Rochester Traditions

Student Programs

Become part of the tradition! Celebrating the shared experiences of Yellowjackets across generations, Rochester Traditions encompasses the University events, memorabilia, and programs that embody what makes Rochester ever better. 

Organized by the Office of Alumni Relations, Wilson Commons Student Activities, Class Councils, the Student Programming Board and others, select Rochester Traditions include:

Candlelight Ceremony

This first-night tradition marks the beginning of a lifelong relationship with the University and has become a cherished memory for all who participate. During this ceremony, the incoming student class surrounds the Eastman Quad to learn about the institution's history and traditions by candlelight.

Meliora Weekend

Meliora Weekend is a comprehensive University-wide event held every October that encompasses family weekend, reunion, and homecoming. During this 4-day celebration (Thursday through Sunday morning), you can meet and interact with  alumni, as well as faculty members and current students and enjoy many opportunities to learn and have fun. Event volunteers are more than welcome!

Meliora Weekend is also the only place you can pick up your limited edition Rochester Traditions memorabilia! These timeless pieces are only available to the first 500 students from each class. 

  • First-Year Students: Heritage Banner
  • Sophomores: Baseball Hat
  • Juniors: Knit Soccer Scarf
  • Seniors: Vintage Sweatshirt

I Heart Rochester Day

Held during Spirit Week, this is the day to let the world know why you love Rochester. Throughout the entire University community recognizes and celebrates Rochester pride.

Major Declaration Celebration

The Major Declaration Celebration recognizes and celebrates the significant collegiate milestone of declaring a major. Members of the sophomore class are provided the opportunity to meet and chat with other students, faculty, and alumni from their newly declared majors.


TAG Day is an annual University-wide event to engage and educate students about the impact of philanthropic support, as well as encourage them to think about giving. More than 500 yellow tags are hung on buildings, classrooms, benches, trees, etc. across multiple campuses that were made possible by donations of alumni, parents, faculty, staff, friends and students. See photos from past TAG Days here.

Champagne Toast and Alumni Welcome Party

Held immediately following graduation rehearsal, this annual event welcomes the graduating class into the Rochester alumni family and marks their first official event as alumni!