History and Traditions

193 Years of Tradition (and Counting)

Case Western Reserve University is steeped in tradition and connection. Students who attend college here not only honor our traditions but understand our desire to create unique legacies for future generations.

Pride is an integral part of our Welcome Days tradition. Students are encouraged to learn about the campus from The Little Blue Book, our go-to-guide for everything CWRU. A proud tradition of the Office of Student Affairs, The Little Blue Book is published here online so each student can learn about our campus heritage.

The Little Blue Book

Handbooks such as this one have been part of collegiate life at many colleges and universities for more than a century and this institution is no exception. The Little Blue Book was first published in 2004 in response to growing curiosity among our students regarding information about campus customs and traditions, and has since become a campus tradition itself.

As you’ll see in the information you read here, the history of our customs and traditions is complex. We used to be two institutions and ever since we became one university in 1967, there have been many additional changes in structure and nomenclature. A simple illustration is the very phrase “Case Western Reserve University,” which embodies the collective heritage of our previous institutions, each a bit different from the others and each with its own following.

It’s also important to note that, at Case Western Reserve, you’re not just “going to college.” You’re enrolled in one of the nation’s leading research universities and that means your experience will differ from those of your friends attending other institutions. You’ll certainly come to know other students who share your goals and outlook. You’ll also come to know students, faculty and staff whose paths are moving in very different directions. This handbook was designed to help you navigate this exciting, diverse environment.

Table of Contents


History and Traditions

Your Undergraduate Experience