Baylor Tradition 💚💛🐻
This weekend is homecoming at my alma mater, Baylor University. Tradition and homecoming are very important to us, unfortunately this year I will not be able to make it home for homecoming. But like a good Bear, I will still 'fling my green and gold afar' and share some of the Baylor spirit and tradition with you!
- •HomecomingHomecoming it's self is a very important tradition, as Baylor has the oldest collegiate homecoming in the nation, as well as the largest parade. As part of Freshman Class Council, I got to help carry the Bear balloon, the next three years I walked with the theatre department. Other festivities include a pep rally, live music, a carnival, the bonfire, Pigskin Review, and of course the game. Not returning for homecoming feels a bit like you are betraying an old friend.
- •Green & Gold & BearsOur colors were selected when members of the debate team, back in the 1890s, on the way to a meet, were inspired by the wild dandelions of Texas in spring. We have have one costumed bear mascot, Bruiser, and two live mascots, sisters Lady and Joy. This is Joy in the picture, you can tell by which paw they Sic 'em. Each live bear is given the title Judge (Judge Lady/Judge Joy) after the school namesake Judge R.E.B. Baylor.
- •Sic 'emA Sic 'em is this bear claw hand signal along with a cheer of 'Eyyy Sic 'em Bears!' The claw starts up and shaking on 'Eyy' and swipes across your body on 'sic 'em' and back up again for 'bears.' This is used for any kind of celebration and at the end of our school song, 'That Good Old Baylor Line.'
- •The Baylor LineAt each home football game, the freshman class, rushes the field and creates a human tunnel for the team to enter the field through, they then take their place in the front of stands to lead Baylor Nation in spirit. Each member of the line has their own golden jersey with their graduation year and a nickname on the back. Some also wear Slime Caps, felt hats with their graduation year. At the last home game of the year seniors join the freshman to run the line one last time, it's emotional.
- •Line CampThis week long summer camp for freshmen is pretty much a Baylor initiation. You learn about all of Baylor's most important places and traditions and cheers, most important is the trip to Independence Texas, Baylor's original location. Four columns are all that is left of the old campus, students receive their line jerseys and pass under the archway of the pillars to join the Baylor family. Some seniors even take a trip back to Independence before graduation.
- •Tortilla TossingIf you have ever seen an episode of HGTVs Fixer Uppers you have seen a shot of this, the Waco suspension bridge. The two pillars from the old bridge are still standing next to the new one. I can't remember how the tradition started, but Baylor students buy packs of tortillas take them to the bridge and toss them frisbee style, trying to land them on the old pillars. The empty tortilla bags then get tied to the side of the suspension bridge. Nothing deep to this tradition but it's really fun!
- •Christmas on 5thFifth Street is the main street that runs through campus at Christmas time there is giant human size ornament set up that reads, Christmas on 5th. During this event the Christmas tree is lit, there is a live nativity (complete with camel), music and pictures with Santa. I didn't get to enjoy this tradition as much as I wanted to because I always had rehearsal.
- •Dia del OsoThis translates to 'day of the bear'. Dia for short, this school holiday takes place on a Thursday in April, and it's a big party! On campus there are lots of activities like frisbee/volleyball tournaments, usually some kind of animals or outdoor activities, comedy performances, live music including a B list musician to headline. Baylor has a dry campus so most of the actual parties take place off campus. Each group usually creates their own Dia tank each year. It's an event.
- •All-University Sing/ Pigskin ReviewPitch Perfect on steroids, and invented wayyy before Pitch Perfect (like early 1950's). Every frat/sorority participants plus Sing Alliance (a non-Panhellenic group), with 100s in each group, each with its own theme. 'Sing' is the big contest held in the spring, winners perform the next fall during homecoming for 'Pigskin.' Pigskin might be a bigger deal than the game.
- •Dr Pepper HourEvery Tuesday of the school year for one hour, students can grab a free Dr. Pepper float and mingle. For those of you who may not know, Dr Pepper was invented in Waco, we have a museum for it, it's a big deal.
- •Stepping OutHonestly it's community service. But you do it with friends and Baylor promotes the idea. It's cool.
- •BSB FountainsAt some point before you graduate, it is tradition to run through the fountains at the Baylor Science Building. I got it done early with my Freshman Class Council group.
- •Freshman Mass Meeting/ The Immortal 10The Thursday night before homecoming the entire freshman class meets together and is taught some of the most important parts of Baylor, one being the Immortal 10, members of the basketball team who were killed in a bus crash in 1927. Another being The Immortal Message from Baylor's longest seated president, Samuel Palmer Brooks, in which he says 'to you I pass the torch.' A freshman torchbearer is selected and the class then builds the homecoming bonfire.
- •BUT HomecomingThis is special only to Baylor University Theatre, but I decided to include the homecoming ones for this. We have LOTS of traditions this evening is just one of them. The Thursday before homecoming the freshman are told they must prepare a skit for Friday traditions, this is the only direction they are given so anything could happen. Sophomores and juniors know this is coming and have already prepared their skits. The senior class wears all black and gives advice to the other classes. ❤️
- •All-University ThanksgivingThe entire university is invited to a free thanksgiving dinner on the quad with the president. It's delicious and cozy and wonderful!
- •FiestaBy far the best and most underrated Baylor tradition. The Hispanic student society puts it on every year, there are traditional dances and Mayan rain dances (that have actually worked!), loteria, free paletas and jarritos, and best of all free Taco Z!! There is music and games and it's so much fun! Me and my other south Texas and Hispanic friends looked forward to this all year, we always made time for it. It felt like home!
- •Ring OutThe literal passing of the tradition. Seniors ask a Junior to join them, the seniors wearing their graduation robes and the Jrs wearing white dresses and a flower given to them by their senior friend. Guys do join although it is traditionally a female tradition. The ceremony starts in the chapel and Baylor songs are sung, it then continues outside on the quad with the passing of the ivy, mace, and tradition. They then encourage you to go enjoy your beautiful campus together one more time.
- •"Baylor we are, and Baylor we will always be." 💚💛🐻