With barely time to catch their breath following the Sept. 9 Centennial Blue Tie Gala festivities, MTSU students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends await another annual rite of autumn — homecoming.
Homecoming always is a huge deal. It’s about seeing old friends and faculty members.
It’s reminiscing about the good old days on campus if you graduated or attended MTSU years ago or the trendy, all-the-rage event for recent grads. It’s about fashion, food, fun and football.
This year, in relation with the University celebrating its 100th anniversary, it is a Centennial Homecoming. The theme, decided by alumni in an online poll, is “A Centennial Homecoming: Look to the Future, Remember the Past.”
Centennial Homecoming Day, Saturday, Oct. 1, is now less than two weeks away. Between Sept. 23 and Oct. 1, all of the Student Government Association and Office of Alumni Relations activities lead to the Blue Raiders 6 p.m. Centennial Homecoming Game against in-state rival University of Memphis in Floyd Stadium.
“Many activities will take place to commemorate this historic homecoming,” said Rhonda King, assistant director in the Office of Alumni Relations and coordinator of alumni-related events. “Homecoming is about reconnecting and visiting with schoolmates, friends and family.”
“This year truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I hope all students, alumni and members of the community join us in celebrating our University’s accomplishments over the past 100 years,” said Donald Abels, the SGA homecoming director and senior organizational communication major from Savannah, Tenn.
Tailgating is a great place to reconnect and visit, and tailgating sites across campus will be in full swing, King said, adding that the alumni office “will help you get connected with your group through the Facebook event, MTSU Centennial Homecoming Tailgate Hookup.”
There’s something for everybody – from children to students to alumni – along the way.
SGA Centennial Homecoming events include Saturday’s golf tournament at Champions Run Golf Course; the Old School Homecoming 5K at 8 a.m. Sept. 25 outside the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center; the annual Chili Cookoff at 5 p.m. Sept. 27 on the Murphy Center lawn; the National Pan-Hellenic Council Step Show at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 in Murphy Center; and tailgating in Walnut Grove starting at 11 a.m. that precedes the Raider Walk at 3:45 p.m.
Alumni events on Oct. 1 start with the Baby Raider Ride contest (check-in between 10:30 and 11 a.m. at the Alumni House), the Mixer on Middle Parade-Watching Party that starts at 11:30 a.m. at the Alumni House, the Centennial Homecoming Parade led by John (’54, ’74) and Marilyn Hood starting at noon and the Alumni Tailgate Lunch from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Alumni House.
It’s the Class of 1961’s turn to be Golden Raiders.
They will gather Sept. 30 starting with check-in at 2 p.m. in the Tom H. Jackson Building and ending with the Golden Raiders Induction Ceremony Dinner at 5:30 p.m.
“This class has the unique experience of graduating during Middle Tennessee’s 50th anniversary celebration and becoming a Golden Raider during its Centennial year,” King said.
Visit mtalumni.com for a complete schedule of alumni events.
For full details of SGA homecoming events, visit mtsu.edu/sga and click on “Homecoming” on the left side of the page, or call the SGA office at 615-898-2464. The official Facebook and Twitter pages are facebook.com/mtsuhomecoming and twitter.com/mtsuhomecoming, respectively.
Randy Weiler is a staff writer and news liaison for the Office of News and Media Relations.