Colgate Day: No Triskaidekaphobia Allowed

As legend has it, 13 men with 13 dollars and 13 prayers founded The Baptist Education Society of the State of New York, which eventually became Colgate University. From this time forward, the number 13 has served as a symbol of good luck and Colgate spirit, which we show on the most notorious of all days bearing the number 13. While Friday the 13 is considered a day of fear and bad luck by many, for Colgate students, faculty and alumni it’s a day to celebrate the establishment of our beloved school by wearing maroon and white and donning any and all Colgate gear.

Forget about black cats and broken mirrors, because Colgate Day provides nothing but good luck. Whether you’ve always loved the number 13 or have grown to love it through the influence of the Colgate culture, this is a day to forgo superstition and embrace the power of Colgate’s favorite number, which can be found all around campus. The school’s address is 13 Oak Drive and the sum of the last three digits of the Hamilton zip code, 13346, is 13. Even the school’s motto, Deo ac Veritati, has 13 letters. This magical number is quite literally everywhere you look. For this reason, triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number 13, is not permitted within the Colgate community.

September 13 is the first of two “Colgate Days” in 2013, the second of which falls in December. If a Friday the 13th in 2013 isn’t a good omen for us Colgate lovers, then what is? Students all around campus and alumni across the world demonstrated their Colgate spirit by tweeting #colgateday in an attempt to trend. The Colgate Facebook page was filled with a variety of pictures featuring Colgate students, alumni, their families and sometimes even their pets all showing their Colgate pride. There were pictures posted from Italy, Australia and Japan as well as various cities throughout the United States. In addition, a group of Colgate alums ventured into Times Square to cheer for their love of 13 on “Good Morning America.” Colgate Day is not just a campus event, but an international phenomenon. Colgate as a school may be small, but  the community is mighty. It’s clear that long after students leave Hamilton, Colgate and the number 13 retain a special place in their hearts.

Cheering was heard across campus as students displayed their school spirit in spite of the miserable weather. Many people supported the men’s soccer team in their game against Loyola Marymount, and the Rowdy Raiders’ spirit didn’t dampen despite the loss. Meanwhile, the Colgate Thirteen, the university’s premiere men’s a cappellagroup, sang the national anthem at the Yankees vs. Red Sox game in Fenway Park, adding to the level of Colgate pride felt across the country. Clubs in Pittsburgh, Denver, Nashville and Raleigh hosted Colgate Day parties, providing local hubs for Colgate fans to congregate and rejoice in their mutual love of our university.

Even though Colgate Days are few and far between, they give us a wonderful opportunity to show the world that our Colgate pride is a force to be reckoned with.

Contact Christiane Olivero at [email protected].