Texas Tech University’s High Riders began in 1975 to serve and support women’s athletics.
This year is the 40th anniversary of the High Riders spirit organization. The organization was established to support women's athletics at Texas Tech University.
Created in 1975, the High Riders serve to further the spirit of the women's athletics program by providing an organization where female students can actively support the athletics programs and the university.
The members help with university traditions such as homecoming, parades, locker decorating, Carol of Lights and other promotional events throughout the year in addition to attending all soccer, volleyball, softball and basketball games in support of the Lady Raiders.
In 2005, High Riders became a part of the Raider Red (program). This gave the members the opportunity to try out for Raider Red, like their brother organization, the Saddle Tramps. Today, the organization has more than 30 members and is continually adding new members each semester.
In celebration of its 40th anniversary, alumnae were invited to campus this year to participate in traditions with the active members.
Vice president Alex Miller has been a member of High Riders for three years. She enjoyed meeting all of the alumnae and hearing them reminisce about their time with the organization.
“They encouraged us to remain loyal to our purpose and continue to support athletics and each other,” Miller said.
Carina Guevara has been a member of High Riders since the fall of 2012 and serves as the current president of the organization. She was happy to have the opportunity to help with and take part in the 40th anniversary celebration.
“It was such a memorable weekend because many of our alumnae haven't been on campus in over 15 years,” Guevara said. “They couldn't believe their eyes because of how much Texas Tech has changed.”
Carolyn Lugo-Allred was a member from 1980 to 1985. Many of her favorite memories of college are because of the friends she made while in High Riders.
“The friends you make in college are some of the deepest friendships you will ever make,” Lugo-Allred said. “It is this unfiltered openness, the willingness to be vulnerable and honest that fosters deep and meaningful friendships that are still very precious to me 30 years later.”
A former high school athlete and sports enthusiast, Lugo-Allred was drawn to the mission and values of the organization. Although she had leadership opportunities in high school, High Riders is where she first learned to serve in leadership roles.
“It is where I learned to work with a team to accomplish a task. I learned to work collaboratively and respectfully with a peer group,” Lugo-Allred said.
Texas Tech student Nancy Hughes had the idea for an organization to promote women's athletics in 1975. Much like the men's spirit organization, Saddle Tramps, her organization would support the women's athletic programs at Texas Tech.
With the help of fellow students Lyn Travis and Kathy Scott, Hughes developed her idea further, brought in an adviser and came up with a name for the organization.
“It was very unique how God put the three of us together,” Hughes said. “The personality and skills we brought to the table were different but fit together so well.”
After months of meeting and planning, the trio received acceptance from the university on February 2, 1976. During the fall semester of 1976, High Riders had their first rush period and successfully recruited more than 75 pledges.
Now, 40 years later, the hard work and determination of these ladies has touched the lives of many students at Texas Tech who've had the privilege to pledge and become a member of High Riders.