Meghan Hilley and a librarian at the Library of Congress holding “College Night: A Centennial Celebration.” Photo provided by Meghan Hilley

In early December, junior communications major Meghan Hilley visited the capital with a couple of friends from church on a spur of the moment trip.  

Overall, Hilley described her experience visiting DC as enjoyable and she expressed wanting to go back. Her favorite part of the trip though was being able to hand over the College Night book. 

“We booked the flight the second week of November and went right after finals ended,” she said. 

Because of her job in the calendar office as a student assistant, Hilley has gotten to know Marion Brown, who is both Director of Events at UM and Director of College Night as part of the event’s committee. 

“We sell copies of the Centennial College Night book in the office and when I told her I was going to DC and that we had tours scheduled for the US Capitol and the Library of Congress, she was like ‘wait, can you do something for me?’” 

Once Brown gave her a copy of the book, Hilley brought along with her to the Library of Congress where she was able to hand it over. 

Hilley explained the procedures of how getting the book in the Library and at first had been concerned that she wouldn’t be able to get the book into the Library of Congress since she’d only brought one copy. 

According to Hilley, when you present something to the Library that you typically have to have two copies of the material. When explaining to one of the librarians however Hilley was told that because of the kind of book, you only had to have one copy because it’s super rare. 

“I told the woman at the desk about College Night and about Montevallo and she thought it was so cool and knew that they’d want it because it’s an American tradition,” explained Hilley. “It just blows my mind that it’ll always be there, after I die, after all of us die.” 

Hilley first got involved with College Night her freshman year after being contacted by Gold Side. Since then, she has been heavily involved in the event and is especially looking forward to this year as she serves as Gold Side’s Head of Tickets and Eligibility. 

“This is where I decided to be,” said Hilley. “There are so many supportive people.” 

“Once we got into this season, I made so many friends and just got to know the game. I’m honestly just excited to bond with everyone and come together as a side. I want to teach the new college night babies what I love about Gold and about College Night in general,” she continued. 

The book is now located in the Library’s folk life section, where the rest of the College Night archives are also kept. This archive is one of the biggest collections of ethnographic materials in the country. 

“It was such an awesome moment because I got to represent Montevallo and tell people at the Library about a tradition that is really special to me,” said Hilley. “It was such a surreal thing to be able to represent a whole university and something so historical and special to just this place.”