At Randolph, we have a serious thing for silly traditions. Nothing brings generations of Randolph alumnae and alumni together like the shared experience of sneaking out late at night as a first-year to decorate the entire campus or shouldering a hundred-yard chain of daisies as a graduating senior.
In our 115 years, we’ve assembled an impressive list of much-loved annual rituals, and we’re excited about adding many more. Here’s a quick list of some of our most famous (and infamous) traditions:
The Even and Odd Rivalry
: If your graduating class ends with an even number, you’re an Even. If it’s odd, you’re an Odd. If only it were that simple… First-years and juniors team up against sophomores and seniors in a friendly (if loud) year-long competition that ends every spring with Bury the Hatchet.
- Pumpkin Parade: Sophomores present seniors with wildly-decorated Jack-o-Lanterns during Family Weekend.
Even Day or Odd Day: First-years spend all night decorating the campus as a surprise for the upperclassmen, then wake everyone in a 10-mile radius with a stampede of Stomps.
- Senior Regalia: Seniors attend certain formal events such as opening convocation and pumpkin parade wearing funny hats and black graduation robes which are personally decorated with buttons, patches, pockets, etc. Hats range from the simple and relevant to big and outrageous as students try to outdo their classmates.
Buttons: Throughout their four years at the College, students collect buttons to eventually display on their senior robes. Buttons are produced to commemorate or promote various events, clubs, or programs and are handed out to participants. Every collection is unique and represents that student’s personal journey.
: Getting your treasured class ring is a big deal here. So we build the anticipation with a week full of fun as first-year students shower you with small gifts and decorate your doors. Ring Night includes a special dinner for juniors, a scavenger hunt, and other festivities.
Serenades: Equally as important as studying for your classes is studying the Randolph songbook. How else are you going to out-scream your rival classes during a Skeller Sing?
Formal Occasions: We don’t need much of an excuse to get dressed up, hang out and have a great meal. Maybe that helps explain Founder’s Day, Declaration Day, Holiday Dinners, Ring Night and the Senior Dinner Dance.
The Greek Play
: Founded in 1909, the biennial performance of a traditional Greek drama in the College’s outdoor amphitheatre is a much anticipated event.
International Flags: Randolph students come from many different nations and we celebrate our increasingly global campus by hanging the flags of each of these countries in the hallways of Main Hall, and on special occasions, in the circle in front of campus.
- The Honor Code: No tradition stands taller than the Honor Code, which requires students to abide by the highest standards of honesty and integrity. The system is so strong that the College grants Randolph students the privilege of scheduling their own unproctored final exams.
- The Even/Odd Rivalry and Sister Classes. Building class spirit and uniting you with your classmates, the Even/Odd tradition is the stimulus for a variety of lighthearted activities including the Pumpkin Parade, Daisy Chain, Bury the Hatchet, and Even/Odd Day.A class is defined as Even or Odd based on its graduation year – so the Class of 2011 are Odds and the Class of 2012 are Evens. The entering first-year class is matched with its fellow Even/Odd – the junior class – and they are henceforth Sister classes. Yes, even though we’re coed, they’re still called Sister classes.And just so you know, only Evens use the left steps in Main Hall Lobby, while only Odds use the steps to the right.
- Bury the Hatchet. Even the friendliest feuds have to end sometime. Every spring, we “bury the hatchet” on the Odd/Even rivalry.
- Buttons. Throughout their four years at the College, students collect buttons to eventually display on their senior robes. Buttons are produced to commemorate or promote various events, clubs, or programs and are handed out to participants. Every collection is unique and represents that student’s personal journey.
- Class Banners. Every class at Randolph has an official banner which, as part of the Even/Odd class rivalry tradition, is colored according to class year – black for Evens (2016 and 2018), yellow for Odds (2017 and 2019). Displayed at various events throughout the year, banners are “retired” when the class graduates and put on permanent display in Main Hall.
- Daisy Chain. A graduation tradition since the early 1900s, the Daisy Chain starts with thousands of daisies being woven into a chain. Then sophomores shoulder the chain and carry it across front campus to the steps of the Martin Science Building, where they transfer it from their shoulders to those of their sister class, the graduating seniors.
- Declaration Day. After sophomores declare their majors each spring the faculty and sophomores share a ceremony and reception in the Main Hall. Students receive pins and ribbons in traditional departmental colors to reflect their newly declared majors.
- Even Day or Odd Day. Surprise. You wake one spring morning to find the entire campus decorated by the first-years according to a theme of their choosing.
- Founders’ Day. We celebrate our heritage every March with ceremonies and a special dinner to honor our founder and first president William Waugh Smith.
- The Greek Play. Founded in 1909, the biennial performance of a traditional Greek drama in the College’s outdoor amphitheatre is a much anticipated event. No other college in the country does this.
- Holiday Dinners. Dress for dinner. Before fall semester exams, students celebrate with a holiday feast.
- Holiday on Main Street. To celebrate the last day of classes of the fall semester, the college administrative staff decorates their offices and invites everyone in for tasty treats, fun games and giveaways.
- The Honor Code : No tradition stands taller than the Honor Code, which requires students to abide by the highest standards of honesty and integrity. The system is so strong that the College grants Randolph students the privilege of scheduling their own unproctored final exams.
- International Flags. Randolph recognizes its international students by displaying the flag of each student’s home country in the Student Center. Flags are also displayed in the circle in front of Main Hall on special occasions. On Move-In day, new students are greeted with the flag of their country. During Commencement Weekend, the flags of graduating seniors adorn the circle. During Pearl S. Buck Weekend, the flags of all students are displayed.
- Poetry Tree. The tradition of the Poetry Tree originated in the early 1960s, when students began festooning a weeping cherry tree near Thoresen Hall with poems. Now every spring when the tree blooms-and on other special occasions-poems as well as drawings are attached to the tree.
- Pumpkin Parade. It’s a jack-o’-lantern delight when sophomores present their senior with lighted pumpkins during Family Weekend. The celebration includes a lively serenade between the sophomores and seniors and a cameo vocal performance from the President of the College.
- Ring Night /Ring Week. Getting your treasured class ring is a big deal here. So we build the anticipation with a week full of fun as first-year students shower you with small gifts and decorate your doors. Ring Night includes a special dinner for juniors, a scavenger hunt, and other festivities.
- Senior Class Regalia. Randolph Seniors receive their graduation robes the first day of classes in the fall of their Senior year and immediately get to work personalizing their regalia. The Seniors adorn their robes with funny buttons they’ve collected over their four years, and top their unconventional outfits with funny hats and other creative (and sometimes outrageous) accessories. Seniors wear their embellished regalia with pride for various processions, including Opening Convocation, Pumpkin Parade, Founders’ Day, and Daisy Chain. In the residence halls, Seniors display their robes, buttons and hats on hooks outside their doors so that all passers by are aware of their Senior status for the year. Then, on Commencement Day, the embellishments are removed for their graduation ceremony and replaced with a hood and mortarboard.
- Senior Dinner Dance. A highlight of your final year, the night includes a candlelight dinner and a formal dance.
- Senior Reception. The first week of spring semester, seniors and faculty celebrate “the beginning of the end.”
- Serenades. Sing out as you and your sister class serenade each other with class songs.
- Skeller Sings. I can sing anything better—or louder—than you. Show your class spirit in these lively exchanges of class songs.
- Stomps. Wake up. It’s Even/Odd Day. That explains the clomping you hear as the Eta and the Gamma spirit groups demonstrate their enthusiasm with an early-morning stomp.