ACU Traditions

Our community at Abilene Christian University is bonded through traditions that uplift our faith, encourage our student-athletes and celebrate our shared purpose as Wildcats. Our history unites us across generations, inspiring every one of us to confidently claim our place in a legacy of excellence.

Our community at Abilene Christian University is bonded through traditions that uplift our faith, encourage our student-athletes and celebrate our shared purpose as Wildcats. Our history unites us across generations, inspiring every one of us to confidently claim our place in a legacy of excellence.

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ACU marching band

Wildcat Pride

With 17 NCAA Division 1 athletic teams, there’s no shortage of hype on our campus – and that energy extends beyond the courts and fields as we celebrate everything that makes ACU a pillar of passion and possibility.

Purple Processional

Each year, our Opening Assembly begins with a Parade of Flags recognizing the states and nations that ACU students represent. Our community comes together in worship, devotion and prayer before the Big Purple Marching Band launches us into the discoveries of a new academic year.

Assembly highlights:

  • Singing “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”
  • Reading of Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill (Acts 17:22-31)
  • President Schubert pronouncing the school year “officially in session!”
  • “March Grandioso” recessional

Watch: Purple Processional 

Purple Fridays

Our enthusiasm manifests across campus every Friday as students, staff and faculty wear Purple gameday attire. Whether you’re rooting for an athletic team or encouraging your friends with their coursework, a little purple and a lot of Wildcat spirit go a long way.

Homecoming

We enter autumn with a whirlwind weekend of enthusiasm celebrating all we’ve accomplished and looking ahead to everything the future holds. Alumni join us on campus for barbecues and big events, like our Homecoming football game, early-morning parade and music festival. Learn more about Homecoming

ACU students making the W-C hand symbol

W-C

Tout your Wildcat pride with the W-C gesture of loyalty: the “OK” hand symbol with an open “O” (you’ll see the letters!). On campus, we hold the W-C high while we sing “Oh, Dear Christian College” and cheer on our athletes.

The ACU wildcat mascot dancing

Willie the Wildcat

We adopted our mascot in 1919 after two campus sports clubs – The A Club and the West Texas Club – engaged in a friendly fundraising challenge for ACU’s first athletics facility. The West Texas Club brought in the most donations, so they selected the Wildcat moniker to recognize the significance of native fauna in west Texas. Learn more about Willie the Wildcat. 

School Song

Since 1934, we’ve been repping ACU’s mission through uplifting renditions of “Oh, Dear Christian College,” penned by educator and innovator Dr. G.C. Morlan and with music arranged by music department chair Dr. Leonard Burford (’25).

Once you hear it, you’ll want to sing along too:
Oh, dear Christian College, we love you,
Our dear Alma Mater, today;
Like the stars shining brightly above you,
Your fame shall shine brightly for aye.
To you we’ll prove faithful and loyal
While ever upholding the right,
And gladly we’ll give forth the royal
Three cheers for the purple and white.

Chorus

Then we’ll pledge our love to Christian,
To her is honor due;
While we gaily sing let praises ring
For our Alma Mater true.

Worshiping Together

Core to our mission as a university – and foundational to fulfilling our vision of a flourishing community – is the practice of communal fellowship and commitment to Christ. These traditions embody our convictions and strengthen our bonds as co-creators devoted to finding joy in worshipping our Savior.

Chapel

Each day, the ACU family comes together for a half-hour of devotion, praise and fellowship. The guest speakers and group worship are a regular reminder of the generous and supportive neighbors that form ACU’s intentional campus environment.

Learn more about Chapel and watch our chapel playlist for a taste of the welcome that will greet you at ACU.

Candlelight Devo

During Wildcat Week, your voice will join other first-year students and ACU community members in lifting praise over the warm glow of more than a thousand candles. Then, as Commencement approaches each May, graduating seniors return to this time-honored tradition to share one last candlelit expression of devotion among faculty, staff and local alumni. It’s truly something to behold.

More Traditions

Freshman Follies

As a first-year student, you’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime (or once-in-an-ACU-time) chance to showcase your artistry and originality in our freshman-only lip sync competition during Family Weekend. This opportunity to compete, perform and lead is a highlight of the fall semester and an excellent foray towards more creative and collaborative endeavors throughout your time at ACU. Learn more about Freshman Follies.

Sing Song

Since 1957, ACU groups – fraternities, sororities, classes and other coalitions – have competed in one of our most popular events: Sing Song, an a cappella medley competition with themed lyrical twists, costumes and choreography. Thousands of students, parents and alumni attend each year – especially for the sold-out final Saturday show. Learn more about Sing Song.

Watch: ACU 2020 Senior Class

The Singing College

In 1950, ACU’s undefeated football team earned us the nickname “The Singing College” on account of its radio performance of “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.” Following the powerful a cappella tradition of the Churches of Christ, our campus and sporting events are rife with spontaneous bursts of joyful song.

Read: What We Sing

“The Lord Bless You and Keep You”

We often close out campus events with this special hymn, a reminder of the remarkable promise of our faith and the devoted community that inspires us in the face of obstacles.

The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord lift His countenance upon you,
And give you peace, and give you peace;
The Lord make His face to shine upon you,
And be gracious, and be gracious;
The Lord be gracious, gracious unto you.

Watch: ACU Virtual Choir Performance