Grand Traditions


Sarah is going to dunk her ring today.  For the 98% of you out there who are not Aggies or related to one, that sounds like a bad thing but for a Fighten Texas Aggie it is a rite of passage.  As a regular reader of this blog you know Sarah got her A&M; ring back in September and has been wearing it proudly.  Today her and 29 other girls from the ZTA house are going to christen their rings by dropping them into a pitcher of beer then chugging the pitcher till only the ring (hopefully) is left.  Slurred speeches and projectile vomiting are sure to follow.  The whole family is invited to witness the eventringdunk

I know what you are thinking. “My, what a fascinating tradition, it reminds me of the Orange County CA fist birthday event where a birthday party is thrown for the first born child on their first birthday where the mother of the child performs a pole dance for friends and family”  I was thinking the same thing. 

Sometimes it’s hard to draw a straight line from what you celebrate to how you celebrate it.

Come to find out, there are many of these college rites.  For instance, at the University of Minnesota they are known for their Chemical Engineering program, what is less well known is how the masters program students complete the program.  Successful completion of this ritual ensures previous graduates will do everything they can to secure gainful employment for the new graduates.  Friends and family are gathered at Powderhorn Lake Park where they form a large circle (sometimes called the “circumpunct”), in the center of the circle  are the candidates for graduation and 3 Thomomys talpoides (to you and me they are gophers).  There is a festive atmosphere, many of the candidates have been drinking.  When the golden 150px-GoldyGopher[1]sandals are slapped together it begins.

The candidates and gophers scatter with friends and family keeping all the participants inside the circle.  In order to successfully leave the circle each candidate must pee on one of the gophers.  Its not as easy as it sounds the gophers aren’t too crazy about this plus the grandparents are watching.  This is often called the (NH2)2CO Rodeo.  Not everyone gets to leave the circumpunct a winner.  Female candidates are woefully under represented in the program.  This tradition goes back to the early days of the university.  Hard to believe?  How do you think the University of Minnesota chose its mascot?

1 comment to Grand Traditions

  • I wish I could say I knew of any such traditions at EMU, but sadly I do not. Perhaps even more sad is that I don't even know of any traditions like that in the Air Force. I'm sure active duty probably has them, but the good old Guard boys generally just go out drinking after drill.