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Seuss on the Loose

Cynthia Huntington
Cat in the Hat snow sculpture (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Oh, the Places It Snows was the theme of this year's Winter Carnival, kicking off several weeks of events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Theodor S. Geisel '25, known and loved by millions as Dr. Seuss. Dartmouth joined the nation in throwing a party for the man who, according to professor of English Donald M. Pease, "created generations of readers."

The centerpiece of Dartmouth's celebration was a 35-foot-high snow sculpture of the Cat in the Hat. Students worked in below-zero temperatures to create the mischievous feline. "Theodor Geisel showed students at Dartmouth that no matter what your talent is, you should take it to its limit and never give up," notes Jai Dananai '04, Winter Carnival chair.

Geisel was editor of Dartmouth's humor magazine, The Jack O'Lantern, while an undergraduate. He lost his post but then resumed it by using his mother's maiden name as a pseudonym. Thus, Theodor Seuss Geisel first appeared as Dr. Seuss while an undergraduate at Dartmouth.

Winter Carnival festivities officially kicked off at Geisel's fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, with Cat in the Frat, a series of educational and social events sponsored by Dartmouth's fraternities, sororities, and affinity groups. Pease, the Avalon Foundation Chair of the Humanities, led a fireside chat that included a discussion of Geisel's career and his books.

Dining halls around campus prepared for the official Seussentennial birthday bash on March 2 by preparing such culinary treats as green eggs and ham and roast beast. Collis Common Ground was the scene of the official party, where President Wright and his wife Susan took turns reading The Cat in the Hat, and Israel Evans Professor of Oratory and Belles Lettres William Cook read Oh, the Places You'll Go to an audience of children of all ages, from the young in years to the young at heart.

- By Laurel Stavis

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Last Updated: 7/24/18