The Athletic Field House next to Dix Stadium was filled Saturday as students, alumni, parents and children enjoyed the food, inflatable games and performances at the pre-game Homecoming Extravaganza.
The events began at 1 p.m. with the Experience Homecoming 2005 Roll Call, the final event in the President’s Spirit Cup Competition. The participating organizations, which were split into three teams, performed choreographed dances set to music like “We Are the Champions” and “Another One Bites the Dust,” and skits featuring the Miami Redhawks and muscle men Hanz and Franz.
The President’s Spirit Cup winners were announced after the first quarter of the Homecoming game. Koonce Hall took first place in the residence hall division. Kent Student Ambassadors were first in the student organization division, and Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Chi and Phi Kappa Tau, who participated in the competition as a group, won the Greek division. The winners will be presented with the President’s Spirit Cup award during the Center for Student Involvement’s yearly leadership award ceremony this spring.
The Kent State Gospel Choir, directed by Linda B. Walker, also performed dressed in colorful kante cloths.
“The colors represent the colors of the West African nations,” Walker said.
Sophomore Spanish major Lauren Stahl said she came to watch a few friends who were in the choir.
“I never really listen to (gospel music), but I really enjoy it,” Stahl said. “It’s a different feeling.”
Senior hospitality management majors were the main food provider for this year’s Extravaganza. Each week, the hospitality management majors make food for an event.
“It’s a good opportunity for our major to get our name out there,” said Lauren Federico, senior hospitality management major. “There’s a lot of freshmen here, so they can see what we do, and if they’re thinking about it, maybe it will make them want to join.”
Groups from Admissions to the Wick Poetry Center also lined the field house track, offering games and information. Many of the organizations were new Extravaganza participants, including the Professional Women of KSU booth being operated by Adult Services Director Rachel Anderson.
“We’ve never participated in Homecoming before,” Anderson said. “We’ve always done Experience Kent State. It’s kind of nice to have it connected. We’re getting more alumni.”
A number of local mascots were also there to take pictures. Slider from the Cleveland Indians, Skipper from the Lake County Captains and Snoopy from Geauga Lake were all present, but the biggest attraction was “Bennie,” Benedictine High School’s mascot. The live two-month-old Bengal tiger rolled playfully in her cage, biting her chew toy as people lined up to pet her.
“We go around to the schools and nursing homes and go talk about the plight of the Bengal tiger,” said Brother Theodore Girard, who takes care of the cub. “We keep her as long as the team is playing, which is usually until December, and then she goes to a zoo.”
Contact alumni affairs reporter Joanna Adolph at [email protected]