WSU invites students, community to celebrate 125 years

125birthdayGraphic-01Weber State University is inviting everyone to join in on Jan. 7 for a celebration from sunup to sundown.

On Tuesday, WSU will celebrate its 125th birthday.

“Tuesday is going to be a huge party and celebration,” said WSU President Charles Wight.

Wight asked that students, faculty and staff, and Ogden City residents celebrate this milestone anniversary by wearing purple.

“We are getting out two main messages,” Wight said. “One is that we are celebrating 125 years, and that is a great success. On Tuesday, I am encouraging everyone to wear purple, not only here at Weber State, but all over the community, and really think about how we are going to support this institution and the students of tomorrow going forward.”

Chad Mosher, director of events for the Shepherd Union Building, and Nancy Collinwood, director of WSU Alumni Relations, have put together a schedule of performances, giveaways, games, food and more, with events starting as early as 6:08 a.m., when they will announce the start of the celebration.

Collinwood and Mosher, who were both students for WSU’s 100-year anniversary, said it is an honor to give back to WSU by working to make this celebration an unforgettable event.

“It’s a blast. In fact, I was part of the events committee when we did the 100th birthday party, and I helped plan that, and there is a little bit of nostalgia there to be involved also in the 125(th),” Mosher said. “I think it shows how solid Weber State is as an institution and an integral part of northern Utah and part of the fiber of Ogden.”

Many clubs and organizations will host booths with games and prizes, creating their own unique experience for everyone, Collinwood said.

“It is a great opportunity for clubs and organizations to get into the school spirit and work together to support Weber’s 125th birthday,” she said.

There will be a competition between the clubs and organizations at the Monday evening party. The club that has the most people come to blow up balloons and decorate will receive money toward its club activities.

Fox 13’s Big Budah will be broadcasting live around 11:45 a.m., and X96 radio personality and 1972 alumnus Bill Allred and his son, WSU student Dylan Allred, will host a short ceremony beginning at 1 p.m.

There will be special announcements from Wight and student body president David Wilson. Wilson will begin the countdown to 1:25 p.m., when 12,500 balloons and confetti will be dropped to cover the attendees. Afterward, everyone will get to have a slice from the 125-square-foot, 3-D cake of the WSU Ogden, Davis and West campuses, created by Ogden’s Vintage Cupcakes owner, Michelle Jones, who was a contestant on Season 5 of “Cupcake Wars.”

WSU will have 125 performers take the stage in the Shepherd Union Building from 7:30 a.m. to 1:25 p.m. Performances will feature WSU’s spirit squad, the choir and orchestra, and the Orchesis Dance Theater, just to name a few, with featured artist and WSU alumni Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband singing “Happy Birthday” at 1:25 p.m. before starting their concert.

The celebration will then move to downtown Ogden, where the new Weber State Downtown campus store will have its grand opening at 5 p.m. The event will include free food, prizes, music and dancing. The first 125 guests will receive a “WSU 125” commemorative scarf.

“This is the students’ opportunity to be a part of not only history, but to also be part of the future,” Collinwood said. “No other groups of students attending Weber will ever have this experience. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all Weber students and even the Continuing Education students.”

Cynthia Ulrich, the project coordinator for Downtown Ogden Inc. and a WSU alumna, urged all students to come to Ogden and participate. She said she thinks it will be a great opportunity for students to network with Ogden businesses, which is how she got her job with Downtown Ogden Inc.

“Downtown Ogden wants to collaborate with Weber State and Ogden City to make the birthday celebration a community, city and statewide event,” Ulrich said. “Since the College Town Initiative was signed, Ogden business owners, the mayor, the city council — they are all really thrilled to be involved in making sure the birthday celebration is not just celebrated at the university, but in the city too.”

An estimated 22 businesses on 25th Street and the surrounding Ogden area will offer discounts for students and community members who wear purple. Such businesses include Grounds for Coffee, which will be selling any size coffee or bakery item for $1.25; All About Socks, which is giving 25 percent off total purchases; iRock, Flowrider and iFly, which are all offering a 2-for-1 discount; and the Two-Bit Street Cafe, which will have dinner specials for $12.50.

Those interested in uploading a birthday wish, seeing historical photos or learning more about the WSU celebration can visit the WSU Alumni Association page.

“It’s going to be a celebration of being a college town again,” Wight said.