Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s annual Homecoming celebration on October 6 through October 8 is expected to draw thousands to Indiana for alumni reunions and events for the entire community, including the annual parade and football game.

“IUP alumni are incredibly loyal to their alma mater, and to the Indiana community—they truly enjoy returning ‘home,’” said Assistant Vice President for Alumni and Constituent Engagement Jennifer Dunsmore, IUP ’98.

The Homecoming parade, with a theme of “Circus,” will start at 10:00 a.m. on October 7. It will feature more than 70 campus and community units, including more than 20 floats by IUP groups and community organizations.

The parade will start at 11th 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. (See a map of the parade route.)

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

Four float prizes will be given: first prize of $1,000, sponsored by the Alumni Association; second prize of $900, sponsored by Aramark; third place of $800, co-sponsored by the Student Government Association and the Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement; and fourth prize of $700, sponsored by the Division of University Advancement.

Parade judges this year will be Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities Curt Scheib, a 1977 IUP graduate; Cate Planisky, community member; and Indiana Borough Council member Peter Broad.

In addition to the IUP Marching Band, the parade will feature marching bands from eight area high schools:  River Valley, United, Marion Center, Tussey Mountain, Penns Manor, Indiana, Purchase Line, and Homer Center.

IUP President Michael Driscoll will lead the parade with Major General Leslie Miller Purser (retired), a 1980 graduate and president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and a 2018 IUP Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. Following her graduation from IUP, she was awarded her Army commission as a second lieutenant and was recognized as a Distinguished Military Graduate.  After 37 years of service, she retired at the rank of major general.  Her last assignment was as acting principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

The Alumni Board of Directors works with the IUP Office of Alumni and Constituent Engagement to create and enrich relationships with current and future alumni in the advancement of IUP.

Now in its thirteenth year at IUP, the Crimson Court will take part in all university Homecoming activities, including the parade. The Crimson Court consists of students chosen by a university-wide vote to represent each of the colleges at IUP.

To qualify for the court, students must have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average and be in good judicial standing.

IUP’s 2023 Crimson Court

  • College of Education and Communications – Gabby Probst, an early childhood special education major in the Cook Honors College from Latrobe. Daughter of Jason and Marci Probst, she is a 2020 graduate of Mount Pleasant High School. She was selected to represent IUP at the 2023 Kappa Delta Pi National Education Honor Society Convention and the 2023 and 2021 National Collegiate Honors Council Conference and was selected for the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society Dean’s Leadership Award. She is a Sutton Scholarship recipient, Cook Honors College scholarship recipient, and received funding from the Cook Honors College Achievement Fund for a study abroad trip to Iceland. She is the recipient of the Mary Crumpton Brown Scholarship from the Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation and is a dean’s list student. She is vice president of membership and scholarship for the IUP Panhellenic Association; vice president of operations for Sigma Sigma Sigma National Sorority; vice president of Kappa Delta Pi; member, Order of Omega leadership honor society; and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. She also is a member of IUP Kacie’s Cause and the IUP Swim Club.

  • College of Arts and Humanities – Chrissy Lyttle, an English education major and Spanish minor from Deckers Point Road, Marion Center. Daughter of Kim and the late Mary Jo Lyttle, she is a 2020 graduate of Marion Center High School. She is the recipient of the 2022 Emerging Leader Award and is a dean’s list student and provost scholar. She is an IUP Ambassador student-alumni group executive board member, Crimson Guide, Student Activity Committee executive board member, a Welcome Week Head Leader, secretary of the National Council of Teachers of English, past president of the Residence Hall Council, and a member of United: Young Adult Ministry and the Ándale Spanish Club. She is a student representative on the IUP Co-Op Board of Directors. She completed the Valladolid, Spain, study abroad program in spring 2023.

  • John J. and Char Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics – Jordan Fischer, a computer science software engineering major from Sarver. Daughter of Jon and Rebecca Fischer, she is a 2020 graduate of Freeport Area Senior High School. She is the recipient of the Alumni Legacy Scholarship and is a dean’s list student. She is vice president of the IUP Cyber Security Club.

  • Eberly College of Business – Lilian Westhafer, a marketing and business administration major from Lebanon. Daughter of Lori and David Westhafer, she is a 2020 graduate of Cedar Crest High School. She is a dean’s list student and provost scholar and is president of the Women in Business organization, vice president of publicity for the College of Business Student Advisory Council, external vice president and internal vice president for Phi Gamma Nu, a member of the American Marketing Association, and a student worker for the IUP Lively Arts.

  • College of Health and Human Services – Erika Jackson, a psychology honors program major from Monroeville in the Cook Honors College. Daughter of Eric and Nakia Jackson, she is a 2020 graduate of Gateway Senior High School. She is the recipient of the 2023 Inclusion and Advocacy Award and is a Promising Scholar, Sutton Scholarship recipient, and African American Alumni Scholarship recipient. She is the president of the Collegiate Women in Progress, education chair for the IUP chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, organizer of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Alliance, a Promising Scholar Peer Mentor, and a student worker at the Office of Social Equity and Title IX. She is creating a research project with Timothy Runge as a student in the Psychology Honors Program and received early admission into the PhD School Psychology program at IUP.

  • University College – Lilly Haugh, a general studies pre-occupational therapy concentration major with a dance minor from York. Daughter of Amy Nace, she is a graduate of Northeastern Senior High School. She is a dean’s list student and a member of the IUP Dance Team, IUP Dance Theater, Sign Language Club, National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, and Best Buddies organization, which pairs students with persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Indiana County community.

More than 700 alumni and friends are expected to attend the Alumni and Friends Crimson Huddle Pregame Party on October 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex’s Ed Fry Arena. This event is open to all.

The Crimson Huddle will feature live music from the local band Somebody to Love, an appearance by the IUP cheerleaders, and a performance by the IUP marching band and drum line. The IUP Ambassadors student-alumni group will offer special activities for children.

This event will include special recognition for the class of 1973, celebrating 50 years since graduation from IUP; Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity; and the Ambassadors Student Alumni organization, celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the organization in 2023.  

Additional reunion groups expected to gather at the Crimson Huddle include Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Sigma; Alpha Phi Alpha, Xi Sigma; Alpha Sigma Tau; Alpha Tau Omega; Alumni Association Board of Directors; Black Experience Alumni Committee; Buck's Coal Bowl Group; Church Street Boiz; Cheerleaders; College of Arts and Humanities; College of Education and Communications; College of Health and Human Services; Cook Honors College; Delta Gamma; Delta Tau Delta; Division of Student Affairs; Eberly College of Business; Journalism and Public Relations alumni; Judge family; Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Macioce family; Madia Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, and Engineering; Nursing class of 1989; Ohm family; Phi Kappa Psi; Phi Mu sorority; Phillips family; Sigma Sigma Sigma; and University Advancement team.

Admission at the door is $25 per individual age 15 and older, $18 per child 7–14, and free for children five and under. Admission includes food and beverages. Admission is free for members of the class of 1973.

Preregistration for the Crimson Huddle is available on the Alumni and Constituent Engagement website or by contacting the office at 724-357-7942.

Tailgating prior to the football game will open at 10:00 a.m. in the parking areas designated for tailgating in the stadium south lot between Miller Stadium and the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.

The Homecoming football game between IUP and California University of Pennsylvania will begin at 2:00 p.m. on October 7 at Cignetti Field in George P. Miller Stadium. This is the fourteenth annual “Coal Bowl.”

The Coal Bowl tradition began in 2009 after Barry Lippencott, a 1967 IUP graduate, and his brother, Bob Lippencott, a 1966 California University of Pennsylvania graduate, each made a donation to their universities to establish a named scholarship for football student-athletes.

The brothers also donated a coal miner’s pail to serve as a trophy given to the winner of the game between the two PSAC universities. The Coal Bowl is presented by Rosebud Mining and the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance.

During halftime, 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 Zach Cheever. The band will present the postgame show at the stadium immediately following the game.

Weekend events conclude with the annual Homecoming concert featuring the IUP Symphony Band and IUP Wind Ensemble at 3:00 p.m. on October 8 in the Performing Arts Center’s Fisher Auditorium.

The concert, “The Music of America… Past, Present, and Future,” will feature compositions by Leonard Bernstein, Steve Danyew, Tom Davoren, Morten Gould, Ronald Lo Presti, Nicole Piunno, William Shuman, and John Philips Sousa.

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 at 2:15 p.m. Anyone purchasing tickets at the door who shows a ticket from the October 7 football game will be admitted for half price.

Hundreds of IUP students from fraternities, sororities, and other student organizations will participate in a community cleanup on Oct. 7 after the parade and on the morning of Oct. 8.

A complete list of Homecoming events and information on how to register for events is available on the Homecoming website.