Since its founding, Columbus School for Girls has developed and cherished traditions that unite generations of women.
The school works as a community to preserve the best of its rich history, embracing those practices that continue to connect students and alumnae and reshaping those for which the significance has changed along the way. These "ties that bind" endure longer in the memories of alumnae than any given curriculum or period in history.
Beneath the Columbus School for Girls’ crest, on a banner, are the Latin words, Forte et Gratum. This school motto, which means strength and grace, ably reflects the way in which two progressive women, Mary Bole Scott and Florence Kelley, addressed the founding of a girls’ school in 1898. These women knew that the future education of young women would depend on strength of character being central to the academic experience. Today, that motto guides the school’s leaders in matters of philosophy, principle, and curriculum.
The Big/Little Sister program was initiated in 1904 to encourage association between older and younger students. Each class in Forms VII-XII adopts the class six years its junior as its Little Sister class. Times of picnicking and service activities are set aside to nourish these special friendships.
Sister classes share the same class flag, song, and colors. Upon the graduation of the Big Sister class, the Little Sisters inherit these sacred symbols and share them with their own Little Sisters. The passing of the flags and songs takes place in a special ceremony during the Middle School Celebration at the end of the school year. Class presidents continue the tradition of carrying their class flags during assemblies and special programs while the Student Council President carries the American flag.