Baylor Libraries is partnering with Student Activities to take current, future and prospective members of the Baylor family back to the roots of the university's most storied traditions with its summer exhibit "Baylor Traditions: Learn the Legacy" which runs June 2012 through August 2012 in both Moody Memorial Library and the Bill Daniel Student Union Building.
Whether it's a seasoned Baylor alumnus discovering how the delicious Dr Pepper Hour originated, or an incoming freshman learning what exactly the slime cap is he or she will don come August, the "Baylor Traditions" exhibit features a wealth of "Did you know...?" moments for Bears of all ages.
"It won't be just an introduction to the traditions," said Kathy Hillman, Professor and Director of Special Collections for the Central Libraries. "But for those who are familiar with them, the exhibit will provide some deeper information. For example, there is an Indian grave in Burleson Quadrangle... Most people don't know that."
In addition to unearthing historic facts about Baylor and its traditions, the exhibit will also provide visuals to represent each custom. The images range from a variety of pictures, both past and present, to physical artifacts - such as the football from the first Homecoming game, yell leader uniforms and All-University Sing costumes.
In the libraries, the exhibit will begin in Moody Library's Goodpasture Concourse and flow into the first-floor corridor that connects Moody and Jones Libraries before finishing near the entrance of Jones.
In the Bill Daniel Student Union Building (SUB), Student Activities will feature the same traditions as the Libraries using display cases and posters on the first and second floors. However, Student Activities hopes to highlight a specific cluster of the university's traditions that originated in the union building.
"Coke Hour/Dr Pepper Hour, Sing, Pigskin, those things were all started here on the second floor of the union building," Director of Student Activities Matt Burchett said. "Because all those great programs have a foundation and a space [here] we think it's critical to remember the significant traditions of the university throughout the year."
While unable to choose a favorite tradition among those featured, both Hillman and Burchett think of Homecoming as one with the fondest of memories and strongest traditions. "When you tie in Pigskin, Freshman Mass Meeting, bonfire building, Homecoming worship service, the parade, floats, Homecoming game and the Queen, all these great traditions converge in one three to four day time period," Burchett said. "We do all these events to honor the original intent of Homecoming to 'renew former associations and friendships, and catch the Baylor spirit again'."
Visual representations of the traditions are paired with a wealth of historic facts to give viewers the backstory to each tradition. The SUB exhibit will also includes a timeline that provides visiting members of the Baylor family another visual way to see the rich history behind some of Baylor's traditions.
While glad that "Baylor Traditions" will provide fun facts and history for alumni and families, as well as other visitors, Burchett hopes it's the incoming students who will take the most away.
"How do we connect and engage students who aren't able to go to Line Camp to the traditions of the university?" he recalls asking. "So that when all the students come in the fall semester there is a foundation of understanding about what makes Baylor such a unique and distinctive place?"
"Baylor Traditions" will attempt to do just that.