Some things never change. Rollins has been around for more than 135 years, but that doesn’t mean our first class of students and our most recent don’t have anything in common. And hey, that’s pretty cool, considering we count athletes, world leaders, and everyone’s favorite neighbor among our alumni. At Rollins, we’re always keeping an eye on the future, but our traditions help anchor us to the past. That’s what it means to be part of the Rollins legacy. Here are a few of our favorite Rollins traditions.
One of the first traditions Rollins students partake in is Candlewish. At the start of each fall semester, first-years gather to set their intentions for the next four years. Each student is given a candle, which is raised to symbolize the power of community, the pursuit of knowledge, and the Rollins motto “Fiat Lux,” meaning “Let there be light.”
Started in 1956 by Rollins’ 10th president, Hugh McKean, Fox Day is our most popular and beloved tradition. Each spring, the Rollins fox statue is placed on Mills Lawn, signaling the cancellation of classes. The day of fun kicks off with a pancake breakfast and culminates with a family-style picnic on the green. No one knows exactly what day the fox will appear, and guessing is half the fun.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s ... a pancake! Armed with only plates and sheer determination, first-years are challenged to put their hand-eye coordination to the test as pancakes rain down upon them (with a little help from upperclassmen) during one of our most anticipated orientation traditions.
What began as a fun way for Student Government Association (SGA) candidates to connect with the student body has turned into one of the College’s most highly anticipated (and competitive) social events. Representatives from dozens of student groups participate in the lip-sync and dance challenge, and the production value is out of this world. The sing-alongs are the stuff of legends, and the dance battles can earn you some serious cred.
Festival of Light
Another tradition started by Hugh McKean, the Festival of Light lives up to its name. Each Alumni Weekend, students, faculty, staff, and alumni are invited to Mills Lawn to dance under the stars. Refreshments abound, and the entire campus is lit up in a dazzling display symbolizing Rollins’ rededication.
Get an inside look at some of our students’ favorite Rollins traditions on Instagram.