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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


How high school homecomings compare to UA’s

Rebecca Noble

Participant in UA’s 101st Homecoming Parade Oct. 24, 2015 shows off his Wildcat pride. The consumption of alcohol marks one of the biggest differences between high school and university Homecoming.

Homecoming at the UA is like no other. New students each year learn what it means to be part of the Wildcat family, while existing students and alumni celebrate the pride of the university that made them who they are today.

Homecomings across the nation are recognized in high schools and at the university level, but the two celebrations have different meanings.

“Homecoming represents one time in the year when all UA alumni are invited to return to reminisce and celebrate the UA and the time they spent on campus, which for most alumni was a very pivotal time in their lives,” said Nancy Yaeli, senior associate director for the Alumni Association.

Yaeli said UA’s Homecoming is full of traditions like the bonfire, pep rally and the lighting of the “A” Mountain, which date back quite some time and have certain historical significance and value.

She said the Alumni Association is committed to advancing the UA through events and programs that connect, engage and inspire alumni to maintain lifelong connections with the university.

“That’s where the tagline ‘Wildcats for Life’ was born,” Yaeli said. “Events that bring back memories help by strengthening the ties individuals have toward the UA.”

She said these ties will hopefully elicit alumni to ensure the UA continues to be the university it is, especially in regards to excellence, research and service.

Melissa McMahon, a computer science junior who attended Homecoming both in high school and in college, believes Homecoming at the high school level is more of a social event.

“In high school you have a dance and a football game, which at the time you kind of supported,” she said. “Homecoming in college is more personal because you chose to go to college there and you have a closer tie to it.”

Trevor Freudig, a physics freshman who is originally from Hawaii, said he came to the UA to expand his horizons.

“Homecoming was a pretty big deal in high school, but it was Kauai, so to Kauai it was a big deal, but I’m expecting much more at the university level,” Freudig said.

He said he believes his high school Homecoming is so big on the island because it was more significant to alumni. He said this is due to the fact that in Kauai many graduate high school but do not continue on with higher education.

Freudig said he’s excited for UA’s Homecoming because there will be a lot more energy.

“That has to do with multiple things, but one of the main contributors is that more than half the students at UA are 21 and over and will be consuming alcohol beverages,” Freudig said.

Freudig said he believes the consumption of alcohol will contribute to some excitement to an extent, but the power of school spirit will be another contributing factor that can truly invigorate students and alumni to have a good time.

Homecoming is going to be a time for Wildcats new and old to connect with the UA community through tailgates, games and brunches.

McMahon said she isn’t a real big fan of football games, which would explain why she hasn’t gone to a Homecoming game, but does enjoy some of the other events held during Homecoming.

“I’ve been to the Homecoming parade, some of the tailgates and have just hung out with friends,” McMahon said. “It’s nice to take a break from schoolwork and enjoy yourself.”

McMahon said she really enjoys and appreciates the parade, which she thinks is neat to see because a lot of the clubs on campus make floats and are really proud of what they are able to create.

Follow Alex Gonzalez on Twitter.

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