"Hello!" The Hood hello"—the custom of greeting people you pass on campus—is one of the many Hood traditions that make this place feel like home from the start. Hood's values and traditions pay homage to the College's past, welcome new students into the community and foster the kind of character that remains a hallmark of Hood's long and storied history. These values and traditions, practiced by students, faculty and staff on a daily basis, create a respectful and vibrant community and enduring memories.

The Spirit of Hood

A place of honor and respect
All members of the College assume the obligation to maintain the principles of honesty, responsibility and intellectual integrity in all activities relating to their Hood College experience. It is the responsibility of each student to support these values through maturity of thought, expression and action.

Academic honor code and pledge
Academic life at Hood is guided by an honor system, shared between faculty, administration and students. The basic aims of the honor system are to encourage and promote a trustful relationship among all members of the College community, to offer students the opportunity to exercise responsibilities and democratic rule on campus, and to make students more aware of their personal principles of honor. Students submit all academic work with the following statement: “I pledge that I have neither given nor received any unauthorized aid on this assignment.”

Four columns
Immortalized in the alma mater as “columns so fair,” the four Ionic white columns that support Hood’s historic Alumnae Hall are named Hope, Opportunity, Obligation and Democracy—the first letters spelling HOOD—and they were dedicated by the Classes of 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918. For many, they define the spirit and principles of a Hood education.

The Hood "Hello"
Hood's reputation for being a friendly place is well founded. Each community member has their own way of practicing the "hello," whether through a smile, wave, nod or "s'up," that adds to the warmth of Hood.

When students walk through the Pergola—the open, wisteria-covered wooden structure in the very center of the residential quadrangle—they walk side-by-side and do not “split the poles,” ensuring their friendships will continue after graduation. It’s the spot on campus where all paths converge, representing unity and peace, and students are careful not to utter unkind words when they pass beneath its shady beams.

Hood's motto, Corde et Mente et Manu,means "Heart and Mind and Hand."

Alma Mater
Written by Gertrude B. Hoy, Class of 1912, the alma mater highlights the treasured aspects of Hood and the campus that students and alumni hold dear. It is sung on special occasions, including Convocation, Baccalaureate, Commencement and Reunion Weekend.

Class traditions

First-year students are presented with beanies—known as dinks—in their class color. Dinks symbolize class unity, so Hood students sport them to foster community and to make a statement. More information is available on the dinks page.

Sophomore dinner
Sophomores celebrate the completion of their second year with a dinner, where they reflect on their first two years and contemplate the legacy they will leave at Hood.

The Hood ring dinner and dance
The Hood ring, which students begin wearing as juniors, symbolizes a bond between Hood alumni and students who will graduate in years to come. They're great conversation starters when students spot folks wearing Hood rings out in the world—which they often do, miles from campus. Juniors first don their Hood rings at a formal dinner in the spring, and they celebrate the ring tradition at a dance held in their honor. 

Class banners 
As freshmen, each class decorates a banner and displays it in the Coblentz Dining Room. Each year, they add a symbol or design that commemorates the year.

Traditional events

Fall frenzy
Students celebrate the return to Hood each fall with three weeks of fun-filled activities—foam bash, an outdoor festival, outdoor movies, trips to Baltimore and D.C. and more, bringing together the whole student body.

The official start of the academic year, this ceremony recognizes students who earned Convocation Honors (3.6 GPA or higher for the preceding year).

Margaret S. Hood Ball
Alumni and alumnae join current students and faculty to dance the night away.

Fall Family Weekend
Parents and family members come to campus for a weekend of special events, including faculty lectures; athletic events; theatrical, musical and dance performances; and other social activities for Hood families to meet and mingle.

Handel’s “Messiah”
Each winter for more than half a century, the Hood choir has been performing Handel’s Messiah for the College and the greater community.

Candlelight Vespers
Students, faculty and staff watch or participate in special readings, musical performances and holiday carol singing at this annual ecumenical service in Coffman Chapel.

Holiday dinner
The Student Government Association (SGA) hosts this festive event featuring tasty seasonal dishes, music and awards.

Late-night breakfast
The night before fall and spring final exams, faculty and staff serve up a sumptuous late-night breakfast to students in need of a study break.

Give your heart to Hood day
During Give Your Heart to Hood Day, the campus community comes together and volunteers time and energy to projects that benefit the College.

Liberation weekend
Sponsored by the Black Student Union, this weekend of educational, cultural and social events attracts students and community members from the local and regional area. Highlights of the weekend include a guest speaker and panelists of national recognition.

All-College colloquium
Each year, the campus community gathers for discussions and to hear noted authorities speak on a theme, which has varied from “Justice” to “Tocqueville.”

International show
Sponsored by the International Club, this annual event showcases the ethnic and cultural traditions of Hood's diverse student body. Educational presentations in different languages, geographic displays and international music, dances and fashion are among the show's highlights.

May madness 
Hood’s annual May Madness celebration crams a month’s worth of fun—with senior send-off events, a crab feast and dinners, music and dance performances, a Frederick Keys baseball game, parties, a hypnotist, Airband, the Late-night Strawberry Breakfast and an outdoor festival complete with slip-and-slide and jousting—into one dizzying week.

Graduating seniors are honored each year on the eve of Commencement at this event that includes a featured speaker, readings by students, music, class reflections and a traditional light ceremony in which a circle of seniors share candle flames with their classmates. They then pass the light to a member of the rising senior class.

Strawberry breakfast
The morning of Commencement, graduating seniors and their families prepare for the big event by chowing down on strawberries and ice cream.


Dinks, or beanies presented to freshmen in their class color, are a long-standing tradition at Hood College and college campuses across the United States. Like Hood, most colleges used to require freshmen to wear dinks for a certain period of their first year, many times until a significant day for the college. The popularity of freshman dinks can be traced as far back as the 1910s, but their popularity seemed to have waned by the mid-1960s.

Before dinks were used at Hood, a tradition of freshmen wearing armbands with their names embroidered in their class color began around 1918. Freshmen were allowed to stop wearing the armbands after the Campus Day winning class was announced.

It is believed that dinks replaced the armbands as a way of identifying freshmen easily on Hood’s campus and as part of their initiation into campus life in the early 1950s. Dinks may have had a presence on campus prior to 1951, but the first official mention of them is found in the Sept. 28, 1951 Blue and Grey student newspaper. The Blue and Grey newspaper and Touchstone yearbooks mention dinks sporadically from that period onward.

After Campus Day, the freshmen could cease wearing their dinks as the students were considered full-fledged members of the Hood Community.

Here are the dink colors for the respective classes:
Green: Classes of 2015, 2019, 2023, 2027, 2031 and 2035
Blue: Classes of 2016, 2020, 2024, 2028, 2032 and 2036
Red: Classes of 2017, 2021, 2025, 2029, 2033 and 2037
Yellow: Classes of 2018, 2022, 2026, 2030, 2034 and 2038