Traditions

SUNY Oneonta has many traditional events which  showcase our pride in the college, and forge connections between students, alumni, and friends as we come together to celebrate what we all have in common - SUNY Oneonta!

Red Day

Each year we commemorate the founding of the college by celebrating Red Day. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are all invited to celebrate by wearing red and white and showing their SUNY Oneonta pride either by uploading photos to social media or by coming out to campus and celebrating with us during an annual birthday celebration on the quad complete with games, prizes, entertainment and birthday cake!

Battle of the Red Dragons 

Honoring a decades old rivalry, the Battle of the Red Dragons pits the SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons against the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams go head-to-head in a series played on both the SUNY Cortland and SUNY Oneonta campuses during this annual event. Promoting Oneonta school spirit, many student groups create and present large banners of Oneonta pride.

OH Fest 

OH Fest is an annual celebration in April co-funded by SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College. The event attracts thousands of people to Oneonta including hundreds of alumni. Community vendor stands set up throughout the day and several major concerts play during the night.

Oneonta vs. Hartwick Game

Facing off against our local rival, the SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons go head-to-head against the Hartwick Hawks!  Both the Men’s and Women’s teams square off in this annual inter-conference match. To boost school spirit and sportsmanship, a pep rally with many giveaways is hosted by SUNY Oneonta students.

Pass Through the Pillars 

Pass through the Pillars is a SUNY Oneonta tradition where new students cross through the two remaining pillars of Old Main, Oneonta’s original building. Students literally follow in the footsteps of their predecessors as they walk between the pillars that welcomed students for almost 90 years. The day before commencement, seniors will walk the opposite way through the pillars signifying their leaving the college community and entering the next phase of their lives. Freshmen and new transfer students are welcomed with an ice cream social after the event while seniors participate in a champagne toast.

The Pillars are the only remaining pieces of Old Main, which was the first major building on the SUNY Oneonta campus. After significant deterioration, Old Main was razed in 1977.  The Class of 2008 raised funds to restore the Pillars of Old Main, which were erected on the new campus in 1980 and are proudly displayed on the Upper Quad. This event has been celebrated since 2004.

Philanthropy Day 

The goal of Philanthropy Day is to help educate the student body on the importance of philanthropic giving.  On this day, students will write hundreds of letters in thanks to our many campus donors from all over the country.  Students also learn about all of the improvements that have been made to campus life and community as a result of our contributing alumni and philanthropic giving.