118th Annual Hooprolling at Wellesley College

April 29, 2013

Alex Nagourney '13 Wins Hooprolling

hooprolling leaders

Congratulations to Alex Nagourney ’13, winner of Wellesley College's 118th Annual Hooprolling competition! Nagourney, a physics major from Glen Ridge, N.J., is also president of Severance Hall.

For almost 100 years, the senior class has gathered early one morning near the end of the academic year dressed in their Commencement gowns and class colors. At a signal, the seniors race down Tupelo lane, pushing their hoops with a wooden stick, vying for the honor of being thrown into Lake Waban.

Although the hoop-rolling tradition dates back 100 years, the tradition of throwing the winner into the lake dates back a little over 70 years. In 1939, according to Wellesley 1875-1975: A Century of Women, the winner of the hoop race was revealed to be the editor of the Harvard Lampoon who wore a red wig, white blouse, and blue skirt. The Wellesley seniors seized and carried him off in protest to Lake Waban and tossed him into the water. This inspired a song entitled Ballad of a Bold Bad Man, which is included in the Wellesley Song Book. Students continued to throw the winner into the lake in subsequent years, and for good reason; in 1973, a male student from Williams tried to repeat the stunt.

It is said that the winner will be the first in her class to achieve success, but the definition of success has changed over the years. Originally the winner was said to be the first in her class who would marry, later the first to become a CEO, and now is said to be the first to achieve success however she defines it.

Congrats again Alex, and best wishes for your future endeavors!


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