CTX Blog

Concordia University Texas Tornado Traditions

January 11, 2022
VorTex Balloons

Founded in 1926, Concordia University Texas has nearly a century of history, including one-of-a-kind traditions that make the University unique. Some traditions began at the historic downtown Austin campus, while other traditions were started at the current Northwest Austin campus.

Whether you're a current student, someone thinking about attending Concordia, or a family member of a student, we invite you to join in the university traditions at Concordia University Texas.

Founders' Day

On October 26, 1926, Concordia began as a high school to prepare 26 young men for church work. Since then, the school has grown into a higher education institution that offers 20+ undergraduate majors and four graduate programs. The University's incredible growth prompted CTX to move to a bigger campus in Northwest Austin.

Every year on October 26, the Concordia community celebrates the University's founding and the meaningful work of the individuals who laid the foundation of the school.

Learn more about Concordia's history.

Purple Rock

Located in the Purple Rock Courtyard between the Arts & Innovation Building (Building B) and Cedel Hall (Building C), the university tradition of the purple rock began at Concordia's historic campus.

In 1926, Concordia was established on East Avenue (now Interstate-35) in downtown Austin. Over the decades, buildings were added to the campus, and more students joined the college.

One Sunday evening in the fall of 1968, a group of sophomores who wanted to avoid an exam set to take place the next day decided to take drastic action. They moved a giant rock in front of the doors of Kramer Hall, where they were supposed to take the test.

Their plan worked, but only temporarily, delaying the exam for 24 hours. The legend of the purple rock was born, and the infamous rock used in the scheme became a monument for CTX students to paint.

When the University moved to the 440-acre Northwest Austin campus in 2008, the rock and its rich history came along. It now sits in the Purple Rock Courtyard, waiting for you to make your mark, literally!

Coffee & Community

Every Wednesday right after Chapel, the CTX community gathers for Coffee & Community in the Welcome Center (Building A).

It's the perfect time for everyone on campus to take a break, meet new people, catch up with friends, and enjoy free coffee and snacks.


Concordia's longest-standing tradition is Coffeehouse, the campus-wide talent show that occurs every fall and spring semesters.

Hosted at the Black Box Theater in the Arts & Innovation Building, Coffeehouse provides a platform where students can display their God-given talents. In addition to classic performances like playing the piano and dancing, many students have performed some out-of-the-box acts, like preparing a meal on stage.

Tornado Tuesday

On the first Tuesday of every month, students are invited to come to Tornado Tuesday, hosted by the University Federal Credit Union (UFCU). Between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., you can enjoy free snacks and refreshments in the UFCU Student Center, which is located in the Arts & Innovation Building.

Take a break from class and your studies, grab some treats, and enjoy time with friends.

Nature Fest

Held during the spring semester, Nature Fest is an annual university tradition. It's a week packed full of fun events to celebrate the beautiful natural resources Concordia enjoys on its campus, including the 250-acre nature preserve.

You can join in a range of exciting activities such as:

  • Planting seeds around campus.
  • Watching birds of prey in flight.
  • Taking a tour of the Concordia Preserve.
  • Learning more about the University's environmental stewardship.


Fun Fact: Did you know that endangered species call Concordia's campus home? Two songbirds (the golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo) and the Jollyville Plateau salamander live on campus.

Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

Every year, the Concordia community gathers at the Pier (between Cedel Hall and the Science & Health Building) to light up the towering Christmas tree.

Students, faculty, staff, community members, and their families sip hot cocoa and decorate ornaments. Everyone then watches the tree light up. It's quite the site to see. Plus, VorTex the Tornado typically makes an appearance!


Last, but certainly not least, is the university tradition of the "Woosh!"

This is Concordia's spirit slogan, and you'll hear it across campus, during athletics games, at fun events, and even in the classroom.

Learn more about Concordia University Texas!