One Last Time

Chelsea Anderson, Contributor

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On September 15, 2017, the entire Buffalo Seminary student body and faculty celebrated the school’s 101-year-old Hornet/Jacket Day tradition with festivities stretching down Elmwood Avenue, and finally to the school’s own Larkin Field on Lincoln Parkway.

The strong smell of shaving cream, the returning sight of yellow and green at every inch of the field, freshmen and seniors alike running around without a care in the world, and the loud yells and screams which dictate your loyalty to a side, all can be witnessed on Hornet/Jacket Day.

Janie W. ’18 and Zoe K. ’19 cheer on fellow Jacket members during tug-o-war at Larkin field.

 

Buffalo Seminary is an institution, which takes pride in its various traditions. From transforming the school into a winter wonderland during Hanging of the Greens, to gracing down the aisle during Commencement Day in an elegant white gown, at SEM tradition is more than a word

Hornet Jacket Day is one of those many customs here at SEM. So what are Hornets and Jackets, and why are they so important? In 1916, when SEM’s basketball league cancelled its season, the Graduates Association decided to create intramural basketball teams, and the champions of that season would be awarded a cup, The Cup. These two intramural teams would come to be known as the Hornets, the green bees and Jackets, the yellow bees. Hornet /Jacket days serves as an initiation, a competition, and school-spirit packed day.

At Larkin Field Maggie M. ’18, Shelby K. ’18 and Molly D. ’18 strike a pose for their last and first (for Maggie) time celebrating Hornet/Jacket Day.

Now in 2017, the Hornets and Jackets play a different role. Today, the entire school—including faculty is split into the two teams. In-school competitions between the two teams keep spirits high through-out the academic year, and give students something to look forward to, while instilling the SEM student pride.  Each team remains determined to gain points, be awarded The Cup, (which is gold for a reason…Go Jackets!) be crowned the champions, and have bragging rights for an entire year! Some of the most notable competitions throughout the school year include Puttin On the Hits which allows for students to showcase their lip-synching and dancing skills and Hornet/Jacket Day (or H/J Day).

 

So what is it? Hornet/Jacket Day is a school-wide opening event celebrating the 101-year-old tradition of the Hornets and Jackets. It begins early—and this year for the Senior Jackets, “early” meant four o’clock in the morning. H/J Day actually begins the night before on Hornet Jacket Day Eve. Each grade hosts sleepovers with their respective team. For the freshmen, who do not know what team they will join, they enjoyed a sleepover with the sophomores at SEM. The catwalk, Colby room, Performing Arts Center or PAC, and many other hallways were filled with restless girls awaiting the festivities of the next day.

Buffalo Seminary takes pride in its traditions with a “Hornet /Jacket Day” post.

Juniors and seniors similarly had their respective sleepovers, but off of school campus. During the sleepover, freshmen learned school songs, while upperclassmen rehearsed, attempted to memorize, and finalized dances in preparation to perform at the school’s own Larkin Field, the next day.  The day is filled with immense excitement, followed by an equally immense shower of exhaustion. After festivities, the “post Hornet/Jacket Day nap” leaves students feeling revived and ready to continue the year packed with school-spirit.

 

Moriah (Riah) ’18 poses after a shaving cream battle with peers, as she remains neutral in Hornet Jacket Day activities at Larkin Field.

Because of how unique Hornet Jacket Day, and the entire Hornet Jacket tradition is, not being a part of such an important day anymore sits heavy on the hearts of seniors—who recently celebrated their last. When asked, “After four years of celebration, how did your last Hornet Jacket Day compare to your first and what did you make of it?” Gabrielle (Ellie) Clearly 18′ (Hornet) simply stated, “I don’t know how to describe it. My first Hornet Jacket Day I had no idea what was going on, I was going with the flow. But this year, I had a lot more pride.”

Mackenzie Beck 18′ (Hornet) agreed and similarly said, “There was a lot of pride, because it was your Hornet/Jacket Day.” Bridget Ewing ’18 (Jacket) stated that in comparison to her first Hornet Jacket Day which was “overwhelming and “forced [students] into tradition, this year’s Hornet/Jacket Day was “powerful.” Bridget also commented on how being a senior allowed her to play “a big role in how others experienced Hornet Jacket Day.” Moriah Daniels ’18 who as the head of the Hornet/Jacket, is neutral in regards to belonging to either team, expressed her thoughts on celebrating her last Hornet/Jacket Day, “I’m sad that it’s over, but glad that it happened. It was better than I expected. I am very sad actually, I thought about crying.”