Homecoming – An Illinois Tradition
With the exception of 1918, when it was cancelled due to the United States’ involvement in World War I, Homecoming has been held continuously since its inception in 1910. Although the focal point has always been an Illinois football game, many other activities and events have been associated with the annual celebration, including push ball contests, parades, dances, house decoration and float building contests, a Homecoming king, queen and court; a stunt show, alumni reunions and the performance of an alumni band during the football halftime show.
In recent years, Homecoming week has included a public service element, iHelp, sponsored by the Student Alumni Ambassadors. Homecoming is always a festive time when graduates return to campus and celebrate their college memories and renew old friendships.
To commemorate the event’s 100th anniversary, alumnus John Franch covered the history of Homecoming for Illinois Alumni magazine in 2010.