Welcome Home: Millikin Preps for Homecoming Weekend

Homecoming Week at Millikin will occur Sept. 23 to Sept. 29. There will be activities throughout the week, and that weekend will include events for students, alumni, and families.

“It’s supposed to be a fun week, so we really focus on trying to give them as many opportunities to have fun,” Amber Marler, co-president of University Center Board (UCB), said. Marler shares her co-president duties with Lia Coupland.

UCB planned most of the student activities for Homecoming Week. Students can attend these events and enjoy the chance to interact with alumni.

This year, Homecoming Weekend coincides with Fall Family Weekend. UCB is in charge of both of these events. They decided to combine the events for the first time.

“I think the goal was to bring as many people to campus in one weekend as possible,” Marler said.

Though it is difficult to predict, UCB expects that roughly fifty to sixty students will bring family members to campus. They are planning events that will engage students as well as their loved ones.

However, most of the events throughout the week target students.

Homecoming Week begins on Monday, Sept. 23 with a kickoff on the Quad. This will include games and food, and it will serve as a way to welcome students to Homecoming Week.

On Tuesday, Kirkland Fine Arts Center will host a talent show. Students auditioned earlier this month, and they will perform for faculty judges, including Millikin President Patrick White. Backtrack, an entertainment group, will emcee the event and interact with the audience.

Students may recognize entertainer Chris Jones when he comes to campus on Wednesday night. Jones, a famous hypnotist, has performed at Millikin during First Week for the past three years. He was unable to perform this year, so UCB is bringing him in for Homecoming Week. Jones will perform at 8 P.M. in Kirkland.

On Thursday, laser tag is back by popular demand. The Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC) will host laser tag and snacks for students from 5 P.M. to 8 P.M.

“We’re super excited to bring that back again,” Marler said. “I know people really enjoyed that and asked if we were doing that again.”

Friday is “Chalk the Walk” behind Shilling Hall. Students can use sidewalk chalk to decorate the campus, and there will be prizes awarded for the best chalk art.

On Friday night, there are several panels and open houses available for students and alumni. Additionally, the Workman Family Baseball Field will be dedicated at 3 P.M.

There are several events planned for Saturday, including the Milli Mile, the parade, and the football game. The Oakwood “Welcome Home” Street Festival and Crossover Cabaret will also take place.

“I think it’s super important because it’s like everyone on campus is doing the same thing for one night,” India Guerrero, a sophomore, said. “It’s like we’re all going to the game or going to the parade…So it’s just like something that everyone can do and be a part of.”

Several alumni events will occur on Friday and Saturday. Alumni can attend reunions and luncheons throughout the weekend.

“Different organizations talk about having their alumni back and being able to talk to them and figure out where things are, and they have people wanting to leave that legacy,” Coupland said. “So I guess it’s just kind of understanding what you left here and getting that feeling back of being on campus.”

The UCB has been planning Homecoming Weekend for a long time. They are hopeful that these events will be successful.

“We try to hit every aspect of the student body so they’ll enjoy something hopefully,” Marler said. “We want to make sure that our events kind of encompass everybody, but also include everybody.”

Those who want to know more about Homecoming Weekend can find the full schedule of events online at Millikin’s website.