Continuing a UM tradition

Published 3:32 pm Wednesday, February 10, 2010

During the wee hours of the morning on one of the coldest days of the season, trees on Main Quad at the University of Montevallo began to sprout ribbons, and purple and gold ones at that.

As one College Night pundit uttered upon seeing the outcome of this year’s ribbon-hanging Jan. 10, “It’s on!”

And indeed it is as UM prepares to celebrate its 92nd-annual College Night in February.

Although College Night players compete in a number of areas, including intramural athletics, the cornerstone of the tradition is the theatrical presentations Feb. 10-13. Shows will begin at 7 each evening in Palmer Auditorium.

The shows are two original, student-produced, musical theater productions that can attract crowds of more than 3,500 over the four-day run.

For the past several years, the grand finales on Saturday have been sell-outs.

It’s difficult to adequately describe College Night, but a student’s words in UM’s 1975 yearbook, the Montage, provides insight from a personal viewpoint.

“What is College Night? There really isn’t a way of explaining it. You must live through one to receive all the joy and happiness it can bring.

No one but you can understand the reason behind all the sore thumbs in the scene shops, 2 a.m. practices on Palmer stage and the headaches you’ve gotten from the guy sitting behind you in the orchestra pit playing the wrong notes on his horn. But this is what it takes.

This is College Night. It is wrong to say someone loses College Night.

As long as one Gold goes through the campus yelling ‘GV’ (Gold victory) and one Purple is right beside him yelling ‘PV,’ (Purple victory) no one will lose. The overwhelming feeling of pride, hard work, and loving your side and its people stand up against any obstacle that blocks your path to success.”

Not surprisingly, the legend of College Night extends far beyond the campus. In 2000, the U.S. Library of Congress designated College Night as a “local legacy.”