WC’s best traditions have emerged from our strong sense of community. People come together to celebrate our history, our setting, and the importance we place on friendships.
Visiting Mount Vernon
During Orientation, all incoming students make the pilgrimage to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens to reaffirm their commitment to the Honor Code—their promise to conduct themselves with honesty and integrity in pursuit of the highest academic and social standards.
Four years later, graduating seniors return to Mount Vernon to mark the successful completion of their degrees and celebrate with a river cruise on the Potomac, tours of the estate, and a champagne toast.
“George Washington’s character is very much in evidence at Mount Vernon,” notes former President Mitchell Reiss. “By forging a stronger connection between our students and our founding patron, we reinforce the enduring values that we all strive to emulate.”
The All-Campus Picnic
On the Sunday before the first day of classes in late August, everyone gathers for food, music and conviviality. It’s a good place to meet some of your professors and to make some new friends—including the College’s mascot, Gus the Goose. Be sure to stick around for the fireworks.
Ringing the Bell
Sports teams celebrate every home victory by ringing the McLain Victory Bell erected outside Cain Gym. The bell is named for the late Joseph H. McLain ’37, the only College alumnus to serve his alma mater as president—and one of the College’s most fervent sports fans.
Washington College’s May Day, historically a clothing-optional celebration of spring first introduced in the 1960s, has evolved into a “May Day Revolution,” featuring live music, poetry readings and games.
George Washington’s Birthday Ball
Think big. Awesome music and a professionally executed theme help us celebrate the birthday of our founding patron. Some people go all out for this huge formal affair that brings together students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. We’ve had some spectacular themes over the years, including most recently Harry Potter and Mardi Gras.
War on the Shore
Washington College is serious about lacrosse, and is usually a serious contender for the national title. Still, no game draws more fans than this one, pitting the Shoremen against their Eastern Shore rival and nemesis, Salisbury University.