University community enjoys Homecoming events

An array of brightly colored tents decorate the Roy Stewart Stadium at Murray State's Homecoming. || Maddie Mucci/The News

An array of brightly colored tents decorate the Roy Stewart Stadium at Murray State’s Homecoming. || Maddie Mucci/The News

The University hosted its annual Homecoming celebration Saturday, providing students, alumni and Murray residents with several festivities throughout the day.

The annual Homecoming Parade, with its array of hand-crafted floats and student organizations, kicked off this year’s festivities at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Starting in Murray square, the organizations along with Racer Band, made their way down Main Street towards campus.

As the parade strolled through the city, participants handed out candy and other party favors to fellow students and residents who came to support Murray State. The student organizations, Alpha Gamma Rho and Sigma Sigma Sigma won the best float contest for their respected categories.

Mechelle Smith, junior from Berkenfeld, Germany, and member of Tri Sigma sorority, said she fully enjoyed the parade and was happy to see so many attendants.

“I feel like the parade went really well this year and it was great seeing the community come out for our Homecoming events,” Smith said. “It was also a great chance to get to know the men of AGR more personally.”

Shortly after the parade, Tent City began at 11 a.m. About 50 tents were set up on the east side of the track of Roy Stewart Stadium, each representing a different organization. Residential colleges, Greek organizations, academic departments and student clubs came out to mingle with alumni and raise funds for their semester activities.

Many of the organizations sold grilled foods, pastries, hot chocolate and souvenirs to raise money and awareness for their causes. Some organizations also set up tents to celebrate their tradition and longevity.

Jen Aslan, junior from Hoffman Estates, Ill., who attended both the parade and Tent City said the events made for a great Homecoming.

“It was a beautiful day and weekend for Homecoming this year,” Aslan said. “Although I attended the football game as well, the parade and Tent City were my favorite events. Both events were exciting ways to see a lot of the community and student body around the town and campus.”

Tri Sigma set up a tent in celebration of its 70th anniversary and title as the oldest sorority on campus. Many alumni sat under their tent enjoying food and conversation with their former sisters.

Annie Knight, Tri Sigma pledge of 1962 from Mayfield, Ky., said she thoroughly enjoyed Tent City and was happy to see the sisters she graduated with.

“I love it!” Knight said. “We definitely have an awesome turnout this year and it’s been delightful to see if I could recognize all my former sisters.”

Following Tent City, the Racers set up to battle UT-Martin on the football field. Although the game resulted in a 66-59 loss, the Homecoming celebration would not cease. At the end of the game the winners of Homecoming King and Queen were announced.

Michael Dobbs, sophomore agricultural business major from Winchester, Ky., was named King and Aimee Beasley, senior business management/entrepreneurship major from Paducah, Ky., was named Queen. Each expressed how honored they are to represent Murray State.

“Being named homecoming king as a sophomore was, and still is, very special to me” Dobbs said. “It’s awesome to think that so many of my peers wanted me to represent Murray during what is arguably one of the most special times of the year on campus. It has really encouraged me to remain active on campus, because that’s what sets apart a degree from an education and that is what my mindset has always been. I’m always looking for ways to be involved, because that is what gives you the experiences that will last a lifetime.”

“I can’t even begin to tell you how honored I am to be the 2012 Homecoming Queen” Beasley said. “Not only was it exciting to get to participate in all of the Homecoming festivities, but the opportunity to represent a university with such a reputation for excellence, a supportive community and such an amazing student body is an unparalleled feeling.”

Other events that night included the fraternity and sorority organized, Step Show. Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity took first place in their competition among opposing fraternities and Zeta Phi Beta won among the sororities.

Written by Alex Berg, Staff writer.