Student Life

Cornell Traditions

child tries her hand at chimes

Caroline Sofair, daughter of Andre Sofair '82, tries her hand at the chimes with her cousin and chimesmaster Allegra Schafer '99.

Cornell's traditions create lifetime memories for students, no matter whether you are the class of 1916 or the class of 2016.

Chimes Concerts

The Cornell Chimes have been the heartbeat of campus life for more than a century, marking the hours and chiming concerts. The original set of bells first rang out at the university's opening ceremonies October 7, 1868. The chime continues to ring daily concerts, making it one of the largest and most frequently played chimes in the world. The bells are played by "chimesmasters" during three concerts daily during the school year and a reduced schedule during the summer and semester breaks, in addition to a variety of specialty concerts.

Dragon Day

Each year in late March, first-year students from the College of Architecture, Art and Planning create and parade an enormous dragon across campus. Accompanied by AAP students in costume and heckled by rival engineering students, the dragon lumbers to the Arts Quad to be consumed by a huge bonfire. The origins of this tradition go back more than a hundred years, and it is one of Cornell's best-known traditions.

view of students' feet as they carry their dragon through campus

First-year architecture students parade their dragon around campus on Dragon Day.


Meet current students, alumni, faculty and staff as you cheer on Cornell in the traditional homecoming football game.

Cornell Ice Hockey

Big Red ice hockey at Lynah Rink is one of Cornell's treasured spectator sports. Learn cheers for the Cornell hockey team, or cross off an item on the 161 list by joining hundreds of others in camping out for season tickets.

Slope Day

Today, the event affectionately called Slope Day inherits a century-long tradition as a year-end gathering and celebration of the Cornell Community that includes music, entertainment, camaraderie, and lots of fun.


With such a storied history, Cornell has a unique tradition of shared lore, songs, and activities.