Luther Traditions

Luther College traditions create shared experiences for our students and alumni. Special events and activities bring our community together through each season of the academic year.


  • “The Bellfie.” Start the school year right with a picture by the Luther bell. Yearly bellfies are encouraged.
  • Convocation. Luther welcomes back its faculty, students, and staff with Opening Convocation. We gather in the Center for Faith and Life to hear a guest speaker discuss the fall semester’s academic theme.
  • Outdoor Movie Night. Enjoy a film and popcorn under the stars in Bentdahl Commons.
  • Residence Hall Trick-or-Treat. We invite the Decorah community to trick-or-treat in the first-year residence halls.
  • Take in the fall colors. Gaze at the bluffs from Carlson Stadium as you attend a sporting event. Hike one of the many Luther trails as the seasons change.
  • Homecoming. Each year, more than 2,500 alumni and friends gather for Homecoming. Attend the Homecoming parade, mingle at the Luther tailgate, and chant L-U-T-H-E-R to cheer on the team.


  • Snow. We embrace the snow at Luther! Snowball fights, snowman making, snowshoeing, cross county skiing, and ice skating are a must. Just bundle up!
  • Orange Day. Orange Day in the cafeteria is a favorite for many students. Foods served include macaroni, chicken nuggets, tomato soup, grilled cheese, and Goldfish.
  • “Warm Up.” Hang out with friends by the Union fireplace and enjoy a Nordic Brew hot cocoa or a Sunnyside cinnamon roll.
  • Christmas at Luther.” Luther’s famous musical celebration of Christmas in the college’s beautiful Center for Faith and Life features performances by six choirs and an orchestra.
  • Holiday tree. Every year, the tree in Bentdahl Commons is decorated with lights as a giant holiday tree!
  • Student Stress Less Party. Held the first evening of finals, the Stress Less Party is a community study break. Cookie decorating, a hot chocolate bar, games, a balloon drop with prizes, Santa and Buddy the Elf are all part of the fun.
  • January Term. January is a special month at Luther. You’ll have the time and space to take a seminar, study abroad, get an internship, and more.


  • Get outside. Embrace warmer weather while biking the Trout Run Trail. Check out free gear for camping or kayaking on the Upper Iowa river. Lay in a hammock and count the squirrels and deer around you.
  • We all scream for ice cream! There are a variety of local places to eat this delicious treat. Grab some friends and walk down to the Whippy Dip or the Sugar Bowl. Get in line at the Moo Mobile when it visits campus at the end of the semester.
  • Spring concert. Luther hosts a major concert on campus each spring. Past performances include Lizzo, Nick Jonas, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, MKTO, Pentatonix, Colbie Caillat, Fun., Sean Kingston, and Jason Derulo.
  • Luther rings. Upon graduation, many students purchase a Luther ring. You would be surprised how many of these you will see being worn by alumni around the world!