The Mather Lather has certainly earned its place as a revered tradition in the Mather House legacy. The bash, which draws more than 1,000 students from across all of Harvard’s Houses, typically goes until the wee hours of the morning.

But before the party comes the daunting prep work. Students spend an entire afternoon lining the big dining room hall with plywood exterior, to which heavy plastic is stapled. This protects the carpeting from being damaged by the copious amounts of foam that gets pumped into the room throughout the evening.

Near midnight, the room looks like a disco Slip ’n Slide. Partygoers in flip-flops and swimwear dance to the live DJ while, outside, the line at the door swells. It’s been said that the Mather Lather is a rite of passage for undergraduates, and where else but Harvard can you get so clean while getting down and dirty?

1 Who needs a party dress? This Mather Lather T-shirt is a necessity.
2 It takes two to make a thing go right! Ella Gibson ’14 and David Campos ’14 line the Mather House dining hall with plywood boxes, to which heavy-duty plastic will be stapled.
3 Ella Gibson ’14 (from left), Max Shayer ’14, and Renzo Lucioni ’14 work on building the structure to house the 11th annual Mather Lather foam party.
4 Luke Sundquist ’14 hauls some lumber.
5 Students roll out tarp to weather the foamy storm.
6 All suds and no duds! Foam is dispensed to start the party.
7 Torin Zonfrelli ’16 feels the power of foam.
8 You can’t put your arms around foam, but Torin Zonfrelli ’16 (left) and Edward Caputo ’16 try.
9 Gettin’ foamy with it?
10 Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the suds.
11 An unforgettable night.
12 Swimwear is the outfit of choice at the Mather Lather. Oh, and wearing sunglasses at night.