of the week did Class Day take place?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Monday

      According to Mary Lynch Johnson, the event took place on a Monday morning prior to Commencement in the auditorium. This photo shows students in matching Class Day dresses amongst the daisy chains at the old campus in Downtown Raleigh.

      Via Meredith College Archives
    10. What items do the big sisters of odd classes give to their little sisters on Class Day?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Wishbones

      The members of the odd year classes wear black gloves on their left hands and give their little sisters wishbone charms for luck.

    11. Which of these people has never served as the Commencement speaker?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Sandra Day O'Connor

      Sandra Day O'Connor has never delivered the Commencement address at Meredith College. She has spoken at the College as part of the Lillian Parker Wallace Lecture Series. Dr. Jo Allen delivered the address in 2015. Beverly Perdue, then North Carolina lieutenant governor, delivered the address in 2006. Elizabeth Dole, prior to her election to the US Senate, delivered the address in 2001.

      Via Google search
    12. What flowers were featured in the chains on Class Day in 1910?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Roses

      In 1980, Katherine Parker Freeman, '10, wrote: "There were 28 graduates that year [1910], I think the largest up to that time. We departed from tradition, and instead of a daisy chain, made our chain out of red rambler roses!"

      Via Google search
    13. True or False:
      The first commencement celebration did not have a graduating class.

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      True

      In June 1900, the Baptist Female University held a 4-day long commencement celebration despite the lack of a graduating class. Mary Lynch Johnson wrote in A History of Meredith College about that celebration, "commencement was indeed 'an occasion of great rejoicing,' the importance of which was not at all lessened by the lack of a graduating class."

    14. Commencement has never been held at which of these locations?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Jones Chapel

      Meredith College Commencement has been held in several locations over its history. Most recently, in May 2019, the ceremony was held at Reynolds Coliseum on the campus of NC State University because of the size of the graduating class, provision for accessibility, and ability to control the climate.

      Via Martha Anderson Dobson, '81
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