Traditions & University Events

Founders’ Day

The Tradition of Founders’ Day

Each year, on the second Thursday of October, the establishment of the University is celebrated on campus at Founders’ Day convocation.

Originally founded on Oct. 12, 1896, as the Alabama Girls’ Industrial School, UM has developed over the course of a century into the state’s premier public liberal arts institution.

The annual ceremony begins at 11 a.m. with UM faculty, clad in their processional regalia, leading graduating seniors into Palmer Hall. For seniors, Founders’ Day marks their first opportunity to officially don their black graduation robes with the Investiture of the Senior Class.

Investiture of the Senior Class

An annual tradition, the seniors march across Main Quad into the ceremony in Palmer Auditorium with graduation gowns in hand. Toward the end of the Founders’ Day convocation, the senior students rise as one and slip on their robes while family, friends, alumni, faculty and staff applaud in approval. This symbolizes the achievements each student has made in their academic endeavors to reach the point of graduation.

Founders’ Day 2023 Schedule

We’re celebrating 127 years of acknowledging our past while celebrating our future.

Oct. 12

11 a.m.
Palmer Hall

Live Stream

Dr. Jeanine C Bozeman Social Work Chair Reception*
2 p.m.
Fallin Hall

Song Center for the Arts Dedication         
4 p.m.
Center for the Arts

MomentUM Campaign Launch  
4:30 p.m.
Center for the Arts

UMNAA Founders’ Day Awards Dinner*       
5:30 p.m.
Anna Irvin Dining Hall

*By invitation

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