Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College



First, don academic robes tricked out with some costume accessories, like a mask, beads or a cape. Then, parade with fellow students, professors and staff to the sound of "The March of Acid-Free Paper."

Why? It's the traditional way to deliver your senior honors thesis at Wheaton. It may sound a bit goofy, but it's a spoof and it's fun. That's the point of the celebration.

Traditions form an important part of Wheaton's campus culture. Many Wheaton traditions are rooted deeply in the college's 175 years of history; others, such as the thesis parade, are of more recent vintage.

The Head of the Peacock regatta began about 20 years ago as a celebration of spring and student ingenuity. The race of homemade boats on Peacock Pond inspires creativity: teams of students everything from empty beer kegs to old bathtubs as they try to fashion a watercraft that will stay afloat—and maybe even claim a prize. Of course, the failures are fun, too.

If you are new to Wheaton, there are a few unwritten “rules” of which you should be aware:

  • Every student MUST swim in Peacock Pond before they graduate.
  • The front door of the chapel is meant for senior use only. If you are an underclassman, you must use the side doors when entering and exiting the chapel.

To learn more about the evolution of Wheaton and its traditions, visit Wheaton’s online archives.

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