Torchlight Ceremony - Colgate Commencement Skip Navigation

Torchlight Ceremony

The impressive torchlight ceremony is one of Colgate's oldest traditions and is carried out in near darkness except for the torches.
Although the ceremony is very beautiful, it also carries some risk. For that reason, students on crutches, in high heels, or who are unable to walk safely down the hill will be asked to join the class at the field. In addition, do not swing or wave the torches, stay a reasonable distance away from others, and do not rush down the hill.

Seniors are required to wear gowns and should assemble on the Quad promptly at 8:45 p.m.  The area will be marked and volunteers will be present to direct you where to line up. After the president makes his remarks and the bell tolls 13 times, seniors will be directed to start walking and a lit torch will be handed to you as you walk down the hill. Traffic on Alumni Road will be halted until all students have crossed. The class continues down the hill and along College Street to Whitnall Field.

Students will then be directed to throw the torch in the burn pit and walk away from the pit towards the tents, where pizza and water will be available.