Each spring, a Founder's Day celebration is held in Auburn. As part of this celebration, the football team plays a scrimmage game that gives Auburn fans a chance to preview the Tigers before the fall. Fans come from all over to see the A-Day game.
Auburn's costumed Tiger mascot is in his 34th season as a spirit leader and goodwill ambassador for Auburn University. A popular character among Auburn fans and one of the more animated mascots in the country, Aubie has been on the job since 1979. His crazy antics and mischievous personality helped transform Aubie into the mascot we all love today. Some of his endeavors, as well as his constant promotion of Auburn spirit, are why Aubie was selected as the #1 collegiate mascot in the entire nation in 1991, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2006 and 2012 by the Universal Cheerleaders Association. Check out: http://www.auburn.edu/aubie/.
"War Eagle" is Auburn's battle cry, not a mascot or nickname. The most popular story about the battle cry dates back to the first time Auburn met Georgia on the football field in 1892 and centers around a spectator who was a veteran of the Civil War. In the stands with him that day was an eagle the old soldier had found on a battlefield during the war. He had kept it as a pet for almost 30 years. According to witnesses, the eagle suddenly broke free and began majestically circling the playing field. As the eagle soared, Auburn began a steady march toward the Georgia end zone for a thrilling victory. Elated at their team's play and taking the bird's presence as an omen of success, Auburn students and fans began to yell "War Eagle" to spur on their team. At the game's end, the eagle took a sudden dive, crashed into the ground, and died. But the battle cry "War Eagle" lived on to become a symbol of the proud Auburn spirit.
The 1914 contest with the Carlisle Indians provides another story. The toughest player on the Indians' team was a tackle named Bald Eagle. Trying to tire the big man, Auburn began to run play after play at his position. Without even huddling, the Auburn quarterback would yell "Bald Eagle," letting the rest of the team know that the play would be run at the imposing defensive man. Spectators, however, thought the quarterback was saying "War Eagle," and in unison, they began to chant the resounding cry. There is another story surrounding the 1914 Carlisle game. Each time the Indians had scored during the season, fans and the Carlisle players yelled, "War Eagle." But on this particular afternoon, it was Auburn's own Lucy Hairston who adopted the battle cry as he danced across the goal line for the only touchdown of the game
Another version of the War Eagle story comes from Indian lore. Legend says "War Eagle" was the name given to the large golden eagle by the Plains Indians because the eagle furnished feathers for use in their war bonnets. The rarest version of the origin of the "War Eagle" cry grew from a 1913 pep rally at Langdon Hall where students had gathered the day before the Georgia football game. Cheerleader Gus Graydon told the crowd, "If we are going to win this game, we'll have to get out there and fight, because this means war." During the frenzy, another student, E. T. Enslen, dressed in his military uniform, noticed something had dropped from his hat. Bending down, he saw it was the metal emblem of an eagle that had been loosened while he cheered. Someone asked him what he had found, and Enslen loudly replied, "It's a War Eagle!" History was made as the new cry echoed throughout the stadium the next day as Auburn battled Georgia.
Beat Bama Parade
Each year before the Auburn-Alabama football game, student groups work to build floats to participate in the Annual Beat Bama Parade. From Greeks to the freshman class and ROTC, many organizations take part in the parade. Along with all the fans that come to support the team, this parade and the pep rally at Toomer's Corner afterwards is a huge part of the football season.
Cater Hall Callouts
Held on the front and back steps of Katherine Cooper Cater Hall, callouts are a time when students who have been chosen for membership into certain campus organizations are announced.
If the weather permits, the brick walkway located in front of Haley Center is covered with Auburn students. Students engage in many activities on the concourse, from tables set up to promote organizations, to people socializing and others simply hanging out and enjoying a sunny Auburn day.
It's not your mother's Step Sing! Greek Sing is an annual tradition among Auburn's sixteen Panhellenic sororities. The words "practice makes perfect," and "again!" can be heard during spring semester as the sororities prepare for the event. Each Panhellenic sorority competes in a song and dance competition complete with costumes, makeup, props, and backdrops to produce an exciting show. The groups are judged and awards are given to the top three entries as well as a Spirit Award for participation and a Presidents' Choice award based on a vote of the chapter presidents. The event, which raises about $15,000 annually, benefits the Lee County chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
On January 29, 1985, Auburn reinstated an annual tradition of the Fifties and Sixties called "Hey Day," a day on which all students wear name tags and say "hey" to everyone they pass. Leaders on campus join forces and pass out name tags to support this tradition and prove that Auburn University has the friendliest campus around.
Aside from being a time for the alumni, Homecoming is a great time for the students. Spirits are high with events, including the Omicron Delta Kappa Cake Race, the big game on Saturday, painted signs and windows, election of Miss Homecoming, selling of the traditional mums by Mortar Board and band parties. In addition, the University Program Council brings events to celebrate the week, known as "Tiger Nights." Events include an outdoor cartoonist, hypnotists, fireworks and bands on the campus for students to enjoy.
Rosen-Hutsell-ODK Cake Race
The annual Rosen-Hutsell-ODK Cake Race takes place Homecoming Week and all are encouraged to enter the 2.7 mile race across campus. The first 25 to finish receive a home-baked cake. While the first male to cross the finish line wins a kiss from Miss Auburn, the first female to cross the finish line wins a kiss from a top Auburn male "celebrity." The race was established in 1928 by Wilbur Hutsell, the track coach at the time, to discover possible track team recruits in the freshman class. Women began participating in 1977. Check out: http://www.auburn.edu/odk/
Tiger Nights, a late-night programming event sponsored by UPC, is Auburn's newest tradition. This event happens the night before the Homecoming football game and features inflatable games, main stage concerts, a free midnight breakfast at Foy Student Union as well as carnival-like activities such as wax hands, cotton candy, and interactive games.
An annual event held Spring Semester, hosted by the Black Student Union that celebrates the African-American tradition of "stepping". "Stepping" is a traditional form of dance and song created by the members of the National Pan-hellenic Council. During this event members of the Greek community compete for monetary prizes. For more information about this event please contact the Black Student Union at 334-844-1389.
Toomer's Corner Pep Rallies
Auburn University is pleased to announce the return of a cherished Auburn tradition. The Student Government Association worked with the City of Auburn to bring pep rallies on the plains back to Toomer's Corner during football season. Thousands of students, faculty, and fans fill the streets at Toomer's Corner to cheer their Auburn Tigers! Encouraging spirit within the Auburn community and campus, these pep rallies have boosted enthusiasm and Auburn pride in the heart of each member of our great Auburn family!
Last Updated: November 23, 2015