Sophomore Class Acquires Its Color

A Harvard tradition of passing colors down from graduating seniors to rising sophomores is revived.

Holding their blue-trimmed class banner, sophomore class Undergraduate Council representatives Chris Smiles (at left) and Ryley Reynolds flank Catherine Katz ’13 and associate dean of Harvard College Joan Rouse. Katz first proposed a sophomore class event to administrators. Smiles and Reynolds are also members of the Harvard Alumni Association’s Building Community Committee.
Canyon Woodward ’15 shows off the T-shirts distributed at the event, sporting the class color at the neck and sleeves.

The class of 2015 was the center of attention yesterday, hosted in Memorial Church by the Harvard Alumni Association and the Undergraduate Council for the official presentation of the sophomores’ class color: blue. The ceremony restored a College tradition last celebrated on Class Day in 1963, when that year’s senior class passed their color, green, to the rising sophomores of the class of ’66. This time, representatives of the class of 2012 presented a new 2015 banner, trimmed with blue, to the younger class, whose members later received blue-trimmed class T-shirts.

The Harvard Crimson credited the event’s revival to a few students “eager to build class unity and bring back lost traditions”: Justin Lanning ’12, of the HAA’s Building Community Committee, who had proposed bringing back class colors, and Catherine G. Katz ’13, who regretted the dissipation of a sense of class community once she and her fellow first-years left the Yard as rising sophomores for their new Houses. “Your class community and House community are great communities to be a part of,” she told Crimson report Quinn D. Hattoff. “Why do they have to be mutually exclusive?”

For more on the history of this tradition, read “Curious Colors,” from the Harvard Magazine  archives.

Read the Crimson’s coverage of the event here.


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