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AIC Traditions

A History of Equal Rights

American International College has a 125-year tradition of making college accessible and affordable for all peoples. Founded by the Reverend Mr. Calvin E. Amaron in 1885, AIC was designed specifically to provide a college education to the youth of Rev. Amaron's ethnic group, French Canadian students. Rev. Amaron persuaded other enlightened clergy to help establish a college that would provide an excellent academic foundation for its graduates, giving them the key ingredient to securing satisfying occupations and a life of personal successes.

Under the oversight of Rev. Amaron, the board of trustees appointed Reverend Mr. John Morton Greene as the first president of the new College. Rev. Greene led the effort to earn a charter from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that would allow AIC to confer "degrees and diplomas as are granted or conferred by any university, college or seminary in this Commonwealth." Special emphasis was placed on training students to become effective teachers, a mission that AIC maintains in the present day.

It was the second president and visionary founder, Rev. Amaron, who recognized that AIC's core values required that women be given the same opportunity as men to pursue higher education. In 1892, women were first admitted into the College, making AIC the first coeducational college in the region.

The Spirit Rock

A large rock sits on AIC's campus, commonly painted with an AIC Yellow Jacket. But tradition invites student leaders and other campus groups to paint the Spirit Rock, so the rock's message changes often to reflect our current student body. It may welcome new students to campus, advertise upcoming events, or generally represent the pervasive school spirit at AIC.

Football Fridays

It's Friday morning - and you better watch out. More likely than not, AIC President Vince Maniaci will be standing in the quad, tossing you a well-worn football bearing the logo of the team he watched growing up - the San Francisco 49ers. Over the course of your four years at AIC, you will wind up playing catch with President Maniaci on a Football Friday - and maybe even taking part in a quick pick-up game with the "prez."

College Seal

"Post tenebras lux" - "After darkness, light" is the motto inscribed on AIC's college seal and still serves as a reminder to all of the mission and purpose of AIC. Many of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff find the motto an inspiring reminder of the ways in which AIC led them to a bright future.

The Flag Room

Wander into the library, turn a corner, and you enter the Flag Room. Holding AIC's journals and periodicals, and featuring quiet spaces for studying, the ceiling of the Flag Room is covered in...you guessed it... flags from around the world. More than 35 flags hang suspended from the ceiling, representing the countries of origin for AIC's international student population.

Have a Seat

One of the keystones of the AIC experience is the opportunity to interact with students from many different backgrounds, forming friendships that last a lifetime. AIC students do this all over campus, but you will commonly find groups of students "having a seat" on the steps of the Student Center (overlooking the quad), at the picnic tables in front of the Dining Commons (or the "DC" as we call it), or in the Living Room, a comfy indoor space with a fireplace, magazines, and overhead doors that open onto our patio, creating a beautiful indoor/outdoor space.

The Haka

Join AIC's men's rugby team in the Haka before a match. A traditional ancestral war dance from the Māori people of New Zealand, war haka (peruperu) were originally performed by warriors before a battle, proclaiming their strength and prowess in order to intimidate the opposition. See for yourself how intimidating it can be.

Stress-Free Week

The week of finals is always stressful. AIC prepares by hosting Stress-Free Week in advance of your exams. Activities include a Midnight Breakfast that even some faculty attend (they can get stressed out too).

The Parade of Nations

With deep international roots, AIC celebrates the heritage of our international students each year with the Parade of Nations. Graduating students with international backgrounds enter the arena with the flag representing their country.

Quad As...

You never quite know what to expect when you head to the quad. In the middle of the winter, it may be turned into an impromptu ice rink. Sweltering hot day? You will likely find slip 'n slides set up to help cool you down. Kickball game in progress? Join in. Rock wall set up? Get climbing. The quad is truly the heart of the campus, and its AIC tradition to keep you guessing as to what fun activity will be happening there next.

Homecoming Weekend

There is always plenty of music, sports, and food at Homecoming Weekend as American International College celebrates its anniversary. The celebration includes reunion dinners, a Homecoming parade, and the return of fraternities and sororities to the AIC campus. Current students attend sporting events over the weekend, including our home football game (be sure to bring your eyeblack), and host the traditional Homecoming Pep Rally.

Deposit Bell

It is traditional in admissions offices across the country to celebrate a student's confirming deposit with the ringing of a bell. Well, in the AIC Office of Admissions, that "ding" is just the start to a celebratory hoopla. Admissions counselors emerge from their offices with horns, noisemakers, and "hoorays." Deposit at AIC's annual Accepted Student's Day and you even get to "ring the bell" yourself!

AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE | 1000 State Street | Springfield MA 01109 | 800.242.3142 | TRANSFORMING LIVES SINCE 1885

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