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The Our Lady of the Lake University community celebrates various traditions that showcase the mission, heritage and culture of our community.

Wings up pin on printed card

New Student Convocation

All new incoming students are welcomed during this convocation where they receive blessings from faculty, staff and family. Each student also receives a “Wings Up” pin and officially becomes an OLLU Saint.

New students walking down main hallway

Providence Path

Following the New Student Convocation, students are greeted with cheers from faculty, staff, current students and family members as they walk down the Main Building hallway for the first time as official OLLU Saints.

Male student riding mechanical bull

Spirit Day

Spirit Day, connected to a tradition in Catholic education that dates back to the middle ages, begins with a Mass in which the community prays for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the new academic year. It is followed by lunch and a community celebration featuring a DJ, rides, games, free food and the Dean's Challenge -- a friendly competition between the faculty and students of each of OLLU's schools and colleges.


Dia de los Muetos outdoor celebration

Dia de los Muertos

Each November, the OLLU community gathers at the university Grotto and processes to the Sisters of Divine Providence Cemetery to mark Dia de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead. This cultural celebration focuses on praying for and remembering friends and family members who have died. Altars for the dead are displayed throughout campus.

Female folklorico dancers performing on stage

Las Posadas

OLLU students reenact the journey of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter on the eve of the birth of Jesus during this annual cultural event that has been held on campus for more than 30 years. The posada is followed by a celebration featuring music, cultural dances, tamales and pan dulce.

Row of students in chapel holding lite candles


For more than 80 years, the OLLU community has gathered for the annual Candlelight celebration that features an Advent prayer service, Christmas caroling in the Moye Rotunda and a formal dinner and dance. Candlelight ushers in the Christmas season on campus.

Group of students fill boxes of food at the food bank

Volunteer Impact

Each spring, OLLU comes together for vOLLUnteer IMPACT, a big service event that impacts our community. After volunteers serve multiple nonprofits in our area, they come back together as a community for food and reflection.

Male and Female running with confetti falling

Confetti 5K Run/Walk

Each spring the OLLU campus is filled with confetti as more than 1,200 runners and walkers join the OLLU community to take part in the annual Confetti 5K. Hundreds of pounds of confetti are showered down on runners as they take part in this fun event that raises money for scholarships.

Sister and male student holding handing praying

Blessing of the Brains

Before midterms and finals, students receive blessings from the Sisters of Divine Providence, the university’s founders. The Sisters pray for the students throughout the year.

Group of female students having breakfast smiling

Late Night Breakfast

As students prepare for finals, university administrators serve them a late-night breakfast to give students energy for their studies.

President Melby helping students as they serve food

Loaves and Fishes

During final exams each semester, Mission and Ministry hosts “Loaves and Fishes” to provide meals and snacks for students as they prepare for their finals. University offices and departments participate by donating, preparing and serving meals.

Male student receiving ring blessing in chapel

Ring Blessing

Prior to graduation ceremonies, students gather in the Sacred Heart Chapel to have their class rings or other jewelry or gift items blessed by the university chaplain.

Students participating in graduation ceremony in chapel

Graduation Liturgy

Before taking part in commencement exercises, graduates, faculty, staff and families gather in Sacred Heart Chapel for the Graduation Liturgy where students receive a final blessing before departing. The chapel is the first stop for students when they join the community during New Student Convocation and the last stop as they head to graduation.

OLLU female and male class rings

OLLU Class Ring

The official OLLU class ring was designed and copyrighted by the class of 1927. The unique ring is only available to OLLU graduates, making them instantly recognizable among the OLLU alumni network. The one-of-a-kind, eight-sided design represents the eight Beatitudes, and the hourglass shape represents the completion of studies as well as the enduring spirit and quest for knowledge by OLLU students. The letter M on the side recognizes the university's dedication to Mary, the mother of Jesus.