We asked a few WKU faculty members who are alumni of the University, “What are some of your favorite Homecoming memories?”
David Serafini, a history instructor, graduated 1994: “I have always loved Homecoming. When I experienced my first Homecoming in the fall of 1990, I was a new member of Alpha Phi Omega, and we were told the Homecoming for this tailgate is different; we all dress up nicely, you see all these alumni come back. Every tailgate is fun and special in its own way, but there’s something very special about Homecoming, and seeing so many more alumni come back and having the opportunity to meet with them and [ask about] what campus was like when they were here.
Really, I think for me, the sense of our university as a family, as a community, I think that’s when I first really started to experience it all and see what the whole ‘spirit makes the master’ thing is really about. Just having those experiences and being there with all the people who came before me, it was just fun.”
Rachel Tinius, exercise science assistant professor, graduated 2009: “Well, during the time I was here, the football team wasn’t quite as exciting; they were in that transition period, so games weren’t as well attended. But Homecoming was the game that no matter what was extremely well attended. So, it didn’t matter if they were having a good season or not –– everyone was going to come to Homecoming.”
“Why do you think Homecoming is such a long-lived tradition at universities?”
Serafini: “Because it should be. You should be proud of your university. You should be proud of that family and community that you were a part of. You should take pride in where you went to college.
I’m proud to call myself a Hilltopper. I’m proud to be an alumnus of this university. I’m proud to be a part of however many thousands of alumni will come back this weekend and share those memories we had. From a historian’s perspective, having that Homecoming experience, you know, reliving those memories, it keeps the past alive, and it keeps that institutional memory. That’s very important.”
Tinius: “I don’t know where Homecoming originated from, but I guess it’s just a good opportunity for people to plan to come back. A lot of times, you go to college, and you’re there, and you leave and unless there’s like a planned date that you kind of set aside to come back, it doesn’t always happen. So it’s a planned opportunity for people to come back and see each other.”
Reporter Emma Austin can be reached at 270-745-2655 and [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @emmacaustin.