News

Homecoming: Traditions Meet Firsts

By Amanda Richey, News Editor

Homecoming
Zeta Tau Alpha and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority members compete in the chalking portion of the homecoming spirit week. Photo courtesy of Marian Baker

This Homecoming saw many firsts for Furman—President Elizabeth Davis and First Gentleman Charles Davis actively participated in Homecoming’s spirit week competition for the first time, the newly established Tau Kappa Epsilon and Zeta Tau Alpha chapters competed for the first time against their peer Greek organizations and the largest alumni homecoming scholarship award ever in the event’s history was presented to senior Joe Fretwell.

Homecoming is a coordinated effort between the Student Activities Board, FUSAB, and the Student Alumni Council, SAC. FUSAB covers the events that change from year to year, such as the Carnival and the weeklong activities leading up to Friday night. SAC coordinates the traditions of the spirit week competition and the pep rally.

“Preparation started last March,” Sarah Stanley, SAC’s homecoming chair said, explaining when the organization chose the theme and began accepting applications. “So we could get all our ducks in a row to get set to have everything in place for the fall.”

The Homecoming spirit week judges were Charles Davis, Dr. Meghan Slining from the Health Sciences department, Rusty Miller, Furman cycling coach, Tom Triplitt, recently retired executive director of the alumni association and Maegan Azar, professor in the Theatre department. The competition features horseplay skits, chalking, banner, t-shirt, float-building and overall spirit awards.

Pi Kappa Phi and Alpha Delta Pi won the overall competition, followed by Tau Kappa Epsilon and Delta Gamma in second and Beta Theta Pi and Delta Delta Delta in third.  

Homecoming week culminated in the football game Sat., Oct. 26 against The Citadel Bulldogs. In the end, the Paladins fell to the Bulldogs  38-17. Homecoming King and Queen were announced during halftime. McIver Prickett, sponsored by FUSAB won Homecoming King and Katie Keith, sponsored by Kappa Delta won Homecoming Queen.

This year’s homecoming was an overwhelming success both in terms of alumni giving and current student experience, according to SAC advisor Leo Fackler.

Each homecoming the 50th reunion class gives a gift to Furman. In the past this has ranged from building infrastructure for the university to donating a scholarship for students either directly or through Furman United. The Class of 1965 gave the largest scholarship in the tradition’s history at $251,745.

Fackler also said the planning process contributed to homecoming’s success.

“This was the best Homecoming collaboration between SAC and FUSAB in the four years that I’ve been working with the alumni council,” Fackler said. He commended both of the student Homecoming chairs from the collaborating organizations.

FUSAB annual event chair Ellie Williams said planning for Homecoming was the highlight of her year-long position.

“The Homecoming Carnival was one of my top five favorite nights freshman year,” Williams said. “It was cool to see the work that went into it and interesting to see other people’s approaches to the event.”  

FUSAB spent approximately $43 thousand to bring in laser tag, carnival rides and food for the Sat. tailgate. Homecoming is the organization’s biggest event of the fall semester.

“I really gained an appreciation for how much work goes into it,” Stanley said. “Overall there’s a lot more that students don’t know about because it’s from the alumni perspective.”

Both student chairs agreed that planning Homecoming was a rewarding experience both in terms of their work and the success campus-wide and beyond.

“Every year, homecoming brings back traditions and adds sentimental value to campus,” Williams said. “You get to see people coming back to campus because they have a connection to Furman.”

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