If the only time you’ve ever seen homecoming is on TV or in the movies, we’ve got news for you. In real life, things look a little different than on sitcoms like Saved by the Bell, where homecoming ended with Kelly and Zack being crowned homecoming king and queen.
At colleges in the U.S., homecoming usually centres on a sport (usually football) or cultural event and traditionally welcomes back alumni to campus for the big game. Friday Night Lights fans might remember generations of Dillon Panthers rolling back into town to celebrate state championships of years gone by.
Crowning a homecoming court is a thing of the past, but homecoming does have a very significant history here at UBC. In fact, it was during the 1948 homecoming football game that Chief William Scow of the Kwicksutaineuk people officially sanctioned Thunderbirds as the name for our sports teams and facilities on campus.
This year’s homecoming festivities lead up to the big football game on Saturday, September 12th against UBC’s archrivals, the University of Regina Rams. If you ask Greg Smith, an alumni from UBC Soccer, what homecoming is, he says it’s “the perfect opportunity for students, athletes and alumni to come together and support the university.”
Homecoming is a time to welcome everyone to campus, reconnect with new friends and classmates, start some new traditions, and really show our school spirit.
So get those spirit fingers ready, because here’s what’s in store at this year’s UBC Homecoming:
Get pumped at the pre-game pep rally and free BBQ outside the UBC Bookstore on September 10. Snag your ticket to the pre-game festival and the homecoming game and enjoy a hot dog with the football team.
On September 12, the day’s festivities kick off with the Great Thunderbird Trek. This is the perfect occasion to paint your face, sport your blue and gold gear and celebrate the success of the UBC Thunderbirds during the annual trek across campus to the football game at the stadium. Susan Thompson of women’s basketball says that the trek is one of the best parts of the whole year. “It’s unreal to see all the athletes come together with the rest of the campus on the Great Thunderbird Trek to the game.”
The trek leads right into the street party festival outside Thunderbird Stadium, a great spot reconnect with friends, make some new ones, and get ready for the game. We’ll have DJs spinning beats, so come out and enjoy some delicious food, fun activities, and get ready to cheer on your UBC Thunderbirds.
Finally, enjoy one of the biggest games of the year. Greg Bowcott, quarterback for the Football team, wants homecoming to be an event that celebrates a new era of UBC Thunderbirds football. “Our team is putting in the work and this game gives us a chance to play in front of the large homecoming crowd and show that football can be a large source of campus pride. “ With tickets starting at just $5.00, you don’t want to miss the chance to see your Thunderbirds claim their bragging rights to start the season.
Kat Davis, from the women’s field hockey team, looks at homecoming as a true celebration of what it means to be a UBC Thunderbird. “Whether you’re a football player, student-athlete, coach, support staff, alumni, or the amazing student supporters; homecoming brings us all together in an extremely fun place to celebrate each other and the amazing community that we are all a part of.”
Join in the fun on September 12! Cheer on your Thunderbirds and show your school pride.