The Establishment of the Cap and Gown: 1881-1907
establishment of the cap and gown at Oberlin takes place at a
time when the trappings of collegiateness in
general were on the rise. For example, the college "yell"--a
distinctive cheer for sporting events--was adopted in the late 1880s.
A note in the student newspaper, The
Oberlin Review confirms the date and eloquently bemoans a poor
rendition of the cheer:
Oberlin has had a yell for three years and has
not yet learned how to give it. As rendered at the ball game
Saturday, it sounded like a hymn tune in long meter, sung at a
funeral to an accompaniment of dropping clods and clattering
Additionally, the Student Handbook for 1893-94
specifies colors for the College, the Conservatory of Music, and
each respective graduating class. Confirming the degree of interest
in such things, the handbook also includes a lengthy table of
principal universities and colleges with their distinctive yells
1890, the college pin came into existence as a sign of "college distinction." An
editorial in the Review urged its development:
not have an Oberlin pin or button? The last three years have
seen the adoption of college colors and of our
unrivalled yell. The next step in the line of college distinction
should be a pin with appropriate device or a button in the college
colors. In several weeks the students will scatter widely for the
Christmas holidays. It would be pleasant to carry around with them
some badge or emblem of the college they represent, so that a
discriminating public may distinguish them from " the fast
set" at Harvard: or from the glittering youth of the
The quickness with which the idea took shape was
stunning. The very next week the Review printed a full-page
advertisement for the pin:
The CRIMSON and GOLD!
WE HAVE A COLLEGE PIN!
"A Long felt Want" Supplied.
Buttons for Gentlemen
For Ladies, Pins.
Neat, Tasty, Elegant10
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