Blast from the past: Baylor mums are coming back home

Former Baylor student sports her vintage Baylor mum during homecoming festivities. (Lariat File Photo)
Former Baylor student sports her vintage Baylor mum during homecoming festivities. (Lariat File Photo)
By Adam Harris

Though the tradition of giving mums for homecoming has faded on college campuses, many recognize the custom from their high school years. The gift of this flower, decorated with elaborate ribbons, made a homecoming date official and used to be a big part of the university’s yearly celebration.

Until the ’90s, mums were given out to the homecoming court and were sold at the homecoming parade as well. This year, the senior class officers are bringing back the tradition to raise money for the class of 2014’s senior gift.

Cypress senior Julie James is the senior class secretary and treasurer and said the idea came from senior class president Haley Davis.

“She came up with it last year when she was with her mom at the homecoming game,” James said. “They were with her mom’s best friend and all three of them had mums.” James said the popularity around the mums gave Davis the idea to sell them for this year’s homecoming.

James, the, said the mums were a big hit, and alumni recognized them and wanted to know where to get them. James is one of the officers who will be selling the mums on Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Tommye Lou Davis, vice president for constituent engagement and Baylor alumna, said she thinks the fundraiser is a great way to bring about nostalgia surrounding the last homecoming in Floyd Casey Stadium.

“What the senior class is doing this year is kind of a throwback to the tradition,” Davis said. “This week, we’re honoring the decade of the 60s at Floyd Casey which is appropriate since mums were a big deal here back then.”

Davis said the mums were visible evidence of a special weekend.

Baylor’s homecoming, which will be recognized by the Smithsonian next year in a traveling exhibit, is a tradition that dates back to 1909.

Davis said she is excited for the last homecoming in Floyd Casey Stadium due to the energy surrounding the football team.

“In those years there was a lot of excitement about going to the football game,” Davis said. “In that way I think we’ve come full circle with excitement toward Baylor Football. When I was a student you didn’t want to miss a game and I think this generation is the same with their energy around the team.”

James said the senior class gift is a way for the class of 2014 to leave their legacy at Baylor. The senior class officers are using the mums’ sales as their first fundraiser for the year.

The senior class will vote on how to spend the funds raised by the officers. Recent gifts have come in the form of a brick in the new stadium or scholarship money for future students.

The mums were assembled by Wolfe Wholesale Florist, a local business, and will be in limited supply during their sales on Friday and Saturday.

They will be available for $20 at the class reunion buffet from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, at the Getterman Indoor Softball Facility.

They will also be on sale at a table between the Bill Daniel Student Center and the Carroll Science Building Saturday morning during the parade.