Stern Traditions: Reviewed

By Victor Bouret

Stern’s traditions—whether tested through time or new—are an integral part of the school and essential to each student’s experience. From the Stern Formal to Waffle Wednesday, Stern’s traditions unite the community. In this article, we have reviewed and highlighted many Stern traditions and how they add to the unique Stern experience. Whether you’re a prospective student or a current student looking to attend one of the many opportunities available, this article will help you explore the foundations of Stern’s culture. 


Recently, the Spring Stern Formal has been held at Capitale. Despite the competitive ticket sales, it is everything you would expect from a business school formal. The lights, music, food, drinks, and classy themes make it a night to remember for many Stern students and one of the best traditions. This is a great way to socialize with new people, catch up with old friends, take a break from midterms, or have an excuse to dress up.

Signature Events 

The subway trek to Flushing Meadows is an integral part of the Stern culture despite the heat and sunny skies. Watching the U.S. Open with classmates with whom you’ll spend the next four years and in a new unexplored city is a creative way Stern builds community for its students. For sophomores and upper-level students, the signature events are a fun way to rekindle friendships and take a break from schoolwork. It’s also a great opportunity to do something you’ve never done before, be it going on a cruise around Manhattan or a dinner on Ellis Island.

Common Hour

Any plans you had for this time during the day can be thrown out the window. Stern common hour is when Stern student clubs and organizations meet. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn and interact with other students. It’s also a great way to have a break in between your classes, get free food from clubs (thank you clubs for doing this), meet with your friends, catch up with a professor, or even attend The Gould Standard club meetings.

Tea with the Dean

A tradition spearheaded by the Dean’s office, this ranks high on the list because students can discuss anything with the Dean. Whether it’s their favorite Netflix show or

something class related, it’s a great and unique opportunity to meet with the undergraduate Dean. Furthermore, through this tradition, students are able to discuss any concerns they may have with the Dean’s office, which is a great platform to have as a student.  

Waffle Wednesday

Fresh, tasty waffles? What else is there to say? Yes, please. This tradition would be higher if the line for the truck would only partially extend from the sidewalk along West 4th Street to the doors of Tisch Hall. As a result, make sure to plan ahead if you are attending. Waffle Wednesday is a great way to take a break from class and socialize with friends or meet new people. 

All-U Games

If you like partaking in sports, this is the tradition for you. During Violet-100 week (an NYU tradition), various NYU schools participate in the All-University Games. In this competition, undergraduate students, graduate students, and even alumni compete in athletic games between schools of the university. They include dodgeball, table tennis, basketball, volleyball, and even featured Dance Dance Revolution in this year’s edition. Although Stern has won several times in recent years, and it is a fun event, Stern students don’t seem to take as much pride in it as in other traditions.

Cohort & CLP

It’s your first day at Stern, and you meet your cohort. You’ll spend a lot of time with them, whether it’s going to welcome events or taking the mandatory Cohort Leadership Program that every first-year student takes. It’s a great way to meet other students. Still, it would be interesting to see this program evolve into teaching first-year students more about navigating their four years, specifically at Stern, in terms of professional and academic life.

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