Monday, April 25, 2005


Kimberly, who spends much of her time blogging about Music and Cats, (architecture, too), dropped a comment on a recent post of mine, to which I responded in an e-mail. But, in the constant Hunt for Blog-Fodder, I figured that her question was one shared by many of my Esteemed Readers:

“What's with that awful jacket?”

The answer, of course, is that it is a Princeton Class of 1974 Reunions Blazer.

Princeton has some unique traditions with respect to its alumni reunions - at least, I think they’re unique, but I haven’t exactly researched the subject. Reunions are held every year, generally the last weekend in May (the date has shifted between end-May and early June in recent years), and run from Thursday afternoon until Sunday morning. People from all classes show up, although most alumni save their energy for the five-year reunions: fifth, tenth, etc. On Saturday afternoon there is a huge parage - the P-Rade, naturally - in which alumni and their families, led by the 25th-year class, parade through the campus and are cheered by alumni and students. It’s quite the spectacle.

One of the things that adds to the dementia is that each class has its own distinctive uniform. The newer classes may use various themes and ideas - one class, for example, is using a “Viva New Jersey” theme that takes off on Viva Las Vegas - but typically, a class will use a given uniform and/or theme for five years, then change it completely.

When you hit twenty-five years, though, that all changes. That’s when you get The Blazer.

Each class, twenty-five years out and upwards, has its own distinctive Reunions Blazer. These don’t change - except for rare occasions where a class will reinvent itself at its fiftieth reunion. And the variety is astonishing.

You’ve already seen my class’s Awful Jacket, but here it is again, in a photo of me and the Mistress of Sarcasm taken last year at my Thirtieth Reunion:

The Class of 1974.

But check out this beauty from the Class of 1965:

The Class of 1965.

Extreme? Sure! And note the matching vest on Mrs. Alumnus.

The Class of 1978.

This one’s a classic. Tigers are always welcome!

I could go on and on, but I will leave you with whatever appetite you have left.

Awful jackets ‘R’ Us!

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