This project explores the rich history of Carleton’s traditions and past community life on campus. We trace back events from as early as the late 1800s to the present day and examine the changes that these traditions have undergone in the past several decades that span their existence. Unfortunately, this year, due to COVID, we were unable to engage in a lot of the practices that we would, had this been a normal school year, but nevertheless, we hold a lot of hope and excitement for what the next academic year will bring. We hope that looking through these traditions will bring up the same nostalgic feelings in you as it did in us. From broomball to the classic frisbee toss, from Sproncert to Midwinter Ball, it’s in our timeline. So sit back and enjoy this ride through Carleton’s traditions and history!


Our main sources for this website were the Carleton College Archives and the Carleton College website, especially previous articles and posts from student organizations and publications like The Carletonian. From these two platforms, we were able to collect pictures, information and dates on each of Carleton’s traditions. We are grateful for the help of digital archivist Nat Wilson. 

Processes / Methods

We began our process by searching through Carleton’s website and Archives for a list of Carleton’s traditions. We formed a Google Sheets document with a list of all the preliminary traditions and any resources/media related to them. As we researched, we narrowed down this list to 26 traditions that we had sufficient information on. 

Our original intent was to use our traditions data to form a timeline and a map using ArcGIS, where people viewing our project would be able to navigate campus and see where the traditions took place. However, as our project progressed, we realized that having two separate media forms could be confusing for viewers and both of our ideas introduced a very linear experience. To avoid this linearity, we decided to change our project to include a timeline and individual pages of each tradition instead, so viewers of this project could learn more about each individual tradition while clicking through the timeline. 

We then used TimelineJS to form a timeline of all of the traditions, while forming individual pages of background on our WordPress site. To help provide a more accurate feel of Carleton’s campus, we also created a model of Sayles Hill Campus Center, our student center on campus which is the hub of Carleton’s social activities, using SketchUp. We embedded both the timeline and the SketchUp model into our WordPress site using html code. 


With our timeline we are able to explore Carleton’s traditions. The project helps us view how the Carleton’s community changed over the past few decades since our understanding of a community and its traditions are highly intertwined. Streaking was a very popular tradition for a while from the 1960s through 1990s and was discontinued in the early 2010s due to changing campus culture. This is also when events like SpeakUp by the GSC, revolving around empowerment of underrepresented voices at Carleton, became important. This shows a change in the beliefs and ideas of the Carleton community and what they consider crucial. Our timeline is able to capture this change in thought process and is able to do so in an interactive and visually appealing way. Feel free to check out our presentation slides about our process. Our project doesn’t come close to encompassing the wealth of student traditions at Carleton, but it’s a start!


We are so grateful for the contributions of Nat Wilson, a member of the Carleton College Archives team, who helped us navigate the Archives and brainstorm for our project. We also could not have completed this project without the help of our Professor, Austin Mason. He inspired this idea and guided our progress along the way. This project was made by Maanya Goenka, Luisa Escosteguy, Kaylin Engerman, William Stepanski, Lewis Ching Zhi Yuan and Sophie Lefebvre.

The images below are navigable. Click on the image to explore various components of our project!

Carleton Traditions List
List of Carleton’s Traditions



Creator Unknown. “Time Management and Procrastination Concept Graphic.” n.d. FreePik. Accessed March 3rd, 2021. 

Carleton College. “Brainstorming Outside.” July 30th, 2014. Accessed March 4th, 2021. 

Creator Unknown. Title Unknown. n.d. International District Energy Association. Accessed March 3rd, 2021. 

Carleton College. “Carleton Our Alma Mater.” October 21st, 2014. Youtube. Accessed March 3rd, 2021. 

Images used in timeline:

Bouncing Day: Haven, Ruth. “Up! Up! Up!” 1899. Carleton College Archives. Accessed March 2nd, 2021. 

Broom Ball: Unknown Creator. “Broomball.” 1957. Carleton College Archives, Class of 1959, “Photos Assembled by Jay Kent,” from “Carol’s Photos of Carleton.” Accessed March 2nd, 2021.

Carleton/St. Olaf Goat: Unknown Creator. “Basketball Rivalry and Goat Trophy.” c. 1950-1970. Carleton College Archives. Accessed March 1st, 2021. 

The Schiller Bust: Unknown Creator. “President Larry Gould with Schiller in the 1950s.” c. 1950. Carleton College Websites. Accessed March 2nd, 2021. 

Rotblatt: Unknown Creator. “Campbellwinningeverything.jpg.” From June 6, 2014 Issue 8 of the Carletonian. Carleton College Archives. Accessed February 26th, 2021. 

Bubble Brigade: Unknown Creator. “Bubbles.” c. 1970. Carleton College Website. Accessed February 26th, 2021. 

Midwinter Ball:  Unknown Creator. “Midwinter Ball; 03.jpg.” 2015. Carleton College Archives. Accessed March 2nd, 2021. 

Late Night Breakfast: Unknown Creator. “President Poskanzer Serving Late Night Breakfast.” c. 2015. Carleton College Website. Accessed March 2nd, 2021. 

Hour of Power: Unknown Creator. Unknown Title. Carleton College Website. Accessed March 3rd, 2021. 

Synchrony 2: Unknown Creator. “Synchrony II Fall 2016.” 2016. Carleton College Website. Accessed March 3rd, 2021. 

Hazing (Site): Stork, Harvey E. “Frosh Week Peanut Race.” 1919. Carleton College Archives. Accessed March 3rd, 2021. 

May Fete: Unknown Creator. “May Fete.” c. 1919. Carleton College Archives. Accessed March 3rd, 2021. 

Dacies: Dolezal, Megan. “The Cookie House.” 2014. Carleton College Website. Accessed March 4th, 2021. 

Farm Stock: Creator Unknown. Title Unknown. In: Jafri, Ibad. “Carleton Students Host Annual Music Festival.” May 17th, 2017. Northfield News. Accessed March 4th, 2021. 

Homecoming: Unknown Creator. Unknown Title. In: “Homecoming.” 2012. Carleton College Website. Accessed March 3rd, 2021. 

Opening Convocation: Unknown Creator. “US Senator Amy Klobuchar.” September 14th, 2015. Carleton College Website. Accessed March 3rd, 2021. 

Primal Scream: Creator Unknown. Title Unknown. “The Top 9 Quirkiest College Traditions.” n.d. Accessed March 3, 2021.

Senior Day: Carleton College. “2014 College Commencement Highlights.” June 18th, 2014. Youtube. Accessed March 3rd, 2021.

Spring Concert: Unknown Creator. “News Releases — General and Special, 1951-2002”. Accessed March 3rd, 2021.

Other Sources:

Note: This is the list of sources referenced for this page. Sources for individual Carleton traditions’ timeline entries are found on the pages linked in each timeline event’s heading.

Alexander, Mike and Alex Walker. “Let’s get naked? Understanding a longtime Carleton tradition.” The Carletonian, April 13, 2012. Accessed March 13, 2021.

“The Birth of Rotblatt | Sesquicentennial | Carleton College.” May 18th, 2016. Carleton College Website. Accessed March 3, 2021.

“Carleton Traditions | Student Activities | Carleton College.” n.d. Accessed March 3, 2021.

Clark, Lee. “Mai Fete: A Historical Perspective | Student Activities Office.” Carleton College Website,

“College Lists: Colleges with Fun Final Week Traditions.” n.d. Accessed March 3, 2021.

Cui, Lucy. “Let’s talk nontraditional traditions! Late Night Breakfast? Silent Dance Party?Date Knight? Friday Flowers? Which will be your favorite Carleton tradition?” Carleton College Admissions Blog, August 11, 2020. Accessed March 13, 2021.

“Dacie Moses House – Dacie Moses House.” 2020. Accessed March 3, 2021.

“Dacie Moses House – Carleton College.” Carleton College. Accessed March 3, 2021.

Demetriades, Lucas. “Rotblatt.” June 13th, 2019. Carleton College Website. Accessed March 3, 2021.

“Farmstock – Folk Music Society – Carleton College.” n.d. Accessed March 3, 2021.

“Friedrich Schiller | Sesquicentennial | Carleton College.” May 18th, 2016. Carleton College Website. Accessed March 3, 2021.

“Goat Trophy | Sesquicentennial | Carleton College.” May 20, 2016. Accessed March 3, 2021.

“Hazing at Carleton College.” Carleton College, Gould Library, 3 Sept. 2010,

 “Homecoming – Carleton College.” Carleton College. September 27th, 2012. Accessed March 3, 2021.

“Nontraditional Traditions.” Carleton College. Accessed March 3, 2021.

“Timeline: Sesquicentennial: Carleton College.” Edited by Doug Bratland, Carleton College,

Watson, Hannah. “What’s in a Tradition?” The Carletonian, October 22, 2010. Accessed March 13, 2021.