As thousands of alumni returned to campus in October to celebrate Homecoming 2013, they continued a tradition that has spanned eight decades.
The Marching Band led the parade down Philadelphia Street on a warm, sunny Homecoming, October 5. Photo: Keith Boyer
Members of Delta Phi Epsilon standing out in pink from the parade crowd. —Keith Boyer
Although university archivist Harrison Wick can find references to homecoming activities at Indiana State Teachers College dating back to 1930, the school officially began recognizing the celebrations, and numbering them, in 1933—80 years ago this fall.
Parade grand marshals Joseph Saffron, Linda Baker Lloyd, and Robert Lloyd, all of the Class of 1963, the 50th anniversary class. —Keith Boyer
The Alumni News Bulletin distributed in August 1934 detailed the “first Home-coming Day,” November 4 of the previous year, reporting that more than 1,000 alumni returned for the “gala occasion.” In the morning, they visited classrooms and toured the campus, many seeing the new power plant and arts building (now McElhaney Hall) for the first time. During the football game against the Carnegie Tech Freshmen, Edward Sullivan’s Kiltie Band was said to have given a tribute to Indiana in letter formation: “The cheering of the crowd, with the ‘Crimson and Slate’ balloons floating above them, made a picture not soon to be forgotten.” Following a dinner, the evening closed with an alumni dance in what is now Waller Hall, featuring the orchestra of Phil Runzo ’33.
According to Wick, Homecoming celebrations were canceled from 1943 until 1946 because of World War II.
Phi Sigma Pi pulling its float in the 1949 parade, which opened the Diamond Jubilee. —IUP Archives
A fall 2013 float representing Egypt. —Keith Boyer
His oldest piece of Homecoming memorabilia in the IUP Special Collections and University Archives is the football from the 1931 game against Edinboro. Donations of photographs, scrapbooks, and more to build on that collection are always welcome. Wick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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