UofL Traditions

We all have traditions that made our time at UofL truly special. This week we are thrilled to celebrate the UofL traditions that you helped create. Throughout the week we will present our top traditions through student artwork on this webpage and our social media accounts, revealing our top UofL Traditions this Friday. View a teaser video and the first few items from our list below, and use #UofLtraditions to share your traditions with us. 


You know you went to UofL if:


You never stepped on the Cardinal Bird, ever!

It's bad luck, no matter who you are. Many a rival have attempted to dishonor our esteemed icon, only to be handed a loss. 

You have had your picture taken with the Thinker.

The Thinker statue that sits in front of Grawemeyer Hall is the first large-scale bronze cast of The Thinker. French sculptor Auguste Rodin personally supervised the casting in Paris. It came out of the mold Dec. 25, 1903, and was completed in early 1904.

You didn't have to go the zoo to see albino squirrels.

Spot one of these fury friends and you may just be in for a bit of good luck. Some say free tuition. Others claim you will ace an exam. Either way, something good is coming your way.

You felt the nerves from your white coat ceremony.

It's a rite of passage. Getting in to the school of medicine or dentistry was one thing. This made it all the more real.

You have craved a run to Dairy Kastle.

Within walking distance of campus, this small restaurant draws large crowds from opening day in the spring through closing day in the fall. Some fan favorites include the Orange Cow, Fat Elvis, and Taco-in-a-Bag. Don’t forget: cash only!

You have kicked off UofL Football season at the Spring Game.

Our football season starts in April… just a few months before the real games! That doesn’t stop alumni, students, and fans from tailgating and cheering at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium as the Cards inevitably get the "W" in this one.

A slow clap always leads to C-A-R-D-S!

In 1913 the Louisville Cardinal Bird was chosen to be the school mascot, and sometime after that the CARDS cheer was created. Now it’s one of the first things new students and their families learn when they come on campus.

You danced the night away to support pediatric cancer research.

raiseRED is the only student run organization to support the clinical and medical research efforts at UofL. The year of fundraising ends in an 18-hour Dance Marathon celebration, attended by hundreds of students.

You know to ONLY throw your “L” up using your right hand.

The combination of "U" and "L"  in American Sign Language, this sign is the symbol of pride for Cardinals everywhere. 

You don't laugh when someone says the word SAC.

The Student Activity Center opened its doors in 1990 and has been central to student life and campus involvement. Due for a major face-lift soon, it will continue to serve as a hub for student activity for decades to come. 

Semis getting stuck under a bridge was an almost weekly occurrence on Belknap Campus.

Nicknamed The Can Opener, this bridge claims numerous unsuspecting and absent-minded victims each semester. 

Getting stopped by a train was a legit excuse for being late to class.

We're a campus of planes, trains, and automobiles. Even though freshman can bring their car on campus, that doesn't mean they won't encounter an untimely locomotive obstacle.  

We would like you to add another to your list: giving back. Making a contribution is more important than the amount. Giving even a small contribution will raise the value of your degree and the degrees of every student who graduates in the future. We need alumni like you to ensure these traditions and others continue for future generations.

Let us know what traditions are on your list! We will add entries to this webpage throughout the week to foster Cardinal Spirit and don't forget to come back and view the full traditions video on Friday, April 29. 

Student Designer Bio

Jenna White, an intern in the Alumni Relations & Annual Giving Office, created all of the original art for our UofL Traditions piece and work with the Communications staff to bring it to life in the amazing time-lapse video. Learn more about Jenna below.

Hometown: Born in Madison, WI, raised in Louisville, KY
Major: BFA Communication Art & Design
Graduation: May 2017
Ideal job: Packaging design or advertising
Fun fact: She has a twin sister
From the source: "From an early age I have always love to express myself creatively. Both the CA&D program as well as the internship with Alumni Relations have allowed me to bring my fine arts background to life through print and digital projects."


Update Your Information


Traditions Submitted by Alumni:

  • Your wardrobe is Cardinal red, and black - Charles
  • You have watched movies at the Red Barn - Susan
  • You have placed coins, stones, and an occasional box of Animal Crackers on the grave of Justice Brandeis at the Law School - Alicia
  • You were once part of the student section in Freedom Hall - Kim, Susan, and James
  • Whether you built a float, or attended as an alumni, you participated in Homecoming - Michael