Bluefield College students, faculty and staff celebrated the school’s 40th Annual Mud Pig Day, Thursday, April 26.
A time of fun and relaxation for students as they unwind from a year of study just prior to the start of final exams, Mud Pig Day is one of the most storied traditions on the BC campus. The event features a mud pit — a man-made pool of cold water and murky mud — and a water slide — a long plastic tarp on BC’s high hill beside the Dome doused with water, soap and cooking oil. Other traditional activities include corn hole competitions and inflatable games. Senior Jacquelyn Chick, taking part in her final Mud Pig Day, said her favorite parts were the sun, getting to be with her friends, going down the water slide, and racing on the inflatables.
“It’s a good time,” said Chick. “It’s fun and something to do in between classes and finals. It’s like a celebration.”
DON’T MISS THE VIDEO AND DOZENS OF PHOTOS FROM MUD PIG DAY 2018 BELOW
The Mud Pig Day tradition began on the campus of Bluefield College in the spring of 1979 when prior to the start of final exams BC students took a day off from classes, away from books, tests and studying to commemorate the end of another year of achievement. Meagan Stroud, director of student engagement, taking part in her second Mud Pig Day, said she and the Student Activities Leadership Team (SALT) took suggestions and ideas all year-round for Mud Pig Day 2018. They also began working on a commemorative t-shirt about a month before the event.
“I’d like to give the students a huge shout-out, because they worked really hard to make sure we had everything in place,” said Stroud. “And they all got here really early this morning, and they were digging holes for the water slide and really doing a lot of hard work. Maintenance and Valley (food services) have done a ton to make this possible, as well.”
Sophomore Sahara Brewster, the vice president of SALT, said that the student organization helped plan and implement everything for the event, including distributing the keepsake t-shirts and advertising for Mud Pig Day.
“It’s just a fun day to relax before finals and after classes end,” said Brewster. “What people usually do is go down the slide, play in the mud pit, and of course, the inflatables and all that.”
Students also enjoyed human bowling, bouncing onto a Velcro wall, riding a mechanical bull, a color powder throw, and a new addition, plunging faculty and staff into a dunk tank. In addition, the students had lunch outside on the campus lawn with a meal that featured the customary roasted pig and other barbecue picnic favorites.
“This is our 40th Mud Pig Day,” said Stroud. “It started with students who apparently chased a pig around. I have heard several different accounts from several different alumni. I can’t tell you exactly how it got started, but it was apparently somewhat of a joke or surprise to the people. But instead of chasing a pig, we just eat a pig now.”
Stories say the Mud Pig Day tradition began with a simple water balloon fight that developed into a full-scale, campus-wide water battle. Others recall how the event emerged out of a desire to increase school spirit and was named after a Lady Rams softball player who looked like every game she played was in the mud. Still others recall how the early years of Mud Pig Day included the actual chasing of a small pig, the crowning of a Mud Pig Day King, and the development of a formal day of games, competition, food, music, recreation, and fun under the guidance of Dr. Charles Tyer, president of the college from 1972 to 1988.
The fun concluded this year with President David Olive going down the Mud Pig Day water slide as part of a BC Giving Day fundraising challenge to alumni and friends, who gave more than $80,000 to the school to see Dr. Olive take on the slide. Final activities also included a bonfire and the showing of the movie “Pitch Perfect.”
“It’s one big last hurrah with all your friends,” added Stroud. “It’s especially sentimental and important for students who are graduating, because it’s one last big fun memory. I think it’s a wonderful time for the campus community to come together and really embrace each other as a BC family and have a whole lot of fun.”