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University of Denver

DU Student Traditions

University of Denver

In 1864 the University of Denver was founded as a Colorado Seminary institution, making it the oldest university in the Rocky Mountain region. From our humble origins, our world-class institution has grown. Today, the University of Denver has nearly 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students and is a Carnegie classified Research University. DU embraces and always seeks out new traditions to be a part of the institution's culture and history.

Crimson Classic 5k and 1.5k Mile Walk

Each year the [email protected] program invites the entire DU community to get moving by participating in the Crimson Classic 5K Run or 1.5 Mile Walk on DU's beautiful fall campus. Beat your personal best while enjoying the wonderful weather and beauty of the University of Denver.


Formerly called the Festival of Nations, this 35-year-long tradition highlights and celebrates the cultural diversity here at the University of Denver through cultural performances, international food, interactive booths and more. For more information visit:

First Snow

DU First Snow is an event hosted by Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence that celebrates the start of the winter season at DU. While we no longer rely on Colorado's unpredictable weather patterns to dictate the date of this event, we still celebrate the shift in seasons with activities, giveaways, hot cocoa, snacks, and a chance for students to build connections with the many departments in the Division.

Founders Day

Founders Day is an annual event marking the anniversary of the University of Denver's founding. It's a celebration of our proud heritage and the bright future to which our alumni, faculty, staff and students continually contribute. For more information about this year's Founders Day activities, visit

Global Reveal

Consistently ranked with one of the top study abroad programs in the country, each year the University of Denver celebrates this with our students. Each year we celebrate the students as they find out where they've been nominated to study abroad for the following school year. The students have a chance to hear about the Study Abroad experience and find out as a group where they'll be heading. The celebration continues afterward with food and photos.

Hockey Ticket Campout

One of Denver Athletics’ most popular traditions, each year the beginning of student hockey ticket sales brings students with tents, sleeping bags, and chairs to the green spaces surrounding the Ritchie Center box office in anticipation of getting the chance to purchase one of the limited number of student season hockey tickets.

May Days

One of the oldest traditions at DU, May Days is a celebration of the spring season and an appreciation of DU’s beautiful campus. DU Programming Board, who brought your students Winter Carnival, hosts this event on Week 9 of every spring quarter. This event is a great way to get outside, engage with the DU community, and have fun! Previous events included food trucks, a photo booth, henna tattoos, a foam pit, adventure courses, and live music! This event also marks the end of the academic year and serves as a stress-free event for students to attend before finals.

Winter Carnival

One of DU's longest standing traditions is Winter Carnival and this year marks its 60th anniversary. The carnival's location has changed several times, moving from Steamboat Springs to Crested Butte and then Winter Park. Today, we are excited to call Keystone Resort home to Winter Carnival!

Over the years, Winter Carnival planners have continued to dream up new and varied events. Previous years' festivities included a Rail Jam at nearby Ruby Hill Park, Chili Cook-Off, Medallion Hunt, Instagram Contest, Films, as well as on-mountain activities such as ice skating in the village, snow tubing, skiing or snowboarding, and a concert.

Trust us, your student does not want to miss out on this tradition! There is something for everyone, whether it's on campus during the first few weeks of winter quarter or on-mountain at Keystone Resort.

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