May 10, 2008 Class and Charter Day is the last day of classes every year, and it includes several different events. Historically, it was begun in 1950 as a day of festivities and awards. That tradition has continued, and each year there is a big awards ceremony. Three of my roommates received big awards this year. Erin and Liz each received an award for excellence in art, and Katie received awards for comparative literature, music and Phi Beta Kappa (we're very proud). Faculty members also receive awards at the ceremony, and Austin Briggs gave an excellent speech about his fifty years at the college and the future of the College.
Class and Charter Day is also the date for Hamilton's triathlon, HamTrek. A few of my friends participated this year, and luckily the rain held off. Students, faculty and visitors all participate. Some people are ambitious enough to do all three parts of the triathlon, and some teams break it up into parts.
If you ask any student on campus what Class and Charter Day is about, they will probably answer with a slew of stories about past years. Perhaps the most concise answer to the question is "partying." My roommates and I woke up about 9 a.m. and made chocolate chip pancakes in our kitchen. Erin's parents had brought a few bottles of champagne for the senior art show, so we made Mimosas. At 11 a.m. we walked over to Carnegie to hang out with the boys in their quad for an hour.
Apparently, Jack and Quinn had gone to math class from 10-11 a.m. During class they had an exam review and went over potential questions for the test. At the end of class, Quinn raised his hand and said, "I just have one more question... Why is it so hot in here?" Jack took his cue and stripped off his clothes to reveal a Speedo. He then did a little dance before walking straight out of class and to his dorm. Quinn had to collect Jack's clothes and books to bring back to the room. Incidentally, Jack did say it was embarrassing walking outside in a Speedo. This sort of thing could only happen on Class and Charter Day — because it is the last day of class and because everyone is automatically in a sparklingly happy mood. Quinn said the math professor just laughed and shook his head at Jack's striptease.
At noon we attended the awards ceremony and then the campus-wide picnic on Dunham Green. After the picnic, we migrated to G-road, a group of college-owned apartments located near campus on Griffin Road. Upperclassmen live there, and each Class and Charter Day there is a big party on the lawn. Think Woodstock. The Head Band played shirtless. There was a slip n’ slide set up on the hill. Solo cups and water bottles littered the grass. People were splayed out on the lawn, sunbathing and catching up with friends. For underclassmen, Class and Charter Day is the last day to hang out with friends before exams and then summer. For seniors, it is one of the last days to see their underclassmen friends.
We stayed at G-road until about 5:30 p.m. The evening was spent leisurely, the whole campus recovering from too much fun.