The Oracle at the Oak (1934) and The Oracles of the Oak (1935, 1936) was an alumni initiation ceremony for BC graduates. It took place around the massive oak tree that once stood in front of Rebecca Hall on the Bridgewater College campus. Prominent Virginia historian Dr. John W. Wayland, Bridgewater College Class of 1899, wrote and staged the ceremony.
The ritual was sponsored by the Bridgewater College Alumni Association. Centered in a circle around the old oak, lovingly known as "The Old Sentinel", freshly minted BC graduates admired the strengths of the oak and pledged their lifelong loyalty to their alma mater.
Sadly, a lightning bolt struck and damaged the oak in 1936, putting an end to the ritual.
The tradition was revived in 2008. But this ceremony for the newest alumni did not catch on and ended shortly after its revival.
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