The Sweet History of a Cupcake Day, A Legendary Gibbons Senior Tradition

The Sweet History of a Cupcake Day, A Legendary Gibbons Senior Tradition

May 1 is known across the country as National College Decision Day. Arriving at Gibbons on the day, students will be greeted with a photo background and an extravagant display in the main lobby. Bright colors will be seen in every inch of the school, as seniors will be dressed down in T-shirts displaying their choice of university, gap year destination, or other venture they are planning to embark on after graduating. 

Cupcake Day is a storied Gibbons tradition that originated during the 2006-2007 school year. It began as a bribery tactic for College Counseling to receive college information from graduating seniors.

“It was basically selfish for our department because we were trying to get data,” said Jeanette Hadsell, Director of College Counseling, who was there for the tradition’s birth. 

“This was before we had any kind of digital system to record this, so we were like ‘How can we get kids to come down to tell us where they got in, where they didn’t get in, and where they’re going?’”

Back then, students would grab a cupcake, find their school on a paper map, and pin their name or new school mascot to the location of the college. 

After the installment of online resources like Scoir, where students can report their college data, the event transformed into a day to applaud the accomplishments of Gibbons seniors.

“It has morphed more into a fun celebration, than a ‘We need your information,’” said Hadsell.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual learning, the Class of 2020 did not get the opportunity for an in-person cupcake day, so the College Counseling Department had to get creative with social media. 

“We kind of started (the Instagram page) in our department in 2020 when we couldn’t do any of this,” Hadsell said. “With that Instagram, we’ve actually gotten to know a lot more about where you guys are going before Cupcake Day.”

A senior student has since taken over the graduating class’s Instagram page each year to keep the idea alive even after the pandemic. The account provides a sneak peek into the colleges students are committing to — but it doesn’t take away the element of surprise from Cupcake Day.

“The highlight we see now is the ones we don’t know,” said Hadsell. “It’s kind of fun to see everyone excited and kind of celebrating… then you guys have one more week [of school] left after that.”

So, Gibbons seniors, be sure to show up on Wednesday wearing the name of your school or other plans proudly across your chest, and stop by the main lobby during your lunch period (on B-Day) to grab a cupcake and celebrate all that the Class of 2024 has accomplished.

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Alexandra Jones
Alexandra Jones, Correspondent