James Downs, associate professor of history and American studies, will spend the 2015-16 academic year studying medical anthropology at Harvard University.
America’s oldest ballpark, meet Connecticut College’s oldest a cappella singing group.
The Shwiffs, an all-female group, took to the field at Fenway Park April 19 to belt out the familiar lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the Boston Red Sox took on the Baltimore Orioles. The group, decked out in Red Sox shirts, must have brought the team luck: The Sox won 4-2.
“It was an incredible experience,” said Shwiffs member Hannah Chmura ’15.
The group’s performance coincided with events marking the one-year anniversary of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. After that tragedy, Boston sports teams were integral to the city’s recovery, so the eyes of the nation — and the world — were on the Red Sox and the patriotic performance of The Shwiffs.
"It truly was a special day for The Shwiffs in the midst of an important weekend for Boston,” said Caroline Noonan '16. “We owe a big thank you to the Red Sox for the opportunity."
The students were invited to perform after the Red Sox’s entertainment manager heard a recording of their rendition of the national anthem. Noonan, who serves as the group’s public relations coordinator, sent the tape to the manager after a family friend put them in touch.
Established as the College’s first a cappella group in 1944, The Shwiffs have been singing strong for decades. Throughout the year, they perform at numerous events on and off campus. Recently, the group sang at a downtown event as part of the Inauguration festivities for the College’s new president. During the fall semester, The Shwiffs participated in an all-group, all-Lorde concert, covering the New Zealand singing sensation’s latest chart-topper, “Team.”
Other examples of student-run clubs, organizations and performance groups include (not a full list):
Academic and language
Culture and identity
Religious and spiritual
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