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to Sabrina, The Class Goddess of Amherst College by Max Shoop 1910

Truly a unique custom is this of Sabrina. Has it a deeper significance than the mere college prank? Even the most casual observer cannot help seeing how participation in such episodes during one's college course is going to lighten the tedium of the classroom and impress memories of happy college days and friendship upon the mind of the Amherst man, memories which will never forsake him and which will increase in value and sentiment as age advances. But this custom has even a more practical result than creating food for memories. It calls the men of the Sabrina classes closer together, impelled by a common interest. It draws the members of the individual class into a keener spirit of Class Loyalty, and Class Loyalty and Class Spirit make better College Loyalty and College Spirit. And herein lies the chief justification of this class custom.

At every alumni dinner, where a Sabrina class is present, you will find a greater percentage of their men in attendance, and Sabrina is still the Goddess who draws them together. Instance the following report in the New York Tribune of the New York Alumni banquet held in 1908:

"There is apparently something in the atmosphere of old Amherst that gives the vocal organs a greater power than is attained on any other hill, and the alumni just used this power to the limit. . . . Of course there were honors also for others, and of these latter 'Sabrina,' the Goddess of the even classes, easily led. Sabrina, as she appears at these affairs, is only a replica of her true self, however. The original, which the '08 class has turned over to the '10 class, is hidden away somewhere, the odd men have not seen it in several years. When her 'worship's' counterfeit was brought on last night there was a storm of applause from the evens and a chorus of hisses from the odds. The huskies who carried the green lady placed her tenderly on the table around which were gathered the class of '94, for they were the miscreants who rescued 'Sabrina.' . . . In the course of the dinner . . . all the lights were extinguished and in the centre of the room, where the men of '94 sat, there' flared up red fire, whose effect was heightened by a dozen sparkles that emitted stars of fire, and 'Sabrina' stood, or rather reclined, in relief---in bold relief some would say---as the evens sang 'All hail, Sabrina dear.'"

Furthermore Sabrina has a live influence among those who have left the undergraduate days and gone out into the world. In the last six years, that is, since the establishment of the Reunion Trophy Cup, three Sabrina classes have won the Trophy with the greatest percentage of their class back at Commencement, while but once have the non-Sabrina men won the cup. Last Commencement, '94, the class which, as the reader will remember, stole Sabrina from the class of '93, had 85.33% of their class back for their fifteenth reunion. This is the record for Amherst, and is the greatest percentage for any class reunion of any college concerning which statistics can be found.

Such considerations show that Sabrina is a live deity with the alumni long after they have left these classic halls of old Amherst. Their love and enthusiasm still cling to her, and I close this little history of her life with the words of a '96 alumnus: "To think of such a Goddess, remembering the charming legends related about her, is a pleasure enjoyed by all who know Amherst traditions. But to have seen the Queenly Sabrina, even to have had a glimpse of her beautiful form, has been the privilege of but few. To caress the cheek of a real Goddess, actually to sit in the lap of Sabrina and pledge her your allegiance before the admiring fellows, is an unique experience. And through cunning, wisdom and loyalty may the delight be reserved for many, many years to the Even Classes of Old Amherst."


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