Like many Yalies, Andy Doro ’04 has special plans for Oct. 5. But nowhere in Doro’s calendar do you see the words “tercentennial,” “convocation” or “Yale.”
While many of his fellow classmates will be dressed up in Yale-blue gowns, marching around Cross Campus in celebration of the University’s 300th birthday, Doro will be sitting on a Metro-North train, eagerly awaiting the Bjork concert at Radio City Music Hall that night.
“I guess the whole celebration thing sounds kind of interesting,” Doro said. “But I have other things I’d rather do that day, as horrible as that may sound.”
While a number of students on campus may share Doro’s view, tercentennial director Janet Lindner said she is expecting a high turnout for the events of the third and final tercentennial weekend in October. More than 2,000 students signed up to march in the academic convocation in the afternoon of Oct. 5, and even more are expected to attend the festival at the Yale Bowl that evening at 7 p.m.
To participate in either of the events, students were required to sign up in their respective colleges by Sept. 24., a deadline officials set for logistical reasons. The original deadline had been set for Sept. 14, but was extended because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“I think the events of Sept. 11 really threw things off and made people wonder if we’d have it or not,” Calhoun Master William Sledge said. “So in the short run that may have dampened the effort to actually come here and sign up, but in the long run I don’t think it dampened interest in it at all. If anything, I think it made people realize the importance of the Yale community.”
Fortunately, the attacks did not hinder preparations for the events, nor did they end up affecting sign ups, Lindner said.
“The students were really responsive about signing up,” Lindner said. “I’m thrilled, but I’m not surprised. This weekend was planned for the campus to come together and celebrate.”
Students said the sign-up success can be attributed to a simple procedure and numerous e-mail reminders by the college councils.
“I think doing sign ups in the dining hall helped a lot,” Calhoun College Council President Claiborne Childs ’02 said. “A lot of people were meaning to sign up but never had a chance to go to the master’s office. Doing it during meals just makes it a lot easier.”
The Tercentennial Office has also offered prizes for the colleges with the three highest participation rates. The first-place college will receive either $500 for its student activities fund or free T-shirts for all students in the college. The second and third place colleges will receive $300.
“The monetary reward would be nice, but it certainly isn’t the focus,” Yale College Council member Raul Ruiz ’03 said. “Many people aren’t really thinking about the money. A lot of people probably don’t even know about it. I think it’s just meant to foster some healthy competition between the residential colleges.”
But despite all the spirited promotions and e-mail reminders, there are still those who appear to be in the dark about the events.
“I didn’t think it was that big a deal,” Chris Jordan ’04 said. “I thought it was just a plain, bland e-mail about an event for old alumni. I just figured nobody else was going.”
Foreseeing such inevitable situations, Lindner made sure to order extra robes for those who did not sign up but still wish to march Friday.