Students Jam-Pack the 5th Annual Big Yell

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Before Bevo, before Texas teams were the “Longhorns,” before orange and white were the University colors, how did students root for UT?

The 5th annual Big Yell program jam-packed new Student Activities Center multi-purpose room last night with around 600 raucous UT students and a sprinkling of alumni who found out just how cheering went back then.

Along with being serenaded by members of the Texas Spirits, participants learned the origins of several University traditions, shared some UT fun facts, won door prizes, and—led by the Longhorn Hellraisers—rehearsed and yelled University cheers from the 1890s through 1950s.

The Texas Cowboys even parked their cannon, Ol’ Smokey, just outside the building and fired it several times during the program.

Now organized by the Texas Exes Spirit and Traditions Council, the Big Yell was initially a project of the UT Heritage Society to record and preserve these long lost University yells.

The event has evolved into an organizational fair for STC member organizations and as a program to teach UT students, especially newcomers, the origins of some of the more popular University traditions.

Starting at 5 p.m., students lined up to get in on the pre-Yell pizza party, visit with STC organizations, and get a good seat. Everyone who attended received a free Big Yell t-shirt and a Yell book patterned after those given to students in the 1900s.

Then, in a postmodern twist, participants went from nostalgic cheers to 21st century ones—Longhorn Network personnel on hand coached them to shout “Welcome back! You’re watching the Longhorn Network!” for new promotional spots.


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