IWU Traditions: Events

Even as the world changes, the most beloved traditions of IWU continue on.

This past December, just before students left for the Christmas holidays, students were given the opportunity to have a Christmas holiday with their friends at IWU Twas the Night. This holiday celebration featured hot cocoa, homemade crafts, and a sleigh ride, but most of all, featured good cheer!

IWU’s Director of Community Learning, Jonny Rupp, has the following to share: “This is a personal favorite of mine (but I love Christmas)! This is our time as a campus to just come together (before the rush of finals) to celebrate Christmas…together! We’ve done everything from caroling, A Christmas Story being read to us, real live reindeer, and even a skating rink in the middle of The Commons with subtle ‘fake’ snow falling from the ceiling throughout the evening. It is so exciting to see everyone come with their ‘ugly Christmas sweaters’ and cheerful holiday spirit as we eat Christmas cookies, write encouragement cards to local nursing homes, etc. It’s a beautiful event and one I look forward to every year.”

The season of traditions continued this January with Rebash! A celebration that allows students to commemorate the new year with their friends, while possibly earning a little money from the famous balloon drop. This year’s celebration encouraged students to dress in their favorite black and white fashions and take pictures with their friends at a photo booth.

Jonny Rupp describes the birth of this exciting event: “Dancing was not always permitted on this campus. However, after much thoughtful discussion, that rule changed a few years ago. It came with a few safeguards to make sure music is appropriate and various safety precautions were in place, but thankfully ‘Rebash’ is what bloomed from those conversations. It is by far one of our best-attended events, drawing 50% of our Residential Student Body…that’s amazing! It’s our way of ushering in the New Year together as a student body. We even do a ‘fan favorite’ of a count-down-balloon-drop to conclude the evening.”

In addition to these newer traditions, some beloved older traditions are still alive and well on campus. Friday Night Live, the campus sketch comedy group, has consistently delivered fun and wholesome comedy shows to the students of IWU for over 25 years, delivering their most recent show on February 25th, 2022.

“We’ve been an official club for 27 years,” Jeremy Hallett, the creative director of FNL explained, “but FNL has been something that’s been going on for probably closer to like 40+ years. It’s a super old, super important tradition here at IWU. We’re super proud to carry on the tradition and we’re looking forward to bringing FNL to another generation and continuing it on for many years to come.”

What is your favorite IWU event? Share your memories in the comments below!

Written by Emily Bays, Student Blog Writer


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