Traditions

    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.

    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.

    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  The Great Gatsby, Harry Potter, Venetian Carnivale, Through the Looking Glass, and The City of Oz.

    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.

    Sophie Kerr Prize

    The largest cash award in the nation for literary promise goes to a Washington College senior each spring, thanks to a generous benefactress who shared our community's love of writing and Maryland's Eastern Shore. 

    Celebrating Colonial Heritage (and Magic)

    Chestertown is known for some impressive traditions of its own. Each fall, visitors from around the region flock to experience Harry Potter Festival and Downrigging Weekend, which always have strong participation from the Washington College community. On Memorial Day Weekend, the annual Chestertown Tea Party brings thousands of visitors to experience the town's colonial makeover with historic reenactments. The nearby town of Rock Hall holds its own with a summer shindig popular with students living locally, the Pirates and Wenches Fantasy Weekend.