Did you know that freshmen used to have to yield the right of way to upperclassmen at all times, or that all first year Hoyas had to wear a “G” cap the entire year unless they could defeat the sophomores in football?

Did you know that our first-year residence halls once housed a former president of the United States, a Supreme Court justice, the author of The Exorcist and the heads of NATO, Levi Strauss and the CIA? Maybe you did not know that after the School of Nursing and Health Studies, the School of Foreign Service was the next undergraduate school to accept women?

Did you know that University President John J. DeGioia played football for Georgetown?

On Tuesday, Nov. 19, these and other Hilltop highlights will be brought to light on the first ever Georgetown Traditions Day.

Traditions Day will take place in conjunction with the release of the Traditions calendar, a 2003 12-month 15″ by 15″ full-color wall calendar packed with just some of the photos, faces and stories that have shaped the Hilltop’s 213-year history.

This Georgetown Traditions calendar will be distributed for free to all first-year and transfer students on Monday, Nov. 18th. All other students will be able to purchase a calendar for $12 beginning on Traditions Day, Nov. 19, and continuing throughout the rest of the semester.

This calendar was created as a project of the FRIENDS Initiative as part of our effort to foster a more vibrant and inclusive campus community and to reduce alcohol abuse. Though a calendar and high-risk alcohol use are seemingly unrelated, we feel that Georgetown can use its rich history and unique traditions to create a visual artifact that can develop the student body’s interest in Georgetown’s traditions into deep-rooted respect.

We hope that this calendar’s chronology of just some of Georgetown’s great people and moments will spark a deep pride of place that is paralleled by a desire to conduct ourselves responsibly.

To harness this excitement, we created Georgetown Traditions Day, a campus-wide celebration of the Hilltop history. We reached out to a number of campus groups, departments and schools and asked them to celebrate their own particular traditions. While the Traditions calendar accumulates the history of the entire university, Traditions Day invites individual groups to showcase their respective traditions.

A few groups in particular rose to the challenge. For example, the Corp, in addition to sponsoring Traditions Day, looked into its past and found that when the organization began in 1972, it sold only Coke and yogurt. To commemorate the history of the Corp and the founding of our university, Vital Vittles will be offering Coke for 17 cents and yogurt for 89 cents on Traditions Day.

There is a lot more going on next Tuesday. The Jesuit Community is hosting an open house, English Professor John Glavin is conducting two campus tours explaining fascinating stories of Georgetown landmarks, displays will be posted around campus and at 8:30 p.m., we are hosting the inaugural President’s Cup competition in the Leavey Center. This will be a jeopardy style contest in which student teams from the four schools will compete for the President’s Cup trophy, lunch with President DeGioia and the dean of their school and bragging rights for an entire year!

To find out everything going on, we encourage all students, faculty, staff and alumni to visit http://traditions.georgetown.edu. Admittedly, the task of chronicling and celebrating the traditions of a university such as Georgetown is a daunting one. With the help of many interested groups on campus, however, we hope that that the first Traditions Day has laid a foundation upon which more comprehensive celebrations of our campus heritage can be built.

On Traditions Day, grab some blue and gray M & M’s in Red Square and take some time to learn more about our alma mater on your way to class. Take part in the longtime Georgetown tradition of free food. See examples of how a one’s choice of hairstyle at Georgetown in the 1970s or ’80s has not been a hindrance to eventual career success, as Coach Craig Esherick and Dr. Anthony Arend can attest to!

Most important, remember as you hang your new Traditions calendar on the wall in your dorm that you’re using the same wall space that numerous Georgetown professors, CEOs, NBA stars and heads of state have used. For the next 12 months you’ll learn about the your university’s traditions and have a tangible reminder of your shared bond with all of these individuals.

You’re all a part of the community, the culture and the tradition that is Georgetown.

Scott Minto is a 2002 graduate of the School of Foreign Service.

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