On Oct. 19, Auburn University celebrated the 75th anniversary of Hey Day. The event took place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Haley Concourse and the Campus Green.
Hey Day, which began in 1947, is one of Auburn’s oldest traditions, according to Assistant Director of Hey Day Sam Laggan, sophomore in business administration.
“The tradition of Hey Day originated in the spring of 1947 when students returned from World War II,” Laggan said. “They felt unseen and unheard on Auburn’s campus, and in order to make them feel more included and a part of campus, the student government responded by creating Hey Day.”
Laggan said this tradition was his favorite, and encourages a “happy and friendly environment” on campus.
“Any person on Auburn’s campus, this may be the first time they are heard or seen on campus, or it could be their last time to be touched by the Auburn family, so we just love Hey Day and have worked so hard this part year to make it as amazing as it can be,” Laggan said.
While Hey Day holds a special place in Laggan’s heart, he is not the only one who looks forward to the event. President Chris Roberts also enjoys the longstanding tradition and was in attendance during the event, shaking hands with students and getting to know them.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to further build the sense of community we have on campus,” Roberts said. “I mean, that’s obviously one of the staples of our campus, that we like to create a welcoming environment for everybody. I just think it’s a wonderful tradition.”
Hey Day is a tradition that draws out a lot of students. Between simply saying “hey” to a fellow student, taking photos with friends, finding your way through the inflatable obstacle course or going to the Southeastern Raptor Center’s Eagle Meet and Greet, the event has plenty to offer.
Jake Jamison, senior in industrial engineering, said the event truly embodied the Auburn family, a phrase that was often used to describe the day.
“I think this day really embodies, the spirit of the Auburn family,” Jamison said. “Everybody gets a nametag, you meet people you’ve never met before, you get to say ‘hey’ to a lot of people and a lot of friendships are started on this day.”
Jamison also said the day is an opportunity to bring the student body together through the social environment it creates and the many fun side events it offers.
“It’s something that’s just really exciting for a regular Wednesday,” said Claire Litvak, sophomore in biomedical sciences.
Students not only expressed their love and excitement for Hey Day in words; they also expressed it in how they carried themselves, as noted by Emerson Graham, sophomore in apparel merchandising.
“Everybody is happy,” Graham said. “It’s a fun environment and everyone is happy.”
SGA’s Executive Vice President of Outreach Jordan Fluker, junior in biomedical sciences, said he loved being able to reconnect with friends he is unable to see during the busy schoolyear.
“My favorite part about Hey Day is being able to see people that I haven’t been able to see all semester and getting to connect with new people,” Fluker said. “What makes Hey Day so special is that we’re able to build community so fast. If I see a nametag on somebody, I feel like it’s an automatic friend.”
Hey Day is something that many students at Auburn treasure. They view it as a day of community building, fun and new friendships. And they believe it is what continues to make the Auburn family feel like a family.
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Tucker Massey, sophomore in journalism, is a news editor for The Auburn Plainsman.