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Red tent with text that says I Am A Gryphon

Gryphon Traditions

Gryphons are authentic, caring, determined, engaged and respectful! 

U of G traditions play a vital role in enhancing the Gryphon Experience. These time-honored traditions create a sense of belonging and foster a strong sense of community among students. Adding these fun traditions to your U of G bucket list provides opportunities to connect with peers, faculty, and alumni, expanding networks beyond the classroom. These traditions amplify the student experience and help foster unity and connection beyond academics. By immersing themselves in these traditions, students shape their own university experience and contribute to the vibrant legacy of U of G.

The cannon painted in red, yellow and black with Welcome in white

Painting the Cannon

The Cannon, named “Old Jeremiah”, located in Branion Plaza, can frequently be seen painted with different messages from student groups promoting events and organizations, as well as acknowledging significant dates and holidays. There are specific guidelines and considerations when painting the Cannon so make sure to review them before planning your Cannon experience. 

The Begging Bear wearing a red Orientation Volunteer shirt

Begging Bear

The Begging Bear statue at the corner of College Ave. and Gordon St. has become something of an interactive art sculpture for the community as well as a Guelph icon. Students and Guelph residents dress up or decorate the Begging Bear in support of different events, organizations, holidays, causes, or just for fun! – so you can expect to see the Bear sporting different outfits throughout the year. All decorations need to be easily removable – do not paint or glue items to the Begging Bear as this can damage the statue.

Gryph with Gryphon statue

Gryphon Beak Rub

Have you ever noticed that the Gryphon Statue’s beak is shinier than the rest of it? At the University of Guelph, students partake in the tradition of rubbing the Gryphon’s Beak for good luck at the start of the semester and before exams. Located at the main entrance to the U of G campus (corner of Stone Rd. and Gordon St.), the Gryphon is there to greet you and offer you some good luck as you enter campus – just rub the beak! The Gryphon statue is not to be adorned in any manner.

Pep Rally

Pep Rally

The Pep-Rally is a time-honoured Gryphon tradition! During Orientation Week each year, all new students have the opportunity to build community and show their Gryphon spirit by learning a dance (or boogie) and competing for the spirit award! With over 25 years of Pep Rally history, this unique event is one Gryphons remember as a first-year highlight.

The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture offers you, a graduating student, an opportunity to come together and reflect upon your experiences at Guelph, bring closure to the time that you've spent here, and celebrate your many accomplishments both inside and outside of the classroom. The event features an address by a graduating student who has competed for the honour, a distinguished alumnus and a faculty member will also offer words of inspiration to the graduating class. Log in to the Student Experience Intranet for more information on Grad Week and Gryph to Grad programming.