Pride keeps Victory Flame burning

The Victory Flame, a symbol of pride at UNA, burns brightly in front of the Guillot University Center.

“It’s the flame we light when we have some sort of event we want to celebrate,” said Director of Engineering, Maintenance and Grounds Mike Thompson.

Some UNA students are aware of the Victory Flame and consider it an important part of campus.

“I like (the Victory Flame),” said freshman Ryleigh Hilliard. “I think it adds something to the campus.”

Freshman Kip Capley said he really likes the Victory Flame.

“I’m glad to see it lit because it means that we won,” he said. “But when it’s not lit, it is kind of sad because we lost.”

Senior Robert Bellamy said the Victory Flame acts as a good motivator for athletes.

“It increases school spirit,” he said. “It gives the football team a goal to accomplish in order to keep the flame on.”

The Victory Flame originally burned in front of the old bookstore as a pool of water surrounded by a gas-powered torch. The construction of the Guillot University Center in 1986 extinguished the flame.

“In 1995, the National Alumni Association spearheaded the Campaign for (the) Victory Flame to bring both the flame and its tradition back to campus,” according to a school magazine “From Cubs to Lions: Your Guide to Success at the University of North Alabama.” “With the theme ‘Together We Shall Achieve Victory,’ the Association’s Board of Directors raised over $30,000 to redesign and rebuild a new victory flame.”

Bringing back the Victory Flame was a necessary but costly project. UNA asked the community to help them raise funds to build the new victory flame, according to “Legends in the Making,” the 1996 Diorama.

“For donors who chose to give $50 or more, bricks were offered,” according to the yearbook. “These bricks could be given ‘In honor of’ or ‘In memory of’ a loved one, relative, a classmate, organization or the donor’s name.”

During a Homecoming pep rally Oct. 27, 1995, the new and current Victory Flame officially claimed its spot in campus history.

The Victory Flame was built in the heart of UNA’s campus, according to a 1995 UNA magazine. Not only was it built in the center of UNA’s campus, it was also recognized as the heartbeat of UNA.