As Missouri Baptist University embarks on new Homecoming traditions and moves its annual celebration to the football season to correspond with the new team, a few of its original organizers reflect on years past and look to the future.
Chili, sports, banquets, king and queen, tailgate parties — how has Homecoming grown throughout its 50-year legacy?
Three women in particular have had an incredible impact on the growth of Spartan spirit.
For Krista Huse, administrative assistant to the senior vice president for student development-associate provost, both coffee and chili are central elements to some of her favorite Homecoming traditions.
“I remember when we used to have a banquet somewhere nice off campus and have a music artist come in for a concert after the banquet,” Huse said. “The Perk: After Dark used to be an event all on its own and later moved to sometime during Homecoming week.”
Mr. Spartan has also been another recent addition. This year’s winner is Austin Dahl of the lacrosse team.
Lara Hines, director of student activities, offered insight into new avenues for student involvement during Homecoming.
“There was nothing really for students to get involved with. No competitions or fun events, there was only the musical and athletic events,” Hines said. “Now, we have tons of events and fun things for students to do during Homecoming week.”
For both Hines and Huse, the Perk: After Dark was one of their favorite Homecoming events.
“It is fun to see students from previous years come back for it every year,” said Hines.
Julie Hammack, assistant director of student activities, described previous Homecoming traditions.
“Throughout the years it has been scaled down and we have taken out the smaller events and put more focus on the big events,” said Hammack.
With the inaugural year for football, new traditions have begun.
“We have changed the Tailgate Party since football started. We used to have a big party in the B Lot after chapel,” Hammack said. “We had big blow-up obstacle courses, jousting, etc. We also always had turkey legs.”
Celebrating 50 years, Missouri Baptist University has revamped some of the activities and is bringing back some past events.
One tradition is the chili supper.
“We have recently revamped the Chili Supper. It is bigger and better than ever before,” said Huse.
Hines added: “We are also bringing back the Homecoming king and queen.”
To join in on Missouri Baptist University’s 50th Homecoming, click here for the schedule of events.