/Kojima on College Night dedication 
Alfred Kojima receiving the College Night dedication. Photo courtesy of Michael Wade, Wade Event Photography.

Kojima on College Night dedication 

By Lucy Frost-Helms, Copy editor 

Are you a Purple or a Gold? This is a question that, majorly, defines life on campus. However, there’s one person on campus who will always hold up both a peace sign and thumbs up, and this year, he did just that while receiving this year’s College Night dedication. 

Alfred Kojima, UM’s transportation and parking attendant, received the dedication on Feb. 17, Sweet Saturday. Kojima has a long history with College Night, and it has nothing to do with either parking or transportation. 

Completing his 24th year at UM, Kojima first arrived on the bricks in 2000. He served as Sports Information Director, before starting his position as UM’s Transportation and Parking Attendant in 2008.    

Kojima attended the United States Sports Academy after moving to the South from southern California. Prior to his positions held at Montevallo, Kojima served as a Volunterr Sports Information Director at Spring Hill College from 1996 until 1998, and as Assistant Sports Information Director at Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Fla. from 1999-2000. 

Sports, specifically College Night sports, have been a long-running passion for him. 

College Night, aside from the shows, also involves sports. This year, Gold Side took home wins in volleyball, ultimate frisbee and women’s basketball while Purple Side won in men’s basketball. Kojima helped to manage and score each game, and you’ll likely find him wearing green while keeping track of the plays. 

“I’ve always been a volunteer,” said Kojima. “It just kind of evolved in doing the administration of the games. Volleyball and basketball—and we had soccer at the time—ultimate frisbee. So, that goes all the way back to 2009, but I’ve been helping out with games since 2005.” 

Kojima admires the passion found in College Night sports, having a background in university athletics.  

“They’re very into it.” He continued with a remark about student involvement in College Night, saying, “It’s just the students who get together and try to organize the teams into the two teams.” 

While Kojima is heavily involved with College Night athletics and knows the scores, he doesn’t make his final prediction as to who will win on Saturday night until the shows are over. 

“I’ve been going to College Night on Saturday night every year since 2006,” said Kojima. “I only watch one show: Saturday. So, I just base my whole opinion on what I see on Saturday. And, fortunately, the last three years I’ve got it right.” 

However, at this year’s show, Kojima could tell that something was unusual about that particular Saturday: his seat. He then started to debate whether something bigger was about to happen. 

“I had a feeling that something was amiss. There were enough little hints that something was kind of amiss. Cause, for my little four games that I helped out with, the College Night people, they’re real generous, they give me a ticket for Saturday night. Every year. I’ve had it every year. And I tell them, ‘Put me in the back, put me in the middle, put me in the back, somewhere,’” he said. 

His ticket was abnormal, though. Kojima had been placed towards the front of the audience.  

“And when they gave me the ticket, and they didn’t get what I normally got, I said ‘Hey, we missing a ticket here?’”  

Kojima thought that there had surely been a mistake, but said, “At least there were other people down there with me.” 

Kojima’s suspicions of abnormality became clear as he was recognized as this year’s College Night Dedication recipient. 

“To say that I’m surprised with the nomination, with the award, yeah, it’s a surprise,” said Kojima. He added that his initial reaction was, “Really? Gee. Really?” 

However, Kojima, while appreciative of the award, is not a fan of the spotlight. “I don’t like to be the center of attention. I like to stay in the background,” he said. 

“If I wanted to be in front I’d run for something, or run for city council,” he continued, “no, I just want to be in the background—just do my little thing and stay out of people’s way and just, kind of, be.” 

While on stage, Kojima held both a thumbs up and peace sign, saying “Good luck to both sides. Thank you.” 

Post-College Night, that answer has remained the same. When asked if Kojima is a Purple or a Gold, he replied, “Yes I am.”  

He said that even though he remains neutral, he does not identify as a member of Green Side, saying, “I’ve never said Green. I’ll wear green—you saw the little green shirt I was wearing. I made that this year just for myself just to have it.” 

All in all, one thing is clear. Kojima is passionate about sports and College Night.  

“I’ve always been a big fan of College Night and I’ll talk College Night up. I always have,” he said.  

He plans to stay connected to College Night and sports for as long as he can, saying he’ll stay involved, “As long as they’ll have me.”

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Lucy Frost-Helms is the copy editor of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in social science and minoring in philosophy. She enjoys being a goober, eating chicken salad for breakfast, watching “National Treasure” and telling you that she will “definitely pay you back for that.” Lucy has the worst memory of all time and will forget major, important details of stories you tell her.