With a rich history and passionate W family, traditions have developed since the inception of Mississippi University for Women. While many traditions can be experienced by individual students at any time, some traditions are organized at specific times each year.
New Student Serenade
Historically, this event has taken place the night before classes start in the fall semester. The incoming class of freshmen and transfers march down Serenade Drive to the President’s home singing The W’s traditional class songs and serenade the President on his/her lawn. Afterwards, students enjoy cookies and punch in the President’s home.
This event merges the campus and community as student organizations provide carnival games, food, and entertainment to participants on Shattuck Lawn. Costume contests, live performers, and novelties are also available, and SGA’s Bachelor Bid finishes off the night.
Singing in the Caf
From the days when McDevitt Hall was the junior/senior dining hall, this tradition has evolved into a tradition primarily carried on through social organizations. In the fall, students can be found singing freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior class songs in Hogarth Cafeteria.
Song Fest is an opportunity for MUW's four-year social clubs to compete in a song and dance competition. All dances are choreographed by members of their respective organizations. This is a must see event.
The tradition of the 100th Night was introduced in 1992 and has since become one of the most cherished traditions of MUW. This ceremony, which occurs 100 nights before spring graduation is a wonderful way to honor members of the senior class in the last few months of their college careers.
The Magnolia Chain Ceremony
The Mag Chain Ceremony is one of the most treasured traditions at MUW. Although its exact origin is unclear, some form of the Magnolia Chain Ceremony has been a part of commencement at MUW since 1890. The chain was made of daisies in 1894 and was fashioned from other flowers in subsequent years. In 1905, it was decided that the state flower was the most appropriate choice for the chain. The white magnolia blossoms symbolize the purity of achievement, and the green leaves represent the growing experiences of the graduates over the past four years. Tradition holds that graduates who are able to walk away with a magnolia blossom or bud after the ceremony will good fortune and romance.
The different classes at the university compete in a number of fun and energetic activities as part of Sophomore/Junior and Junior/Senior Rivalry. These rivalries were part of the new member recruitment process for women interested in the 2-Year Social Clubs, but in more recent years, the tradition has opened up to men as well.