The SUB is 70 — Baylor celebrates one of its most historic buildings

Liesje Powers | Multimedia Editor

By Bridget Sjoberg | Staff Writer

The Bill Daniel Student Center is celebrating 70 years of history this week with a lineup of events and activities to highlight the building’s traditions and historical significance.

The SUB was officially opened to the Baylor community on Sept. 16, 1948, and has since served students and staff as a place of unity and tradition. Birthday celebrations for the building’s 70th anniversary kick off Friday with UBreak and culminate on Sept. 22 with a special edition of Sundown Sessions in appreciation of the SUB’s history.

Jordy Dickey, assistant director of the student union, views the SUB as a space of community and fellowship for students and alumni and as a spot rich in campus tradition.

“To look back and see how the SUB, for 70 years, has served as the campus living room and common ground for students, faculty, staff, alumni and future bears to come and feel a sense of community and have the opportunity to learn about Baylor traditions is incredible,” Dickey said. “Stories from the SUB connect generations of Bears together.”

UBreak, an event where free food is handed out to students in the SUB every Friday morning, will begin SUB birthday celebrations on Friday with birthday pancakes, music and photo opportunities. Sundown Sessions will also be held Saturday as a “Trivia Night” to highlight the SUB’s history, something Dickey sees as a way to remember Baylor’s tradition of late-night programming.

“We do want individuals to come to Sundown Sessions if they’re able to since it represents such a long-standing tradition,” Dickey said. “If you look back in the SUB’s history, one of the program ideas the openers had was to have a party every Saturday night in the SUB. Being able to bring Sundown Sessions back is a nice toast to an important tradition.”

The SUB’s official birthday is Sunday. Alex Jantz, graduate apprentice for union board, encourages students, staff and alumni to reach out via social media to share favorite moments or memories from the SUB using #Subsational70.

“I would like to encourage any student to personally reach out and tell us how the SUB has impacted their Baylor experience,” Jantz said. “We would be honored to share that through Union Board social media accounts.”

Dr Pepper Hour, one of the most well-known Baylor traditions, will continue the SUB birthday festivities with floats, grab-and-go Dr Pepper in classic bottles and sprinkles for all attendees.

The culminating event will be Sept. 22, when another Sundown Session will hopefully begin a new campus tradition. Those attending can expect cupcake decorating, as well as archery tag and exclusive tours of the SUB’s attic — activities that play into the SUB’s history.

“In the attic, the Army ROTC would use the space as a practice firing range,” Dickey said. “When we were thinking about something that would bring back a fun activity, we decided archery tag would be something new and unique to introduce — hopefully a new tradition.”

Amidst the birthday celebration events, Jantz hopes students take the time to step back and appreciate the SUB as an important part of Baylor’s history and as a spot where generations of Bears have formed their own stories.

“I’m a Baylor grad, and I don’t think I realized how much the SUB was a part of my Baylor experience until I began to work here,” Jantz said. “My favorite part about the SUB is to be here every day and watch students make memories that I made as an undergrad — it causes me to reflect on my time here. All of the events this week are a great way for students to see where we’ve been and where we are now.”

Dickey agrees, encouraging students to value the SUB, and all of the memories that students continue to make in the building every day.

“I love the history that’s been built over time in this space,” Dickey said. “I’ve enjoyed seeing the beauty of the SUB and how it’s a space that’s been meant to feel like home from the very beginning.”