The year is 1922, and UW-Whitewater is celebrating the school’s first ever homecoming complete with everything one might associate with the yearly event – football, a parade and school spirit.
And though the basics of homecoming remain the same, nowadays, things are a little different than they were that first year, according to the 1922 Minieska, UW-Whitewater’s long-running yearbook.
The parade no longer includes cows and goats, and green is no longer mixed in with the crowd of purple and white at the Saturday afternoon football game and, according to Kim Clarksen, there’s more assistant director of Career and Leadership Development here at UW-Whitewater, the focus of the week is now a balance of organizational and individual ways to participate.
Still, despite quite a few changes, some parts of this first homecoming – like the button design – continue on today and keep the week long event tied to its roots.
According to Kim Adams, associate director of the University Center, maintaining and preserving these buttons is important to keep the story alive.
The button designs, displayed in Old Main Lane on the top floor of the University Center, feature the theme of each year and say a ton about that year’s event without actually ever saying anything at all.
“I think it tells a little bit of a story about what the theme was that year or who we were playing in football. It kind of shows trends in different football spirit and homecoming spirit,” said Adams. “I think without a lot of words, it tells a story through imagery.”
Many of the buttons in Old Main Lane are available for public viewing and preservation.
On top of preserving past artifacts safely in Old Main Lane, the basic idea of students, old and new, coming together to celebrate being a Warhawk and having that same school spirit and drive for tradition keeps the heartbeat of homecoming strong as well.
This sentiment is especially true for Clarksen who believes celebrating is essential to being a Warhawk.
“I would say that Homecoming has a tradition of bringing students, staff, alumni, and the community together to celebrate all-things Warhawk,” said Clarksen.
“It’s an opportunity for new members of our community to experience traditions and for many to return home as they come back to campus to celebrate their memories and meet old friends.”
During the 2019 homecoming, students are invited to get involved with any of the activities during the six day week and celebrate new and old traditions.
Katrina Granberg, a member of the Homecoming Steering Committee, there is no event that stands out from the rest.
She believes that they all fit right into the idea of Homecoming from both past and present.
“I think for me, I am especially excited to see everything that the students have to offer! I am always amazed by everything that they do and I cannot wait to be a part of that!,” said Granberg.
“I do not have a favorite event! I am so proud of my committee and the work that they do, that I can’t pick any one event!”