By David Collins, Staff Writer
Boniface Wimmer. Saint Benedict. Santa Claus. James Harden. Dumbledore. What do each of these individuals have in common? A glorious beard, of course. Facial hair is a fine means of self-expression, intimidation, finesse and now, at Saint Vincent College, competition. After a multi-year absence, the annual SVC Wimmer Beard Contest has returned.
On Feb. 10th, participants shaved their faces fully and submitted their clean-shaven photos. For the next two months, the competitors will grow out whatever facial hair they can sprout during that time and submit another picture on Apr. 11 depicting their beard growth.
The Knights of Columbus organized the annual contest. Anthony Pouliout, Knight and junior computer science major, is looking forward to having the competition back on campus this year.
“The idea is that we’re celebrating Boniface Wimmer’s legacy,” Pouliot said. “He had a beard so cool that even the pope said ‘Long live Boniface Wimmer and his magnificent beard.’ And it’s a great way to get people excited about school spirit—Saint Vincent Spirit—and to raise money for charity.”
Money will be raised after the final day of competition, when the Knights of Columbus will organize a way for voters—the SVC community—to place money on the person they believe should win the Wimmer Beard Contest.
Fifty percent of the money raised will go to the Knights of Columbus, while the other fifty percent will be given to a monastery apostolate of the winner’s choice.
Pouliot reported that there is a solid mix of students, faculty, monks and even a seminarian participating in the festivities.
“We even got Father Paul Taylor—the president of the college—on board, so that’s something to look forward to as well,” Pouliot said.
Pouliot is confident that the Beard Contest is here to stay once again, and a strong showing and uplifting support this year would further ensure that the contest will continue in the future.
“It’s something that fell off the curve, but we’re trying to bring it back, trying to keep the spirit alive,” Pouliot said. “I think once this actually takes off, we’re going to have people who get excited about this every year.”
Over the next couple of months, the SVC community can expect to see some formidable facial hair around campus as participants compete to grow the best beard.