Students, faculty and staff were given markers to sign one of the steel beams meant for the highest point of the new facility.
Students from all over campus stopped by the alumni center parking lot between 8 and 11 a.m. to participate in the steel signing. Crusaders snapped pictures to capture the moment and keep the memory of the day fresh in their minds.
Junior pre-physical therapy major Jacy Mullins shared the experience of the event with a few close friends.
“I felt like it was a great way to leave my mark on campus, and it was something I will always remember doing,” she said. “I think students were excited to sign the steel because it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Some of my friends didn’t care to join in signing (it), but the ones that did were really excited to do it.”
To people who attend the university, the occasion was more than just adding their names to a steel beam.
Some left Bible scriptures. Others left anonymous drawings. But the bottom line was the students got to create their own little piece of history. This specific event was a rare opportunity.
“There aren’t many times that a college does remodeling of their campus and allows you to do something like this. So, it was a way that we could all leave our mark on campus. Other people may never see those signatures, but we will always know that we signed that steel and can say that ‘my name is in the football stadium,’” Mullins said.
But why would signing an inanimate object that will never be seen have such an impact on the campus? Mullins thinks this is a great way to leave a lasting legacy after graduation.
“Students associated signing the beam as making history because our signatures are going to be on that piece of steel forever now. It’s something that other generations and other classes of UMHB can look at,” she said.
Museum curator Betty Sue Beebe said the event is valuable to all Crusaders because it is a time of growth and progression for the university. Beebe is an alumna of the school and participated in the activity.
“All of us who signed our names are a part of significant history of UMHB. This is an important time for us to be students, faculty, staff and administration. As time moves along, we can look back and feel good about our participation in this event,” she said.
Director of alumni relations Rebecca O’Banion anticipates hearing stories from alumni about the day they got to pen their autograph down onto the new stadium in the near future.
“Any time you sign something that is part of a building, … it becomes part of history. The building of the stadium and student union are significant parts of the growth of our campus, and identifying with that growth is exciting,” she said.
Signing the steel beam gives Crusaders a chance to commemorate their time at the school and to be a part of something that will last a lifetime.
O’Banion said, “Students realize that building will be standing far beyond their life spans, so by signing it, they become connected for years to come.”