Baylor Family to Celebrate University Spirit During 99th Anniversary Homecoming Weekend

News Photo 4297
Oct. 29, 2007

by Devany Severin, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Baylor University will celebrate its 99th anniversary Homecoming Nov. 2-4 with a variety of traditional events and activities.

One of the first activities is Homecoming chapel. During the services at 10 and 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, in Waco Hall, Baylor Chamber of Commerce Homecoming Chair Andrew Morris will speak to chapel attendees about the history of Homecoming, the schedule of events and how students can get involved. The service will include a presentation of the 54 Homecoming Queen nominees.

The 49th annual Pigskin Revue will be held on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7:00 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2, at 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 3, at 7:00 p.m. in Waco Hall.

A miniature version of spring's All University Sing, Pigskin will showcase the top eight acts from Sing with all of the glamour and preparation of the original event. Thursday's performance will feature the crowning of the Baylor Homecoming Queen and her court.

This year's participants in Pigskin include Alpha Tau Omega, Chi Omega, Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Kappa Chi and Sing Alliance. Additionally, the top three acts from All-University Sing will be showcased. They include first-place winners Delta Delta Delta and Kappa Sigma and Kappa Kappa Gamma which received third place honors.

The story of the The Immortal Ten is familiar to all Baylor students and will be honored with the dedication of the memorial in Baylor's new Tradition Square at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon. For more information about the story of the Immortal Ten and the creation of the memorial please visit

The Baylor Alumni Association annual meeting will take place during Homecoming weekend at 3 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2, in the Jones Theatre of the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center.

During the meeting, Jeff Kilgore, executive vice president for the Baylor Alumni Association, will update members about recent activities of the association. Following Kilgore's report, the 2007 Baylor Alumni Association officers and directors will be elected.

In addition, the W.R. White Meritorious Service award, one of nine awards given annually by the Alumni Association, will be presented to four alumni.

The W. R. White Meritorious Service Award has been given each year since 1977 to individuals who have "rendered outstanding service to Baylor University."

This year's recipients of the award are Ray Burchette Jr. of Denver, Colo.; D. Diane Dillard of Brownsville; and Waco residents Joyce Hornaday Packard and Dr. Rufus Spain.

Burchette, a 1957 Baylor graduate, served as the past executive vice president and past president of the Baylor Alumni Association. He is also a longtime member of the Baylor Bear Foundation. Dillard, a past president of the Baylor Alumni Association, graduated magna cum laude from Baylor in 1976 and cum laude from Baylor Law School in 1979. Packard, a 1952 Baylor, graduate has been vitally involved in Waco and Baylor affairs for more than 50 years. Spain began teaching history at Baylor in 1957 and after retirement became an "Alumnus by Choice," who taught part-time and later was named director for the Baylor Retired Professor/Administrators Program.

The award is named for former Baylor president Dr. W.R. White and is given to individuals who not only serve Baylor but also express continued interest in and loyalty to the university. The meeting will adjourn following closing remarks and a Q & A session with Baylor President John M. Lilley.

The annual Carillon Homecoming Recital will feature University Carillonneur Lynnette Geary, who will present a live performance at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, on the 48-bell McLane Carillon in Pat Neff Hall Tower.

Geary will play five pieces, beginning with a doxology and closing with "The Baylor Line," she said. The performance is free and open to the public. People can bring a chair and blanket, sit on the grass and eat dinner, or just walk around, Geary said. Founders Mall behind Pat Neff and the walkway of Draper Academic Building are good places to listen, she said.

Geary, assistant to the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, has been playing the carillon at Baylor for 10 years as an assistant carillonneur, and was named the official university carillonneur last September. For more information about Geary's appointment as university carilloneur, click here.

Singspiration, a Baylor Homecoming tradition since the 1950s, will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Seventh and James Baptist Church.

The event titled, "Singspiration 2007...A Baylor Family Homecoming Tradition," will feature a variety of worship music with styles including congregational, gospel, praise and meditative. This year, Kurt Brown--a Baylor legend and well-known composer, pianist and arranger--will return to play the piano. Other worship leaders will include concert artists Chris and Diane Machen from Plano.

Baylor Religious Hour (BRH), the Baylor Religious Hour Alumni choir and an alumni choir including Dr. Lilley will participate in the uniquely Baylor event. "This event is unlike the Homecoming Sunday morning worship service because it's more of a celebration," said Brent Edwards, director of the Baylor Network and coordinator of the event.

"My favorite thing about Singspiration is when the alumni join the current members of BRH and sing 'He Wants You to Fly' at the very end of the night," said Lindsey Williams, a current member of BRH. "My mom and aunt were members of BRH and it is so special to join them and so many others in this tradition."

The Baylor Showtime! performers will entertain Homecoming audiences with a "Cabaret," a Homecoming tradition that began in 1987. The performance, showcasing the 12-member ensemble's unique combination of song and dance, will begin at 8 p.m. Friday in Jones Theater of the Hooper-Schafer Fine Arts Center.

Back to the center of campus this year, the Homecoming Extravaganza will be a time for Baylor fans to gear up for Saturday's match-up against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Founders Mall, the Baylor family can purchase dinner and enjoy activities like hot air balloon rides, a Ferris wheel, inflatable games and face painting for children and reunions with student organizations.

The Baylor University Golden Wave Band and Spirit Squads then will kick off the Homecoming bonfire and pep rally with traditional cheers and songs at 9 p.m. at Founders Mall. Speeches from President Lilley, head football coach Guy Morriss and senior members of the football team will motivate the crowd.

The lighting of the bonfire will immediately follow the pep rally. Part of the Homecoming tradition since 1946, the bonfire began as a way to protect the campus and mascot from rival schools.

The Baylor Pantry food drive will continue in its second year as a Homecoming tradition. The food drive will work in conjunction with Caritas to give Baylor faculty, staff, alumni, and students the opportunity to give something back to the Waco community.

The drive will be divided into four divisions and the winner of each division will receive $400 for a charity or non-profit of their choice. Student organizations can choose to compete in the following categories: social, service, special interest and church ministries. Alumni are asked to bring non-perishable food items to the Extravaganza/Bonfire, the Parade and the Football Game and can make a donation to their student organization of choice.

Widely regarded as the oldest and largest in the nation, the 99th annual Baylor Homecoming parade will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on Eighth St. and Austin Ave. and will arrive in the heart of campus on Fifth Street at approximately 9 a.m.

The parade consists of 135 entries, including student organizations, local officials, Homecoming Queen nominees, members of the Waco community and the ever-popular themed floats created by sororities and fraternities.

Floats became a staple of the parade in the 1920s, but it wasn't until the 1960s that the student-created floats began bearing themes predicting the opposing football team's loss. Each float is inspected by a group of judges and cash prizes are awarded to the winning organizations. The winners will be announced during the bonfire festivities.

Following the parade, the Baylor Bears will face off against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Homecoming football game at 2 p.m. Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium. Tickets may be purchased from the Athletic Department ticket office at (254) 710-1000, or online at

Homecoming weekend will conclude with the Homecoming Worship Service at 9 a.m. Sunday in Powell Chapel of the George W. Truett Theology Seminary.

For more information about Homecoming events, visit Baylor's official Homecoming web site or contact Baylor Chamber of Commerce at (254) 710-3322.

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