As seniors celebrate their last Lehigh-Lafayette Rivalry Week as undergraduate students, The Brown and White spoke to members of the Class of 2020 about their favorite traditions and memories.
Lisa Sanquini, ‘20
Sanquini remembers storming the field at Lafayette after Lehigh won when she was a first-year in 2016. She hopes Lehigh will win this year and keep the winning record it has had during her time at the university.
Her dad is a Lehigh alumn, so Sanquini attended the Lehigh-Lafayette game every November growing up.
“That was always a huge part of the month of November for me, going back to Lehigh and seeing my dad and his friends, going to the game and it was something I knew I wanted to keep doing,” she said.
Sanquini wants to continue coming back for the game after she graduates. She spends every Le-Laf with close friends and family and hopes to continue to do so in the future.
“It’s almost like Thanksgiving,” Sanquini said. “Everyone comes together for one big happy Lehigh family reunion, and it’s really cute.”
Shannon Taylor, ‘20
Taylor has spent every Le-Laf with the same friends she made as a first-year. She and her friends spend the day hanging out, and they end the day with a meal at the The Goosey Gander Deli. She looks forward to continuing the tradition this year.
Taylor loves the united and excited spirit among students during Le-Laf. She enjoys the emphasis placed on sports, which she said sometimes gets overlooked by Lehigh students.
“Throughout the year, people do go to sports games, but I think the Rivalry is really unique because it does bring everyone together, which I think, sometimes, Lehigh gets distracted from, since it happens often that people go to tailgates and don’t actually go to the game,” Taylor said. “I think it’s a really great week that culminates in the football game that brings everyone together.”
Taylor takes part in the spirit days leading up to the game, including attending the Bed Races every year.
“It’s great to see everyone come together and all be in one place celebrating Lehigh,” Taylor said. “I know it’s been a tradition for a really long time, and I love being a part of that.”
Taylor looks forward to attending the Lehigh-Lafayette football games as an alumni, and she said she loves when her friends’ parents, who are Lehigh alumni, come back year after year for the game.
“I’m going to miss being a part of that university tradition, where almost everyone at school celebrates and has something going towards it,” Taylor said. “ I’m going to miss that feeling of being a part of something.”
Jared Scharf, ‘20
Scharf remembers when the Marching 97 stormed his first-year year chemistry class. Not knowing what to expect as a first-year, he said he was excited about Le-Laf week, and the Rivalry game lived up to his expectations.
“Going to Lehigh, obviously school spirit isn’t as big here as big state schools, but it’s cool to see the whole school come together and have Lehigh be the common thing between all of us, and be proud to go to Lehigh that week,” Scharf said.
Scharf enjoys having the entire school come together throughout the week, as he believes it is uncommon at any other point during the year for so many people to unite over Lehigh spirit.
“It’s really cool that it’s the oldest rivalry in college football,” he said. “It’s also been good that Lehigh’s football team has generally been good compared to other Patriot teams and it’s always been a meaningful game to the Patriot League standings for Lehigh.”
Scharf said he is going to miss the excitement on campus leading up to the game.
Jake Cooper, ‘20
Cooper said his favorite part about Le-Laf is having alumni reunite on campus.
He is also excited to see his older friends, and said he will use Le-Laf as a way to come back and reunite not only with friends his age, but also with friends that graduated before him.
Since he lives off campus this year, Cooper and his friends are coming up with a Rivalry banner to hang outside, since he recalls many of his older friends did the same thing during previous years at their houses.
“(Rivalry Week is) one time of the school year Lehigh has the feel of a big D1 sports school, so that’s cool,” Cooper said. “Not every week there are bed sheets out for a Lehigh football game. Everything around campus is spirited— from the students, to professors, to administration and all the way up.”