I.S. Parade

Want to make I.S. Monday even more memorable? Just add snow.

Spring storm can't dampen spirits as seniors celebrate their achievement

March 26, 2013 by John Hopkins

WOOSTER, Ohio, Mar. 26, 2013 – The Sunday night weather forecast threatened to place two of the College of Wooster’s most cherished traditions in irreconcilable conflict. If snow came in the volume forecast, it would be incumbent upon students to fill Kauke Arch. But if they did, would it be cleared in time for Monday’s I.S. Parade? Truly, it was a dilemma worthy of a philosophy major’s Independent Study.

In the end, the early spring storm dumped less snow than expected: enough to give Wooster City Schools a day off, but not enough to trigger an existential crisis on campus.

The 2013 I.S. Parade stepped off on schedule at five p.m. Monday, with fifteen pipers and drummers leading hundreds of jubilant seniors in celebration of the defining moment of a Wooster student’s education: the completion of a yearlong, mentored undergraduate research project. Faculty advisors, college staff, teammates, and friends lined the walk south of Kauke Hall to cheer them on, and drizzle and snow showers did nothing to dampen their spirits.

Unlike most years, there were no seniors in kilts, but despite the weather, or perhaps as further proof of the independence of their minds, two did forego pants. A young man marched in L.L. Bean boots, a rain jacket, and rainbow-colored briefs, while a young woman sported Sponge Bob underpants, argyle socks, a light jacket, and cat ears.

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Others went for warmer, more traditional – at least by I.S. Monday standards – costumes, which came in handy when the snowballs began to fly. There was a white bunny suit with purple vest and bright green buttons, a full, black and gold M.C. Hammer outfit (circa 1990), and what appeared to be a Colonial-themed band uniform of green coat and gold pants. Perhaps the most creative ensemble, however, was pulled off by a young woman who paired blue Eeyore footie pajamas with a pink, sparkly tutu, a plush unicorn hat, and a fake Fu Manchu mustache.

Several seniors had friends along the parade route who held up congratulatory signs, but two marched with signs of their own, which reminded the onlookers of the relationship at the heart of each senior’s I.S. achievement. The signs bore a photo of Michelle Johnson, associate professor of communication studies, and the simple caption “Best advisor ever!”