Hype builds around Marquette’s biggest holiday

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Hype builds around Marquette’s biggest holiday

Students band together at last year's National Marquette Day Men's Basketball game vs. Providence.

Students band together at last year's National Marquette Day Men's Basketball game vs. Providence.

Photo by Helen Dudley

Students band together at last year's National Marquette Day Men's Basketball game vs. Providence.

Photo by Helen Dudley

Photo by Helen Dudley

Students band together at last year's National Marquette Day Men's Basketball game vs. Providence.

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Holidays call for a time of celebration, some more than others, especially when the purposes of Memorial Day and Labor Day are regularly confused, and Columbus Day sparks an annual political debate over the praise of the North American discoverer. However, there is one holiday everyone on Marquette’s campus seems to be able to get behind: National Marquette Day, happening this Saturday.

For more than 25 years, Marquette students, faculty and alum have gathered all over the world to celebrate Marquette basketball and university pride. This Saturday, thousands will gather to celebrate Marquette and cheer on the Golden Eagles men’s basketball team as they take on the highly-rivaled Villanova Wildcats in Fiserv Forum.

The fact that the National Marquette Day game this year is against Villanova is an added source of excitement for many. Since Marquette’s famous defeat of Villanova in 2017, when the Golden Eagles won 74-72 over the highest ranked team in the nation and fans stormed the court, the Marquette-Villanova game has caused annual anticipation and high ticket sales.

Seasoned students and fresh-faced first-years alike expressed excitement for what the weekend has in store.

Jeff Farina-Morelos, a freshman in the College of Communication, said he is excited to experience his first National Marquette Day.

“I have heard many great things about the tradition and am very excited to take part in such a memorable day,” he said. “It is such a big game for the team and I will be there to show my Golden Eagle pride.”

Additionally, many that have experienced a National Marquette Day or two still expressed excitement.

“National Marquette Day is special because everyone on campus and former alum can come together to celebrate our university,” said Cal Smeets, a sophomore in the College of Engineering.

For many seniors, National Marquette Day day brings some nostalgia as they prepare to celebrate their last National Marquette Day and reminisce on their years as students. Audrey Taylor, a senior in the College of Communication, said her favorite National Marquette Day was her sophomore year.

“It was 70 degrees outside in February and we beat Xavier by nearly 20 points,” she said.

For Lyndsey Holan, a senior in the College of Health Sciences, this National Marquette Day will be her last as the student director of the Marquette Pep Band.

“National Marquette Day is such a unique experience for band members because we have the chance to be in the front row as super-fans for one of Marquette’s and the Big East’s biggest game of the season,” she said. “Playing the fight song for a sold out crowd with every fan on their feet cheering shows the loyalty Marquette instills in its nation.”

This Saturday will be the first National Marquette Day game at Fiserv Forum. Dr. Erik Janners, director of music and co-director of the pep band, expressed his appreciation of Fiserv Forum.

“The Fiserv Forum is a pretty great place to play. The band has some of the best seats in the house, and it can get extremely loud at key moments in a close game. The game atmosphere is tremendous,” Janners said.

Smeets said he thinks Fiserv is a great home for Marquette men’s basketball and is excited to be a part of the atmosphere.

Fan, musician or alum, the anticipation is building for many around Saturday’s holiday.

National Marquette Day, Janners said, is “…a day for everyone everywhere who is a Marquette alumnus to be proud of our university, remember the awesome times they had here as a student, faculty or staff member and celebrate the unique culture that is Marquette.”

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