November 25, 2015
With Thanksgiving and the holiday season upon us, it’s the time of year to reflect on the numerous blessings in our lives and give thanks. Luckily, being part of the Red Raider family guarantees us a long list of things to be grateful for. Here are just a few reasons to be thankful you’re a Red Raider this year.
The Carol of Lights® annual holiday event is one of the most beloved Texas Tech traditions among students, faculty and alumni alike. The lighting ceremony includes holiday performances by the Texas Tech University Combined Choirs and a torch-light processional led by the Saddle Tramps and High Riders spirit organizations. The Carol of Lights has been a Texas Tech tradition for more than 50 years and ends in the illumination of more than 25,000 holiday lights adorning the 13 campus buildings surrounding Memorial Circle. The ceremony annually gathers more than 20,000 Red Raiders to ring in the holiday season and is one of the most popular among Texas Tech traditions.
As if having the best school colors wasn’t enough, the Double T symbol has been synonymous with the spirit and traditions of Texas Tech since its official adoption in 1963. The original version is said to have originated with Texas Tech’s first football coach E.Y. Freeland, who put the logo on sweaters for the football players in 1926. Since then, it transformed into the modern version in 2000 and can be seen all over campus as well as wherever Texas Tech’s proud alumni take it after graduation. When paired with a nice “Guns Up” gesture, no other campus symbol is so readily identified with Texas Tech.
Along with being one of the largest campuses in the nation at 1,839 acres, Texas Tech is also one of the most beautiful. With its Spanish Renaissance-style architecture, red-tile roofs, public art pieces and elegant landscaping, Texas Tech has been named one of the prettiest campuses in the United States. On home game days, you can see the campus adorned and the well-known landmark Will Rogers statue wrapped in red crepe paper – another favorite Texas Tech tradition.
Texas Tech has been nationally ranked for having some of the best “extras” on campus, including everything from the $8.4 million outdoor leisure pool to its recreation amenities, bike rental shop and athletics facilities. The Robert H. Ewalt Student Recreation Center has more than 242,000 square feet of recreation space for students, including seven basketball courts, a rock wall, a free-weight room, workout space, eight tennis courts, the new West Rec Turf Field Complex and the award-winning leisure pool. Besides recreational extras, Texas Tech offers students a variety of free services including campus transportation, financial coaching, tutoring, medical and legal services, IT and counseling. With all of these extras available free to students, Red Raiders have plenty of options whether they’re in need of a tutor, a doctor or a place to relax.
If Texas Tech fans all agree on one thing, it’s that the Masked Rider is one of the coolest mascots of any university in the country. There’s not much better than seeing the black horse and its cape- and mask-clad rider, with guns up, leading the football team out of the tunnel to the sound of thousands of cheering fans. Critics have agreed – the Masked Rider was named one of the top 10 coolest college mascots by the Associated Press, and his/her entrance with the football team on game days was called “possibly the greatest team entrance in collegiate sports history” by Bleacher Report. Wreck ‘em.
With more than 150 undergraduate programs, 104 master’s programs and 56 doctoral programs, Texas Tech has no boundaries for its students to explore their academic interests. As one of the few contiguous campuses that houses a law school and a medical school, Red Raiders can pursue any career they want without leaving Lubbock (but if they do, they can utilize one of the 30 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered completely online). While pursuing their academic interests, students will benefit from Texas Tech’s 22:1 student-faculty ratio, with 25 percent of its classes having fewer than 20 students and 55 percent under 50. Oh, and they’ll earn their degrees paying one of the most affordable large public university tuitions in the country.
The Goin’ Band from Raiderland is the oldest student organization on campus, beginning in 1925 when Texas Tech opened its doors. The band has grown to have more than 400 members. The matador uniform-clad group is one of the largest spirit raisers on campus as well as one of the finest bands in the country, having received the prestigious Sudler Trophy as the nation’s top marching band in 1998. The Goin’ Band’s impact on campus culture, music education and Red Raider spirit is unparalleled, and its ability to bring the Texas Tech community together with music is unmatched.
Texas Tech is home to the Military and Veterans Programs, which provides assistance for military personnel, veterans and dependents of veterans who attend the university. The program has received many national recognitions as well as helped Texas Tech to be designated as the first Purple Heart University in Texas. In addition, Texas Tech also has been recognized as a “Best for Vets” college by the Military Times for the last two years.
With Hispanic enrollment reaching 23 percent this year, Texas Tech is just steps away from becoming a Hispanic-Serving Institution, which will lead to more funding and opportunities to recruit and retain a diverse body of students. This diverse body of students at Texas Tech has continued to grow each year, with fall 2015’s enrollment breaking records at 35,893, a 2 percent growth from fall 2014. This total encompasses 41.5 percent non-white students, and exemplifies Texas Tech’s commitment to enhancing the educational experiences of a diverse student body in order to help its students navigate in a society of cultural differences.
After a great win or a tough loss, it’s uplifting to gather with fellow Red Raiders, guns up high, to sing the Texas Tech alma mater along with the Goin’ Band: the Matador Song. Yelling out “long live the Matadors!” with strangers and friends alike brings Red Raiders a feeling of unity and shared Texas Tech spirit – no matter how large or small the group.
These are just a few of the many reasons we’re thankful to be Red Raiders – a list we hope continues to grow with the Texas Tech family. Happy Thanksgiving!