New York Native Wins Wellesley's 112th Annual Hoop Rolling Contest

April 28, 2007
Mary Ann Hill

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- RC Saint-Amour, an economics and international relations major from Hewlett Harbor, New York, is the winner of this morning's 112th annual hoop rolling competition at Wellesley College. Saint-Amour, who will graduate June 1, was met at the finish line by President Diana Chapman Walsh (herself the winner of the 1966 hoop rolling contest), who presented the winner with a bouquet of flowers.

In keeping with tradition, Saint-Amour was promptly carried by her classmates to the edge of Lake Waban and tossed into the chilly water. Traditionally, the winner of the contest, which first began in 1895, was said to be the first in her class to marry. These days, victory is seen as a sign that the winner will be the first to achieve success, however she defines it. After graduation, Saint-Amour will work for investment banking firm Bear Stearns, Inc.

After emerging from the lake, Saint-Amour credited much of her win to a good position at the starting line. She thanked her “little sister,” sophomore Savanna Johnson of Bloomington, Ind., who, in another Wellesley tradition, arrived at the starting line very early this morning to hold a place for her. Saint-Amour and Johnson are members of Wellesley’s swimming and diving team.

After Saint-Amour’s plunge, the seniors cheered as President Walsh, whose 14-year tenure will end in June, was carried to the lake for her own dunking. Walsh stood for a moment in the water, then turned, dived, and swam about 10 yards.

Nearly 200 Wellesley College seniors, many dressed in academic gowns, made this morning's 1/8 mile dash, rolling old-fashioned wooden hoops in a race to the finish line.

Wellesley College has been a leader in liberal arts and the education of women for more than 130 years. The College's 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from 50 states and more than 65 countries.


Photos courtesy of Julie Freitas and Bonnie Min.