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Penn History

Penn Student Traditions

Penn students and alumni are bound together by the continuous observance of a number of student customs and traditions. Today the most notable is the annual Hey Day event which incorporates elements of many other traditions past and present. Hey Day, however, is just one of many student traditions which have evolved, merged, and sometimes disappeared from the Penn campus. The histories and images of some of these traditions are presented here.

Class Day, 1902
Class Day, begun 1865
Bowl fight group, 1905

Bowl Fight, begun 1865
Cremation, burning of professors and books, 1911

Sophomore Cremation, begun 1877
Push Ball Fight, Photo 2, 1908
Push Ball Fight, Photo 2, 1908

Push Ball Fight, begun 1908
Rowbottom, 1930

Rowbottom, begun 1910

Hey Day, begun 1916
Skimmer, Hat, 1955

Skimmer, begun 1949