Gold victory at UM’s College Night

Published 12:04 pm Monday, February 13, 2017

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Reporter

MONTEVALLO – “It’s time to fight,” SGA President Hunter Huie read, sending the Gold Side into a victorious uproar at the University of Montevallo’s annual College Night.

Every year, each side picks a secret phrase from their production which, if read in the final speech by the SGA President, signifies their victory in the university’s weeklong homecoming competition.

“The tradition never ceases to evoke passion and delight because of its originality and competitive spirit,” Huie wrote.

Alumni and former Gold Side leader Andrew Heaton described College Night as “a microcosm of the college experience itself.”

College Night began in 1919 as a competition held in the dining hall between the classes at UM.

Soon after its inception, two teams were formed for the school: Gold Side and Purple Side. A sort of courtship became common for incoming freshmen before picking a side in the annual competition.

In 1950, the students and faculty decided College Night would be more like what it is today: a full production by the two sides with scripts, music, sets and costumes created by students from start to finish.

The days preceding the performances were filled with athletic events. Points are tallied throughout the week, but the performances were weighted heavily in the equation.

The productions on the final night were the culmination of hard work by a cabinet, full production staff and members from each side who contributed in innumerable ways.

Purple and Gold created their plays in the fall, recruited talent and then only had about a month leading up to College Night to prepare the sets and perfect their performances. This year, Gold Side’s reimagining of Robin Hood, entitled “A Very Notti Musical,” won against Purple Side’s magic-filled romp through New York, entitled “Showtime.”

“Our practices would often go from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.,” Charlotte Wickersham said.

Wickersham was on Gold Side and performed in “A Very Notti Musical” as “The Blonde One.”

“It was good to be [in a group] that’s so hard working and appreciates everyone’s talents,” Wickersham said.

Many alumni were present for the unique homecoming tradition. Purples and Golds hold true to their colors and come dressed to show support for their side.

“It’s one of the best parts of my year,” Gold Side alumni Megan Scofield Michaelson said.

Michaelson has been attending college night for 14 years now, and was proud to see her side win this year. She said the first College Night she ever attended was during her junior year of high school.

The tradition is an intense competition for undergraduates and a beckoning to alumni, who share fond memories of the process.

“You worked, you laughed, you cried and you loved. We are not just Golds. We are not just Purples. We are College Night. We are Montevallo,” Heaton wrote.