For some people, homecoming means getting dressed to the nines and dancing the night away with Chad Michael Murray (A Cinderella Story, anyone?). However, homecoming traditions are a lot different than our favorite 90s rom-coms led us to believe.
The origins of homecoming traditions have been largely contested since its beginning in the early 20th century. Baylor University, University of Illinois, and University of Missouri are considered the frontrunners of the mysterious homecoming traditions, each having planned their first homecoming events around 1910, although the NCAA sanctioned Missouri as the originators of the beloved tradition.
In 1911, Missouri’s Athletic Director, Chester Brewer, invited alumni to “come home” to their alma mater to help inaugurate the new location of the football field by attending the annual game against the University of Kansas. The event consisted of a variety of traditions we know today: parades, parties, a pep rally, and a football game against Mizzou’s long-time rival, the University of Kansas, becoming an example for homecomings nationwide.
The homecoming games that transpired afterwards had similar characteristics: the football game served as a center point; the events included rallies, parades, speeches, and dances; the events intended to unite alumni and students to create a stronger sense of school pride; and they were wildly successful and quickly spread to high schools and colleges across the country.
The excitement around homecoming became overwhelming, with some schools devoting an entire week to relish in the festivities. Over the years, many schools have created their own unique homecoming traditions, like the Arizona State University’s “Lantern Walk”, where students, alumni, and faculty carry lit candles up “A Mountain,” a butte composed of volcanic rock with a giant letter “A” at the top, complete with fireworks and speeches.
Whether you’re a diehard football fan or not, it’s hard to resist the ever-nostalgic homecoming game.
Celebrate the origins of homecoming by participating in Southeastern’s Homecoming 2019 Weekend!
Activities will kick off on Friday, October 25, with an alumni mixer at 5:30 p.m., followed by an alumni
dinner. Alumni can purchase a weekend package for $75. The package includes entrance into the dinner, as well as a campus-wide picnic, a
meal at tailgating and a football game ticket the following day. Additional activities include an alumni chapel service and alumni athletic events. Tickets can also be purchased separately for individual events.
Tailgating will begin at 4:30 p.m., with kick off at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 26. The Fire football team will be playing Warner University.
Registration is available online at seu.edu/homecoming. For questions, contact Alumni Relations at 863.667.5400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.