Now in it’s 31st year, Lauder has had the time to nurture a great number of traditions. Every class brings something new to the table that adds a little flavor to the distinct Lauder experience enjoyed by generations of Lauderites.
Some traditions are the kind we proudly display to any and all, such as a collective body of knowledge reflective in our Global Knowledge Lab projects, and some are better-kept secrets like our costume for caroling ahead of Winter Break. Some traditions stay within their tracks, often they involve rituals and shared experiences over immersion, and sometimes it’s the mere fact that we all share a set of professors that play a large role in shaping our global perspective. This past weekend had somewhat less of an academic inclination. But it was global and it was essential.
Lauder Day At The Beach (#LDATB)is fast becoming an age old tradition in which the two Lauder classes come together and descend upon an unsuspecting beach town in New Jersey to revel in everything the garden state has to offer. Importantly, beyond the ability to introduce some of our classmates to bastions of the Americana of yore like Manco & Manco Pizza, Tony Luke’s and “the boardwalk” – the tradition affords us a unique breathe of fresh air. You see it’s easy to get caught up in Wharton. Your calendar approaches its maximum capacity faster than you realize that the limit does not exist. But then came along LDATB. For some 24 odd hours the two Lauder classes came together in a setting where it was easier to get to know each other across track and class if only because the sun was shining brightly, the football was getting thrown around, people were playing fresco-bol and we were all sharing in the collective joys of the Econolodge. It gave me and a lot of my classmates a sense for the broader community beyond our class in a way that had been hinted at before in get-togethers, parties and the like that cannot be distilled into a single feeling. We heard about everyone’s backgrounds and ambitions in an unpretentious context that only progressed as we moved into an intimate, family-style Italian meal for 74 people. Relationships change somewhere between the spaghetti and meatballs and the eggplant Parmesan. It probably has something to do with the confused looks of the wait staff and diners around us wondering who the diverse multilingual crowd was, or maybe it was because in spite of our difference, the distinct impression we gave off was one of family. I’m guessing it was the latter.
By: Diego Hernandez Diaz (Wharton/Lauder Class of 2016)