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Duncan develops new tradition in style

Christian Myers | Friday, February 22, 2013

Residents of Duncan Hall have found an easier way to get their hands on a green blazer than winning the Masters Tournament.

Duncan presented 105 Highlanders with kelly green blazers at the hall’s first ever blazer ceremony Thursday night in the hall’s main lounge.

Duncan Hall president opened the event by introducing a speech from senior Josh Whelan, who was one of the organizers behind the blazers. Junior Joseph Whalen, Duncan Hall vice president, read each individuals name as he received his blazer.

Whelan said the event was less about the ceremony itself and more about the blazers.

“The ceremony was a little excitement at the end of a long process,” Whelan said. “It was more of a formality to make this more of a tradition. The important thing is having the blazers and being able to wear them to our events.”

Whelan said part of his motivation for starting the blazer ceremony was Duncan’s lack of traditions because it is a relatively new dorm.

“I was looking for a way to create a tradition and change the reputation of Duncan from the new dorm with nicer rooms to a dorm with its own traditions,” he said.

In the future, the blazer could become an identifier for Duncan residents and a staple at events like pep rallies, Whelan said.

“Hopefully the blazers will be something recognizable that we can incorporate into events and into the Duncan community,” he said. “They can be more than another apparel item.”

Duncan rector Terence Fitzgibbons said he hoped Duncan residents would wear the blazers to their upcoming dance in Chicago.

Whelan said the blazers appealed to him personally because of his southern background.

“Coming north from Savannah, Ga., I’ve had to adjust to the change from button-downs and khakis to sweatshirts and sweatpants,” he said. “I like the idea of getting something more formal for our dorm.”

Whelan said his roommate last school year developed the idea by suggesting Duncan add green blazers to its apparel offerings. 

The next step was bringing the idea to Duncan’s rector last spring. Whelan said Fitzgibbons suggested making the purchase of Duncan Hall blazers a lasting tradition open to the whole dorm.

Whelan said he took a poll of Duncan residents about their interest in dorm blazers and the amount they would be willing to pay. Each blazer cost $72 and the opportunity to purchase a blazer was both voluntary and available to the entire dorm, he said.

Whalen said he was glad so many people participated in the event.

“It was fantastic to see such a great turnout,” he said. “This kind of community support is important because without support we can’t start new traditions.”