The following piece by An Phan first appeared in the Daily Campus.
80 years later, Peruna’s still kickin’
AN Phan, The Daily Campus, April 29,2012
SMU students gathered on the Dallas Hall lawn for Student Foundation’s celebration of Peruna’s 80th birthday.
Colorful carnival tents, inflatable bounce houses and free food drew more than 550 students to the event.
"I think Peruna had a great time," Eric Sabandal, student foundation's campus events chair, said. "The 'ole 8-0 is an important birthday so we did our best to make it special."
And this year's carnival was special — and bigger than last years with a wider variety of food and attractions.
"We really tried to ramp up the energy and excitement around the event this year," Sabandal said. "We aimed to be aggressive and creative with our marketing by passing out cotton candy the Wednesday before the event and putting up a lot more posters than in the past."
Many student organizations participated in the celebrations. The event included tables from Mustang Transfers and the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility.
Students were treated to funnel cakes, fried Oreos, snow cones and an assortment of ice cream. Three caricaturists, henna artists, an obstacle course and life-size hamster balls were also available for students.
“Student Foundation put on a great event. I can’t look forward to next year,” freshman Mehdi Hami said.
Ryan Herrscher, a first-year, agreed.
“Perunapalooza is great," he said. “It’s a great chance to relax at the end of the year before finals and have some fun on the Boulevard.”
Student Foundation members were very content with the results of their outcome.
“This is a lot of fun. We went all out, and I’m so proud of us,” junior Jen Nguyen, a member of Student Foundation, said. “I love all the food and new ideas, and it seems like everyone is having a good time.”
Every year, Student Foundation puts on Perunapalooza to the joy of SMU students.
“Only at SMU would they turn the campus into a carnival for our mascot’s birthday,” a student on Facebook said.
Campus unity is one of the main themes of Perunapalooza.
“Perunapalooza is an awesome day where our campus unites to celebrate Peruna’s birthday,” freshman Will Slack, a member of Student Foundation, said.“It was a great opportunity to get everyone together for one last party before the start of finals.”