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Traditions at Georgia Southwestern

Rich in history and traditions, Georgia Southwestern State University creates a place of comfort and belonging for its students. Tradition strengthens personal responsibility and the connection between students, faculty, and staff, inviting students to form strong relationships with their found community. GSW has many traditions that allow students to find a tight-knit community and leave with a family.

Hello Walk

In the early 1970s, Dr. Iris Argo, a 1933 alumna of GSW and a long-time English faculty member, promoted saying a friendly “hello” to anyone you met on the campus walkway stretching from Jackson Hall to the James Earl Carter Library. GSW’s long-standing Hello Walk tradition is entering its fifth decade and is evolving into a place whirling with activities for the GSW campus community including the Freshman Convocation walk, student organization fairs, and Surge’s Street Eats - the GSW food truck.

Visiting Wheatley Administration

Standing as one of the oldest buildings on campus, the Wheatley Administration Building serves as the entrance of campus and welcomes students and visitors alike. This symbol of GSW shines with its golden rotunda and decorated Corinthian columns, where from the first day of classes to graduation, students often take pictures in front of the building to commemorate their time at GSW.

Gold Force Thursday

Every Thursday, you'll catch a wave of gold around campus. On Gold Force Thursdays, everyone is encouraged to wear their favorite gold attire to demonstrate school spirit and cheer on our athletic teams.

Hurricane Athletics

Under the Lights

The first soccer game in the fall semester is a campus and community event that begins with food, games, and soccer and ends with a spectacular fireworks show to celebrate the beginning of the athletics season. Students will get to cheer on their fellow Hurricanes and interact with the surrounding community at a welcome-back kickoff event.


Homecoming week is brimming with fun activities and events for students to participate in such as comedians and performers, roller-skating and silent headphone parties, as well as speaker forums and campus resource events.

GSW Alumni and friends are welcomed back to campus to celebrate their alma mater and fellowship with other previous graduates. The Saturday after Homecoming week includes a tailgate in Centennial Plaza with food, music, and fun for the whole family. There is also an annual 5K and One Mile Fun Run/Walk open to GSW alumni and community members alike.


Presidential Challenge Coins

When freshmen begin their journey at Georgia Southwestern, President Neal Weaver gives them a silver Challenge Coin to encourage companionship among students, faculty, and staff. They are challenged to build strong relationships and give the Challenge Coin to someone who had the greatest impact in their lives at college. Upon graduation, students will receive the Gold Coin which represents their hard work and commemorates their time at GSW.

Coin Challenge Details

Taste of the World

Since 1989, students have lined up outside the Marshall Student Center to enjoy Georgia Southwestern's Taste of the World. In effort to create more intercultural opportunities for students, this event provides an opportunity for the GSW community to share cuisine and customs from across the world.

Event Details


An experiment of journalism in the poverty-wrought depression era, the Sou’Wester as Raymond Duncan put it in 1934 is “an experiment that we hope will work and continue working. Our aim is to make it a publication that will express properly the high ideals of Georgia Southwestern and that it will create in the students an urge for all types of credible writing.” And continue working it did. Decades of editions followed Duncan’s experiment, creating an almost ninety-year tradition of publishing the voices of GSW.

Read the Sou'Wester

Waffles with the Weavers

Previously Pancakes with the President, Waffles with the Weavers continues the tradition of having breakfast for dinner at the peak of finals each semester. Students will line the Hello Walk to receive free food and t-shirts upon entering the Marshall Student Center. This time can be spent studying for exams as a group or destressing for a moment with friends.