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Penn Student Traditions


Penn students and alumni are bound together by the continuous observance of a number of student customs and traditions. Today the most notable is the annual Hey Day event which incorporates elements of many other traditions past and present. Hey Day, however, is just one of many student traditions which have evolved, merged, and sometimes disappeared from the Penn campus. The histories and images of some of these traditions are presented here.

Photograph of 1909 Class Day exercises on the lawn of the Quad

Class Day, begun 1865

Photograph of winners of 1905 Bowl Fight, with the Bowl

Bowl Fight, begun 1865

1911 cartoon of a professor and books being burned in effigy at Sophomore Cremation

Sophomore Cremation, begun 1877

Push Ball Fight, begun 1908

Rowbottom, begun 1910

Photograph of student with straw hat and cane, late 1960s

Junior Cane March, begun after World War I

 Color photograph of three female students at 1997 Hey Day

Hey Day, begun 1916

Skimmer, begun 1949