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Traditions & Culture

A college that is 150+ years old is going to have traditions. Get on the Hill to experience them for yourself.  

The Old Main Bell

The Old Main bell plays an important role in every McDaniel College student's experience. Each first-year student "rings-in" and on graduation day, graduating seniors "ring-out." The Student Alumni Council honors this tradition by reading the names of alumni who have passed and ringing Old Main's bell one last time to show respect for their alumni experience.

Each semester, the Student Alumni Council's Memorial Bell Ringing Ceremony concludes with a poignant rendition of the Alma Mater, where special attention is given to the closing chorus: Hail McDaniel! Hail, all Hail! Echo softly from each heart. We'll be ever loyal to thee, Till we from life shall part.

Hoover Library view from behind the bell.

Seasonal Traditions

McDaniel students celebrate the ever changing seasons on the Hill and in the Westminster community. 

Tailgating on the lawn for homecoming game.

A Homecoming Tradition Painting the Hill

Each fall we welcome our alumni back to the Hill for an incredible celebration of college ties that were formed during their years on campus. We kick off the weekend with our annual Alumni Awards and Sports Hall of Fame dinner, recognizing alumni for their passion and celebrating storied athletes for their amazing collegiate careers. Current student-athletes who have won a Conference Championship or received acknowledgement as an exemplary scholar-athlete are inducted into McDaniel’s Ring of Honor. Our Saturday sports slate includes all our Fall sports competing on campus. And students and alumni proudly identify with their Greek organizations as letters are prominently painted on the Hill.

First Year Traditions Stepping onto campus is only the beginning. Participating in time-honored traditions cements your place in our community. 

Candlelighting ceremony in Baker Memorial.

Candlelight Walk

During first-year orientation, students participate in a candlelight walk through McDaniel’s historic Memorial Arch on Main Street. It symbolizes their first steps “out of darkness into light,” the translated phrase from Latin on the College’s official seal.

Students walking around downtown Westminster during McDaniel Local.

Westminster Welcome

All first-year students wear their new McDaniel t-shirts and walk downtown for an official Westminster Welcome from the Mayor. They also discover community partners (like the Boys and Girls Club) and learn about the local businesses in their new community.

Other Campus Traditions

Don't miss out on other special and fun traditions on the Hill that play a significant part in the Green Terror experience.

Students in conversation at table in Englar Dining Hall.

Pass the Turkey

Since 1901, McDaniel has held an Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon. Faculty and staff join students in food and conversation. This popular holiday tradition is a welcome break before the end of the fall semester kicks into high gear and a wonderful reminder for the gratitude we have toward our home on the Hill! 

McDaniel Entrance with Arch

Did You Say Ghost?

Each year, members of Alpha Psi Omega (our Theatre Honor Society) lead thrill seekers on a Ghost Walk across campus. Participants end the night knowing our very friendly spirits and feel like they've gained a few more friends on the Hill! 

Friendly campus squirrel

Fake News

The April 1st copy of the McDaniel Free Press features fake news! It’s our annual April Fool’s edition packed with attention grabbing fake headlines to make all of us laugh at a very critical point in the academic year. (For the record, the squirrels have yet to take over the campus!) 

Students in conversation at table in Englar Dining Hall.

Hash Browns With Your Eggs?

Members of the McDaniel Faculty & Staff come out in droves to serve up a hot Late-Night Breakfast during Finals Week. It’s a great way to take a well-deserved break from studying to connect with your peers, see your professors, and perhaps hear an encouraging word or two before you return to studying for your exams! 

Crab Feast

Senior Crab Feast

What's more Maryland than crabs and Old Bay seasoning? Nothing! That's why the annual Crab Feast during Senior Week is a favorite McDaniel tradition. Spend an afternoon picking crabs with your lifelong friends - savoring one last taste of Maryland before you leave the Hill to take on the world. 

Graduate in cap and gown at Commencement.

Annual Argonaut Award

Each year we celebrate academic excellence with the Argonaut Award, named for the College’s original honor society founded in 1935 and superseded by Phi Beta Kappa in 1980. It is awarded to the graduating senior or seniors with the highest cumulative grade point average in the class.

Gameday Spirit: #6 Best Tailgating in the Nation

Our spirit-filled gameday experience can't be beat. The one-and-only bowl-shaped arena allows fans to park directly overlooking the gridiron — grills and air horns at the ready. Even people who aren’t into sports are into tailgating, because the socializing and the setting can’t be beat. Please remember to dress in green and gold. Body paint invites special attention – and photographers – to your tailgate party. 

Green Terror mascot with cheerleaders.

Be on the lookout for our lovable Green Terror. Selfies are encouraged and don’t forget to post your pic and tag #mcdanielcollege 

 

It's no joke. We take our tailgating seriously.

The Hill is filled with game day spirit as the Green Terror take the field to face a Centennial Conference opponent. While the team works for a win, our fans have already claimed #6 in the nation for the best tailgating experience. 

Interior of Baker Memorial Chapel.

Going to the Chapel Gonna Get Married

Many alumni who meet here on the Hill return to campus to get married in one of the college's chapels among the iconic stained glass windows. Past couples have even chosen to have a beloved faculty member be their officiant, and later return to campus with their future Green Terrors in tow.