The annual Founder's Day ceremony honors the request of John McDonogh made of those who would benefit from his generosity. In his will he requested, “That it may be permitted annually, to the children of the schools situated the nearest to my internment, to plant and water a few flowers, around my grave. This little act will…open their young hearts to gratitude and love.”
In addition to the planting of mums, flowers are placed at the base of the monument for each member of the McDonogh community who passed away in the past year. As each person’s name is read there is a moment of silence as the bell in the tower of Tagart Memorial chapel tolls.
Later in the day, McDonogh alumni serve as docents as middle schoolers take a walking tour of the history of the campus stopping at Tagart Chapel, Allan Building, the John McDonogh Monument, Memorial Court, and Memorial Field House.