Leah Bergman, Purdue Alum
Whether you’re starting your first day at Purdue or finishing up your last semester, these are some traditions you should take part in before you walk across the stage in your cap and gown.
It is said if you walk under the bell tower you will not graduate in 4 years so be sure you wait until after you have your diploma in hand. Some also say if you kiss your true love at midnight then you will get married or when a couple walks under the bell tower after graduation they will get engaged.
Fun Fact: If you look closely you will notice the “4” on the clock face is actually“IIII” instead of the Roman number “IV”. This is because the Roman numeral “IV” resembles Indiana State University’s abbreviation “IU” and Purdue does not want anything on their campus to represent their rival.
Whether you’re celebrating your first week of college, the end of finals week, or graduation a fountain run is always a good way to do it (might be difficult for you December grads). A fountain run involves running around in Loeb Fountain, which is located next to Beering Hall, and then running across campus to the Engineering Fountain. It is a great way to cool off and celebrate with friends!
Grand Prix is a week-long event filled with parties, activities, costumes, and more. It all ends with the annual Grand Prix race where several people compete in a Go-Kart race in cars they built themselves. This is a week everyone talks about for years to come and many alumni will come back just to celebrate and partake in this tradition.
Football! Boiler Up, Hammer Down!
Whether it’s at Ross-Ade or Mackey Arena you need to attend at least one rivalry game during your time at Purdue. IU is Purdue’s biggest rivalry so these games are sure to always be exciting. Within the first quarter you will learn there are many traditions within sports itself. Quietly watch your peers and join in once you get the hang of it, participation just increases your comradery and the entertainment value exponentially.
The football game is known as the Old Oaken Bucket because Purdue and IU compete for the trophy (which is literally an old oaken bucket) with this name each year. No matter which type of game you attend, a Purdue vs. IU game will be memorable. Spirits are high those days and it is a great day to show your Boilermaker pride and help show that we are better than Hoosiers.
Once you are of age, you will want to make sure you participate in Breakfast Club at least once before graduation. Imagine walking down State Street early one Saturday morning and seeing Mario and Luigi, some Disney Princesses, and Superman. But it’s not even October yet. No, it’s Breakfast Club! Every Saturday morning of a home football game and the Saturday of Grand Prix students of age partake in this crazy tradition. Students dress up in creative costumes and line up outside the bars starting at about 5 or 6 in the morning and keep partying until the game, or race on Grand Prix, starts.
Go Sledding at Slayter Hill
Winter takes up a huge chunk of the time while students are in classes at Purdue. A great way to celebrate the first snow, finals being done, or just a weekend with friends is sledding down Slayter Hill. Don’t have a sled? No problem! You can use a laundry basket, mattress, pool toys, or even a tray from the dining courts (although it is not encouraged to steal the trays, some are usually laying around the bottom of the hill during the winter). Get creative with your sledding device and slide down Slayter Hill.
Have a Den Pop
If you have 60 cents you can do this one now! Den Pops are sodas that are as big as your head. You get them from the Discount Den and on the wall is a list of creatively named recipes for different Den Pop flavors to create. Or, if the creative juices are flowing, you can create a unique drink and your own recipe. These are a great way to cool down during those last few weeks of class, a refreshing drink after a hard exam, or really anytime!
These are just a few of the many traditions Purdue has. Look around for more to add to your bucket list or create your own with your friends. Boiler Up!