Chatham University

Traditions at Chatham

Chatham University has a rich history that is steeped in campus traditions. Many of Chatham’s traditions came about during its time as a women’s-only college, but today we have several traditions that support our ever-changing campus community.  We sincerely hope that all of our students - undergraduate, graduate and continuing education - will come out to experience the traditions that make Chatham such a special place to be.  These are not only student favorites, but faculty and staff also look forward to annual campus traditions to celebrate as a community. Please read through the campus traditions at Chatham University and contact studentactivities@chatham.edu if you have any questions.

  • Colors are an important signifying tradition on campus. Students proudly display university colors, college colors and class colors to show school spirit.
    • University Colors: Green & White
    • College for Graduate Studies: Orange
    • College for Continuing & Professional Studies: Goldenrod
    • School for Sustainability & the Enviornment: Blue
    • Chatham College for Women Colors: Purple
    • Undergraduate Class Colors: Each undergraduate class is pinned with their own colors upon their matriculation to the college. Each year, one of the four colors is passed down from graduating seniors to incoming first years.
      • Class of 2013: Red
      • Class of 2014: Yellow
      • Class of 2015: Rose
      • Class of 2016: Green
  • Opening Convocation marks the traditional opening of the Academic year. We celebrate by welcoming the incoming class and kicking off our Global Focus, while coming together as a community.
  • New Student Ice Cream Social is a time for new students to connect with alumnae and learn about the many experiences that await them as a student and future alumna.
  • Mocktails is a chance for student organizations to get creative in making a non-alcoholic drink. This event is sometimes featured during Harvest Fun Fest or as part of Alcohol Awareness Week.
  • Harvest Fun Fest is a community based tradition that emerged in 1998. Chatham hosts this event during Family & Friends Weekend and it includes fall-themed family fun activities like face painting, a pumpkin patch, and great treats. Each student organization participates and sets up an activity for the Chatham and surrounding community to enjoy.
  • Halloween Dinner is a chance for students, faculty, staff and their families to compete for prizes in Halloween activities and celebrate this holiday as a community.
  • Battle of the Classes is a week-long event that has each class competing in several events. This student favorite is sure to build class unity and school spirit!
  • Song Contest is a tradition that is over 70 years old, where classes re-write popular songs with Chatham words and put Chatham songs to contemporary songs. This student favorite is talked about all year long!
  • House Olympics is a time for the Residence Halls to show who is the best. This week long competition helps build community among residents with a little healthy competition.
  • Thanksgiving Dinner is a time for the entire campus to come together in celebration of the Holiday season. This family style dinner allows students, alumni, faculty & staff to connect and celebrate over a great meal.
  • Candlelight, Chatham Eggnog, and Holiday Ball is one of the most festive nights of the year. The choir hosts a beautiful service that incorporates seasonal traditions and songs. Following the service, the entire campus celebrates with a gathering over Eggnog. Finally, the students end the night with a dance sponsored by Chatham Activities Board.
  • Moonlight Breakfast is a chance for students to take a break from studying for finals and let the faculty and staff serve them a late night breakfast!
  • Sledding on Chapel Hill is a tradition based entirely on the snow. Students celebrate the snowy weather by sledding down the steep hill.
  • Spring Formal is a chance to celebrate the end of the spring semester with dinner and a night of dancing. This off campus dance allows students the chance to celebrate the end of the semester.
  • Airband & Senior Skits is a time for the Chatham rock stars to come out! Students lip-synch and perform choreography or skits to their favorite songs. The junior class performs a Senior Skit in honor of the soon to be graduates.
  • Tutorial Bonfire is much anticipated by the seniors! This is the chance for them to burn copies of their tutorial, research, and celebrate accomplishing this milestone!
  • University Day featuring Buckets & Blossom & University Picnic is a chance for the entire campus community to clebrate becoming a University!  We plant flowers and clean up our beautiful campus, enjoy a campus wide picnic, and students perform the May Pole Dance.
  • Closing Convocation, the traditional close of the academic year, is much less formal than Opening Convocations. Seniors wear their gowns and hats that they decorate to represent their personality and/or tutorial topic.
  • Senior Dinner is a night for the graduating seniors to reminisce with their Chatham sisters, the faculty and staff that made their college experience.