One of the long-held traditions at MICDS is to throw the first Senior accepted into college into Polk Pond. This year’s lucky admit was Bergen Goede ’19 who was accepted into University of Alabama. As tradition goes, Bergen was carried to the edge of the pond by several of her classmates until it was time for her to take the annual plunge.
The pond toss began as a tradition at Country Day School in the sixties, though it wasn’t always tied to college admissions. While instances of students falling or being thrown into the pond were occasionally noted in the Country Day News in the 1950s and early 1960s, it was not until the spring of 1964 that the first tradition of immersion was established. In May 1964, Howard “Ward” Robinson ’64 was carried down the hill by his classmates and thrown into the murky water.
How was Howard selected for this honor? A year later, in 1965, the Country Day News reported that the honor went to “the class’ leading gapers.” Howard’s name was associated with the award for at least 15 years thereafter. But by the early 1970s, pond dunkings had taken on new meaning. In November 1971, the Country Day News noted, “Tradition dictates that the first senior accepted into a college is thrown in the pond,” and Senior Gary Kline ’72 [accepted by Purdue] was duly flung in.*
*Thanks to Cliff Saxton ’64 and the CDS Archives for providing the background information for this story.