Dybedahl brings back traditions, builds new ones


The man behind the magic for the 2015 Hobo Day is none other than Grand Pooba Paul Dybedahl. 

For Dybedahl, a senior entrepreneurial studies major, the aspect of tradition and being tied back to the university is his favorite part of being Grand Pooba. 

“In my opinion, that’s the best part of it all. I’m really into traditions,” Dybedahl said. “Carrying on this tradition, to me, there is a lot of sense of pride that comes with that, especially because so many people have come beforehand.” 

This is Dybedahl’s second year on the Hobo Day Committee. Last year, he was involved with the parade team and was the dignitaries coordinator. 

“Everybody has some sort of experience that they immerse themselves in in college and something that really ties and connect themselves to the university,” Dybedahl said. “Last year, being on the Hobo Day Committee, I wanted to get that sort of experience and did not have a particular position in mind.”

Dybedahl knew he wanted to come back on the Hobo Day Committee after he was able to work with an awesome group last year. He also appreciated how much being on the committee tied him back to the university and its traditions. 

Some old traditions brought back to Hobo Day were the women’s One Month Club and the Bum Band. Dybedahl said bringing these traditions back and implementing some new traditions this year are meant to create “infinities.” Creating infinities is when traditions and other events are maintained and carried on for several years after they are started, but are more than just traditions.

“One of the neatest features of Hobo Day is that it is a 103-year-old event and so many of the elements of Hobo Day are rooted in history and the tradition in an event that is over a century old,” said Nick Wendell, the Hobo Day Committee advisor. “The committee is able to translate those things and make them relevant to current students.”

One of those new traditions is giving out event buttons. Buttons featuring specific Hobo Week events will be handed out to participants at each event. The committee hopes it will boast participation, give students mementos and build Hobo Day spirit. Making new traditions is the only way events such as Hobo Day can continue to evolve and be relevant to current students, according to Wendell. 

 The Grand Pooba application process is different from the Hobo Day Committee process, Dybedahl explained. The process is based off of the previous year’s Grand Pooba’s discretion. Paul was chosen by the 2014 Grand Pooba, Scott DesLauriers.

Dybedahl had a passion for the traditions and culture of Hobo Day and wanted to see the growth and accelerate traditions, DesLauriers said. 

“Hobo Day is 103 years old and it is really cool to think about the fact that students who are participating in Hobo Day a century after students created the event still have as much love and passion for Hobo Day as any students who came before them,” Wendell said.

According to Dybedahl, his main job as Grand Pooba is to keep a “10,000-foot-view of Hobo Day.” By doing this he is keeping the bigger picture of Hobo Day in mind while also managing the details.  He also is available to assist his three assistant poobas as they train and delegate their teams.

“We aren’t just all fellow Jackrabbits,” Dybedahl said. “But we are all Hobos by choice.”