• Things To Do

5 Traditions You Can’t Miss at Denison University


At nearly 200 years old, Denison University has a long and rich history that continues to inspire students and create lasting traditions. There are tons of opportunities for entertainment, enrichment and adventure both on and around campus. If you want to make the most of your Denison experience, as a student or as a visitor, here are 5 things that you absolutely cannot miss.

1.) D-day

Every year, a big secret is kept from Denison students. D-Day, meaning Denison Day, is an annual concert event that takes place every fall but its headliners are kept a secret until D-Day. This tradition has been a part of Denison for 65 years and some recent D-Day concerts included Third Eye Blind, The Ataris, Matt and Kim, Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright, The Roots, Reel Big Fish, and Mos Def. This can’t miss event always makes for a fun night, great memories and a much needed break from exams.

2.) Relay For Life

Another annual event that always brings the campus and community together is Denison’s Relay For Life. This charitable event raises money for the American Cancer Society and is organized by students from every corner of campus. During the relay, students, faculty and community members on various teams spend 18 hours walking, jogging or running to raise donations. If you can’t participate on the track, join in as a donor and show your support for a worthy cause.

3.) LeaderShape Institute

As an introvert with goals of making an impact on society and my community, one of the best decisions I made during my time at Denison was to participate in the LeaderShape Institute. It is a 6-day “living learning experience” that allows students to discuss their values, viewpoints and visions while exploring who they are and what they want to achieve as current and future leaders. Some of the most thought provoking and meaningful moment of my life took place during my participation at this program and I recommend it to anyone who hopes to lead with integrity and make a difference on campus, at home and beyond.

4.) Whit’s Frozen Custard

Whether you’re a student, a visiting Prospective, or you just happen to find yourself in the small town of Granville, you’ll probably be encouraged to take a trip to the original Whit’s Frozen Custard. After a bitter-cold winter in 2003, founder Chuck Whitman opened this small shop to a town that hadn’t even heard of frozen custard before, yet the creamy dessert took off quickly and became a local treasure. Whit’s uses only the best ingredients and offers flavors to satisfy anyone’s taste buds. With so much popularity, there tends to be long lines outside of Whit’s, but it is definitely worth the wait.

5.) The Bandersnatch Snagel

On east quad, below Huffman Dining Hall, you’ll find a small cafe that often hosts A Cappella group performances, board game matches and poetry readings. The Bandersnatch Coffee House is a cozy spot that tends to be quieter and more chill than Slayter student union and it is the home of a comfort food known as the Snaggle. The ingredients are pretty simple toasted bagel with cream cheese topped with a ton of brown sugar and this Bandersnatch treat is a famous favorite among Dension students and alums. Be sure to grab a Snaggle, and maybe some pizza bagels while you’re at it.

From exciting and life changing events, to finding the answer to your sweet tooth, Denison is full of wonderful traditions. And if you can’t get your hands on a Bandersnatch Snaggle, you can make them at home, too. Bon appetit!

Ashley Briggs earned her Bachelor’s Degree at Denison University and currently lives in San Diego, California. By day, she works at an adolescent treatment facility and by night, she is a freelance writer.


Have something to add? Tell us in the comments.