Who cares if it’s October? Ferris State University is throwing a “Bulldog Beach Bash” to celebrate Homecoming 2013.
The university will marks its annual tradition of bringing students, alumni, faculty, staff and community residents together for a full slate of school-spirit-boosting events that begin Sunday, Sept. 29 and wrap up Saturday, Oct. 5.
“Homecoming is early this year, so we wanted to carry that warm feeling into fall,” said Jeremy Mishler, director of Alumni Relations and Advancement Operations. “Homecoming is one of our longest-standing traditions and a wonderful opportunity for our alumni to return to Big Rapids to celebrate the continued growth and success of their alma mater with today’s students and the greater campus and Big Rapids communities.”
The “Beach Bash” kicks off Sunday, Sept. 29 with the Bed Sheet Banner Contest. Registered student organizations and residence hall groups create banners made from twin-sized bed sheets that reflect the “Bulldog Beach Bash” theme. The banners will be displayed in the University Recreation Center.
On Monday Sept. 30, students will compete in the popular lip sync contest at 7 p.m. in Williams Auditorium. Friendly competitions continue at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1 with a kickball tournament at Top Taggart Field.
The traditional homecoming bonfire at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 is expected to draw hundreds of students to Lot 61 by Brophy/McNerney residence halls. The event will include music by DJ Jose, a karaoke competition, free cookies and hot chocolate, BCG step performances, games and a bonfire hosted by the Veterans Association.
The Homecoming Comedian Show at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 in Williams Auditorium will feature performances by Gina Brillon and Vladimir Caamano, regulars on the New York comedy circuit. The evening will be hosted by Derek Hughes. The event is free; parental discretion is advised.
The celebration culminates on Saturday, Oct. 5 beginning with the homecoming parade at noon in downtown Big Rapids featuring grand marshals Brian and Carlleen Rose. Following the parade, the Bulldogs will take on the Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals at 2 p.m. at Top Taggart Field, where the crowning of the King and Queen will take place at halftime.
Lot 37, immediately west of Top Taggart Field, will open at 10 a.m. and tailgating festivities will begin at 11 a.m. Several colleges and alumni groups have planned tailgates, and the Alumni Association will be hosting a Welcome Tent with food and activities, including a beach with sand toys.
“Homecoming is an important event for alumni, because it gives them the opportunity to reunite with many of their former classmates and professors, and to reignite the pride and enthusiastic spirit associated with being on campus and among our students,” Mishler said. “It also gives them the opportunity to be a part of the progress and success of their alma mater first-hand.”
Alumni who stop by the Welcome Tent will be able to pick up a commemorative brick from Carlisle or Masselink residence halls. About 1,000 bricks were saved from each hall before their demolition last summer as part of the university’s $33.9 million University Center project.
To reserve a brick, email Mary Kay MacIver at email@example.com or call (231) 591-2345 or (888) 378-3647.
“This is an opportunity for alumni to have a commemorative piece of Ferris history that was an important part of their campus life when they were here,” Mishler said.
For additional information on homecoming week events, which also includes a 5K run and the 40th anniversary reunion of the university’s Criminal Justice program, visithttp://www.ferris.edu/alumni/Homecoming/