Homecoming parade

October 10, 2019

SIU Homecoming 2019 celebrates 150 years of Saluki pride

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — It’s time for Homecoming 2019 – Saluki style – at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. As the university marks its 150th anniversary, the theme of this year’s Oct. 14-19 fête is “One Team, Saluki Dream: Celebrating 150 Years Strong.”

Getting in the spirit

Campus is already taking on a new look in preparation for the big homecoming week. A door decorating contest is underway and there’s a challenge on, in hopes that students, faculty and staff can get 150 doors throughout campus decked out for the occasion.

In addition, anyone can purchase a commemorative homecoming ID, which serves as a fun keepsake and gives access to a wide variety of discounts on campus and in the Carbondale area on homecoming weekend. You can purchase the ID, which comes with a 150th lanyard and clear plastic case so it can be worn around your neck, for $20. Five dollars of the cost goes to help future Salukis through the B.E.E.R. Scholarship.

Order commemorative IDs online in advance until 11:59 p.m. Sunday and submit your own photo – current or retro. Or, you can buy an ID in person, with a new photo taken at the time, at the Student Center ID Office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Oct. 14-18. Pickup locations and times are posted on the homecoming website.

Starting things off right

The festivities officially kick off at 11 a.m. on Oct. 14. Everyone is welcome to come to Faner Plaza to join in the fun. Chancellor John M. Dunn and Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry will proclaim the start of homecoming and there will be confetti cannons, refreshments and much more happening. The event also features appearances by Saluki football coach Nick Hill, the cheerleaders and Grey Dawg

Party on the block

The big 150th Block Party is set for 5-8 p.m. on Oct. 17 on Lincoln Drive in front of Pulliam Hall. Alumni and community members are invited to join SIU students and the campus family for games and activities, novelties, DJ Juan G and more. Be sure and check out the fun photo booth as well.

Various food trucks will be on site and students will be able to claim free items. The Alumni Association also will be participating in the party. Sunset Concert rules will apply; no underage drinking, pets, solicitation or smoking allowed.

Pep Rally

A good old-fashioned pep rally is on tap for 11 a.m., Oct. 18, on Faner Plaza. Coach Hill and Athletic Director Liz Jarnigan, along with representatives of the Alumni Association and the SIU Foundation, will be contributing to the merriment.

Much more happening

That’s just some of the festivities. There is much more SIU and Saluki fans can experience throughout the week. Other events include:

  • There’s still time to book a stay on-campus at University Hall. Online registration is available until 7 a.m. on Oct. 16
  • Homecoming royalty voting is 14-17.
  • Students will participate in a volleyball tournament at Campus Lake on Tuesday.
  • The American Red Cross is hosting a blood drive from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Student Center.
  • The Homecoming Comedy Show, featuring Correy Bell and Felonious Monk, is in the Student Center Ballrooms at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Admission is free and the public is invited to the SPC Comedy presentation.
  • SIU Press is hosting a Homecoming Book Sale from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 17-18 at 1915 University Press Drive, located behind the McLafferty Annex.
  • The annual Alpha Phi Alpha Step Show, an entertaining showcase of campus Greek talent, is at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 at Shryock Auditorium. Tickets are available online for $10.

The big day

All of the activities lead up to the big day – Saturday, Oct. 19. The homecoming parade through downtown Carbondale kicks off at 10 a.m.  with John Jackson, visiting professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, political science professor emeritus and editor of “Southern Illinois University at 150 Years: Growth, Accomplishments and Challenges,” as the grand marshal. Jackson has been an integral part of SIU since 1969, coming to campus as a political science instructor and serving in a number of roles through the years, including vice chancellor for academic affairs, provost, and from 1999 to 2001 as interim chancellor.

Other special guests in the parade include the Southern Illinois Spirit Squad, the 2019 Saluki Hall of Fame inductees and DeAnna Price, an SIU alumna, Olympic medalist and recently the first American woman to win gold in the hammer throw at the World Championships.

The Spirit Squad is comprised of outstanding high school students from throughout the region. The eight-person Saluki Hall of Fame athlete inductee group include: Jake Alley (baseball), Karlton Carpenter (football), Craig Coffin (football), Deke Edwards (wrestling), Kelly Gerlach Hovland (women’s golf), Deb Heyne Gross (volleyball), Tim Kratochvil (baseball) and Chris Lowery (men’s basketball.)

Tailgating follows on Saluki Row prior to the 2 p.m. football game when the Salukis host Youngstown State. The homecoming court will be recognized at halftime.

There’s more to come

The fun continues after the game with the grand opening of the new Alumni Center on C-Wing of Woody Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. Visitors can tour the new facility and enjoy refreshments, live music and giveaways.

The SIU Alumni Association is hosting numerous special activities throughout the week, including several different reunions and the groundbreaking for Saluki Alumni Plaza. The groundbreaking is set for 11 a.m., Oct. 17, on the lawn between Woody and Pulliam Halls.

More information about all of the Alumni Association homecoming activities is available online.

For additional information

The complete schedule of events and additional details about everything related to Homecoming 2019 can be found online at homecoming.siu.edu.