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Running to Celebrate Pi
March 16, 2007

On Wednesday, March 14, at 4:45 p.m., a group of eclectically costumed students took their first steps in revitalizing a Calvin tradition long gone extinct.

The 2007 Pi K Day RunEighteen students set out from Bolt-Heyns-Timmer residence hall to reestablish the PiK Run, a meandering jog around the campus in honor of Pi Day—celebrated yearly around the nation on March 14 in honor of the seemingly infinite number: pi.

Kelsi Jewell, a 19-year-old nursing student in her first year at Calvin, organized this year’s run under orders from her brother Jeff Jewell, a 1999 Calvin graduate and the originator of the run.

“He graduated from Calvin a few years ago, and he used to do this with his friends,” Jewell says. “They called it the Pi-Kay Run, and they used to put on costumes and ran through the dorms, the dining hall. He told me I had to carry on the tradition.”

Jewell isn’t sure why her brother devoted a race to pi, since he wasn’t a devotee of the number. And though the race wasn’t run on Pi Day in her brother’s time, she chose that occasion for the re-inaugural of the run.

After receiving Jeff’s mandate in November, and putting up posters advertising the event (adorned with the symbol for pi) in March, Jewell was pleased that 18 people showed up to run.

“My brother said by his fourth year, they had over 50, so we’ve got to grow a little bit,” she says.

In other ways, Jewell followed the tradition as pioneered by the earlier runners. The runners wore costumes.

“We had some pretty crazy ones,” she says. “This one girl on my floor had a foam Sponge Bob costume. That was my favorite, I think. One guy wore black spandex and a mask and a cape, and he said he was Second Huizenga Man. He looked like super hero. I had a sombrero on and an old army jacket I found. I didn’t plan my costume too well. And we had a sign that said “Pi Day, 2007,” so people would know what we were running for.”

The run also took its customary circuitous course.

Running through Johnnys“We ran through the Commons lawn and Hiemenga Hall and the first floor of the library,” Jewell recites. “And then through Commons Annex. We ran through Johnny’s and then we went through Commons Dining Hall. Then Shultze, Beets-Veenstra, then Knollcrest Dining Hall. And then just through the dorms: Boer-Bennink and then Kalsbeek-Huizenga and then Nordewier-VanderWerp. We didn’t go in any order. We just went wherever we felt like going. And we screamed a lot. Some of the people there were pretty into pi, I think.”

Jewell hopes to carry on the run for the remainder of her time at Calvin. In fact, her brother has ordered her to do so.

“He says I have to make it carry on after I leave because it died out after he and his friends graduated,” she says.

~written by Calvin staff writer Myrna Anderson

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