While UD’s Groundhog tradition needs no introduction, a new piece is added every year that has everyone curious until it’s made public: the Groundhog sweatshirt design, arguably the most iconic part of Groundhog.
This year’s sweatshirt design was developed by a team that included CAB traditions intern and senior English major Eleanor Jenkins, her sisters Annie and Maria, and several other CAB members.
Each year, the sweatshirts have a different theme that CAB employees decide. Jenkins shared that the 2023 design was largely inspired by National Parks and vintage 1970s ads. When Moey Brown, director of student activities, gave Jenkins creative liberty on the project, her mind started turning.
Initially, she was inspired by the vibes of the Old American Collegiate lifestyle – think vintage Ivy League. However, the design was scrapped over suggestions that the original back design was too niche, so Jenkins looked across the pond for inspiration where she landed on a British Collegiate style.
Jenkins immediately started brainstorming with her friend Lizzy Farris and her sisters who have backgrounds in art and architecture. She and her sisters then combined their talents to give us the elegant design we have today.
Her sisters Annie Jenkins, class of 2019, drew the groundhog, statues, and books while Maria Jenkins, a Notre Dame alumna, drew the library, which is inspired by the library at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
“I wanted it [to be a] nod towards the academic life in Braniff, but also like the minute you go out on the mall you have people smoking cigarettes,” Jenkins said.
The pencil drawings were then scanned from her hometown of Huntsville, Alabama, and digitized. They even made sure that the manufacturers used a very fine needle to bring out the fine lines exactly how it is in the drawing.
And what would a Groundhog sweatshirt be without a cheeky quote about the nectar of the gods?
This year’s quote that was chosen through the submission portal comes from W.C. Fields, an American comedian and actor: “Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.”
A big thank you to Eleanor, Moey and their fellow CAB members for all the hard work they put into Groundhog – it wouldn’t be the same without them. And remember to pick up your sweatshirt (or buy your ticket if you haven’t already) in Upstairs Haggar.