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90 Years Ago

With Mountain Day behind us and (maybe) the Rope Pull in our sights, school traditions are very much in view. It may seem oxymoronic to speak of a new tradition; at the very least it’s a risky enterprise. This week shows you why with a description of a “new tradition” which never became an old one.

from The Hermonite, vol. XLI, no. 3, p. 1-2; October 1, 1927.

Senior Class Starts New Tradition

Coil of Rope is to Signify “Pull Together”

At Chapel service on September 27, the senior class inaugurated a new tradition by handing a coil of rope to the junior class.
Perhaps there is no school in the country whose traditions have become a part of its makeup as Mount Hermon. The existent traditions have come to us through the efforts of student and Founder of this institution. We live here as man with man; we get to know each other, but the time we really know and understand each other is the time when traditions are recalled or handed down to us.
We have at present two outstanding traditions, which embody a great deal – the spade and the one-tine fork. The spade, presented by the class of 1890, [Actually it was first presented by the class of 1889. – ed.], symbolizes digging; the one-tine fork symbolizes doing the impossible – eating soup with a fork. At this time the class of 1928 wishes to institute a new tradition symbolizing the idea of pulling. No organization can attain the greatest success unless there are men who are willing to pull. This tradition is embodied in a rope which was used in the recent rope pull, and which is 56 inches long, an inch for every man who pulled for the class. The class of ’28 hopes that this rope will be received in the spirit in which it is given. We ask that the rope be presented at West Hall to the winner of the rope pull the night of the contest. If by chance the seniors should win, the rope should be presented to the sophomore class, but, of course, if the juniors win the rope belongs to them for the year, and so on. Each class as it wins the rope should place its class colors on either end of the rope. We hope that each year the spirit of Mount Hermon will increase and become more beneficial to all concerned. It is not the “pull” we want, but we want to pull together in the spirit of Hermon. This tradition we introduce that the spirit of Mount Hermon might take its proper place in the student life on the campus.

The bit of rope donated by the class of 1928 was won by the junior class of 1929 at the rope pull that fall. A year later, the juniors won again and newspaper accounts indicate that the rope went to the class of 1930, but from that moment the tradition disappears from view. –ed.