Homecoming weekend, themed “We Bleed Blue,” included events from Thursday, Oct. 22 to Saturday, Oct. 24 and was planned by the Student Government Association (SGA).
The weekend’s happenings began with the “Blue Lights” event on the residential quad Thursday night. There were live bands, free food, and an activity tent. It was the first year for an event of this nature during homecoming. The quad was decorated with blue lights to compliment the theme.
“The lights were awesome and definitely set the tone for the spirit of homecoming. It was undoubtedly a success,” said Keith Lee, sophomore Homecoming Chair and head of the homecoming committee.
The “We Bleed Blue” theme was meant to bring out school spirit within the student body. “I wanted to connect with the core spirit of the student body and bring out the best of it, so going with a theme that appealed to the school’s colors made me think that it would do the job. I thought that “We Bleed Blue” would be a catchy and creative theme and slogan that would get everyone pumped, and I think it was a success,” said Lee.
The annual pep rally took place Friday at 5 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Activity Center (MAC). The event included the reveal of the new shadow mascot, the announcing of the homecoming court, games, prizes, and performances by the pep band, dance team, and cheerleaders.
“Homecoming is great because it is a time when the whole school comes together,” said senior and captain of the cheer team Alyssa Scardelli. “Sometimes as a small school it is difficult to bring everyone together for a big game. Homecoming is a great way to bring the university together and support the football team on game day.”
The pep rally was hosted by students Lexi Swatt, junior communication student, and Matt Sheehan, junior business accounting student. The homecoming court included Lord Joe Firetto and Lady Jamie Flora, Duke Austin Skelton and Duchess Ashley Beneventine, Price Matthew Miller and Princess Kara Snyder.
“I think that SGA did an amazing job with the interactive dance off and other games. The hosts were so fun and engaging and I had a great time,” said junior communication student Alicia Torello.
The King and Queen were announced at the football game halftime show on Saturday, the King being Chris Carter and the Queen being Danielle St. Vincent. During the halftime show there was also a parade of all the university’s current athletes and performances by the dance and cheer teams. President Brown made an appearance along with the President of the Student Alumni Association Karyn Cusanelli.
This year marks the 23rd year for the University’s football team. Coach Callahan and the football team captains briefly spoke at the pep rally. Coach Callahan thanked everyone for their support and explained how they look forward to the game on Saturday as they face the number one team in the nation, Coastal Carolina.
The University fell to Coastal Carolina with a final score of 23-20. “The crowds on homecoming are always outstanding and the energy at the game is electric. I know our players fed off of that support as we took the No. 1 team in the country down to the wire on Saturday,” said Football Head Coach Kevin Callahan.
Homecoming is a time when many alumni come back to support the university. There were an estimated people who attended the Alumni House Tailgate Tent and Lawn Party on Saturday morning. Activities included a photo booth, face painting, prizes, blow up castle, free rum samples, free food and live music.
This was the first year where the tent had a social media hub to promote the alumni tailgate. If people posted pictures they were encouraged to tag the alumni association. The tailgate was located at the Alumni House behind the MAC.
The alumni tailgate gives alum a place to come together for homecoming weekend. “Our main goal was to continue to build pride and to encourage alumni to come back to campus and participate in campus activities such as homecoming,” said Yasmin Nielsen, Assistant Vice President of University Engagement.
I thought it was a blast. There were tons of different things to do. I also liked the size, it wasn’t overwhelming. You could pop in and out without getting lost. It was definitely a success and I can’t wait until next year,” said Erin Smith, Monmouth alumna who graduated in 2014.
“Homecoming is special because it is our biggest event of the year,” said Elizabeth Esten Manalio, Associate Director of University Engagement. “This is when people are most excited to come back and see campus. They often bring family and friends to the events throughout homecoming weekend.”
Overall, homecoming was considered a fun and successful weekend by Lee and Callahan. “You have members of the entire University community coming together for a weekend of events. From the pep rally to the homecoming court to the game, there are student-athletes, greeks, student government, staff members, faculty and more involved in the whole weekend,” said Callahan.
“I think homecoming was definitely a success. Everything I planned from the blue lights event, to the Pep Rally, to the banner connect, to the parade went so smoothly. I’m very happy with the outcome of this year’s homecoming and have heard a lot of great feedback,” explained Lee.
PHOTO COURESTY of Monmouth Athletics
PHOTO COURESTY of Keith Lee