Traditions & University Events

Founders’ Day

The Tradition of Founders’ Day

Each year, on the second Thursday of October, the establishment of the University is celebrated on campus at Founders’ Day convocation.

Originally founded on Oct. 12, 1896, as the Alabama Girls’ Industrial School, UM has developed over the course of a century into the state’s premier public liberal arts institution.

The annual ceremony begins at 11 a.m. with UM faculty, clad in their processional regalia, leading graduating seniors into Palmer Hall. For seniors, Founders’ Day marks their first opportunity to officially don their black graduation robes with the Investiture of the Senior Class.

Investiture of the Senior Class

An annual tradition, the seniors march across Main Quad into the ceremony in Palmer Auditorium with graduation gowns in hand. Toward the end of the Founders’ Day convocation, the senior students rise as one and slip on their robes while family, friends, alumni, faculty and staff applaud in approval. This symbolizes the achievements each student has made in their academic endeavors to reach the point of graduation.

Founders’ Day 2022 Schedule

We’re celebrating 126 years of acknowledging our past while celebrating our future.

Oct. 13

Convocation
11 a.m.
Palmer Hall

Lunch
Immediately following Convocation
Anna Irvin Hall

Charles Webb Post Office Dedication
2 p.m.
UM Post Office, Farmer Hall

Charles Webb, who retired in 1977, delivered mail to every building on campus for more than 35 years. He was always smiling and always on time. It was said that the president could be gone for a few days and the university could function as usual, but if Charlie was gone for more than two days, everything came to a standstill. “Charlie took care of all of us,” said a longtime staff member. “Not only by picking up and delivering our mail but by mailing extra pieces after work just because he wanted to.” His good humor and dedication to his work and the school endeared him to all who knew him.

UMNAA Awards Reception and Dinner
(by invitation)
5:30 p.m.
Anna Irvin Hall

Oct. 14

Purple & Gold Ice Cream Social
Vintage Purples and Old Golds invite current students to enjoy an ice cream before the College Night Revue
4 p.m.
Farmer Hall

Once Upon a College Night
College Night Revue
7 p.m.
Palmer Hall
Tickets


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