A tradition of tiger spirit

Sunday, October 24, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:33 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Grand marshal shares memories of MU fun

At a Friday luncheon organized by Boone County National Bank, Homecoming Grand Marshal Chuck Roberts spoke to a group of MU faculty and other community members about his memories from the two years he spent studying at MU’s School of Journalism. Since graduating from MU, Roberts has held several jobs in broadcast journalism and has worked as a news anchor for CNN since 1982.

Roberts, who said he was looking forward to spending homecoming weekend visiting with many old friends from the journalism school, said he was honored to be named this year’s Homecoming grand marshal.

“I merely read the news when the red light comes on — I’m no big deal,” he said. “Other people deserve this more than me, but no one appreciates this more than me.”

In his speech, Roberts remembered his part-time jobs in Columbia — one as a disc jockey, another as a desk clerk at the Tiger Motor Hotel. He recalled going to the Heidelburg and studying at Ellis Library. He also remembered being in Columbia as he watched Neil Armstrong take his first step on the moon.

Roberts also talked about the impact the journalism school made on his life.

“It’s a privilege to say my alma mater is the nation’s first journalism school,” he said. “The best decision I ever made was choosing this school.”

Greek Town ‘pomps up’ MU with Disney themes

Friday night, many community members went to MU’s Greek Town to enjoy the campus decorations, another Homecoming tradition. Friday evening, 13 pairings of MU sororities and fraternities presented short skits that were based on Disney stories such as “Peter Pan” and “The Lion King.” Each story incorporated MU into its plot and was presented against a backdrop that students built by gluing tissue paper to boards, a method called “pomping.”

Linda Orman, the house-mother at the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority house, said she enjoys house decorations because they provide such a good experience for the students who build them.

“They have fun, but it’s a lot of hard work,” she said. “It teaches them how to work together, and they don’t get much sleep, but the community loves it!”

Ryan McElroy, a 20-year-old sophomore at MU, grew up in Columbia and went to the campus decorations each year with his family. Now, as a member of Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity, he had the opportunity to build the decorations for others to enjoy.

“This event is huge for the community and for the downtown as well,” he said.

Families bond through Homecoming festivities

Saturday morning, members of MU and community organizations marched throughout campus and downtown in the Homecoming parade.

Three-year-old Kaylee Demoss said she was excited about seeing firefighters and tigers at the parade. She went to the parade with her parents, who are both MU alumni.

“We try to come every year,” said Diana Demoss, Kaylee’s mother.

Another alumna, Joyce Hulett, who teaches an online course at MU, received her undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees from MU. She attended Saturday’s parade to watch her 7-year-old granddaughter Callie Hines march in the parade with Columbia Independent School. She remembered the first MU Homecoming parade she attended in 1958.

“I was a freshman who just arrived here from Slater, Mo.,” she said. “I thought that this was a pretty big thing. Now, my granddaughter is participating.”

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