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Bear Growl to boost spirit

Nov. 4, 2004

By MANDY JOHNSON, reporter

Baylor University and Baylor Athletics play host to Bear Growl beginning at 4:30 p.m. today in the Ferrell Special Events Center.

Bear Growl, a new Baylor event for students, faculty, staff and their family members, will be held three times a year showcasing seasonal sports and building campus spirit.

"This has been a great opportunity for the campus to work with the athletic department," Liesl Rodenhaver, director of marketing and promotions in Baylor's athletics department, said. "We're trying to reach everyone to bring them together."

Bear Growl is a university-wide effort aimed at bringing the Baylor family together to celebrate unity and Big 12 Conference sports.

"This will be a fun program because students will be able to see the student athletes in a different light," Rodenhaver said.

Bear Growl begins at 4:30 p.m. with a free dinner and entertainment. All campus dining locations, except Memorial Hall, will be closed at 4:30 p.m. Following dinner, a men's and women's basketball extravaganza will start at 6 p.m.

"I think Bear Growl is a good way to get fans and Baylor enthusiasts excited about the upcoming season," Cassie Smith, Denton Junior and Baylor song leader, said. "It also allows the players to meet fans that back them throughout the season, and people are more likely to be loyal to a team they feel they know on a personal level."

Bear Growl will be the first opportunity for the Baylor family to preview the upcoming basketball seasons and witness the personal side of the coaches and athletes. It includes a welcome from Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr., season-pumping speeches from Baylor basketball head Coaches Kim Mulkey-Robertson and Scott Drew and action-packed contests between the athletes. Bear Growl will conclude at 7 p.m., but dinner will be available until 8 p.m.

"Bear Growl is great because after we've been practicing for a couple of weeks, it's great to see support and excitement for the basketball season," Drew said. Plus, it's a great way to put faces with the names of the players."

Rodenhaver hopes Bear Growl will be a fun evening for students, especially since there's free food.

"Bear Growl, a three time a year event, will provide the campus as a whole a chance to get together and have fun," Rodenhaver said. "What better tradition is there than that? And it's all free."

A shuttle service will be available from 4:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. going from the Bill Daniel Student Center to the Ferrell Center.

"Students will enjoy this event because they are supporting they're athletic teams, and we're all so excited especially after the win against Texas A&M University," Rodenhaver said. "Our athletes work really hard, and just going to one game pleases them so much."

A similar rally will follow this season's Bear Growl in the spring for baseball, softball, track, golf and tennis. Bear Growl's fall semester will feature football, volleyball, cross-country and soccer.