Campus Traditions

Welcome Candlelighting Ceremony:

Whereas Torch Night marks the end of a journey, the Welcoming Candlelighting Ceremony marks the beginning. This annual ceremony symbolizes the beginning of the collegiate career for incoming students and the official welcome by the University community. The program will include the ceremonial lighting of the University flame of knowledge. A fabulous fireworks display will follow!

Clash of the Quads:

The tradition began around 1913 and actually lasted into the 1960’s. It was a rivalry between the freshman and sophomore classes that eventually included upperclassmen, designated by different colors and mascots. The classes would also have their own class song, fight song, and a large banner that featured their class year and mascot. Rivalry started on Campus Day, an event held in late October and lasted throughout the year until Moving-Up-Day just before Commencement. The rivalry was revitalized in 2003 by UAlbany's Spirit Committee, a group which consists of students, athletes, faculty, and staff. Each of the five quads and University Apartments compete in a series of events, enjoying the challenge and relishing in the competition that will lead their team to victory. Among the list of events are kickball, egg-on-spoon relays, musical chairs, 3-legged races, volleyball, and a tug of war.

Homecoming/Family Weekend:

The University’s first Homecoming Weekend was held October 31, 1953 and featured a soccer game, punch party, and a dance. Every fall since then, the UAlbany campus becomes a hub of activity during Homecoming/Family Weekend each October. Recent activities include exhibits, walking and bus tours, athletic events, class reunions, and much, much more. Be sure to bring your grill, cooler, and chairs and join the rest of the UAlbany community before the Saturday football game at the Homecoming Touchdown Tailgate.

Relay for Life:

The American Cancer Society’s trademark event, Students of Albany Against Cancer hosts this overnight fundraising walk-a-thon which includes ceremonies to honor loved ones lost to and survivors of cancer. In its sixth year, attendance at the Relay for Life has grown exponentially from year to year, as has its fundraising bottom line, having raised over $100,000 recently.

Torch Night:

This dramatic candle-lit ceremony is a time for graduates to reflect upon their experience at the University as they are welcomed into the alumni community. The program includes remarks from graduating seniors and a screening of the popular Senior Video, and culminates with a spectacular fireworks display. Graduating seniors are encouraged to invite family, friends, and professors to join them at this celebration. Academic regalia is not required.