CGA Traditions

Honor the Past. Aim for the Future

Culver is steeped in a rich history of tradition, some of which date back over 100 years. Students learn that they are part of the continuum of those traditions – honoring their past, but always looking ahead to the future.

Below are some of the significant events and traditions at Culver.


The matriculation of new students involves passing through the Logansport Gate entrance to the school and over the Leadership Plaza. This is symbolic of the eventual passage through the Graduation Arch (girls) and Iron Gate (cadets). As each student passes through Logansport Gate, he or she is welcomed by the head of schools and his wife, the commandant of cadets, the dean of girls, and the top student leaders, regimental commander and senior prefect.

The Culver Women's Celebration (CWC)

CWC is an annual event in March and the programming and theme is determined through the leadership of the senior advisor's board. The goal of CWC is to educate on topics relevant to the girls as well as to honor accomplishments of women.

The CGA Graduation Registry

The registry is a book that senior girls sign during the graduation ceremony and provides a historical record of the order in which girls graduated from CGA

The Keeper of the Book

The Keeper of the Book is elected annually and is responsible for the graduation registry during the graduation ceremony. The graduating seniors girls elect a freshman to serve in the honorary role.

Chapel Gold Seal

The Gold Seal is located in the Narthex of the Chapel and is dedicated to Culver graduates who died serving their country in time of war. Since 1951, students have honored this symbol by not stepping on it, though no regulation forbids it.

Honor System

Conceived by and for the students of Culver Military Academy and later revised by the students of both Culver Military Academy and Culver Girls Academy, this Honor System is designed to help each Culver student understand what honor means and to help each Culver student learn to lead a life of honor. The CMA and CGA honor councils administer the Honor System.

Crest Ceremony

The Crest Ceremony is the culmination of the new girls’ orientation to Culver and a meaningful occasion when they receive their Crest patch, an honor pin to be worn on their blazers, and are formally inducted as full members of CGA. The ceremony is normally held in February.

Graduation Arch

Initiated at the 1975 Commencement exercises, the Graduation Arch is the portal through which each graduating CGA senior walks signifying passage from Culver to her future. They are greeted by the Legion president, who welcomes them to the alumni association.

Junior/Senior Tea

The Junior/Senior Tea is held on the Friday afternoon of graduation weekend at which time the juniors of CGA honor the graduating seniors of CGA. Certificates are awarded to the outstanding senior leaders and the Tiffany Powell Award is given. Following the ceremony, participants view the senior video, which is created by the communications prefects.

Dean England Day

The Dean England Day ceremony is held in September or October of each school year in commemoration of the founding Dean of CGA, Mary Francis England. The CGA Council coordinates the ceremony. New girls are welcomed into CGA through this ceremony and presented the Mary Francis England pin, worn by all girls on their dress blazer.

Senior Waltz

This is the tradition dance at Final Ball for graduating senior girls and their fathers or other significant adult male.

Ringing Ceremony

The Ringing Ceremony is the official time when 11th-graders are “ringed” by a 12th grader or a Culver graduate of their choice. The ceremony occurs at the conclusion of Final Ball.

First-Class Ring

No class gift is more revered and used than that designated as “The Class Ring.” Presented by the Class of 1939 to future first-classmen and seniors, the “ring” has become cherished in the traditions of cadets and coeds as their special lakeshore refuge.

Veterans Day & Memorial Day

Two of Culver’s time-honored traditions are tied to its roots in the military. The Veterans Day ceremony and Gold Star Ceremony on Memorial Day both recognize the sacrifices made by Culver alumni during times of war. Since 1924, Culver has recognized the sacrifices of American and Allied soldiers during World War I at 11 a.m. on November 11. The ceremony has not changed since that original Armistice Day ceremony was conducted at the Legion Memorial Building dedication over 80 years ago. The Gold Star Ceremony on Memorial Day recognizes all the Culver alumni who have made the ultimate sacrifice. During the ceremony, the names of alumni killed during times of conflict, from World War I to Iraq, are read aloud in the Memorial Chapel. Following the service, a solemn procession moves out to the Oval and the Corps of Cadets honor those fallen Culver veterans with a 21-gun salute and military review.