Our View: Homecoming is a time for togetherness

DKS Editors

It’s an obvious question, but one we keep asking ourselves because our university isn’t known for its school pride. We don’t bleed blue and gold, we don’t insist on a “The” in front of our name and we don’t put our lives on hold whenever our football team plays.

And so Homecoming is always a conundrum for us.

We find it’s difficult to capture the meaning of the Kent State-themed excitement that explodes on campus once a year. The university puts on a show – highlighting the best and brightest and trying its hardest to make Kent State look generally wonderful – but once the week is over, the pride quickly extinguishes.

In that sense, Homecoming strikes us as a strange concept. Why not be active on campus throughout the year or take pride in your fellow students’ work every day? Why not cheer on football and other teams every time they play?

We can and should do those things whenever we’re on campus. But there are people who aren’t here everyday – people whose success and generosity helps run the schools they graduated from and set up scholarships.

What alumni accomplish, regardless of how long ago they graduated, shapes the value of our diplomas. Every time an alum makes a mark somewhere, it opens up a door for one of us to get a job.

It works in reverse too. The work we do here, the awards we win, the national recognition our schools get in turn affect their careers.

Although we may have little in common, the Kent State on our résumés ties our futures together. And therein lies the meaning of Homecoming. The week of events, with all its fanfare, isn’t about football or kings and queens. It’s a chance for us to show off for alumni, to give them a reason to keep investing in our futures and to promise them we’ll return the favor.

This weekend, members of the Class of 1958 will gather for their 50-year reunion. Their class lies right in the middle of Kent State’s nearly 100-year history, and they graduated 12 years before our university’s defining moment on May 4, 1970. It would be an understatement to say that Kent State has changed since they left here – it’s difficult to imagine what the university looked like or what their diplomas meant then.

Their 50-year careers have taken them around the world and back, and they’ll be here to see what we’ve done with their legacy.

School pride doesn’t come naturally for many of us, and we’re sure there’s a number of you who can think of better things to do than hang out at Homecoming events all weekend. But try to make a showing at one of them. Alumni want to see that we’re involved and engaged in our university.

For everything they give us, is it really too much to spend two hours doing something you usually wouldn’t?

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.