When you’ve been around as long as we have—which is now more than 120 years—you’re going to have some pretty cool and longstanding traditions. At Henderson, that’s an understatement.
Throughout each year you’ll find plenty of exciting and buzz-worthy traditions taking place all over campus. This is just one more way that our Reddie Spirit gets into you… and you get into it.
This is the biggest week of the year. Our annual football game with “the school across the street” serves not only as a serious source of pride, but it’s a week’s worth of fun and the occasional hijinks that result in memories that last a lifetime.
Any time Henderson State’s famed Showband takes action, you’ll be doing yourself a favor to sit back and listen up. After all, they aren’t called the “Showband of Arkansas” for nothing. Recognized as one of the best marching bands in the nation, this group of accomplished musicians represent one of our best traditions.
Who doesn’t like a little glitz now and then? We do. Henderson’s Miss HSU Pageant has been a proud annual event since 1960, showcasing some of the brightest, smartest, and most motivated students Henderson has to offer. The pageant qualifies as an official preliminary to the Miss Arkansas pageant.
Homecoming at Henderson is a week’s worth of fun that would be hard for anyone to match. We’re talking barbecues, football, volleyball, tailgating, bonfires, brunches, golf, concerts, reunion events, and, of course, the presentation of the homecoming court and the crowning of the queen.
Friday Night Movies
On Friday nights when the weather is beautiful, throw down a blanket, kick back with friends, and enjoy a movie night, Henderson style. Recently released movies are shown on our campus quad, using a 20x40 foot inflatable screen and state-of-the-art sound system. When it’s cold or stormy, movies are shown in a comfortable lecture hall with an 18-foot screen and equally impressive sound system.
Forget the long jump and decathlon, the Bubba Olympics at Henderson takes fun and gut-busting laughter to the extreme. Events include the hubcap toss, root beer chugging, horseshoes, hot dog eating, wheel barrel racing, and the infamous belly flop contest.
Faculty, staff and students are "Reddie to Serve" the community by helping citizens clean up and improve their properties.
Each year freshmen meet for a traditional photograph in the shape of a heart.
Many stone benches, which classes, organizations and other entities have donated throughout the institution’s history, sit on Henderson’s historic South Lawn. Perhaps the most famous is Bench 13. The bench is in memorial to the former sponsor of the "Heart and Key" organization. It is told that when a girl is asked to marry someone while she is sitting on the bench she won't say no.
"That Old Reddie Spirit"
The official fight song of Henderson State University, "That Ole Reddie Spirit," was introduced in 1923 by cheerleader Anna Lee Chidister and is affectionately known as The Reddie Hymn. This song is sung to the tune of “That Old Time Religion.” Originally the song was used because of a lack of school spirit being shown at football games. At the time, cheerleaders were positioned throughout the bleachers to lead the fans in the song. In the lyrics displayed below, the word me is often replaced with random names of Reddie football players during the games. You can use the console below to play "That Old Reddie Spirit." Turn up your volume and sing along. Note that it is a large file and could take some time to load.
Gimmie that old Reddie Spirit, Gimmie that old Reddie Spirit, Gimmie that old Reddie Spirit, It's good enough for me.