Historical College Adventures

It is toward the middle of October and I have yet to decide what colleges I want to apply. I look at everyone around me and they all seem to be sure on where they want to go for the next four years. In my case, I find that visiting a school gives me the chance to see if I would fit in to the university.

When I began my college visits, I began to listen to several events and the historical background from the universities. Whether it was listening to the music video about the school or listening to a college tour guide talk about their old traditions, I found that these small things makes up a big portion of the school.

Attending Bradley University, I expected to hear the basic information from their representatives. Information about how diverse and great they were academically and athletically. Of course this information is important; it was also something that I have already heard about in several other schools. What made Bradley University unique was the fact that they showed a YouTube video of one of their student’s, Josiah Williams.

Josiah Williams was so enticed by the school, Bradley University, and by the city of Peoria that he decided to perform a music video called One More Night in Peoria. The song was so catchy that I ended up singing it even after driving away from the Bradley campus. Today, the video has gotten over 25,000 views.

When the school representatives at Bradley showed that video to the students that were to take the college tour, I began to think in my head that Josiah must have really liked the school to make a music video out of it. At that moment, Bradley became of an interest to me.

Traveling to tour other colleges I also found that many other schools had something interesting to their identity.

Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, for example, has its own stories that catch the student’s attention. When walking around the Knox campus, the tour guide led us to one of the older buildings named Old Main where Abraham Lincoln hosted one of his debates on Slavery. In 1860, Knox awarded Abraham Lincoln with his first honorary doctorate as presidential candidate. Because Abraham Lincoln did not receive a high achieving education, this was also his first academic honor. The tour guide at Knox described Lincoln as a jokester as she continued to explain that Lincoln climbed through a window in Old Main to reach the debate platform so long ago saying, “At last I have gone through college.”

Big Mo cannot be forgotten in being mentioned as something historical that has become important in the Missouri community. Big Mo is a six foot, 150 pound bass drum that for a long time led the fans into the University of Missouri cheers at football games. What was different in this big drum was that Mizzou alumni were Big Mo’s handlers instead of the marching band. This of course has been a tradition since 1981. Big Mo has now retired claiming the third largest bass drum in the U.S. and is sitting up in one of the student’s centers at the university.

Whether this information is useful or not to students that might be looking at these colleges, I find looking at a university’s history and success important because it shows the type of fun and adventure that the school has taken part of. Each school has their own small things that make up their identity. I personally base a small portion of my college decision on a school’s unusual information because when I attend college, I want to have part in one of the school’s future events.  I want to leave that school and say, “Yes, I was in the background of that music video. Yes, at last I have gone through college or Yes, I had the chance to hit Big Mo right before the start of our football championship game.”



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