Student Traditions

There’s so much to experience at NC State, but its Student Government makes it easy for you to sample it all. Every year, it produces a passport to NC State adventure called The Brick, where you can learn about State’s heritage, find fun things to do on campus, and earn the coveted Traditions Keeper medal to wear at your graduation.

55 Official NC State Traditions

Of course, college is your own to experience. But these are the designated student traditions in The Brick that most State students experience at least once during their career at the university.

1. Make memories where State first started — at Holladay Hall. The first main building to grace State’s campus, Holladay Hall was built in 1889 and named in honor of the school’s first president in 1915. It held everything, from classrooms to administrative offices.

2. Discover the past, whether it exists physically or merely in memory. Read the plaque at SAS Hall commemorating the old Riddick Stadium (now a large parking lot), trek by Kamphoefner Hall where a YMCA building used to be, take a photo of the 1911 Building (named for the Class of 1911, famous for abolishing freshman hazing), or catch a performance in the old Thompson Gymnasium (now Thompson Theatre).

3. Take a photo of the campus landmark. The Belltower, a monument to fallen NC State alumni during WWI, is the iconic NC State image, where graduating students take their cap-and-gown portraits, where the red glow celebrates NC State’s victories, and where class rings spend the night as per university tradition.

4. Save something from New Student Orientation. New students learn all about State’s academic programs, campus layout, and Wolfpack cheers at the two-day new student orientation program.

5. Keep a memory of Wolfpack Welcome Week. Post a photo of your experiences during the week-long acclimation to campus life, where you can get free stuff, attend a concert, and meet new friends at Campus Crawl, Packapalooza, Silent Disco, and RecFest.

6. Express yourself freely. Grab a can of spray paint and head to the Free Expression Tunnel — it’s perfectly legal!

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7. Get involved on campus. Find a club or student organization of your choice to meet new friends and take part in your own campus memories. NC State offers over 500 clubs that you can join, including acapella groups, religious organizations, Greek life, political groups, and fun clubs like Disney Movie Club and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Club.

8. Vote in Student Government elections. Choose your next student body president, vice president, and other government positions during the year. The Brickyard is usually full of intriguing posters advertising the candidates.

9. Read up on NC State news. Keep up with the latest campus happenings by picking up your free copy of the daily student newspaper, The Technician.

10. Serve your community. Another great way to get involved at NC State is to serve your community, with Service NC State or Service Raleigh.

11. Go Greek. Find new friends and sponsor philanthropy events at a fraternity or sorority at NC State.

12. Build and sleep in a shack at Shack-A-Thon. Every fall, students raise money for Habitat for Humanity and compete with other groups to construct the most creative structure.

13. Shop local at the Brickyard. The farmers’ market comes to NC State every Wednesday, serving everything from fresh produce to delicious cookies.

14. Eat on campus. Stop at any of NC State’s dining options — Port City Java, the Atrium, One Earth, and more — and get a taste of on-campus life.

15. Taste NC State’s own ice cream. Visit Talley Market, The Creamery, campus C-Stores, or even the North Carolina State Fair to savor NC State’s delicious ice creams. Be sure to try the Chancellor’s Choice — Wolf Tracks.

16. See a $2 movie at the campus cinema. Showing Disney classics, recent releases, and free screenings, the Witherspoon Campus Cinema is your cheap choice for entertainment on campus.

17. Make memories at the Court of Carolinas. No matter the season, it’s a popular campus attraction, hosting impromptu frisbee games and group picnics among the College of Humanities & Social Science buildings.

18. Check out Arts NC State. Make memories with your artistic and musical friends by participating in or watching a performance of NC State’s music, art, theater, or dance groups.

19. Take a craft class. Local artists can teach you anything from glassblowing to pottery making at the Craft Center.

20. Head downtown for First Friday. Immerse yourself in Raleigh’s culture by touring its art galleries and restaurants on the first Friday of every month.

21. Attend the NC State Fair. Celebrate North Carolina’s (and NC State University’s) agricultural heritage at the annual NC State Fair, with carnival rides, fried food, and all kinds of exhibits.

22. Sample chocolate for charity. The Chocolate Festival, held every October, lets you experience sweet local treats for the benefit of breast cancer research and awareness.

23. Make memories on Hillsborough Street. Whether you’re grabbing a bite to eat with friends or watching the Homecoming Parade, Hillsborough Street is NC State’s own Main Street.

24. Compete in the Krispy Kreme Challenge. Four miles, a dozen donuts, and a race for a cause. The Krispy Kreme Challenge is a hallmark of NC State life, where participants race from the Belltower to Krispy Kreme in Downtown Raleigh, chow down on 12 donuts, and race back to campus without puking — all to benefit the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.

25. Take the Plunge. Dive into Lake Raleigh’s frigid waters in February’s Polar Plunge to help Campus Police raise money to support the Special Olympics.

26. Make a late-night Cookout run. It’s open until 4 AM, so it’s never too late to grab a tray or a giant milkshake to satisfy your midnight cravings.

27. Support diversity at NC State. Wear your I ♥ Diversity shirt to support the LGBT community on campus.

28. Get a picture by the wolf statues. Whisper into the Wolf Ears by the library, ride the wolves near the Free Expression Tunnel, or snap a picture by the fountain outside of Carter-Finley Stadium to show your Wolfpack pride.

29. Hang out in Talley. See a performance at Stewart Theatre, play video games with your friends, eat lunch, study, or visit the campus bookstore all at the new Talley Student Union.

30. Hit the gym. Ward off the Freshman 15 at Carmichael Complex, where you can use state-of-the-art equipment and take fun fitness classes.

31. Celebrate the Pan-Afrikan Festival. Watch step show competitions, concerts, and modeling showcases with your friends and peers to celebrate African culture at NC State.

32. Show your Wolfpack pride on game day. Learn the school songs — NC State Fight Song, Red & White, and the Alma Mater — and shout along with the crowd at adrenaline-filled games all year long.

33. Join a league of your own. Compete against your friends and peers at one of 52 different club sports on campus on an intramural sports team, from basketball to badminton.

34. Tailgate before a football game. It’s not just a sport, it’s a way of life. Grill out or bring fast food to Carter-Finley Stadium and have fun with your friends before kickoff.

35. Guard the Tunnel from our rivals during the Ram Roast. Don’t let the Tarheels paint our Free Expression Tunnel Carolina blue the night before the big NC State-UNC football and basketball game.

36. Show your love for non-revenue athletes. Go to a free non-revenue sporting event, like volleyball or hockey, and support these Wolfpack athletes.

37. Taste sweet victory on the road. Travel with the Wolfpack to an away game or championship game and experience school pride anywhere you go.

38. Show your school pride during Homecoming Week. Get free food and t-shirts, watch the Homecoming parade, and get hyped for the NC State homecoming football game.

39. Root for your home team. Trek off campus to Carter-Finley Stadium and watch the Pack take on opponents in the ACC during thrilling football games.

40. Celebrate NC State’s basketball heritage at Reynolds Coliseum. Before PNC Arena, it was Reynolds Coliseum that held the highly anticipated Wolfpack basketball games.

41. Campout for loyalty points. Spend the night at PNC Arena to get loyalty points for coveted NC State-UNC basketball tickets.

42. Wear pink at the Hoops for Hope game. Honor the late women’s basketball coach Kay Yow and support breast cancer survivors at the popular Hoops for Hope women’s basketball game.

43. Make the Dean’s List. Full-time students can earn 3.25 or higher to earn a spot among the university’s highest academic achievers.

44. Shop at the bookstore. Wolfpack Outfitters in Talley Student Union is your one-stop shop for new textbooks, electronics, and Wolfpack apparel on campus.

45. Study in the Stacks. Find your perfect study room in DH Hill Library, with over 9 floors of peace and quiet in the Bookstacks or white noise in the Learning Commons.

46. Explore one of the world’s coolest libraries. A true architectural and academic marvel, the Hunt Library on NC State’s Centennial Campus is something you absolutely must see.

47. Rub the Strolling Professor’s head. The night before your first Chemistry test, pay homage to the iconic NC State chemistry professor in the small garden behind Burlington Nuclear Labs and rub his head for good luck.

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48. Visit Centennial Campus. Stop by Lake Raleigh, the Hunt Library, or the Oval when you visit Centennial Campus just down the street from Main Campus.

49. Attend Art2Wear. See which designs made the cut at NC State’s student fashion show, where you can see models wearing dresses made from beer cans and other unusual materials.

50. Celebrate Ag Week. Learn about NC State’s agricultural roots in the Brickyard, where you can see livestock and today’s farming equipment on display.

51. Study abroad. Pack your bags and travel to another country for academic and cultural enrichment, whether it’s just for a month or for a whole year.

52. Wear tradition on your finger. Remember your college experiences for a lifetime with your official class ring, which spends the night in the Belltower and is presented to you during the Ring Ceremony at the alumni center.

53. Turn your tassel. Decorate your cap and take pictures with your friends around campus in your Wolfpack red gowns on graduation.

54. Relive your college experiences. The Agromeck is NC State’s yearbook, recording each academic year in athletics, academics, and local happenings.

55. Give back. Donate to NC State as part of your Senior Class Gift or as a personal gift to support an academic program or scholarship of your choosing.