Boar's Head Dinner


The idea for the Medieval-themed student feast at Rochester is said to have originated with Theodore Fitch (Class of 1935) and Mrs. Adele Bostwick (Head Dietitian in Todd Union, probably the equivalent today of the Director of Dining Services).

Black bean soup, pork roasts, and flaming plum puddings were standard fare, and until changes in the drinking age, beer or ale was also served. In 1976, some 210 gallons were reportedly consumed.

Singing has always been a consistent feature: the waitstaff is drawn from the student a capella singing groups, and for a time, the music was provided by Eastman School of Music students.

The singing includes carols and other holiday favorites, but most prominent is the Song of the Boar's Head, and is sung at the presentation of dinner's "featured" guest to the members of the head table. The lyrics, which first appeared in printed form in 1521 include text in both English and Latin. It begins:

"The Boar's Head in hand bear I,
Bedeck'd with bays and rosemary."

Boar's Head Dinner