Most students believe that schools without football teams don’t have a homecoming at all, but that is far from the truth. Homecoming is a tradition initially established to bring alumni “home” to celebrate their school. UVU may not have a football team, but we do have a great basketball team, so our homecoming is planned around their schedule.
The term “homecoming” has many connotations: fancy dresses, kings and queens and perhaps most of all, football.
Without all of these things at UVU, it is no wonder most students ask themselves “we have a homecoming?” upon finding out that this celebratory week is here.
Yes, despite the lack of dresses, royalty and football, UVU does have a homecoming. The next obvious question of “why?” can be answered with another question: “why not?”
Despite all its connotations, homecoming is actually an event for school alumni, providing a way for them to feel welcome at their old campus and see what is happening. Sarah Standing, assistant VP of student life, put it best when she described homecoming week as a great way to “create an alumni connection and create a connection for current students.”
According to popular trivia games JEOPARDY! and Trivial Pursuit, the tradition of homecoming was first established one hundred years ago at the University of Missouri, where alumni were strongly encouraged to “come home” and attend the football team’s first home game against rivals, the Kansas Jayhawks.
The event, coupled with a parade and pep rally, was a huge success, garnering about 10,000 alumni. Schools across the country started copying the tradition, and now it’s rare that a school doesn’t have a homecoming in one form or another.
There is no reason that homecoming should be exclusive only to schools with longstanding tradition and football teams. Since we don’t have a football team at UVU, our homecoming is scheduled around the basketball season. The men’s basketball team will be battling conference rivals New Jersey Institute of Technology on Saturday, Jan. 29, for UVU’s homecoming game.
Both UVUSA and the UVU Alumni Association have planned some great events for homecoming week. These include a kid’s night, t-shirt swap, a shopping cart parade, True Wolverine and a tailgate party before the game. There will be something for everyone throughout the week, so be aware and be prepared to have some fun. Traditions need to start somewhere, and by establishing an exciting homecoming week now, who knows how great things will be when we come back in 20 years as alumni.