Every year the Student Activities Union (SAU) puts hours of hard work into preparing for homecoming, and Walker, along with thousands of other high schools nationwide, celebrates it for an entire week. Homecoming is something the students take for granted, but why is it really celebrated? Where did homecoming come from, and how has it changed throughout the years?
Homecoming, quite simply, is the tradition of coming home. The homecoming celebration marks the event of alumni coming home to their former school. Homecoming started as a promotional event to increase attendance at university football games, and the many alumni who attended were celebrated with parades and festivities as the focus of this event. The University of Missouri is credited with the first major homecoming celebration, back in 1911, and it was such an enormous success that it became a tradition in many universities, and soon spread to high schools as well.
Next on the list, how has homecoming changed since it started? The primary change is that the focus has shifted to the current students, rather than the people who are actually “coming home,” so to speak. The dance, homecoming court, spirit week, and the class competition are all activities focused around the current students, not the alumni. However, this is not to say no alumni attend. According to Alumni Relations Director Shelly Manuel, “Last year we had almost 200 alumni and guests attend the homecoming tailgate,” so alumni attendance is still strong. These alumni participate in the tailgate and watch the game, according to Alumna and Faculty member Anna Kennedy (‘02), and Walker faculty member and alumnus Michael Arjona (‘97), has confirmed this and says that some are even able to attend the pep rally, especially those who are now Walker faculty.
Although homecoming has shifted some from its original form in 1911, it is still a central part of our year at Walker, and is always an event to look forward to for students, alumni, and teachers alike.
http://www.yorknewstimes.com/editorial/vincent-s-views/article_d2e5a147-af4b-5b08-aae7-84744e299c28.html for more information about homecoming.