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For its 15thReunion class picture, the Class of 1998 successfully completed an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people in tennis outfits, with 252 participants.

As this was an attempt to set a new record, as per Guinness policy, the minimum number of people needed is 250. The group managed to clock in two people over the requirement.

The frenzy and excitement at the event on Blair Arch and around the University Store courtyard were apparent. Just as the Guinness World Records official Stuart Claxton had counted almost everyone standing in line for the record, an undergraduate Reunions crew member came into the crowd saying that they needed more people to be in line as only 230 people had been counted.

Slowly more people joined the line to be counted. Eventually, one of the alumni involved in organizing the event noticed that the group still needed a few more people in order to reach the required number of people.

“Five more? Okay, let’s go,” the alumnus said, pointing to the closest five people around him wearing the basic necessity for a“tennis outfit.”

According to Claxton, who is also the marketing director for Guinness, a tennis outfit is defined by clothing “designed for tennis” play as well as sneakers, a tennis racquet and a tennis ball. In order to facilitate and encourage people to help set the record, boxes of tennis racquets and tennis balls were on hand at Blair Arch, contributed by University Athletics, Princeton Tennis Club, Prince as wellas Dillon Gymnasium.

Claxton said that the Guinness World Records receives about 50,000 inquiries every year from all over the world. When inquiries for new records such as the tennis outfit record arrive at Guinness, the records management team discusses the proposal and if the idea is approved, guidelines are designed for the record-setting event. Particularly, Claxton explained that the team looks for records that are verifiable, measurable and breakable.

Beth Brett, Reunions co-chair and president of the Class of 1998, helped organize the world record attempt and said at the end of it all, “It feels like a really momentous occasion.”



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