I love the Joust. It is the embodiment of our values. When I visited last year, I saw the semi-finals and wondered why it wasn’t done on a grander stage. As I’ve written before, rituals and ceremonies that celebrate our values are incredibly important. They affirm who we are as an institution and underscore the importance of the achievement to the individual. They must be part of the fabric that supports the culture we are trying to promote in the college.

The Joust is one of a handful of events in the college that squarely align with the vision I painted during our 50th Anniversary event. It is at the intersection of town and gown–facilitated by faculty and judged by seasoned business professionals. It is open to any student at UCF. It takes courage to enter, research to prepare a convincing plan, and swagger to win. Comfort zones are exceeded, vision is married with data, egos are risked, and failure is almost certain. Only one plan walks away with the top prize.

So, we are going to celebrate the Joust with banners, pageantry, and hoopla…both virtual and in-person. Kelly, Tiffany, and Bridget have done a great job lining up judges. Past awardees will be recognized over the next month and the winner might even get a kiss from Steve Felkowitz (okay, maybe over the top, but we’ll come up with something cool).

But as valuable as winning is to the victor, the advice all of the students get from the judges is priceless. And telling would-be employers (or potential business partners) about the Joust experience is sure to impress and differentiate participants from the pack. As everyone knows, a good scar makes for a great story.

So break out your lances Knights, time to Joust!  Round one is March 22nd.

Paul Jarley, Ph.D., is the dean of the UCF College of Business Administration. He blogs every week at http://www.bus.ucf.edu/dean. This post appeared on March 10, 2013. Follow him on Twitter @pauljarley.