The First Dartmouth Night

During Dartmouth Night and Homecoming, alumni return to join students in a revelatory celebration that includes a colorful parade and blazing bonfire.

“The custom of  ‘Dartmouth Night’ was successfully inaugurated, and will be a most pleasing feature of college life.”
–The Dartmouth, September 20, 1895

First held on September 17, 1895, Dartmouth Night was introduced by President William Jewett Tucker to give the College a day to invite alumni back to their alma mater and to unequivocally celebrate their achievements. It was an immediate success.

On that first night, alumni, faculty, and students gathered in a historic building called “The Old Chapel,” which was decorated for the occasion with paintings of famous alumni such as Daniel Webster, Class of 1801, and Thaddeus Stevens, Class of 1814, and the founder of the College, Eleazar Wheelock. 

Dartmouth Night wasn’t publicly associated with football until 1923, when the new stadium—Memorial Field—was dedicated.

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