Oklahoma Christian University is welcoming alumni from across the country and globe to celebrate 66 years of heritage by celebrating the “hits on Route 66.”
This year, the homecoming theme is “Hits on Route 66,” inspired by the featured musical, “The Music Man.”
Each club chose a travel or journey theme to represent the overall “Hits on Route 66” theme. Throughout the week the clubs will have the opportunity to compete with one another by earning points through participating in various events. The amount of points will lead to an overall club homecoming winner at the end of the week.
Kristen Bural, the executive director this year’s homecoming, said her goal for this year’s homecoming is to unite the Oklahoma Christian community.
“I think my core goal for this year is to connect to people,” Bural said. “I want OC to actually be home and be a cultivated community, not just within your social club or organization, but cross-culturally within campus.”
Throughout the week the homecoming committee has events planned not only for social service clubs on campus, but for the entire Oklahoma Christian student body.
“Our goal was to pull in not only the people who are in club, but we wanted to reach the other third of the campus that doesn’t necessarily always come out to do things,” Bural said. “We want them to feel like OC is home and we want them to be engaged.”
Homecoming week commences Sunday with Pancakes and PJs at 7 p.m. in the student center, where students can wear their pajamas, enjoy pancakes served by the Oklahoma Christian basketball teams and win prizes by taking part in trivia. Students can donate money for the pancakes with proceeds going to a campus organization partnered with this year’s homecoming committee.
“Every event kind of has an underlying help towards U!Shine because U!Shine directly affects our campus now,” Bural said. “They’re trying to raise mental, physical and spiritual awareness on campus, and we thought that was a good choice because we’re pouring into them and they’re pouring back into the students.”
Social service clubs are also raising money and awareness for U!Shine by placing donation jars around campus and the community.
Homecoming week will continue on Monday with a Halloween carnival and Trunk-or-Treat for the Edmond and Oklahoma Christian communities.
The event begins at 2 p.m. with a Storybook Parade hosted by the School of Education’s elementary language arts class. Oklahoma Christian students in the education department will wear storybook character costumes and lead language arts activities for pre-school aged students.
From 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. all are invited to support the Oklahoma Christian men’s baseball team and women’s softball team in a Halloween softball game. The teams will scrimmage against each other while in Halloween costumes.
Later Monday evening, a carnival and Trunk-or-Treat event will kick off at 6 p.m. with a variety of games and activities including bubble soccer, face painting, bounce houses, a photo booth, live music and more. Food trucks for the event include Wicked Hangry, Mob Grill, Mutts Amazing Hotdogs and Big Truck Tacos. Students can participate for free with the exception of the food trucks, but tickets for everyone else are 50 cents. All proceeds go to U!Shine.
Bural said the event she is looking forward to the most is the carnival and Trunk-or-Treat night.
“There’s a lot going on all at once,” Bural said. “It’s just a casual, fun event and I feel like most people don’t know what to do on Halloween in college, so it’s going to be fun to have a safe place that you can come and hang out with your friends.”
On Tuesday, students are invited to participate in Roadtrip Games at 7:30 p.m. in the Nest with a tournament style competition. Games in the competition include a gauntlet, dodgeball, gaga ball and volleyball. Hotdogs will be provided.
Club Canstruction building will take place Wednesday in the Conservatory. Club members have the opportunity to depict their homecoming theme through a construction using cans. After the winner is decided, the cans will be donated to Project 66 Food Pantry.
Following Canstruction, a worship night will take place in the Forum at 9 p.m. Oklahoma Christian’s student acapella group, New Reign, will lead the student body in an Kudos-approved worship service after local church services.
On Thursday, students are encouraged to attend the performance of “The Music Man.” The musical will also have showings on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
After the musical, a late-night pep rally will be held to honor the men and women’s basketball teams at 10 p.m. in the Nest. Students are asked to wear maroon to “Maroon Out” and participate in competition games and raffles.
On Friday students can view the movie “Cars” at a drive-in movie theater in Guthrie, OK, located right off Route 66 for no charge. Those who attend will also have the chance to donate to U!Shine.
The traditional homecoming events will take place on Saturday, including club alumni breakfasts, the parade at 11:20 a.m. and the opening of Oklahoma Christian’s basketball season.
The Lady Eagles will tip-off at 1 p.m. against York College and the men’s team will follow at 3 p.m against Southwestern College.
In between the games the homecoming king and queen will be crowned.
This year the homecoming king nominees are Jonathan (Monk) Juarez, Tanner Bentley and Colten Sikes, and the nominees for queen are Ellyn Reid, AnneMarie McNally and Abby deSteiguer.
For more information about the alumni schedule for homecoming, visit here.