University to celebrate traditions old, new

By Lindsay Schaefer and Emily Keahey

Homecoming is not just a football game and a dance — It is much more. Traditions, social gatherings and other activities are among some of the events planned for students and alumni at this year’s event Oct. 23 and 24. The theme is “Up with the Purple,” chosen because it is the title of the song traditionally sung by seniors and alumni.

Many former students will come back to their alma mater to share and remember the memories they once had over various dinners and receptions. All classes since 1964 that end in a four or nine will be reuniting. Also, the class of 1959 will be celebrating its 50th reunion.

Director of Alumni Relations Rebecca O’Banion said, “Homecoming is always special, but we are excited to welcome Dr. and Mrs. Randy O’Rear as our new president and first lady. This is significant to us as alumni
since they are both graduates of UMHB.”

O’Rear plans to share his vision for UMHB with alumni during a dinner Friday night, Oct. 23. He will also be present at the dessert reception later that night to meet former students.

O’Banion said, “I think the dessert reception at Millennium Oaks Park will be something alumni will not want to miss this year. We will have floating candles in the pond, lights in the trees, live music performed by Jared Johnson, ‘02, and ice cream floats and sundaes.”

Besides the football game and other activities, another big event will be “Crusaders Got Talent” featuring alumni judges and performers.

The talent show will include free entertainment and a coffee bar, which is open to all students and guests.

Homecoming events in the past have not always been full of activities. The tradition of a football game and several dinners in the fall started in 2004.

The alumni office has the first Homecoming recorded as April 26, 27, and 28, 1909, and it was held every four years after that; however, the event has gone through many different names and dates over the years.

Director of Marketing and Public Relations Carol Woodward said, “Homecoming events allow former students and alumni to enjoy reunions with former classmates and participate in campus life today.”

For a more complete listing of traditions and Homecoming events, visit the university Web site at or the Alumni Web site at alumni.

Author: The Bells Staff

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