Tag Archives: Smith college

Smith College “Grateful Gate” Superstition


Smith College is a historically women’s college in Massachusetts. EZ is a current Smith College student.

Main Piece:

“So there’s this gate in the front of campus called the Grateful Gate, and you’re not supposed to walk through it until graduation, so um, I’ve never walked through it yet, and that way hopefully I’ll graduate on time.”


Many colleges and universities have a superstition that involves not interacting with some architectural part of the campus until graduation, with the superstition stating that if one does the superstitious action, one will not graduate on time. In this case, walking through the Grateful Gate is a part of the graduation ceremony at Smith College, so the transgression of the superstition is moving through this action at the improper time. By walking through the gate (metaphorically symbolizing graduation) before the actual completion of studies, the transgressor brings themselves bad luck.

For another college superstition with the punishment of not graduating on time, refer to this piece of folklore: “Auburn University – Seal Superstition,” Eli Alford, USC Digital Folklore Archives, May 1, 2021. http://folklore.usc.edu/auburn-university-seal-superstition/