While I still remember lessons learned in my marketing and business law classes, my fellow LeMoyne alumni and I consistently find ourselves reminiscing on the big game we won over our rival school 10 years ago. I can still taste the popcorn, smell the crisp fall air, and hear my classmates chanting “L-M-C” in unison.
“What traditions do you have here?” is one of the first questions we ask clients on campus visits to know the school better. But we also want to make sure you’re sharing those time-honored tales. We know from experience that high school students love hearing about them, and as you’re about to see, traditions evoke a spirited connection to one’s alma mater and give alumni an everlasting tie to the school that simply can’t be undone.
I recently polled my coworkers to see how many of them remember their college traditions. Ever heard of a little football game called the Cortaca Jug? See what they said:
“Ithaca College has its annual Cortaca Jug football game every November against its rival school, SUNY Cortland. Fun facts: it’s the only Division III football game you can place a bet on in Las Vegas and has been referred to as ‘the biggest little game in the nation’ by Sports Illustrated. Lots of tailgating, postgame riots, and some ESPN ‘Not top 10’ coverage.”
– Taylor Rao ’14, Assistant Account Executive
“Deemed ‘the biggest little game in the nation’ by Sports Illustrated, the annual Cortland-Ithaca football game, also known as Cortaca Jug, is one of the most memorable and school-spirited traditions at SUNY Cortland. For more than 50 years, students, faculty, and alumni alike have come together in support of a good-old fashioned rivalry. This year’s game will be held on November 14, 2015 at Ithaca College. Go Red Dragons!”
– Brenna Kubisch ’12, Digital Strategist
“On the last day of the spring semester, everyone put on blank white t-shirts and grabbed a handful of Sharpies, and proceeded to the very top of Bridge Street in Oswego. From there, you stop at every. single. bar. (all 23 of them) for a drink—a beer, a shot, a cocktail—until you end up at the last bar. Legit the best night EVER, and you have an awesome t-shirt that everyone signs as a keepsake. I still have mine!”
– Lauren Herrington ’05, Sr. Account Manager
“AROUND THE WORLD! All of the townhouses at Siena College are assigned a country, and on one Saturday in the spring, we have an all-day and all-night event of hopping from country to country and getting a little taste of what it’s all about. From drinks, to food, to music, to clothing, etc.”
– Jenna Ryan ’09, Sr. Account Manager
“At RPI every April, GM Week is celebrated—the election and installation of the new Grand Marshal, who is the leader of the student senate. It’s a week of celebration that includes campus-wide games, events, and contests. When you vote for the GM, you get a commemorative mug and a glass of (root) beer. It’s a tradition that’s been around since before the Civil War.”
– Melissa Batalin ’06, Art Director
“The Tufts campus houses a replica of a cannon that students are allowed to paint for any reason whatsoever (happy birthday messages, event announcements, wedding proposals, anything appropriate goes). Rules are: you can only paint it at night, and you must guard it until dawn—otherwise, others can replace your design. When I got engaged to a fellow named Matt Cannon (yup, his last name) long after I graduated, it was only right to return to Tufts and celebrate by painting the date of our upcoming nuptials on the cannon (see pic). Tufts also had a Naked Quad Run, but that’s a story for another day.”
– Melissa Fiorenza ’06, Sr. Editor
“Dolphy Day, the spontaneous celebration of spring! This amazing tradition at LeMoyne College dates back to its origins in 1971. Each year, the actual date of the event is kept a secret until the last possible moment. A senior student is selected to be the ‘Wizard,’ and this person secretly plans the day with the college. You know the big day has arrived when the U-Haul pulls up and the fireworks go off awakening the entire campus! In the early hours of the morning, the bands begin to play and the school brings the barbeque grills out to enjoy the warm spring sun. It’s been ten years since I’ve graduated, and there’s still a Dolphy Day at the local watering hole in major cities across the United States.”
– Katie O’Connor ’06, Digital Strategist
“Just before the end of the year, a select group of Marist seniors secretly choose a warm spring day to lay a tarp out on “Marist Beach” (the green between the library and the quad). With a hose hooked up to the library’s water system, they wet the tarp to make a huge slip ‘n slide. Within minutes, word gets out and students rush to the quad to go for a “slide”—clothes, bags, books, and all. There’s also this theory that standing in the center of the rotunda (where the college seal is) before you graduate brings bad luck… Eek!”
– Taylor Gagliardi ’14, Assistant Copywriter & Emilie Cardone ’12, Project Coordinator
Want help showing prospective students about your traditions?