Past Traditions in the Walker Auditorium

On Thursday, February 10, Walker Auditorium reopened for the first time since March 2020. Two years have passed since the last time the community gathered in the auditorium for all-school meetings; more than half of the students on campus have never experienced its myriad traditions.

Head’s Holiday

With the auditorium’s reopening comes the return of traditions that conventionally took place in Walker. One tradition, “Head’s Holiday”, begins with an email from Mr. Craig Bradley, head of school, directing all students to come to the auditorium. After honoring the person that the holiday is attributed to, the head of school announces the holiday, leading to an eruption of cheers and singing of “Fair Hotchkiss”. Olivia Taylor ’22 said, “You always knew what was coming when you received the email during study hall or after check-in. There’s so much anticipation and excitement.” 

Seniors Lead

Another tradition, “Seniors lead”, plays a part in every all-school congregation in Walker. After these meetings, Seniors, who sit in the front rows, exit Walker first, followed by Upper Mids, Lower Mids, and Preps. The “Moving-Up Ceremony,” where each class moves into the seats of the class before them, represents each class’ progression after the Senior classes graduate. Billy Meneses ’22 said, “The Moving-Up Ceremony is definitely my favorite because it represents another milestone in your Hotchkiss career. It’s fun to see the school become a year older and continue traditions once the Seniors leave.”

All-school gatherings

The most frequent gatherings in Walker are all-school meetings. The entirety of the school’s population gathers weekly to hear updates announced by the all-school presidents, club heads, and faculty. A tradition that takes place during these meetings is “Fun Friday”, where the all-school presidents select an activity and volunteers who participate in the game after announcements. Richie Maman-Nbiba ’23 said, “During Fun Fridays, you always have a reason to be cheering for one of your friends. I loved coming together with the whole school in such a high-energy environment. It’s been a while since we’ve all been together like that, surrounded by such school spirit.”

Mamma Mia

Walker Auditorium also hosts plays, musicals, and dance performances. The Hotchkiss Dramatic Association (HDA) chose Mamma Mia! as the first production to reintroduce theater in Walker. Maman-Nbiba, board member of HDA, said, “Some board members had been dreaming of bringing about the production since Prep year. We wanted to do something with high energy and a big cast to bring life back into Walker, [and Mamma Mia is] a production that brings joy, so we could further cultivate a sense of positivity in the community.” 


Additionally, individual classes host events in Walker. The Senior Talent Show and Upper Mid Revue both take place in the spring and showcase the talents of their corresponding classes. An all school event- Student Music Showcase- traditionally takes place in the Walker each year, too. 

In the future, new students will be able to experience these traditions as Walker Auditorium reopens.