Freshmen Class Year Shirts/Sweaters

Title: Freshmen Class Year Shirts/Sweaters

General Information

Material Lore: Clothing



Informant Data:

Julie Mayberry is from Greenwich, Connecticut and is a member of the 2020 class at Dartmouth. She is planning on being a History or English major, and was interviewed on 11/2/16 in Baker Library at Dartmouth College.

Contextual Data:

The informant first encountered this folklore item when she was visiting Dartmouth for homecoming. She noticed that all of the freshmen who were running around the bonfire were wearing their graduation year on their shirts and sweaters. Informant experienced this form of material folklore when she herself got to Dartmouth as a freshman, and felt obliged to buy clothing with her graduation year in order to wear it around the homecoming bonfire.


Every year, members of the freshman class at Dartmouth purchase shirts, sweaters, and other pieces of gear that show their class’ graduation year on them. The freshmen will wear these articles of clothing when they participate in events such as the Dartmouth Homecoming parade, and when they run around the bonfire. These articles of clothing with the graduating year of that year’s freshman class are often worn with a sense of pride.


“I bought a class of 2020 shirt because I heard that everyone wears one to run around the bonfire on homecoming. I bought it at the coop when I got my student discount there and I also bought some of my other Dartmouth gear there. My dad went to Dartmouth and participates in the alumni parades with the class of ’75, so I went to Dartmouth homecomings a few times when I was growing up. I always saw the older alumni in the parade wearing their class sweaters and was pretty surprised to see how old some of the sweaters and shirts were. I think that the oldest one that I saw was in the ‘40s. Wearing my Dartmouth ’20 gear makes me feel like I’m a part of a larger organization and the class sweater is somewhat of a “rite of passage.” I think it will also be a nice memory to have after I graduate here and maybe I can pass it on to my kids some day.”

Informant’s Comments:

“Looking back on my first term at Dartmouth, I definitely think that wearing your class year at the homecoming bonfire is a source of pride for freshmen. It was really the first, big event for our class and it is a great memory. I’m definitely happy that I can hold on to my ’20 shirt for a long time.”

Collector’s Comments:

As a current senior, I can definitely look back upon my freshman year homecoming and say that it was a great feeling to put on my ’17 shirt. It was a really cool experience to see everyone in my class wearing their shirts as a source of pride and I can’t wait to wear the same shirt as an alumni.

Collector’s Name: John Mayberry

Tags/Keywords: Material Lore, Clothing, Class, Sweaters, Shirts, Gear, Freshmen, Homecoming

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