Madeira Traditions

Madeira has developed a number of traditions that have stood the test of time.

Red and White Teams 
Since 1929, teams have competed for points during special days and competitions throughout the year. At the start of the school year, new students, faculty and staff are sorted into their teams and cheered on by the whole school. If you are a legacy of Madeira, you'll be sorted to the same team as your family. Are you Red Team or White Team?!


100 Days 
Seniors process into the Chapel/Auditorium wearing white to mark the day when they are 100 days away from graduating. The 9th, 10th and 11th grade classes present them with gifts and the seniors perform the senior chant. 


Founder’s Day 
This celebration, which used to take place on Miss Madeira’s birthday (May 19), now takes place on a surprise date in spring. Fun games, good food and great fellowship are a marker of the day and it always ends with strawberries and ice cream on the Oval.

13 Red Roses 
The 13 red roses carried by every Madeira graduate on Commencement Day, symbolize the 13 original boarding students at Madeira.


Halloween Parade 
The Halloween Parade is a hilarious display of girls and teachers in costume. The tradition dates back to the early 1990s. Every year students and faculty compete in categories like best costume, funniest costume, and most original costume.

Thanksgiving Assembly & Dinner 
Seniors share what they are thankful for at the All School Meeting prior to Thanksgiving Break. Former headmistress Dr. Elisabeth Griffith instituted the tradition.


The Snail 
Madeira’s snail mascot dates back to 1968. Today, ‘Go, Go Escargot’ is a favorite sidelines cheer. In 2016, the refreshed mascot, Shelly Cargot, was introduced and you can find her at sporting events, pep rallies and special Madeira activities.


The Oval 
Walking across the sacred space that is the Oval is forbidden, though it is permitted to meet in the middle of it, sit on it, and conduct classes on it.



Senior Bell 
In Main dorm you'll find the senior bell. Ringing this bell is a privilege reserved for seniors!



Senior Gallop
The day before graduation, senior riders take their last ride as Madeira students from the barn to the Oval and Main Bluff.