Rooted in History, Anchored with Hilltop Pride

In the years since its founding in 1885, St. Edward's has become one of America's most diverse liberal arts institutions.

Our identity, character and spirit of optimism are demonstrated in campus rituals and celebrations that reflect the welcoming spirit and generosity that defines Holy Cross values and education around the world.

More information and history coming soon.

University Traditions

Not Walking on the Seal

Blessing honors the school’s Catholic tradition and long association with the Congregation of Holy Cross. Student's at St. Edward's University do not walk on or over the seal out of respect for those who have passed through the university and those who helped establish it.

Rubbing Father Foik's Nose

Need good luck on a test? Visit Father Foik, a former university librarian, professor and dean immortalized in a bronze plaque outside the Munday Library. Legend says fortune smiles on those who rub his nose, the one shiny spot on the otherwise weather-worn plaque.

Annual Events

Welcome Days


Festival of Lights

Initially started as a way to celebrate the Christmas Season, the EDSMEN (student service organization) sponsored the first Festival of Lights on December 12, 1980 with readings, holiday music by the Chorale, lights on the Main Building and luminarias lining from Congress Avenue to St. Edward's Drive. Today the tradition continues as campus is illuminated and the community gathers for reflection and song. In recent years, the tradition has evolved to include the perspective of a variety of faith traditions. 

festival of lights picture

Homecoming & Family Weekend 

Big Event

The Big Event was brought to St. Edward's 13 years ago to educate the minds and hearts of students through service and giving back to the community. The event's goal is to exemplify the ideals of synergy and service by promoting community engagement within the St. Edward's University community. 

The Big Event

Iconic Campus Locations

Main Building

In 1888, St. Edward's University broke ground for Main Building. The building was completed in 1889 and has served as a high school, college, and university. From its beginning, it has housed adminstration offices, dormitories, classrooms, a library, Chapel, and a cafeteria. The Main Building is now used for many resources such as the copy center and post office and also departments such as the admissions and Alumni and Parent Programs.

Sorin Oak

Estimated to be more than 250 years old, the tree bears the name of Reverend Edward Sorin, Holy Cross priest and founder of St. Edward’s University and Notre Dame University. Legend has it that Fr. Sorin stood under the oak looking out upon the Capitol and decided to build a school in honor of his patron, St. Edward the Confessor. No one knows exactly when it became officially known as the Sorin Oak, but in the summer of 1877, as the Brothers of Holy Cross anticipated Fr. Sorin’s visit from Notre Dame they wrote, “We are already watching in the direction of your big umbrella tree for your coming.”

  • The Sorin Oak is an enduring symbol of the campus and is the location for many campus events and traditions (Rooting of the Ring).  
  • Sorin Oak has a DBH (diameter, breast, height) of 67.5” and stands 43 feet tall. The crown spread measures an average 82 feet in diameter.

The Grotto

In 1927, inspired by the replica of the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes at the University of Notre Dame, Rev. Bernard. H. Lange, C.S.C. began constructing the frameowkr on the hillside north of the Administration building with his bare hands. With the help of students, faculty, and staff the project was completed in 1933 and officially dedicated on May 7, 1939 by Rev. Patrick J. Hagerty, C.S.C, President of St. Edward's university. Today it remains a favorite campus landmark for prayer and reflection. 

St. Edward's Statue

The St. Edward's Statue was built in 2002 along with Trustee Hall. The statue was build in honor of the university's patron saint, St. Edward the Confessor. It was originally placed on a concrete slab at Trustee Hall. However, due to certain circumstances, the statue was placed near the top of Trustee Hall. 

Alumni Gym

The Alumni Gym was originally built in 1950 to provide two basketball courts, seating, home for the athletics department, and classrooms. In 2014, the gym was renovated to provide space for Campus recreation including office space and air conditioning. 

Fondren Hall

In 1893, an artesian well was completed south of Main Building. With an assured source of water, it became possible to build a natatorium. Today, the outline of the original pool, the first indoor facility west of the Mississippi River, can be observed on the floor of Fondren Hall. The hall is now used as the campus bookstore and a convenience store also in the bookstore was named the quick dip in honor of the pool that was once been there. 

Mary Moody Northen Theatre

Fight Song and Alma Mater

Fight Song

Written by Brother Gerald Mueller, CSC

Alma Mater

Written by Brother Edwin Reggio, CSC

Colors and Mascot

Blue and Gold

The colors of blue and gold were in honor of our sister school in Notre Dame, Indiana, University of Notre Dame.

History - Evolution of Topper

The first logo of our mountain goat, Topper, appeared in 1977. Since then, St. Edward's has been on a mission to create the best looking mountain goat around that shows our pride for the hilltop and our fierce competitiveness. The evolution of our Topper can be seen below.

Evolution of Topper

Topper Hand Sign

The Topper hand signal originated in 2006. It is said that two women's soccer team players, Mallory Roberts and Aimee Langlinais, created the Topper hand signal with their right hand climbing up a mountain depicted by their left arm. With the help of the Topper hand signal, the women's soccer team made it to the second round of the NCAA regional tournament that season. Toppers up!

Ceremonies and Symbols


The tradition of awarding the St. Edward's Holy Cross Medallion first started in 1998 when incoming freshman received the Medallion in a ceremony welcoming them to St. Edward's University.  These medallions are a symbolic connection to the Congregation of Holy Cross.

  • Medallion ceremonies are held at the beggining of each semester.  Incoming students sit with their class and recieve their official university medaillion from university faculty members.  Seniors are then encouraged to wear their medallions at all Hilltop Send-Off and commencement events.

University Seal

St. Edward's University, in her ideals and aspirations, in her system of a unified and complete educational philosophy, encompassing the whole of man's dual nature fits the Shield of our patria, our home and fatherland, these beloved United States of America. Upon a field serrated with the light and dark of life, emblazoned the Cross of Christianity, under which banner we joyfully pass our college days; fortunate to be led educationally forward by devoted Brothers of Holy Cross: symbolic of their Congregation, and taken from their Community seal, is the Anchor (underneath reading Spes Unica our only hope, admitting no other). Opposite the regal Mace of our patron and namesake, the great King Edward the Confessor, Saint of our illustrious ancestors, in whose Faith we carry forward our Christian heritage. Above the River of life-giving water, symbol of life's onward course, in actuality the Little Colorado, running across the state of the Lone Star, the great state of Texas. Symbolized for us by the Heart, shot thrugh by two arrows of low and learning, who heirs we are, and will continue to be. 

Seal Picture

University Ring & Ceremonies