It's that time of year again! It's Panther Homecoming.
As the football team prepares to take on the Southern Illinois Salukis, let's take a look at the busiest, most fun, and most spirited week on campus.
All events listed, extensive details, and RSVPs for can be found at uni.edu/homecoming
Prior to the official homecoming kickoff events, UNI Soccer will be hosting Viterbo University at 1:00 PM at the Cedar Valley Soccer Complex.
Following, will be window painting from 4:00 to 6:00 PM will be window paining on College Hill.
Homecoming kicks off with the Panther Kickoff at 5:30 in Lawther Field, which includes the Pride Cry competition and announcement of the homecoming court.
Around 9 PM, there will be an outdoor movie ("Finding Dory") in Lawther Field.
Tuesday holds the talent competition for the homecoming court as they get to show of their skills in attempt to win votes. The competition starts at 8:00 PM in the Maucker Union Ballroom.
The best part of college is free food, right? Well, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM there will be a picnic in the Campanile Plaza, with Maucker Union as the rain location.
Connecting Alumni To Students (CATS) hosts the Amazing Race Traditions Challenge at 5:30 PM outside the Commons. Students- in teams of four- have to opportunity to complete various traditions across campus in one night. Fun clues at each location guide them to the various traditions points.
On Thursday there will be a special dinner at the dining centers from 5:00 to 6:45 PM.
Campus will also be visited by comedian Eric O'Shea, who will be performing at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) at 8:00 PM.
Rounding out the school week will be several events.
A reception for alumni will be held from 5:30 to 7:00 PM, South of the Commons. (Alumni can register online at uni.edu/homecoming)
UNI Volleyball hosts Missouri State in McLeod at 7:00 PM. So, don your purple and gold and cheer hard!
Promptly following the volleyball match will be the pep rally, where the Pride Cry finalists compete for title and the homecoming king and queen are announced.
Also at 7:00 PM at the GBPAC will be a performance by the Music City Hit-Makers.
At midnight will be "Cocoa and Kisses," (Campaniling), in the Campanile Plaza and Rod Library. Campaniling is where couples kiss as the campanile strikes midnight. As the name states, cocoa and kisses will be handed out as well as Campaniling buttons.
Saturday is the epitome of Panther Spirit and bursting with activities.
The homecoming parade starts at 11:00 AM around campus and presented by the university book store, University Book and Supply.
An All-Alumni Tailgate will be held west of the UNI-Dome from 12:30 to 3:30 PM. This will be hosted in partnership with the Hy-Vee Fan Zone.
The homecoming football game will start at 4:00 PM in the UNI-Dome against the Southern Illinois Salukis.
At 7:00 PM, UNI Volleyball will also be in action in McLeod with gameplay against Wichita (not a) State.
Unmask Your Spirit
As you can see, Homecoming week will be plenty busy and plenty fun. Homecoming also brings back legions of alumni from various generations, meaning quite the influx of people over the weekend.
I love homecoming because it's a time for my family to visit and its a time where Panther Pride is most prevalent.
If your a freshman or transfer, I'm very excited for you to experience UNI Homecoming. If you're an upperclassman, I hope you enjoy another homecoming go around. And finally, if you're a senior (like me) I hope you take it all in, enjoy homecoming as a student.
Just remember though, UNI will always welcome us back as alumni.