by Alex Ortiz
This year’s new students were dubbed Crusaders for Life in one of UMHB’s prized traditions, the annual Dubbing Ceremony. The Campus Activities Board (CAB) held the ceremony in Crusader Stadium this year, as part of Welcome Week, on Sunday, Aug. 8.
The ceremony began with words from UMHB President Randy O’Rear, and Provost John Vassar. Their speeches were followed by the singing of the alma matter by nearly everyone in attendance. After that, new students took to the field and stood in lines to be dubbed by faculty members. After the students had been dubbed, the CAB sent students to ring the bell at the Alumni house 176 times, once for every year since UMHB’s founding.
Cade Elkins, a freshman this year, relished his experience.
“I was born a Crusader, my parents attended UMHB, and my brother attends here as well. So, when it came to my time to be dubbed it was a little daunting. I know so many of the faculty – so who should I be dubbed by?” Elkins asked.
Elkins was dubbed three times during the ceremony, first by Dr. Vassar, then Dr. Skaggs. After the ceremony had concluded Cade was dubbed a final time by Dr. O’Rear in Bawcom. Cade expressed what the ceremony meant to him, how he’s waited for this day for a long time and is happy to finally be able to call himself a Crusader.
In previous years the ceremony was held outside at Luther Memorial instead of the stadium. They had a worship service in the chapel right beforehand. Students would then line up in their CruGroups outside sitting in rows and come up one row at a time to be dubbed, each holding a real candle in hand. Emily Fordyce, a senior this year, was dubbed at Luther Memorial three years ago.
“To me, being dubbed meant that I was officially part of the UMJB family and that no matter where I end up in life I will always be a Crusader for life,” Fordyce said.
Students dubbed this year received a different experience that held just as much meaning. Rather than being hosted at Luther memorial, it was held in the stadium and students held plastic instead of wax candles. Despite these changes as well as being in the midst of pandemic, the energy and spirit of the ceremony lives on.