On a campus that’s always growing and changing, there is True Blue pride in everything we do. We are united by loyalty to MTSU traditions, and we’re excited about the future. Here are just a few of the traditions that make MTSU special.

The Horseshoe. The blue horseshoe in Walnut Grove has a penny from 1911 (the year the University was founded) buried beneath it. Alumni, students, and fans are encouraged to touch the horseshoe for good luck before events like a big game, a performance, or even a test.

Convocation opens each academic year. It’s followed by the President’s Picnic, which most members of the freshman class and their families attend.

More than 4,000 students, faculty and staff members, and neighbors fill Murphy Center during Week of Welcome to enjoy a performance by a famous comedian or celebrity.

Homecoming. Don’t miss game-day tailgating, club reunions, the chili cook-off, Tent City, and more.

The tradition of game-day activities includes students going to the Recreation Center for the fall Bash the Rec event. Roughly 10,000 fans fill Walnut Grove for pregame tailgating and other events before home football games. Raider Walk features football players and coaches making their way through the crowd to Floyd Stadium. Each year, one home football game is designated as the Blackout Game: fans set aside MTSU’s blue and white and wear all black. The football team salutes the student body to the music of “The Tennessee Waltz” at the end of every home football game.

You did the work on a big class project. Now, show it off at Scholars Week. Once a year, students have the opportunity to showcase individual and collaborative research, scholarship, and creativity—from science projects to dance and theater productions.

The bells in the tower of Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building peal every time a student completes an Honors thesis.

Student volunteerism is common at MTSU. Sponsored by the Student Government Association, the University’s annual Big Event is part of the largest one-day, student-run service project in the nation. Also, thousands of students participate in programs such as Alternative Fall Break and Make-a-Difference Day, sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.

Collage of traditions at MTSU


MTSU has a long tradition of aiding veterans in their transition from military to civilian life.

In 2011, MTSU became the first higher education institution in the state (and one of the first in the country) to partner with the Veterans Affairs’ VetSuccess on Campus program. The creation of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center on campus is the latest step in MTSU becoming the most military-friendly university in America.

The 3,200-square-foot center constitutes the largest and most comprehensive veterans and military family center at a university in Tennessee, providing one-stop service and support for the more than 1,000 student veterans and their family members. A 2016–17 Daniels Center expansion allows the center to match veterans with prospective employers.

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith M. Huber, senior advisor for veterans and leadership initiatives, heads up MTSU’s ongoing push to help student veterans be successful at college. The Journey Home Project, co-founded by country music legend Charlie Daniels, has donated $120,000 to the center. MTSU also has received $276,500 in state grants to support vet-success efforts.