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. 

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.

In response to growing curiosity among our students regarding information about campus customs and traditions, the Office of Student Affairs published the first Little Blue Book in 2004. The Little Blue Book was a small hardbound book that was distributed to each new undergraduate student. It was collaboratively written and contained historical details, trivia and fun facts, and general campus information in a compact format. 

Although the Little Blue Book is no longer printed each year, its wealth of information about CWRU history and traditions is maintained online so you can access it anytime, anywhere. In the following pages, the proud tradition of the Little Blue Book lives on.

On behalf of the Office of Student Affairs, welcome to Case Western Reserve University!

Table of Contents

History and Traditions

Your Undergraduate Experience