Adelphi’s long history reaches back to 1863, and our traditions live on from generation to generation, defining our time here.
Through the years, we have worn these colors, shared these experiences, walked these paths. Here are a few of our favorites—from Late-Night Breakfast to Midnight Madness, and everything in between. (Of course, you can always start your own tradition. That’s a custom at Adelphi, too.)
Rolling Out the Brown-and-Gold Carpet for Our First-Year Students
Incoming first-year students get a taste of Adelphi traditions at Orientation, where they spend time on campus learning about Adelphi, finding out about leadership and involvement opportunities, making new friends, attending performances and competing in the Brown and Gold Games. On Move-In Day, faculty, staff, current students and even our president assist resident students and families transition—physically and mentally—to residential life. During Welcome Weekend, we have our Pantherpalooza fest, excursions to New York City and other activities.
Words to Live By
Adelphi University's roots go back to when we were Adelphi Academy in Brooklyn. Our original motto, "Look to the end," was changed to "A life without letters is death" in 1869. When we were established as Adelphi College in 1896, our motto changed one more time to our current “The truth shall make us free."
What other school can say a student chose its mascot? In 1946, freshman Jim Young proposed that Adelphi’s mascot and emblem be a panther, and the Adelphi Panther made his first appearance at a men’s basketball game in 1947. The Panther didn’t have a name until 2017, when we held our #DubThatCat contest and the campus voted for “Paws.” Today you’ll see Paws strutting his stuff at campus sporting events.
Paws the Panther may be our official mascot, but we’re also known for our bunnies. These brown eastern cottontails roam freely around the grounds, unfazed for the most part by campus activity and students angling to get great shots for their Instagram feeds. You can even follow Benny, our fictional Every bunny, on his own account, @AdelphiBunnies. Best times to spot them: dawn and dusk.
Our alma mater true, we sing in loyalty;
The glory of thy name shall e'er resound
With honor, love and hope that we have found
"The truth shall make us free."
As we go on our way
Adelphi live forever!
The Brown and Gold for aye!
What’s college life without the ringing of the bells? Our chimes have changed with the times. Originally, a brass bell announced the hour from a bell tower. Today, the bell sits outside the Adele and Herbert J. Klapper Center for Fine Arts, and music rings out from the fourth floor of the Science Building, courtesy of a digital carillon system. Every hour, the campus community is entertained by anything from “Sunrise, Sunset” to the Adelphi alma mater.
The Meaning of Brown and Gold
Our school colors are brown and gold—brown representing the arts, and gold representing the sciences. Appropriately, our school flower is the brown-eyed Susan. If you look, you’ll see them among the many flora and fauna on our campus, which happens to be an arboretum and was voted Best Public Garden on Long Island by the readers of the Long Island Press.
Your College Career Starts Here
The welcome-to-Adelphi experience culminates with Matriculation, a time-honored academic tradition in which first-year students become members of the Adelphi University community of scholars. At the Matriculation ceremony, the new class members are joined by our faculty members, who parade into the event clad in full academic regalia. The day continues with an afternoon of Pantherpalooza events and into the evening’s spirit, fun and food activities. Held virtually in 2020 and 2021.
Commencement is a time to celebrate our graduates. At Adelphi, Commencement is more than a one-day affair. The graduating class starts celebrating at the Senior Formal, then with family members at the Senior Family Dinner. Later, they exchange formal wear for caps and gowns. We encourage our grads to decorate their caps to express their unique personalities and post the photos to our social media feeds so everyone can applaud their creativity—and their academic accomplishments.
Spirit Weekend— All Together Now
In the fall, the Adelphi community comes together for Spirit Weekend, three days in which students, faculty, staff, alumni, families and friends of Adelphi run a 5K, get on carnival rides, crown our Spirit Court, compete in sporting events and attend performances. A highlight of the weekend is our Legends Dinner, where we honor Adelphi Legends and guests like Alice Hoffman ’73, ’02 (Hon.), actress Laura Linney and Olympic gold medalist Mel Pender ’76, ’97 (Hon.).
Big Fans of Our Student-Athletes
Throughout the year, we root for our Panthers on the field, the court and the track, and in the pool.
Our school year traditionally starts with a gathering of students and athletes to cap Welcome Weekend, accompanied by food, games and entertainment.
We kick off the winter season with our annual Midnight Madness event, a night when we come together to drum up excitement for our basketball programs and enjoy giveaways and performances from a variety of Adelphi University spirit groups.
At the close of the spring semester we hold our Student-Athlete Banquet, where we honor the successes of the individuals and teams that represent the University throughout the year in competition, in the classroom and in the community.
Going Green With Ladybugs
No pesticides here! Instead, we use organic fertilizer and natural pest control. One of our weapons: an army of ladybugs. Every spring, we release a total of 76,000 of them, who then feast on aphids and other greenery destroying pests, keeping our grounds beautiful and safe for people and the environment.
Celebrating the Works of African American Writers
During Black History Month in February, members of the Center for African, Black and Caribbean Studies gather to read aloud the works of great African American writers. Bring your favorite work by someone like Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Alice Walke or Ta-Nehisi Coates to read aloud, or read from one of the selections provided by our faculty.
See You on Seventh Street
Calzones? Try Grimaldi’s. Sauerbraten? Ja, at Prost Grill & Garten. Bison burger? Believe it or not, you can get one at The Burger Spot. Or go for tofu lasagna or a shot of wheatgrass juice at Food for Thought. No wonder one of our favorite campus traditions is dining off campus. With Garden City’s Seventh Street and neighboring Franklin Avenue within walking distance, we love the tradition of grabbing a bite with friends.
Willing to venture a little farther? Head to Franklin Square for authentic New York bagels at A&S Bagels, open 24/7. Or channel your inner Harry Potter and head to The Witches Brew in West Hempstead for lunch, fabulous desserts and a huge selection of teas. The ambience is truly magical!
Think Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness
Did you know that, since 1980, Adelphi has hosted the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program, the oldest such program in the nation? In October, we show our support by wearing pink, helping the hotline raise awareness and funds, and hosting the annual Celebration of Survivorship that honors hotline volunteers and those who have won the fight against breast cancer.
A Twist on A Christmas Carol
Every holiday season, Adelphi University’s Department of Theatre brings the Victorian classic about Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future to the stage as it would have been performed in a radio studio in the 1930s: as a dramatic reading. The production is directed by Professor Brian Rose, and roles are performed by faculty and student actors.
Serving Our Students… Late-Night Breakfast
Pulling an all-nighter during finals week? Don’t be surprised when you see our provost, faculty and staff members—and maybe even our president—serving up waffles, hash browns and scrambled eggs. They’re here to provide stressed students with some much-needed sustenance in the form of Late-Night Breakfast.
Celebrating the Transition From Student to Nurse
We have a long and proud tradition of training nurses. In 1944, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt spoke at the dedication of our new nursing building. During the Pinning Ceremony, our nursing students are pinned with emblems of the nursing profession and begin their new careers helping and healing others. After the reading of the International Council of Nurses Pledge, there isn’t a dry eye in the house!
10 Under 10
Who says that it takes years to live your passion, establish your own business, make a difference in your community or rise through the corporate ranks? Not our annual selection of 10 Under 10—young alumni who have achieved exceptional career and personal accomplishments before even celebrating their 10-year Adelphi reunions. Adelphi proudly honors these young alumni, who are already shaping the future.