Skip to main
Stadium Caboose

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.

Our Motto

Our motto, E Tenebris in Lucem Voco, means "I call you out of darkness into light."

Each fall, we celebrate this motto with all our new students when they participate in a candle walk through the College's historic Ward Memorial Arch. During our annual Academic Convocation, candles are lit to represent this call into light. As each student engages with our educational experience, they expand their worldview and knowledge, becoming more enlightened. This deeply personal journey is reflected in the college's motto.

Bell in fall

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.

Ward Memorial Arch 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 Welcome Home

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.

Gameday Spirit: #6 Best Tailgating in the Nation

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 a top spot in the nation for the best tailgating experience.

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.

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. 


Best Tailgating Experience in the Country

Tailgating on the lawn for homecoming game.

A Homecoming Tradition Best Letters on the Hill

Each fall, students and alumni proudly identify with their Greek organizations as letters are prominently painted on the Hill. We also 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 Athletics 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. 

The Green Terror

The Green Terror first appeared in the October 15, 1923 edition of the Western Maryland monthly. The article recounts the Western Maryland College (WMC) football game with Washington and Lee in Lexington, Virginia. Although WMC lost by a 19-7 margin, the 11 players fielded that day were called “Green Terrors.”

Some keepers of College history and folklore say that then-Coach D.K. Shroyer coined the term “Terror” to boost the morale of his players after their disheartening loss to Washington and Lee. Subsequently, it’s believed that Baltimore Sun reporter W. Wilson Wingate, class of 1918, used the term in a game story. Still others claim that a Virginia reporter described the green-clad team as “terrors” after a decisive victory.

Whatever the origin of the Green Terror, the name has come to represent the spirit of the College community both on and off the athletic field. The Green Terror has seen several incarnations—a wolf-like critter, a bobcat and even a leopard—but currently reigns as the symbol of the deep-rooted commitment to excellence and perseverance that is found on the Hill.

The Green Terror is more than a mascot. It's a lifestyle. Living like a Green Terror means tackling every challenge head on and using every opportunity to go after your goals.

Green Terror mascot 1950s.

1950's Green Terror

Green Terror mascot, 1974 version.

1970's Green Terror

Green Terror mascot, 1980s version.

1980's Green Terror

Green Terror mascot, 1998 version.

1990's Green Terror

Green Terror mascot, 2000s version.

2000's Green Terror

Green Terror at homecoming game

Today's Green Terror

Seasonal Traditions

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

Gobble Gobble 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

BOO! 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

Read all about it 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.

Order Up 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

Old Bay, please! 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.

Honoring Excellence 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.

The head of the 90s Green Terror mascot head is displayed next to a WMC dining tray.

Dig Into the Archives History in Hoover Library

Throughout the ages, Hoover Library has supported many late-night research and study sessions for students on the Hill. Beyond the stacks, the college archives are filled with items that showcase the long and varied history of our campus. Check out five items and the history behind them.

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.