If you were on campus Thursday, Aug. 25, there’s a good chance you either heard about or attended Burgers at Bailey. This annual start-of-the-semester event invites all students, faculty and staff to gather on the shady lawn of the Bailey Alumni and Friends Center and enjoy free burgers and drinks in celebration of the new academic year.
The event is sponsored by the Alumni Association and the Office of the Chancellor. Bancorp was also on hand, along with The Faded Rose restaurant which graciously donated the hamburger meat. Volunteers from UALR Children International, the Donaghey Scholars Alumni, Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, student athletes, and members of the Chancellor’s Leadership Corps were there to grill the meat and serve the guests.
This year brought about some changes. One of the first changes people noticed was the addition of live music. The Happy Tymes Jazz Band was invited to perform, and sounds of New Orleans-style jazz filled the air as people enjoyed their lunch. I was told by several people that they loved the music and hope this is a yearly occurrence.
The other noticeable change was the size of the crowd. Burgers at Bailey had record attendance this year, with nearly 1300 people coming. Derek Boyce, membership coordinator for the Alumni Association said they cooked 1200 burgers and then ran out. The remaining 50 people in line were given a voucher for a personal pan pizza from US Pizza. Boyce said, “Next year we’ll have at least 1500-2000 burgers to grill.”
Despite the fact that some people missed out on the burgers, the event was deemed a success. Good weather, free food, great conversation, live music…what’s a better way to spend your Thursday lunch hour?