By Julia Means
With cool fall weather rolling in, it’s time to celebrate one of Furman’s most proud traditions: Homecoming.
During this festive weekend, alumni and current students will gather together to see old friends, tailgate and enjoy some football. Although Homecoming always represents a weekend of rich traditions, you can look forward to some new changes this year that are bound to shake things up.
According to Leo Fackler, Furman’s Associate Alumni Director, much of the Homecoming competition itself has not drastically changed in the past decade.
Each year, the fraternities and sororities are placed in pairs and asked to select an individual theme associated with the overall theme of the year. To gain the prestigious title of Homecoming champions, the pairs must compete in an array of activities including camping out in order to choose an overall theme, a T-shirt making competition, chalking, banner competition, horseplay skits, spirit cheers and a float building contest.
However, in the past, this competition has lacked one part: involvement from the freshmen class. In recent years, FUSAB and the Student Alumni Council (SAC) decided to sponsor the freshmen in building their own float in an effort to increase involvement in Homecoming.
Freshmen residing on Engaged Living halls have already risen to the occasion by choosing the creative theme of “Back to the Future: 3016,” focusing on the time period one thousand years after their graduation.
Another exciting change to Homecoming 2012 calls for a return to the old way of doing things. The traditional bonfire and pep rally will now take place on Thursday night in an effort to get more students to come support the Paladin football team.
Fackler remembers when “it used to be a bigger tradition to come out to the pep rally” and intends on bringing back this custom by having the event on a night when it is easier for the football team, coaches and cheerleaders to attend. Hopefully, this change will help gear up the team for a victory against Georgia Southern.
The final interesting addition to Homecoming this year is geared toward the returning, comparatively young alumni. This new event, called “The Fifth Quarter,” essentially serves as a happy hour for newly graduated alumni at the conclusion of the football game.
Located at The Thirsty Paladin in the Herring VIP Suite in Timmons Arena, this event provides a perfect location for graduates to talk, reconnect and meet fellow alumni.
“The Fifth Quarter” attracted an impressive turnout of over 360 people last year and holds hopes to increase the numbers in the years to come.
All the excitement spreading around campus combined with the conclusion of midterms, Homecoming 2012 is gearing up to be an unforgettable weekend.