The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Welcome back to the Boulevard

Welcome back to the Boulevard
PompingEllenSmithweb.jpg
Students pomp and build floats in preparation for this year’s Homecoming parade. The parade is set to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, before the football game at 2 p.m.


Homecoming is a time for the entire SMU community to get the chance to celebrate and remember the memories and opportunities provided by the university.

For college students, life is constantly filled with stress and obligation. Always rushing from class to class while trying to fit in time for homework and extracurricular activities. And let’s not forget about balancing a social life on top of it all. It’s easy to complain about the difficulty of having so much to do and hard to remember to appreciate and reflect on the opportunities students
are given.

“Homecoming gives alumni and current students a chance to rally behind their past and current organizations, and it is a time where we can all appreciate how lucky we are to go to a school like SMU,” said Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s homecoming candidate Tony LaRose (’14).

Even though time marches on, many of SMU’s homecoming traditions remain untouched. As 2013’s Homecoming weekend is upon us, Leslie Long Melson (’77), Alumni Board Chair, anticipates some of the same festivities she herself celebrated as a student.

“It was very similar,” remembers Melson, who was a member of Student Foundation as well as Kappa Alpha Theta. “Each organization would show support for its one member and there would be a campus vote and one winner and the queen would be crowned at the half time of the game. The students looked then very much like they do now, the girls would dress up. There would be after parties on campus or nearby on Greenville.”

As 2013 marks SMU’s Year of the Library, celebrating the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the 100th anniversary of SMU’s first library, it’s only fitting that Homecoming’s theme revolves around classic books and stories as SMU continues to write its own story.

From “Where’s Waldo” to “The Great Gatsby,” all campus organizations have been competing since Homecoming week kicked off Sunday. The games began at field day with Alpha Chi Omega and Lambda Chi Alpha taking first place. Following field day was the CANstruction competition, which was won by Delta Delta Delta and Kappa Alpha Order.

“The sisters of Tri Delta and the brothers of KA built a crocodile to tie in our theme of Peter Pan,” said Tri Delt’s homecoming candidate, Addison Fontein (’14). “Every organization made such elaborate designs, and it was wonderful seeing everyone’s creativity.”

CANstruction was a new event added to Homecoming this year, which combined friendly competition as well as community service.

“CANstruction was a great way to bring everyone together for an amazing cause,” Fontein said. “After volunteering at North Texas Food Bank many times, I know how much our efforts will help the Dallas community.”

While all Homecoming events are competitive, float building is the only one that keeps organizations working round the clock all week in order to finish by 2 a.m. Friday. The SMU community and alumni marvel at each organization’s hard work as they walk with their float in the Homecoming parade.

As students spend Thursday night pomping, the alumni celebrate those among them who have achieved greatness since graduating from SMU. The Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner, held in a big tent on the Quad, honored Joseph M. “Jody” Grant (’60), Jeanne Roach Johnson (’54), and Peggy Higgins Sewell ’(72).

This year, Brittany Merrill Underwood (’06) received the Emerging Leader Award, an award given to outstanding alums that have graduated within 10 years, for founding her own organization, the Ugandan American Partnership Organization, among other things.

“It’s the signature event that the alumni do and it recognizes the outstanding accomplishments and contributions of alumni of any age. It’s a pretty big who’s who that graduated from the Hilltop,” said Melson, who is presiding over this year’s DAA. “Underwood is a great gal. She’s only been out of school 10 years and she’s making a huge difference in third world countries.”

Distinguished alum William Joyce (’81) will host a special screening of his Academy Award-winning short film, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore,” as well as a book signing of his two latest books, “The Mischievians” and “The Sandman and the War of Dream,” in Centennial Hall at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Joyce has also been selected as the Parade Grand Marshall.

The fun marches on as the Mustang Band hosts a favorite SMU tradition Friday night, The Pigskin Revue. Held in McFarlin Auditorium at 8:15 p.m., the Revue is an SMU community favorite.

“Pigskin review is a huge tradition at SMU that goes back decades. I’m excited because it is a great way to kick-start the homecoming weekend,” Ashlyn Casto (’14) said.

“It gives the SMU community an opportunity to come together and show our school spirit by supporting our fellow students. The band is always fantastic and it is always fun to see different SMU talent.”

Saturday is the most anticipated day of Homecoming. In addition to the football game and the Boulevard, it is the Homecoming parade. At 11 a.m. Saturday the Parade Grand Marshall will lead the procession of SMU’s organizations and their floats down Hillcrest Road to Bishop Boulevard. With each float telling its own story, the parade is sure to look like a marching wonderland.

As the parade reaches its final destination, the official Homecoming Boulevard begins with the SMU v. Temple game at 2 p.m. Although SMU never has a problem getting people to boulevard, game attendance has room for improvement.

According to Melson, when she was at SMU, Ford Stadium had yet to be built so the Mustangs played at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park. Even though they had to travel by bus to get to the games, Melson said that there were more people at the Cotton Bowl than there are at Ford.

“I’m hopeful that the student body will see the fun of being at the games and stay through the games. We had to travel far but interestingly enough we had more students at the Cotton Bowl than there are at Ford Stadium,” said Melson.

“I think you all are turning the corner on how good it’s going to be. I’ll tell you what the difference maker will probably be – the new residential housing areas. I think that will build camaraderie and connection to the university stronger than you’ve seen before. The best is yet to come.”

SMU’s new Residential Commons and Faculty-in-Residence Program that debuts next year marks a new chapter for the university. Like Melson, many are hopeful that the new commons and program will continue to strengthen the quality of SMU.

Although it won’t be in full swing until next year, Jeff Grim, assistant director of academic initiatives in resident life, has already integrated the program into this year’s Homecoming boulevard.

“We are really excited to have a presence at the Boulevard on homecoming so we can share the exciting plans of the Residential Commons with current faculty, staff, and students along with community members and alumni,” Grim said. “I am positive alumni will find the transformation of the residential experience to be a positive movement for SMU as we continue to be a world-class university. The Boulevard is the place to reach all of SMU – so we are going to be there with Cane’s, student leaders and lots of information.”

Following the Boulevard is the All Greek Step Show in the Mack Ballroom of Umphrey Lee at 7 p.m. Admission is $5.

“This year will be my first time attending the step show,” Valerie Rhomberg (‘14) said. “I’m really excited because everyone who’s been [to it] or who’s in it always says its so much fun so it’s one of the things I’m really looking forward to this weekend.”

As the weekend draws to a close, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science invites the SMU community to come to SMU Day and receive discounted prices Sunday.

Although the Oct. 27 closes another homecoming weekend for SMU, the traditions and memories made remain in the community and will continue to carry the spirit of SMU through the rest of its story.

“I think Homecoming for SMU is a time for every part of the SMU community to come together and be reminded of the collective strength of SMU,” said Student Foundation President, Antonea Bastain (’13). “It’s a tradition that allows for students, faculty, staff, and alumni to remember what they love about SMU and how that has or hasn’t changed over time. Over the years, the longer you are a part of SMU, the more SMU is a part of you and Homecoming is an exciting way to celebrate that.”

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