Colgate Day

Every Friday the 13th, the Colgate community celebrates . . . 

For many, Friday the 13th is a day to be feared. For Colgate alumni, students, employees, families, and friends, it’s a day to celebrate our association with this great institution.

Colgate Day is a worldwide celebration that takes place every Friday the 13th. It’s a day to gather with Colgate friends and show your pride for alma mater, to wear maroon, and to show your love on social media. On Colgate Day we celebrate our Colgate spirit, and our connection with Colgate alumni spread all across the globe. 

Why Friday the 13th?

As most former students 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 truth.”

Colgate Day Checklist

  • Schedule a Colgate Day party or happy hour — make it official by letting the alumni relations office know. We can help you make it extra special.
  • Contact your college friends to say, ‘Happy Colgate Day’ 
  • Find Colgate gear and/or favorite maroon garb
  • Post a photo of yourself in said gear or garb to social media
  • Add the hashtag #ColgateDay to be part of the worldwide digital celebration
  • Bonus points for photos of babies and pets in Colgate gear

Host a Colgate Day Party or Happy Hour in Your Area

E-mail the Colgate alumni relations staff at and we’ll help you connect with other alumni in your region — and celebrate Colgate Day properly.