UPDATE: The names of the 40 newest inductees to Iron Arrow have been appended to this article.
As the Alma Mater finals were coming to a close Thursday during Homecoming, audience members heard the beating of a tribal drum as the Iron Arrow Honors Society ascended on The Rock in a single file with solemn looks. Members from the tribe broke out of their single file to grab people and bring them on the stage; new members were being tapped in to their prestigious organization.
Marked with three lines of orange, green and white paint on their forehead, University of Miami students, faculty, staff and alumni joined the society that was created in 1926. The society honors individuals who have gone above and beyond for their love of alma mater with great character, leadership, scholarship and humility.
“We have members from all over campus that have been inducted, the top tier leaders,” said Phillip Zhen, the son-of-chief of Iron Arrow.
They won’t be officially initiated into the tribe until a ceremony in two weeks. During the two weeks new members have duties that are expected of them. One of them is to wear their esteemed Iron Arrow jacket around campus. The other is for all new members to complete their ritual by participating in a 24-hour drum vigil where they rhythmically beat the drum and stoke fires on the Iron Arrow mound, located near The Rock.
“The jacket is for them and to honor them,” Zhen added. “They also have to beat on the drum for the next 24 hours. [The purpose] is a secret ritual we had since the beginning of Iron Arrow that we cannot disclose.”
Inductees were surprised when they were tapped in. Iron Arrow members set a fake meeting for them in order to secure a time and location. One member, Marian Li, was having coffee when she was suddenly surprised by being tapped in.
“I was wondering why I was asked for breakfast. I needed to go to class,” Li said. “When they suddenly came to tap me in, it was such a surprise.”
Most of the inductees were tapped in before the results of the Alma Mater singing competition were announced. Among them were Student Government President Brianna Hathaway, Vice-President Ishpreet Singh, Federación de Estudiantes Cubanos President Daniela Lorenzo, United Black Student’s Imani Callan and TeQuan Taylor, and many others.
“It feels incredible,” Singh said. “It is such a humbling honor to be associated with so many incredible people who poured their hearts out to this university and who would do anything for the University of Miami.”
Below is a list of all 40 of the newest Iron Arrow inductees, according to Zhen.
Wilford Harris III
Correction: This article originally misspelled Imani Callan’s last name.