Washburn’s Alumni Tailgate

Alyssa Storm and Nick Solomon

One of the most well-known traditions of American sports is the pre-game tailgate. Washburn is no different. Before the game starts, several groups and organizations from different walks have their own tailgate, and, ahead of Thursday’s game, spotlighting a couple famous tailgates is in order. One popular booth is the Washburn University Alumni Associations’ tailgate.

According to Alumni Association Director Susie Hoffmann, the Association offers a tailgate two hours before every home football game. It costs $5 admission for non-members and is free for Alumni Association members. This year, Hoffmann says the tailgate will have a few changes.

“This year’s tailgates going to be a little different. We’re actually combining our tailgate with the tailgate party the athletics department hosted..with food and beverages provided by Hy-Vee and Strathman Distribution,” said Hoffman.  

Hoffmann also spoke on the importance of the tailgate what it means to pay a visit before home games.

“It’s, it’s a great way to keep alumni connected to their Alma Mater, keep them connected to Washburn. A lot of alumni follow all of our athletic teams. And so to do an alumni event in conjunction with an athletic event, you know, a football game is popular with alumni. it’s just a great way to keep them connected to Washburn. They’ll see other friends of theirs that were school together that they haven’t seen in a long time. So they get to reconnect with old classmates. A lot of make new friends and and then it’s just a great way to keep them connected, engaged with the university  for the long term,” said Hoffman.

Their tailgate will be located just north of the football field.

In addition to the Alumni Association’s tailgate being spotlighted, there is also the mass media department’s tailgate.

Professor Andrew Anglin of the Washburn mass media department said, “The tradition started during my time at the University of Mississippi at Ole Miss. So it’s something of a tradition that I wanted to bring over. And a lot of the times, what we’ll do is we’ll have snacks and have some music playing, places for people to sit, and talk. Sometimes some people will bring games like cornhole that you can do, or maybe toss a football around, depending on the crowd. And you network with people, with alumni, faculty, other students, and really just have a good time and get ready before you go watch the game. So much fun.”

As to why students should go to tailgating events like his, Anglin discussed why he was initially doing it when he was a student.

“It was a way to really get me into the culture of the school; it was a way to learn about some of the traditions, and it was a way to meet people coming from, going into the university and not knowing a single person. So that was one way that brought us all together, a kind of a common interest, common passion. And you just never know who you’ll meet. Sometimes you see your faculty kind of in a different light, but not a bad light. But of course, you know, you get to know them. More on that personal level, which we pride ourselves on here at Washburn. You meet alumni. You never know when possibly an internship or a job opportunity could come. And you just take a little break from what’s going on. You know, there especially on like a Thursday night, there’ll be people walking to class, walking from class, going to the library and coming back from the library. It’s nice to just say, “all right, take a little break.” said Anglin. 

Edited by Adam White, Jessica Galvin