Stepping Up Day at Springfield College began in 1926, replacing Decapitation Day, the day in which freshman were finally allowed to remove their green beanies and pass over Senior Walk. Today, not only do freshman take a step up, but sophomores become upperclassmen, juniors become seniors, and seniors become alumni. Each class president turns over an object that acts as a symbol to the class president below him.
The passage of the symbol from the sophomores to the freshmen has a long history. Traditionally, freshmen experienced a series of initiation challenges upon arrival to Springfield College. These activities, including Cage-Ball and Rope Pull, occurred between the freshman and sophomore classes, creating the traditional SC freshman-sophomore rivalry. The passage of the Peace Pipe during Stepping up Day signifies the end of class rivalry and the pledge of future friendship. The junior class presents a Plaque to the sophomore class, which is indicative of junior class service projects such as Yearbook, Junior Prom, etc. The seniors present the juniors with the Mortar Board, representing the achieving status of the seniors and their eventual graduation. Finally, the Alumni Secretary welcomes the seniors into the Alumni Association and invites the Senior President to attach the senior class ribbon to the Alumni Key.
The ceremonies end with the singing of the Alma Mater. The day typically comes towards the end of the spring semester. Below is a photo of the 1988 Stepping Up Day pamphlet depicting the symbols for each class.
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