Dolphy Day


Courtesy of

Daniella Tarolli ‘15, STAFF WRITER

With only speculations each year of when Dolphy Day will be, students await the day they are woken up to join in the commencements. The tradition of Dolphy Day began on a warm spring day in 1971, as an impulsive celebration began.  Legend has it that the “Grand Wizard” came to earth for the first time on this day to make his wishes known to a student, and ensure an annual celebration. Dolphy Day is a time for students to come together and celebrate in the marvel of Eric Dolphy, to help keep his memory and this tradition alive.  Known as a day where students skip class, and join together on the quad to partake in the festivities, administration seems to have mixed views regarding the integrity of the tradition.

Contrary to this rich tradition, some administration believes in the Dolphy day that once was.  Claiming that the tradition has taken a turn to resemble a day of defiance and drinking, rather than honoring the origins of Eric Dolphy Day.  If you were to ask students throughout campus what Dolphy Day is, and what it stands for, the majority of students wouldn’t be able to answer with complete comprehension.  Speaking to different faculty on their views of this eventful day, Dr. Matthew Loveland pointed out that “Dolphy Day affects the planning of all classes because you have to build in an extra slack day since you don’t know when it happens.”  When asked about the tradition itself he confirmed the views of some faculty claiming; “I think the tradition of Dolphy Day has really been lost. We like to talk about the day being about the history and culture of Le Moyne, but I don’t believe that. It’s about skipping class and getting drunk.”

In contrast to this view, there are some administrations who believe the tradition still represents the true purpose of Dolphy Day.  Believing that Dolphy Day is meant for students to unwind, and have a release from all the rigors of College, some administrators encourage the day, and feel as though it’s purpose is fulfilled each year.  When asked about the notorious day, Dr. William Day stated “I think it makes sense for students in college with the intense experience of having their brains expanded and time constraints, for students to have the power to say ‘lets celebrate the fact that we’re doing it by choice.’”  Dr. Day is familiar with a similar day from when he was in college.  The students collectively chose a day to come together and celebrate for comparable reasons, calling it a “celebration of reality.”

As a senior, I see the possibility for people to get carried away with such an eventful day, yet I believe it’s important for students to come together in such a way to celebrate the history of our school and it’s traditions.  It is easy to see where some are lead to believe that the tradition has lost its original purpose, while also understanding the camaraderie that follows when students come together in a way to celebrate the traditions by their own accord.