Oklahoma Christian University is gearing up to host this year’s Homecoming for all students, faculty and alumni. The Talon spoke with two executives overseeing the progress of the annual tradition.
2023 Homecoming Director Heather Sparks said the theme for this year will resonate with alumni and students alike.
“The overall theme for homecoming this year is ‘The 70’s Walk Of Fame.’ With this theme, we have the ability to honor the classes that graduated in the 1970’s,” Sparks said. “The alumni will be able to understand and see familiar pop culture experiences represented in each of the structures and individual themes. Students will be able to enjoy understanding more about the 70’s and connecting to the alumni that were once in their shoes.”
In addition to the unique theme this year, there will be an interactive element to the showcases built by the social clubs.
“Homecoming this year will be a unified experience for faculty, alumni, staff and the students. During this, the 70s Walk of Fame will provide vastly different structures and themes from the clubs as they have picked something from pop culture from that time period,” Sparks said. “The structures will be close together this year in a circle of the land plots surrounding the pavilion. This makes for a “Walk of Fame” that will be an interactive experience for attendees to walk through before the homecoming basketball games.”
Differing from the 48-hour push during last year’s homecoming, Sparks said this year the executives have changed the rules to allow students to still perform well in their academics and have more time to build their creations.
“One change that was implemented this year was the guidelines for structure and banner builds. Each club was given 30 hours to build their structure and 10 hours to paint their banner. Additionally, there will be a 36-hour push the weekend before homecoming,” Sparks said. “This 36-hour push will have the purpose of making last minute changes to the structure. The 30 and 10 hour limit was to make sure that schoolwork can still be done during this busy season. These decisions were all made in hopes to take off the stress of the students.”
Homecoming weekend offers many different activities to participate in. Sparks gave a rundown of what these weekend activities would look like.
“Friday evening, the alumni will have dinner and the students will have a pep rally. Saturday morning, clubs will have an alumni breakfast. Alumni chapel will take place after breakfast and the parade immediately preceding this,” Sparks said. “The parade will include social clubs, alumni honorees and other student organizations on campus. The Walk of Fame follows this, which will be a time for alumni and guests to walk around each structure the clubs have built. After the men’s game will be when the winner of homecoming is announced.”
With all the planning that goes into homecoming, Sparks said she is eager to see everyone’s hard work pay off.
“I have been working on this homecoming project since the end of last semester, and I am very excited to start seeing all of this come to life. I am hoping to have a unified experience with everyone that will be on campus. The executive team along with the club homecoming directors have been working hard in their jobs, and I just know that it will make homecoming this year great.”
Assistant Homecoming Director Jenna White said her favorite aspect of being a homecoming executive has been the people she has gotten to work alongside with.
“It has been so easy to enjoy this process because we have a great team that is so cooperative and dedicated,” White said.
Although the Homecoming process can be fun, White said there have been some challenges along the way.
“The biggest challenge has been all of the different variables to consider; we don’t want to forget anything, and we want it to be as smooth as possible so students and alumni can have a good time,” White said.
Additionally, White said she is looking forward to seeing all of the creative builds the social clubs come up with.
“The creativity is always really impressive, so I’m very eager to see how everyone displays everything,” White said.
Homecoming will take place the weekend of Nov. 3-4. To view the complete schedule, click here.