Ramblin’ On aims to light up Bobby Dodd

To celebrate the end of the Class of 2015’s stay at Tech, the Student Alumni Association (SAA) is hosting Ramblin On on Friday April 24 from 6–9 PM. Held in Bobby Dodd Stadium, Ramblin On is a party free to all students, undergraduate or not, who are graduating in May, August or December of 2015.

“It’s easily our largest event of the entire year with over 2500 attendees last year,” says fourth-year BA Carli Walker, President of SAA. “Ramblin On has been a huge success in our efforts to congratulate, support and instill a strong sense of Tech pride and tradition in our graduates.”

At the end of Dead Week and one week before the President’s Graduation Celebration, the party will feature a barbecue dinner, Rita’s Italian Ice, fireworks and pictures with the Reck and Buzz. Last year’s party also included a dunk tank featuring Tech faculty, a cotton candy stand, a photo booth and pewter replicas of the Reck for SAA members.

Graduating students must register for the event by April 21 via SAA’s website. Registering nets students a free t-shirt at the event, a chance to have a high resolution photo on Bobby Dodd’s jumbotron and entry into a raffle for a bluetooth speaker. Moreover, students who register before March 31 are able to vote on the official Ramblin On t-shirt design.

Attending students can also register a guest: registered SAA members can bring the guest for free, but non-SAA members have to pay $5. Non-graduating students can volunteer for the event; last year’s party saw 150 volunteers. All students must bring their BuzzCards and valid IDs for entry in addition to their Ramblin On tickets sent via email on April 22. Bags are not allowed, but small purses are and will be searched. Any visibly intoxicated students will be ejected from the event.

Planning is intense and begins almost immediately after the previous year’s party ends. Christian Peters, fourth-year ME, and Marguerite Bernard, second-year IE, are this year’s co-chairs of the Ramblin On and Commencement Initiatives Committee. The co-chairs spend the summer after the previous Ramblin On creating their committee and planning the year’s meetings.

“We have been fortunate enough to get Ramblin On down to a science,” Peters says. “We use previous years’ meeting agendas, timelines, strategies and marketing survey results to set the timeline and goals for the following year’s Ramblin On.”

Funding for the party comes from the Alumni, Student Alumni and Athletic Associations.

“These organizations invest in this huge graduation party in Bobby Dodd Stadium at the end of the spring for all graduating students to enjoy,” Bernard says.

At the beginning of Spring semester, each committee member is tasked with a role, including registration, marketing, photography and food and beverage.

“[Our] role is to lead and manage the committee through the year in the planning and execution of all the numerous areas of Ramblin On,” Peters says, “oversee[ing] the committee and ensur[ing] committee members are accomplishing their tasks in a timely manner.”

“Of course, the food, prizes, games and fireworks are always a hit and enjoyed,” Walker says, “but … we are striving for our larger goal of giving back to students and hopefully encouraging them to support their Alma Mater in the future.”

SAA encourages all graduating students to attend as the party will be one of the last times most of Tech’s entire Class of 2015 is together for many years to come.