A multitude of deeply rooted traditions is an integral part of Hope, bringing together Hope College students–past, current and future! 

The annual traditions at Hope span decades, some even originated over 80 years ago. These traditions are just one of the reasons why generations of alumni come back each year.

Once you join the ranks of one of Hope’s traditions, you’ll find yourself eagerly anticipating the announcement of the Nykerk orator and starlit laps around the Pine Grove in the fight against cancer.

Have we piqued your interest? Discover how you can become part of tradition at Hope.

The Pull

"Tug-of-war" is too tame a description for this three-hour, epic battle between the freshmen and the sophomores over the Black River. Over 120 years of The Pull, one of the nation's longest-running collegiate traditions, means it's rich with tradition and connection. Words cannot do it justice; you'll just have to experience it for yourself!


Over 80 years of Hope students have sang, acted and orated as part of one big Nykerk family. Freshmen and sophomore women coached by juniors and seniors take on the challenge in an effort to win the coveted Nykerk Cup and be a part of a long-standing tradition bigger than themselves.

Dance Marathon

Since 2000, Hope College Dance Marathon has fundraised over $2 million for Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids. Nearly a third of the student body spends at least a portion of the 24-hour event dancing and coming together to support the kids of Helen DeVos.

Days of Service

Two Saturdays a year, all Hope students are invited to get off campus to give back to the Holland community. Through Time to Serve (fall semester) and Hope Serves (spring semester), students spend a day at a variety of local organizations, helping out in whatever way they can. Days of Service are a great way to start each semester!

Spring Fling

It's a party in the Pine Grove! The last Friday of every spring semester, students celebrate Spring Fling with carnival games, live music, a picnic, inflatables and so much more. Make sure you come early enough to get your free Spring Fling tee!

Greek Life

Seven sororities and eight fraternities, all local (with the exception of one fraternity), add a blend of leadership, service and friendship to the Hope campus. Together they create one Greek body comprised of over 700 members. Recruitment and rush take place in the spring semester.

Christmas Traditions

Each Christmas season, Hope's President and First Spouse invite students to their home for the Lighting of the Tree, Christmas carols, St. Nicholas cookie decorating and more.

View All Student Organizations

From writing for the student newspaper to hip-hop to knitting to outdoor adventures, there's an organization for nearly every area of interest. Perhaps you'll even get involved in a group you had no idea that you would be passionate about! Student organizations offer a lot to Hope's campus that you certainly don't want to miss out on.