Talk About It
The "Passing of the Hat"
Welcome to 2015. Traditions are a big part of any organization. The “Passing of the Hat” is but one of AIA Dallas’ many traditions. The hat was passed to me at the Holiday Party on December 4, 2014, and I am honored to have received the hat from 2014 President Lisa Lamkin, AIA. Lisa served the chapter well last year through her focus on advocacy and outreach to membership. Please thank her for her service the next time you see her.
AIA Dallas Springboard is a wealth of knowledge should you want to learn more about the happenings around the Chapter. During my term as president, I am going to endeavor to use this platform to communicate to membership through brief (hopefully not boring) blog posts.
To kick things off, I thought I would share what I know about the hat. I believe the passing of the hat tradition began in the late 1940’s. Each year the outgoing president places the hat on the head of the incoming President at the Chapter Christmas party. The incoming president does not sign the hat until they have completed their term - so I will not sign the hat until next December when I pass the hat to current President Elect Zaida Basora, FAIA.
Trivia about the hat….
- Notice the hat in the photo does not look like a circa 1949 hat. I have heard that in the late 1980’s the hat was misplaced and a new hat - and the necessary signatures - were acquired so as to continue the tradition.
- The hat used to be the property of the president the full-term of their presidency (a trophy for their desk, I suppose) but the replacement hat resides in a hatbox in the AIA vault so as not to lose it again. No, we don’t really have a vault…
- Notice the tiara on the hat. Though I have no first-hand knowledge of how this came to be, I have heard Betsy del Monte, FAIA, super glued a five-and-dime tiara to the hat in honor of our female presidents. The tradition stuck and now all presidents proudly wear the tiara - check that - hat.
- Did you know there have been four women presidents at AIA Dallas? Can you name them?
Your turn to be heard…
The AIA Dallas Springboard blog allows for you to follow this post with a comment. If you have a story about the hat, or want to debunk any portion of the urban myth above, please log onto the site and post your comment. For our less tech-savvy members (likely those who have worn the hat) AIA Dallas staff is happy to assist with your blog post.
PLEASE share your remembrances of wearing the hat with our membership. We await your contribution to the advancement of this time-honored tradition!
2015 AIA Dallas President - Bob Bullis, AIA