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Archives Traditions: Class Traditions

College Archives

Class Traditions

Little Sis/Big Sis

One of the oldest and the best-known tradition at Meredith is that of the juniors adopting one or two members of the freshman class as their "Little Sis." Early student handbooks contain the earliest known references to this tradition. The 1919 Student Handbook has a welcome letter to the Little Sis class. In 1920, the letter was exchanged for a poem greeting the incoming freshmen. Although there are now several Big Sis/Little Sis socials every semester, Dr. Ione Knight (class of 1943) relates that when she was a student at Meredith there was only one Big Sis/Little Sis event: a picnic where the Big Sis class entertained the Little Sis class.

Class Day

An important part of the Big Sis/Little Sis tradition is Class Day, a ceremony held the day before spring commencement to celebrate the sisterly relationship between the senior and sophomore classes. In early years, on the morning of Class Day, the sophomores got up before dawn and rode in pickup trucks to various fields and houses to pick ivy and daisies. More recently the daisies were gathered from fields on the campus, or purchased. The Little Sises then weave the ivy and daisies around two large, long ropes to make giant daisy chains. The 1947-48 Student Handbook reports that the juniors would decorate the posts for the daisy chains. [1] These chains are then used to form the Big Sis's class numerals on the island in the amphitheater during the ceremony that evening (before the amphitheater was built, they used the now-demolished front steps of Johnson Hall [2] ). After the class numerals are formed, the Big Sister class tears apart the chain in celebration. During the ceremony, the sisters serenade each other, the Big Sises review their four years at Meredith, and the crook and class doll are presented. The ceremony is followed by a Class Day picnic in the courtyard between Johnson Hall and Belk Dining Hall.

Odd Traditions

The odd-numbered classes have several traditions that are unique to their classes. On Class Day, odd-numbered classes wear a black glove on their left hand to represent the "odd spirit." This perhaps incorporates centuries-old folklore that associated left-handedness with evil and "oddness." During the Class Day ceremony, the odd-numbered Big Sises give their Little Sises bones, a tradition that comes from the odd class's class song, "Them Bones." Their mascot is a red devil, and the class colors are blue and white for the first two years, and rainbow colors for the second. [3]

Even Traditions

There are also certain class traditions that are special to the even-numbered classes. The class song, sung or recited at Class Day, is "Hail to the Even Spirit." During the Class Day ceremony, the even-numbered Big Sises give bags of sticks and stones to their Little Sises to help ward off the odd class's bones. The class colors are green and white, except for leap year classes, when the colors are purple and gold. On "Soph Day Off," a day in spring when sophomores are honored at a special breakfast and evening class party, the even-numbered sophomores wear green stockings. [4]

The Meredith Angels

As far back as anyone can remember, the Meredith mascot has been an angel. Dr. Jean Jackson (class of 1975) knows two stories relating to the possible origins of the Meredith Angel. One is that Meredith's "brother school," Wake Forest College (now Wake Forest University), had the "Demon Deacons" as their mascot; therefore, the angel was chosen for Meredith. The other explanation starts with the fact that Meredith sits on farmland once owned by the Tucker family. When the College was built on the present site in the mid-1920's, it was surrounded by other farms. It was the custom for locations to be known by the farm in the area. Local people would refer to areas as the Tucker Farm, the State Farm, or the Prison Farm, for example. Angel Farm became the name used when describing the area around Meredith and the college itself. [5] Male students at Wake Forest began visiting Meredith to secretly paint their name or their school's name on the college's water tower, which was torn down sometime before 1963. It became a rite-of-passage into fraternities at neighboring colleges and universities. An article in The Twig relates that a male student from the North Carolina State University climbed the tower, painted "Angel Farm" on it, and was met with a $25 fine when he climbed down. However, Meredith students raised the money to pay his fine. Another painting episode of note occurred in the 1950's when some visiting men from the U.S. Marine Corps climbed the tower to put their name on it. [6] It was not until April 18, 1980, that the Angel was made the official mascot in its form. This design was created by Teresa Parker (class of 1980) and was chosen by the student body after a campaign started by the Student Government Association Executive Committee. [7]

Flossie Mae

In addition to the Meredith Angel, another mascot was Flossie Mae Wooten. Flossie Mae was a child-sized mannequin adopted as the class mascot by the class of 1977. The class found her in a dumpster outside of a department store while looking for props, [8] and used her in the 1975 Cornhuskin'.

Billy Astro

Billy Astro is the name of the Mascot of the Astrotekton Society. Billy is a two-foot high goat made of papier-mache. He was made around 1980 and is passed down to the new leaders of the Society each year.

Works Cited

Cralle, Sarah Ruth, and Saribeth Anderson, eds. Oak Leaves 1977. Raleigh, North Carolina: Meredith College

Ipock, Ann. Angel Farm' Water Tank Receives Mysterious Decoration from Marine Corps." The Twig. 28 March 1952. Vol. XXVI, No. 9. p. 3

Knight, Ione, Ph.D. Personal interview. 16 April 2002

Jackson, Jean, Ph.D. Personal interview. 25 April 2002

Johnson, Mary Lynch. A History of Meredith College, second edition. Raleigh, North Carolina: Edwards & Broughton Company, 1972

Robinson, Carolyn. Personal interview. 26 April 2002

Student Handbook: Meredith College 1947-1948. Raleigh, North Carolina, 1947-1948

Student Handbook: The Many Sides of Meredith 1981-1982. Raleigh, North Carolina: Student Government Association, Meredith College, 1981

[1] 1947-1948 Student Handbook p. 114

[2] 1947-1948 Student Handbook p. 114

[3] 1947-1948 Student Handbook pp. 114-115

[4] 1947-1948 Student Handbook p. 114

[5] Jackson

[6] Ipock

[7] 1981-1982 Student Handbook p. 58

[8] Cralle