Welcome Home Baylor Nation: Baylor University’s 2014 Homecoming Events and Highlights
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Media contact: Lori Fogleman, (254) 710-6275
WACO, Texas (Oct. 28, 2014) – The sizzle of the bonfire, the sensory swirl of marching bands and papier-mâché, the anticipation of a curtained stage, the roar of a stadium – if you’ve ever called yourself a Baylor Bear, these are visions of home. Since 1909, Baylor alumni, students, faculty and staff have returned from flinging their green and gold afar to gather on campus and catch the Baylor Spirit once more. This year, Thursday, Oct. 30, to Sunday, Nov. 1, will mark the 105th anniversary of Baylor University’s Homecoming celebration.
Historians have determined that Baylor is likely the first collegiate homecoming in the nation. Baylor University Homecoming is best known for its bonfire, parade, Pigskin Revue and football game. Baylor continues to prove that tradition is nostalgically golden but forever green with growth.
“We’re really excited about this year,” said Kacie Evans, parade chair for the Baylor Chamber of Commerce. “We try to keep it as new as possible, especially thinking about how to keep the alumni happy to be home again.”
Festivities will ensue on Tuesday, Oct. 28, with a homecoming-themed Dr Pepper Hour taking place across campus.
The spirit will increase with a special Homecoming Chapel at 9:05 a.m., 10:10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, in Waco Hall. The gatherings will convey highlights of Baylor’s past and individuals who have called it home since its founding in 1845.
Two of Baylor’s most beloved traditions will take place Thursday, Oct. 30, with the opening night of Pigskin Revue and gathering of the Freshman Mass Meeting.
Showcasing the eight winning acts from the previous spring's All University Sing competition, Pigskin Revue will open its curtains at 7 p.m. in Waco Hall. Ticket holders not only will witness a series of Broadway-style acts prepared and performed by campus organizations but also the crowning of this year’s Homecoming queen.
Originally, the Homecoming queen was chosen based on the quality of the float on which she rode.
"Being pretty is only 50 percent of becoming a Homecoming Queen at Baylor University," said a 1968 university press release. "The other 50 percent comes from members of a hard-working club or class of creative float builders who can produce a prize-winning float."
Today, the float and queen awards are judged separately with the queen nominees chosen on the criteria of scholarship, philanthropy, spiritual commitment and poise.
Following Pigskin Revue and the crowning of the queen, freshman students of the class of 2018 will gather at 11 p.m. for the Freshman Mass Meeting in Waco Hall. The annual gathering honors the legacy of the Immortal Ten, 10 students who died in a bus-train accident on Jan. 22, 1927, in Round Rock, Texas.
"One of the issues I try to bring out in my closing is that we don't make heroes out of these guys," said Neil Knighton, B.A. '75, M.A. '78, who has presented the story of the Immortal Ten. “The hero is the spirit of the Baylor tradition, and what we celebrate is acknowledging one another as important.”
Students exit Waco Hall at midnight and engage in a hallowed candlelight ceremony, traveling from Waco Hall to Fountain Mall, where they will begin the building of the Homecoming bonfire.
Pigskin Revue performances will continue at 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Friday as well as at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
On Friday, Oct. 31, Extravaganza — an event featuring games, music, and local food trucks — will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. on Fountain Mall. At 9 p.m., Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr will take the stage along with the Golden Wave Marching Band and lead the lighting of the bonfire.
Also that evening, alumni and students are encouraged to walk through the Friday Night Flashback exhibit inside the Bill Daniel Student Center.
“Essentially, we’re turning the SUB into a museum with a lot of great information about Baylor and the past and future, for example, the new business school,” said Brandon Mosely, Homecoming chairman for Baylor University Chamber of Commerce.
Saturday, Nov. 1, the celebration will begin with the Homecoming parade at 8:30 a.m. Many of the floats will display a water feature as a tribute to the riverside McLane Stadium, Evans said. A few additions to this year’s parade include designated float stops, designed to feature the musical talents of local high school marching bands and musical acts such as the Nashville-based band Judah and the Lion.
Immediately following the parade will be a brand-new tradition called Feel Good Fest. The event sponsored by 5th Quarter and Uproar Records will take place in the SUB bowl and feature live music by Judah and the Lion and Uproar artists as well as activities like a puppy petting zoo and local Waco food vendors.
After an afternoon of tailgating, the Baylor’s football game against Kansas will kick off at 3 p.m. at McLane Stadium. For the first time, Baylor fans will coordinate according to their seat section to fashion McLane into a striped sea of green and gold.
For the schedule of this year’s Baylor Homecoming Festivities, click here and use the official hashtag #BaylorHomecoming to tag posts and photos and social media.
Homecoming event locations:
• Waco Hall, 624 Speight Ave.
• Fountain Mall, located between the Bill Daniel Student Center (1311 S. Fifth St.) and Moody Memorial Library (1312 S. Third St.)
• Bill Daniel Student Center, 1311 S. Fifth St.
• SUB Bowl, 500 Speight St.
• McLane Stadium, S. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Waco, TX 76704
by Sarah Czerwinski, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.