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Homecoming, 80 Years Later

As thousands of alumni returned to campus in October to celebrate Homecoming 2013, they continued a tradition that has spanned eight decades.

The IUP Marching Band during the Homecoming parade

The Marching Band led the parade down Philadelphia Street on a warm, sunny Homecoming, October 5. Photo: Keith Boyer

Delta Phi Epsilon at Homecoming

Members of Delta Phi Epsilon standing out in pink from the parade crowd. —Keith Boyer

Although university archivist Harrison Wick can find references to homecoming activities at Indiana State Teachers College dating back to 1930, the school officially began recognizing the celebrations, and numbering them, in 1933—80 years ago this fall.

Homecoming parade grand marshals riding in a car

Parade grand marshals Joseph Saffron, Linda Baker Lloyd, and Robert Lloyd, all of the Class of 1963, the 50th anniversary class. —Keith Boyer

The Alumni News Bulletin distributed in August 1934 detailed the “first Home-coming Day,” November 4 of the previous year, reporting that more than 1,000 alumni returned for the “gala occasion.” In the morning, they visited classrooms and toured the campus, many seeing the new power plant and arts building (now McElhaney Hall) for the first time. During the football game against the Carnegie Tech Freshmen, Edward Sullivan’s Kiltie Band was said to have given a tribute to Indiana in letter formation: “The cheering of the crowd, with the ‘Crimson and Slate’ balloons floating above them, made a picture not soon to be forgotten.” Following a dinner, the evening closed with an alumni dance in what is now Waller Hall, featuring the orchestra of Phil Runzo ’33.

According to Wick, Homecoming celebrations were canceled from 1943 until 1946 because of World War II.

IUP Homecoming parade, 1949

Phi Sigma Pi pulling its float in the 1949 parade, which opened the Diamond Jubilee. —IUP Archives

IUP Homecoming parade, 2013

A fall 2013 float representing Egypt. —Keith Boyer

His oldest piece of Homecoming memorabilia in the IUP Special Collections and University Archives is the football from the 1931 game against Edinboro. Donations of photographs, scrapbooks, and more to build on that collection are always welcome. Wick can be reached at hwick@iup.edu.

More from the Fall-Winter 2013 Issue of IUP Magazine

Surviving the Storm

Surviving the Storm

As shrinking high school class sizes take their toll on student enrollment, IUP must rely on innovation to weather the challenge

Dr. Rock

Dr. Rock

Mike Barnett came to IUP to grow musically. Twenty years later, the CU-Boulder faculty member has enlisted the help of an IUP mentor on his latest project—a fusion of metal, rock, and jazz

Message from the President

Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?

Namedroppers | Achievements | Mentors

Photo Gallery | Letters to the Editor | In Brief

The Spirit of Us

University athletics benefit more than student-athletes; they build school spirit and a sense of community. Now, the university has a bold new symbol to showcase that pride

Room to Move

Since the start of the Fall semester, students have had access to a new gymnasium adjacent to the Hadley Union Building


Women are no longer outsiders in distance running, even in races beyond 100 miles, due in part to the trailblazing Marcy Schwam