Like all colleges, Auburn University has its traditions, legends, and lore. Some people may think they are silly or trivial, but unless you want to tick off an Auburn student, you will not refer to our traditions as such. All incoming students should be aware of these rituals and should also partake in them in order to experience the fullness of college life at Auburn. Here are a few to get you started.
1. War Eagle
It's our battle cry, a greeting, and emblazoned everywhere on campus. At football games, be prepared to shout it until your face turns the same color as the players' jerseys. Even, though our mascot is a tiger, fans have been yelling war eagle for almost as long as Auburn has had a football team. Legend has it that during a game between Auburn and Georgia in 1892, a civil war veteran was in the stands with his pet eagle that he had found on a battle field during the war. The eagle suddenly began to fly and circle the stadium, and about that time, the Auburn players began to push toward the end zone and scored to eventually win the game. Taking the eagle as a good omen, fans began to shout, "War Eagle!" Sadly, at the end of the game, the eagle crashed into the field and died, but fans continue to use the phrase.
2. The Auburn Seal
If you spend any time in front of Langdon Hall, you will notice that students do not step on the seal that is inlayed in the concrete. You must never under any circumstances step on the seal. If you do, it is said that you will not graduate in four years, and you will not find your true love at Auburn. The only way to brake the curse is to jump into the president's fountain at midnight on the leap day of a leap year.
3. Rolling Toomer's
Rolling the oak trees at Toomer's Corner is something that every student should experience at least once. The tradition began when the employees at Toomer's Drugs would throw the ticker tape from the Telegraph on the power lines when news of a win of an away game came through. While mainly associated with football games, rolling the trees is done to celebrate a win in any sport.
4. The flying of the eagle
This is one of my favorite traditions. Before every home football game Spirit the bald eagle is released, soars around the stadium, and lands in the middle of the field. Spectators yell war eagle for the duration of his flight, and you will hold that war eagle no matter how long it takes Spirit to land.
5. The lathe
The lathe is a giant piece of machinery that sits beside Samford Hall. It was built in Selma during the Civil War to produce supplies for the Confederate army. They tried to move it to Columbus, Georgia to keep it from being captured by Union soldiers, but it was buried in Irondale, Alabama instead for a time. It eventually was moved to Columbus and used to make cannons, and after the war, it was used by the Birmingham Rolling Mills. In 1936, it was given to the college and placed in its current spot. Legend says that if an Auburn man is dating an Auburn woman he can bring her to the lathe and kiss her at midnight, and if the lathe quakes then she is not his true love.
6. Tiger Walk
This is another must do game day ritual. Every home football game, the players walk down Donahue Drive to the football stadium. Fans line the street hoping to high five or fist bump the players and get pumped up for the game.
7. Four Corners Pep Rally
This is another one of my favorite game day traditions. The Auburn Marching Band, along with the cheerleaders and dance line, march from all four corners of the intersection in front of the stadium and meet in the middle. They then play a medley of songs including the fight song and do cheers to pump up the crowd.