The chipwich. A wonderfully delicious, creamy, chewy, ice cream sandwich. What’s not to love? The chipwich, made at the local Byrne Dairy, is a staple of the Colgate admissions office. Everyone’s Colgate career starts with ice cream as these sandwiches are handed out immediately following a campus tour. Unsure about applying? Hopefully ice cream can sway that decision. However, does anyone really know why this dessert is served in admissions, and how it came to be such a beloved tradition? Dean of Admissions, Gary Ross, was happy to provide us with the answers to these questions.
According to him, this tradition began in the early 2000s. The old admissions office didn’t have any air conditioning, which proved to be an issue during the warm summer and spring months. Gary said he would observe prospective families returning from tours completely exhausted, overheated, and in need of refreshment. Despite the ninety degree weather, people seemed to enjoy spending more time outside than in the actual building due to the lack of ventilation.
Sweating profusely is never fun, especially when you’re trying to maintain composure in front of an admissions officer. In an effort to make prospective students more comfortable Gary proposed ice cream as a way to cool down the visitors returning from tours. Initially, this was in the form of small cups of chocolate and vanilla ice cream. However, this addition to the office turned out to be full of drama. When one flavor ran out, the younger siblings of prospective students would get frustrated and even throw temper tantrums if they couldn’t have the flavor someone else had. We all know young children are easily frustrated, and their crankiness increases exponentially when the temperature rises.
One day, in an effort to quell the drama, Gary headed down to Byrne Dairy to buy more ice cream so there would be enough of both flavors. As he opened the case to grab a container, he noticed the ice cream sandwiches nearby. In a decisive moment, he grabbed the sandwiches, thinking they would be the perfect combination of chocolate and vanilla. Back at the office, everyone loved them, and they have stayed ever since.
And there you have it: the history of the chipwich. What started as a simple refreshment on a hot day has quickly become a staple of people’s visits to Colgate. Make sure to pop by admissions and grab one of these tasty treats to experience the tradition for yourself, even if it’s the dead of winter or the AC is on full blast.