I love William & Mary because of the brilliant and wonderful people and the beautiful campus, but also because of the traditions! There’s the little things like getting free pancakes from InterVarsity on the last day of classes or getting a costumed team together to play Campus Golf on the Sunken Garden. And then there are the traditions like Convocation, Yule Log, the Raft Debate and Charter Day.
At Convocation, everyone gathers in the Wren Courtyard to welcome the freshmen, transfer students, and new grad students to the William & Mary family. New students walk through the Wren Building (the oldest academic building in the country still in use, if you haven’t heard!) and are greeted by hundreds of high fives and countless cheers. Afterwards, the entire school has a picnic on the Sunken Garden! Even though I transferred to W&M in the spring, I was able to participate in Convocation the following fall and receive my official welcome to W&M! It was an awesome experience and I love now creating that experience for new students.
Every fall, four faculty members from different academic disciplines gather for the Raft Debate. The situation: those four people are stranded on an island with only one raft. Each faculty member tries their best to convince the audience why they are the worthiest of receiving the raft to return to civilization. It’s one of those events that never gets old!
Yule Log happens every December – get ready for hot cider, cookies, and throwing sprigs of holly into the Yule log fire! My favorite part is when President Reveley dresses as Santa Claus and reads a rendition of a Christmas story to the student body. Yule Log is always the perfect study break during finals!
Lastly, Charter Day celebrates the granting of William & Mary’s Royal Charter from King William III and Queen Mary II back in 1693. It’s essentially W&M’s birthday party complete with speakers, awards, and a special rendition of “Happy Birthday.” There’s also usually a Charter Day show – in recent years we’ve had Wiz Khalifa and Ludacris come to campus!
There are still plenty more traditions that I wish I had the space to tell you about. W&M has a lot of history to celebrate – 323 years of it to be exact – and there are countless events and opportunities at W&M. I am so grateful for all of the amazing memories I have created because of the traditions and events at this wonderful school.
-Sarah Boegner ’17