Mardi Gras, Marshall University style, will be observed with music, picnics, parades, floats, a football game and a host of other activities as the university celebrates Homecoming week Sept. 30-Oct. 6.
A highlight of the week is the match-up of the Thundering Herd football team with first-time opponent, the University of Texas San Antonio Roadrunners, at 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 5 in the Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
“We’ll have a full slate of diverse activities for students, staff, alumni and Marshall supporters,” said Nancy Pelphrey, assistant director of alumni affairs. “The university continues to grow year by year, so those alumni who haven’t been back to campus for a while are in for a real treat. There will be something for everyone this year and we’re looking for a great turnout.”
The grand marshals of the homecoming parade are Benjamin “Benny” Hale Jr. and Jan Jenkins Hale. Jan Hale was crowned “Miss Marshall” at halftime during the 1966 homecoming football game and Ben Hale was her escort. Now married and living in Columbus, Ohio, the couple will lead the parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct.5, in downtown Huntington.
Homecoming is sponsored in part by Bridgeport Equipment and Tools.
“We’re thankful to have such tremendous support from our local business partners,” Matt Hayes, executive director of alumni affairs, said. “It’s a win-win scenario in that the business gains additional exposure and recognition while we meet the needs of our guests at these events. Businesses that wish to become involved may contact Nancy Pelphrey at 304-696-3134 for more information.”
Here is a breakdown of homecoming week events and activities:
Monday, Sept. 30
- Office decorating contest. Offices are asked to decorate using the homecoming theme with prizes to be awarded on Friday, Oct. 4, at the Picnic on the Plaza.
Thursday, Oct. 3
- 10 a.m. – Office decoration judging begins
Friday, Oct. 4: Green and White Day
- 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Free picnic on the Memorial Student Center Plaza with music, prizes, games and lunch. This is the first official alumni event of homecoming weekend. Co-sponsored by the Alumni Association and the Office of Development.
- Noon to 3:30 p.m. – Family check-in for Parents and Family Weekend, Office of Student Affairs in Memorial Student Center
- 3 to 6 p.m. – Black Alumni Association registration, Pullman Plaza, second floor
- 6-8 p.m. – Champagne reception in the lobby of the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center
- 7 p.m. – Volleyball, MU vs. Tulane, Cam Henderson Center
- 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Welcome back champagne reception/silent auction, Ericson Alumni Center, sponsored by the Black Alumni Association with funds from the auction to go to the Janis Winkfield Scholarship
- 8 p.m. – MU Theatre presentation in the Experimental Theatre of the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse
- 10 p.m.- 1 a.m. – Laid-back Friday after-party sponsored by the Black Alumni Association, Inc.
Saturday, Oct. 5
- 9 a.m. – 18th Annual 5K Alum Run. The course starts on Veterans Blvd. near Pullman Square. The entry fee is $20 for early registration and $25 for late registration. Contact Joe DeLapa at email@example.com.
- 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast with the President, in the Don Morris Room of the Memorial Student Center. Breakfast will begin after a brief greeting and comments by President Stephen J. Kopp.
- 9 a.m. – Black Alumni Association business meeting/registration, Marshall University Foundation Hall, Home of the Erickson Alumni Center
- 10 a.m. – Homecoming parade, starting in downtown Huntington and ending at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
- 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Tailgate blast on the field next to the Harless Dining Hall
- Reveal of the new Marco costume will take place pre-game, just before kick-off
- 2 p.m. – Kickoff for the Marshall vs. University of Texas San Antonio game, Joan C. Edwards Stadium
- 8 p.m. – NPHC Step Show, Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center
- 9 p.m. – Rhoyal Affair Black Alumni dance/silent auction, Pullman Plaza Grande Ballroom; music by Hybrid Soul Project. Sponsored by Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.
Sunday, Oct. 6
- 9 a.m. – Prayer Breakfast, Kentucky Room, Pullman Plaza; speaker, Bishop Frederick M. Brown with music by Rodney Boyden