Kent State Celebrates 100 Years of Homecoming
The Kent State University fight song blared down Main Street, the city of Kent was flooded with blue and gold, alumni and friends gathered and reminisced about their Kent State days, fans packed the stadium to cheer on their beloved Golden Flashes, and the entire campus boomed with Kent State pride.
Kent State celebrated 100 years of Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 6. Kent State alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and the community took part in one of the university’s long-standing traditions. Student events occurred the week leading up to Homecoming on all eight Kent State campuses throughout Northeast Ohio.
The morning of Homecoming kicked off with the 18th Annual Bowman Cup 5K Race at 8 a.m. The race, named after fedora-loving former Kent State President George Bowman, is a chip-timed race that starts and ends in front of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
The Homecoming Parade began at 10 a.m. on the corner of Midway Drive and Main Street, traveling west on Main Street into downtown Kent. The parade featured floats, Kent State and local high school marching bands, university colleges and departments, Kent State cheerleaders and athletes, student organizations, local officials and more. Parade favorites Kent State President Beverly J. Warren, the 2018 grand marshal and the Homecoming Courts anchored the parade. This year’s Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal was Wayne Dawson, WJW Fox 8 anchor and Kent State alumnus.
WELCOME HOME PARTY
The Kent State Alumni Association hosted the Welcome Home Party at 11 a.m. at the Center for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement located at 350 S. Lincoln St. in Kent. The Welcome Home Party was free and fun for all ages with festive food, activities and Kent State giveaways. Each college on the Kent Campus hosted a free open house or event at one of its buildings. Events included meet and greets with the college deans and refreshments.
KISS ON THE K
Couples who feel that Kent State played an important role in their relationship gathered on the K at Risman Plaza (in front of the Kent Student Center) for a special Homecoming tradition called Kiss on the K. All couples kissed on the K when the bell rang at 12:30 p.m. A special performance by the Kent Clarks acapella group and activities began at noon.
FOOTBALL GAME AND TAILGATE
Before the football game, alumni and students tailgated at Dix Stadium. Then at 3:30 p.m., the Kent State Golden Flashes took on Mid-American Conference East Division foe the Ohio University Bobcats. The rivalry game was Kent State’s first conference home game of the season. The Homecoming Courts – more than 40 representatives from all Kent State campuses – were recognized at the game, and Kent State’s 2018 Homecoming King and Queen were also announced and crowned.