In 1987, Paul Newman ’49 H’61 sent a letter to multiple colleges including Bates and Smith. In the letter, Newman declared his open aversion to dangerous drinking culture after he learned about “Newman Day,” an annual tradition practiced at several colleges in which students attempt to drink 24 beers in 24 hours.
“I was surprised to learn that a day which was held in my honor was actually an excuse for drunkenness, disregard for property, disrespect for people and deeds of questionable character,” Newman wrote. “I would like to propose that Paul Newman Day be reinstated under somewhat different guidelines.”
The Office of Student Engagement is following Newman’s advice this semester. The Office will hold a series of dry events from April 22 to April 27, concluding with the annual Summer Sendoff event. The events are meant to follow both Newman’s sentiment in the letter and his cultural impact. The week of events includes an April 24 celebration of the Ladies softball team, two pool tournaments (on April 22 and 23) and a screening of Cool Hand Luke on April 26. Additionally, the Office of Student Engagement will be distributing Newman’s Own brand foods on April 25 with Summer Sendoff concluding the event on April 27.
Associate Director of Student Engagement Kim Wallace said the event was inspired by “a lot of student interest in celebrating our alumni and their achievements.”
“While Summer Sendoff is a popular, well-attended event, there are some students who prefer more low-key celebrations,” she said.
Wallace stated that members of the Office of Student Engagement are “hoping this week of events provides students with a fun, festive way to celebrate Paul Newman, gear up for the end of the year and get excited about Summer Sendoff.”