Ivy Day | The Geneva Convention: Ivy Day

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ivy Day

Ivy is a big deal at Smith -- every first year student can go to the greenhouse and pick one up for free during her orientation, and if she's lucky, she'll still have it when she graduates. (This was my plan; ironically enough Eve the Ivy died when I left her in my mother's care while I studied abroad.)

Ivy Day is what we call the day before commencement. It features a long parade, hundreds of women dressed in white, and a lot more roses and laurels than ivy, but it's a beautiful photo op, a good way to honor the classes at reunion, and a less tedious way to recognize the special achievements of students who have won awards of some kind than to list them at graduation itself.

The day starts off bright and early, when the graduating Smithies dress all in white and head down to the president's house to receive red roses.
Me on Ivy Day
The graduates line the path into the Quad, where we hold the convocation, and the alums march through, organized by class year. They also wear white, but accessorize with their class color and carry amusing signs describing their graduating year and all the things that have happened to them since.
Smith Class of 1964
Smith Class of 1964
Smith Class of 1974
When the alumnae parade finishes their march, the seniors peel off and do our own parade, roses in hand, led and flanked by the junior ushers and their laurel chain.
Junior Ushers
Ivy Day Parade
After a couple hours listing class donations, student accomplishments, and finally planting the ceremonial class Ivy, we are dismissed to enjoy what is undeniably an excellent photo op.
Ivy Day
Ivy Day
Ivy Day
Since white dresses and roses are in almost all cases more flattering than the black robes we wear for graduation, we typically take a lot of pictures!
Ivy Day
Ivy Day
Ivy Day
Ivy Day
We spent the afternoon at concerts and receptions, but I did get some time on my own to relax and reflect a little bit. The whole weekend was thoroughly exhausting, physically and emotionally! It was so wonderful to be surrounded by friends and family throughout, though. I have some truly wonderful people in my life.

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