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OBU Traditions

With a rich history dating back more than 100 years, it should be no surprise that OBU has many traditions to enjoy.

When you think of traditions, you may get those warm, fuzzy feelings or a sense of nostalgia. What traditions do you have that you look forward to every year? Traditions are an integral part of the OBU community and help students make memories to last a lifetime.

OBU Traditions to Remember and Celebrate

Welcome Week

Welcome Week, the first week of every fall semester, includes many OBU traditions. Tri-W’s (Welcome Week Workers), upperclassmen, faculty and staff welcome each incoming freshman’s car with cheers and celebration, giving everyone a warm welcome. Tri-W’s and upperclassmen shake incoming students’ cars and help carry every last item to the students’ dorm rooms so that the new freshmen and transfer students can move in quickly and prepare for life at OBU.  Throughout the week, current and returning students mix and mingle with special activities, like Ka-Rip Wars and The Walk.

“Every new year when incoming students arrive on campus, I remember when I was a Tri-W,” says Kimberly Coe, transfer admissions counselor. “Being one of the workers was an honor and something I love to look back on.”

The Walk

The Walk takes place on Tuesday night during Welcome Week and features all new students walking silently from the Oval to the steps of Raley Chapel. It symbolizes the walk that will be taken in four short years on graduation day. Upperclassmen, Tri-W’s, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community greet the new students outside the chapel.

OBU Mascot

Spirit Chant

Ka-Rip is a tradition that has been booming since its creation in 1918. A fun spirit chant, Ka-Rip is often heard at sporting events and other large gatherings, where the students recite the chant in unity, with great enthusiasm and intensity.

OBU alumna Andrea May told OBU student newspaper “The Bison” that hearing Ka-Rip makes her smile every time because it brings back so many good memories.

OBU Beanie

The Beanie

The Beanie is worn to distinguish new students from returning students during Welcome Week. This green and gold beanie has been worn for a century by incoming students. It serves as an announcement to returning students to help new students when they seem uncertain about directions, the chapel schedule, or other important questions that upperclassmen can help answer.

The Weekend 

The Weekend is OBU’s annual Homecoming celebration combined with Family Weekend and Bison Day! There's truly something for everyone: alumni, students, prospective students, families and friends.

Everyone is invited home to gather, to connect and to celebrate. All members of the OBU family and community can enjoy The Weekend. It's an annual event you don't want to miss.  

Learn more about The Weekend!

The People

While it may or may not classify as a tradition, it’s important to mention nonetheless. What makes our campus and college so special is the people and the community they create. It’s a tradition for this university to cultivate joyful people that attend and graduate from OBU.

“One of the things I love about OBU is the community, and how that special sense of community never goes away,” says Coe. “I made lifelong friends at OBU who are now miles and miles away, but every time we come back together, it really feels like just a short time ago when we were talking about boys in our dorms, or out on the fields playing flag football, or worshipping together.”

Are you ready to become a Bison and experience these traditions first-hand? Apply to OBU today. We can’t wait to meet you.