During College Night season it’s not uncommon to run into the familiar faces of Purples past. Whether they’re sharing stories of their time at UM or assisting active Purples in their fight for a PV, a Vintage Purple is never far from the College Night scene.
Vintage Purples are any alumni who were Purples during their time at the University. However, the connection Vintages have transcends even their status as an official, university-recognized organization. Vintage Purple Alisha “Fish” Ranelli describes the relationship they share akin to that of a family.
“As soon as I pass the ‘Welcome to Montevallo’ sign, it’s like a warmth washes over me,” Ranelli said, “It’s where I belong, it’s what I love, and I’ll never miss it. I spent all four years [of my time at Montevallo] with these people, and they’re everything to me.”
In addition to providing enthusiasm and side spirit, Vintage Purples also aid in preparation for College Night. From Love-In’s to the Vintage Voyage to the highly anticipated alumni dinner, Vintage Purples assist Active Purples in any way they can.
“We come back, we support the side, and we support the University,” Ranelli said, “We keep in contact with one another and we make sure to support each other whether it’s about College Night or otherwise. We are a family.”
David Pohler, Purple side’s Alumni and Baby Purple coordinator said any experience involving the Vintage Purples is a positive one.
“As people who have gone through this game and who have played anywhere from one year to the full maximum five year potential, it’s comforting to know that [the Vintage Purples] have been here and they know exactly where we are in our current process. They know it’s going to be okay,” Pohler said, “They’re absolutely wonderful. They go above and beyond.”
According to Vintage Purple James “Happy” Smith, acceptance is the key that fosters the overwhelming sense of love and community that persists far past graduation for Purples.
“The thing about purple side that’s so wonderful is that we accept everybody…. for who they are. Always,” Smith said.