While there are many new and old, official and unofficial traditions carried on by students, faculty, and staff every year, some of the most long-standing college-sponsored traditions include:
A student team is responsible for ringing the bells in Main Building’s tower to announce dinner every night, on the arrival of the first snowflakes, and for other special events. Former students can also request them rung in honor of a wedding, birth of a child, or other momentous life occasion. The Bell Ringer songbook is passed on between generations.
The first Odd/Even basketball game was played in 1898, and the friendly rivalry between classes continues today. The Evenline, whose colors are blue and green, includes students who graduate in even-numbered years, and the Oddline, whose colors are purple and yellow, students in odd-numbered years. In the fall, the women’s team holds basketball tryouts and chooses song leaders, who prepare for a sing-off the day before the game as well as creating posters and banners. For generations, the tradition has brought campus together for an exciting weekend focused on building bonds of friendship and sisterhood.
The Men’s Even/Odd weekend was introduced in 2008. Held in the spring semester, the events begin with a dance-off in the Dining Hall. The following night, members of the first year and sophomore class hold a dodgeball game, coached by junior and senior participants.
Each semester, members of the upper classes may order the traditional onyx and gold Wells College ring. The ring symbolizes the memories that Wells provides. Modeled after Henry Wells’ own signet ring, it was originally gold with black onyx. However, students have the option of having their ring made in silver.
The College held its first official May Day celebration in 1923. Held on or around May 1st, the event includes crowning the Senior Royalties and Junior Queen. During the celebration, poetry is read, songs are sung, and the First-Year student dancers, dressed in white, perform a dance while wrapping the May pole. Students who dance their first year are then eligible to be crowned May Queen their junior year or be on the court their senior year.
Tea and coffee are served every Wednesday afternoon. Though the long dresses and china cups of early tea time celebrations have disappeared, this break from afternoon seminars is still a great time to get together with friends and professors and enjoy treats and hot beverages. The event is usually held in the student-run café The Grind.
To celebrate the holiday spirit each winter, the Traditions Committee organizes a community holiday show. Village residents and their children, students, faculty and staff are all welcome. The main attractions of the night are holiday skits put on by students, resident advisors and administrators. Seniors try to remember and re-create their First-Year skit, and the new students work the crowd by performing theirs.
When a Wells student deserves special recognition for an award, birthday, or other accomplishment, friends (and often anyone nearby!) sing the “Wells Congratulation Song” which goes as follows:
Oh (name of student) we sing to you
You are so good and true
We’ll all be loyal to you
We’ll raise your name
And praise you, too
And so we sing to dear old Wells and you