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Taftisms and Traditions

Sometimes it seems like Tafties speak a language all their own. Wonder what they’re saying? We’ve got you covered!

Wait…Who are all these people?

  • Lower mid=freshman
  • Mid=sophomore
  • Upper mid=junior
  • Seniors=senior

Mons – Short for monitor, these are our student leaders. Read all about them here.

I should meet you where?

The Jig: Formally named The Donald Oscarson Jigger Shop, the Jig is Taft’s student union. You can hang out with your friends at the Jig, play pool, and even get yummy food at the snack bar. When the sun is shining, expect everyone to gather on Jig Patio.

I have to do what?

The Pledge: All Tafties add the Taft pledge to every piece of academic work. It is a symbol of pride and honesty, and a declaration of integrity that reads, “I pledge my honor that I have neither given nor received aid on this evaluation.” Our Honor Code, itself, is perhaps Taft’s most important tradition.

Sit-down: Twice each week we gather for dinner in semi-formal dress, and join faculty members at assigned tables.

Ex: Taft lingo for “extracurricular activity,” all students (with the exception of one term during senior year) are required to have an afternoon Ex. Options range from sports to theater to community service to robotics to dance to organic farming…

How about some Taft-style fun?

Taft-Hotchkiss Day: Each year during the fall athletic season, nearly every Taft team faces off against our perennial prep school rivals, Hotchkiss, on one glorious afternoon. Games alternate between our campus and theirs from year to year, but the intensity of the rivalry never changes.

Spirit Week: Spirit Week leads up to Taft-Hotckiss Day, with a fun theme celebrated each day. The week culminates Friday night with the Big Red Rally, a spirited—and spirit building—all-school pep rally. Don’t be surprised if the rally ends with a bonfire on the pond.

Senior Week: A last hurrah for Taft seniors, filled with fun events and activities, including a final day of service as a Taft student on Senior Community Service Day.

Feeds: Advisors, coaches, dorm parents, faculty members, classes and clubs all want to feed you! Whether it is ice cream, sushi, pizza, cupcakes, or cookies, “feeds” always involve A LOT of food.

PSBL: The Pre-Study Ball League is one of the greatest—and most fun—traditions at Taft, in which coed student and faculty teams play softball before study hall. Teams with extraordinarily creative names compete for the coveted PSBL championship and bragging rights.

Rhino Cup: Students may join Taft’s intramural hockey league as their winter ex, whether they are seasoned hockey players or are “Tri-pods”—new skaters using their hockey stick as a third stabilizing appendage. Nearly the entire Taft community gathers one evening each year for a rollicking Rhino Cup game.

The Scene: That precious time after dinner but before study hall when you can just hang out with your friends. Regarded by many as the most social time of the Taft day.

What else should I know?

Lincoln’s Nose: The school’s main vestibule, Lincoln Lobby, is presided over by a statue of Abraham Lincoln; tradition tells students to rub his nose and knock his podium for luck each time they pass.

ISP: Our Independent Studies Program lets you explore your interests in depth outside of the regular school curriculum, while fulfilling your ex requirement.

Grades: Not A, B, C, but a system for keeping track of decisions students make. You might miss an obligation, but miss too many and your “grades” you accumulate for those misses may lead to a chat with a Dean.