Diverse activities draw crowds to Homecoming celebration

Finishing off with flames and floats, Lamar University’s 2016 Homecoming implemented many new concepts to be built upon in the future.

Terry Mena, dean of students, said he was impressed by the amount of support each Homecoming event received.

“I heard a lot of great feedback from students,” he said. “We had a lot of different things, and that was the goal that we started off (with) a year ago — to be able to provide a variety of different programs that’s going to be attractive to different walks of student life here.”

Brandie Van Zanden, interim associate director for student activities, said she is looking to see how next year’s Homecoming can grow. She said she wants the celebration to continue to reach past the student body.

“There’s certain events that we promote to the community,” she said. “The bonfire, the parade, the football game, of course, and tailgating.

“Homecoming, obviously is about the students and welcoming back alumni, but it’s also about getting the community to support Lamar, so we really encourage the community to come out to the bonfire, to the parade.”

homebonfire1-mbMena said by implementing new ideas, doorways to creativity open up.

“As you create these different types of events, you’re going to, hopefully, meet a need of the student body, because you just can’t do a ‘one fits all’ concept,” he said. “You’ve got to have different things, and I think we were really successful in achieving that.”

Van Zanden said that on surface-level, Homecoming is a time to celebrate one’s school, but it also goes further.

“Yes, you should have school spirit all of the time, but during Homecoming, you see students who maybe aren’t as involved come out to events because they want to be involved,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve graduated in the ’60s or the ’80s, you come back to celebrate your campus.

“So if we can instill that tradition and that spirit into Lamar students, that not only gets the students that are here excited — and feel that school spirit and that we’re all part of the LU family, but they see people who graduated 10-, 20-, 30-, 40-, 50-years ago are coming back to celebrate their school because they have that school spirit and they have that love for the university.

“To me, that just makes it worth everything.”

Trevier Gonzalez

UP Multimedia Editor

Learn more about Lamar University at lamar.edu

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