Homecoming Week Cancelled the First Time Since World War II
Taken from University Media Relations report
Homecoming 2020 at Minnesota State University, Mankato has stepped from tradition and expanded the celebration to a “Spirit Month” running Sept 28 to Oct. 29.
Among activities is a planned “virtual sellout” of Blakeslee Stadium to mark school pride and Maverick spirit.
For the first time since World War II postponed the 1943 Homecoming, this year’s Homecoming Week activities set for Sept. 28 to Oct. 3 were canceled due to COVID-19. The cancellation includes such Homecoming Day activities as the President’s Pancake Breakfast, the Homecoming parade and the Homecoming football game.
President Richard Davenport said the University would celebrate the month with student activities scheduled throughout the month.
‘This year we encourage our students, alumni and employees to reach out to each other and celebrate our ‘Maverick spirit’ throughout the coming month. We want everyone to have fun, laugh and enjoy the planned activities while being safe.’PRESIDENT RICHARD DAVENPORT, Minnesota State Mankato
“Homecoming week, just like commencement, is a Minnesota State Mankato campus tradition that cannot be replaced,” said Davenport. “But we must continue to remain vigilant in doing everything possible to keep our students and campus community safe during the pandemic. We will certainly miss our traditional Homecoming week. But Homecoming is about far more than any particular event.
“It is really about school spirit, developing and renewing friendships and creating memories that will last a lifetime. This year we encourage our students, alumni and employees to reach out to each other and celebrate our ‘Maverick spirit’ throughout the coming month. We want everyone to have fun, laugh and enjoy the planned activities while being safe.”
Madeline Berndt, Student Events Team Homecoming chair, said “Masks On Horns Up” will be the timely theme for this year’s historic University celebration. She agreed that the spirit of Homecoming is the emphasis of the month’s activities.
“Our number one goal with Spirit Month is to maintain a sense of pride and community on our campus while being safe,” she said. “Whether people wish to attend virtually, or in person, we hope that all students are able to participate in what Spirit Month has to offer.”
University enforced COVID safety protocol will be applied during all in-person events.
“At all our events we enforce social distancing rules and require attendees to mask up to help keep our campus and our community safe,” she said.
Spirit Month activities for current students are being planned to ensure social distancing and safety. Some of the planned activities include an Oct. 1 free drive-through farmers market, an Oct. 6-7 sidewalk chalk drawing by a street artist, an Oct. 10 kickball tournament
“We also have a variety of virtual events, including some homecoming traditions such as Lip Sync and the Food Eating Contest that students will be able to watch live online from the comfort of their dorm, apartment, or even back home,” Berndt said.
A full list of student activities will be published here.
The University’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is holding a “virtual sellout of Blakeslee Stadium in honor of the Homecoming football game.” The virtual sellout event provides opportunities for fans and participants to purchase “virtual tickets” and be entered into drawings to win apparel gift certificates, tailgate spots for the 2021 football season and more.
More information on Spirit Month activities is available here.
Minnesota State Mankato’s Homecoming has been in existence since 1928, when the University was known as Mankato State Teachers College. The school’s first Homecoming included a pep rally, bonfire, a parade with 30 floats, and a football game against Rochester Junior College, which Mankato State Teachers College won by a 13-0 score. There was a dance held after the game in the library.
Homecoming week offers students and alumni a way to display their pride and school spirit. Homecoming also allows the greater Mankato community a chance to learn about the university and take part in the celebrations.