Beanies worn by first-year students at William & Mary in the twentieth century were known as duc caps. The word "duc" was a shortening of the word "introductory" and referred to the introductory courses underclassmen were enrolled in. The term ducs was also generally used to apply to classes. Students commonly stitched their name on the back of their hat. Male hats usually had a bill.
Numerous examples of the duc caps from the 1920s through the 1970s are part of the University Archives Artifact Collection in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) in Swem Library. See the SCRC's Flickr account for a variety colors and styles of the duc cap including one example of the university's first school colors, orange and black.
Material in the Special Collections Research Center
- The Flat Hat: September 23, 1958, page 3.
- The Colonial Echo
- University Archives Artifact Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, William & Mary. Includes links to individual items with photographs in Flickr.
- Search the SCRC Collections Database for further information about orientation and related topics.
- SCRC File.