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Homecoming brings students together after last year's absence

  • 2 min to read
Homecoming brings students together after last year's absence

During his college years, MU Homecoming was a staple in alumnus Mavrick Alexander’s college experience. He looked forward to waking up early those Saturday mornings. Meeting up with friends and debating what to do first jumpstarted his excitement for the day to come.

The MU Golden Girls Cheer in front of Memorial Student Union

The MU Golden Girls Cheer in front of Memorial Student Union on Saturday in Columbia. Last year’s parade was cancelled because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Rock Bridge High School marching band performs for the parade

The Rock Bridge High School marching band performs for the parade Saturday in Columbia. The parade has been one of the major events of MU’s Homecoming celebration since 1911.

“Just that initial meeting of ‘It’s Homecoming, it’s time to get this day rolling,’” Alexander said.

“We know we’re not going to get any sleep tonight, and that’s OK because we know we’re going to reflect on those times and they’re memories we’re going to treasure forever.”

Many didn’t have the opportunity last year to experience the festivities that meant a lot to past and current students last year because of COVID-19 cancellations.

Claire Fail, 6, claps for Marching Mizzou during the homecoming parade

Claire Fail, 6, claps for Marching Mizzou during the Homecoming Parade on Saturday in Columbia. Claire was there with her two older brothers and parents.

That was the case for sophomore Cameron Darnell. Although she didn’t know what to expect, it was rewarding for her to see everyone together.

“The whole environment changes when everyone’s family is here; it’s just a lot more welcoming,” Darnell said. “Everyone’s a lot more happy with sharing Mizzou and the whole experience with their family.”

Marching Mizzou performs near the front of the MU Homecoming parade

Marching Mizzou performs near the front of the MU Homecoming Parade on Saturday. The band performed in the parade and during the Missouri football game.

Alumnus Angela Seley’s favorite festivity is the parade, and it’s because it can be unpredictable.

“I like that it’s a variety,” Seley said. “It’s just a hodgepodge, like they have a marching boat. You never really see that anywhere else.”

The MU Catholic Association marches in the Homecoming parade

The MU Catholic Association marches in the Homecoming parade Saturday in downtown Columbia. They carried a cardboard cutout of Pope Francis.

Kappa Delta, Farm House and Phi Kappa Psi raise their signs

Kappa Delta, FarmHouse and Phi Kappa Psi raise their signs Saturday during the parade. Some Greek organizations collaborated on floats and marched together.

Veterans United dances and blows bubbles

Veterans United dances and blows bubbles Saturday in Columbia. The parade included both MU and community organizations.

Alumnus Ross Van Eaton used Homecoming to introduce MU to friends who didn’t attend the university.

“I’ve had the chance to bring friends to come and show off the school and just things I loved about the university,” Eaton said. “I was a business school major, so getting to go back and see the building and just reliving fun years that I’ve had here brings back a lot of good memories.”

Naeema Aden, 3, watches the parade during the homecoming parade

Naeema Aden, 3, watches the parade during the homecoming parade Saturday in Columbia. The Homecoming 2021 theme was A Reason to Roar.

Alex Klumb (left) And Madison Herwick (right) ride in a car as part of MU’s Homecoming Royalty

Alex Klumb, left, And Madison Herwick ride in a car as part of MU’s Homecoming Royalty on Saturday in Columbia. Both are part of the Alumni Association Student Board.

The real joy, Eaton said, is experiencing Homecoming with each other.

“Anytime there’s just camaraderie and the amount of fun, it just brings people together really well,” Eaton said. “With all of the differences in the world, it’s just cool to have that day where we’re all Missouri Tigers on this day.”

Freshman Amber Hueste walks her dog, Zaya, before the homecoming parade

Freshman Amber Hueste walks her dog, Zaya, before the Homecoming Parade on Saturday. Hueste’s family came to visit from the town of Linn, southeast of Columbia.

  • MU Reporter, Fall 2021 Studying journalism and environmental science Reach me at jphfh4@umsystem.edu, or in the newsroom at 825-5700

  • Assistant city editor, grad student studying investigative reporting and photojournalism. You can reach me at cjmx5d@umsystem.edu or in the newsroom at 882-5720.

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