students on May Day 2022

College Traditions

Bryn Mawr College's traditions help to make the student experience a special one, creating a sense of community that connects alumnae/i to the College for generations.

Explore our traditions.

Traditions 360 - Shakespeare
Traditions 360 - Homecoming

Our traditions are more than entertaining, colorful spectacles that divert us from the intensity of our studies; they bring us together and bond us as Mawrters for life. 

Traditions 226 - Lantern
Traditions 226 - Commencement
Traditions 226 - Customs
Traditions 760 - Senior Steps

Learn our College Cheer

Anassa kata, kalo kale, Ia ia ia Nike, Bryn Mawr, Bryn Mawr, Bryn Mawr!

(Queen, descend, I invoke you fair one. Hail, hail, hail, victory, Bryn Mawr, Bryn Mawr, Bryn Mawr!)

Traditions - May Day
Traditions - Lighting Lanterns

Traditions - Feature - Parade Night

Parade Night

Celebrating a successful first week of classes.

At Parade Night, first-year students are showered in confetti and love by their peers through a night of delightful activities and surprises.

Traditions tall - Court
Traditions - Lanterns

Offerings to Athena

Athena, the patron goddess of the College, plays a starring role in one of many Traditions (she's pictured with Philadelphia Eagles gear the year they won the Super Bowl). We make offerings to Athena for good luck, emotional help, remembrance of good times, and support through challenges.

athena eagles
Traditions - 760 - First Day
Traditions - 360 - Lantern Night

The Light of Knowledge Passed from One Class to Another.

Traditions - Feature - Lantern Night 2

Lantern Night

An academic welcome into the community.

At Lantern Night, first-year students receive a unique gift from the Bryn Mawr community - their very own lantern. Representing the light of knowledge, the keepsake is cherished among students and alumnae/i.

Traditions 226 - May Day
Traditions 226 - Presidential Pop Up
Traditions 226 - Lux Doctorum

Class Pride

Every Mawrter receives a lantern of their class color: dark blue, green, light blue, or red, which represent the natural elements of water, air, fire, and earth. McBride (non-traditional) students receive a purple lantern, which represents the human spirit, and our graduate students receive a golden lantern during Lux Doctorum.

Traditions - Medium Feature - 2027
Traditions - Senior Steps
Traditions - Giant Fairy
Traditions - Featured - Welcome the First Years 2

Welcome the First-Years Week

A reinvigorating class-bonding experience.

During Welcome the First-Years (WTF) Week, upperclass and first-year students come together in celebration. The cold Pennsylvania winter is cast aside for student performances, group activities, and a deepening of relationships between peers.

Traditions - Tall - Scroll
Traditions - Full - Garden Party

Meaningful, off-beat experiences that help shape our sisterhood & siblinghood.

Traditions - Feature - May Day

May Day

Medieval festivities to celebrate the end of classes.

On May Day, students, alumnae/i, faculty, and staff gather across campus to celebrate the end of the academic year and to congratulate the seniors before they leave campus. The day is filled with dancing, concerts, food, and festivities that evoke both the past and the future. 

Discover Bryn Mawr Beyond Traditions

All our traditions are student-led, with support from the Office of Student Engagement. Visit the Student Engagement website to learn more about student clubs, leadership opportunities, self-governance, and Bryn Mawr's extraordinary catalog of social, emotional, cultural student experiences.