A week of homecoming celebrations began Tuesday, Oct. 22 with a tank top giveaway and a Night of Lights event where students worshipped and lit candles. The next day, students were treated to PBJ sandwiches and a camel on King Street.
On Tuesday night, students watched Disney Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” at Luther Memorial for Family Movie Night. Before the event, students sampled dishes from several local restaurants, including Pignetti’s, Dead Fish Grill, Raising Cane’s, Shipley’s Donuts, Jimmy John’s, and Jersey Mike’s Subs.
Wednesday followed up with a campus-wide scavenger hunt. Thursday and Friday nights featured Stunt Night in Walton Chapel, which is a tradition that began in 1909 as a way to cure homesickness for students who couldn’t go home for the holidays.
For Stunt Night, each class performed a skit based around the year’s theme, but they add in a UMHB twist. This year’s theme was Game night and focused on board games. The freshmen’s skit, based on Chutes and Ladders, showed the ups and downs of four students as they navigated through the school year. The sophomore class had Candyland, with four UMHB students getting sucked into the board game. They must take a journey to meet the king so they can find out how to get home. In the Junior class’ skit, the Clue Cru teamed up to find their kidnapped homecoming sponsor. In the seniors’ skit, Mr. Monopoly tries to steal all of UMHB’s prized artifacts.
The Best Song and Dance went to the junior class. The Best Costume went to the sophomores. The Best Comedic Moment went to the junior class’ Hardin Simmons Cowboy, who was played by Nathan Vandolzer. He said it was different to play a HSU Cowboy.
“I don’t have a country accent, but he does. Also, the overalls and boots are completely the opposite of me, but it was fun,” Vandolzer said.
The Best Actor went to Kyle Parsons, who played the role of the director in the freshman class’ skit. Best Actress went to Gabby Shbeir, who played Miss White in the juniors’ skit.
Parsons said he was humbled to win Best Actor.
“I love acting. [I give] glory to God. It’s just a super fun experience,” Parsons said.
Junior class won Stunt Night, and took home both the Campus Choice and Judges’ Choice awards.
After Stunt Night on Thursday, students went to Rock Wall N’ Roll, where they climbed a rock wall, enjoyed music by Willow City, and dined on local cuisine from food trucks.
Friday included the 2nd performance of Stunt Night, followed by a pep rally at Luther Memorial and a dessert party/carnival at the Alumni House and King Street.
On Saturday, student organizations hosted a tailgate on King Street, which included face painting by Psalms 139, free burgers from the senior SGA officers, a craft station with Apostolic Cru, Corn Hole with ROTC, Giant Connect 4 with the Institute of Management Accountants, Giant Jenga with Pre-Law students, and Spike Ball with First Year Council.
Homecoming week ended with an 80-7 win against the McMurry War Hawks.
Homecoming was co-directed by Shelby Rogers and Kylie Millay. The directors and their committee began meeting in April to plan the various events for homecoming week.
“We looked at what we liked from previous years and what we wanted to change and started from there,” senior psychology major Rogers said. “We really let our committees dream big and that’s where a lot of our events came from. We took those big dreams and made them feasible events to plan and execute.”
Homecoming is one of Rogers’ favorite traditions.
“I love homecoming because it gives current students and alumni the chance to celebrate this incredible home we have,” she said. “I think the week went amazing. Aside from some weather issues, we had a lot of fun, and the events came together great.”