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.

To see more photos of our Pass Through the Pillars events, please visit our photos page.