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Your Student’s Life

Students in Ashton HallBecause Seattle Pacific University wants to see our students grow holistically, we are committed to their academic, spiritual, and co-curricular success.

To help parents get a glimpse of that experience — to see into what SPU is doing for your student each quarter — we’ve created Your Student’s Life, a series of articles about life in and out of the classroom.

It’s our way of letting you know the opportunities open to your student each quarter.

View our latest news below, or read our archives with more helpful articles about Your Student’s Life.

Ivy Cutting: SPU’s (Most) Unique Tradition

Ivy CuttingOn June 12, in Tiffany Loop SPU graduates will participate Ivy Cutting — SPU’s popular High Ceremonies tradition.

Growing Excitement

Picture the scene: Surrounding Tiffany Loop are a throng of family and friends of graduating students. In the center of the Loop are SPU faculty, newly hooded graduate students, and members of the class of 1959.


And then, off in the distance, the plaintive tones of a bagpiper and the martial pulse of the SPU Percussion Ensemble are heard. And as the music grows louder and the musicians move into the Loop, behind them march this year’s graduates, visibly excited and ready for this unique rite of passage.


In fact, more students participate in Ivy Cutting than in any other event on campus.

From Ivy Planting to Ivy Cutting

The Ivy Cutting ceremony originally began in 1922 as the ivy planting ceremony. The idea was to cover the bricks of Peterson Hall, located at the west end of Tiffany Loop. But as the ivy plants grew, and expanded, and began to dominate, the idea to cut the ivy took root.


From that day the traditional Ivy Cutting Ceremony became part of Commencement activities.

More Than a Ritual

A long standing tradition.

Seniors gather in Tiffany Loop and are encircled by a long ivy wreath. The President, assisted by various other administrators or faculty, cuts the ivy between the seniors, thereby signifying the end of their college years and separation as they enter the world.


This is a symbolic gesture that permanent friendship and affinity with their alma mater will continue.


“I looked forward to Ivy Cutting from the day I became an SPU student,” says Lacey Henderson ’05, assistant director of undergraduate admissions. “After graduating, I rooted the ivy and kept it in my kitchen for two years. Unfortunately, when I moved I wasn’t able to take the ivy with me. Thankfully I still have pictures and memories of my favorite SPU tradition.”

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