Megan Maye, Southern Arkansas University’s Mulerider, is loading up her esteemed mule, Molly Ann, to go on the road across Arkansas in celebration of SAU’s record-setting enrollment this fall.
Maye, a senior at SAU’s College of Business, is ready to ride out of her senior year with a bang. She and Molly Ann are scheduled to hit Hot Springs and Little Rock on November 13 and 14. Running alongside the Mulerider will be the award-winning video production crew at SAU, who will be filming the mascot at some of the most beautiful and recognizable locations in all of Arkansas.
SAU has one of the most unique mascots in the United States, and the Mulerider’s upcoming tour of Arkansas is representative of SAU’s broadening reach across our Natural State. In fact, SAU students represent 64 out of the state’s 75 counties.
SAU was the only University south of Little Rock to have an increased enrollment this fall. In fact, SAU attracted its highest number of beginning freshman and had a record enrollment of 3,404 for the fall. The campus’ “Complete College Experience” campaign also garnered a record number of students living on campus this fall.
This is not the first ride out of Magnolia for the Mulerider to commemorate the spread of Mulerider pride. Maye and Molly Ann recently surprised Texarkana residents as the Mulerider galloped across their city, even stopping to place an order at a Starbucks drive through window. The buzz around the Texarkana trip was such a success that the SAU crew started immediately planning to the Arkansas tour.
“It is exciting to see the attention that the Mulerider tours have generated,” said SAU President Dr. David Rankin. “An important part of our University history, the Mulerider epitomizes the determination and success our students have achieved with a degree from Southern Arkansas University. We are all extremely pleased with a record-setting fall semester and a broadening of the reach of the University across the State and much beyond.”
The residents of Texarkana were excited to not only participate in their city’s visit from the Mulerider, but also snap their own photos and videos and share them online. The SAU crew hopes to get similar responses during the upcoming travels to Hot Springs and Little Rock.
“The friendly people of Texarkana had no advanced notice of our recent visit with the Mulerider, which allowed us to capture some funny video,” said Aaron Street, SAU’s assistant dean for integrated marketing. “But we want to get the people of Hot Springs and Little Rock more involved. We are even hosting a social media contest with an iPad as the prize in which all people have to do is snap a photo of our Mulerider on the road and share it with the ‘#ISpyMolly’ hashtag.”
Street said that the winner of the iPad will be randomly drawn from all of the “#ISpyMolly” participants at 3 p.m. on Friday, November 15. The announcement will be made via SAU’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and website at www.SAUmag.edu/ontheroad.
Hot Springs’ residents and guests will have a chance to see Molly and the Mulerider the afternoon of Wednesday, November 13. They are stopping by Oaklawn Park Race Track at around 2 p.m., as Molly hopes to walk in the hoofsteps of a racehorse. Next, they are going to take a stroll down Bathhouse Row, and may stop by to see Lake Hamilton before loading up for Little Rock.
The group has several spots in Little Rock they hope to hit on Thursday, but plan to be around the River Market in the morning and around lunchtime to greet people and pose for photos. Molly and the Mulerider hope to also swing by the Arkansas State Capitol, the Clinton Library and the Big Dam Bridge before they have to come back to campus.
To see the complete itinerary for the trip, which will be updated as the trip progresses with more specific times for the various locations, and to find out more about the trip and the iPad contest, visit www.SAUmag.edu/OnTheRoad.