On April 28, 1929, as the city of Baltimore celebrated its bicentennial, Babe Ruth dominated the baseball fields and the shadow of the impending stock market crash loomed, the students at Notre Dame Preparatory School started a tradition that would endure for generations: Gym Meet.

Originating on the Charles Street campus, currently the Notre Dame of Maryland University, Gym Meet ’29 ignited the imagination and competitive spirit of NDP students like never before. The competition originally included gymnastics exercises such as parallel bars, pommel horse, and hanging rings. Students earned points for exercises as well as a class song for a cumulative score. The class with the highest score was awarded the coveted Silver Cup (and a lifetime of bragging rights).

As the years unfolded and the school relocated to its Towson campus, Gym Meet evolved into more than a mere calisthenics competition. It became a testament to leadership, teamwork, and NDP’s unique culture of sisterhood. Today, class themes are chosen, captains appointed, and students take the reins, choreographing mesmerizing routines in march, dance, and aerobics. Custom songs and creative class posters are popular additions, adding a creative flourish to the tradition. What will never change is the lifelong pride in winning the Silver Cup as a class.

In its 94th year, Gym Meet is one of the most anticipated of Notre Dame Prep’s traditions, with preparations beginning months in advance and every detail meticulously orchestrated by the students themselves. During the week leading up to the event, the halls of the school, and particularly the Sports and Fitness Center, transform into a kaleidoscope of colors and creativity. Costumes are created and props are crafted.

Gym Meet fever is felt by the entire community. Teachers often develop Gym Meet-themed lessons; coaches work tryout schedules around after-school Gym Meet practices, and parents reschedule family activities to ensure attendance at this beloved tradition. It is common to spot Gym Meet themed gifts in local boutiques and gift shops. Yard signs and decorations are sprinkled in neighborhoods throughout Greater Baltimore. Many parents encourage their daughters with class-theme costumes and outfits on the night of the event. Student, alumna, or future Blazer, everyone shares in the excitement of Gym Meet.

As Notre Dame Prep commemorates 150 years of academic excellence, spiritual growth, and the pursuit of justice, Gym Meet remains a unique symbol of sisterhood and school spirit. Join us as we celebrate this milestone and look toward another century of excellence, faith, and community.

Founded in 1873, Notre Dame Preparatory School is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for girls in grades 6-12. The School Sisters of Notre Dame sponsor the school, which is dedicated to educating young women to transform the world. If you are interested in a transformative education for your daughter, please visit for more information.

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