Spring Fling: Memories for a lifetime
March 19, 2014 | Ashli O'Connell
Alumni from Evangel’s earliest years may remember it as “Campus Classics” or “Spinsters’ Spree,” but students today call it Spring Fling. Whatever you call it, it’s the biggest night of the year — and if you’ve ever attended Evangel University, you’ll likely remember it for life.
The traditional student-produced variety show hits the stage this Saturday night at Remington’s Entertainment Complex in Springfield.
Part comedy, part concert, part costume party … it’s hard to do justice to a description of Spring Fling (or it’s fall counterpart, Harvest Fest). Perhaps the best way to encapsulate all that this Saturday night will be is to simply call it the social event of the semester.
The entire event is entirely student-written and student-produced. Activities Board, a student organization that plans campus life events, oversees every element. The students write scripts, shoot videos, hold band auditions and handle all logistics for the shows. Planning takes place for months.
“Spring Fling is an opportunity for Evangel students to gather and have some raw fun,” says Junior Ruckdeschell, director of Activities Board.
“Since this event is off campus, it helps the student body to enjoy a night of entertainment without having any other distractions. Personally, I feel like Spring Fling and Harvest Fest separate Evangel from any other university. No other campus has such a high-energy tradition like this.”
Spring Fling is always a girls-choice night — a tradition that dates back to the 1960s. Each year a theme is chosen and students come dressed accordingly. This year’s theme is “Inked: Beyond the Page,” so there will likely be a lot of favorite book characters stepping off the pages and library shelves for the big night. “Spring Fling is a prime example of what makes Evangel special, says Student Activities Director Christy Rowden. “We celebrate our unique EU culture through inside jokes that allow us to laugh together and students’ diverse talents are showcased and celebrated. They are memories to last a lifetime.”
Spring Fling as it is held today is a combination of popular elements from the past coupled with new features made possible by the creativity and technology advances that mark today’s generation of students.
And you never know which of the acts you see at Spring Fling may end up being the artists you one day listen to on the radio.
On the left is a fun look at Evangel alum Sara (Colbaugh) Groves on the Spring Fling stage in 1994.
Groves is a 1994 graduate of Evangel. Today she is a recording artist with seven Dove Award nominations. In 2005, she was named one of the best Christian Music Artists of 2005 by Contemporary Christian Music magazine. Her 2009 album Fireflies and Songs was named Album of the Year by Christianity Today. Groves is also known for her work with International Justice Mission.