BYU Homecoming, formally declared as Founders Day in 1891, is celebrating its 127th anniversary. Although times have changed since the late nineteenth century, a week of Cougar pride and celebration still remains. This year’s Homecoming week is Oct. 9–13.
Homecoming is a product of cooperation between multiple organizations including BYU Student Alumni and BYUSA. Each organization works together to organize the week-long celebrations.
Each year, BYU recognizes a founder or someone who helped establish the university in its early days, according to Logan Mann, the student leadership coordinator with Y Activities. Mann also defined a founder as someone who has left their mark on BYU by helping the university branch out in new directions.
Ray Beckham, this years founder, inspired the Homecoming theme “Be Inspired.” Beckham was chosen for his leadership and service to BYU and the community, Mann said.
Beckham served BYU as director of Public Services and Alumni director at BYU for over 42 years, according to BYU Magazine. Beckham also organized and raised funds for Aspen Grove, the Cougar Club, Education Week, BYU Evening School, the Travel Studies Department, the Marriott Center and the LaVell Edwards Stadium. He also made BYU the first university in the country to computerize alumni records, according to the BYU Homecoming website.
Homecoming will kick off with an Oct. 9 opening ceremony in the Marriott Center at 11:05 a.m. MST, followed by an island lunch in Brigham Square.
Mann also discussed some of the events happening on and off campus to encourage school spirit during homecoming week.
“Homecoming is kind of our jam,” Mann said. “Everyday Tuesday through Friday something from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in Brigham Square will be occurring including dance performances, an Honor Day with a variety of projects to perform quick service and more.”
The homecoming parade will also offer blueberry donuts instead of the traditional true blue pancakes due to health code concerns, Mann said.
“Due to some changes and application of county health code, there were new stipulations that wouldn’t make it feasible to continue with the pancakes, and it is now being replaced with blue donuts,” he said.
There will be four spots along the route to give out the blue frosted donuts.
Mimi Ross — the vice president over student honor — is currently organizing the Honor Adventure Race, which is based on activewear retailer Cotopaxi’s Questival, a 24-hour scavenger hunt.
“The Honor Adventure Race’s goal is to help celebrate and promote the Honor Code along with tying together the spirit of Homecoming,” Ross said.
Students will create teams of two and complete a list of challenges with different point values throughout the week. Students who are the most creative and get the most points will be able to win a grand prize of $300.
The BYU Student Alumni Association will be placing a greater emphasis on hiking and lighting the Y this year than ever before. New to Homecoming week will be the #ILightTheY service initiative.
“Students can follow service ideas suggested by Student Alumni to feel more connected to BYU, fellow students and share their contributions to the wonderful spirit of BYU through BYU Student Alumni’s Instagram and Facebook accounts,” Student Alumni Vice President of Publicity Patrick Bruce said.
“Great ideas include connecting with BYU Alumni for career advice and networking through connect.byu.edu, thanking a teacher or making a new friend in class,” Bruce said.
On Oct. 9, students, Cosmo and President Kevin J Worthen will join together to hike and light Y mountain. A free shuttle service from the Law School parking lot to the Y trailhead begins at 6 p.m. Hot chocolate and donuts will be provided after the hike, Bruce said.
Executive Director of Y Activities Glade Adams said students need to take the initiative to get involved with their friends to get the most out of BYU Homecoming.
“Go and bring your friends and get excited about it. If not, Homecoming week is going to come and go and you will be left saying, ‘Well I guess that was cool,’ but if you really get involved and participate it will be a lot of fun,” Adams said.
More information on BYU Homecoming — including a schedule of events — can be found on their website.