By Tori Taylor, September 6 2019 —
On Sept. 6 we celebrated the beginning of the new school year and the end of Fall Orientation. This annual Kickoff football game has drawn over 65,000 fans through McMahon Stadium since 2006. Kickoff is the first introduction that many new students have to the Dinos athletic program. It signifies a fresh year of team spirit and rallies supportive students, family, friends and alumni. As well, Kickoff is placed at the start of UCalgary Alumni Week — warmly welcoming a community of old and new students.
All students were invited to celebrate with a BBQ, theme park style set-up, and Dunk the Deans before the big football game — at no cost. There is never a downside to delicious food and fresh fall air. The Alumni Association graciously supplied veggie burgers, Spolumbo’s sausages and a variety of snacks and beverages.
There was a photo-booth set up and carnival-style games with no shortage of prizes for any lucky students who joined in the fun games. Dinos energy was high and the tailgate party carried on without rain, despite cloudy skies. While the rain stayed away, some deans got wet!
The final two deans to be dunked in the fan-favourite charity game “Dunk the Dean” were the Dean of Science — Leslie Rigg — and the Acting Dean of Engineering — Anders Nygren — who volunteered to be dropped into water tanks with big smiles and positive attitudes. Proceeds from the second annual event go to the Student Emergency Fund. Rigg started the dunk off with a soaking wet lead as she was dropped into the tank over and over again before Nygren ever made it into the water. The U of C Engineering students and alumni may be exceptionally bright and talented but target practice did not appear to be a strong suit. Eventually Nygren was dunked and the seal was broken. After the initial struggle, the Acting Dean of Engineering spent his fair share of time underwater. It was an enthusiastic show of alumni spirit and support for both the university and the Student Emergency Fund.
Crowds poured into the stadium for Kickoff at 5 p.m. and excitedly took the stands. A large fan turnout of 6113 showed awesome— an awesome Dinos spirit. The crowd lit up as they watched the Dinos triumph over the Bisons in a 24–10 game win. The 2019 Alumni Tailgate party and Dinos Kickoff served as an energy fueled introduction to new university students for the athletic department and as a fantastic start to the football season.