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Colorful fall leaves

Week 4 has brought the most beautiful kaleidoscope of oranges, yellows, and reds! And with the turning of the leaves has come a wonderful fall celebration. Earlier this week, we had a delicious fall harvest dinner, where local growers came to share their bounty from the Upper Valley. With freshly picked apples, warm apple cider, seasonal pizzas, pies, and even cider doughnuts, our one and only FOCO (acronym for our dining hall called the Class of '53 Commons), had it all! Families and alumni from far and wide came to admire the beauty of the colorful forests, while also enjoying one of the biggest Dartmouth traditions…HOMECOMING!! 

But what exactly is Homecoming weekend? 

Far from the dances with long dresses, where no one had apple bottom jeans but always got down low, we have a massive bonfire! The bonfire is a tradition that's been celebrated for over 100 years, where Dartmouth alumni come from all over the globe to welcome a new class of Dartmouth students into the Dartmouth family. After signing our names on the boards fueling the flames, we circled the huge tower bursting with orange and red flames as a class. As we circled the fire, the upperclassmen cheered us on from the side in celebration of our very first Dartmouth Homecoming bonfire! Traditionally, the freshmen run around the fire the number of times to match their graduation year! While not required, the 25 laps were a great way to kick off Homecoming weekend!

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This is one of the boards for the class of '25! Many Dartmouth clubs also had boards that their members signed before the fire.

The following day was our Homecoming football game versus Yale, where our home team won the game in overtime (go Big Green!). While cheering in the stands with my friends, I was awestruck by how many alumni attended: the stands were filled with both former students and parents of current students supporting the team.  

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While walking around the fire, the upperclassmen cheered us on, and I saw my trip leader from first year trips!

Seeing all the alumni coming back together and leaving their name cards at the Hanover Inn (there's a bulletin board in the hotel where the alumni can fill out a card with their name, year, and number to get in touch with old friends and make new ones) really filled me with a sense of pride for my school. It put in perspective what it means to be a Dartmouth student: once you attend, you're always part of the school, and a part of you never leaves. You're forever a part of Dartmouth, and Dartmouth is always a part of you. Looking at the alumni at the game, their love and enthusiasm for Dartmouth is a testament to the resounding community that lasts a lifetime. 

(The cover picture, displaying the beautiful colors of the fall trees, was taken by Daniel Xu '25)

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