Then and Now: Biology

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Then: Keeping one’s tassel out of one’s specimens during zoology class in 1894 …

Now:  Less of a concern for today’s biological sciences student.

Then and Now: Hooprolling

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Hooprolling, a spin-off from May Day celebrations when Wellesley students tossed aside responsibilities for the day to play children's games, lives on. Back in the day, the winner was predicted to be the first of her class to get married.

The hoops are passed down generation to generation. But the marriage prediction for the winner isn't. Now, the winner is believed destined for success, however she defines it.

Then and Now: Botany Notes

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Then: Botany notes taken in the 1920s, in a sturdy notebook with color coded inks.

Now: Botany notes taken with Green Touch, a mobile app that lets students collect and upload data about plants to online spreadsheets and view data on a table top surface.

Then and Now: Wellesley in Washington

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Then: The Wellesley in Washington internship program meeting with Congresswoman Frances P. Bolton in 1955.

Now: Wellesley in Washington 2012 meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton '69.

Then and Now: Track

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Then: Wellesley students aim high in 1928. Unconventional hurdle technique; cutting edge athletic wear.

Now: Scholar-athletes at Wellesley are champions at balance. And fast, too.

Then and Now: The Campus Map

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Then: Orienteering, 1920s style. Drawn by Alva Scott Mitchell '24 and Elizabeth Paige May '24.

Now: Google-influenced way-finding, created by Karishma Chadha '14 and Laura Rigge '14 in 2011.

Then and Now: Stepsinging

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Then: Rocking the class colors in 1980… (119 years after Stepsinging started).

Now: “And crown thy good with SISTERHOOD! from sea to shining sea.” Still rockin'.

Then and Now: Marathon Monday

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Then: Wellesley students have cheered runners since the first Boston Marathon in 1897, but the Scream Tunnel really came into its own in the 1970s—when women were allowed to compete in the race.

Now: Students still cheer (really loud). They also organize sign making, and take requests via Facebook and Twitter. Search for the Scream Tunnel on YouTube if you want to be deafened!

Then and Now: El Table

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Then: El Table, a student-run café, has served coffee since 1954. The original El Table was a table near the elevator at the west end of the main floor of College Hall, circa 1904. The name is a shortened version of "elevator table."

Now: Free trade organic java and affordable gourmet sandwiches! On a visit to campus for The Albright Institute Wintersession program, Madeleine Albright '59 helps to create the sandwich that El Table named after her: the “Madeleine All-Bite.’’

Then and Now: Archery

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Then: Wellesley has had an archery team since at least 1910, when archery was part of the Department of Hygiene, later the Department of Hygiene and Physical Education. These archers practicing in front of College Hall used longbows and wooden arrows.

Now: Wellesley’s modern archery squad thrives as a club sport (with archery still a P.E. option too). Team members compete in regional tournaments with Olympic recurve bows and carbon fiber arrows.

Then and Now: Tree Planting Shovel

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Then: Esther Rolfe '23, Receiver of the Spade, at Tree Planting Day 1921. The tradition of planting a class tree dates back to 1879.

Now: Emily Lin '14 holds the same spade at Tree Planting Day 2011. These days, the sophomore class communally plants a tree during Friends and Family Weekend.

Then and Now: Transportation

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Then: The Barge, with its driver Tom Griffin, brought students to the Wellesley train station.

Now: The Peter Pan bus brings students to Boston and Cambridge on a regular daily schedule.

Then and Now: Shakespeare Society

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Then: A daring reversal of Shakespeare’s gentlemen actors playing women. 

Now: Traditional or contemporary, women play all the Bard's roles at Wellesley. Sometimes for 24 hours at a stretch.

Then and Now: Murals

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Then: "Pursuit of Traditions at Wellesley," on the wall of Alumnae Hall in the 1940s. 

Now: "Pursuit of Justice in American History," on the wall of Pendleton Atrium during Ruhlman 2011.  By Morgan McKinney ’12.

Then and Now: Hillary

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Hillary Rodham as she appeared in a Life magazine article about leading college valedictorians in June 1969.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton '69 as she appeared over and over in an Internet meme called Texts from Hillary in 2012. (Original photo from Time magazine.)

Then and Now: Ethos

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Members of Ethos gather at Harambee House in 1976.

Ethos seniors perform at the 30th Annual Ethos Fashion Show: Samba Soul, in 2012.

Then and Now: Farming

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Then: The farmettes served the war effort with agricultural style in 1918.

Now: Regeneration serves the sustainability effort with local food production in 2012. (Farmers’ market on Thursdays!)

Then and Now: Ephemera

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Then: From the pages of the 1909 Legenda Yearbook….

Now: Emerges a hot Facebook meme!  

Then and Now: Crew

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Then: Wellesley was the first U.S. college to have a women’s rowing program. Crew was popular from the start, despite the full-length gowns.

Now: 2012 NEWMAC champions and placed third in the NCAA Division III Rowing Championships. 

Then and Now: Basketball

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Then: 1948—six players, zoned court, pinafores… Wellesley still had some ups!

Now:  2012—five players, three-point line, shot clock… Malia Maier '13, NEWMAC All-Conference guard, drives the lane.