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Remembering Traditions If there’s one thing we're certain about in 2020, it’s that everything is uncertain. Just ask any corporate advertisement ever (watch this video for a laugh). 

New announcements about fall at Penn are coming out every day, and it seems like many of our favorite campus activities are being postponed, moved online, or even cancelled altogether. Many universities are cancelling athletics too, meaning we’re likely to miss our favorite tailgates and homecoming in Garden City. 

Current Quakers may miss out on many of the things we loved about our Penn experience. But in the midst of these unfortunate cancellations, we suggest looking back on better days. In remembering our traditions, we reassure ourselves that someday they will return, for us and future generations of Quakers to enjoy. 

We’d like to remind you of 3 traditions that made coming back to campus feel like coming home. 


Freshmen are formally welcomed to Penn during the Convocation ceremony. The entire freshman class marches together, just as it does during Commencement. Speakers include the President, Provost, Penn Alumni President, Dean of Admissions, and Chaplain, and several student groups perform musical selections. Many freshmen remember Convocation fondly as a tradition shared with their class, a "bookend" for their Penn experience that mirrors Commencement, and the first of many events with free food. 


Hey Day 

In 1916, Hey Day was established as a "Moving-Up" celebration to mark the advancement of each class. In recent decades, Hey Day has represented the official passage of the junior class to senior status and is characterized by thousands of marching students parading around campus and wearing red T-shirts, carrying canes, and biting into fake straw hats. 


The House Cup 

The College House Cup is an intramural sports competition between all of the College Houses. Kicking off with Penn Traditions Quizzo during NSO, the competition runs through the entire school year culminating with a celebration and the awarding of the College House Cup to the winning House at the end of the spring semester. 


Spring Fling 

Since the '70s, Spring Fling has been the ultimate student festival at Penn. Beginning in 1972, with an attendance between ten and fifteen thousand, students descend onto the Quad, Hill Square, College Green, and Wynn Commons to dance, eat, party, and enjoy a day full of surprises. Each Spring Fling consists of a carnival with games and events, a concert hosting high-profile bands, and the Quad concerts, which showcase some of the hottest local bands and performers. 



Penn fans throw toast onto Franklin Field after the third quarter of every home football game. The toast-throwing tradition was in response to the line "Here's a toast to dear old Penn" in the school song "Drink a Highball". The act of throwing toast was adopted after alcohol was banned from the stadium in the 1970s. In a good season, 20,000 to 30,000 pieces of toast are thrown per game!