Let me give you a little background info here...
Taylor University is a small, conservative Christian school located in Upland, Indiana. Never heard of it? It's because Upland is about 3 miles wide, 4 miles long (total guesstimations on my part. I could be being very generous). And it's located in the middle of a cornfield. And when TU wasn't in session, the town population dropped by 3/4ths of its residents. Now mind you, TU only has about 2000 students. We are located almost smack dab in the middle of Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. Upland's claim to fame is Ivanhoe's, a local restaurant who boasts over 100 milkshake and sundae options. It's also the only restaurant option.
Our claims to fame...
-#1 private school in the mid-west, according to US News (and have been for awhile)
-A former alum, Steve Johnson, was head of the EPA during the Bush Administration
-John Groce, Illinois basketball coach, is also an alum
-The tragedy of mistaken identity, which is still fresh to many. Hands down the biggest tragedy to have occurred at our school. I can also say that I've never seen a campus come together the way ours did that evening and the following days. (read about it here)
-And best of all....SILENT NIGHT! This was always one of the most fun nights at Taylor (along with Airband and a few other traditions). Here's how it works:
It's always on the last day of regular semester classes and coincides with the Ivanhoe's basketball classic. Everyone dresses either in pajamas, or if you live in Wengatz or Sammy (guys dorms), it's a crap shoot. Those guys dress up in anything and everything (or next to nothing). You have to be completely quiet until Taylor scores the 10th point, then the place erupts in complete pandemonium. I mean, you gotta let off some steam right?! The crazy thing here, is that our little tradition has made national news now. ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal (which was a huge surprise to me when I opened up to read about the markets that day and saw my fav place in there. I did a not-so-little dance and squeal in my office, let me tell you). Places (um, Illinois?!) are trying to copy us. Justin Bieber tweeted about us since the girls from Olson did a flash mob dance to his song...which was my former home. I couldn't have been more proud, let me tell ya. Prepare to have your day made.
And for your viewing pleasure....
Do y'all notice I said "we", and "us", and "our" a lot? As if I still go there? And am still a part of everything on campus? Let me just tell you, that's the thing I love about Taylor. If you have gone, are there, or will go to this amazing school, you are part of the family. We welcome you with open arms and once you're in, there's no getting out. I can assure you. And I mean that in the craziest way possible.
This place gave me 4 of the best years of my life. You current TU students? Enjoy tonight and etch it into your memory. You will look back on it fondly, I promise.