West Virginia Universitys annual beard-growing competition kicks off with a shave at noon tomorrow (Oct. 17) in the Mountainlair commons area.

Organizers are hoping a record number of young men come out for the event, a prelude to Mountaineer Week activities that take place Nov. 2-11.

The three-week contest, open to WVU students and co-sponsored by the WVU Bookstore and Barnes&Noble, has been one of the most popular Mountaineer Week events since its start in 1949.

Judging will take place at noon Wednesday, Nov. 7, on theLair grand staircase. Five faculty members will decide which participant has grown the best beard. Cash prizes will be awarded for first ($100), second ($75) and third ($50) place.

Mountaineer mascot Brady Campbell and Miss Mon-Valley Dea Simpson will emcee the event.

This is a great opportunity for students to show their school spirit and an easy way to earn some extra money,said Michelle Goodliff, student chairperson for the beard-growing competition committee.

WVU students can sign up at the Mountainlair information desk anytime before the contest begins.

For more information, e-mail Goodliff at mgoodlif@mix.wvu.edu or Mountaineer Week adviser Sonja Wilson at sonja.wilson@mail.wvu.edu .