Weird Traditions of Ivy League Colleges
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Weird Traditions of Ivy League Colleges

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  • Written by UnivAdmitHelp
  • Category: Insights & Information
  • Published on 01 Apr 2023

Ivy League colleges, like any other prestigious institutions, have their own unique traditions that have developed over time. Some of these traditions may seem strange or bizarre to outsiders, but they hold a special place in the hearts of Ivy League students and alumni. Here is the interesting tradition list:-

Primal Scream: At Harvard University, on the night before final exams begin, students participate in a campus-wide scream session known as "Primal Scream." At the stroke of midnight, students open their clothes and scream at the iconic Harvard yard while other students open their windows and scream as loudly as they can to relieve their stress.

Nude Olympics: At Dartmouth College, students participate in a winter event known as the "Nude Olympics," where students run around campus naked, often covered in body paint. This tradition was banned in 1999 due to safety concerns but has continued off-campus.

Cane Spree: At the University of Pennsylvania, freshmen and seniors engage in a game called "Cane Spree" where seniors try to steal the canes of freshmen, and the freshmen defend themselves. The game has been banned several times due to injuries, but it has been brought back in recent years.

Keggy the Keg: Dartmouth College's unofficial mascot is Keggy the Keg, a person dressed up in a keg costume who attends sporting events and other campus activities.

Princetonian Dumps: At Princeton University, students participate in "Princetonian Dumps," where they throw furniture out of their windows at the end of the academic year. This tradition has been banned, but it still occurs unofficially.

Puddingstone Pudding: At Harvard University, members of the Hasty Pudding Club (a social club) make a pudding out of stones from the Charles River. This tradition dates back to the early 19th century and is still continued today.

Dragon Day: It is a unique tradition at Cornell University that takes place each year on the Thursday before St. Patrick's Day. The tradition dates back to 1901 when the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP) was established. The AAP students and faculty created the event as a way to celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

The event centers around the creation and parade of a large dragon, which is typically constructed by the first-year students in the AAP. On Dragon Day, the dragon is paraded through campus, accompanied by a procession of AAP students, faculty, and staff, who are dressed in elaborate costumes. The dragon is then burned in a bonfire on the Arts Quad, marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

Newman's Day: It is a drinking tradition that takes place at Dartmouth College on April 24th, the feast day of St. John Henry Newman, the university's namesake. The tradition involves drinking a can of beer every hour for 24 hours straight, starting at midnight. While the tradition is not officially sanctioned by the college and is not endorsed by the administration, it has become a part of the campus culture at Dartmouth.

Orgo Night: It is a musical and comedic event that takes place at Columbia University on the night before the organic chemistry final exam. The event is organized by the Columbia University Marching Band, which is known for its irreverent and satirical performances. The band performs humorous skits and parodies, often poking fun at the university's administration and current events. The event takes place in the library, where students are studying for the exam, and has become a much-anticipated tradition at Columbia.


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Bladderball: Bladderball was a traditional game that was played between 1954 and 1982 within the campus of Yale University by university students. The game resembled other forms of mob football in which any number of people can be a part in each team, and the only objective of the sport was to gain possession of the large inflated leather ball by any means necessary.

Van Wickle Gate: The main entrance gate of the Brown University is only open three times a year. The Van Wickle Gates is a prominent landmark and tradition at Brown University. The gates are two large ornamental structures that mark the main entrance to Brown's College Green. The gates were a gift from the Van Wickle family and were dedicated in 1901 in memory of Augustus Stout Van Wickle, a member of the Brown University class of 1876.

Toast Throwing: Penn’s toast-throwing tradition isn’t just about toast. University of Pennsylvania supporters throw all manner of baked goods—from bagels to muffins to pumpernickel—onto Franklin Field between the third and fourth quarter of every home football game. The cue to unleash the bread comes on the line, “Here’s a toast to dear old Penn” in a school fight song.

These are just a few examples of the many traditions that exist at Ivy League colleges. While they may seem strange to outsiders, they play an important role in the culture and community of these institutions.

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