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Emma Willard School’s unique, 200-year history is proudly honored through our traditions. These cherished events bind together generations of Emma students, and are the shared memories that last between friends for a lifetime.

The experience of receiving your Emma ring, stepping on to the Senior Triangle for the first time, and making your entrance on the Revels stage are defining moments for many of our girls. Other traditions that mark special moments throughout the year include Eventide, Sophomore Tree Decorating, Peanuts and Shells, May Day, Principal’s Play Day, Ring Dinner, Senior Tea, Senior Retreat, Baccalaureate, and more.

History Brings Tradition

What makes Emma special is the true sense of belonging to something bigger than oneself. Beloved time-honored traditions create feelings of anticipation, excitement, and community. Friendships are forged and lifelong connections are made that educate our students far beyond the classroom.

Two students in matching Taylor Swift 1989 cardigans smiling at the camera.

This April we get to know Kate M. ’26 for our One of 360 series! Kate joined the Emma community this fall as a new sophomore day student. Read on to learn more about Kate, including how she decided on Emma, horseback riding, writing, and Pintag!

ring dinner

Ring Dinner was a success as seniors presented rings to their junior ring siblings last Thursday night! Pictured above are Vernette B. ’24, Meg L. ’25, and Mehar S. ’24. For more photos, click here

Red envelopes hanging on a cherry blossom tree.

With activities led by the Asian Student Union (ASU), Lunar New Year at Emma Willard School is a weekend of celebration including dumpling-making, visiting local restaurants, playing games, a talent show, and theatrical performances to share this important tradition celebrated by millions of people around the globe. Marking the first new moon of the calendar year, Lunar New Year is observed in many different ways. Here’s a look at how the Emma community celebrated this year!

A woman in snow with pink earmuffs smiles and has open arms over an announcement for no school.

Among the many anticipated traditions at Emma Willard School is Principal’s Play Day: a surprise holiday started in 1955 announced by the Head of School and kept secret until the day before. While students enjoy the unexpected day without classes, the day includes a series of surprise activities open to the school community.