Just as Texas weather began to ease into fall, the Fall Festival, held on Sept. 22, brought out Southwestern students, faculty and families onto the Pecan Manor lawn to enjoy free food, friendly games, and lots of fun and laughter. Prospective students who attended the Preview Conference that day also joined in the festivity, mingling with current students and faculty and getting a taste of campus life at Southwestern.

“We wanted to provide current students and prospective students an opportunity to connect and experience community,” says Philip Box, associate director of Student Life, who helped organize the event. “We anticipated an event that would let students step away from classes and have fellowship with other current students and our new prospective students who were visiting.”

Over the course of the evening, 750 free Chik-fil-A sandwiches were given out, along with free Steel City Pops for dessert. Student Life also coordinated various yard games for all participants to enjoy and set up bounce houses for the children. 

One of the highlights of the Fall Festival was the Dunk-A-Professor tank, which allowed players to dunk the professor sitting on top of the tank into water by hitting a target with softballs. Ten faculty members, including President Paige Patterson, volunteered to be dunked, getting soaked in the process and eliciting laughter and mirth from the student body.

“We were thrilled when we had 10 faculty volunteer [for the game], one of them being Dr. Patterson,” Box notes. “One of the great joys I have found while working for the seminary is that every department lives out Romans 12:13, which says, ‘contribute to the needs of the saints, and seek to show hospitality.’ If it wasn’t for the help of other campus departments and the faculty, the Fall Festival could not have been so awesome. We are extremely grateful for their help.”

Jun Jeon, a first-year Master of Divinity student, says he enjoyed his time at the festival. “Food was great, and I loved the atmosphere,” he says. “I met a lot of good people through this event, and I felt that we were like a family. It was a refreshing moment from the busy semester.”

“As students live on campus, they need places where they can step away from the classroom and meet other students,” Box says. “These relationships they form at events and in the classroom will be extremely helpful in the future. Our hope in events like the Fall Festival is to help foster those relationships.”