Tried and True Traditions
Whether you remember it as Azusa College, Azusa Pacific University, or simply "AP," the university's traditions live on.
The Rock: Mysterious and unknown to most of the newer students…but where is it now? The rock, a piece of granite with APU’s seal on it, is a huge stone that students used to take and hide around campus. The rules: you had to keep it on campus and the APU seal had to be showing. Anyone could look for it, and its finder had to hide it again. Rumors abound, but to this day no one seems to know where it is. We have a hunch it’s hidden on campus, buried under some bushes.
Homecoming and Family Weekend: This weekend of festive activities has traditionally included the Alumni, Family, and Friends Golf Tournament, the Mother/Daughter Tea, Bed Races, the In-N-Out Truck, and of course the football game! Homecoming usually takes place toward the end of October.
New Student Mugging: All new students are invited to this event the first week of classes in the fall, where they are welcomed into the APU family by being “mugged” with delicious root beer floats served to them in their own APU Alumni Association mug.
Good Times: Put on by Alpha Leaders, Good Times is an evening of skits developed for the freshmen to help get them excited about their first days at APU. Skits include comedy sketches, dance sequences, and the crowd favorite, Men Without Shirts. It takes place on Adams Lawn, where freshmen and other undergraduate students congregate.
Donut Man: Need we say more? How many late-night runs did you make during your time at Azusa? Home of arguably the world's best fresh strawberry donuts and glazed confections to soothe the most homesick freshman, Donut Man was and is the place to get your sweet-tooth fix.
Mexican Food: La Tolteca. Burrito Village. El Amigo. Great Mexican restaurants are always in abundance and make great venues to connect with your classmates.
GUYRAD: A long-standing tradition in the living areas, “Get Your Roommate A Date” removes the pressure of finding your own date!
Les Femmes and Spring Thing: October finds the females on campus making plans to invite a guy to Les Femmes, APU’s annual off-campus dance. Past locations have included the Queen Mary, the Peterson Auto Museum, and Universal City Walk. This event is typically held in early November, and is a highlight of the first semester for those who attend.
Mexico Outreach: Carolyn Koons, a professor at Azusa Pacific University, participated in the short-term-mission movement that started in the 1960s. In 1970, churches began asking Carolyn to take them to Mexico with her. She took five churches to Mexicali, Mexico, that first year, and Mexico Outreach was born. Mexico Outreach was founded on the principle that young people of all ages can be effective in sharing the Gospel and that within them are many gifts and talents to help them do so.
Summer Mission Teams: Each summer APU sends around 25 teams across the country for mission trips. Founded as the Training School for Christian Workers in 1899, Azusa Pacific University continues to mobilize students, faculty, staff, and alumni across borders, cultures, and languages to participate in God’s service in local and global outreach.
Prayer Chapel: Open 24 hours, the Hartwig Prayer Chapel remains the place for seeking the Lord, day or night.
Chapel: Chapel is committed to providing experiences that are biblical, relevant, diverse, and challenging. Speakers are chosen to communicate useful messages rooted in Scripture and challenge our assumptions about what it means to be Christ followers today. Our passion is to craft chapel experiences that will impact your life now and after your time at APU.
Night of Champions: Night of Champions is a university-sponsored event, in collaboration with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, focused on reaching youth for Christ. The event’s mission and purpose is to follow the command of Jesus Christ, who commissioned us in Mark 16:15 to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” The event is designed to bring God’s life-saving message to junior high and high schoolers, using celebrity athletes, entertainers, and musicians who are known in the secular world but who also have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Dinner Rally: Dinner Rally is a wonderful evening with friends, good food, beautiful music, and inspiring testimony to all that God is doing in and through the wider Azusa Pacific University community. This is an event where alumni are invited to make donations to the university to support ongoing and upcoming projects.
Walkabout: Before students are initiated into the Resident Advisor role, they spend 10 days hiking and camping in the wilderness on this annual leadership trek. During this time, RAs build community with one another as they encounter what it is like to live minimally and completely focused on God.
Bridges: This is a special tradition that all Alpha Leaders embark on, making their way up to San Francisco to serve the community and put God First and others before themselves. It’s a weeklong trip with no cell phones, a minimally packed bag, no logos or designer clothing, and total devotion to promoting God in other people’s lives.
Street Meet: This is a themed event where students living in the dorms dress up and get together on Trinity Lawn and dance the night away.
Midnight Breakfast: Midnight Breakfast is a twice-a-year event that happens the Sunday night before finals week. Professors hold study groups in the cafeteria and Dining Services provides a complimentary breakfast, which is served by faculty and staff members. Midway through the event is a talent exhibition showcasing current student groups.
Alumni Initiation: All undergraduate seniors are invited to this event, where soon-to-be alums are treated to a free dinner and a time of commissioning into the world to be difference makers for Christ. They are also “hooded” as alumni with their class T-shirt, and given their Azusa Pacific University Alumni license plate frame!
C.H.A.M.P.: APU students are assigned to classrooms at designated school sites to serve as college mentors to groups of 5–7 fourth-grade students. The APU students facilitate activities that correspond to the C.H.A.M.P. (College Headed and Mighty Proud) curriculum, covering such topics as college admission, financial aid, and career exploration. The C.H.A.M.P. program has been in partnership with Azusa Pacific University and the Azusa Unified School District since 1991.