WOOSTER, Ohio – It isn’t often that a College of Wooster senior can pull off one of the most unique I.S. Monday costumes, directly inspired by the Independent Study itself, but biochemistry and molecular biology major Andrea Wade managed to turn heads by simply wearing her research outfit – a beekeeper’s suit.
Wade, dressed head-to-toe in her actual work clothes (ventilated veil and all) that she used to research insecticide impact on honey bee production, joined her classmates, as they made their way down the college mall and over to Beall Avenue in what has become an annual rite of passage for Wooster seniors. They celebrate the completion of their I.S. with a Mardi Gras-style parade on the first Monday following spring break.
Shortly after the last of this year’s 434 I.S.’s was turned in to the registrar’s office, members of the College’s Pipe Band (bagpipers and drummers) amped up the crowd while leading the senior class through Kauke Arch, with hundreds of their fellow students, faculty, and staff friends awaiting to cheer them on and admire their attire.
Bathrobes seemed to be a popular “costume” of choice this year. One young man successfully pulled off the “old oil-tycoon look,” complementing his leopard-spotted bathrobe with a Tartan neckerchief and a mutton-chop beard for good measure.
Pool floaties were also in vogue (you know, just in case there was a flash flood as one student put it), in addition to the traditional customized T-shirts and hats.
Michael Bay held aloft a trophy with an aloe plant, named Jeffrey, sticking out of it. Jeffrey, only watered three times a year, provided “the inspiration for the similar level of sacrifice” that Bay and his friends needed to complete their I.S.’s.
Of course, there were signs in the air, too, including a nod to a Beach Boys classic, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice If I.S. Were Over.”
It’s not quite over yet, as the seniors now have to defend their work in an oral presentation to two faculty members, then the majority will be eager to present the results of their research and hard work at I.S. Symposium on Friday, April 28.