By Da’Sha Tuck , Staff writer
Rooted in tradition, family and higher education, Murray has many unique experiences to offer students. Some experiences are labeled as “musts” by locals and students. Here is a list of things exclusive to Murray to indulge in before students leave in May.
Taking your place in the tradition
Each fall, students make their way back to campus. Freshmen are invited to be involved with Great Beginnings, a week of seminars, games and fun designed to help students get acclimated to campus and hopefully meet new people.
Some of the events during Great Beginnings attract more than just first-year students. Tom Deluca, a hypnotist, comes every year, and students line up outside of Lovett Auditorium hours in advance to get a good seat.
Students also heavily attend the midnight water balloon fight. Last year, thousands of balloons were filled and piled on the football field for the event.
Murray State’s campus is full of stories left untold, except on the ghost tour given during Great Beginnings.
Keri Mogan, junior from Paducah, Kentucky, said she has had the pleasure of taking the tour as a Great Beginnings leader for the past two years, and it still gives her chills.
Mogan said the tour focuses on certain buildings on campus that are said to have spirits roaming the halls.
“The ghost of the elevator man in Old Fine Arts is always a favorite,” Mogan said. “He supposedly died working on the elevators, and he takes people down to the basement where they can only get out with a key.”
All Campus Sing
In the spring, students look forward to All Campus Sing. Students have been known to sleep on the steps of Lovett Auditorium all night just to secure a good seat for the performance.
All Campus Sing is an all-day event where most organizations on campus sing and dance on the steps of Lovett Auditorium in competition. The Quad is packed with hundreds of people. Professors know students are either focused on rehearsing or securing their blanket space on the Quad, so sometimes classes get canceled.
Another spring semester favorite happens in January: Campus Lights. This year’s performance of “Sister Act” marks 80 years for this historic musical, which is entirely produced and performed by students.
One of the more famous Murray State landmarks is the shoe tree located in the Quad. It is a tradition for couples who met on campus and got married to nail a shoe on the tree.
Recent graduates Eric and Carlie Schadler nailed their shoes to the tree in December 2016, one year after they were married. Carlie said the couple met while “benching,” another Murray State tradition where students pack the benches on the main walk through campus and people-watch. She said Murray State will always be special for her and her husband.
“It is where we had some of the best years of our lives,” Carlie said. “Having our shoes on the tree allows us to leave our mark on the place that brought us together.”
College students are infamous for eating junk food constantly, but no Murray State student should graduate without trying Matt B’s Main St. pizza.
Matt B’s is known locally to have the best cheese sticks in town, especially when paired with their homemade honey butter.
If students don’t like pizza, then there is always Burrito Shack, Belew’s Dairy Bar, Sammons’ Bakery, Murray Donuts or H.R.H Dumplins of Murray.
Murray State also hosts Midnight Breakfast every semester during finals week. Professors – and even the president – suit up with aprons and ladles in Winslow Dining Hall and serve the students.
After experiencing all of these events and foods that Murray has to offer, students can’t forget about the view from the 8th floor of the Price Doyle Fine Arts Building. From there, students can see all of campus from a whole new perspective.
Senior Allia Earick, from Murray, said she loves her hometown and all it has to offer.
“The best advice anyone can give is to get involved and get out and explore,” Earick said.