Like an academic Mardi Gras
Each year, on the first Monday after spring break, a steady stream of Wooster seniors files through the doors of the registrar’s office to hand in their completed I. S. projects. In return, each receives a Tootsie Roll and a numbered black and yellow button that proclaims, "I did it."
At five p.m., as the last student to hand in a project steps out of the office, the Scot pipers begin to play and a roar goes up from the assembled seniors. Minutes later, with the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement and the pipe band leading the way, the annual I.S. parade (in truth, more a good-natured scramble than a parade) steps off, through the arch of Kauke Hall.
Some seniors break out tee shirts designed especially for the occasion ("finIShed" "I did it all for the Tootsie Roll") while others look like survivors from a costume shop explosion. There are bunny ears and green wigs, shiny purple crowns and gold lame top hats, girls in matching MacLeod tartan bathing suits and guys dressed as cows.
Whooping and laughing, some years pelting one another with snowballs (not the year of the matching bathing suits), they snake through campus, cheered on by faculty, staff and fellow students, to a celebratory dinner at Kittredge Hall. In the weeks to come, many will have to conduct an oral defense of their I.S. work before a faculty examiner, but on this night, they celebrate.