Indiana University of Pennsylvania's annual Homecoming celebration, Friday through Sunday, is expected to draw thousands to Indiana for alumni reunions and events for the entire community, including the annual parade and football game.

The Homecoming parade, with a theme of board games, will start at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, October 11. It will feature 80 campus and community units, including the following floats: Candyland, built by Pi Lambda Phi, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Delta Phi Epsilon, and Phi Mu Delta; Battleship, built by Alpha Sigma Tau, Kappa Sigma, and Zeta Tau Alpha; Monopoly, built by Sigma Chi, Sigma Kappa, Theta Phi Alpha, and Sigma Pi; Clue, built by Alpha Xi Delta, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Sigma Pi, and LaSO (Latino Student Organization); and Twister, built by Delta Tau Sigma, Delta Zeta, Delta Gamma, Alpha Gamma Delta, and Phi Kappa Psi.

The parade will start at 13th and Philadelphia streets and travel east to Sixth and Philadelphia streets, south on Sixth Street to Church Street, west on Church Street to Oakland Avenue, and southwest on Oakland Avenue to 11th Street, where the parade will disband. All motor-driven floats will continue southwest on Oakland Avenue to the Robertshaw building for disassembly.

Firing of the IUP Department of Military Science's howitzer cannon, which will be near the Indiana County Court House, will signal the start of the parade.

Immediately following the parade, volunteers from IUP's sororities and fraternities will clean the parade route and Mack Park, where the floats were constructed.

Three members of IUP's Class of 1964 will serve as grand marshals for this year's parade: Lt. Col. (retired) Barry Gasdek, of Laramie, Wyo.; Anne Dieffenbach Johnson, of Fairfax, Va.; and Ruth Riesenman, of Indiana.

Gasdek, a retired veterans service officer, also is a former professor of military science at the University of Wyoming. He has been in leadership roles in the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and Military Order of the Purple Heart. He was a member of the U.S. Army/Infantry, serving as a ranger, airborne/pathfinder for more than 20 years.

In April 2014, Gasdek was the first inductee into IUP's Military Science Department hall of fame, in the Excellence Division. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star for his service in Vietnam, five Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, the Soldier's Medal, the Legion of Honor, and 17 Air Medals.

He was an Indiana State College Athlete of the Year and played three sports, excelling in football, wrestling, and track and field. During his senior season, the football team won seven games, and he was named to the all-conference team.

Johnson taught for five years at Bethel Park High School and worked in administrative positions at Adrian College in Michigan and Long Island University and Lehman College, both in New York. Now retired, she enjoys painting; membership in PEO International, a women's philanthropic association; national and international travel; and being with her four granddaughters.

Riesenman received the IUP President's Medal of Distinction in 2007 for service to IUP and its students and continuing service to the community, the ATHENA Leadership Award in 1990, and the Distinguished Service Award from Washington and Jefferson College's Alumni Association in 1995.

She serves on the Foundation for IUP Board of Directors, for which she chairs the Community Service Scholarship committee; the Salvation Army Board of Directors; the Alice Paul House Board of Directors; and the Visiting Nurse Association. She retired as executive assistant to the president at IUP in 2005. She also served as the director of IUP's Office of Career Services.

In addition to IUP's Marching Band, the parade will feature marching bands from the Indiana, Marion Center, Penns Manor, and Purchase Line high schools.

Now in its fifth year at IUP, the Crimson Court will take part in all universitywide Homecoming activities, including the parade. The Crimson Court consists of students chosen by a universitywide vote to represent each of the colleges at IUP, as well as the Punxsutawney campus. To qualify for the court, students must have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and be in good judicial standing at IUP.

The following students were selected for the 2014 Crimson Court:

  • Eberly College of Business and Information Technology: Elena Kapp, an international business major from Oil City and a member of the Robert E. Cook Honors College. A dean's list student, she is in the college's Business Honors Program. She is treasurer of the IUP Sailing Club; director of external affairs for the IUP Student Government Association; a member of the University Senate, serving on the Committee on Student Affairs; a member of the Finance Committee of the Student Cooperative Association; a tutor at the American Language Institute; and an academic success mentor.
  • College of Education and Educational Technology: Jessica Daugherty, a disability support services major from Blairsville. A dean's list student and provost scholar, she is a tour guide and student worker in the IUP Office of Admissions. She also does community service at Torrance State Hospital.
  • College of Fine Arts: Lisa Schneider, a dance arts major and psychology minor from Danville. A dean's list student, she is a recipient of the theater department's Academic Achievement Award, Dancer of the Year Award for 2012–13, and the Love of the Arts and Dean's Merit scholarships. A member of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, Gamma Sigma Alpha national honor society, and the IUP Dance Theater Company, she has been active in the Theater Department as a student representative for dance.
  • College of Health and Human Services: Dalainey Meals, a criminology major from New Castle. A dean's list student and community assistant in Stephenson Hall, she is a member of the IUP Criminology Association and participates in intramural volleyball.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Matthew Brown, an economics and Spanish major from Reedsville. He is a dean's list student, a Dean's Merit Scholarship recipient, and head community assistant at Northern Suites and Elkin Hall. An orientation peer advisor, he is member of the National Residence Hall Honorary, the Student Conduct Board, and a Middle States reaccreditation subcommittee.
  • College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics: Derek Hanely, a mathematics and economics double major from Pleasantville. A member of the Robert E. Cook Honors College, he is a dean's list student and recipient of the Ida Z. Arms Mathematics Excellence Scholarship and the Terry A. Serafini Outstanding Scholars Award for Mathematics. He is a member of the Student Government Association, the IUP Ambassadors, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, Kappa Mu Epsilon Honor Society for mathematics, Golden Key International Honour Society, Phi Kappa Phi national honor society, the National Society for Leadership and Success, the National Residence Hall Honorary, Honors Connection, Math Club, and Economics Club.
  • IUP Punxsutawney: Jewel Strothers, a communications media major from Pittsburgh, and Estefani Mendez, a fashion merchandising major from Reading. Both are student ambassadors for IUP's Punxsutawney campus.

Open to all, the traditional Crimson Huddle Alumni and Friends Pregame Party will be from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. It will feature more than 20 different reunion groups, including sororities, fraternities, academic departments, and sports teams.

The Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine/Indiana Total Therapy is cosponsoring the pregame party with the IUP Alumni Association. Cost is $15 for adults and $7 for children ages 5 to 12. Children younger than 5 are admitted free.

The annual Kidz Karnival also will be held at the Kovalchick Complex from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Organized by the IUP Ambassadors student group, the festival features a variety of children's activities, with cartoon characters, games, crafts, and prizes.

The Homecoming football game between IUP and Seton Hill will begin at 2:00 p.m. The Crimson Court and prize sponsors for the parade floats will be recognized. The halftime show will feature the IUP Marching Band, under the direction of David Martynuik. The band will present the postgame show at the stadium immediately following the game.

Five float prizes will be given: first prize of $1,000, sponsored by the IUP Alumni Association; second prize of $900, sponsored by the IUP Co-op Store; third place of $800, sponsored by Aramark; fourth prize of $700, cosponsored by the IUP Student Government Association and the Lively Arts; and fifth prize of $600, sponsored by the Foundation for IUP.

Judges for the float competition are Michael Hood, IUP Fine Arts dean; Claire Hogan and Sherry Renosky, representing the community; and Julia Brown and Hayley Geary, president and secretary, respectively, of the Student Art Association, representing students.

The weekend also will include a special 50th anniversary reunion concert of the Folkmen, an award-winning musical group that got its start at Indiana State College (now IUP), at 7:00 p.m. Saturday in Gorell Recital Hall, on the second floor of Sutton Hall. Admission is free and open to the community.

Folkmen member Alan Luckey, of Indiana, who received bachelor's and master's degrees from IUP, has written a book about the group, Changing Times: The Folkmen at IUP, 1963–1969. He will host two book signings: Saturday at 1:00 p.m. during the Crimson Huddle event at the Kovalchick Complex and immediately after the evening concert Saturday in the Annex Gallery of Sprowls Hall.

The book is available for purchase at the book signings, online or on campus through the IUP Co-op Store, and at All proceeds from book sales benefit the Folkmen Scholarship for music majors.

Saturday's concert will feature Luckey; Bruce Bly, of Dayton; Larry Carter, of Altoona; Fred Danziger, of Philadelphia; Dave Frye, Class of '68, of Silver Springs, Md.; and George “Woody” Woodbury, of Lansdale.

Other members of the Folkmen were the late Warren Allen '69, Distant; Mike DuBois '68, Greensburg; D. C. Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh; and Jeff Kelley '69, Mount Pleasant.

Danziger, a well-known artist with works in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, has several pieces on display in Sprowls Hall in conjunction with the reunion concert. Danziger specializes in large-scale paintings and digital artwork.

The IUP Libraries also has a display in honor of the Folkmen's 50th anniversary that includes albums, awards, instruments, memorabilia, photographs, scrapbooks, and uniforms.

Among other activities Homecoming weekend, the IUP Center for Student Life is sponsoring the second Homecoming Monte Carlo Night from 9:00 p.m. Saturday to 2:00 a.m. Sunday, with casino games, more than $4,000 in prizes, dancing, laser tag, food, and movies at the Kovalchick Complex. The event is open to students, and admission is $5.

Last year, nearly 700 students attended Monte Carlo Night. Planning began last November with students from IUP student organization The Pulse. Many other campus departments, offices, and student organizations support Monte Carlo Night through donations of prizes and volunteers.

“The students all have a really great time at Monte Carlo Night,” Betsy Sarneso, of the Center for Student Life, said. “We continue to hear so many positive reactions to last year's event. Monte Carlo Night is not only fun, but it provides students a safe place to celebrate Homecoming. It's a very student-driven event, and laser tag was added for this year based on feedback. We try to have something for everyone.”

The annual Homecoming concert, featuring the IUP Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Band, will be at 3:00 p.m. Sunday in the Performing Arts Center's Fisher Auditorium.

Tickets for the concert are available in advance at the IUP Hadley Union Building ticket office. Remaining tickets may be purchased at the door starting 45 minutes before the start of the performance. Tickets are $9 for regular admission, $8 for seniors and groups, and $6 for students with an I-Card and children.

For more information about the Homecoming concert, call the Fine Arts Public Events Office at (724) 357-2547 or the HUB ticket office at (724) 357-1313.

A complete list of Homecoming events, including reunions, is available at the IUP Homecoming website.