It’s a rite of passage that freshmen of a certain era will never forget — the wearing of beanies. Graduates from the ’40s to the early ’70s donned the green and gold chapeaux or earned “demerits” from upperclassmen. The first-years also had to answer questions from their elders or sing the alma mater on demand, as Ernie Leal ’47 did during orientation.
Betty Reid Gallik ’45 remembered that in her day, the girls wore a hat instead of the beanie although her husband, Bill Gallik ’47, had the more traditional headgear. Maria LaMotta Fay ’61 has a photo of herself, standing with her mother on her first day on campus, all dressed up in a suit — and topped with a beanie.
“It seems like not long ago that we were running around campus with our beanies and nametags
trying to figure out exactly where our classes were,” recalled Frank Brennan ’73.
Although beanie wearing persisted until the early 1970s, the cap morphed into a golf or “bucket” hat before, like many age-old college traditions, being relegated to the closet of memory.