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Traditions & History

Yale has grown and evolved for 300-plus years, passing many milestones and forging traditions along the way. 

The university traces its roots to the 1640s, when colonial clergymen led an effort to establish a local college in the tradition of European liberal education. In 1701 the Connecticut legislature adopted a charter “to erect a Collegiate School.” The school officially became Yale College in 1718, when it was renamed in honor of Welsh merchant Elihu Yale, who had donated the proceeds from the sale of nine bales of goods together with 417 books and a portrait of King George I.

国产偷拍视频Take a stroll through Yale’s three centuries of history, and learn about the traditions that have become part of the fabric of our university.

国产偷拍视频The Commencement ceremony on Old Campus is our most joyous tradition, during which all university degrees are formally conferred.

国产偷拍视频Handsome Dan became the Yale mascot in 1889 when student Andrew B. Graves saw the dog sitting in front of a shop and purchased him from a New Haven blacksmith for $5.

Class Day takes place on Old Campus on the Sunday before Commencement and includes the awarding of academic, artistic, and athletic prizes; the celebration of undergraduates; and an address by a notable speaker. Also, hats.

国产偷拍视频Yale began a new tradition in 2014 of a “Founders Day” event for students, faculty, and staff, to be held annually on a day close to the anniversary of the 1701 founding.

国产偷拍视频Yale’s residential college system allows students to experience the cohesiveness and intimacy of a small school while still enjoying the cultural and scholarly resources of a large university.

国产偷拍视频Each year, new students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences sign the register to celebrate the start of their graduate studies at Yale.

The Yale School of Medicine welcomes first-year students to a life in medicine during the annual White Coat Ceremony.

Yale football games have been a tradition for Yalies since the mid-1800s; we celebrated 150 years of baseball in 2015; and Yale athletes have excelled around the world in the Olympics and other international competitions.

Yale’s connections to the military have been long-standing, beginning in 1779 when past-president Naphtali Daggett led more than half of the student body to take on British troops when they attacked New Haven.