Alumni had Homecoming events planned since August

Kristen O’Brien

Alumni associated with the Kent State Homecoming have had their hands full planning the festivities since August.

Nancy Schiappa, associate director of alumni relations, believes the annual fall event is about connecting the entire Kent community, both past and present.

“Homecoming is an opportunity to reconnect with alumni and bring them back to visit the campus,” Schiappa said.

This year, several events are scheduled for students, faculty and alumni to participate in. The 10th Annual Bowman Cup 5k Race will take place at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center Saturday.

Check-in time for the race is between 6:30 and 7:45 a.m., and T-shirts will be given to the first 400 participants as well as a complimentary 5-minute massage after the race. There will be a free buffet for all in attendance and goodie bags with gifts from local vendors.

Following the race, a parade will start at Midway Drive, go through East Main Street and end on Franklin Avenue. After the parade, there will be free tailgating inside the Fieldhouse for two and a half hours before the kick-off of the Kent State-Akron game.

Over the weekend, the Kent State marching band will play at an indoor picnic. For more information on any of these activities contact the alumni association at

Carrie Circosta, assistant director for student and recent graduate programs, said there is more to Homecoming than just getting drunk. To her, it’s about school pride.

“I can’t stand the quote ‘Kent read, Kent write, Kent remember what I did last night,’” she said. “This season should be an opportunity for us to show our blue and gold.”

History of Homecoming

Even though Kent State will be celebrating 100 years, Homecoming has only been around the past 70 years and originally only honored a queen. It wasn’t until the mid-1970s a king was crowned.

While some traditions are still used, Homecoming has changed quite a bit since its inception. The first Homecoming was held on the weekend of February 15 and 16, 1918. Kent State only had 72 alumni in attendance for the initial event.

Originally, Homecoming wasn’t celebrated during a football game, but in the spring, consisting of indoor baseball games between faculty and students along with a luncheon and dance.

By 1925 more than a thousand students attended the Eighth Annual Homecoming Dance. In 1929, Kent decided to follow in the steps of other universities and hold Homecoming the same weekend as a football game.

Contact reporter Kristen O’Brien at [email protected].