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EWU Traditions

After 132 years of history, we can't describe every EWU tradition on a single webpage (you'd have to scroll down for ages), but we can describe students' favorites.

Pass through the Pillars

In the days before most students had cars, trains would unload EWU students in downtown Cheney every fall, and students would haul their suitcases and bags up College Avenue to campus.

Today's new students honor this tradition with a ceremonial stroll through the Herculean Pillars. With luggage safely stowed in their residence hall, new students exchange high-fives and cheers with professors, staff and current students who line the path.

Historical note: the pillars are built from the stones used to construct the first campus building. When fire destroyed the building in 1912, the stones were repurposed to create the pillars. The alumni newsletter is named "Pillars," and for those in the know, the pillars are actually called the Pillars of Hercules.

Sledding on Dining Service Trays

This is officially frowned upon. That said, we have heard that the hill behind JFK Library is particularly great for tray sledding. Not that we're making a recommendation. Just, you know, that we've heard such things.

The Kissing Rock

When students lived exclusively in male-only and female-only housing, a single rock in the middle of campus was designated the meeting place. It quickly became known as The Kissing Rock.

Still on campus, the rock has been moved and is now hidden by shrubs. We suspect the hidden nature of the rock is intentional.

The Firing of the Cannon

After the Eagles score at each football game, the EWU ROTC program fires a 75mm Pack Howitzer M1 they've set up on a hill beside Roos Field. The area immediately surrounding the Howitzer is called Fort Savage Eagle.

The firing of the cannon is accompanied by the singing of the school fight song, and since the football team tends to score quite a few points, it's common to lose both your hearing and your voice at a single game.

The Egg Drop Contest

When EWU built its new, $26 million Computer and Engineering Building (CEB), the engineers came together and decided the best way to make it feel like home was to drop raw eggs all over it.

The engineers are also known to hold trebuchet building and bridge bashing contests in or around CEB.

The Ringing of the Schoolhouse Bell

EWU started as a training school for future teachers, and in honor of that tradition, EWU is home to a historic one-room schoolhouse built in 1905.

Early in the morning on the first day of class, EWU's president rings the bell as a ceremonial start to the new academic year. It is rumored that no student has ever woken early enough to hear the bell ringing.

The building is often open for tours during admission events.

The Orland Killin Dinner

Each year alumni flock to campus for the annual Killin Dinner, which is usually sold out. Killin was an EWU student and professor dedicated to the university's academic life, and he started the event to support the school he loved.

The fundraising event and auction include live music, all-you-can eat seafood and a man dressed in a lobster costume. Everyone agrees that the lobster costume is a pretty good costume.

© 2014 Eastern Washington University