Sometimes hard to describe but always fun, our traditions make for a lively and close community, and a lasting link between Emory and Oxford students past and present. Some of these quirky traditions involve song, some involve surprise, some involve food, some involve athletics, and some involve a mysterious masked skeleton.
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The Lord of Misrule
Emory University has some skeletons in the closet. Well, just one, really—Dooley, our unofficial mascot and mischief-maker. Dooley has been a campus figure, so to speak, since 1899. Acting through students selected to don the Dooley mantle (and whose identities remain the best-kept secrets on campus), he maintains a vigorous and unpredictable presence during Dooley's Week every spring.
He shows up at random events throughout the year, but is flanked by a handpicked team of bodyguards, one of whom speaks for him. During Dooley's Week, students write limericks asking him to dismiss them from class. (Professor cannot protest against this bony rule-bender.) Here's a sample limerick:
Oh please rescue me dear Lord Dooley
I fear I'm becoming unruly
So bored by my prof
That I sleep like a sloth
Snory and scratchy and drooly.
Songfest is an annual competition in which students from each first-year residence hall write and perform songs that quite literally sing the praises of their respective communities. To add to the fun, the competition is judged by Emory administrators. The event is held during Orientation, so it's a great icebreaker, helping first-year students bond with their hallmates and meet students from other residence halls. Songfest is one of the most memorable aspects of student life at Emory.
Wednesdays are wonderful at Emory College, thanks to Wonderful Wednesdays. For many years, Emory College held no classes on Wednesdays; that's no longer true, but the day remains special. These days, Wonderful Wednesdays encourage school spirit as the entire Emory community gathers at Asbury Circle on Wednesday afternoons.
Each week a different campus organization sponsors the event and may assign a theme. Wonderful Wednesdays of the past have featured a petting zoo, a bouncy castle, and an ice cream tasting. Some include live music or dance performances. Occasionally they're more practical. For instance, a recent event showcased volunteer opportunities. But they're always wonderful, and they're always on Wednesday.
Carter Town Hall
Each fall for 35 years now, world leader and former President Jimmy Carter has held a town hall meeting on Emory's campus, specifically for first-year students. The fact that Carter left office before current Emory students were even born does not dampen the thrill of being in the same room with and able to ask questions of, a former US president. Carter spends half the evening taking questions from the audience and devotes the other half speaking on topics ranging from recent elections to terrorism, to foreign policy and peanut farming.
A treasured tradition for graduating seniors marks the transition from students to alumni. Held a few nights before graduation, seniors hold candles as they cross the Emory bridge over Houston Mill Road to the Miller-Ward Alumni House.
An annual tournament held during Orientation week, Oxford Olympics are where the various residential complexes compete for the championship. Teams, broken down by residence hall floor and wing, spend their first weekend as Emory University undergrads battling in good-natured competitions like a water balloon toss, relay races, an obstacle course, tug-of-war, and even a trivia challenge.
There comes a point every semester where rigorous study, stress, and anxiety over impending finals reach their peak. Lucky for Oxford students, help comes in the form of a bountiful late-night breakfast served by Oxford faculty and staff members. Laughter, good food, and a break from the intensity are the best recipe for success.
One way students cool off during Orientation is when they toast to the start of their Emory careers at Oxford College. The Coke Toast is a tradition that takes place on both campuses. Emory has a rich, 150-year history with The Coca-Cola Company. Asa Candler, the founder of The Coca-Cola Company, was also the brother of Warren Candler, one of Emory's first presidents back when Emory College was located in Oxford, Georgia.
Cookies in Candler
Cookies in Candler is a much-loved
Spirit Week is a weeklong celebration for all Emory University students, and it is housed on Oxford's campus. From open mic nights to delicious food and prize giveaways, the students of the Student Activities Committee work hard to get ready for this amazing, pride-filled week. Spirit Week ends with the much-anticipated Spring Concert where an artist performs a private concert.
Signing the Bell Tower
Members of the Sophomore Class Gift Committee get to mark their time at Oxford by signing the Seney Bell Tower upon graduation. Each year, the Committee also takes pride in planting a class tree on the Quad.
Holi Colors on the Quad
Holi is the Hindu festival celebration of colors. It takes place each spring on the Oxford College Quad and is coordinated by the Hindu Student Association executive board. This celebration is full of music, color, and water.