UM boasts creative college tradition

Published 9:27 pm Friday, January 23, 2009

There are many focal points in our lives – those defining moments when we begin a journey toward our ultimate destination.

Oftentimes those moments bring out leadership potential in us and challenge us to develop our abilities. Attending the University of Montevallo and participating in College Night, the oldest college tradition in the United States, presented one such moment for me.

First held in 1919, the 88–year–old tradition presents two sides, the Purples and the Golds in a week–long competition. There are athletic events in which each side can earn points by winning and there is a theatrical production, which is the highlight of the week.

The productions are completely created by students. From the actual scripts, to the music, choreography and lyrics to the songs –– everything is a product of the students. The music is written by students, the lighting, sound, sets, props and costumes are all student produced. The level of professionalism of these performances is mind–boggling. It is hard to believe college students are capable of producing a full theatrical production from the ground up with very little money.

There are two leaders, a male and female for both sides. The student body votes on the leaders and both sides have a cabinet much like the President has a cabinet of leaders assigned to specific duties. There are cabinet members for publicity, finance, athletics, music, theatre and more.

The excitement of the Alabama-Auburn Game each year dims in comparison to College Night at the University of Montevallo. It is not just a contest of sports, but of intellect, skills and abilities, and it requires vast amounts of leadership from the students who participate. It also produces life-long friends and memories beyond belief.

College Night is being held beginning Feb. 1. Tickets are available by calling 665-6215 or visiting