In March, College Night will look significantly different than it has in the past, as the Purple and Gold leaders have developed a plan to celebrate the tradition while staying safe during the pandemic.
College Night leaders, in coordination with advisors from the College Night Committee and University administration, finalized the plan in early October.
During College Night, which will be held virtually from March 10-13, the Purple and Gold Sides will celebrate their 100th year and UM will celebrate its 125th. To honor past College Nights, the side leaders have chosen to return to a modified format of the late 1920s. In honor of the University weathering the unprecedented times of COVID-19, the side leaders have also agreed to play as one side — both Purples and Golds together. The ultimate winner will be College Night and the University.
College Night and Homecoming are being held one month later than normal in 2021 to allow students time to settle into the spring semester, complete necessary COVID-19 re-entry testing and to allow for a safer rehearsal schedule for the College Night participants.
This year’s side leaders will review scripts not chosen for previous College Night performances to create the untold stories of College Night. From those scripts, the collective sides will develop three original songs, three dances scenes and three scripted scenes with a minimal number of participants safely distanced. The normal one hour and 15-minute production will be cut in half to reduce exposure.
Purple Side leaders Lavaun Thompson and Brey Hamblin said they were determined to keep the College Night tradition alive for 2021 while showcasing the unity the Montevallo family has displayed while overcoming the pandemic.
“Going into this, Brey and I both knew we had to make sure that College Night happened this year. During this time of uncertainty, when no one truly knows what is going on, we wanted College Night to be a constant in all of the students’ lives, something they didn’t have to give up. Keeping College Night alive safely became our biggest concern,” Thompson said.
Gold Side leaders Abby Jo Askins and Jonathan Everheart echoed their Purple Side counterparts.
“During these troubling times, the spirit of College Night has continued to shine through. As far as combining the sides goes, the unity between the two sides has truly been an incredible experience that no other set of leaders has gotten the chance to be a part of,” Askins said.
The side leaders’ plans have the full support of the College Night Committee.
“This year’s leaders inherited an unprecedented playing field with challenges unlike anything any College Night leader has faced. With the support of other College Night Committee members and alumni, they spent the summer working out plans that would allow College Night to continue regardless of the situation,” said Dr. Kelly Wacker, UM professor of art and chair of the College Night Committee. “I’ve had the privilege of seeing them work through the process— analyzing the ever-evolving situation, applying critical thinking skills and demonstrating a remarkable level of emotional intelligence. As a professor, I’m heartened to see them apply their liberal arts education in a real and meaningful way.”