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Colgate Day

By Lauren Marshall on April 19, 2022

Colgate Day is a worldwide celebration that takes place every Friday the 13th. It’s a day to show your pride for alma mater, to wear maroon, and to show your love on social media. On Colgate Day, we celebrate our Colgate spirit and our connection with Colgate alumni spread all across the globe. 

Enjoy special savings and deals at the Colgate Bookstore! The entire store and website will be 13% off on Friday, May 13th from 10am – 6pm! (some exclusions apply).

Every Friday the 13th is a lucky day for Colgate University. But did you ever wonder just why Colgate Day is so special?

Well, in 1817, 13 men — six clergy and seven laymen — met in the frontier settlement of Hamilton with 13 dollars, 13 prayers, and 13 articles. During that meeting, the men founded the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York, the cornerstone for what would become known as Colgate University.

That’s not our only reason to celebrate the number 13. The university’s address is 13 Oak Drive. Our zip code is 13346. The first two numbers, standing alone, are the number 13, and the sum of the remaining three totals 13.

Even the university’s motto has a connection with 13. There are — no surprise here — 13 letters in “Deo ac Veritati,” a Latin phrase meaning “For God and For Truth.”

So this superstitious number has a very special meaning on our campus. And in honor of this tradition, every Friday the 13th is declared “Colgate Day.”


  • Mitzi Schwarz said:

    In googling the numerological significance of the number 13, I found this on thesecretofthetarot.com website, which I thought was spot on in its description of our Colgate students and alum: “people and situations that are heavy with the energy of 13 will involve pragmatism, independence, creativity and the ability to set firm foundations for future”. Pretty interesting, huh? Go Raiders!!!!!!!

  • william mast said:

    I must say, I received a great education at Colgate. I was a nutty pre-med, and the professors were great!!.
    Dr.s A.S.Brown and Rogers in Chemistry, Dr. Chatlie Foster in Zoology,, and Henshaw in Physics were great.In Dr.Todd’s ‘Genetics’ course, we used the Fruit Fly-Drasophilia Melogaster-or something close, was another experience. I wasn’t through with the experiment, and took the pint bottle with food-banana mush- home for Christmas vacation. The bottle was on the seat between my legs, from Hamilton to Cleveland. By the time we were 45 minutes from home, I checked: all were dead.I could get no replacement from WRU or Case in Cleveland. I got my only hook in that course. Live & Learn.

  • william mast said:

    Having graduated 68 years ago, I remember a few lines from the song. 13 prayers were said with rapt devotion, 13 dollars set the thing in motion, so began old Colgate University ib 1819.
    It sorta united the freshmen, with their green beanies, and the dictum to greet upperclass men. I have a feeling, that (happily) disappeared when the ladies were class members.
    I was also glad to learn from a son-in-law, that the Fraternity system is out. A freshman roommate stayed in bed a week, when he didn’t pledge. It was a bad tradition.

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