The Homecoming celebration at UMSL is a tradition that began alongside the founding of the university. On February 1, 1963, UMSL’s first Homecoming Queen was crowned at the campus’ first Homecoming Dance. What began as two events – a basketball game and a dance – has grown and changed with the university. In 1974 Homecoming moved from February to October for the first time, and the tradition of the soccer season Homecoming at UMSL was born which held constant until 2014 when it moved back to February. 2014 marked the first time Homecoming was held in February since 1974. From alumni reunions to 5K races and community service projects, the face of UMSL Homecoming is a reflection of the strong and vibrant campus life that exists within our Triton community.
The University Program Board’s most famous tradition, Mirth Week occurs during the spring semester and is designed to promote campus cheer as well as reward UMSL’s students for their hard work all year long. Several events take place during the week such as The Last Lecture, the Student Leadership Awards, Mirth Week Carnival, and the Mirth Week Headliner where a special guest (musician, artist, comedian, and more) perform for the campus community.
A national initiative, the MLK Day of Service at UMSL recognizes Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a “day on, not a day off.” Volunteers lead service projects throughout the campus and St. Louis community including painting, landscaping, remodeling houses, tutoring at local schools, upgrading school classrooms, and much more.
Triton Take-Off Weekend includes a series of events designed to act as an extension of the new student orientation process, and to welcome all new students to campus in the days leading up to their first week of classes. A relatively new tradition (2014), Serendipity Sendoff has taken hold as the official student welcome tradition at UMSL. The Serendipity Sendoff includes a ceremonial passing of the torch to the incoming class. Serendipity which means “good fortune” is to represent this new journey. Current students, faculty, staff, and alumni line the pathway leading from the Millennium Student Center to the Alumni Circle just south of the Thomas Jefferson Library as new student process down the hill to the Wayne Goode Statue where they sign the wooden Trident and rub the statue for good luck on this UMSL journey.
Trunk or Treat is a service event geared toward UMSL families and the surrounding community. Taking place on the Saturday before (or of) Halloween, the young and young-at-heart enjoy spooky games while they go “trunk-or-treating” – going from trunk to trunk getting treats. Started in 2010, the program has grown from 75 children to more than 300. Prizes for the best trunk and costume (student, staff, or faculty member) are on the line.
Next to the Tritons, our hometown favorite team is the St. Louis Cardinals. UMSL Night at the Ballpark welcomes more than 700 students, alumni, faculty and staff to Busch Stadium to cheer on the Cardinals. A pre-game reception gives attendees plenty of time to catch up with friends and family.
Keep an eye on the Wayne Goode statue located on the south lawn of the Millennium Student Center. Wayne – UMSL’s founder and former Missouri state senator – can often be seen sporting an ever-changing t-shirt. The tradition of putting a t-shirt on the statue was started by the campus radio station, TheU, and has been carried forward by the Student Government Association as a way to visually promote campus spirit, events, and activities.