As Homecoming week comes to a close and basketball season at Oklahoma Christian University opens, students and alumni prepare for a weekend full of homecoming activities.
The first Saturday activity is the social service club alumni breakfasts. These all take place in various Edmond, OK, locations Saturday morning at 8 a.m. Following the breakfasts will be a homecoming chapel at 10 a.m. in Hardeman Auditorium.
Chris Adair, director of alumni communications and research, said homecoming chapel allows alumni to relive their chapel experiences. Mike Gibson, a member of the class of 1966 and a long-time biology professor at Oklahoma Christian, will speak in the chapel.
Following the homecoming chapel will be another tradition, the parade will begin at 11:20 a.m. in the Circle Drive, located in front of the Mabee Learning Center.
“From a club perspective, it’s fun to show off all the work you’ve put into your float,” Jeff McKnight, homecoming parade director, said. “Honestly it is a celebration of homecoming week. It’s just a fun time to be out there. Clubs are waving at people, they’re cheering and excited while in costume and tossing out candy.”
According to McKnight, all the social service clubs on campus are involved in the parade, but this year there are two new organizations participating.
“This year Outreach [a student missions’ organization] and the College of Engineering will have floats or walk in the parade,” McKnight said. “Something we wanted this year was to include more people in this event and by these organizations having a place in it is a start to allowing that to happen.”
Honored alumni will follow the homecoming court candidates near the beginning of the parade. Honorees include Scott and Sonya Young as distinguished honorary alumni and Chris Young as distinguished alumnus.
“I want our alumni to come back to this and use it as an opportunity to exposure their kids to their alma mater,” Adair said. “We love it when our alumni bring back their kids. I think we get double value in that. Our alumni are reminded why they love this place and hopefully this is a place their kids decide they are interested in and become a multi-generational Oklahoma Christian family.”
Following the parade, the Oklahoma Christian Lady Eagles basketball team will play York College at 1 p.m. in the Nest and the men’s team will follow at 3 p.m. against Southwestern College. Tickets for the game are $3. Children 12 and under are free. Between the two games, Homecoming king and queen coronation will take place
The candidates for Homecoming king are seniors Tanner Bentley, Jonathan Juarez and Colten Sikes. The candidates for Homecoming queen are seniors Abby deSteiguer, Annarie McNally and Ellyn Reid.
Each social service club competed at homecoming events throughout the week with hopes of securing the first place prize. The social service club winner will be announced on Saturday. However, Homecoming Director for Social Service Club Gamma Rho Alyx Siemer said homecoming means more to her than just winning.
“Homecoming to me means all of the social service clubs on campus come together to bring about school unity,” Siemer said. “It’s really awesome that alumni come back to make it possible once every year.”
Siemer said she loved working with her club, Gamma Rho, and the other homecoming directors.
“Seeing all of our efforts coming together to make this week happen makes all of the time spent more than worth it,” Siemer said. “It’s such a cool experience to be excited and united simultaneously as students and alumni.”