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From the Archives

From Globe archives: Hoop rolling race at Wellesley College


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Wellesley College has held a hoop rolling race in spring before graduation since 1895. It was traditionally held on May Day, and the winner was said to be the first to get married in the senior class. The date of the race has changed over the years, and now the winner is promised to be the first to achieve self-defined success. Contestants have often kept their mortar boards on, with festive ribbons and other adornments.

On May 4, 1968, Barbara Evans, a history major from Bedford, N.Y., won the traditional bridal bouquet. “I’m not engaged,” said the winner, laughing. “I have some ideas, though.” She attributed her win to the good spot her “sophomore sister” saved her right in front. Traditionally the sophomores rise as early as
5 a.m. to find good spots for their “senior big sisters.” After the race, the seniors give their hoops to the sophomores. Some hoops are passed on for many years and bear the signatures of previous owners.

Leanne Burden Seidel and Lisa Tuite

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