Here you'll find a number of UMass Amherst traditions -- We hope that they will become a part of your life as a UMass Amherst student!
Fall NSO is a new tradition that started with the Class of 2015. The program is designed to pick up where Summer NSO leaves off in getting freshmen ready for the fall semester. You'll participate in Convocation and the Class of 2017 picture among many other exciting and informative activities.
First Week is UMass Amherst’s incredible introduction to campus life. It takes place the first week of the fall semester and offers a dizzying array of events. Some are social (with excellent food), some are cultural, some intellectual, and others will help you get acclimated to college life and ready for classes. By the time it’s over you’ll know the UMass Amherst campus inside and out and you will feel at home.
UMass Amherst hosts families of current students each year during the fall semester. It’s a great time to visit the Pioneer Valley and see the beautiful foliage that the area has to offer. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to see UMass Amherst at it's best, spend some time relaxing around campus, and find out about some of the extra curricular opportunities that UMass Amherst has to offer.
The Minuteman Statue
Looking for a little extra luck around finals?
A lot of UMass Amherst students put their faith in the Minuteman Statue near the Old Chapel. Created by retired UMass Amherst art professor John Townsend, the statue was commissioned by the Class of 1950 in honor of the veterans of World War II. Students in the know like to stop by and give his foot a rub before sharpening up their No. 2 pencils and diving into exams.
Organized each year by students, over the decades, the UMass Amherst Spring Concert has brought some of the biggest names in music history to campus. Past performers include Girl Talk, LMFAO, Ludacris, Lupee Fiasco, New Found Glory and All Time Low.
The Class Tree Planting
The planting of the class tree is a time-honored tradition that dates back to 1867. Each year, the graduating class plants a tree. When walking across campus, look carefully at the base of trees for the year that each one was planted.
As part of the graduation festivities, seniors attend the formal Commencement Ball to celebrate their final days at the University. The night is full of glitter, glamour and rides around campus in a horse-drawn carriage.