May 29, 2024

Gold Side Takes the Win in 2024 College Night and Homecoming Weekend

“At this school, we are pure as gold,” proclaimed Student Government Association President Colton Rodano as Gold Side students, alumni, friends and family filling Palmer Auditorium on Feb. 17, broke out into screams, cheers and even tears. This winning catchphrase revealed that the 2024 College Night and Homecoming weekend had ended in a Gold Victory.

The Golds claimed the win with their show “To Live and Die,” the story of two gods of Eterrna realizing their true purpose in the universe. Elsya, the god of life, and Moros, the god of death, are fed up with their roles and don’t see the point of creating life just for it to end. To help them gain some insight, they are sent by Chroana, the god of time, to the human realm to find Ordea, the former ruler of Eterrna who now lives among mortals.

Elsya and Moros land in the bedroom of a girl named Olive, who has just died in her sleep while recovering from heart surgery. Elsya slams her soul back into her body, bringing her back to life. Olive and Jack, her brother and caretaker, agree to help the two find Ordea. This journey carries them to Midas Market, the Heatherly Archives, Club Onyx and finally to Ordea’s coffee shop.

She helps the two gods realize that death is necessary in order for humans to live a fulfilling life.

As the four return to Olive’s room, Chroana greets Elsya and Moros and informs them that Olive will unfortunately have to die as the universe intended. Elsya and Moros regretfully break the news to the siblings, and after much protest from Jack, Olive accepts her fate and assures him that she will always be with him. The four share a sorrowful goodbye as she dies once again, and Moros takes her soul back to Eterrna. The finale shows Jack four months later, expressing that even though he misses Olive, it helps knowing that she’s in a better place and that he’ll always treasure their memories.

The Gold Side production was preceded by Purple Side’s “Pleasant Vanished,” which followed college student Carolynn Jack as she investigates the disappearance of 247 citizens of Pleasant, Virginia, from the vibrant fall festival in 1985. After receiving her Aunt Viola’s diary in the mail in 2005, Carolynn confides in her psychology professor, Eric Kauffman. Sprinkled with flashbacks to 1985, the mystery unfolds as Carolynn learns the role her long lost father, Sebastian, played in the mass tragedy.

Through interviews with relatives of the vanished and a talk with her mother, Carolynn finds out her father was the mayor of Pleasant and Eric was a close friend of his. A follow-up conversation with the professor reveals that he and Sebastian had a falling out when they could not see eye to eye on a joint experiment exploring the effects of grief on the human brain. Between Eric’s claims that Sebastian became unhinged and Viola’s unsettling diary entries, all signs point to Carolynn’s father as the culprit.

She soon discovers him at his old home in Pleasant and he insists that Eric framed him. Eric arrives and finally admits that he masterminded the vanishing by putting microscopic robots into the town’s water supply. This allowed him to mind control the townspeople into leaving, and their remains are now at the bottom of the ocean. Eric drinks a glass of water given to him by Sebastian, who reveals that he recreated one of the robots and Eric has just ingested it. The show closes with the professor’s own evil technology being used against him, and he meets a similar fate to his victims as Carolynn vows to tell the story of the people of Pleasant.

In between the two shows, Rodano presented this year’s College Night dedication to Alfred Kojima, transportation and parking attendant with UM’s Department of Public Safety. Taking the stage as the audience gleefully chanted his name, Kojima was recognized for his many years of service to each side and his devotion to capturing College Night athletics. Upon receiving his plaque from Rodano, Kojima noted that people have asked him many times over the years if he is a Purple or a Gold.

“I try to say with a straight face, ‘yes, I am,’” Kojima said, holding up both a PV and a GV hand sign, to which the sides erupted in cheers. “Good luck to both sides, thank you.”

Following the dedication, Stephen Haymond and Abby Truitt, both members of this year’s Gold Side cast, were once again recognized as Mr. and Ms. Montevallo after being crowned at the previous evening’s performances.

Earlier in the day, campus was buzzing as hundreds of Montevallo alumni, students, faculty, staff, family and friends took to the bricks to participate in Saturday’s Homecoming festivities. The morning began with departmental and affinity receptions across campus and an alumni coffee in Reynolds Hall. The UMNAA hosted a 50-year reunion celebration at Anna Irvin Dining Hall for the Class of 1974, as well as reunions for the Old Golds and Vintage Purples alumni clubs, Alabama College and the Classes of 1974, 1984, 1994 and 2004 as part of the Decades Reunion.

The day’s events also included the College Night men’s basketball game at Central State Bank Arena in the McChesney Student Activity Center and food trucks for attendees to enjoy lunch.

The Alumni Art Auction and Poole Party and Young Alumni Party for the Class of 2014 at the Alan and Lindsey Song Center for the Arts concluded the reunion events late Saturday evening before the College Night performances in Palmer Hall Auditorium.