In the Spring of 1995, students requested a ceremony to create closer emotional ties to the university. Subsequently, a “Dubbing Ceremony” became part of Welcome Week. Each Fall new students are “dubbed” with a ceremonial sword by the university administration as “Crusaders Forever.” Prior to the ceremony, students light candles and sing the Alma Mater. Immediately following the ceremony the sophomores ring the sophomore bell the number of years the university has been in existence.
Charter Day celebrates the history and heritage of the university and commemorates the initial signing of the school’s charter on February 1, 1845. Observed on the first Wednesday of each February the students, faculty, staff and alumni honor the founders and acknowledge the university’s history. Sophomores ring the college bell and seniors place a wreath at the grave of Judge R.E.B. Baylor located in Heritage Plaza.
Homecoming provides opportunities for graduates and former students to return to campus and connect with former classmates and the university. The first Homecoming was held in 1909 and over the years has been held in either the Fall or Spring. Students and alumni together celebrate Homecoming in the Fall to include Football activities. Selection of the Homecoming Court and the pep rally with fireworks are some of the new events established by students.
Midnight March is an opportunity for students to honor their friendships with each other and exhibit their loyalty to the university. During the week prior, seniors give candles to special friends and invite them to attend the event. Seniors walk through each dorm singing “Up with the Purple.” As seniors passed the rooms of special friends, they “dipped” their candles in a sign of friendship. Midnight March is held at outside locations and concludes at the Senior Bell with singing the “Alma Mater” and ringing the senior bell.
Robing symbolizes the passing of the student leadership from the Senior Class to the Junior Class. The specific origin of the robing ceremony is not known, but it may have occurred as early as 1902. Seniors place their caps and gowns on the juniors, and this is the first time the Juniors are allowed to sing the alumni/senior song, “Up with the Purple.”
When the university marked its sesquicentennial in 1995, students, alumni, faculty and staff began establishing new traditions to propel UMHB into the 21st century. An important step in this direction was to custom design an official school ring. The new ring carries symbols and features chosen to distinguish a UMHB student from all others and serve as a lasting symbol of proud traditions. The UMHB ring is a visible, tangible manifestation of that ever-present bond between UMHB and its alumni.
An outdoor drama depicting Christ’s last days is presented yearly on the Wednesday prior to Easter. Dr. Gordon Singleton, MHB president 1938-1952, is credited with the idea for the pageant. Drama teacher, Cynthia Sory, was given $25 to spend on the production for costumes and props. The set has grown from a few stones and tables to a complete village, temple, palace, and crucifixion site, with over 5,000 in attendance. Children of faculty and staff play an important role in depicting families in the day of Christ. The president appoints students to portray Christ and Mary.
Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor
The Pageant provides young women opportunities to gain confidence and poise and to develop friendships through competition. The pageant has evolved over the years into a one-evening student-led event. Classes, student organizations and residence halls select representatives and judges interview the contestants, listen to their platforms, and evaluate them on the group dance, individual talent and evening gown stroll. The winner is crowned Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor.
The Class of 1994 held the first Crusader Knights in the Fall of 1993. It is a one-night, themed event for the men of UMHB. The competition includes a group opening number, short video-skits created by the participants showing their personality and talent, and the individuals walking in evening attire. The winner is dubbed Mr. Crusader Knight by the university president.
Stunt Night is a competition among the four classes that builds a bond between members and creates class spirit. It began in 1909 when George Rosborough, the physical education instructor, initiated Stunt Night to give the campus residents, who could not go home, an activity during the Christmas holidays. The Stunt Night committee selects a theme for the event, allowing the class directors time to prepare a skit and an original song. The winning class has the honor of decorating the Stunt Night blanket which is then displayed in the Musick Alumni Center and Museum for a year.I'm interested!