Forever Red unites campus community for a night of celebration

Southern Utah University hosted its 13th annual Forever Red tradition on Sept. 22. Current students, alumni and other members of the Cedar City community gathered on the Upper Quad to celebrate homecoming week. 

This year’s Forever Red boasted numerous booths from local business and campus organizations, where students were able to play games and collect the latest SUU swag. The event also featured live performances from Metro Music Club and Red – A Taylor Swift Tribute. 

Among the crowd of fans dancing and singing along to Taylor Swift’s greatest hits was none other than university president Mindy Benson. Benson praised Forever Red for being one of the best campus events. 

“Forever Red has always been my favorite event, except commencement, which is what we’re here for. Look at everybody here. It’s faculty, it’s staff, it’s students and it’s alumni, coming together to celebrate SUU, and it’s in a setting you don’t often get to party in,” said Benson. “Old Main is so formal, and here we are. Everything is red, and we’re just celebrating together. It’s what makes it special.” 

Ron Cardon, director of alumni relations at SUU, also pointed out how Forever Red brings the entire campus community together in celebration. 

“I think it’s one of the few events that SUU does that is a big celebration that brings students, alumni, community, faculty and staff together,” said Cardon. “It’s a true celebration of everything good about SUU.” 

This sense of togetherness provided a chance for incoming students to feel connected with their new school. Reece Bandemer, who is currently in her first semester at SUU, came to Forever Red hoping to get more involved with her peers on campus. 

“I came so I could meet more people,” said Bandemer. “So many people showed up; it’s a big community.” 

The Upper Quad was completely packed with celebrants, both young and old. In addition to the crowd of current students, there were also many alumni who showed up to commemorate their alma mater. One of these alumni was Sami Wilson, who graduated last spring with a degree in graphic design. 

“I love the atmosphere of SUU,” said Wilson. “I have come to Forever Red for four years, and every time I come, I have a great time. SUU is very tight-knit, and so we have the opportunity to come back and just have fun.” 

After a long night of dancing, laughing and enjoying one another’s company, it is clear that SUU holds a special place in the hearts of many people. 

Story by: Nick Stein

Photos by: Nick Stein