News Post

From the Archives: Planting of the Ivy

In the final days of this school year, I've been thinking a lot about end-of-year traditions — like the planting of the ivy at Blake and Northrop.

At Northrop, the Ivy Ceremony was celebrated annually, usually at the end of League Day, which was the day before commencement. The students would go outside to see the senior class plant their ivy next to the white brick with their class year on it (their class brick). The senior class secretary would usually give a short speech, and the ceremony would close with the seniors singing "Halls of Ivy."

At Blake, a senior was chosen to write and deliver the "Ivy Ode." Then, as at Northrop, the ivy was planted outside near the class brick.

For a tradition that spanned approximately 60 years at Blake and Northrop, there is not a lot of documentation about the ivy planting ceremonies in the archives. We have a few photos of the Northrop Ivy Ceremony and a few of Blake students presenting the "Ivy Ode" as well as copies of "Ivy Ode" speeches over the years. See some of them in our From the Archives photo album.

If you remember planting the ivy, know the lyrics to "Halls of Ivy" or have photos or copies of speeches you'd like to donate to the archives, please contact me.

—Alex Bentley, Blake archivist