With homecoming right around the corner, we should all stop and try to remember what this tradition is about and why we celebrate it.
We would all like to think this tradition is a cornucopia of events that inspire school spirit and loyalty in current students.
While the events provide current students with dances, drum beatings and maybe even a parade or pep rally to break up the monotony of the semester, homecoming was originally created to bring alumni back to their alma mater to visit with old classmates and hopefully donate money to the school.
The first unofficial homecoming occurred at Yale University for the annual Yale-Harvard rival football game in 1901. But Baylor University is the original when it comes to homecoming events, even though after 1909 they did not continue the tradition until six years later.
So the winner of the title of first homecoming goes to the university of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Missouri who began their separate traditions in 1910.
In 1911, the athletic director for the University of Missouri, Chester L. Brewer, invited alumni back for the annual rival football game against the Kansas Jayhawks. Preceding the game, Missouri had a pep rally, bonfire and parade to commemorate the game.
Some strange traditions have emerged from the basic rally’s and bonfires; take Cupertino High school and their annual Speedo dash, or the University of Indiana’s corn hole tournament and the University of Central Florida’s Spirit Splash. All of these events are fun and accomplish the task of developing school loyalties, but the reason for the tradition goes back to the alumni.
Although TJC has an alumni association, current students need to hear more about our alumni and what they have done with their lives after TJC. Our alumni could be a resource that can provide guidance and encouragement. We often think that the challenges we go through in college life are new and unique, but if we spoke to those that have come and gone, we could realize that these challenges are not new and others have overcome these challenges.
TJC should enact a new tradition for homecoming where the campus invites alums back to speak directly to the students through formal events or a banquet where students and alums can meet to share experiences and stories.
Our alumni can be a great resource to the current student body if students were given more opportunities to interact with them.