The buzz about homecoming brings excitement, involvement, and spirit all over campus.  UW-Whitewater’s homecoming tradition has been around since 1951…that’s a 63-year-old tradition!  Student orgs, res halls, and Greeks compete for both spirit and championship cups over the week of homecoming.  With the help of Homecoming Steering Committee Chair, Amanda, and Jan Bilgen, Associate Director of Career & Leadership Development, I’ve come up with a list of old and new traditions that UW-Whitewater’s Homecoming has had:

The Old…

That no longer exists:

Bonfire! It was a tradition to have an outdoor band Friday night, along with fireworks and an opponent effigy building contest that ended with the entries being burned in a huge bonfire.

That never gets old:

Awards!  Two Warhawks are selected for Royalty and two more are recipients of Senior Awards.  The Senior Awards were named after Reuben Klumb who was a pioneer in Homecoming activities in the 1950’s.

UWW Homecoming OML 2

Old Homecoming posters displayed in Old Main Lane in the UC

The New…

That makes us smile:

Service!  In the past, food has been collected for the Whitewater Food Pantry, awareness about organ donation has been raised, and fundraising for local animal shelters has been gathered.  This year, the Big Brother Big Sister program is in the spotlight.

That involves the community:

“Grand Marshall” of the parade!  Retired registrar James Stewart, local law enforcement and fire chiefs, Chancellor Emertis Gaylon and Hannah Greenhill have been selected thus far, with Big Brother and Big Sister participants marching this year.  HSC works closely with the community and the Police Department about the logistics of the Homecoming Parade as well.  And of course, Homecoming activities are a major attraction for residents of Whitewater and surrounding towns.

The Now…

That is still the past:

Alumni come for a 50-year reunion, parade watching, and to judge various Homecoming events.  This year, HSC will be honoring the unexpected passing of former HSC Chair, UW-Whitewater alumna Donvontae Walton by releasing luminaries after the spirit rally.  If you have seen the letters “DW” on an HSC member’s shirt, that’s the reason why.

Window paintings displayed in the UC

Window paintings displayed in the UC

That we all know…

Window painting, Triple B, games, the variety show, the dance, the spirit rally, parade, and football game are all traditions we have come to know.  Be sure to cheer on our Warhawks as they play UW-Oshkosh on Saturday, October 25 at 1 PM at Perkins Stadium!  Happy Homecoming!