With another year of record enrollments for freshman, undergraduate and on-campus students, Southern Arkansas University is planning for a high attendance at Family Day on September 22, 2018. 

“SAU is attracting so many students because, as they say, our University ‘feels like home.’ Our annual Family Day and the many traditions, activities and overall atmosphere of that special day each year on our campus all epitomize the culture of caring that have made SAU so popular and welcoming,” said SAU President Dr. Trey Berry.

According to a press release, Family Day begins at 10AM on the lawn at Blanchard Hall (formerly the Business Building) and starts with family-friendly events like Bingo and carnival games. The Organization Fair, hosted by SAU’s more than 100 student organizations and providing activities for everyone, also begins at 10AM.


The 38th Annual Residence Hall Association Bed Race, one of SAU’s most unique and treasured traditions, begins at 1PM. Each heat of the race pits two teams of five students against each other beginning on the street in front of the Science Center and continuing to the Engineering Building. Four members of each team push the decorated, adapted beds (with bicycle tires added) as the brave and helmeted, and usually petite, rider holds on.

Crowds come from the Organization Fair to line both sides of the street in front of the Science Center to watch the bed race excitement.  At 2PM, families are invited inside the Engineering Building for the Family Reception with free food and refreshments. At 2:30PM, another wave of excitement rolls in as the Great Greek Canoe Race take place at the Engineering pond.

At 3 p.m., the official Mulegating festivities begin at the Alumni Center. Mulegating is SAU’s adaptation of tailgating before each Mulerider home football game. It has become increasingly popular over recent years and even more so since last year’s opening of the new Alumni Center. Tents and areas across the lawn offer various activities and games. The Alumni Association is offering a free gift, a Mulerider Koozie, to visitors of their tent for this game.

This Family Day’s Mulegating is sponsored by BancorpSouth, who will be serving hamburgers to SAU alumni. In addition, the University Housing staff will be serving hamburgers. Everyone is invited to attend and enjoy the delicious food.

The Mulegating pep rally featuring the more than 140-member Mulerider Marching Band and the nationally-competitive SAU Cheerleading squad begins at 5 p.m. in front of the Alumni Pavilion.

Fans can walk across the Alumni Bridge from Mulegating to get a good seat at Wilkins Stadium for the Mulerider football game, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Rip Powell Field against Northwestern Oklahoma State University. The Muleriders won their first two GAC matchups, defeating nationally-ranked Harding at Searcy in their second contest. SAU heads to another away game at Southwestern Oklahoma State University for the September 15 (6 p.m.) matchup.

The complete SAU 2018 Family Day schedule:

  • 10:00 a.m.        Organization Fair Tables & Family-friendly Events (lawn of Blanchard Hall)
  • 12:30 p.m.        Beds Arrive for Best-Decorated Judging (Science Center)
  • 1:00 p.m.         38th Annual Residence Hall Association Bed Race (Science Center)
  • 2:00 p.m.         Family Reception (Engineering Building)
  • 2:30 p.m.         Great Greek Canoe Race (Engineering pond)
  • 3:00 p.m.         Mulegating (Alumni Center lawn)
  • 5:00 p.m.         Pep-rally (Alumni Center lawn)
  • 6:00 p.m.         Mulerider Football (Wilkins Stadium)


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