Due to winter weather, Salem Academy will open at 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, December 12, 2018. See our Winter Storm Update page for details.

Campus Life

School Traditions

With a heritage spanning more than two centuries, Salem Academy prides itself on being an institution that is rich in tradition.

Each fall at Opening Chapel, the official beginning of school, the Dean of Students shares personal messages and good wishes from alumnae. 

Each student is chosen to be a member of either the Purple or Gold team at the Athletic Picnic, which is held in the fall and encourages friendly athletic competition between the classes. Individual and team excellence in athletics are recognized at the athletic banquets in the fall, winter, and spring.

purple & gold day tug of war

At Smoosh Cake, a birthday celebration for the Academy favors baked in birthday cake are said to predict the future of the senior class.

During Parents Weekend, parents participate in a “mini-school,” visiting the classes in which their daughters are enrolled. Parents also have the opportunity to meet individually with the faculty members who teach and advise their daughters.

Ring Banquet, celebrated on a Tuesday evening in the fall, is hosted by the freshman class for the seniors. Each senior receives her onyx class ring. On the following day—Senior Day—the seniors are entertained by the faculty and staff at a special breakfast, and the seniors sing their songs to the other students, faculty, and staff during an outdoor luncheon. The seniors also teach classes throughout the day to the underclassmen.

Senior Vespers, a cherished Christmas event at the Academy, is a candlelight choral service during which seniors serve coffee and buns in the Moravian Lovefeast tradition.

Founders Day Convocation, held in the May Dell, celebrates the founding of Salem Academy and College and the convening of its first class of students by Elisabeth Oesterlein, who was the first teacher at Salem. Seniors wear their caps and gowns for the first time.

Near the end of the spring semester, the Senior-Faculty Breakfast is a time for the senior class to celebrate with their teachers and advisors. A famous breakfast appetizer of ice cream with cereal and strawberry slices is served, and a small group of underclassmen breakfast servers provide entertainment.

Closing Chapel marks the end of the academic year and is held on the last Friday of classes. Citizenship Award winners are announced, and four-year seniors are recognized.

Families are invited to celebrate Baccalaureate, a Recognition Day Program, and a Head of School Dinner on the day before Graduation.

Graduation is held on the last Saturday of May in the May Dell.

seniors graduating and throwing their caps in the May Dell

500 East Salem Ave | Winston-Salem, NC 27101 | 1-877-40SALEM