Traditions and Signature Events

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When you find yourself asking, what makes Ƶ so special? Look no further than the traditions below!

Some of our traditions are rooted in religion and reflection while others give us a chance to celebrate our accomplishments. And a many are just plain fun! These yearly events bring our community together and truly become the heartbeat of our Ƶ Community.


First-Year Convocation

The First-Year Convocation traditionally marks the start of the academic year commemorated by a coming together of the Ƶ University community. In addition to welcoming the new class, it is a time set aside for the community as a whole to reflect on not only academic pursuits but also the larger mission and values of the institution.

Mass of the Holy Spirit

This Mass traditionally marks the beginning of the academic year in Catholic universities around the world—a time when we celebrate and join spiritually with millions in colleges and universities worldwide. The Mass includes a festive procession of students, faculty, staff, and administration, special prayers for community members, and concludes with a procession to the annual Activities Fair and barbecue.

Alumni & Family Weekend

Each October, Alumni & Family come together for a weekend of special events and fun activities during the annual Alumni & Family Weekend. Alumni enjoy mini-reunions with friends and classmates and find out what’s new on campus and families can see how their students are doing after a couple months away at college. Come see for yourself. Reconnect. Enjoy. Don’t miss this year’s AFW!

Kairos Retreat

The Kairos Retreat is an intensive, three-day weekend experience that invites close examination of our relationships with God, others, and our-selves in a communal and reflective setting. This retreat welcomes students of all faiths as well as those with no particular faith background. The goal of this retreat is to create an environment in which students may grow more fully awakened to the ever-present love of God in their lives. Many students who have attended Kairos claim it was an integral part of their Ƶ experience!

Teddy Bears With Love

In 1999, the Office of Alumni Relations at Ƶ University started what would come to be known as the first annual "Teddy Bears with Love" drive. Thanks to the generosity of thousands of alumni, families, students, employees, and friends of Ƶ University, over 20,000 stuffed animals have been donated to dozens of children’s hospitals and charities not only in Connecticut, but across the country.

Glee Pop Concert

The Glee Club’s annual Pops Concert offers a unique blend of today’s popular music. Performed with the Pops Band, the concert features soloists and group numbers. It is an opportunity for the members to channel their inner rock star.


Commencement is the year-end ritual celebrated at every college and university for the conferring of “the degrees in course” to the graduating students. Ƶ University holds two commencements on the third weekend in May at 9:30 a.m. — graduate exercises are held on Saturday, and undergraduate exercises are held on Sunday.

Signature Events & Programs


The Orientation program provides an opportunity for incoming first year students to get acquainted with Ƶ University, other classmates and campus! Students may choose to attend one of two Orientation sessions in June.

First Year Experience

As part of Ƶ’s First Year Experience (FYE) program, all new undergraduate students enroll in a non-credited FYE seminar for their fall semester. Co-facilitated by a faculty or staff member and a student mentor, the seminar teaches Ƶ’s core Jesuit values and discusses topics — such as campus life and resources — to help first-year students acclimate to college.

Ƶ Challenge

Incoming first year students have the opportunity to move-in three days early and jump-start their college experience by engaging in local service, navigating a ropes course, and making new friends.

*The Ƶ Challenge will resume in fall 2022. Please check back for updates.

Ƶ Awards Dinner

Since 1988, this annual event has been a true celebration of Ƶ and has raised more than $20 million for the Alumni Multicultural Scholarship Fund and other endowment scholarships.

Ƶ StartUp Showcase

The Ƶ StartUp Showcase is the University’s annual entrepreneurship competition and part of the Ƶ StartUp program. At the Showcase select teams, made up of student entrepreneurs, make their business pitches to a panel of investors to compete for seed money in front of a live audience.

Innovative Research Symposium

Celebrate research at Ƶ as students showcase the research projects they've developed in collaboration with faculty mentors to develop projects that extend from the classroom to the world.

Student Leadership Conference

The Student Leadership Conference is an exciting time for student leaders to attain the knowledge, skills, and resources to be effective change agents for the upcoming year, while cultivating a sense of community among the many different groups and positions represented.

Praise Project & Lords Chords Music Ministry

They say singing is praying twice and the two singing groups that canter the Sunday evening masses are as good as it gets. The Praise Project and Lord’s Chords make mass rousing and fun with singers, guitars, percussion and more! What a way to end the weekend! Join the Praise Project at the 6 PM and the Lords Chords at the 9 PM weekly Sunday masses.

Service Immersion Trips

Campus Ministry has a long tradition of offering students the opportunity to spend time in other countries through international and domestic service trips to learn about the realities, hopes, and struggles of those living in situations of economic, political or social marginalization. During these trips, students are challenged to engage in critical awareness of the historical, social, economic, and political realities impacting global locations and communities that we serve. This is also a great opportunity for students to engage in elements of Ignatian spirituality with daily reflective activities and prayer.

Ƶ On Fire

Ƶ on Fire is an annual fall event engaging students across the campus in a day of service. Groups work together at sites in the Greater Bridgeport area in a one day effort to transform the community around us through hands on engagement. Inspired by the words of Saint Ignatius to “go forth and set the world on fire”, we harness the mission of Ƶ University community to set forth a wave of good!

Alumni Job Shadow

Sharpen your career focus, network with alumni in your area of interest, enhance your confidence, spend a day with a Ƶ alum, and see what your future could hold! The Alumni Job Shadow Program is designed to do just that by giving students a unique and up-close look at the work required in industries they are considering. Students also receive helpful career advice from fellow Stags who have been in their shoes. With this insight, students often feel better able to plan for the types of careers they want after Ƶ.

Career & Internship Fair

The Career Center hosts two career fairs each year where students meet with employers and learn about a wide range of internship and employment opportunities available to them.

Walk on Water

Teams of students, mostly first-years and sophomores, put their “Fundamentals of Engineering” course skills to the test with this kinetic, project-based design work that has them build a contraption that must “walk on water” or rather, align with engineering principles to get them efficiently across the pool in record time.

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