Photo by Madelyn Alexander.

Founder’s Day is on the second Thursday of every October to commemorate the founding of the Alabama Girls’ Industrial School and where seniors don their robes for the first time. 

While some events like class of 2020’s spring graduation were cancelled indefinitely, some moved to online platforms due to the remaining presence of coronavirus in the state and country, including Founder’s Day. 

On Thursday, Oct. 8, at 11 a.m., the university will hold the virtual ceremony on UM’s YouTube channel. 

In the annual tradition, the seniors march across Main Quad into Palmer Auditorium; however, this year, a photo frame will be installed in front of Palmer where students are to adhere to mask and social distancing guidelines. 

“I’m sad we don’t get to be in person, but still excited that we get to have a form of Founder’s Day,” said exercise and nutrition science senior Jill Sharpe. 

Also held on Founder’s Day is the Life Raft Debate, a newer tradition to campus. Sponsored by the Philosophy Club, each professor has to argue that his or her discipline is needed to help society flourish and therefore, they deserved the last seat in a hypothetical life raft after a nuclear war. 

According to Dr. Aimee Mellon, the committee that worked on the Debate last year has opted to “pause” this year. 

“Given the added weight many faculty and students have felt this semester (in regards to prepping and managing courses, etc.), the feeling was to take a break this year and come back fresh and revitalized next time,” said Mellon.