Seize the DIA at BU!

This post was written by Elizabeth Rivera, PhD, Baylor University Archivist

In anticipation of stress awareness month in April, Bear Country will celebrate its 91st Diadeloso on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. This annual day affords students, faculty, and staff a dedicated time to pause, breathe, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

When former Texas governor, Pat Neff assumed his role as President of Baylor amid the Great Depression in 1932, students needed a tangible reminder that their educational preparation mattered and was worth the financial commitment before joining the workforce. Therefore, Neff invested in the students’ mental health. He instituted a day of play and suspended classes (all four of them) for the day.

Neff’s organized day of play included the male faculty defeating the male seniors in baseball and the females played their own game of baseball. The female seniors handily upset the female faculty 18 to 4. Then five of Baylor’s Ph.D.’s participated in a yo-yo contest before the barbecue lunch (“First Annual Day”, 1932). This break established a dedicated time for faculty and students to embrace their humanity and find community in being present together.

In more recent years, students have swum with otters (petting otters in a kiddie pool), watched movies on the stadium field (Movies at McLane), and participated in goat yoga (yes, goats standing on students in downward dog pose). The Baylor community continues to have fun together and build relationships. In establishing this day, Neff set a precedent that his presidential successors have continued to embrace. Alexis Whiteford, BU alumna class of 2021, commented that regardless of the activity, DIA (as affectionately referred to by the students) is what you make it.

While the name has undergone various iterations, a 1966 student body vote officially changed the name to Diadeloso, “Day of the Bear.”  The purpose remains constant, food, fun, and fellowship bring people together and promote social understanding. Being a college student and preparing for adulthood is tough. Whether students are navigating the pressures of a crippling economy and their financial performance or managing the pressures of academic achievement, intentional respite restores and rejuvenates crushed spirits.

Since DIA is a time to relieve stress, let’s come together, celebrate, and make fun memories. This year’s lineup proves to be slated with diverse fun opportunities— glow in the dark roller skating, archery, human wac-a-mol, caricature drawings, and more (“Attractions”, 2023). From The Texas Collection, be you and seize the DIA at BU!    


First Annual Day of Fun Attended by Student Body. (1932, May 12). The Daily Lariat, p.  1-2.

Attractions. (2023, March). Baylor University,

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