Photo: Lauren Horsch
The air is filled with a wind of excitement, then suddenly a wet, bright orange stripe hits the skin. This means war… and Street Painting. Drake Relays Street Painting, the picturesque image of collegiate enthusiasm and Drake tradition, is one of 44 traditions the Student Alumni Association is celebrating.
“The Bulldog Book,” published by the Drake Office of Alumni and Development and the SAA, is like a “Create Your Own Adventure” novel in blue and white style. Its shiny new pages are filled with explanations of long-standing traditions, each with a description of how to check the tradition off a student’s Drake bucket list.
Jessica Berger, assistant director of campus and student engagement, said the Traditions Challenge is the main theme of the book. Students receive rewards for each 10-challenge milestone. Prizes include anything from Paul Morrison apparel to license plate holders. Students that complete 40 challenges by the time of graduation will receive the top reward.
Someone had to start traditions, like Sweetheart Sing and the Most Beautiful Bulldog Contest. “The Bulldog Book” encourages students to leave their mark at Drake and make their own traditions. How about skinny dipping in the reflection pool or starting a naked Helmick Commons run?
“We also encourage students to make their own traditions,” Berger said. “Drake University is what you make it, so we want students to think out of the box and really start some meaningful traditions of their own.”
New traditions could be included in future editions of the book, which is published every two years.
To be applicable to students the book needed student input. One student, junior Ryan Price, who serves as student alumni ambassador and SAA vice president of traditions, helped the book reach the hands of students.
“When you get together with an (alumnus) from the ‘60s you can talk forever about ‘Hubbelling’ or Relays or all those other traditions that are uniquely Drake,” Price said. “That’s why it’s so special.”
Another student who worked on the book is now one of those alumni that could connect with current students. Spring 2011 graduate Amelia Meith became involved with the book after she attended a national conference and saw other schools that had published a similar book.
“I hope that it helps students become more involved on campus, not only in basic activities but also an increase in event attendance and membership in student organizations,” Meith said.
Price said that SAA will host events like “Rocking at the Kissing Rock” and “Drake Founders Day” that will celebrate some of the traditions.
“We’ve heard great feedback so far regarding the book,” Berger said. “I think people are excited to have something that can hold all of their Drake memories in one place.”
“The Bulldog Book” is exclusively for new students. Non-first-year students can get a copy by joining SAA. For more information on how to join go to http://alumni.drake.edu, email Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 515-271-3935.
“The Bulldog Book’ is the perfect tool for them (students) to use in order to make the most of the time they have at Drake and participate in everything they can,” Berger said.