The 20 Best College Traditions In The US

Each college has beloved traditions that students have kept alive through the years.

We’ve put together a list of the best college traditions from around the country. Some of these — like the Dartmouth Winter Carnival — are loved by students and school officials alike. However, traditions such as the Mirror Lake Jump at Ohio State are enjoyed much more by students than faculty.

Cornell Dragon Day at Cornell University

When: Every March

Year it began: Sometime between 1897 and 1901

The tradition of Dragon Day goes back more than one hundred years. Every March, first-year architecture students band together to build a massive dragon, which they parade across campus. The dragon then 'battles' with a large phoenix, built by engineering students.

Spirit Splash at the University of Central Florida

When: End of October

Year it began: 1995

For Spirit Splash, students at the University of Central Florida rush into the campus's Reflecting Pond to celebrate homecoming weekend. The tradition started in 1995 when someone pushed the student body president into the pond. Spirit Splash won the 'Best Campus Tradition' award from the National Association for Campus Activities.

THON Weekend at Pennsylvania State University

When: Every February

Year it began: 1973

THON Weekend is 46-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon that takes place every February at Penn State. The marathon is for a good cause, with a majority of the proceeds going toward the Four Diamonds Fund to fight pediatric cancer. THON has raised more than $US114 million for the cause since the tradition began in 1977.

The Great Midwest Trivia Contest at Lawrence University

When: The last weekend in January

Year it began: 1966

The Great Midwest Trivia Contest at Lawrence University is an extraordinary challenge, with 50 straight hours of trivia from Friday to Sunday. The contest is known as the 'world's longest-running trivia contest' because each year a question from a previous year begins the new contest.

Civilians vs. Cadets Snowball Fight at Virginia Tech

When: The first big snowfall of the year

Year it began: Unknown

Virginia Tech's student body used to be entirely Reserve Officer Training Corps. Every year during the first big snowfall, students break up into two teams -- cadets and civilians -- and duke it out in a massive snowball fight in honour of the school's history.

The Pull at Hope College

When: Every September

Year it began: 1898

The Pull is an annual tug-of-war contest held at Hope College. Each team has 18 'pullers' as well as 18 'moralers,' who have the responsibility of boosting morale. The longest pull lasted for three hours and 51 minutes, and the shortest was only two minutes and 40 seconds. 'Sports Illustrated' named the Pull the 'mother of all tug-of-war.'

Dartmouth Winter Carnival at Dartmouth College

When: Every February

Year it began: 1910

The Dartmouth Winter Carnival has been a tradition for over 100 years and features events such as ski races, an ice sculpture contest, a polar bear swim, and a human dog sled race. One of the greatest parties during this event is the Alpha Chi Alpha beach party, a tradition since 1976.

Carnegie Mellon Sweepstakes at Carnegie Mellon University

When: Every April

Year it began: 1920

Sweepstakes, also known as 'Buggy,' is a competition between campus organisations where each team builds torpedo-shaped vehicles and pushes them in a relay race. The race has taken place every year since 1920.

ASU BB Run at Arizona State University

When: Beginning of May/last day of classes

Year it began: 2008

For the ASU BB (bras and boxers) Run, more than 15,000 students at Arizona State run across the Tempe campus in nothing more than their bras and underwear to celebrate the end of classes. In addition to the run, there is plenty of music and entertainment. After shedding their clothing, students can donate it to Goodwill Arizona.

Rotblatt at Carleton College

When: During spring term

Year it began: 1967

Rotblatt is an annual softball game where students play one inning for every year Carleton College has been in existence. Since the university is 148 years old, students played for 148 innings this year. One of the rules for Rotblatt is that you must have a beverage in your hand at all times.

Mirror Lake Jump at Ohio State University

When: End of November

Year it began: 1990

Every year, thousands of students gather together and plunge into the freezing Mirror Lake to celebrate the Ohio State vs. Michigan football game. School officials tried to control the jump in 2013, but students went ahead with the tradition as usual.

Purdue Grand Prix at Purdue University

When: Every April

Year it began: 1958

The Purdue Grand Prix is an exciting go-kart race at Purdue University. Any student can participate in the race, and every five years an alumni race is held so former students can relive their glory. There is also a Classic race, where only go-karts built before 1986 can enter. There is a whole week of celebrations leading up to this event.

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