Homecoming: View from the Top

By John Angle

This past week was one of the most fun but tiresome of my SMU career because I was in charge of planning and executing SMU Homecoming!  I had an amazing team that I worked with, and the event overall went pretty flawlessly. We began working to plan Homecoming in March and went all the way through the week it began. For the 22 candidates submitting their resumes two weeks ago, and then each of them went through an in-depth interview with SMU faculty and staff.  Next up all the participating organizations – with a record eighteen participating in some form of Homecoming – received their holiday – this year’s theme. Much of the week was hard for me because I was aware of who was winning/losing and I was desperate to share the inside info!

The week kicked off for most participants with a field day on the Dallas Hall lawn.  Teams competed in wheelbarrow races, sponge race, tug of war, and football toss.  Then, on Sunday, everyone painted a window, a 3’x5’ banner, and wooden horse in their holiday. Next up was a big pep rally/competition called “Rock the Vote” on Monday evening where everyone was introduced to all of the Homecoming Court. Voting started on Tuesday and everyone was able to vote for their favorite king and queen candidate. Wednesday and Thursday groups competed to have the highest percentage of their organization donate blood at the bloodmobile. Finally and most importantly from Monday afternoon through Friday afternoon groups worked on elaborate floats for their candidates to ride in – and everyone else to walk behind – in the Homecoming parade. The building culminated in late-night float building till 2 am Friday morning, and was a big party with music and food.  

Saturday morning we all got up for the parade and could not have had more perfect, beautiful weather. The parade went off without a hitch, and first place went to the group that designed a Texas Independence Day float.  I calculated the winners of spirit points and the king/queen and only had a little time on the boulevard before hurrying off to the game where President Bush did the coin toss.  Then at halftime I got to go on the field with SMU President R. Gerald Turner, SMU alum and TOM’S Shoes founder Blake Mycowski and all the great candidates to crown the winners. It was absolutely a blast and something I will never forget!

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