St. Edward’s traditions: the good, the bad and the made up

Main Building’s red doors are arguably the most iconic image of St. Edward’s University.

St. Edward’s University is embarking on its 127th year of existence this school year. In all this time, it has amassed several quirky and interesting traditions. Some are legend, some are misunderstood, and some do not really exist. Here is a guide to which traditions are real, which are fake and the ones that were made up a few weeks ago.

Father Foik’s Nose

Formerly located outside of the Scarborough-Phillips Library, the bronze plaque of Father Paul Foik’s face now stands outside of Andre Hall. The bronze is mostly tarnished and the inscription difficult to read, except for one gleaming spot—his nose.

Legend has it that if you rub Father Foik’s nose before exams, you will get better grades. As to whether that is true or not, nobody knows. Because nobody has ever rubbed it. Ever.

Rubbing Father Foik’s nose may have been a vital part of exam week at one time, but it is no longer.

The Medallion Ceremony

The Medallion Ceremony takes place only once in a St. Edward’s student’s college career. By attending, you receive a medallion of the school seal on a blue and gold band. Legend has it that students wear these medallions only for very few occasions—the ceremony itself, graduation, and class reunion.

Attendance at this event is spotty at best and many freshmen never receive the prized medallion. However, this tradition is completely true.

Just glance around at Homecoming and Family Weekend. Dozens of elderly men and women walk around campus celebrating their 50th in suits, dresses, and gleaming medallions. While the medallions may seem trivial during freshman year, the importance of the medallion only grows over time and stands as a tangible memento of what may be the four most influential years of a person’s life.

Walking through the Red Doors

The Main Building red doors are arguably the most iconic image of St. Edward’s University.  However, this year there has been a special mysticism about the doors.

This year’s freshmen were told at orientation that there are only two times a students walk through the red doors. They enter the doors during the Legacy Walk their freshman year and exit them during the same event following graduation.

However, this tradition is not a tradition at all; it started just this year. While it may make the red doors seem more special and sacred, it is just plain inconvenient. You are telling me I have to walk around Main Building to get to my class just because the doors are somehow more special this year?

While a good idea in theory, the Legacy Walk is not a real tradition. Your tuition dollars pay for those doors. Use them all you want.

Not Walking on the Seal

One of the first things students are taught at St. Edward’s is to never, under any circumstances walk across the school seal in between Ragsdale and Holy Cross Hall. For the most part, people listen.

Some have heard threats that you will never graduate if you step on the symbol. Some fear the verbal or physical abuse you may incur when walking through instead of around. But honestly, it does not matter.  Do not walk on the seal because the sign asks you politely not to.

This is absolutely a real tradition. Do not be that guy; please walk around the seal.