By Desiaire Rickman
Homecoming week at Ohio State has been highlighted by different themes over the years, but this year, Homecoming is going back to the basics.
This year’s theme is simply “Homecoming,” according to Erica Thorson, co-chair of the Homecoming parade. “We are keeping [the theme] consistent now, from year to year,” she said. Drum Major Brutus, however, will still be a part of the Homecoming celebration.
“Homecoming week is a great opportunity for alumni to come back and see all of the exciting things that are going on around campus,” said Dave Isaacs, communications and marketing manager for the Office of Student life. “As alumni come back, many of them seek out their former professors and that’s another thing that makes this week special. I would encourage all students, faculty and staff to enjoy everything that Homecoming week has to offer.”
This year’s parade will start at 6 p.m. Oct. 18, the day before Ohio State faces off against Iowa at 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. TBDBITL will march in the parade as it follows the usual route down High Street toward 12th Avenue and College Road.
“We are anticipating a total participation of 50-60 entrants, with about half of these being student organizations and half being other entities, such as university departments or community organizations, Logistics Chair Jenna Mackey said in an email.
Some notable non-student organization entrants include TBDBITL, Brutus and Cheerleaders, Rec Sports celebrating their 100th anniversary and the Columbus and regional campus homecoming courts.
The float contest that will be featured in the parade has many student-organization entrants that have participated in the past. Float building will be supported by the Ohio Union/Student Activities the week of the parade, Mackey noted.
The pep rally, coordinated by the Student-Alumni Council, will immediately follow the parade in the Great Hall at the Ohio Union, beginning about 7:30 p.m.
The pep rally is the perfect opportunity for Buckeyes to come together and get excited for the big Homecoming game against the Hawkeyes on Saturday, Pep Rally Chair Caitlin Clifton said. Giveaways and special prizes will be there for those in attendance and TBDBITL, Brutus and the Spirit Squad will be there to pump up the Buckeye spirit, she said.
The goal for this year is to start a new century of Homecoming. With this new outlook on Homecoming is the added goal of getting more of the Columbus community involved in the festivities.
“Brenna Feeney, the Outreach chair, has really gone out of her way to try and get different high schools and people from the Columbus community who aren’t alumni to be involved,” Thorson said.
“Utilizing social media such as Facebook and Twitter, creating yard signs and placing advertisements in CABS buses are some of the ways we will be reaching out to the community and off-campus students,” Feeney said. “We also are considering working with the Good Morning Commuters program to physically go out and meet commuter students when they arrive in the morning and tell them about the Homecoming events.”
“I think a lot of people didn’t know Homecoming was going on, especially off-campus students, so we’re really trying to make a point to reach them,” Thorson said.
Thorson, Feeney, Mackey and Clifton will all be hard at work getting everything prepared for Homecoming week so that everyone — students, faculty and staff — will have a fun time at Homecoming.
“The Office of Student Life is so pleased with the work the student chairs and volunteers do in putting on these events,” Isaacs said.
For more details about this year’s Homecoming events and information, including profiles of the 24-member court, visit homecoming.osu.edu.
Looking back: Class of ’63 celebrates 50 years
The class of 1963 will make its way to campus to celebrate 50 years during Reunion-Homecoming Weekend, and onCampus takes a pictorial look back to see what that class enjoyed during its final Homecoming in 1962.
The world was quite a different place as well. Signs peppered campus showing the safest places students could be during the Cuban missile crisis. Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr. orbited the Earth 22 times in the Faith 7 spacecraft in May 1963 during a 34-hour, 20-minute flight, completing NASA’s Mercury program. Civil rights was as the forefront of America’s consciousness as well. President John F. Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard and ordered it to protect Vivian Malone and James Hood as the first two African-American students to register at the University of Alabama. A defiant Alabama Gov. George Wallace blocked the door and was told to stand aside on June 12, 1963.
Closer to home that academic year, Ohio State students witnessed a gas explosion take down Royer Commons. Peter, Paul and Mary played on campus. With no computer mainframe servers around, data was transferred to punch cards. The football team beat Michigan 28-0 but lost to UCLA, Iowa and Northwestern during Homecoming to finish 6-3. The basketball team fell one game shy of making the NCAA Tournament, losing 87-85 in two overtimes to Indiana.