October 05, 2015

‘Respect the Royalty’ is Homecoming theme

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Tradition, memories old and new and good times for all will intertwine at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Homecoming 2015 festivities Oct. 19-24. 

It’s time to “Respect the Royalty” during a week featuring shows, a parade, movies, a pageant, reunions, tailgating, and of course, football. New for Homecoming 2015 is the Spirit Contest. In order to encourage student organizations to be a part of the homecoming happenings, organizations will earn points for participating in events throughout the week and the group with the most points at week’s end will receive $400 and a trophy during the homecoming football game half-time. 

Homecoming festivities begin with a kick-off event for SIU students, faculty and staff from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 19 at the north entrance of the Student Center. There will be free food, prizes and giveaways. A Lip Sync Battle in Shryock Auditorium begins at 7 p.m. 

The “Salukis Got Talent” show is at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 in the Student Center Auditorium. Students will display their talents and admission is free with canned goods accepted to benefit the campus food pantry. 

The “Girl Code/Guy Code Comedy Show” is at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 in the Student Center’s Ballroom D.  The free show features Jamie Lee and Byron Bowers, stars of the popular MTV show by the same name. Their performance at SIU is open to the public but it’s for mature audiences only. 

Activities move into high gear on Oct. 23. The Respect the Royalty Pep Rally is at 4:30 p.m. on the Old Main lawn, near Davies Gymnasium, with free food, music and Homecoming T-shirts for students. The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Homecoming Step Show, a longstanding homecoming tradition, takes place at 6:34 p.m. at Shyrock Auditorium and there’s Saluki volleyball against Drake University at 7 p.m. in Davies Gym. 

The homecoming parade starts at 11 a.m. on Oct. 24 in downtown Carbondale. Gilbert Kroening, alumnus and longtime faculty member and agriculture dean at SIU, is this year’s grand marshal. The College of Agricultural Sciences celebrates its 60th birthday this year. Kroening was a freshman studying animal industries in the School of Agriculture in 1955, the same year the Illinois General Assembly authorized the university to award degrees in agriculture. Kroening worked at the University Farms as an undergraduate and after completing his bachelor’s degree in 1959, went on to earn his master’s degree at SIU as well. 

After earning his doctoral degree at Cornell University, Kroening returned to SIU as a faculty member. He became associate dean before serving 12 years as dean. He also served as director of International Agricultural Programs at the university and in conjunction with that position, lived in Pakistan with his wife for a time. He rounded out his career at SIU as chair of the Department of Animal Science, Food and Nutrition. While in Carbondale, he was also involved with community and church organizations and activities. 

Join in the tailgating action beginning at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 24 on Saluki Row, near Saluki Stadium. A new pre-game event will take place from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. south of the SIU Arena grand staircase courtesy of the Saluki men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The homecoming football game kicks off at 6 p.m. with the Salukis taking on Youngstown State. The homecoming court coronation, award for best student float and presentation of the inaugural Homecoming Spirit Contest award will all take place at halftime. 

Find the complete schedule of events and additional information at www.homecoming.siu.edu