From bagpipers playing during Homecoming Weekend to being tossed into Polk Pond as the first senior accepted into college, MICDS has traditions that date back to 1860. Check out just some of the many time-honored customs throughout our School!
How is Homecoming celebrated?
We celebrate Homecoming with Spirit Week, the all-school Pep Rally, Food Truck Friday, the Family Carnival, bagpipes, the bonfire, Fun Run with JBS, and athletic competitions that culminate with the MICDS vs. JBS football game. Go Rams!
Homecoming 2021 Video
What is Lower School Skate Week?
For one week in the school year, the gymnasium is transformed into a roller skating rink. During that special week, students from Junior Kindergarten through 4th grade enjoy skating during every P.E. class.
Skate Week 2021
What day do we recognize seniors on their college choices?
College Celebration Day! Seniors wear t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats that showcase their college selections at the annual College Celebration Day, sponsored by our senior parents. The seniors celebrate among college pennants, food, and games.
Play College Celebration Day Video
How has MICDS celebrated Thanksgiving for the past 18 years?
Turkey Train! The entire school participates by collecting canned goods, and Upper Schoolers also bring frozen turkeys. On the last day of the drive, 9th through 12th-grade students line campus and pass the turkeys from Founders' Court to the MAC, where a St. Louis Area Foodbank truck awaits.
Watch the Turkey Cam
Middle School Talents
What is a favorite Middle School tradition?
The Middle School Talent Show! Every winter, our 5th through 8th grade Rams wow audiences with a variety of solo and group performances. Talents range from piano and guitar to comedy, singing, and dancing.
Watch Talent Show
What race takes place in Polk Pond?
Senior Boat Races! Senior advisories build boats out of cardboard, duct tape, and plastic before attempting to cross Polk Pond. Several heats lead to a final race, and the winning advisory receives a trophy. Then all seniors celebrate by splashing into the water.
Class of 2022 Boat Races
What annual contest is over 100 years old?
Prize Speaking! In Upper School, students select various excerpts to present. Once their selections are approved, they audition for a chance to perform without video, soundtrack, or microphones in the Prize Speaking Competition. The winner’s name is inscribed on the famous Dartmouth Cup.
Prize Speaking Recap
What race is highly anticipated in 6th grade each year?
The Pinewood Derby! Sixth graders use the Middle School Makerspace to design and build their very own mini cars that they make out of pinewood. On race day, students line the track as their car competes against the cars of their peers.
Pinewood Derby Recap
What do MI, CDS, and MICDS alumni look forward to every five years?
Reunion Weekend! Every spring, we invite our alumni back to campus for Reunion. With a special emphasis on milestone reunions, former graduates enjoy luncheons, dinners, campus tours, May Day, and catching up with their classmates.
Watch Reunion Weekend 2019 Video
How is Halloween celebrated in Beasley?
Lower Schoolers dress up in costumes and parade through campus for the annual Beasley Halloween Parade. They also have an assembly where each grade performs Halloween songs.
What is May Day?
Mary Institute celebrated May Day in 1912 when the first May Queen was crowned in the gym. Now, May Day is on Lilly's Field, with seniors, juniors, and 8th- and 4th-grade girls participating in this beautiful tradition. The May Queen, selected by a vote of her peers, is announced and celebrated.
Typical May Day Celebration
What special event gathers all Upper Schoolers each February?
The Bond Lecture! Each year a noted African American (authors, lecturers, civil rights leaders, etc.) addresses students. Erik Lyons Bond '77 was the first African American graduate to complete all eight grades at CDS. This accomplished scholar, athlete, and student leader passed away in 1985.
Read Bond Lecture Recap
Performing in Beasley
What is the second-grade opera?
Every year, second graders create their own original opera that they perform for parents, teachers, staff, and other students. They practice their drama skills, musical talents, and add lots of creativity to their student-directed productions for all to enjoy.
Watch KMOV story
What is the school's longest-standing tradition?
M. D. Eliot "Grandmother's" Day! In 1860, Margaret Dawes Eliot, mother of MI founder William Greenleaf Eliot, donated $1,000 to the new school bearing her granddaughter's name with the understanding that "the scholars" receive an annual holiday on or near the 11th of May. This annual school holiday continues to this day.
What happens to the first senior who is accepted to college?
They get tossed into the pond! The lucky senior who receives the first acceptance into college gets thrown into the pond by their classmates while Upper Schoolers, faculty, friends, and family cheer them on.
Pond Toss 2021
Upper School Talent
What is the Upper School's version of a talent show?
Blue Whale Cafe! The Blue Whale Cafe allows students and faculty to showcase their talents and celebrate arts in our community while supporting an important cause. The proceeds from the show benefit Living Oceans Foundation.
2020 Blue Whale Cafe
What camp is the perfect setting for allowing 7th graders to build community?
Camp Wyman! Each year, 7th graders enjoy a day at camp where they participate in collaborative, team-building activities. Together, they compete in obstacle courses, puzzles, and a variety of other challenges.
Read Camp Wyman Recap
How do we commemorate Memorial Day?
The Memorial Day Assembly! Every year, the Upper School commemorates Memorial Day with a special assembly that dates back to CDS. Students enjoy remarks from an alumna/us serving in the military. The names of alumni, faculty, and staff who have given their lives in service to our country are read by student leaders.
Watch past Memorial Day Assembly