Boston University (BU) recently had a case of “scarlet fever” on campus when it celebrated its first Spirit Day – all in an effort to engage students, faculty and alumni in school pride.
Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore invited students and alumni to “rock” the school colors – scarlet and white – for Spirit Day, which took place on October 28 on Alumni Weekend. Elmore, who donned his red Chuck Taylors for the event, helped school staff members hand out free prizes to students who wore BU apparel.
“School spirit is important, and we want to promote school pride on campus,” said event organizer Webb Lancaster, director of operations for Auxiliary Services. “Students should have an overwhelming feeling that they are on the BU campus because so many people are wearing their BU colors.”
Later that evening, the Barnes & Noble @ Boston University Bookstore was awash in a sea of red as it hosted an exclusive Rhett-Hot/Scarlet Fever Undergrad Night for “terriers” only (Rhett the Boston terrier is BU’s mascot). With the store open to only BU students, the celebration continued with refreshments, prizes, and appearances from the men’s and women’s BU basketball teams, as well as the BU marching band.
The bookstore celebration began just as one of the biggest storms in recent history hit the east coast – a storm that would eventually knock out power to over three million people. Undeterred by the rainy, snowy weather, students came out in droves for the exclusive discounts of 25-75% off BU merchandise and clothing, as well as a chance to win $500 in convenience points, tickets to sporting events on campus, and a semester of free textbooks.
“The turnout was incredible,” said bookstore manager Steve Turco. “Despite the terrible weather, students lined up for six city blocks and waited for over an hour to get into the store. I can only imagine what the turnout would have been like had the weather been nice.”
With over 2,300 students attending the evening event, many items sold out as customers took advantage of the incredible discounts. According to Turco, the bookstore sold a week’s worth of BU emblematic merchandise in just two and a half hours.
In collaboration with the University, the bookstore sent emails to nearly 300 thousand BU alumni containing a promotional code for the bookstore’s website that offered double the standard alumni discount. The online sales were no less spectacular – sales quadrupled during the discount period leading up to Alumni Weekend.
A second Scarlet Fever Spirit Day is scheduled for December 2 to help kick-off the winter athletic season.
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