From the Vault

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Created by three economics majors in 1949, the long-lost Penn tradition known as “Skimmer Day” was initially conceived as a means of increasing sagging support for the crew team. It did exactly that—and a lot more. Scheduled to coincide with the Blackwell Cup crew competition, the first Skimmer was a massive success, drawing thousands to the banks of the Schuylkill in late April. After that first year, it didn’t take long for Skimmer to take on a legendary reputation. By the 1950s, the event expanded to include concerts, parties and more, and began attracting students from other East Coast universities as well. It was a hallmark event—and a massive party (pictured here in 1956). Alas, the good times would not last. After increasing concerns about student behavior and worries about safety down at the Schuylkill, the University stepped in to scrap the event in 1973. It was replaced with Spring Fling, which continues to entertain students to this day. Safely.

Wharton Magazine - Background

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