August 20, 2013

Running of the Freshmen: Brand new tradition begins at season opener


Freshman Class of 2017 first to lead team onto field
at Tennessee Tech’s initial Running of the Freshman


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – All great traditions must be built stronger over time.

And, every great tradition – such as the National Hot Dog Eating Championships, the Indianapolis 500, the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, or the Little League World Series – had to start somewhere, at some time with the very first one.

A brand new tradition will begin next week in Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium just prior to the first football game of the 2013 season when TTU President Philip Oldham will lead the charge onto the field for the first-ever Running of the Freshmen.

The University’s roughly 2,000 incoming freshmen are invited to join in the event Thursday evening (Aug. 29), joining President Oldham in ushering the 2013 Golden Eagle football team onto the field prior to kickoff for the season opener against Cumberland University.

The freshmen – Tennessee Tech’s class of 2017 – will assemble inside the stadium for the run. Every freshman participating will receive a custom-designed, limited edition t-shirt to commemorate the event.

Oldham and mascot Awesome Eagle, along with the mob of freshmen, will join the Golden Eagles as they take the field for the 7 p.m. contest.

“This type of event is only being done at a handful of schools around the country, and it’s been hugely popular,” said Leveda Birdwell, Athletics Coordinator of Corporate Sales and Marketing. “We looked at ways to help get our students involved, and this was a natural. President Oldham was excited about the opportunity to lead the freshman class onto the field.”

“It should be a lot of fun, and we think it can turn into a highly popular tradition through the years,” Birdwell said.

The freshmen are gearing up for a very busy first week on campus, beginning Thursday with the annual Great Move-In Day.  Before the start of classes on Monday, the weekend also includes the annual Freshman Convocation and group photo on Friday, Dancing on Dixie Friday night, a Color Run on Sunday.

Two athletics events are also on the schedule this weekend, and both include free admission. The Golden Eagle volleyball team hosts a Purple/Gold Scrimmage Saturday at 3 p.m. in Eblen Center. On Sunday, the Golden Eagle soccer team plays its first home match of the regular season, with a 1 p.m. starting time against Evansville.

For more information on any of the freshman events, including the start of the Running of the Freshmen tradition, please call the Athletics Ticket Office at (931) 372-3940.