Following a tradition that reaches back to 1916, Penn juniors celebrated Hey Day 2011 by donning red shirts, strutting along Locust Walk carrying canes and biting into straw hats. A celebration that is unique to Penn, Hey Day marks the “moving up” of juniors to the senior class. This year’s event began with a class picnic, followed by the boisterous class procession.
In 1931, Class Day activities were folded into Hey Day, including the reading of the Class History, Class Prophecy and Class Poem; the presentation of the Senior Honors Awards; and the announcement of those elected into various honorary societies. In the decades since, however, Hey Day has become less formal and far more of an exuberant outdoor affair.
As in years past, Penn President Amy Gutmann met the students at College Hall, where, before officially declaring the Class of 2012 seniors, she gave them “one final test.”
“These are tough,” she said. “Question No. 1: Who is the founder of the University of Pennsylvania? Question No. 2: Who is your class president? Question No. 3: What is the name of your class?”
As the students roared out their answers, Gutmann said, “You’ve passed. Now, by the power vested in me by the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, I hereby declare you, seniors. Congratulations.”
Photos by Steve Minicola & Scott Spitzer