For the first time in decades, homecoming made its way back to my alma mater this past weekend. Although the game with Army was almost called off because of the topical government shutdown, all carried onward as expected, and Boston College alumni enjoyed a weekend full of events. Fireworks went off for onlooking families on Friday night. A university-wide pep rally caught the emotions of spirited fans. A thoughtful tailgate was held for GOLD (graduates of the last decade) before the game.
So with all this action packed into one weekend, I started to think—what are other schools and colleges doing to celebrate this glorious occasion of the fall?
Here are 7 of the most creative homecoming traditions I came across:
1. Homecoming Lawn Decorations for the Crimson Tide
Top-ranking Alabama may have one of the most bizarre (and admittedly very impressive) homecoming celebrations. Along with a high-spirited parade and a pep rally, sororities at Alabama let out their creative juices in a lawn decoration contest in the theme of “Leave a Crimson Legacy.”
2. Illinois State Homecoming Bonfire Crowning
Like many other schools in the midwest, Illinois State combines both their homecoming court announcement and campus bonfire into one event hosted by the Student Alumni Council.
3. Temple University’s 5k Run
Temple’s Office of Alumni Relations makes sure to keep their constituents in shape by wrapping up their homecoming weekend with a 5k race.
4. University of Wisconsin’s “The Red Shirt,” 6th Edition
There’s something special to be said about school swag. The advancement office at the University of Wisconsin takes rocking school colors to the next level with their “Red Shirt” package, specially designed for each year’s homecoming.
5. Alumni of The Winsor School Meet at Head of the Charles
In the past, we’ve called Head of the Charles the “Biggest Alumni Event of the Year.” The Winsor School elects to celebrate a special homecoming celebration with alumni during the annual race on Boston’s most historic waterway.
6. Bagpipes Lead the Way at The Loomis Chaffee School
When marching around campus, students and alumni of The Loomis Chaffee School follow to the sounds of bagpipes during homecoming weekend. Go Pelicans!
7. Homecoming Dance Gets Video Fit for a King at St. Mark’s
For the last three years, students at St. Mark’s School in Texas have put together a hilarious video to announce their nominees for Homecoming King. This year’s does a fantastic job of incorporating faculty (and has a keen sense of fashion).
How does your advancement team bring homecoming weekend to alumni?