Wartburg Traditions

Wartburg is named after the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Germany. a center for culture and the arts since the 11th century. The castle became a significant landmark in Lutheran history during the 16th century Reformation. While under a papal ban and disguised as a knight, Martin Luther spent 10 months in hiding at the castle. During that time, he completed a translation of the New Testament into German. Considered one of Luther's greatest achievements, this translation became the standard for a uniform written language throughout Germany.

The college's castle heritage is evident in many traditions. The Saemann Student Center has the Hagemann Castle Room for special events, and the student cafeteria is called the Mensa, a German word for university cafeteria. The Vogel Library coffee shop also has a German name, the Konditorei. Vocal music groups include the Castle Singers and the Ritterchor (Knights Choir). Meistersinger Music Scholarships and music festivals are named for medieval singing competitions held at the Wartburg Castle.

Mascot, Colors, and Songs
The Wartburg Knight, Sir Victor, is the school mascot. The name Victor started in the 1970s and comes from the word "victory," which is something Wartburg knows a lot about on the field, on stage, and in the classroom. The college colors are orange and black. The college fight song was written by a 1950 alumnus, the late Robert Dotzauer.

Wartburg/Luther Rivalry
Since the 1950s Wartburg College and Luther College in Decorah have celebrated a friendly rivalry that has produced some legendary spectacles over the years. One such event actually lead to Rolling Stone Magazine listing it as one of the best college pranks of the year. Click here to learn more about the rivalry (PDF).

Outfly Tradition
Sometimes called by its German name, "Ausflug," Outfly is a student-initiated, one-day holiday. This Wartburg tradition traces back to the 1890s. It now occurs once a year during the Fall Term. Outfly is called upon a date known only to the college president and the student body president. Evening classes on Outfly are not cancelled.

Knighting Ceremony
All first-year students are "knighted" by the president and other leaders of the College during orientation weekend.

Community Time
Community Time is every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. During this time, the entire Wartburg community is free to gather for various activities. Students and faculty utilize this time to attend forums, convocations, student body and faculty committee meetings, and for advising purposes.

Campus Worship
Weekday Chapel is each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the chapel from 10:15-10:35 a.m. It is led by the campus pastors, and messages are given by students, faculty, staff, pastors, and invited guests. Sunday morning worship is each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Midweek Eucharist, a student-led, informal evening worship around Holy Communion, is on Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m.

Victory Bell
The Victory Bell, near Walston-Hoover Stadium, came from Clinton, Iowa, the site of Wartburg College from 1894 to 1935. It had been in storage on the Waverly campus until 1984, when the Student Senate provided funds to mount it. Victory Bell Plaza was completed in 2001 as part of Walston-Hoover Stadium.


Learn about the culture of music at Wartburg.