Homecoming festivities to begin this weekend

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The banner across South Congress is now hung, greeting all who pass it with a warm “Welcome Home.”

From Feb. 9- Feb. 17, hundreds of students will participate in competitions, hundreds of alumni will return to their alma mater and hundreds of family members of both past and present students will grace the hilltop for the first time for St. Edward’s University Homecoming and Family Weekend.

It is the melding of these three distinct groups that makes Homecoming so unique.

 “That energy and spirit of coming together is very special to St. Edward’s,” said Katrina Woolery, Associate Director of Student Life.

The Dean of Students office, Alumni office and Student Life all plan for months to make sure the weekend provides a sense of celebration and pride  for St. Edward’s.

Consequently, the theme of this year’s Homecoming is “Embrace your Hilltop Pride.”

“We want to encourage every member of the St. Edward’s community to come together and celebrate what we love about St. Edward’s,” Woolery said. “And that can be something different for every person.”

For alumni and families, that often means coming back to campus for the first time in a long time. Alumni and family events include campus tours to show off the new buildings on the rapidly developing campus, alumni award receptions and of course class reunions.

For current students however, Homecoming is primarily about the week of events and competitions surrounding it, known as the Topper Cup.

The Topper Cup is a series of competitive games lasting from Feb. 9 until Feb. 17 in which student-created teams compete in activities ranging from ice cream eating to Connect Four to dodgeball.

After all the activities, the winning team is crowned as champions and their team name engraved on the large silver bowl-like trophy.

Students interested in competing can still register as a part of a team or as a free agent via collegiate link, according to Woolery.

The winners of the Topper Cup are announced at one of the most anticipated Homecoming events—the Homecoming Pep Rally.

On Friday, Feb. 15, the Recreation and Convocation Center (RCC) is overcome with games, prizes, cheers and spirit for the Homecoming Pep Rally. Students, families and alumni are all invited to this event. 

The Homecoming Pep Rally is also where the Homecoming Court is announced. Twelve students are nominated and subsequently chosen by their peers for their embodiement of what it means to be a St. Edward’s student.  

From there, two seniors, one male and one female are crowned as Mr. and Miss SEU at halftime of the men’s basketball game on Saturday Feb. 16 in the RCC. 

Most other schools associate Homecoming with the return of a football team, however Woolery believes that it is the spirit rather than the sport that makes Homecoming special.

“Homecoming is about bringing our community together,” Woolery said.  “It doesn’t take football to do that.” 

Homecoming is a thrilling time of year and this year promises to be as exciting as ever.