High Riders is a women's spirit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting Texas Tech women's athletics by upholding the principles of service, spirit, leadership, tradition and sisterhood.
High Riders is a spirit organization at Texas Tech University. The High Riders take part in parades and campus events throughout the year to endorse the Lady Raiders. High Riders supports our Lady raiders home and away; every year we take a road trip and attend an away game too. We also hold the distinction of being the only people, along with the Saddle Tramps, allowed in the bell tower to ring the Victory bells after each Lady Raider home victory and have the ability to try out for our mascot Raider Red!
Make sure to keep up with our rush dates located on the calendar and event pages.
The history of High Riders is not unique in beginning in that all endeavors must first begin with an idea. The uniqueness of High Riders lies in the idea itself. High Riders represents the desire for college women to serve the students and athletes at Texas Tech with the help and the guidance of God. This relationship with God is a vital and inspirational aspect of the organization that will remain as longs as High Riders continues to function within its guidelines.
Nancy Neill (Hughes), High Riders' first president, attended some Saddle Tramp smokers as a hostess in the fall of 1975, and questioned why there was no women's organization to support Texas Tech women's athletes. Nancy researched and discovered there had been several attempts to start a women's organization, but they had failed due to lack of organization. She became excited about the idea of starting a new organization, but this time she was determined to learn from the mistakes of other attempts.
Nancy sought the aid of a friend, Lyn Morris (Travis), who became High Riders' first pledge trainer. They began tossing ideas back and forth, talking to other students, and especially praying. They were inspired by a strong interest shown among the women students at Texas Tech.
The first task was to find an appropriate name for the organization. Lyn felt the need for the name to say something about what the organization would stand for and also liken it to Texas Tech. After considerable though, she decided on the name High Riders, and it was quickly confirmed by Nancy. The name gave them something tangible with which to begin to work.
In order to satisfy the University's requirement of acceptance as an official campus organization, Lyn and Nancy wrote a constitution, which included the purpose of the organization and submitted it to the Dean of Students' office in January of 1976. Two sponsors were chosen: Joyce Arterburn, of the P.E. Department, and Dr. B.J. Marshall, of the physics department.
To two founders realized the need for more help in organizing High Riders and sought the aid of a friend, Kathy Pate (Scott), who became High Riders' first Vice President.
Though the three founders were similar in believes and ambitions, each had some unique abilities to offer to the founding of High Riders. Nancy offered strong leadership and the ability to organize. Lyn had the ability to foresee a future with confidence and to take High Rider ideas and bring them into reality. Kathy was very practical and had the ability to deal with contingencies. Together they formed a strong bond of hard work, dedication, and faith.
On February 2, 1976, the University accepted High Riders as an official campus organization.
The founders continued to prepare that semester for the first pledge class to be taken in the fall. The by-laws, a pledge program, and a pledge manual were prepared. The High Rider symbol was designed. T-shirts, bumper stickers, jackets, and uniforms made.
The founders contacted the Women's Athletic Council to present themselves and the organization to their service. The council realized High Riders could meet the tremendous need for support within the Women's Athletic Department and immediately put the founders to work. They learned what is involved in supporting women's athletics by attending in-town games, traveling to out-of-town games with teams, and encouraging the athletes with signs, special treats, and send-offs.
In the summer, the founders finished the pledge manual, worked at Freshmen Orientation, and publicized fall rush.
Approximately seventy-five undergraduate women attended rush parties from which twenty-five were chosen to be the Charter Pledge Class. They pledged through January of 1977 and were initiated into active membership on February 4th.
The four months of pledgeship involved many activities. Along with pledge responsibilities and projects, the Charter Pledge Class had the task of identifying for the campus what High Riders stood for, what their responsibilities were, and what their capabilities were.
High Riders was involved in the Homecoming Parade, President Mackey's inauguration, money raising projects, a Swim-a-thon, and supporting men's and women's athletics that fall and spring. Kent Maxson wrote the High Riders' song, "Lean On," for the group that first year.
High Riders continues to gain increased recognition and support as a respected campus organization each year. The organization's history has grown and expanded each year as the members involved continue on its founded ideals reaching bravely to greater heights and expectations.