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Student Affairs | Traditions

Trinity Traditions

Since its founding in 1897, Trinity traditions and celebrations have grown to become an integral part of the Trinity experience.   Trinity students today continue to enjoy some of the most venerable traditions, including:

Class Colors

The first graduating class at Trinity, the class of 1904, chose the class color Red to bequeath to the Class of 1908.  Since then, the four class colors, Red, Blue, Green and Gold, have been handed down by the Senior class to the incoming first year class.  Class colors identify Trinity students and graduates across generations.

Class Days

Each class sponsors a celebration on a specific day during the academic year.   The class color is worn all day.  Classes may often decorate the Well in their class colors.  Class days are generally celebrated during the following months:  October – Blue; November – Gold; February – Red; March – Green.

Cap and Gown Weekend

Trinity seniors receive their caps and gowns at the Cap and Gown Convocation on the first Saturday in October.  Receipt of the cap and gown is a cherished moment in the lives of Trinity undergraduates, a recognition of the achievement of at least 92 academic credits, and entrance into senior year.  Families and friends gather for the Convocation and President’s Reception following the ceremony.  On Sunday morning, the seniors process to Notre Dame Chapel for the solemn Cap and Gown Liturgy, following which they gather in Alumnae Hall with their families for a festive brunch.  The weekend ceremonies conclude with the fun and festive Courtyard Sing attended by students from all classes wearing their class colors.  Seymour Court is also festooned in the colors of the classes.  At the Courtyard Sing, the first year class also receive their first symbol of membership in the Trinity community, their class banner.

Junior Ring

Members of the Junior class receive their Class rings in a special ceremony in November.  Students may order their Class rings for this occasion or they may use other rings they already own.

Sophomore Pin

As Sophomores begin to declare their majors and move into a new phase of their academic career, Trinity celebrates by issuing each Sophomore a gold “TC” pin at a special ceremony marking the occasion.

Convocation and First Year Medal – The Trinity Medal

At the culmination of CAS First Year Orienation in August, the first year students participate in an important ceremony marking the point of their entrance into the Trinity Community.  The Convocation, receipt of the First Year Medal (The Trinity Medal), and signing of the Honor Book provides an occasion for first year students to reflect on the meaning of the Honor System.  The Trinity Medal bonds the new first year students to the many generations who have worn this medal since Trinity’s earliest days.

Christmas and Holiday Celebrations

Just before final examination period, students decorate the Marble Corridor and Social Hall with greens and trees, and they enjoy the Winter Ball (aka the “Holly Hop”).  Around the same time, seniors lead other students in a Well Sing with holiday carols.


For more information, please contact Dr. Karen Gerlach at 202-884-9203 or via e-mail at gerlachk@trinitydc.edu.

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