For the University of Dallas community, the beginning of the spring semester also means that another significant event is on the near horizon: Groundhog 2018.
It’s the 55th Groundhog celebration at the University of Dallas, and this year, we think, might just be the best one yet. We’ve come a long way from those first ragtag gatherings in the woods, huddled around bonfires listening to music from someone’s eight-track player. The bonfires are still there, as are impromptu discussions of philosophy and poetry, but now there are live bands, food and Porta Potties. From refreshers on the standard information to some exciting new additions we’re trying out this year, here’s what you need to know about the night the Groundhog will dance with the promise of spring.
- The General Rules. As usual, your sweatshirt is your ticket and will get you beverages and food. You also need government-issued ID to get in the door. Those of legal drinking age will receive wristbands. You can purchase your sweatshirts here or in the Student Activities and Leadership Center, which is now located in upstairs Haggar. Don’t bring any bags or flasks; they can’t come in with you. Tickets can be purchased online through Jan. 23. You can buy them in person at will call in the SALC beginning Jan. 29.
- The Venue. As in the past two years, Groundhog will be held on campus at the Madonna basketball courts. There will be an alumni tent again this year; moreover, it will be bigger than last year’s!
- The Food. This year, as a departure from the standard Groundhog fare of hamburgers and hotdogs, we will have Italian food provided by alumnus David Lamberti, BA ’01, and his restaurant Lamberti's Ristorante and Wine Bar (formerly the I Fratelli in Las Colinas). This will be the first time ever that Groundhog will be catered by an outside company; further, servers will be on hand for the distribution of the food so that wait times don’t get crazy. Lamberti’s is a UD restaurant in many senses: owned and invested in by UD alumni, it employs both other UD alumni (Isabella Wilcox, BA ’17, for example, is the office manager) and several current UD students. As far as this new collaboration with Groundhog, Lamberti says, “By providing this type of food and beverage, we can help make Groundhog something no one ever thought it could be, back when we were slogging through the mud in the woods — it could become an even bigger tradition.” Involvement with UD and events like Groundhog is one way Lamberti’s is seeking to integrate with the local community, living out the restaurant’s three pillars: local, famiglia (Italian for family) and tradition.
- The Drink. Lamberti’s is also providing the beverages this year, which will include Miller Lite, Shiner, Guinness, a red wine and a white wine.
- The Charity. This year, Groundhog will include a charitable component. For every sweatshirt (ticket) sold, $1 will be donated to St. Mary’s of Carmel Catholic School in Dallas, which has served as a Capstone business for Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business MBA students. Additionally, “Groundhog Grams” will be sold on campus among the students (sorry, alumni, these are just for students); each gram will consist of a “crush can” (so named because it can be sent, a valentine of sorts, to one’s crush) of flavored sparkling water inside a Groundhog koozie with the same design as the sweatshirts. Only 500 koozies are available, so these are expected to go quickly. All proceeds from the grams will also go to St. Mary’s.
- The Sweatshirts. Tag Marketing (through which the donations to St. Mary’s will be made), owned by Vince Terracina, BA ’91 MBA ’93, is the longstanding vendor for the shirts. This year’s shirt is a dark green crew neck with white font, designed by Groundhog Committee members Carolyn Mackenzie, BA ’18, and Lili Serna, BA ’18. It features a Latin proverb suggested by Rome Campus Director of Student Affairs Lucas Preble, BA ’13 MS ’17: "He who drinks sleeps. He who sleeps does not sin. He who does not sin is holy. Therefore he who drinks is holy."
- The FAQs. Other FAQs and answers can be found here.
- The Greater Alumni Community. If you don’t live in the DFW area, as usual there are other alumni celebrations throughout the country; check here to see if there’s one in your city. If not, and you would like to host one, email firstname.lastname@example.org by Jan. 22.
- The Fun. Groundhog is about friends, community and the joy of our shared stories. Come out this year and make some new Groundhog memories with us.