Spring is in the Air… and the Fountain Is Back!

Anna Darling, Features Editor

A group of students poses around the fountain. Photo by: Noah Babin.

The Fountain Turn-On Event takes place in April every year at Randolph-Macon College. It represents spring, freshness, growth and so much more as the fountain finally comes back to life after sleeping all winter. This year, finally free of most COVID-19 restrictions, students, faculty, and staff gathered to enjoy a meal together and celebrate the new season. Originally scheduled for April 5, the event was moved to April 6 due to a rain delay. Luckily the sun came out after a cloudy morning before the event took place.

Starting right at 4:30 P.M., many students gathered, marked their seats, and began conversations with friends. Each bench was full of smiling faces. A little after 5:00 P.M., President Lindgren stood up to give a short speech before the fountain erupted. He made sure to include that the Fountain Turn On is one of his favorite events on campus. After the fountain turned on, students sitting too close found themselves in the splash zone. Someone’s hair got completely soaked. With many laughs, smiles, and good conversations, this is what some had to say about the event:

Favorite Part

Sophomore Caroline Allen said her favorite part is “being able to talk to people.” She loves that people can gather now that the COVID-19 restrictions have loosened. She also said “seeing the water shoot in the air” is another favorite part. Junior Coco Evans said “dancing and taking photos” are her favorite part. When asked about the Fountain Turn On events she went to in the past, she said President Lindgren saying, “let it squirt,” in 2021 was a highlight. Junior Hannah Doty made a similar comment about how he may not be able to top his 2021 speech. Sophomore Calvina Birch said her favorite part was “seeing people gathering around the fountain” and she liked seeing their facial expressions. Fifth-year student David Funderburg said he loved the event because he views the fountain as the “pinnacle” of R-MC. It’s his favorite spot on campus and he liked watching others enjoy it. Junior Tori Mumm said it was “fun seeing so many people come out.” Many students had not been to the event before. They spoke about their anticipations. Freshman Jake Raugh said he was excited to see the fountain water “going high in the air.” Sophomore Axyl Cumming joined in saying, “it went so high!” Senior and exchange student David Meier said he expected “good food, laughter, and water.”

Students watch the fountain as it shot up in the air. Photo by: Noah Babin.


The students had mixed reviews about the food. Evans said she wished there was more variety. Freshman Kemp Jones said it was what he would expect from Estes. Raugh said something similar, calling it “Macon food.” Allen and Mumm both said, “it was great.” Similarly, Doty said, “the sweet tea is great.” Many students and staff noted they were happy to have free food. Staff member Tim Webel said he had only packed a handful of trail mix for his night, so he was very excited to have a free meal. Raugh also said he was happy it was free, and Mumm said the same. A couple of people also mentioned they had eaten beforehand and missed the opportunity.


Each person had similar yet different answers to what the Fountain Turn On represents. Evans said she feels as if it’s the school’s way of saying, “you’ve made it this far, you got it!” Birch said it represented community, gathering, and tradition. Allen similarly mentioned community. “It represents a fresh start,” said Mumm. Many others said it represents “spring” and variations of an idea of new beginnings. Funderburg also mentioned that it represents “warmth, joy, and sunlight.” Cummings said it represents “connectedness to the school and people around us.” Overall, everyone had a positive outlook on the Fountain Turn On and was excited about the warm weather.

Last Words

Another group of students poses by the fountain. Photo by: Noah Babin.

When asked about any closing remarks, Funderburg said “I want to jump in” referring to the fountain. Evans spoke about the lack of a Fountain Turn On her freshman year due to COVID-19, but said, “it’s nice to have the ability to have it back.” Rauch said, “it’s fun” and Cummings encouraged others to “come to it!” Allen looked to the future, saying she “hope[s] we can do more stuff like this now that COVID restrictions have gone down.”


After a few hours, staff packed up their tables and broke down the ceremony. Some people were still sitting around the fountain chatting in the nice weather. With full bellies and big smiles, students, faculty, and staff returned to normal life. For the next couple of seasons, the fountain will keep running, symbolizing new beginnings and the Fountain Turn On tradition will continue next spring.