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Lehigh Spirit Week energizes students

Her Lehigh spirit is as plain as the temporary tattoo on her face.

The long-standing tradition of Lehigh Spirit Week rallied the campus community in November to get psyched up for the football game against Lafayette, college football’s most played rivalry.

This year’s match-up between the two nearby institutions marked the 143rd in the series, the highest total in all of college football and 13 more than the next most-frequently played rivalry (Princeton vs. Yale).

To get the campus community properly revved up for the latest installment of this heated rivalry, a series of Spirit Week events—ranging from bed races to the Turkey Trot—were well attended and brought an overwhelming feeling of pride among students, alumni, and staff.

Not that Lehigh needs events to get fired up to face Lafayette on the gridiron. In the 2006 book Big Games: College Football’s Greatest Rivalries, Kim McQuilken '74, a star Lehigh quarterback back in the early 1970s, said this about the Lehigh-Lafayette football rivalry: “I played professionally for 10 years (in the NFL and the now-defunct USFL), but no other game I played in made my blood boil hotter than Lehigh-Lafayette.”

Here’s a list of Lehigh’s 2007 Spirit Week events—many of which are beloved traditions—with a brief description of each:

The Marching 97 spread Lehigh spirit across campus.

Marching 97 Campus Tour
One of the highlights of Spirit Week each year, the Marching 97 weave their way through campus buildings, dining halls, and classrooms serenading the campus community with all the traditional Lehigh fight songs.
View our special Marching 97 Audio Slideshow.

Spirit Your Ride
Hosted by the Hawk’s Nest
To help kick off Spirit Week, members of the Hawks Nest, a student-run spirit organization, painted car windows so fans could show support for the Mountain Hawks.

Spirit of Lehigh Parade
Hosted by the Class of 2009
Students, faculty, and staff decorated shopping carts as floats for this traditional parade through Memorial Walk and the University Center Front Lawn.

Tattoo Tuesday
Hosted by the Hawk’s Nest
Members of the Hawk’s Nest invited members of the Lehigh community to stop by the University Center or Rathbone Hall to get a temporary tattoo to show their school spirit during the week and the big game.

Bed races are a popular Lehigh tradition.

Bed Races
Hosted by the Class of 2010
Crowds cheered as teams of five students each raced on beds down Library Drive in a drag race format. Each team, composed of four pushers and one rider, decorated their bed before their match-up.

Lehigh Men’s Basketball Game
Hosted by Lehigh Athletics and The Hawk's Nest
The Lehigh men's basketball team tipped off against St. Peter’s in their home opener. During the game, the Hawk's Nest hosted a free pizza party for their members. For a recap of the game, click here.

First-year Wing Night
Hosted by the Class of 2011
Members of the first-year class met in Lamberton Hall to enjoy free hot wings and get excited about Lehigh Spirit Week.

53rd annual Turkey Trot
The Turkey Trot is one of the oldest traditions of Spirit Week. Students, faculty, and staff start their journey at Packer Church and wind their way through campus to the top of the hill and back.

The bonfire got students fired up for the big game.

Lehigh-Lafayette Bonfire
Presented by the ASA, Class Officers, and Spirit Committee
For years, the bonfire was the capstone event leading up to the football game vs. Lafayette. Built to a height in proportion with the number of students in the first-year class, students guarded the bonfire for a week, all day and all night. At the same time, upper-class members of both Lehigh and Lafayette would attempt to light the opposing school’s bonfire early. Although this week-long vigil no longer exists, the Lehigh-Lafayette bonfire on Murray H. Goodman Campus still embodies the same feelings, excitement, and emotion that it has in years past. With entertainment provided by the Lehigh pep band, Lehigh’s cheerleaders and dance team, and other student organizations, the entire campus community comes out to this event. Of course, the special guests at the bonfire/pep rally are always the Lehigh football team and coaches.

Lehigh Swimming & Diving vs. Lafayette
Hosted by Lehigh Athletics
Lehigh/Lafayette rivalry weekend got a kick-start at Jacobs Pool in Taylor Gym, as fans cheered on the Mountain Hawks. For a recap of the meet, click here.

Student spirit runs high at the sold-out football game.

Lehigh Football Game vs. Lafayette
Hosted by Lehigh Athletics
All other Spirit Week activities built up to this event; the 143rd meeting of college football's most played rivalry. As usual, the game had been sold out for weeks and alumni clubs around the country gathered in their home states to cheer for the Brown and White. For a recap of the game, click here.

Photos by Douglas Benedict

Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007

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