Zany Pomp & Circumstance

This is the time of year when millions of students will receive their diplomas and graduate college. Most schools have traditional send-offs, but others have their own way of doing things.

Here is a sampling of unorthodox college graduation traditions in no particular order.

Wellesley women
1986 Hoop Rollers

Wellesley women might get thrown in a lake. For eons, the school has been holding a hoop rolling race while wearing their caps and gowns. Whoever is first to cross the line with her big wooden hoop gets thrown into Lake Waban and is said to have good success in life.

Shoes on a wire!University of Michigan students jubilantly throw their shoes into the air and hope they get caught on the power lines. As an aside, drug dealers in Michigan also throw shoes over power lines to indicate where you can by crack.

Speaking of crack, put this in your pip and smoke it. At Yale, the university gives every graduating senior a clay pipe and a packet of tobacco.

At the end of Class Day ceremonies at Williams College, the class president and vice president drop a watch 80 feet from the top of the school’s chapel spire. If it breaks, time symbolically stops for a moment, and the class will have good luck. Hey Timex, get on this.

Will Ferrell
Will Ferrell's Class Day Speech at Harvard

Harvard students get to see that tuition money used for some kickass celebrity commencement speeches. John Stewart, Conan, and Will Ferrell are among some of the funniest to address classes.

Grab your snorkel. In long standing tradition, tons of NYU students jump into the Washington Square Park fountain as their degrees are conferred.

NYU Grads

Smith College graduation festivities could take awhile. Tradition holds that each Smith woman receives a diploma — but it might not be hers. After a ceremony, hundreds of seniors form a huge circle and begin passing the diplomas around the circle to each other. As each student finds her diploma, the circle shrinks, until finally everyone is dispersed.

Amherst College seniors are given diplomas that are actually still made of sheepskin. If sheepskin gives you the meat sweats, you can request a “vegetarian option” (paper) for your diploma.

Are we missing any fun graduation traditions? Be sure to comment.

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About Jason Bakker

Jason Bakker is a native Minnesotan and has been working in the area of youth marketing for nearly a decade. He currently works with Minneapolis based Campus Media Group as the Director of Marketing and is responsible for following trends in the ever-changing landscape of youth culture and media usage, and for consulting advertising agency and national brand professionals on how to develop integrated marketing programs that reach college youth.