Traditions are an important part of life at Miami, and learning what makes Miami unique helps new students gain a sense of belonging in the campus community. Be it turtles, ghostly legends, a romantic arch, or a seal that you most definitely should NOT step upon, there's a tradition for everyone at Miami to celebrate.
For Good Luck
Just behind Warfield and MacMillan Halls in Quad Central, you'll find the Tri-Delt Sundial, a gift from Delta Delta Delta sorority. It is said that rubbing one of the heads of the copper turtles is good luck, and if done so before an exam, legend says you will receive an "A."
Avoid the Seal
The University Seal is embedded in the center of campus, also known as "The Hub." It is Miami's tradition to avoid stepping on the seal out of respect for the university's history and values. If you do step on the seal, it is commonly believed that you will be punished by failing your next exam.
Peabody's Ghostly Legend
In the nineteenth century, Helen Peabody, who was always protective of her students and suspicious of men who wandered onto the Western campus. She took her conviction to her grave, and according to some witnesses, her spirit even watches over the women of the Hall that bears her name.
Under the Arch
The Upham Arch is arguably the most famous legend alongside the Miami Merger tradition. “If you kiss your true love under the Upham Hall Arch, you will marry and the bond will never be broken.” On June 20, 2009, Miami broke the Guinness World Record for the most people renewing their wedding vows at once under the Upham Arch.
At Miami, there are over 100 broomball teams registered over the three sessions offered. Broomball allows students to take part in different levels of competition depending on personal skill, from first-year players to experienced veterans. It’s easy to learn, cheap to play, and a great way to make friends. Plus, all students get to play in the Goggin Ice Center, which has a history of success with Miami’s nationally ranked hockey team.
Walk Around the Trees
Miami University is known for having a beautiful campus with many different kinds of trees spread throughout. If you’re walking with a group of friends on campus and the group passes a tree, everyone must pass on the same side. If the group splits to pass on different sides of the tree, tradition is that their friendship will falter.
Tuffy's Toasted Roll
In 1929, Myrion Timothy “Tuffy” Potter” opened his own business, Tuffy’s Place, which was a popular campus gathering spot for generations of Miami students until it closed in 1973. The standard fare included Coke, coffee, hamburgers, ice cream, and Tuffy’s specialty: Toasted Rolls. A combination of sugared rolls flavored with a special spread and warmed on a unique grill, these rolls are still sold at Pulley Diner in the Armstrong Student Center.
Charter Day Ball
A formal affair, the Charter Day Ball takes place once every three years to celebrate the chartering of Miami on February 17, 1809. This event has been a tradition at the university for the past 60 years and brings together students, faculty, alumni, and the entire Oxford community. The event is filled with live music, entertainment, food, and, of course, dancing.
Cradle of Coaches
Throughout the sports world, Miami has the unique reputation as the “Cradle of Coaches.” The university has launched the careers of numerous famous professional and college football coaches, including Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, and Paul Brown. At last count, more than 100 Miami graduates were active in coaching or administrative work in the professional and collegiate levels.
Battle of the Bricks
The Battle of the Bricks is an annual all-sports series between the Ohio University Bobcats and the Miami University RedHawks. Founded in 1804 and 1809, both Ohio and Miami are well known for their beautiful red-brick campuses as well as their competition in both the classroom and on the athletic field.
Perhaps the university’s most well-known tradition, Miami Mergers is a term for Miami students who marry other Miami students. Approximately 14% of all Miami alumni are married to another alum, and each year Miami mails a Valentine to merger couples and highlights the matches in university publications. There is even merchandise available for mergers, and wedding locations on campus give booking privileges to the couples.
For 175 years, fraternities and sororities at Miami University have contributed to campus tradition, success, and pride. In 1833, Alpha Delta Phi established the first fraternity at Miami, and since then five social Greek-letter organizations were founded at the university earning Miami the nickname “Mother of Fraternities.” Today, Miami University hosts over 50 fraternity and sorority chapters, and approximately one-third of the undergraduate student population are members of the Greek community.