From Class of 2008 to Class of 2012: The Purple and Gold

September 5, 2008

It’s truly an honor to be asked to Opening Convocation of the 2008–09 school year. I am here to present you with your class colors, and these colors. They mean a lot to alumnae, to the school, and soon, to a lot of you.

My name is Mallory Showalter and I am a member of the Class of 2008. While at Mary Baldwin, I like to think I lived up to the purple and gold reputation. I was a senator, then served as Senate treasurer. I ran cross country, became an RA, and then served as the upperclass ACC. Did I mention I also completed four years in VWIL? Somehow while balancing all of that, I wrote a senior thesis that went on to win best paper in the Capstone Festival. If you think that’s a lot, you should ask about the amazing things that my fellow classmates did, like Belena Stuart, Lael Adams, Karen Potter, and Christi Davidson.

I like to think we did so much because of the purple and gold that we all pinned on four years ago when we were sitting where you are now. That’s right: Every four years class colors are passed on from the graduating senior class to the incoming freshman class.

In 1912 the first class picked their colors, and 100 years later, here you sit eagerly awaiting to pin on your purple and gold. In many cultures, purple and gold have stood for royalty; purple representing leadership, dignity, and government. And gold represents wealth and wisdom.

To me, purple and gold represented my involvement in student government at Mary Baldwin and the wealth of wisdom I got from stimulating classes. And I don’t stand alone wearing my purple and gold this evening. Diedre Johnson, who may have helped some of you decide on Mary Baldwin, and her classmate Captain Julia Ireland from the VWIL office, are from the Class of 2004, purple and gold. Anne Holland in the Alumnae/i Office also wore purple and gold while a student at Mary Baldwin. A very notable woman, who makes me so proud to wear purple and gold, Lynn Gilliland, now director of first and second year experience, is from the Class of 1980. Trust me, if you don’t know Lynn yet, you will before you go home for Christmas.

Mary Baldwin prides itself on its traditions. So take pride when you pin on your purple and gold on Apple Day, for your Junior Dad’s and Family Weekend, and when you get to pin it on during your senior year for Founders Day, which is the first time you get to wear your cap and gown. I hope the Class of 2012 lives up to its purple and gold reputation. The sky is the limit here at Mary Baldwin, there is nothing you can’t do. So pin your colors on tonight and remember that they were passed down from one great class to another. When one of you stands up here four years from now, you will be proud to reflect on all the great things you came together as a class to accomplish.

So now, from the Class of 2008, we wish you the best of luck, Class of 2012.