“Homecoming at Indiana State University (ISU)” is an event that being conducted every year since December 9th, 1916. At the time of its inception, it only involved the Alumni-Varsity Basketball Game. Later, in the year 1919, the event was endowed with other activities such as dances and other forms of entertainment for students, alumni and the University Community. During that year, homecoming was known as Blue and White Day. Several events have been added to the Homecoming in the preceding years. For instance, in “1921 Football Game” was added to the list of games while “Blue-and-White Parade added was incorporated in 1922” (2Indiana University).
Indiana State University conducts other functions alongside the Homecoming Party. Some of these events include Donaghy Day, Founders Day, Tandem, Alma Mater, and Mascots among many others. Donaghy Day was founded in 1976 and is used by the community to improve the university and its surrounding. Often the commemoration of the opening of ISU is conducted annually on the Founders Day. Tandem is just “a reference given to certain assorted activities such as student-organized races” (2Indiana University).
The October 15th, 2011 Homecoming at ISU marked the 89th Homecoming Party and was organized, first for celebrating the University’s past, present and future achievements and secondly to give honors to the ISU men’s Basketball coach for taking back the Basketball Team to NCCA Tournament after so many years of poor performance. Indiana University cited that the 89th Homecoming took place at Wabash Valley from October 14th to October 21st 2011 implying a whole one week of celebration at Indiana State University.
Those who participated in the October 15th, 2011 Homecoming included students, alumni, faculty, staff members and all ISU community members. Several events were conducted on 15th October 2011 ISU Homecoming. These activities included “Football Game, Torch Light Parade, Sycamore Tricycle Derby, and Blue and White Parade” among others (2Indiana University). Most of these events were performed in the Wabash Valley
Preparation for the 2011 Homecoming
This year’s Homecoming was well organized with a smartly defined timetable of various events from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th at different venues. The Friday’s events included “Sycamore Tricycle Derby Alumni rehearsal, Sycamore Tricycle Derby, Welcome Back Reception and Football Game” (1Indiana University 2). On the other hand, “Blue and White Parade, Football Game, Greek Alumni Event, Tent City, Scott College of Business Hullabaloo, the 5km Run of Leadership Wabash Valley and the Homecoming Concert” were conducted on Saturday 15th (1Indiana University 2). Sunday’s events included Praise Service and Brunch which were conducted at Hulman Memorial Student Union.
Leadership Wabash Valley-5km Run
This was the first event on Saturday’s Homecoming activities and was hosted by the Organization Leadership of the Wabash. 1Indiana University asserts that Saturday’s Homecoming took place at eight in the morning, involved 5 kilometers race around the Memorial Stadium and was aimed at preparing the participants and the in attendance for the other activities of the day (2). Although, the participants who included both runners and walkers began gathering from 6 a.m., all the participants arrived past 8:30 a.m.
The 5 km run helped in cheering up the participants and preparing them for the other activities of the day. Approximately 200 people, both students and alumni, participated in the 5 km run. A lot of money was generated from the run. This money was given to the leadership in-charge of organizing Homecoming events to help them “offsetting the cost incurred and finance its future operations” (1Indiana University 2).
Blue and White Parade
The 2011 “Blue and White Parade” marked its 95th anniversary since it was started. The ISU men’s basketball team Greg Lansing was responsible for the parade’s grand marshal. Greg was also one of the reasons for celebrating October 2011’s ISU Homecoming for his achievement in ISU men’s basketball team. As a coach he assisted the team to make a comeback to NCAA tournament after a long time absence following the team’s poor performance. This year’s parade was begun at Ninth and Cherry streets all the way through Wabash Avenue to Fifth Street. It was then completed on the university’s ground. The participants in the Parade included “students, alumni, staff and the community members” (1Indiana University 2-3).
The above mentioned event kicked off on Saturday 15th at 7.00 p.m. and ended on Sunday 16th at 12 a.m. It was conducted in Ohio building with entry to the hall open to anybody with a ticket. The tickets ranged from $25 to $30 depending on the time of purchase. There was lots of food alongside refreshments. It was great fun being in the building as entertainment by artists such as MacDaddys carried the day. This event was referred to as “Showtime Sycamores” which meant a silent game of auction (1Indiana University 3). The game entailed revelation of prizes and surprises throughout the night.
The event majorly comprised of watching “movies, films and entertainments from renowned Hollywood stars” from the country and outside the country (1Indiana University 3). “Homecoming Hullabaloo” also involved a game entitled “Walk of Fame” where an individual purchased a Hollywood star with his/her name in it for an opportunity to sponsor a professional development course at the university (1Indiana University 3). Through Hullabaloo, a lot of money was collected that would be used to offset some of the expenses incurred in conducting the entire Homecoming. The remaining amount would be channeled to supporting professional development studies for ISU students.
Football Game at Homecoming
The above mentioned game was between the ISU students and Leathernecks of Western Illinois. It took place in Memorial Stadium a few minutes after 3 p.m. Its main purpose was to determine the winner of the “matchup for Missouri Valley Football Conference” (Indiana State Athletics). This match was aired live on ESPN Radio and the local television channel, WTWO. GoSycamores website through the help of SycamoreVision enabled live viewing of the match online. Indiana State Athletics assert that ISU and Illinois were headed by Miles and Shakir Bell as the coaches respectively.
A quick recap indicated that Western Illinois team had been winning most of the games played between the two teams especially those played in Macomb. For instance, the list of the recent games showed that Illinois had 21-13 and 40-7 against the ISU compared to 10-7 and 17-14 of ISU against Illinois. But the chance of ISU winning that day’s match was high since it had a good record as Homecoming matches were concerned. Furthermore it had won in two separate occasions thereby making it “top Western Illinois in 2009 and previous year it beat Illinois State” Indiana State Athletics.
The above mentioned match marked the 107th anniversary of Football Game in the Homecoming since it was started in 1896. ISU won the match 17-14 thereby making it a third time winner of a match organized during Homecoming. As such, ISU team retained the title of Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Sycamore Tricycle Derby
“Sycamore Tricycle Derby” was first conducted in 1963. The whole event included a 10-lap race which was performed around the sidewalks of Quadrangle on children’s Tricycle. There were also men and women division referred to as the Powder Puff Derby. Of late, the races are conducted in a more conducive environment and modern styles. 1Indiana University asserted that the participants especially those racing in specially built tricycles, train at Recreation East, Michael Simmons Student Activity Center prior to the actual Homecoming.
The October 2011’s Sycamore Tricycle Derby commemorated its 48th birthday. Its rehearsal kicked off at 4:30 p.m. on October 14th. The event was celebrated in styles with ISU students, faculty, staff and alumni wearing blue and white attires in the bid to paint the town and the entire environment of ISU blue. There were many teams in the race composed of men and women. Prior to the October 15th Tricycle Derby, the participants competed in “Sycamore streets and Michael Simmons Student Activity Center” where the winning teams got entry to the actual competition that was to take place on 15th (1Indiana University).
On the eve of Homecoming, there were two teams; one representing the students’ body and the other representing the alumni. Both groups had 10 participants for men’s and 6 participants for women’s teams. These teams made different lapses depending on the gender. Participants in men’s team did 10 lapses while each female participant made 4 lapses less. The winners were awarded “Hot Wheels”, a recognition that the institution annually gave to such winners (2Indiana University).
Alongside the Parade, there were different forms of entertainments that were performed at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Artists such as Mike Posner and Brian Trust entertained people in the Stadium. The artists performed on Hulman Center stage from 9 p.m. although the Memorial Hall was opened at exactly 7:30 p.m. with the staff and alumni paying a gate pass fee of $ 8 and only Student Identity Card for required from ISU students. The general public paid 12$ for their ticket (1Indian University 4).
Posner opened the concert with his pop music karmin featuring Nick Noonan and Army Heidemann. The latter two artists are famous and well known for their coverage on the song “Look at Me Now” with Chris Brown. In 2011 NBA finals, it is their song entitled “Take It Away” that was used in the cheering up (1Indiana University 4). The second artist Brian Trust also took the crowd ablaze with his interesting songs such as “Bow Chika Wow Wow” and “Rolling in the Deep” (1Indiana University 4).