Annual events at Denison University range from elegant formals to come-as-you-are get-togethers. A few of the campus events that occur with every trip around the sun include:
- Aestavalia — An annual spring event for students. Students enjoy an all-campus cookout and student group performances. Later in the evening, there's usually a concert or comedy performance. Past performers include Rusted Root and Michael Ian Black.
- D-Day — D-Day stands for Denison Day. For 65 years there’s been an annual concert, often a festival and games, and it’s usually a surprise that’s sprung on the students. Performers have included The Roots, Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright, and Mos Def.
- Big Reds Big Day — An annual spring event. Its a campus wide service project day. This year we will be helping the boy scouts complete badges and we will be hosting the Pinewood Derby for them.
- Big Red Weekend — Big Red Weekend happens each fall and is the opportunity for all members of the Denison family, including alums, parents and friends, to come to campus.
- Culture Jam — Culture Jam is an annual spring concert.
- D.U. Lead — D.U. Lead is a FREE three-day, intensive institute for emerging leaders in the Denison community. Limited to a select number of first-year students, the D.U. Lead institute aims to address and develop a variety of leadership skills.D.U. Lead is about leading with integrity and making your mark within the Denison Community to create and sustain positive change. D.U. Lead participants participate in fun, interactive activities and simulations in a lively, upbeat environment. Participants work closely with 8-10 peers in small groups called clubs. Participants will be mentored by junior/senior students who serve as club facilitators. The social change model of leadership development is the theoretical basis for this Institute.
- LeaderShape — The LeaderShape Institute happens over winter break and challenges participants to lead with integrity while working towards a vision grounded in their deepest values. Participants explore not only what they want to do, but who they want to be. Dynamic, challenging, and exciting, the week is intended to produce a breakthrough in the leadership capacity of participants — benefiting them individually, as well as their respective communities and the organizations they will go on to lead and serve in the future. The LeaderShape Institute is a 6-day, living-learning experience. It is an institute, not a conference, which means that all participants experience the same programs, discussions, and activities at the same pace. The LeaderShape Institute is the flagship program of LeaderShape, Inc. and is widely recognized as the premier leadership program for young adults in the nation.
- MLK Day of Service — The Denison Community Association’s Events Committee plan service projects for the week and weekend prior to the campus celebration. Projects range from making tie blankets for Salvation Army to baking dog biscuits for the Humane Society.
- Relay For Life — Relay for Life, a national organization that raises funds for cancer research, holds a 2-day series of events. Activities for the event often include performances by several Denison a cappella groups, a drag show, dodgeball tournament, and a luminaria ceremony.
- Senior Week — A four-day senior week after final exams gives graduating seniors time to socialize, pack, and participate in campus activities specifically designed for them.