A uniquely UMW tradition brought an electric vibe to campus yesterday, with the revival of Devil-Goat Day.
“It’s the first time back since the pandemic,” said senior Carleigh Rahn. “There’s a new energy.”
Music was pumping on Jefferson Square, where a sea of students dressed in red (Devils, who graduate in odd years) and green (Goats, who graduate in even years) gathered for a high-energy, full-spirit competition that dates back to the 1920s. The event, which had been held virtually for the past two years due to COVID, returned in-person. And students were ready!
“Seeing everyone out here, it’s just so euphoric,” said senior Arianna Rodriguez, whose class hadn’t been able to gather for the end-of-the-academic-year ritual since 2019.
Soon-to-be grads joined sophomores to take on the juniors and first-years, braving a mechanical bull, scaling a climbing wall, shooting hoops, and jumping into a variety of inflatable contests. Devils and Goats tackled maze, obstacle course, bungee-resistance and gladiator-joust challenges. The teams received points for participating in games and for wins.
“It was so great to experience such a successful Devil-Goat Day after not feeling that energy since 2019,” said Director of Student Activities & Engagement Sandrine Sutphin. “The Class of 2022 officers within Class Council did such a great job planning all the components of Devil-Goat Week and especially Devil-Goat Day.”
The beloved custom typically takes place on Ball Circle, but with Commencement – also held there – coming up, the campus community is working together to protect grass recently planted after construction.
“This brings our classes together,” said freshman Madison VanBuren. “It’s kind of cool how we bond.”
Two icons – Sammy D. Eagle and Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker, set to retire in June – were onsite, pumping up the energy and cheering on the competitors.
In the end, the Goats took the epic tug-of-war battle. But the Devils raked in the most points for the ultimate win.
Said freshman Brent Pham: “Devils are just better, I guess.”
Until next year.