Nearly 300 Baylor University students will board six “Baylor-wrapped” buses Wednesday morning in Waco for the 1,300-mile trip to San Diego, all to support the Baylor football team in its Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl game versus the UCLA Bruins.
The buses left the Ferrell Center/Baylor Ballpark parking lot on campus at 10 a.m. Wednesday and are expected to arrive in San Diego around 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
The students will have breakfast at the Holiday Inn, 1355 N. Harbor Drive, and then watch the 22nd Annual Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade in downtown San Diego. About 60 of the Baylor students have been tapped to carry a 35-foot Baylor Bear balloon, which has been entered in the parade. Baylor’s Golden Wave Marching Band also is expected to participate in the parade. Students will attend the Baylor Sports Network Tailgate Thursday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium, cheer for the Baylor Bears at the Holiday Bowl game, stay overnight in a downtown hotel and enjoy free time Friday in San Diego before leaving at 1:30 p.m. for the return trip to Waco.
The student travel package cost $100 for round-trip bus travel, a game ticket, hotel room and tickets to the pregame tailgate. Tickets sold out in less than a week for the trip coordinated by Baylor’s Department of Student Activities. Donors helped offset the costs to make the experience more affordable for students.
About 600 members of Baylor’s 15,000-plus student body hail from California, which – outside of Texas – provides the largest market for Baylor students, alumni and prospective students. Of Baylor’s 155,000 living alumni, approximately 8,000 live in California, with the most residing in Southern California. These connections – along with the Holiday Bowl game in the Golden State – provided a perfect opportunity for the university to introduce itself further in Southern California.
Baylor’s Holiday Bowl campaign includes newspaper ads, radio commercials, Internet ads and billboards around San Diego that feature successful alumni like “The Office” actress Angela Kinsey, Oracle president Mark Hurd, HLN news anchor Richelle Carey and Goldwater Scholar and NSF Research Fellow Juan Yaquian. The billboards can be found on Baylor’s official Facebook page.