Homecoming then and now

Maryville’s football team in 1968. Photo courtesy of MC Archives.
Maryville’s football team in 1968. Photo courtesy of MC Archives.

    From Oct. 16-18, Maryville College will celebrate Homecoming 2015. After 196 years, the homecoming tradition continues. Over the years, the festivities celebrated at the MC homecomings have been varied.

    “It was a REALLY big deal,” said Robert (Rob) Kennedy class of ‘71 of homecoming.

    Homecoming in the 1960s and ‘70s usually began with the Founders Day banquet, the first of which began in 1933. After Founders Day came many events just for students.

    During this time, class reunions were typically held around the time of commencement rather than during homecoming. Homecoming events catered more to the student population.

    “One thing that made homecoming different then was the fact that students didn’t have cars,” said Martha Hess, class of ’67.

    Their presence was largely felt on campus, and the students all got involved in the festivities.

    The students would collaborate to create elaborate floats that paraded in downtown Maryville on homecoming weekend.

    “It was a big deal to get a new outfit for homecoming,” said Julia Cooper, class of ’71.

    Most students dressed rather formally to attend the homecoming game. Although it was much too warm, Kennedy, along with most other young men at the homecoming game, dressed in their ‘Sunday best’.

    “I remember wearing a winter suit on one hot October day,” said Kennedy.

    Although a few things have changed since then, Homecoming 2015 has much in store.

    To kick off the weekend, on Friday, Oct. 16 the Willard House Welcome for returning alumni will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., and the alumni choir will rehearse from 12-1 p.m. and 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Lambert Recital Hall for their performance later in the weekend.

    Friday night events include an Alumni Awards Ceremony from 6-7 p.m. in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre; the Decade Bash beginning at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts foyer with a $20 entrance fee; an alumni baseball game beginning at 7 p.m.; and a pep rally beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Cooper Athletic Center gym.

   On Saturday, Oct. 17 the Willard House Welcome will go from 8-10:30 p.m. From 9-9:45 a.m., the Center for Campus Ministry will hold a Remembrance Ceremony in honor of alumni who have passed in the last year. The annual craft festival and bake sale will take place in the Clayton Center for the Arts from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., and a choir performance will be held from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. in the Clayton Center’s Lambert Recital Hall.

    At 1 p.m. on Friday, the well-known homecoming parade will begin. Students and alumni alike are invited to cheer on the MC Scots as they take on the Ferrum Panthers. Kickoff for the football game is at 2 p.m. During this time, there will also be festivities for children and tailgating for the game.

    MC women’s soccer will also play at 2 p.m. against Huntingdon College, and men’s soccer will play Huntingdon at 4 p.m.

    On Friday evening, the MC Student Programing Board will host the “Southern Charm” Homecoming Dance. The dance will begin at 8 p.m. with a performance by the Mulligan Brothers from 8-9:30 p.m. and a DJ from 9:30-11:30 p.m. The dance is open to MC students free of charge and non-student guests for $5. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their southern best.

    As the weekend winds down, a special service will be held at New Providence Presbyterian Church on Sunday at 11 a.m. to celebrate the historic connection between the church and college.


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