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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Bobcats celebrate 86 years of UA tradition today

    Eric Brown, a political science junior, and Riley Sutherlin, a sociology junior, left, talk to Jessica Simms and Jason Hunt, members of the Bobcats Senior Honorary, at an informational meeting in the Swede Johnson Building on Wednesday night.
    Eric Brown, a political science junior, and Riley Sutherlin, a sociology junior, left, talk to Jessica Simms and Jason Hunt, members of the Bobcats Senior Honorary, at an informational meeting in the ‘Swede’ Johnson Building on Wednesday night.

    The Bobcats Senior Honorary, a group of 13 seniors who serve the UA by working closely with alumni to promote and preserve campus community, celebrates its 86th anniversary today.

    The honorary’s goal is to make students feel like more of a part of the school and have more fond memories when they graduate, said Ronald Tang, a molecular and cellular biology senior.

    “”We’re hoping they stay in the Wildcat circle and keep in touch,”” he said.

    The Bobcats engage in a variety of reunions, benefits and other philanthropy events over the school year.

    One of their biggest events is Homecoming, which they organize in conjunction with the Alumni Association.

    Members do activities on the UA Mall, choose the annual king and queen and help organize the parade, floats and awards.

    “”We all care so much about the U of A and making it better and preserving its traditions,”” said Elle Hansen, a political science senior. “”There’s a bit of responsibility on your shoulders to make sure nothing happens on your watch that the alumni won’t like.””

    The Bobcats’ next big event will be on April 17. The Evening of Excellence is an annual awards event that honors academic and service achievements.

    They will also announce the next slew of Bobcats.

    “”It’s a night where all clubs can appreciate what other clubs are doing,”” Tang said, adding that this year will feature a historic display of campus clubs and honorees throughout the years.

    ‘We’re trying to bring all the history and traditions back so that people can see how far they’ve come,”” Tang said.

    The Bobcats Senior Honorary was started Feb. 22, 1922. The group was founded in a time of turmoil on campus and 13 concerned leaders stepped up to make sure the school’s heritage was preserved, Hansen said.

    The group was founded because the UA administration at the time was trying to get rid of some of the school’s traditions, said Devin Sreecharana, president of the Bobcats and a senior majoring in international studies and psychology.

    Ever since, 13 new students each year carried out the same mission of preservation, Sreecharana said.

    In the late 1980s, the group began a tradition of each being assigned a specific number.

    The story goes that when a Bobcats class was being announced at Evening of Excellence, somebody sneaked a peek at the names written on folders backstage and spoiled the surprise.

    After that, they began to number the folders instead.

    “”Even though it’s an accidental type thing, it’s turned into something really special,”” said Dove Mittelman, a communications senior.

    “”Each number has its own lineage,”” Tang added. “”It’s kind of like ‘big brother, big sister’ with fraternities and sororities. That way, if you have questions or concerns, you have one person you can really trust and form a lasting bond with.””

    The Bobcats are just starting the application process to select the next class. Any student who will have senior standing can pick up an application at the Associated Studens of the University of Arizona office, on the third floor of the Student Union Memorial Center or online.

    Applications are due March 7.

    “”We want to insure things keep moving forward,”” Hansen said. “”There’s been so many positive changes this year. We all want to continue to innovate and elevate the organization.””

    Hansen said that one of her favorite experiences as a Bobcat was getting so close with the other 12 members.

    “”They’ve really become a family to me,”” she said. “”The University of Arizona is the strongest glue to bring people together. It’s so fun to share a love for something like that.””

    “”You get a really cool red sweater vest,”” Mittelman added. “”I don’t know if I’ll ever wear it again, but I’ll always keep it.””

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