Schreyer Honors College (SHC)at Penn State

Our Traditions

If you know anything about Penn State, you know that it is a place built upon and burnished with tradition. Blue and white. "For the glory." "We Are…"

So, too, has the Schreyer Honors College embraced traditions, some of which stretch back to the days of the University Scholars Program, which preceded the College's founding.

Our traditions include:

Scholars Medal

The Scholars Medal

Presented to graduating Scholars prior to commencement exercises during the Schreyer Honors College's Medals Ceremony.

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Scholars celebrating hitting the thesis gong

The Gong

In 1990, a tradition began in the Schreyer Honors College when the ringing of a small brass bell signified the accomplishment of a Scholar completing their thesis.

Over the years, the ringing of a bell on thesis day became an audible symbol of accomplishment that often sparked multiple bell ringing from adjoining offices. This was, and is still, followed by applause and congratulatory words from the Schreyer Honors College staff and other Scholars.

The gong replaced the bell in 2000 and tradition dictates that only Scholars who have completed their thesis have the right to hit the gong.

Used to call the medals ceremony to order for the class of 2003, the gong has continued to be in a place of prominence at every ceremony.



The name coined for Schreyer Honors Orientation, a three-day introduction each fall for the SHC's incoming freshman class.

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Founders Day

SHC Founders Day

An annual celebration and commemoration of the rich heritage and history of honors at Penn State.

Scholar Involvement Award

Scholar Involvement Award

An award funded by the Schreyer Honors College staff presented annually to a Schreyer Scholar in recognition of their support of the college's initiatives.

Penn State Traditions

Want to learn more about Penn State and its history? You can read about the University's founding and development, discover the truth about campus legends, and count 50 ways Penn State has shaped the world.

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