“Red, White, and WKU” theme for election year


Chela Counts

Although next year’s Independence Day is months away, WKU’s Alumni Association found a way for Hilltoppers to “celebrate the American spirit.”

“Red, White, and WKU” is this year’s Homecoming theme, based partially around the 2012 Presidential Election that is two weeks away.

Ginny Hensley, director of Alumni Programming and co-chair of Homecoming Activities, said she and 12 other committee members come up with and vote on the top four or five themes each year.

Unlike the past three years, when the WKU community could go online to vote for a theme, this year the committee let President Gary Ransdell make the final decision.

Festivities for Homecoming will be October 13-21. Hensley says preparing for Homecoming Week started immediately after last year’s festivities ended.

“We’ll start researching themes, we’ll start discussing events we’re going to include next year right after this one ends,” Hensley said.

This year’s schedule of events includes more than 80 activities for students and alumni to participate in.

Hensley, who is a graduate of WKU, said the parade and tailgating are two of the activities she enjoys the most.

“We have such fantastic tailgating Saturday for Homecoming,” she said. “I mean there’s not many campuses that have what we have. We have so many tents, and it’s just a totally different atmosphere on Homecoming day than it is anywhere else.”

As an alum, she said enjoys watching students participate in “student mode.”

“Everything here is a tradition, and when we watch the students in action, we relive that,” Hensley said.

But there have been some mixed reactions to the theme.

Richmond senior Sarah Bruckner said she wishes this year’s theme was more exciting.

“I just don’t think that Homecoming should have anything to do with the election,” Bruckner said. “Some people don’t vote or are not politically involved.”

Lexington junior Jenesa Moran disagrees and is excited about the theme.

“It shows that WKU supports the election, and the colors being so close to ours is a perk,” Moran said.

Just as alumni reconnect with their past, Moran says the best part of Homecoming for her is seeing that she too has a future.

“Seeing all the alumni come back motivates me to know it’s very possible to graduate and go somewhere,” Moran said. “I one day too will be an alumni.”