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the fire

Homecoming at Dartmouth isn't just any regular event; it's a celebration that goes back over a century and is filled with tradition, camaraderie, and an incredible sense of history.

Homecoming ignites the spirit of Dartmouth like nothing else. This cherished tradition dates back to 1895 when President William Jewett Tucker introduced the first ceremony with speeches about Dartmouth men's achievements. Back then, it was held indoors, in the Old Chapel of Dartmouth Hall, but it has since evolved into an outdoor extravaganza that we all know and love.

The focal point of Homecoming, the bonfire, has its own fascinating history. Can you believe that students began building bonfires in the late 19th century to celebrate our sports victories? One of the most famous ones was in 1888, commemorating a thrilling baseball victory over Manchester, NH. The bonfire symbolizes our rich heritage, the passions of our students, and the fires of ambition that have always burned within our community.

Homecoming Presentation
The crowds massing for last year's Homecoming!

The magic of Homecoming isn't just in the flames of the bonfire, but in the collective spirit that binds us all. It's a time when students, alumni, faculty, and staff come together to celebrate our shared love for this institution. The evening is steeped in speeches that highlight the remarkable achievements of our alumni, reminding us of the incredible journey that Dartmouth graduates embark upon after their time here.

The parade that accompanies is a spectacle in itself. Students and alumni march through the campus with incredible enthusiasm, – the sense of unity that arises during the event is a testament to the deep-rooted bonds formed within the Dartmouth family.

As a junior, I've had the privilege of witnessing two Homecomings, and with each passing year, the significance of this tradition only deepens. It's not just about the bonfire; it's about the spirit of unity and togetherness that it represents. Homecoming is a time when the past, present, and future of Dartmouth converge in a magnificent spectacle of lights, cheers, and aspirations.

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