Traditional Archival Photos

Author: Lisa Marie Patzer

Penn Alumni have a long history of engaging in tradition and thanks to the University Archives Digital Image Collection, it is easy to access digital photos of the University’s traditions.  Here are some of my favorites from the collection:

Penn fans throw toast onto Franklin Field after the third quarter of every home football game. The toast-throwing tradition was in response to the line “Here’s a toast to dear old Penn” in the school song “Drink a Highball”. The act of throwing toast was adopted after alcohol was banned from the stadium in the 1970s. In a good season, 20,000 to 30,000 pieces of toast are thrown per game!

Throwing toast - a Penn tradition,1999, Tommy Leonardi,  photographer

Throwing toast – a Penn tradition,1999, Tommy Leonardi, photographer

Established in 1895, The Penn Relays represent the largest amateur track meet and oldest organized relay competition in the United States. The event is held every April for three days at Franklin Field. The Relays bring together the best track and field athletes from high schools and colleges worldwide, in addition to races on Saturday with Olympic athletes. An important event to the community, the Relays bring in over 100,000 spectators each year.

Penn Relays, 1913, 4-mile, George Atwell Richardson, photographer

Penn Relays, 1913, 4-mile, George Atwell Richardson, photographer

Although it’s possible to get basketball season tickets without camping out overnight at the Palestra, the best seats go to those who wait in “The Line”. Groups spend 24 hours in the nation’s oldest basketball arena just to score coveted court-side seats. The tradition started in 1969, and now the date and location where the tickets will be sold is changed every year and kept top secret.

University of Pennsylvania campus, 1932

University of Pennsylvania campus, 1932

In 1916, Hey Day was established as a “Moving-Up” celebration to mark the advancement of each class. In recent decades, Hey Day has represented the official passage of the junior class to senior status and is characterized by thousands of marching students parading around campus and wearing red T-shirts, carrying canes, and biting into fake straw hats.

Class Hey Day crowds,1950

Class Hey Day crowds,1950

Hey Day has changed a bit since 1950 and the celebration is bigger and more festive than ever.  Here is a photo from the 2012 Hey Day parade.  This photo is today’s competitor in the Ivy+ Alumnipics competition.

Hey Day 2012

Hey Day 2012

Show your Penn Pride by “liking” the photo on Facebook between 11am EST Tuesday, July 31st and 11am EST August 1st.  The more “likes” we receive, the greater our chances of winning the gold medal!


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Filed under Athletics, Awards, Historical, Lisa Marie Patzer, Notable Alumni, Photos, Traditions, Uncategorized

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