Creating Community

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School Traditions

Rowland Hall is proud to be rich in traditions, some dating back more than 100 years.

All-School Convocation

All-School Convocation, begun in 2009, is celebrated on the Friday of the first week of school every year. Two of the students' favorite parts of All-School Convocation are the student body president's welcome address and the high fives given to first graders by the new senior class. Prior to 2009, each division held its own convocation ceremony.

Alumni Hall of Fame

Since 2009, the Upper School Student Council has presented distinguished graduates with its Alumni Hall of Fame Awards. This award honors alumni for their contributions to their former school community and the community at large.

AP Art Exhibit

Each May, junior and senior art students present the AP Art Exhibit in the Larimer Center gallery. These students learn much about the professional exhibition process and are very proud to highlight their work at a reception that coincides with the opening night of an arts performance. The whole community is invited to attend.

Baccalaureate Service

The annual Baccalaureate Service is held in St. Margaret's Chapel on the Thursday evening before 12th-grade graduation ceremonies. This quiet and reflective service focuses on the growth and achievements of the senior class and features interfaith readings, an alumni speaker, and student music. Rowland Hall's Baccalaureate Service dates back to the 1890s.

Battle of the Classes

The Upper School Student Council organizes an annual Battle of the Classes, a two-week period of spirited games and competitions between grades. Regardless of which grade wins, our spirits are raised by the frivolity of the week.

Biennial Auction

Every other spring, our community gathers for the Auction, an elegant evening event that raises funds for the school. An executive committee of parents volunteers an enormous amount of time and talent to ensure that the event is a roaring success. Rowland Hall's Auction is a premier event in Salt Lake City and has helped set the standard for successful nonprofit auctions throughout the state.

Book Fair

The annual Home & School Book Fair is an event our whole community looks forward to each fall. The Lower School librarian and Home & School volunteers have organized this three-day event for over 20 years, and proceeds from book sales benefit the school's libraries. The school's partnership with The King's English Bookshop guarantees that this is a successful fundraiser at which students and families find a variety of books and gifts in time for the holidays.


Since 2004, Rowland Hall Upper School students have come together to kick off a school-wide canned food drive with a concert called Canapalooza. Featuring an eclectic mix of student and teacher musicians, the concert raises funds to benefit Crossroads Urban Center's emergency food pantries. Students also collect food through October, which they contribute to a local food pantry and the state's food bank. 

Candle and Carol

Candle and Carol is Rowland Hall's oldest tradition—students have participated in the holiday concert and service, held at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark, each December since 1917. One of the school’s most honored traditions, the Candle and Carol program includes student performances, hymns, scripture readings, and a homily, and has become a family holiday tradition for generations.

Christmas Dinner Giveaway

The Christmas Dinner Giveaway has been conducted by Crossroads Urban Center and hundreds of Rowland Hall volunteers—students, faculty and staff, families, and alumni—every December since 1995. This important event provides holiday dinners for over 1,200 families in need each year. 

Color Day

Beginning School and Lower School students celebrate the end of school with Color Day, an annual event that has each age group wearing a different brightly colored T-shirt to indicate their grade level. Featuring games, relays, water play, music, dancing, and lots of smiling faces, Color Day has been a tradition at Rowland Hall since 1982.

Commencement Exercises 

Commencement exercises are held annually for graduating fifth graders, eighth graders, and twelfth graders.

First-Grade Penny Drive 

First graders spend part of the fall and winter learning about the beauty and importance of the world's rainforests. Since 1993, they have accompanied their study with a penny drive, raising money to purchase a section of rainforest to preserve.

Grandparents Day

On Grandparents Day, we enjoy welcoming grandparents, and other beloved adults, to our campuses. Visitors come from near and far to join us for a short program, tours, and classroom visits. Grandparents Day replaced Special Friends Day in 2011, which had been an annual event at the school for many years.

Hallmarker Dinner

The Hallmarker Dinner recognizes the many donors who have made the Annual Fund a success during the school year. Donors and class liaisons, as well as departing trustees, are recognized, and student musical performances are a highlight of the evening. This event has taken place in early May since 1984.


Since 1975, Upper School students have enjoyed Interim, a weeklong experiential program unique to Utah schools. Students can participate in both local and out-of-town experiences; past areas of Interim study have included film and videography, the world of public radio, cycling the Wasatch, hiking in Moab, river rafting, and exploring environmental issues.

Learn more about Interim

Kindergarten and Senior Bonding

Throughout the school year, kindergartners and seniors get to know each other through gatherings that include art projects, outdoor play, and a tour of the Upper School. During Senior Week, seniors and kindergartners exchange gifts that include class flags and handmade bookmarks.

Lower School Mask Parade

The Lower School's Mask Parade is a treasured fall tradition. Every year, our art teacher and students outdo themselves with glittering, gorgeous creations to show off on a Friday afternoon near Halloween. In addition to donning mixed-media masks, students carry handmade musical instruments.

Middle School Class Trips

The first recorded Middle School class trip took place in 1995. Today, each sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade class takes a weeklong trip, where they bond, explore, and learn together.

Learn more about Middle School class trips

Ninth-Grade Class Trip

The inaugural ninth-grade class trip took place in 1995. Today, the grade travels to Camp Roger in the Uinta Mountains, where they learn, play, and get to know one another through rotations that may include studying the landscape, learning to navigate an alpine environment, writing poetry, and making art. 

Puttin' on the Arts

Puttin' on the Arts is a spring tradition dating back to at least the 1980s. This Lower School variety show offers student-generated entertainment for both students and families. Puttin' on the Arts recitals are held separately and feature instrumental and vocal performances by our young students.

Stepping Back

Held at the final Lower School assembly of the year, Stepping Back allows each student to take a step back as they “graduate" to the next grade level. This tradition dates to Rowland Hall's boarding school days.

Third Grade Biographies

Each year, third graders research a historical figure, then execute their public-speaking skills, much to the delight of their classmates, teachers, and parents. Albert Einstein, Michelle Obama, Rosa Parks, Alexander Graham Bell, Eleanor Roosevelt, and more have all made appearances (in costume!). Third-grade biographies have been presented every May since 1986.

Winter Sports Program

The Winter Sports program officially began in 1965. All students in first through eighth grades enjoy this Friday afternoon program during January and February, where they can choose to ski, snowboard, bowl, ice skate, and more.

Learn more about Winter Sports

You Belong at Rowland Hall