Students attending the Kohoutek Festical in 1974

Tradition at Pitzer College

Although we are a relatively young college, we have our fair share of traditions! Check out some of my favorite PZ traditions throughout the school year.

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August: New Student Orientation Week

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Dinner for Catalina Kayaking and Backpacking Orientation Adventure. Courtesy of Natalie Honan.
Fierce competition at PZ Olympics. Courtesy of Ben Cowan.









The first week back at Pitzer is full of traditions! As the the Pitzer community gets ready to welcome incoming first year, transfer, and new resources students, traditions such as Orientation Adventure, the Pitzer Olympics, and the Move-In Day dance party in front of the Gold Student Center take place. Coming home never looked so good!


September: Alley Cat, Bike Raffle, and Baldy Bombs, oh my!

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Alley Cat Winners and Runner Ups 2016. Courtesy of Natalie Honan


In September, the weather in Claremont is perfect for biking! While the Green Bike Program is known for their biannual bike raffle for students in need of wheels, general bicycle maintenance and repair services, and workshops, they also host a myriad of other events including Alley Cat, a 5C wide bike scavenger hunt, and Baldy Bombs, a sunrise bike ride down Mount Baldy back to Pitzer (helmets and functional brakes required!).




October: Halloween in Claremont and Haunted Grove House

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PZ Seniors as the Sandlot. Courtesy of Natalie Honan.

Halloween in Claremont is no joke and costumes are NOT optional. From Harwood Halloween to Jumpstart Trick or Treat in PAS, the spookiest place come October is the Haunted Grove House. Planned entirely by the Grove House Committee, our beloved Grove House becomes a Haunted House for Halloween, complete with costumed students and ghoulish special effects– I hear people are dying to get in…

November: Thanksgiving at McConnell

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A very special time of the year, and a tradition which makes both my heart and stomach uncomfortably full (with friendship and food, respectively): the wonderful staff at McConnell Dining Hall prepare a full Thanksgiving feast for hungry students!

December: Late Night Snack

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The holidays hark in a very special season in which we eat our feelings, especially the feelings of overwhelming stress that come with finals. In a very special tradition that occurs the week before final exams, our professors and the administration serve a “Late Night Snack” to students, complete with mozzarella sticks, smoothies, nutella sandwiches, and more!

January: Hens vs Stags Basketball Game “6th Street Rivalry”

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The fabled tales of the epic face off that is the 6th Street Rivalry are far reaching. This Pomona-Pitzer tradition requires all of us to put on their best orange and blue to cheer on the Hens as they face the CMS Stag-thenas. Chirp chirp, baby!  

February: Valentine’s Dinner at Grove House

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Some lovely ladies at the G-house Valentine’s Dinner. Courtesy of Natalie Honan.

In February, Pitzer students bring their gals, pals, or vals to the most romantic candlelit dinner in all of the Inland Empire– the Grove House Valentine’s Day Dinner! Tables are reserved via lottery system, and if you are one of the many lucky students, you are treated to a free, gourmet, three-course dinner with live music and romantic ambiance to spare – fall in love all over again!

March: Kohoutek Music and Arts Festival

Courtesy of Pitzer College.

In 1974, the Kohoutek Comet was meant to collide into Earth and destroy our home planet. To celebrate their last days on Earth, Pitzer students organized an epic end of the world party–  with music, food, and dancing galore! However, the world didn’t end that fateful night in 1974 and the Kohoutek Music and Arts Festival lives on, thanks to student organizers. Recent artists have included Princess Nokia, Phony Ppl, and The California Honeydrops, alongside student bands! Check out more photos from the Kohoutek archives.

April: Rockabilly Festival

Rockabilly Festival at Pitzer. Courtesy of FlickRiver.

Each spring, Pitzer’s Latinx Student Union plans the Rockabilly Festival to bring together students, faculty, and community members to celebrate Latinx culture with a car show, food, local vendors, and live music! The students’ hard work and enthusiasm is clearly reflected in this Pitzer tradition.

May: Senior Theses

Senior Theses Projects! Courtesy of Natalie Honan, Art by Sachi Watase.

Last but not least, academic traditions hold a special place in the hearts of Pitzer students as well. I’ll be finishing up my thesis, titled “An Analysis of Health Outcomes and Neuroscientific Efficacy of State Mandated Sex Education in American Public Schools”, this spring. It has been a rewarding project and it is so great to see the product of all the seniors’ hard work in their spring theses presentations!

The Pitzer community is incomparable– this is exemplified when it comes time to senior theses presentations, whether they be science theses posters at Keck, the art theses in the galleries around campus, or other theses presentations. Friends, faculty, and community members show up to support the culmination of students’ academic careers at Pitzer. With the promise of free food and seeing your friends in business casual, senior theses are one of the many community centered traditions at Pitzer.

PZ Olympic Opening Ceremony (a new tradition). Courtesy of Natalie Honan.

Finally, the most special part of Pitzer is the opportunity to create your own traditions with the wonderful people you meet here! As a senior, of course I’ll miss taking part in the traditions I’ve mentioned above, but it will also be hard to say goodbye to greasy watermelon tournaments, Friday night Potlucks at Cucamonga, team dinners, Donut Man runs, and going out to dinner with the Diversity Interns in the Admission office.


Whether campus wide or within a smaller group of friends, unique traditions make Pitzer an even more special place to spend your college years.


Which traditions will you celebrate?

Posted by Natalie Honan ’17