Snapshots of Flunk Day 2012

Rain fails to dampen 100-year-old traditional campus-wide spring surprise party

May 02, 2012

A little rain couldn't dampen Knox College's Flunk Day, a traditional spring surprise party that dates back nearly 100 years. But a lot of rain on Tuesday, May 1, drove afternoon festivities inside T. Fleming Fieldhouse. 

Flunk Day begins with the ringing of the bell on Old Main at 6 a.m., as hundreds of students celebrated spring, and a break from the intense 10-week academic term, with inflatable games, karaoke and an outdoor breakfast.

Afternoon events, including an inflatable climbing wall and booths where students decorated their own flip-flops and frisbees -- were moved to T. Fleming Fieldhouse because of the threat of thunderstorms.

In the evening, a concert by the rock band Verve Pipe, a "black light party" and a showing of the movie "Zombieland."

Planning has been going on for weeks, although the exact day was both a closely guarded secret and the subject of numerous rumors.

The first Flunk Day of record was May 11, 1922, but the tradition of a student-initiated spring festival dates back to the early years of the 20th century and "Roughneck Day" -- which was the conclusion to "Roughneck Week," when the men didn't shave and both men and women students wore ragged clothing.