“What’s it going to be?”

Published 2:48 pm Friday, February 4, 2011

The Purple and Gold team's signs for this year's College Night at the University of Montevallo sit in front of Farmer Hall. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering

MONTEVALLO – The University of Montevallo is a campus divided this week as students from the Gold and Purple sides busily prepare for the 93rd annual College Night, the university’s most beloved homecoming tradition.

The week-long intramural event pits the Purple and Gold sides against one another in a series of athletic and theatrical competitions. Points are awarded for each event and a winner is declared following the main theatrical production at the end of the week.

Kelly Wacker, the faculty chairman of the College Night committee, said this year’s events promise to hold as much excitement and as many surprises as years past. However, the competition has become intense as both sides feel the pressure from Purple’s consecutive wins for the past three years.

Elizabeth Minyard and Logan Reid, this year’s Purple side leaders, said they’ve been working since the fall semester to secure a fourth consecutive win for Purple. Purple hasn’t won four years in a row since the ’70s, they said.

“The competition has been pretty heated, but we’re all trying to be pretty classy,” Minyard said. “Speaking as someone who’s seen a loss, I know where the Golds are coming from. I’d be upset if they weren’t fighting.”

Gold leader Phillip Green said their recent losses have made the Gold side even more motiviated this year.

“It adds to the stakes,” he said. “We want it bad this year. We want to turn the tide and get the Gold back winning again.”

Both sides started the competition by displaying their signs outside Farmer Hall before the College Night pep rally Jan. 20, Wacker said. The signs give the first clues to the subject of each side’s production, which won’t be unveiled until opening night Feb. 9.

Minyard said the Purple’s sign was received well by their side and has received positive feedback from alumni and faculty. However, she was also impressed by Gold’s sign this year.

“The Gold sign is the best one we’ve seen them do in quite a while,” she said. “It’s pretty neck and neck on who has the best sign. You can tell that we all want to win this game because we’re all putting up 110 percent.”

Reid said participation in College Night seems to be up this year from both the student body and alumni. He said the students not only want to win, but want to put on a good event for the university’s new president.

“We have to show the new president what the game means to us,” he said.

The theatrical productions will run Feb. 9-12 and will be judged by a panel of outside theater judges Feb. 12.

This year, both sides are allowed to use the trap door in Palmer Auditorium during the productions, Minyard said. The Purple show will be a high-energy production like never before, she said.

“People can expect to be blown away,” Minyard said. “I’ve been craving a show like this for a long time and now we finally have it.”

Green said the Gold also has a lot of energy in their production and has a mostly all-new cast.

“I’m feeling good about this year, but it’s still any ones game,” he said.

The final tallying of points and announcement of the College Night victor will follow the Feb. 12 show.

Wacker said students and alumni alike eagerly attend the performances to see what surprises the sides will unveil.

“The productions are always different,” she said. “They’re always a surprise to at least half the audience. The one thing that’s always consistent about College Night is there’s always a surprise when the curtain rises.”

For more information on College Night and purchasing tickets visit Montevallo.edu/collegenight.