Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Todd Ream

Second Advisor

Steve Bedi

Third Advisor

Skip Trudeau


This study explored the value of campus traditions in higher education. Literature regarding tradition and campus traditions has answered the question “what is tradition?”, analyzed the emphasis on tradition in the Southern United States, and investigated the role of tradition in higher education. This original research sought to survey student, personnel, and general perceptions of the value of campus traditions in higher education through a qualitative, phenomenological approach focused on a single campus tradition. In order to obtain a holistic perspective, the researcher conducted a review of archival resources and interviews with students, faculty, staff, and administrators connected to the campus tradition. Three themes surfaced from the archival research regarding this campus tradition: change, growth, and criticism. Five themes emerged from the interviews regarding the value of this tradition and campus traditions in general: community, bonding, unity, connections, and identity. Based on these findings, several implications for practice and research also surfaced for higher education practitioners. This research confirmed the value of campus traditions and identified their specific value in higher education.