Bike races, fight songs, fashion statements, and quirky customs you’ll remember forever

Sure, our traditions are fun. (Who wouldn’t enjoy dipping their feet in Showalter Fountain on a warm day?) But they’re also how you bond with your friends. They connect you with over 200 years of history and 760,000+ alumni. They bring you into the IU Bloomington family.

And they give you great memories from your years at the epicenter of Hoosier Nation.

The basics

  • IU was founded in 1820—so we began celebrating our Bicentennial on July 1, 2019.
  • Our colors are cream and crimson.
  • Who needs a mascot? Not us. We’re just known as the Hoosiers, a nickname for residents of Indiana and everyone who finds a home at IU.
  • IU’s fight song is “Indiana, Our Indiana.”
Learn the words to IU’s songs

The Spirit and Traditions of IU

College is a time to create memories, try something new, and truly fall in love with the experience. At Indiana University, one part of the experience that students will always remember is our spirit and traditions. Come to IU and see the world in a new light, show your stripes, and experience the magic!

Description of the video:

[video description: Crimson pattern with the word “spirit.”]

You know, your college should have spirit.

[video description: The words “and traditions” appear.]

And traditions you’ll never forget.

[video description: Nighttime exterior of the Eskenazi Museum of Art. Students enjoying multicolored light display.]

At Indiana University, you’ll see the world in a new light.

[video description: Students lying on their backs, watching the museum walls reflect the lights.]

[video description: Large gathering of people in a festival atmosphere outside IU Auditorium.]

Celebrate a world of cultures on one campus.

[video description: Students visiting cultural center booth.]

[video description: Students approaches statue of Herman B Wells to touch his hand.]

Get a touch of good luck.

[video description: Student laughing. Interior of building with hundreds of students dancing.]

Dance your heart out to help a children’s hospital.

[video description: Students hold up cards showing that they raised more than $3 million in the 36-hour Dance Marathon.]

[video description: Bottom half of a building doorway. Students exit, wearing shorts and jeans. Another student enters, wearing cream-and-crimson striped pants.]

Show your stripes.

[video description: Participants and excited crowd at Little 500 bicycle race.]

Experience a bicycle race like no other.

[video description: Students posing for a photo in their graduation caps.]

And treasure every moment…

[video description: Large group of students in graduation gowns, standing at the Sample Gates, throw their graduation caps in the air.]

…of the best years of your life.

[video description: IU logo. Text: “Indiana University. Fulfilling the Promise.”]

[video description: IU logo. Text: “Explore life at IU: go dot iu dot edu slash L-I-F-E A-T I-U”]

A version of this video with audio description is available.

Mark your calendar

  • If you start in the fall, your first tradition will be Welcome Week, which is full of activities that will engage you with the campus, other new students, and returning students.
  • At Homecoming in mid-October, students and alumni alike celebrate IU with events like a parade and football game. Student groups also compete in various events throughout the week to earn the coveted title of Homecoming Grand Champion (and yes, there's a huge trophy and other prizes!).
  • Dance, dance, dance for 36 hours to raise money for Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health during IU Dance Marathon in November. Since 1991, the event has raised more than $50 million.
  • The world-famous men’s and women’s Little 500 bicycle races in late April raise money for student scholarships (more than $1 million over 60+ years) and anchor concerts and other events known as the “World's Greatest College Weekend.”

Indiana University has had my heart since the first basketball game I ever went to. My love for the school has only grown fonder since.

Khloe Ferrell

Don’t miss these other IU and Bloomington traditions

Explore Bloomington’s many coffeehouses and restaurants. Your taste buds will thank you.
Many new grads take pictures by the Sample Gates before they leave campus.
Legend says that if you kiss your sweetheart at the Rose Well House at midnight on Valentine’s Day, you’ll be together forever.
Buy local food and flowers at Bloomington’s lively farmers’ market on Saturday mornings.
The Arboretum is a beautiful place to relax.
The Indiana Memorial Union is one of the largest student unions in the world. It has great study spaces, restaurants, bowling, and a lot more.

Start on your IU must-dos

Complete the items on the IU Bucket List before you graduate so you have the complete Hoosier experience.

Check out the list, and check things off