One night each fall, the Chapel is packed for the Homecoming tradition that tops even the football game in importance. Songfest, a Georgetown original, is an evening of skits written by, starring, and produced by Greek and independent groups on campus. These skits, centered on the Homecoming theme, incorporate singing, dancing, and acting, and range from elaborate and expertly-executed to off-the-wall. Groups engage in fierce competition to win awards, including Participantâ€™s Choice, and the coveted Overall Winner.
Each January, sororities and fraternities anxiously await the arrival of their new members in two separate events, Chapel Day and Menâ€™s Bid Day. Chapel Day is a sorority event; pledges dress in their new sororityâ€™s colors and run through the doors of the Chapel into the waiting arms of their sisters. Active members of the sororities are unaware of which girls accepted their bids until they emerge on the Chapel steps. The fraternitiesâ€™ version of Chapel Day occurs the next week. Referred to as Menâ€™s Bid Day, it operates in a similar fashion and is held at Cooke Memorial. Even independent students, faculty, staff, family, and sometimes pets brave the cold to enjoy the excitement of this special campus tradition.
This annual tradition, highlighted by Songfest and a football game, draws alumni from far and wide back to Georgetownâ€™s campus. On Saturday morning, alums flock to the quad for brunch, live music and fellowship with fellow alumni, professors and current students. A Homecoming Queen and King, elected by the student body, are crowned during special football halftime festivities.
Georgetownâ€™s small-scale version of Miss America, Belle of the Blue is an annual scholarship pageant, open to freshmen, sophomore, and junior women. Each residence hall, including the male dormitories, nominates a woman to compete as their representative in the February event. On pageant night, the women are judged based on scholarship, interview, talent, poise and appearance. While only one special lady can claim the coveted title of â€śBelle of the Blue,â€ť the title of â€śMiss Congeniality,â€ť as well as the equally coveted overall scholarship to Georgetown College, is also up for grabs.
Each semester, the Caf selects one night during finals week to open at midnight. While music blares and games are played, professors serve students platefuls of comfort food to help fuel their late-night study sessions. The food is excellent and the atmosphere zany, but Georgetown students love the Midnight Brunch tradition simply because it provides an opportunity to dine, socialize, and take a break from the stress of studying for finals in the comfort of their campus community.
Undoubtedly Georgetownâ€™s dirtiest tradition, Grubfest goes against all of your motherâ€™s admonitions to stop playing with your food. Every September, students join in the Quad for the annual battle to see which team can complete the most challenges and, of course, get the filthiest! In a matter of hours, the Quad is transformed from a lush, green open area for socializing and studying into a slimy, muddy arena covered with food products. At the end of Grubfest, the two dirtiest and most creative participants are crowned king and queen of the yearâ€™s festivities. A lesser known aspect of Grubfest is the annual â€śRace for the Showersâ€ť that follows this Georgetown tradition.
Held in the Chapel in early fall, Opening Convocation is a campus-wide assembly intended to create a sense of academic community and common purpose as the academic year begins. According to tradition, students stand as all members of the faculty and administration parade in and out of the Chapel wearing their full academic regalia, and the entire assembly sings the Alma Mater together.
Each December, students, faculty, and staff gather together in the Chapel on the first Monday night of the month for a worship service including an advent wreath lit by faculty and staff, an upperclassman offering the serviceâ€™s message, and a Christmas tree trimmed on-stage with ornaments representing various organizations on campus. The service concludes on Giddings Circle, where attendees sing â€śSilent Nightâ€ť as the hundreds of white lights that decorate the center of our campus shine brightly into the night at the beginning of the season.
One of Georgetownâ€™s most bittersweet traditions, the Name Exchange Ceremony takes place on the day before graduation, following the senior banquet and preceding the Baccalaureate service. The soon-to-be grads file out of the Caf and shake hands with the President and faculty members who have guided them over the past four years, but this time, the professors introduce themselves by their first names as a symbolic gesture to remind seniors that the student-professor relationship has now come to an end. While the official tradition is to exchange a handshake, hugs abound and it is not uncommon for seniors (and their professors) to reach the end of the line teary-eyed.
Itâ€™s the reward for four years of hard work. GCâ€™s commencement ceremony takes place every May on lush Giddings Lawn during fair weather or is relocated to Alumni Gymnasium in the event of inclement weather. Seniors troop through the doors of Giddings Hall and fan out onto the front lawn, where commencement proceeds. There is nothing quite like an outdoor commencement and the mood is often festive, rather than somber. Graduation, while the last tradition you will enjoy as a Georgetown student, officially paves the way to alumni status, at which point you will discover a whole new array of traditions as a Georgetown alum!