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The Traditions

Songs are just part of the fun of Stepsinging! 

Here's a look at some of the smaller traditions that accompany the event.



Each class has a large felt banner in their class color, emblazoned with their graduation year, that accompanies them to major Wellesley events and milestones such as convocation, the first class photo, hoop rolling, and the graduation day class photo. Stepsinging is no exception, and it's become popular for students to stick around after the singing has ended to snap a coveted shot of themselves and friends holding the banner. 




Because Stepsinging is now held on the first and last day of the academic year, it coincides with the senior tradition of wearing your graduation robes to the first and last days of classes. Seniors often attend in their gowns, sporting accessories in their class color, and the Alumnae Association provides additional swag. Beanies have faded in popularity, but are still sold at the bookstore, and a few are always spotted!


Class Cheers

In between songs, classes perform their cheers with great enthusiasm and sass. Cheers invariably begin with "Wellesley Rah!" but have evolved over the years into one particularly popular format which allows for each class to add their own rhyming couplet. 

Here is a sampling of class cheers featured at Reunion 2019, which showcase the variety of cheer patterns:

Rah, ’39, Wellesley, Rah!
Wellesley, 1939, Rah!
Rah, Rah, ’39!
Wellesley, ’39!
One Nine Three Nine Welles-ley!

1949 Wellesley, Rah!
One Nine Four Nine Welles-ley!
Bright Blue ’49!
Fight through ’49!
One Nine Four Nine Welles-ley!

One Nine Six Nine Wellesley, Rah!
One Nine Six Nine Welles-ley!
50th Year, still no cheer!
One Nine Six Nine Welles-ley!

One Nine Eight Four Wellesley Rah!
One Nine Eight Four Welles-ley!
Class of Red Has Forged Ahead!
One Nine Eight Four Welles-ley!

One Nine Nine Four Wellesley, Rah!
One Nine Nine Four Welles-ley!
Purple power, Hear us roar,
’Cause we’re The Class of ’94! 

Two Zero Zero Four Wellesley, Rah!
Two Zero Zero Four Welles-ley!
Wellesley Wonders bring the thunder!
Two Zero Zero Four Welles-ley!


Faculty and Staff 


Faculty and Staff are invited to Stepsinging every year. Class Deans are among the regular attendees and are always sure to attend wearing their class's color.  It's a long-held tradition for individual classes to call upon faculty or staff in the audience to join their group by shouting their class cheer, following by an eager "We want ________!" Deans, Student Advisors, and the College President remain popular choices, and are sometimes competitively called back and forth between admiring classes!


Song Books


While the Stepsinging of long ago used to take place weekly on the chapel steps, today's students lead busy lives and only gather twice a year to sing, so song books are distributed to students to help them remember the words and tunes. In recent years technology has allowed for a student pianist to accompanied singers outside on a portable keyboard! Many editions of the song book have been printed as songs have come and gone.

View a copy of the latest edition of the Wellesley Song Book 

Past Song Books are available to view, courtesy of the Wellesley College Archives.
Click below to view any of the following editions:

The original song book,
"Songs of Wellesley: A Collection of Songs
for the use of the Glee Club
and Students of Wellesley College." 


1915 Song Book


1921 Song Book


2007 Song Book


2011 Song Book

Click here to return to the Stepsinging home page