The Rites of May t-shirt: an iconic tradition lives on

Like crocuses and daffodils, each spring you can count on the annual Rites of May tie-dye shirts to pop up and brighten your day. Though the shirts themselves have been a part of the event for decades, lending Rites of May its signature tie-dye aesthetic, the fifth grade t-shirt design contest began five years ago. Art teacher Philip Matsikas has been a long-term partner with Rites of May, encouraging his fifth grade art students to participate.

"The planning committee thought this would be a fun way to kick off the return of Rites of May in 2017, after taking 2016 off," says Rites of May committee member, associate director of admissions, and Lab parent, Lynn Sasamoto. "The contest designs come from fifth graders and Philip Matsikas has been a champion partner. The t-shirt definitely has been welcomed and important both for last year and this year since our community could not come together for an in-person celebration. And despite having to experience Rites of May virtually again this year, the tradition of the ROM t-shirt, however, happily lives on."

Over 500 people voted in this year's contest, naming Maya Gauhar the winner. You can buy the 2021 shirt here. The Virtual Rites of May site opens Saturday, May 15 at 11 a.m. and offers a brand new virtual event experience that you won't want to miss!

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