UNCG’s 2017 Homecoming took place on Oct. 16 through Sunday, becoming the 35th homecoming celebration to be held at UNCG. Thousands of alumni joined current students and faculty to celebrate one of the university’s favorite times of the year.
The week-long celebration featured sporting events, food and music. Though this is an opportunity for current UNCG students to enjoy college life, a main focus of homecoming is to allow graduated Spartans to revisit Greensboro, experience how both the city and school have grown and developed since they attended the university, and be able to reconnect with old friends.
Homecoming kicked off on Oct. 16 with a party at Kaplan Commons followed by a viewing of Space Jam in EUC Kirkland. Oct. 17 brought the Homecoming Royal Court Contest that was held in the EUC Auditorium.
A glow party took place on Wednesday night for the Spartans, and Thursday brought fun as well as distinction to select alumni. The Alumni of Distinction Awards Dinner took place from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Cone Ballroom.
“Each year, the Alumni Association presents a series of Alumni of Distinction Awards, a tradition that began with the awarding of the first Alumnae Service Award in 1960 to Laura Weill Cone, Class of 1910, for her ‘unselfish and faithful service to the advancement of the College,’” states the UNCG Alumni page.
A few notable recipients include Paul Chelimo (‘14), who serves in the Army while simultaneously being an Olympic athlete, Gayle Hartis (‘64), who earned her chemistry degree from UNCG and became one of the first women to manage a textile plant, and Emily Herring Wilson (‘61), who has worked with NC Women’s History Project and the NC Humanities Council. Wilson also received the North Carolina Award, the highest award given by the state. There were a total of eleven alumni recognized for their achievements.
Thursday night brought a student favorite event, Spartan Madness. This acts as the official kickoff to the men’s and women’s basketball seasons, but it also featured a performance by YFN Lucci.
“My first Spartan Madness was pretty lit. The atmosphere was awesome too. I liked how there wasn’t really a dull moment,” said Aiyanah Tyler-Cooper, a freshman at UNCG.
The homecoming bonfire took place at Kaplan Commons on Friday night and featured food trucks, fireworks and s’mores. Over 30 club, sorority and fraternity reunions also took place on Friday and Saturday. UNCG Homecoming’s main event, the Homecoming Block Party, took place on Saturday at Kaplan Commons. The party included a performance by special musical guest Sleeping Booty and also featured a beer garden, street performers, food trucks and an introduction of the homecoming court.
After the block party, the headliner homecoming game was the UNCG men’s soccer game against Mercer where the Spartans won a thrilling double-overtime match 2-1 and the 2017 homecoming king and queen were announced. The eight-candidate group was narrowed down to Shawn Whitaker and Rhema Hedgpeth during halftime.
Homecoming events wrapped up with the last event on the busy calendar: UNCG women’s soccer v the Citadel at 2 p.m.