Bubbles at Opening Convocation

Student Life

By Kayla McGrady ’05
Countless people and events have shaped student life at Carleton. Here are just 10 of them. What would you add to this list?

1. Mai Fete

Mai FeteMai Fete

The YWCA sponsored the college’s first Mai Fete pageant in 1907. The event phased into an arts festival in the 1950s and ultimately transformed into today’s Spring Concert.

2. Dacie Moses House

Dacie Moses plays cribbage with a studentDacie Moses plays cribbage with a student

Royal Moses ’04 and Dacie Moses opened their home at 110 Union Street as a rehearsal space for student 2 a cappella groups (in which Royal had sung himself as a student) in 1936. They started hosting Sunday brunch for students in 1947. When Dacie died in 1981, she left the house to Carleton and it has continued to be a haven for students looking for a reminder of home.

Bust of Friedrich SchillerBust of Friedrich Schiller

3. Schiller

In 1957 Bruce Herrick ’58 “liberated” the bust of Schiller from the Scoville Solarium, 4 becoming the first “guardian” of the now-famous—and well-traveled—statue.


4. Rotblatt

Rick Chap ’66 and Bob Leonard ’66 led a group of underclassmen in developing the Rotblatt softball league in 1964. Designed for “decidedly nonserious competition,” Rotblatt evolved from a league to a single game held each May that features an inning for each year in Carleton’s history. This year’s game lasted all day.

5. Coed Dorms

The male residents of Third Burton invited a group of female students to live in their lounge in November 1969, launching a campuswide discussion on coed dorms that led to the official integration of the sexes in campus 6 housing on February 14, 1970.

6. Bubbles

Bubbles at Opening ConvocationBubbles at Opening Convocation

Members of the Class of ’71 gathered in the chapel balcony to blow bubbles during the faculty procession at President Howard Swearer’s inauguration. The Bubble Brigade became a tradition at all formal chapel events, including Opening and Honors Convocations.

7. Ebony II

Ebony IIEbony II

Debra Carter McCray ’76 started student-run dance group Ebony II in January 1973 for a Black History Week program. Over time its focus expanded to encompass a variety of dance styles. It was renamed Synchrony II in 2016.

Friday flower in mailbox 594Friday flower in mailbox 594

8. Friday Flowers

In September 1983 Northfield Greenhouse & Floral began selling flowers in Sayles-Hill Great Space on the third Friday of every month. The event is now called Friday Flowers and shared between two Northfield florists; the blooms brighten up student mailboxes each week.

9. Late Night Trivia

Keith Talbot ’88, Dick Trent ’88, and Doug Belden ’88 developed the first Late Night Trivia contest on KRLX radio in March 1987. Together with Primal Scream, Silent Dance Party, and Late Night Breakfast, Late Night Trivia continues to relieve winter term’s accumulated stress.

Gender-Neutral CheerboysGender-Neutral Cheerboys

10. Cheerboys

In fall 2001 Ari Guha ’03, Will Sierzchula ’03, Jeremy Hoehn ’03, Greg Rafert ’03, and Benny Goldberg ’04 founded the Gender-Neutral Cheerboys, a nontraditional cheerleading squad, to drum up support for Carleton teams.

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