After COVID-19 relegated 2020 Homecoming events to a virtual format stripped of several beloved traditions, 2021 Homecoming is scheduled to be held in person once again on Oct. 29-30.
In keeping with the current MC campus theme of “Rise Up,” inspired by Nehemiah 2:18, the theme of Homecoming this year is “Blue and Gold Rising.” Alumni returning to campus may participate in a golf tournament and attend class reunions, an awards brunch, a performance of Follies, and other events in addition to the traditional tailgate and football game on Saturday. Weather permitting, reunions will be held in the Quad this year.
Concerning the significance of Homecoming at MC, Chad Phillips, Associate Director for Alumni and Parent Engagement, said, “Homecoming is a time for alumni to return to campus and see all of the improvements that have happened since their graduation, remember old times on campus and reconnect with classmates.”
However, Homecoming is also a time of celebration filled with fun events for current MC students. The Homecoming Committee under the Campus Programming Board has planned a week of events for students to attend.
“Homecoming is not just an event for alumni,” said Anna Davis, one of the Homecoming Committee chairs. “We have multiple events each day starting Monday all the way through Saturday for current students to come and enjoy.”
The week will include a combination of annual traditions along with some new events. Along with some smaller events, the schedule includes a service event where club and tribe members can earn points, an event where students can get to know the football team, and an intramural spikeball tournament.
This year’s Homecoming Week also brings the return of a number of beloved traditions. The clubs’ and tribes’ annual Choctaw Cheer-Off will return this year, although due to the ongoing construction on the Caf patio it will most likely be held in a different location than in past years. Follies will be held Thursday and Friday of Homecoming Week, followed by the traditional tailgate, parade, football game, and court presentation on Saturday.
Davis wants to encourage all students to come to the events planned for the week. “The events will be so much fun, and we will have giveaways all throughout the week!”
However, Homecoming for students is more than just a week of exciting events. Wesley Thomas, the Board director overseeing the Homecoming Committee, said, “I think Homecoming is multifaceted in that, one, it’s great for alumni to come back and get to reinvest in the campus that poured so much into them, but also it’s great for connection’s sake. People that are still here are getting to meet the alumni that have already graduated, showing that we’re all just one big MC family.”
Homecoming plans are still subject to change based on COVID developments. “As we get closer to Homecoming, we will monitor the current state and CDC guidelines. We will make adjustments as necessary to make sure everyone can enjoy a safe Homecoming,” said Jonathan Nutt, Director of Student Engagement. “We are very excited about celebrating Homecoming on campus after not being able to last year.”
As Homecoming approaches, look out for the release of a detailed schedule of events as well as any updates due to the COVID situation.