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A Great Big Over-the-Top Thank You
A Great Big Over-the-Top Thank You

The overall lengths that Rhodes’ students go to support philanthropy

By Kristin Simonetti

Rhodes University students wrote thank you notes on what they hope will be certified as the world’s largest pair of overalls.

Last year Rhodes University students walked over hot coals to raise funds for needy peers. How did the South African institution top that for CASE ASAP Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day 2014?

By constructing the world's largest pair of overalls and decorating them with student thank you messages to donors in the institution's color, purple.

Why overalls?

"At student events and sporting events, we wear overalls as a symbol of unity," says Brad Bense, president of the Student Representative Council, of a tradition that dates back to the 1980s. Every Thursday staff, students, and alumni wear purple to show university pride.

The university's housekeeping staff sewed the garment, and the engineering department created its big buttons and a large coat hanger for displaying the oversized overalls.

Did Rhodes make history? Officials have not heard back from Guinness World Records, but they are confident that they'll beat the record set in 2002: overalls that are 17.3 feet long with an 8.08-foot inseam, a 14.9-foot waist, and buttons that are 8 inches in diameter.

"Metaphorically, having the world's largest pair of overalls represented the world's largest thank you to bursars and donors," Bense says.

About the Author Kristin Simonetti

Kristin Simonetti is a former senior editor for CURRENTS.




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