The Compass Traditions Keeper

Traditions Keeper

The Traditions Keeper program encourages students like you to find their Ram spirit by engaging in VCU’s history, traditions and campus life.

Students who complete the Necessary 19 traditions will receive a commemorative T-shirt. Complete all 68 traditions to earn an exclusive keepsake medal that represents your commitment to honoring VCU traditions now and forever. The Necessary 19 traditions and 68 total traditions signifies 1968 the year VCU was founded.

Get started!

  1. Read through the list of 68 VCU traditions below. Click the icons to learn more about what makes the Necessary 19 so essential to the VCU experience.
  2. Complete the Necessary 19 traditions in any order. Remember to take a photo to capture the moment!
  3. As you work your way through the list, use the link below to submit your photos. Once you’ve completed all 19, contact the Student Alumni Council at to redeem your free T-shirt.
  4. Complete the remaining 49 traditions, submit your photos and contact the Student Alumni Council at to redeem an exclusive keepsake medal.

Submit your photos

Necessary 19

  1. Vector drawing of garland of triangular flags of different colors Participate in Weeks of Welcome

    All students are encouraged to attend as many events as possible as VCU welcomes you back to campus for the next school year. Weeks of Welcome is packed with educational sessions, social activities, entertainment and much more! From the Commons to the Cary Street Gym and Cabell Library to Larrick Student Center, get to know VCU and meet some great people!

    View the complete list of Weeks of Welcome events.

  2. Vector drawing of a brown cornucopia Touch the Ram Horns

    Every year at orientation, students and their families become official Rams and members of the RamFam by rubbing the Ram Horns and making a wish. The Ram Horns, appropriately named “Ramifications,” are an interactive cast bronze and stainless steel sculpture designed by alumnus Timothy Blum (M.F.A.’94/A). Added to the Student Commons Plaza in 2009, the Ram Horns are 14 feet tall and weigh 3,500 pounds! Be sure to touch the Ram Horns three times: during orientation, when you receive your class ring and when you graduate from VCU!

  3. Vector drawing of a blue student ID card. Student image is replaced by a gradution cap. Attend New Student Convocation

    Convocation is the formal welcome to the VCU academic community and the official beginning of the school year for all new students. Hear from VCU’s leaders, including VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., and a keynote speaker. You will also learn more about VCU and your academic area.

  4. Vector drawing of two footsteps, one with emphasis marks Participate in the Ram Spirit Walk

    Ram Spirit Walk is part of the Welcome Week and takes the freshman class, accompanied by The Peppas, on a march from Convocation at the Stuart C. Siegel Center to the Block Party on campus. Alumni, faculty, staff and current students with signs and banners line the route to help welcome the newest Rams.

    Instructions: Take a selfie during the Ram Spirit Walk.

  5. Vector drawing of a frame picture hanging on a wall, of a family of four Take a photo during Move-in Weekend

    Being on your own for the first time means finding your first place to live. You might live in the residence halls or in off-campus housing. Moving into your new home or room will be a memory that lasts forever. Take the time to transform your room and make it into a home. Send a picture of your handiwork to your family and friends so they know you are doing great.

  6. Vector drawing of a ram head Meet Rodney the Ram

    Born in 1963 to the Richmond Professional Institute, Rodney the Ram wore the school’s colors at the time – blue and grey. When RPI and the Medical College of Virginia became VCU in 1968, Rodney donned black-and-gold attire

  7. Vector drawing of multicolor balloons and confetti Celebrate VCU’s birthday

    Help VCU ring in another year by attending its birthday party on September 17!

  8. Vector drawing of three hands on top of one another Join a student organization

    With nearly 500 student organizations on campus, there are ample opportunities to join a group that helps you connect with your fellow Rams and grow as an individual. Getting involved expands your peer group and teaches real-world skills. You can find organizations ranging from cultural to political to recreational and more

  9. Vector drawing of an event placard, a flag held up by two sticks, with the word event written in red Attend a Homecoming event

    In 2002, Homecoming was born with a few small events that celebrated VCU history, basketball and school spirit. Today, the homecoming committee plans a week of service projects, spirit rallies, competitions, a concert and a Homecoming parade. VCU’s Homecoming king and queen are crowned during the men’s Homecoming basketball game.

  10. Vector drawing of a mulicolored camera with a polaroid stood up in front of it. Take a photo with the VCU letters

    Located near Shafer Dining Center, and throughout campus, the big VCU letters are a great spot for iconic VCU images.

  11. Vector drawing of a megaphone with lines coming out of the horn indicating noise or a voice Cheer on the VCU Rams

    It’s time to root for the home team! With 15 NCAA Division I teams across 10 intercollegiate sports, there are many opportunities to cheer on the VCU Rams.

  12. Vector drawing of a stylized version of a library version, with a large open book as a sign Check out the library

    Visit either James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus or Health Sciences Library on the MCV Campus to study for an exam, conduct research or tinker in a makerspace.

  13. Vector drawing of a wooden picnic basket, with a red and white checkered cloth draped on the side Enjoy a picnic in Monroe Park

    Take some snacks and a blanket to Monroe Park, Richmond’s first and oldest public park, on a sunny day to enjoy a picnic with friends. Bring a frisbee, a good book or art supplies to turn it into a whole day of fun!

  14. Vector drawing of a gold compass Visit the Compass

    On the Monroe Park Campus, the Compass is a brick plaza that is the bustling center of VCU community life – from games and impromptu performances to political protests and voter registration drives. On the MCV Campus, the Larrick Compass is located outside the Larrick Student Center. This common landmark brings all students together!

  15. Vector drawing of three pictures, one with mountain landscape, one with blue sky and cloud Take a picture of your favorite campus spot

    In your time at VCU you are bound to find a spot that feels like home to you. Maybe it’s a bench where you read between classes or a classroom where you discovered your passions. Wherever it is, we want to experience your corner of campus paradise.

  16. Vector drawing of a graduation cap Attend a graduation-related event

    Join STAT and VCU Alumni in celebrating the newest future alumni during Grad Week by checking out Alumni 101, Grad Bash or another graduation-related event.

  17. Vector drawing of a monthly calendar on a wooden board with clips at the top holding on the month pages Wear black and gold on Friday (or every day)

    Wearing VCU’s colors every Friday showcases our community’s collective Ram pride!

  18. Vector drawing of a selfie--a hand taking a photo and lines to indicate the shutter is going off Take a selfie with your favorite professor

    Get to know your professors! VCU faculty members are truly experts in their fields. Many alumni form close relationships with their professors and stay in touch long after they’ve graduated. 

  19. Vector drawing of three circles each containing a head and shoulder symbol of a person, all connected by lines Connect with a VCU alum

    VCU has a thriving community of more than 200,000 alumni throughout the world who love to stay engaged with their alma mater. Connect with them at a networking event, in the stands at a basketball game or virtually on VCU Link.

More traditions

  1. Vote in an SGA election
  2. Play an intramural sport
  3. Visit the Egyptian Building
  4. Meet the VCU president
  5. Eat on campus
  6. Attend Family Weekend
  7. Attend Midnight Breakfast
  8. Have fun on a snow day
  9. Visit Cary Street Gym
  10. Go to a show through VCUarts
  11. Volunteer your time on or off campus
  12. Attend an Activities Programming Board event
  13. Pet the dogs at Paws for Stress
  14. Attend an outdoor adventure program
  15. Attend a VCU Sustainability event
  16. Read the Common Book
  17. Live on campus
  18. Attend Ram Camp
  19. Attend the Intercultural Festival 
  20. Eat at a locally owned restaurant
  21. Attend the Student Organization and Volunteer Opportunities (SOVO) Fair
  22. Attend Ram Exscream
  23. Attend Qatar Day
  24. Order a class ring
  25. Visit Career Services
  26. Attend a Student Alumni Council event
  27. Utilize Rambikes
  28. Complete your major map
  29. Make a class gift
  30. Attend the Fall Block Step Show
  31. Meet your best friend
  32. Hang out on the Cabell Library lawn
  33. Visit the street art and murals
  34. Get a milkshake at The Village Cafe
  35. Attend a First and Second Year Experiences and Transitions event
  36. Collect a variety of free VCU gear
  37. Attend Orientation
  38. Grab Starbucks at Cabell Library
  39. Go to a thrift store  
  40. Participate in Philanthropy Week 
  41. Check out some live music on campus or around Richmond
  42. Visit Belle Isle
  43. Watch a movie on Friday night with APB
  44. Hang out in the amphitheater between Hibbs Hall and the Singleton Center for the Performing Arts
  45. Learn some VCU history by visiting the RPI History Wall in the University Student Commons
  46. Wait in the Chick-fil-A line
  47. Get late night cookies delivered 
  48. Climb the rock wall
  49. Graduate!

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