Freshmen, seniors connect through Baylor Line signing tradition

Today marks the second time Baylor freshmen will have the opportunity to literally leave their mark on the ‘Baylor Line’. The new students will run the field for the first time on Saturday. Photo courtesy of True Head

By Meredith Howard | Staff Writer

Baylor has many well-regarded traditions, but not all of them are as old as Homecoming. Baylor freshmen had the opportunity to leave their mark on the literal ‘Baylor Line’ by signing it for the first time in 2018 on the Friday before the first football game of the season.

This year’s freshmen and senior classes had the same opportunity Thursday at McLane Plaza through Baylor Kickoff Weekend.

Athens senior True Head, the Baylor Kickoff Weekend chair, is organizing the event with Baylor Chamber of Commerce. Head said he hopes for the event to be held annually now, with freshmen signing their names on the Line and seniors leaving a piece of advice for future Bears.

“It makes a cool connection between our seniors and our freshmen,” Head said.

This year’s Kickoff events began Thursday from 6 to 11 p.m., with the Line Signing occurring from 7:15 to 9 p.m.

“Kickoff Weekend is a multi-day opening celebration to the Baylor Football season that begins with the Baylor Line Signing and freshman class picture at McLane Stadium in the Baylor Line Tunnel,” according to the Kickoff website.

Brownsville sophomore Sophia Garza participated in the inaugural Line Signing last year.

“[Signing the Baylor Line is] a pretty valuable part of your freshman year, realizing that you are actually part of something bigger than yourself,” Garza said. “There’s a lot that goes into going to Baylor, and not just going to classes or having mental breakdowns, cause everyone has them. But it’s a Christian environment and you’re just so immersed in the culture that you really realize that it’s not all about you sometimes.”

Head echoed Garza’s sentiment that Baylor traditions impact students positively.

“At Baylor, we’re really ingrained in our traditions,” Head said. “Tradition is something that is very important here as compared to other schools, and it’s such an old university— the Baylor Line is something that everyone feels a part of.”

Kickoff Weekend was formerly known as the Traditions Rally, but Head said the Chamber of Commerce was asked to “reimagine” the event due to dwindling attendance.

Other aspects of this new event include Line jersey pickups and a showing of the 2018 Texas Bowl at McLane Stadium on Thursday, and tailgating and a chili cook-off on Saturday.

Signing the Baylor Line is not listed on Baylor’s page of official traditions yet, but Head said the Chamber is interested in looking into the process of getting it on that list.

To learn more about Baylor Kickoff Weekend events, visit the Baylor website.