by Savanah Baker
Snow angels filled the quad on Concordia’s campus after a record number of students participated in the Naked Man Run on Monday, Nov. 30.
The Naked Man Run is a tradition that takes place after the first sufficient snowfall of the school year. Students meet in the lounge connecting Ruth A and Ruth B, run across campus to the quad in as little clothing as possible to the “Son of Man Be Free” statue (also known to students as The Naked Man statue) and make five snow angels before running back to the lounge to warm up.
This year, 58 students participated in the event, compared the previous high of 32 during last year’s run.
The Naked Man Run started nine years ago by alumnus Matt Wait and one friend and has since become a campus-wide activity.
The tradition is maintained through the continual handoff of responsibility after a senior organizer graduates. Leadership was passed from Wait to David Mommens, Aaron Kortze, Brandon Metcalf and Joel Newton before senior Jonathan Janke took over.
Metcalf was not one of the original creators of the event, but his brother Justin was friends with Wait at the beginning of the Naked Man Run.
“[Wait] decided to make it an official tradition when he got two of the freshmen from his RA hall, Chris Tegtmeier and Justin Metcalf, to join him in running from the dorms wearing only shorts to go make a snow angel around the Naked Man before retreating back to the dorms for warmth,” Metcalf said. “I think the reasoning was basically ‘why not?'”
Jahnke has taken charge of the event for the last two years by creating an event on Facebook to spread the word.
“Two years ago, I wasn’t sure how I was going to set the event up after Brandon Metcalf graduated, but I took it upon myself to get the word out,” Jahnke said. “Then the next year as soon as there was snow, I had people asking when it would be, so I created a Facebook group to let people know.”
Students eagerly wait for news regarding the Naked Man Run each year, but unexpectedly, professors and other faculty on campus also look forward to it.
“A majority of the staff thinks it’s a cool, fun thing that is awesome,” Jahnke said. “And I’ve had faculty members tell me they are happy the tradition has continued.”
The Naked Man Run continues to gain a reputation and is now mentioned during many campus tours when passing the statue. The tradition is credited solely to students.
“The school has nothing to do with it; it’s all students,” Jahnke said. “That’s one thing that kids are starting to realize: It’s fun and not school-sponsored, which makes it a fun activity to participate in because it’s put on by the students for the students.”
“It’s something any alumni that has participated in looks back on with a lot of pride and fondness,” he said.