There was something very special about Saturday night’s Rah Rah Redlands event. Maybe it was the joyful laughter of the children playing carnival games, including an oversized Jenga, on a pleasantly cool summer night. Or the impressive sight of 147 Bulldog football players racing into Ted Runner Stadium to take on the Linfield Wildcats. Or the long wait since 2018 for the resumption of this food- and fun-filled annual tailgate tradition due to local wildfires and the global pandemic.
What I do know is we experienced so much joy being in person together under the big “R” tent to celebrate our beloved University and its close ties to the local community.
Upon arriving at the event hosted by Town & Gown with my husband and college-age granddaughter, we were immediately welcomed by Maroon and Grey Student Ambassadors and my fellow Town & Gown Board members. I volunteered as a greeter and helped wristband guests upon entry. The large crowd was comprised of U of R alumni, as well as people like me who live in town and want to support our local university. I saw many familiar faces—being able to talk to others and give hugs was so great! I noticed many of my friends also brought their children and grandchildren, and I was happy to see multiple generations.
Our Town & Gown membership is steadily growing, and I met several members for the first time on Saturday, including those who joined that night. One of our goals is to help the community learn more about all that is happening at the University. Several of our Town and Gown scholarship recipients were also in attendance. I am always inspired to hear what these Bulldogs are achieving at Redlands, and I am proud of our longstanding scholarship program that makes such a tangible difference in their lives.
Director of Alumni and Community Relations Shelli Stockton and Interim Head Football Coach Jim Good spoke to the attendees. We also had the opportunity to hear from President Krista Newkirk, gracious as always, who also performed the coin toss. I enjoyed hearing President Newkirk speak at the Redlands Bowl and the Redlands City Council earlier this summer. Even though she is relatively new to her role, I feel like she has already embraced everything about Redlands!
We cheered from the stands with our maroon foam fingers (Go Dawgs!) and enjoyed the performances by the U of R cheerleaders. Even though the final football score was not in our favor, the event was a big success.
When my husband and I lived on Campus Street for several years, we would walk our dog through the beautiful Redlands campus. We learned about the different buildings, events like the symphony and Fourth of July, and student groups and athletic teams. For me and many others, the University is an important part of life in the City of Redlands, and Rah Rah Redlands was a fun way to celebrate this relationship in our own backyard.
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