This year, National Marquette Day was celebrated Sunday, Feb. 9. Many students were disappointed to learn the event would take place on a Sunday. In effect, students rallied around organizing an “Unofficial National Marquette Day” Saturday, Feb. 1, when the men’s basketball team played DePaul University.
Unofficial National Marquette Day felt like an official National Marquette Day. The holiday typically entails day-long celebrations that are bigger and better than any day of the year. Many students look forward to getting together with friends and repping their flyest spiritwear, throwing the wildest parties and chanting with the rowdiest student sections. It’s the peak of school spirit.
The energy and sense of community established on Feb. 1 showed that we can make any day feel like National Marquette Day.
The bar is high when it comes to National Marquette Day Celebrations; scheduling the event on a Sunday instead of a Saturday could potentially lower those expectations. Sundays are typically reserved for studying, rest and recovery. “Sunday scaries” — or the feelings of anxiety one may experience before an upcoming work or school week — have the potential to get even scarier with National Marquette Day festivities falling into the mix. This was one of the main reasons students collectively declared an unofficial National Marquette Day on a Saturday the week before.
University leaders sent a National Marquette Day message to the student body Jan. 30 clarifying that National Marquette Day would fall on a Sunday due to the availability of nationally televised weekend home games.
The message also reminded students to comply with the university’s alcohol policy. Behaviors like underage drinking and abusive consumption of alcohol were discouraged, though National Marquette Day falling on a Sunday could amplify risky drinking opportunities for students who decide to extend their celebrations across several days. National Marquette Day could become National Marquette Weekend.
It’s important to ask ourselves exactly what we are celebrating on National Marquette Day. There’s more to the holiday than the festivities accompanying it, which is why it could still fall on a Sunday.
University leaders called on students to remember the real purpose of this 25-year-old tradition: to celebrate who we are as a Marquette community, to recognize Catholic and Jesuit values of service and acknowledge our duty to be men and women for and with others.
With all the excitement surrounding National Marquette Day, it’s easy to lose sight of what the day is truly about. Whether we decide to celebrate for the entire weekend or just on Sunday, from where does our school spirit come? What is it about Marquette that makes our blood run blue and gold? When we say “We are Marquette,” what does this mean exactly?
Of all the universities in the world, it makes sense that Marquette has its own national holiday. Marquette fosters a dynamic community that spans across states, countries and generations. We’re driven to be the change we want to see in the world, fueled by passion that will “set the world on fire,” as Ignatian values tell us to do. We’re a part of something larger than ourselves.
The magic of National Marquette Day is the way it unites students, faculty and alumni. Parties and basketball games are a plus, but most importantly, the energy and connection we feel is unmatched by any other day of the year. It allows us to surround ourselves with the people that make our Marquette experience so special and celebrate the institution that brought us together in the first place.
Whether the official holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, we should treat every day like it is National Marquette Day. We should show school spirit for the Ignatian values we hold as a university and for the people we know and love. We should be proud to be part of this remarkable community.
This story was written by Annie Dysart. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.