The Arch Ceremony
The Arch Ceremony is one of the oldest college traditions in Northwest Ohio and the most sacred tradition at the University of Findlay. Since its dedication in November 1923, the Griffith Memorial Arch has served as a right of passage for graduating students entering the next chapters of life after their time at Findlay.
New students process through the Arch toward Old Main during orientation weekend while they are being welcomed to campus by faculty, staff, and their loved ones to symbolize the official start of their college experience at Findlay.
According to tradition, students should not walk through the Arch at any point during their time at UF due to superstition that they won't graduate. In keeping with the superstition, students had worn a path in the grass surrounding the arch to avoid jinxing themselves, so the University installed sidewalks around the outside of the Arch in 1990.
Following the Commencement Ceremony, students process back through the Arch toward Main Street and are celebrated once again by faculty, staff, and their loved ones.
Watch the two videos below to experience the Arch Ceremony for yourself before it is time for your march through the Arch.
The History of the Arch
The Griffith Memorial Arch has been a staple at the University of Findlay since its dedication in November 1923. Sitting at the heart of campus in front of Old Main, the Arch is symbolic of new beginnings, whether it be the start of an academic career at UF or graduating and moving onto the next chapter of life.
The Arch was named in memory of Miss Caddie A. Griffith who graduated from Findlay College in 1909. Caddie was known for her wit, intelligence, good looks, and starring role on the UF women's basketball team. She taught Preparatory Mathematics and Rhetoric at Findlay College from 1910-1912 and taught English and History and was head of the English department from 1914-1917.
After Caddie’s untimely death in 1923 from intestinal flu, her parents commissioned construction of the Arch in her memory. In 1989, Findlay College changed its name to University of Findlay to recognize the increases in numbers of programs and students and the addition of graduate programming. The following year, the back of the Arch was inscribed with "The University of Findlay" and turned toward Main Street. During this time, the Arch was also moved and reconstructed further back on the property to allow more room for students to safely process through it after graduation. The “Findlay College” inscription on the Arch now faces Old Main, the oldest building on campus.