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As the clock struck 1:25 p.m., Ryan Shupe & The Rubberband rang in the landmark moment that students, staff and alumni had been waiting for as they sang “Happy Birthday” to Weber State University.
The university celebrated its 125th anniversary with approximately 12,500 balloons raining from the ceiling of the Shepherd Union Atrium. WSU put on a show that ran from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and featured 125 WSU performers in total.
Student body president David Wilson led the countdown and Shupe’s band followed with fanfare.
“It’s such an amazing accomplishment!” said Wilson as he addressed the roaring crowd of the atrium. “Any institution, any organization, any group that can last 125 years is obviously doing something really right.”
Shupe, a WSU alumnus, got his start in music at WSU. “The Rubberband actually got started at Weber . . . Guaranteed, some of our very first shows were here. It was kind of our stomping ground.”
Shupe said he loved being a part of the 125th anniversary. “I totally loved it! I thought it was great, and I feel honored that they would ask me to come back, and I thought that it was a great tie-in, since I went here. It was a lot of fun.”
Shupe graduated with a bachelor’s in communication with a public relations emphasis. “All the stuff that I learned from communications and sales really translates quite well into music, because music is . . . you’re basically selling your own image, and I didn’t really realize that at the time.”
Shupe was involved at WSU as more than just a student. He worked at The Signpost as a reporter and the photography editor for some time while attending.
To current Wildcats, Shupe left a piece of advice: “I would say, enjoy college . . . just soak up, because it goes away fast. Just enjoy it.”
WSU performances included those by the Orchesis Dance Theatre, the WSU Chamber Choir and the WSU Spirit Squad.
“I really think this is exciting not only for Weber, but for Ogden and the whole area,” said Brady Harris, student senate president.
In honor of WSU’s 125th birthday, Ogden’s own Vintage Cupcake Co. created a 125-square-foot birthday cake depicting a 3-D version of the Ogden campus. Owner Michelle Flowers said the cake was quite an undertaking. “It was three days of baking, 14 hours of frosting, and we spent four days on the buildings. It took a little over a week (to create the whole cake).”
Flowers said she was grateful to have been asked to participate in the celebration. “We loved it! It was awesome.”
The cake was offered to any who were taking part in the celebration, and leftovers were sent to departments and offices after the crowds had gone.