By Taylor Vinson (Iota Sigma, Southern Methodist University)
One of the coolest parts about the Alpha Chi Omega consultant job is getting to travel all over the country to our different chapters! I have visited 13 different campuses this fall, and each campus has taught me something new. I have always loved trivia, so here are 13 fun facts that I have collected about the wonderful campuses I have seen:
- Auburn University – Auburn was recently voted the happiest campus in the country, and let me tell you, I believe it! They even have a day on campus called “Hey Day” where students are supposed to say “hey” to everyone they see in order to welcome them to campus. Hey Auburn – keep it up!
- Texas Tech University – Last year, Texas Tech basketball made it to the Final Four! The students were so excited that a lot of them, including about half of our Gamma Rho chapter, drove 17 hours to Minneapolis in order to support their team! That is serious dedication, and I loved hearing all about their adventures.
- University of North Carolina Wilmington – I had the pleasure of visiting our Kappa Pi chapter for recruitment this year, and I fell in love with Wilmington! The people were so nice, and the campus is less than 10 minutes from the beach. Unfortunately, my visit was cut short because the whole school had to evacuate for Hurricane Dorian! Luckily, everyone from the chapter was safe, but it still made for a crazy story.
- Augusta University – Augusta is the second largest town in Georgia and the home of the famous Masters Golf Tournament each spring. It is also the home of our newest Alpha Chi Omega chapter, and it was so fun to join the consultant team in the establishment process this fall!
- Texas A&M University – Although I did not attend Texas A&M, College Station will always hold a special place in my heart because of my many family members who are proud Aggie alumni. A&M has SO many traditions, and the student body is committed to preserving the history of the school. One of my favorite fun facts has always been that “Howdy” is the official greeting of the university.
- The University of Texas at Austin – UT has many notable alumni (hey Professor McConaughey!) and is known across the country by the famous “Hook ‘Em Horns” symbol and logo. However, before UT officially adopted the longhorn, its mascot was a dog named Pig…As a native Texan, I have to agree that the longhorn is a better choice.
- Lamar University – One of the animators who worked on the Shrek movies is from Beaumont, Texas, where Lamar University is located. As a nod to his hometown, it is rumored that he designed Lord Farquaad’s castle to look like the library tower at Lamar! I was just at Lamar again a few days ago, and I can definitely see the resemblance!
- The University of Texas at Tyler – Last year, the President of UT Tyler tried to change the school’s mascot and get rid of their beloved eagle, Swoop. However, the student body was so outraged by the change that they voted to bring him back during a competition to design a new mascot. I love this story of student power– long live Swoop!
- The University of Alabama – Today we all know Alabama as a college football powerhouse, but the university was originally against starting a football team because they thought it was a northern fad that would never catch on. The Alabama football team was established in 1892, and it won its first scrimmage 56-0 against a local Alabama high school. Looks like the university was right to doubt the success of football in the South, it clearly never caught on. 😉
- Birmingham-Southern College – Over half of the students at BSC are student-athletes,
which is a huge percentage! Our Alpha Omega chapter at BSC has lots of athletes too, and over half of the current executive board are on one of the 20 sports teams. Members go to the games each week to support their sisters, and I loved hearing about their experiences!
- Loyola University New Orleans – There are four different colleges in the U.S. named Loyola University, but I am now partial to Loyola New Orleans (aka Loyno) because of the amazing food, sweet sisters, beautiful campus and fun city! The four schools are not connected in any way, but they are all called “Loyola” because of their Jesuit founding.
- Houston Baptist University – I had the chance to visit HBU while the Astros were playing in the World Series this year! Although the Astros did not end up winning the series, it was so fun to be there and cheer on a hometown team! I work with a few chapters in the Houston area, so I am looking forward to going back soon!
- Baylor University – Baylor is another campus known for its traditions and rich history! Two of the largest Greek traditions on campus are Sing and Pigskin. Although many universities have performance-based competitions for the Greek community, I have never seen one on the scale of Baylor! The Theta Iota chapter loves participating in Sing each year, and I cannot wait to see the final product in the spring!
I have had so much fun traveling this fall, and I am looking forward to adding even more fun facts to my list after I visit more chapters in the spring!