Rochester Traditions

Celebrate the shared experiences of Yellowjackets across generations! Rochester Traditions encompass the activities, events, and programs that embody what makes the University ever better. Most traditions occur annually, but several span the overall Rochester experience!

Image of a ferris wheel

Candlelight Ceremony

Mark the beginning of your lifelong relationship with the University as you join fellow members of the incoming class on Eastman Quad. Beneath the stars and surrounded by candlelight, this first-night tradition is unique, beautiful, and full of rich history.

Students Dancing

Wilson & George Eastman Day

Get to know the Rochester community through meaningful, personal interactions while building connections! Discover the value of community service as part of your undergraduate experience with a day dedicated towards projects that give back – including painting, gardening, delivering meals, and more.

Students at glow golf

Celebrate Diversity

Celebrate the University’s global community with an evening of song, dance, poetry, and music from around the world! Bringing together first-year students from the College and Eastman School of Music, this event is a vibrant introduction to campus life beyond the classroom.

Students at a pumpkin patch

Activities Fair

Explore opportunities to connect and engage at the beginning of each semester! Take in live demonstrations and informational displays from over 200 student organizations to learn more about how you can get involved and pursue passions.

Leadership Library Cabinet

Yellowjacket Weekend

Kick-off the academic year full of school spirit! Festivities start at the famed Activities Fair and continue into a weekend full of giveaways, competitions, carnival games, a luau dinner, live music, and more.

Group photo of students with Anne-Marie Algier

Senior Giving Campaign

What part of the University has been most meaningful to you? Begin making your impact by supporting what impacted you - your favorite student organization, traditions, food pantry, research, scholarships, and more. Every gift at any amount is important.

Photo of the Outdoor Ice Rink in Winter

UR Home

Connect with alumni by extending an invitation to return to their “beloved college home” for celebrations during Meliora Weekend. Take a moment to note your love for Rochester and thank those who support the University.

Photo of students at a food truck

Meliora Weekend

Join in a community-wide celebration bringing together Yellowjackets from around the world, spanning across generations! Show your family and friends around campus, enjoy celebrity entertainment, meet alumni, pick-up limited-edition memorabilia, and so much more.

A group of graduating students hugging

Boar’s Head Dinner

Cue the trumpets as we announce the arrival of one of the University’s oldest and most beloved traditions! Recall the spirit of medieval dinners, beginning with a procession of royalty featuring student leaders and select administrators clad in the finest regalia. Enjoy performances from student organizations, a bountiful feast, a unique reading of the “Tale of the Boar,” and a joyous sing-along.

Students watching a concert on the lawn

Winterfest Weekend

Rochester weather has gotten chilly! Combat the winter blues and warm up with giveaways, performances, fire pits and s’mores, crafts, and more.

A group of graduating students hugging

Spirit Week

Go, you Yellowjackets! Show UR pride with a week full of activities, athletic events, food, and giveaways.

Students watching a concert on the lawn

I Heart UR Day

Tell the world how much you love UR! Take a moment to reflect and be grateful through messages sent to those who have shaped the University community.

A group of graduating students hugging

Forever Rochester Week

Explore interactive exhibits and fun events while learning how to remain involved with the University beyond your time in Rochester. Honor and celebrate the impact of alumni on your journey to becoming one yourself!

Students watching a concert on the lawn

Springfest Weekend + Dandelion Day

Spring is finally here and with it comes the end of the semester! Celebrate the arrival of warmer weather with limited edition giveaways, musical performances, student shows, themed food, carnival games, and more.

A group of graduating students hugging

Senior Week

Mark your accomplishments during a week-long celebration filled with events around Rochester! Kayak on the Genesee, taste local concoctions, picnic on the quad, and so much more. Plus, join in a champagne toast to YOU as you join the alumni family!

Rochester Traditions are organized by Wilson Commons Student Activities, the Office of Alumni Relations and Constituent Engagement, Class Councils, Student Programming Board, and others.