HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Marshall University says this year’s homecoming is returning to in-person events.
Homecoming is set for next week, the week of Oct. 4 with a theme of “Back and Better Than Ever.” University officials say the theme highlights the return to bringing alumni, students, family and the community together in person after many events were forced to go virtual last year due to the pandemic.
“We are so excited to once again be able to gather together on our beautiful campus to celebrate Homecoming as a family,” said Matt Hayes, executive director of alumni relations. “The past year has been a difficult one for all of us. Lockdowns and virtual gatherings have seemingly become the norm and many in the Marshall community, like those around the world, have been left pining for that warm glow of our campus home. This year, we are looking forward to reuniting with that Marshall spirit and remembering why the university is such a special place in the hearts of so many.”
University officials say homecoming activities will kick off at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9 with the Unity Walk, which celebrates “unity, inclusion and oneness with music, fellowship and fun” and is open to the community. The walk starts at the Marshall Rec Center and ends at the Memorial Student Center Plaza. During the event, the homecoming court will be announced.
According to university officials, masks are required at the event regardless of vaccination status due to COVID-19 concerns related to large gatherings
“We are very excited for these events, especially for the benefit of our students,” said Matt James, assistant dean of student affairs. “Homecoming is a special time on campus when students have the opportunity to truly feel connected and gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a part of the Marshall Family.”
The university’s homecoming parade is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7 down Fourth Avenue at 10th Street and travel to Hall Greer Boulevard up 5th Avenue to 17th Street at Harless Dining Hall. The parade will also be live-streamed on Marshall’s Facebook page.
The parade’s Grand Marshals will be honoring the 1971 Young Thundering Herd football team, celebrating the team’s 50th anniversary of the team made mostly of freshmen and walk-ons who took the field for a return of Marshall’s football program following the devastating plane crash that took the lives of the 75 people aboard, including Marshall football players, coaches, community members and the flight crew, on November 14, 1970.
The Thundering Herd will take on Old Dominion at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9 with the Homecoming Court crowned during halftime.
At 2 p.m., the Thundering Herd takes on the Old Dominion Monarchs at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. During halftime, the Homecoming Court will be crowned on the field.
For a full list of homecoming events, visit the Marshall University Alumni Association’s website.