A Fashionable Tradition: Freshman Beanies

By schwartzsa | February 4, 2011

By Sarah Schwartz ’10

Before the days of coed enrollment, Arcadia students had a different way of generating class identity and spirit: dinks. Dinks, or freshman beanies, were handed out to new students upon arrival. They had to be tipped to approaching upperclassmen, waved in event processions, and worn at all times. Babette ‘Babs’ Krug ’68 recalls some of Arcadia’s past traditions. (More photos.)

“Before I attended orientation, I received a letter telling me to bring green garments. We had to wear green: pants, stockings, or whatever for the first couple of weeks. I’ll never forget wearing my hunter green shorts,” Krug says.

“As a sign of the times, were weren’t allowed off campus with pants and we couldn’t wear anything that could identify us as Beaver College students. We were representatives of the college to the surrounding community—skirts were required.”

In addition to their ‘dinks,’ students received a packet of initiation songs from other prominent local universities. They were learned and performed on cue to earn the privilege of removing the cap.

“As I recall, my class never technically lost ours,” laughs Krug. “But at convocation that concluded our orientation, we were given little pins, which were brass in color. They all had a picture of Minerva, goddess of wisdom. I still have mine, and I think if you asked around you’d find that most graduates keep their convocation pins quite close.”

“As a day student I was able to avoid some of the initiation rituals,” she says. “A lot of it was happening during dinner hours or later. It did get tiresome, but I didn’t mind too much because it was part of an ongoing tradition.”