Press "Enter" to skip to content

Brief History of Marlborough Traditions

The junior class of 1957 poses at Ring Ceremony.
The junior class of 1957 poses at Ring Ceremony.

Graduation Dresses

Traditionally, Marlborough girls wear white dresses at graduation. However, the class of 1979 chose to wear pink dresses instead, which they were able to do in keeping with the unique tradition that every senior class is allowed to design its own dress. In recent years, dresses have looked relatively similar from one year to the next, the most noticeable difference being the length of the dress. Originally, when most families employed seamstresses, girls had their own seamstresses sew the dresses, but in the 1940s this tradition fell out of practice.


Pin Ceremony

Pin Ceremony is a rite of passage between 9th and 10th grade. Participating students are required to be in perfect uniform (which they always be in anyway!), as shown in this photograph of class of 2006. Not only do all girls at Pin Ceremony dress the same, but they sit and stand in perfect unison as well.

The traditional pin that students receive at the end of 9th grade features the Marlborough crest, which was designed by Mary Caswell. The Head of School gives each 9th grade student a pin and a ribbon in her class colors. The tradition of having ribbons originated in the 1950s, when students started the class colors and class song traditions that still exist today.


Ring Ceremony

Ring Ceremony didn’t begin as a ceremony. Starting in 1910, girls received class rings at the end of senior year, but not in a formal ceremony; they picked them up at the front office! In 1928, the rings began having the School crest on them. From there, the ceremony evolved into a formal celebration and eventually became a symbolic ceremony marking students’ transition from junior to senior year. This is the junior class of 1957 celebrating Ring Ceremony.


Banner Ceremony

This is an unconventional banner from the class of 2003. Most banners are cloth, but this banner deviated from the norm and was made out of an actual surfboard. Other non-traditional banners include one year when the girls made a record sleeve with all their faces on it, and the class of 2015’s, which is a circular piece of wood made to look like a yin-yang that symbolizes their class unity. Each banner used to be displayed in Combs Gymnasium where the sports team banners now hang, but banners were getting dusty and being mistreated; now they are displayed in plexiglass boxes around campus.