The tradition of the Daisy Chain is not unique to the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG), although it was one of the campus’ earliest customs. Other American women’s colleges, such as Vassar, had decorated their halls with daisy chains for their graduation festivities, and State Normal followed suit. The college created its first Daisy Chain in 1900, when the students fashioned two fifty foot long ropes of daisies procured from fields located outside of town. Several early years saw the shortage of daisies and students were obliged to replace the flowers with ivy and other greenery. Soon the college began to contract local farmers to grow daisies for the purpose of making the chains.
In addition to being a festive accessory to the graduation ceremonies, the Daisy Chain represented a sister class project between the sophomores and the seniors. The sophomore class was responsible for gathering the flowers and crafting the Chain, which was used for the Class Day exercises and again the next morning during the graduation ceremony. The seniors were honored by walking between the floral ropes. The Daisy Chain ceased during the late 1960s after the university became co-educational, along with other traditions such as sister classes, class jackets, the Junior Show, and Rat Day.
Entry by Kathelene Smith, Photographs, Artifacts, and Textiles Archivist, 2015
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