Daniel Beadle ’18: The Lehigh University Dink

For years, the entire freshmen class at Lehigh had to wear a “dink” — a brown hat adorned with white embroidery displaying the owner’s class year. Dinks were to be worn, at all times when out and about, from when the student began the season until the Lehigh-Lafayette rivalry game at the end of the football season.

Brown and White Vol. 65 no. 7 (1953)

No tradition can last forever, and sometime in the late’60s/early ’70s the dink was no longer a mandatory part of the freshmen wardrobe.

Brown and White Vol. 81 no. 4

But the dink is not yet gone from Lehigh’s campus. The Marching 97 continues to purchase, embroider, and give out dinks to its new members! The band makes name tags to go along with the hats and gives them out on the first day of band camp where they are worn by new and returning members alike.

During their time at Lehigh, band members decorate their dinks with pins and buttons and wear them when the band performs out of full uniform. At the start of the 2015 season, the band welcomed President John Simon to Lehigh by presenting him with his own dink!

President Simon receives his own dink at the “Meet the Band Picnic” in 2015. (via thebrownandwhite.com)
A stack of dinks placed on Asa Packer’s statue (Marching 97 Photo Archive)

Recently, we received a dink from a member of the class of ’02… not 2002, but 1902. Myron Luch was a graduate of, and professor at Lehigh University where he taught Rhetoric and Oratory and was involved with the band program before it became the Marching 97. Unlike the hats of today, his dink was white with brown lettering and made of felt, but it is still, unmistakably, a dink. As the saying goes, the more things change, the more things stay the same.

Here’s to you Professor Luch.


Do you have pictures of your dink or stories about the band and/or dinks? We’d love to hear them! Send them our way to historian@marching97.org and/or post them here on The Goblet.

The Marching 97 is going to London to perform in the 2018 New Year’s Day Parade, and though we’ll be marching in full uniform our dinks are coming too!

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