Traditions: Doo Dah Day
Who was Glen Mello and what was his big idea?
It seems that in the spring of 1974, Glen hit upon the notion that the College needed a way to celebrate the arrival of spring and he took his brainstorm all the way up the ladder to the Dean of Students and the Student Life Board.
Thus was born Doo Dah Day.
While many colorful theories exist as to the origin of the name, it's really very simple. Because Mello believed Doo Dah Day would be only a passing fancy and take place just the one time, he elected to merely borrow the nickname of his roommate, Dave "Doo Dah" Gibson for the event.
Surviving to this day in the College's archives is Mello's homemade flier delivering the news of the first Doo Dah Day to fellow students and it challenged them to participate.
"Why not be the only one among the gang later in life who will have the dubious distinction of saying that you were at Marietta College's first, (and probably only), Doo Dah Day," he wrote.
Little did he know..
Mello's first schedule of events included a demonstration of how to tie a bow-tie by President Sherrill Cleland, old movies of MC, music, a hayride, contests, a taffy pull and, yes, several references to beer as well, (at the time of the first Doo Dah Day, the minimum drinking age was 18).
Saturday April 20, 1974, remains the birthday of a tradition that endures to this day and while mud volleyball and sumo wrestling have replaced some of the earlier activities along the way, the purpose remains the same.
Doo Dah Day is a "day to give the students a chance to blow off some steam before finals."
What's on tap for next year? It's just as Mello warned more than thirty years ago.
"Doo Dah will be everywhere.in the streets, in the trees.on the buildings, in the sky," he declared.
"Doo Dah will get you if you don't watch out!"
Sources: The Marcolian, Doo Dah documents in the Marietta College Archives.