As I tour different college campuses I like to ask, “What sets your school apart from others? And what are some traditions unique to this campus?” In my recent visit to Davidson College in North Carolina, I found some truly unique traditions.
Campus Laundry Service
(Davidson has finally discontinued this service. Now students can gain this valuable life-skill just like their peers at colleges and universities around the world.)
For almost eighty years Davidson has provided free laundry service to students. Students drop off dirty clothes and can return later to find their laundry washed, dried, and ready to put away. Dress shirts are pressed and hung on hangers. All of this for no extra charge! Where was this service at my university where I had to feed quarters into the machines and make sure no one took my clothes out of the dryers before they were completely dry?
Most colleges have some degree of Greek life with sororities and fraternities on campus. Davidson also has Eating Houses, which are social organizations. The Eating Houses offer social, service, and eating opportunities for the ladies who join. For the first part of the year, freshman are not allowed onto Patterson Court, the home of the eating houses, so they day they are allowed to enter is celebrated with a run down the hill leading to the courtyard area.
Freshman Cake Race
It began as a recruiting attempt by the track coach who got all freshmen to run a 1.7 mile race in the hopes of winning prizes. Now participation in the race is voluntary and the only prizes are cakes donated by professors and members of the Davidson community. The competition to produce the best cake is almost as fierce as the competition to win the race.
Meals Just Like Mom Would Make
The cafeteria has been known to take recipes submitted by parents and cook student’s favorite meals during final exam time. Apparently there is come competition among parents to submit recipes; bragging rights go to those whose recipes are chosen.
What are some of the unique features you’ve seen on college campuses? Traditions?