Kalamazoo, MI
one-hundred-forty-one Years of Service to the Student

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Homecoming Throughout the Years

Cheerleaders in front of the homecoming bonfire in 1959 (via Kalamazoo College CACHE) Cheerleaders in front of the homecoming bonfire in 1959 (via Kalamazoo College CACHE)

Homecoming week is just around the corner for Kalamazoo College, and the campus is about to be buzzing.

Alumni from the graduating classes of 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015 will be swarming campus to relive their glory days with their collegiate friends. This tradition at K dates back over 100 years and is just as strong as ever.

While this week is jam-packed with campus-wide engaging activities, the traditions have greatly changed since its arrival in the nineteenth century.

In the early 1900s, homecoming festivities were celebrated in mid-February. Alumni flocked to campus on Saturday, for the one-day celebration. The homecoming day culminated in the rival football game and a dinner provided for alumni and students of the college.

Midway through the nineteenth century, these celebrations were vastly different from their origins. Homecoming celebrations kicked off with a parade going all throughout downtown, ending on campus. Immediately after the parade, the first-year class would host a giant bonfire, trying to outdo the previous year. While the fire was burning on the old intramural fields, a pep rally consisting of songs and cheers took place. After the much anticipated football game, two dances took place, one for students and alumni, and one for exclusively alumni.

This year, the freshly renamed Campus Engagement Organization (CEO) and the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) have planned activities all week, including photo booths and karaoke nights in the Hicks Center. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will contain all day activities and reunions for alumni.

Comprehensive schedules of homecoming events happening around campus can be found on the CEO and OSI Facebook pages, along with the homecoming section of the college’s website.

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Homecoming Throughout the Years