student traditions

Posted by John Dojka on February 9, 2009
The 32nd Annual Big Red Freakout is being held this weekend.  Thirty-two consecutive years of the same tradition with the same purpose is relatively rare at the 'Tute, so I had to find out how the event got started and what it was like the first time around.
Posted by John Dojka on January 27, 2009
I mentioned previously that we rely on donors to acquire new material for our collections.  In this post, I will highlight our latest acquisition. Recently Mr. Cox left this comment on the blog: I live in Seattle Wa. and i found an old calculus book at a garage sale. It is ” practical treatise on the differential and integral calculus with some of its applications to mechanics and astronomy” published in 1873. There are equations and other writings from alumni Van Wyck Hewlett. If you would like this let me know and i’ll send it to your attention.
Posted by John Dojka on August 5, 2008
I was recently asked a question about RPI memorabilia so I thought I would share an example of what we have in our collection. We receive donations from alums, their families and other generous people.  We also regularly troll Ebay looking for RPI related material to add to our collections. (BTW, we NEVER sell anything on ebay!!) We've been able to acquire commencement programs, sports media guides, photographs and memorabilia. A fun item that we purchased this past year is the silver bracelet pictured below.
Posted by John Dojka on May 16, 2008
This photo really intrigues me! In all of my RPI history travels, which includes extensive research for exhibits on student clubs and student traditions, I haven't found an explanation for this image. I hope I stumble across something someday that will help me identify this curiously dressed group of men! I'm dying to know what they were up to. Was this an early LARP club?!
Posted by John Dojka on March 28, 2008
Grand Marshal Week is just ahead and the campus is covered in campaign signs. This past week, while looking through a scrapbook compiled by Dwinel French Thompson, I found a few news clippings regarding GM week during the 1870s. Before I get to that, I should tell you a little about Dwinel (interesting name isn't it?). Dwinel F. Thompson was professor of descriptive geometry and drawing from 1872 to 1917. He taught a course that students loathed, but they didn't hold it against him.
Posted by John Dojka on March 4, 2008
Every RPI student and alum has invariably heard the term "'Tute Screw" often used metaphorically and also embodied as an actual object. No one knows who coined the term or how long it has been in use, but the object itself has a documented origin. In the Fall of 1949, Sigma Phi Epsilon awarded the first 'Tute Screw in a ceremony on the '87 Field. Three hooded fraternity brothers known as "The Order of the Royal Screw" presented the "trophy" to the freshmen class.
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