With New Look, Baylor 'Gold Rush' Fever Is Back

News Photo 442
July 19, 2002

by Jenifer Fergason, Student Newswriter

After a successful debut year, the Baylor Gold Rush is back, with a new look for the brightly colored spirit shirts that transformed Baylor athletic events in 2001-2002.

Gold Rush II soon will be in full swing for 2002-2003, as representatives from Baylor, the Waco Chamber of Commerce, the City of Waco, community volunteers and Baylor students look to paint the town GOLD, beginning with Baylor football's home opener vs. Samford Sept. 7 at Floyd Casey Stadium.

The Gold Rush II shirts, which will go on sale in August, sport a new design - the words "Gold Rush 2002-2003" in faded green block-type lettering, along with "Baylor University" and the interlocking BU logo.

Gold Rush II t-shirts are only $5 and are available in youth sizes S, M, L and XL and adult sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL and XXXL. Short-sleeve polo shirts with the Gold Rush II logo are $15 each and are available in adult sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL and XXXL. Long-sleeve t-shirts will go on sale Nov. 15. All shirts are made of high-quality 100 percent cotton.

Three-foot-by-five-foot (3' x 5') flags are available for $30 each. Each flag is made from high quality Gold nylon, featuring an interlocking green BU sewn on to the flag. Each flag has three grommets for mounting.

Last year's inaugural Gold Rush was organized by Waco businesswomen Debbie Sartain and Nell Hawkins to encourage the Baylor faithful to wear the bright gold shirts to all Baylor athletic events, while also strengthening the community's connection to the university.

The effect was immediate, too.

At Baylor football's home opener last September, Floyd Casey Stadium was awash in gold as more than 17,000 Gold Rush shirts were sold and worn by fans during the Bears' victory over Arkansas State. During Baylor's entire athletic season, Bear fans purchased more than 37,000 Gold Rush shirts.

The second wave of Gold Rush fever is under the direction of a committee of Baylor and local community leaders and volunteers, but the responsibility for running the program has been given to Baylor students, said Rick Creel, committee member and assistant vice president for operations and facilities at Baylor.

"We're very excited about having Baylor University, students and the Waco community work together as a team on Gold Rush II," Creel said. "Although we have community and university representation on the Gold Rush committee, this is a student-run initiative. It's so important for Baylor to be involved in the community and to have our students take ownership of Gold Rush."

Baylor students supplied the artwork for the Gold Rush II shirts, voted on the new design and will run the program under Dr. Kim Scott, director of campus recreation.

"For the students, it's about getting them involved in the community and in the design, marketing and entrepreneurship of Gold Rush," Scott said. "For businesses and organizations, it allows them to identify with the university and reveal to students that they back the Bears. Our goal this year is to sell 30,000 t-shirts and then polos on top of that."

Gold Rush provides an opportunity for various groups at Baylor and in the community to work together on the project, Scott said. It also is a way to promote spirit and support for Baylor's athletic teams, which together finished 40th in the Sears Directors Cup standings, the second highest finish ever for the university.

"We hope the Gold Rush becomes a long-running tradition for many years to come," Creel said.

Shirts and flags will be available later this summer at the McLane Student Life Center and the Baylor Bookstore or can be ordered online. More information will be available soon.

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