99 nights 8

On the night of February 9, Facebook and Twitter accounts were lit up with posts that the Class of 2013 had started something new at Drew: they were marking 98 nights until graduation day. The traditional “99 Nights” celebration, originally scheduled for February 8, had to be postponed by one day because a blizzard shut down campus.

In spite of the re-scheduling, Storm Wyche ’13, a member of the “99 Nights” organizing committee, was pleased with the results: “The most successful thing about the night was the turn out, hands down,” she says.

Another student planner, Christine Felix ’13, was impressed by everyone’s enthusiasm. “So many people wore their 2013 senior shirts and stayed the whole night,” she says. The latter being notable since they ran out of wine and beer, according to Student Government President, Janelle Hoffman ’13.

To the casual observer, “99 Nights” may seem like nothing more than an excuse for revelry. But the event has been a long-standing rite of passage for graduating seniors at Drew, so maybe there is more to it.

Photos of Class of 1983’s 100 Nights Party

Hannah Dezen ’13, one of those who attended the party, observed that “knowing we are only 98 nights away from graduation brings us together as a senior class. It makes us realize that we only have a very short time left at Drew, and we need to enjoy every last moment.”

Julia Friedman ’13 wistfully realized that “being 98 nights away from graduation is the scariest and best feeling in the world. It means we are very close to closing the book on one chapter of our lives, but it also means that we are beginning the next.”

It seems that, as seniors begin to think about leaving classmates and campus, they start feeling nostalgic about their personal and shared experiences at Drew. They also have mixed emotions about the future, from liberation to anxiety. In some way, “99 Nights” encourages students to pause and contemplate these things, all the while enjoying libations in the C’80 Pub and dancing across the hall.

But exactly how and when did “99 Nights” get started? The earliest recorded event was in the spring of 1983 when the senior class had a “100 Nights Party”. Were you there? How did it become “99 Nights” in later years?

Tell us what you know about the beginnings of this Drew tradition >

–Barbara Perkins P’09, with reporting by Kimberly Ammiano C’13

Posted in Gateway Messenger