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Celebrate Colgate Day on September 13, 2019!

Colgate Day

Learn how Colgate celebrates Friday the 13th like no other place on the planet. Our next celebration is September 13, 2019.

Colgate at 200 Years

We have awhile until our next Colgate Day, but with Colgate University celebrating its Bicentennial in 2018–19, there are plenty of ways throughout the year to celebrate and express your Colgate spirit.

Colgate in a Box

Unable to attend official alumni club events? Host your own Colgate Day house party! For $13, Colgate's Office of Alumni Relations will send you "Colgate in a Box," a box of spirit items for celebrating in style at your private gathering with Colgate friends.

Complete this request form to receive your box in time for Colgate Day. We ask that you send us a list of attendee names, class years, and updated email addresses after your event.
Colgate in a Box for alumni

What is Colgate Day?

For many, Friday the 13th is a date inexorably linked with superstition, bad luck, and cheesy slasher flicks. At Colgate, it’s cause for celebration — officially.

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The university is asking students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends to embrace Colgate’s association with the number 13, and announce their affiliation by wearing school regalia and/or maroon on every Friday the 13th from now on.

Promotion of the tradition, called Colgate Day, is being spearheaded by the university’s Office of Alumni Relations. As many former undergrads know, the university’s connection to the number 13 dates back to its founding.

In 1817, 13 men — six clergy and seven laymen — met in the frontier settlement of Hamilton with “13 dollars, 13 prayers, and 13 articles.” During that meeting, the men founded the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York, the cornerstone for what would become the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution, then Madison University, and finally Colgate University.

But the relationship with the number doesn’t stop there.

There’s the university’s address, 13 Oak Drive. And Colgate’s zip code, 13346. The first two numbers, standing alone, are the number 13, and the sum of the remaining three totals 13. Even the university’s motto has a connection with 13. There are — no surprise here — 13 letters in “Deo ac Veritati,” a Latin phrase meaning “for God and for truth.”

So we say, “Wear thirteen proudly. Live it out: Learn new things, engage with new persons, climb new hills.”


Alumni, students, and friends are finding '13' in very unique ways around the world. See the photos here. Send your pictures to us at or use #project13 on Twitter or Instagram.