Douglass Traditions


Through traditions, we create new memories, make new friends, and remind ourselves of our larger stories. We keep three major traditions at Douglass Residential College: Yule Log, Sacred Path, and Convocation. 

These traditions spring from our earliest days, a century ago. These form some of our most cherished memories because we, the women of Douglass, create, adapt and shape each year’s events. We bring our traditions from home and we share in the traditions handed down from the classes before us.

Yule Log

Yule Log began in 1918 when the students, approaching their first winter holiday season, asked to illuminate a tree and burn a yule log in College Hall's foyer fireplace. The students stood with candles on the beautiful curved staircase nearby and sang Christmas carols. Today, Yule Log, held in Voorhees Chapel, embraces a diversity of seasonal celebrations and many cultures, religions, and traditions. Just as the Douglass women did 90 years ago, our students will hold candles, sing songs, and read passages that highlight the Douglass community and the advent of the winter season.


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Sacred Path

Since the spring of 1919, Douglass students, staff, and faculty have gathered at the end of the academic year to celebrate the “moving up” of the classes, when first-year students officially become sophomores, sophomores become juniors, and juniors become seniors. In the early days, first-year students were not allowed to walk along the path between College Hall and George Street—the Sacred Path—until the night of the ceremony, when they were escorted by upper-class women. Today, our ceremony includes student awards, the distribution of class charms, the ceremonial walking of Sacred Path by torchlight, and participation in the Old Pinecone Tradition. Join your class—wearing your respective class color—and receive the charm that symbolizes your class during this cherished Douglass event.




Douglass Convocation on Antilles Field celebrates the achievements of Douglass’ graduating students.  Share in the excitement as graduates join loved ones and friends, Rutgers and Douglass leaders, and student speakers to celebrate their accomplishments.