Our Traditions

“We have such great traditions. They represent some of my favorite times at SAS.”
- SAS Student
As long as Shanghai American School has stood, it has been a place brimming with school spirit. The unceasing pride of being an eagle is brought to life not only in everyday activities but also in various wonderful traditions—both schoolwide and campus-specific; they showcase the individualized spirit of each campus while still holding true to the shared values of SAS on a whole. Here’s a glimpse into just a few:

Bust of Juno

Where o' where is the Bust of Juno? 

Every Shanghai American School student leaves their mark on the school. The first graduating class, the Class of 1917, is no exception. Upon leaving, they left a gift to the Class of 1918: the Bust of Juno Statue. What’s far more important than the physical object is that it left the beginning what is perhaps our school’s most enduring tradition. Classes battled for possession of Juno over the next three decades, accompanied by the taunting chat, “Where o’ where is the Bust of Juno?”

Eventually, Juno became such a distraction from schoolwork that she was limited to just two public showings a year. In 1948, she was locked away in a trophy case, when administration and students could not agree on rules for governing the tradition. In the fall of 2017, Juno made her triumphant return on SAS’s Pudong campus. The first class to retake possession of the Bust of Juno was the Class of 2018.

Today, whether it’s nominating members of each grade to race in obstacle courses to collectively deciding which grade cheers the loudest, a series of challenges in spirit assemblies determine the rightful possession of Juno. In this way, the Bust of Juno provides a raw example of student pride. That’s not to say, however, that students don’t swipe Juno and hide her when she’s spotted in the hallway.

The Bust of Juno serves as a reminder that although SAS stands as two campuses now, our rich history and lasting traditions connect us to be one school. More than a century after its origination, Juno remains an emblem of school spirit.

Ella Majer ‘22 (Pudong): “The bust of Juno is a piece of SAS past that is brought into current school culture and embodies the school morals such as pride and competition.”

Brooklynn Eggett ‘23 (Pudong): “The Bust of Juno shows how school spirit has never died throughout all the years of SAS.”

Turkey Bowl: Puxi

Every Thanksgiving, SAS Puxi students aggregate around our fields for the annual Turkey Bowl. As per our American roots, the Turkey Bowl is an epic 3-hour long American football competition between all grades 9-12 and the teachers to compete for the illustrious championship title.

As students huddle along the sidelines, snacking on hot chocolate and popcorn, the atmosphere is filled with rallying cries from each grade shouting emphatic cheers of encouragement towards their respective teams. Commentary of witty one-liners and good-hearted smack talk accompany the sound of team leaders shouting commands to their players.

The Turkey Bowl is a time in which everyone can feel genuine pride and excitement while watching their grades form a collective team greater than each part. The competitive spirit leverages our ambition and passion in a way that truly showcases the energy and soul of each grade.

Nolan Liu ‘20 (Puxi): “Our grade has always sucked at Turkey Bowl. But we come back every year just as determined as the last. I love that it brings our grade together towards a common goal: to become Turkey Bowl champs.”

Friday Night Lights: Pudong

Extracurricular activities are divided into three seasons at SAS. The first season consists of baseball, rugby, volleyball, band, dance, tennis, golf, choir, and cross country; the second season consists of basketball, swimming, table tennis, orchestra, theatre, and forensics; the third season consists of track and field, softball, soccer, and badminton. Meaning, no matter what time of year, you will find eagles proudly representing their school in a variety of ways.

To celebrate the unique talents of every individual, SAS Pudong hosts one Friday Night Lights per season. Friday Night Lights is a student-designed tradition full of food, sports, and spirit, where students and teachers alike come together to support whatever teams may be playing. Whether it’s a rugby match in September, a basketball game in December, or a 100m sprint in April, you can count on a roaring audience, streaked with blue face paint and holding burgers or brownies, to be in attendance. The night is always an embodiment of genuine SAS Pudong pride.

Sofina Hibbeln ‘21 (Pudong): “Friday Night Lights allows people to see what they are supporting and the work the teams have put in over the season. Everyone comes together to enjoy a night where you can show your SAS pride.”

APAC 100 Pins

To memorialize the dedication of every Eagle that has represented us, SAS rolled out the APAC 100 posters and pins.

SAS has always stayed true to its philosophy that the journey is more important than the outcome. Every year, students get the opportunity to travel to compete in sports and participate in performing art festivals—the most coveted being the end of season Asia-Pacific Activities Conference (APAC). Claiming a championship is more than just a statistic; a win is the culmination of hours of practice and the product of relentless passion. In an effort to memorialize the dedication of every eagle that has represented us, SAS has rolled out the APAC 100 posters and pins.

As SAS closed in on its 100th APAC championships, teams across the board raced to get there first. In fact, in the 2018 Season 3 APAC championship, both the Puxi Boys Badminton Team and the Pudong Girls Badminton Team won the 100th APAC for SAS at the same time. After a while, it was decided that the girls would have the honor of claiming this monumental milestone.

At its very core, the “First 100” campaign is about addressing the legacy that each eagle leaves. Little by little, the hard work from each of us builds something greater than a single trophy could ever convey. Each APAC is not only comprised of the thrilling highs of victory or the thousands of tiny moments of camaraderie shared by teammates, but it is also a celebration of what we have become as a collective community. When the boys tennis team won SAS’s first APAC championship in 2001, they felt the same rush of spirit and pride that our athletes and artists feel today competing and performing for our school.

In 1995, SAS became one of the founding schools of APAC. At that time, the two expansive campuses we know today were situated in a considerably more humble location - a rented space on Jiangsu Road without their own athletic or performing arts facilities. In the next 26 years, the ever-increasing list of athletic achievements only matched our growth in size and stature.

When our Pudong campus joined APAC in 2008, the friendly rivalry between the two sister campuses only set the stage for a greater SAS identity that is so often wonderfully collaborative. When the two sides of the river don a unifying white swim cap to participate as one team in international swim meets, or when our schools play as a collective ensemble for events such as APAC Orchestra and APAC band, the talent and ambition of every eagle is showcased in their full brilliance.

We have no intention to slow down. As of the Fall of 2019, SAS continued to keep a chronological count of their victories, accumulating 115 APAC championships so far. “The Second 100” pins have been distributed to teams that add to the ever-growing list of wins as a reminder to the legacy that every participant is helping build.

APAC will always remain as an event that draws the excitement and fervor of thousands of passionate athletes and artists here at SAS. But on top of that, it is a channel for eagles to leave a legacy. Here’s to the next 100, a goal only possible because of the amazing students that care so deeply for their craft.

Nolan Young ‘21 (Puxi): “I believe the recollection of prior achievements encourages athletes to push themselves to the higher standards set for them. It motivates us because we all want to make our school proud.”

Shannon Aumann ‘20 (Pudong): “It encourages students to support APAC events as we, as a school, all want to add more APAC Championships to our already long list. It brings us together.”

written by Mia Cheung ’21 and Eddy Xu ‘21