When most students think of Homecoming, images of a football game and the first dance of the year come to mind. In college, homecoming operates differently.
Working behind the scenes to ensure Homecoming runs as smoothly as possible are the Alumni Association and the Center for Student Life and Involvement.
“Right now, with me being brand new here and just moving things forward, the biggest thing we’re doing (this fall) is obviously homecoming,” said Don Fraser, the new director of Alumni Affairs.
TJC Homecoming is a celebration for students and alumni, rather than just a football game. Recognition is given to the alumni who have made their mark on the school.
Mary Payne Lowe is receiving the Distinguished Alumni award. Lowe, and her husband Dick, recently established the Mary Payne Low Apache Belle Scholarship. This June Lowe presented the first scholarship endowment to sophomore Chara Norman.
A recent TJC press release detailed the scholarship criteria. The recipient of the Mary Payne Lowe Apache Belle Scholarship should exhibit “Abundant energy, a strong will, an outstanding work ethic and undeniable determination and exemplify the life of Mary Payne Lowe and exhibit outstanding character, integrity, grace and compassion for others.”
Other awards to be presented and the recipients of them are: Apache Spirit, Joey Stanger; Black and Gold Award, Dr. Paul Powell; and Special Recognition Award, M’Liss Hindman, the head of the TJC speech and debate program.
“I was surprised. I was humbled. I just kind of had a mixture of reactions from it,” Hindman said about being honored by the Alumni Association. “I was proud, but mainly humbled.”
Hindman is being recognized, in part, for her efforts to help high schools improve their speech and debate programs.
The first major event of the weekend will be the pep rally and free barbecue on the Jenkin’s Lawn, Friday Oct. 26 at noon. Later that evening, the Apache band will hold a dedication ceremony for the Edwin “Pink” Fowler Floor of the Ornelas residential complex. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. on the fourth floor of building B. During the ceremony there will also be a special sneak peek of the John Franklin “Doc” Witt Apache Band Memorial Lounge.
Also on the agenda for alumni are the reunions to be held, Saturday, Oct 26. Many regular chapters will be attending, in addition to the reunion celebrations held by the Apache Chiefs, Belles and Band.
The day of the game, the CSLI will host a tailgating party from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. in the Rose Stadium parking lot.
The Homecoming pregame show and court presentation will start at 1 p.m., followed by entertainment from the Apache Belles and Band.
Following the game, a traditional Homecoming dance will be held. The football game against Kilgore will be played at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, 700 Fair Park Drive, Tyler, Texas 75701.