Alumna, student cherish family homecoming traditions

Allison Deily and her father, Chris, attend Baylor homecoming in 1985. The Deilys have attended Baylor homecoming since Allison was six- months old. Courtesy Photo

By Anna Flagg

Attending her first homecoming at only six-months old, Allison Deily, a 2006 Baylor alumna from Houston, has only missed two homecomings in her entire life. Quite like Allison, Boerne senior Martha Garrison first came to homecoming when she was three months old. Their stories are different, but both revolve around family and a tradition that has seemed to become almost second nature to them.

Allison’s parents, Chris and Diane Deily, graduated from Baylor in 1978 and 1979 respectively and began the tradition of taking their three children to Baylor homecoming each year. Even with one child at another school, the family still comes to the celebration together.

“It is wonderful to come back and connect with everyone that had been so special to us during those four years, and have even more fun with them as grown-ups,” Diane said. “Being with the people that meant so much to me at Baylor, it kind of feels like going home each year.”

Allison said she looked forward to the weekend of Baylor homecoming each year growing up,

“I always remember it being so much fun,” Allison said. “Our parents would pick my sisters and me up early from school so that we would be able to see all of the festivities. The atmosphere that was there was so contagious and exciting.”

When Allison realized she could see herself at Baylor, and it wasn’t just a great school for her parents but for her as well, she couldn’t wait to experience her first Baylor Homecoming as a student.

“My first homecoming was so surreal and such a neat feeling,” Allison said. “I was hosting my parents, when my parents had hosted me for so long,”

Since Allison graduated in 2006, she has come back every year, except last year, when she had her baby on the Sunday of homecoming. Allison and her husband, Cason, will bring their little girl, Madeleine, to Waco on Friday to experience her very first Baylor Homecoming and begin their own family tradition.

Garrison’s tradition started even earlier, with her grandmother, who attended Baylor in 1950.

Her parents met at Baylor as freshmen in 1981, and when Martha was born in 1990, she began to come with them to homecoming each year.

“I was the child that was always wearing the Baylor cheerleading outfit and a huge green and gold bow, making up cheers and dances for the Bears,” Garrison said.

Her favorite part of homecoming was sitting in Waco Hall to experience Pigskin Revue.

Garrison said she knew from an early age she wanted to be in the show.

While at Baylor, she has gotten to not only be a part of the show, but she will also lead her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, in Pigskin Revue this year.

Garrison said being at Baylor now is a completely different feeling than experiencing homecoming as an outsider.

“Baylor is now my own, and I have memories here and a tie to the traditions,” Garrison said.

“I lived through my parents’ stories for years and now I have so many of my own.”