By Jennifer Smith | Reporter
Baylor homecoming has been a valued tradition for students and alumni since 1909. Homecoming festivities such as the bonfire, parade, football game and Pigskin Revue offer current and former Baylor bears a fun-filled weekend in Waco.
One of Baylor’s most lively traditions is Pigskin Revue. The performances will be at 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. in Waco Hall on Friday and at 2 p.m. on Saturday. It showcases the top eight All-Univeristy Sing acts from the previous spring semester performed by several Baylor sororities and fraternities.
This year’s featured acts are Kappa Omega Tau, which won first place in 2017 Sing, followed by the second-and third-place acts of Phi Kappa Chi and Chi Omega. Joining them will be the sisters of Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi, along with the only co-ed act to make it to Pigskin, consisting of sorority Alpha Chi Omega & Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.
San Antonio senior Erin McGrew, a Delta Delta Delta member, said her chapter has been very hands-on while preparing for Pigskin.
“When homecoming is near, we clean the routine, receive our costumes and learn how to do our hair and makeup for the performance,” McGrew said. “The Pigskin process is very involved, but it is also a great reward when it comes time to perform with all of your sisters in front of a crowd of friends and Baylor alumni.”
The hard work these organizations put in does not go unnoticed by students or alumni. Every year, hundreds of people fill Waco Hall to experience one of Baylor’s most coveted homecoming events.
“The best part of Baylor Homecoming is seeing all of our chapter’s hard work pay off,” McGrew said. “We work so hard preparing for homecoming by rehearsing for Pigskin and working on our homecoming float. It’s thrilling to see the finished products and knowing that the Baylor alumni can see all of our hard work.”
For McGrew, some of her best memories are from performing in All-University Sing and Pigskin. She said one memory that sticks out to her is performing in Pigskin for the first time; she performed the Delta Delta Delta act, “Over the Rainbow.”
“In high school, I never participated in theater or on the dance team. So performing in front of a crowd for the first time, with my sorority sisters, was my greatest memory in Pigskin,” McGrew said.
Among the annual Pigskin attendees is alumna Ashley O’Brien, who graduated from Baylor in 2013. O’Brien said she looks forward to Baylor homecoming all year.
“It’s wonderful to come back and see my friends who all live in different cities now. It’s also great to see the excitement of the alumni when they see how campus has changed and attending events like the football game and Pigskin,” O’Brien said.“You really don’t get many opportunities to get together with college friends once everyone moves and has jobs, so homecoming is a special time to reconnect.”
Festivities like Pigskin, the homecoming parade and bonfire give Baylor an extra element of community, but what brings most people back to Waco is the traditional homecoming football game. This homecoming, the Baylor Bears will be playing West Virginia at 7 p.m. Saturday in McLane Stadium.
Kingwood senior Jordan Feuerbacher, a tight end starter for the football team, said the homecoming game always has a special buzz around it and the players are excited to get out on the field this weekend.
“The locker room is always very intense and busy. Everyone is just trying to focus and get themselves ready to play,” Feuerbacher said.“But, Baylor has great homecoming traditions prior to the game, and those are always fun. This week the team gets to go to a pep rally, which always pumps us up.”
Before the football game commences, the Baylor homecoming parade will trail through the streets of downtown Waco and Fifth Street on campus. The parade, believed to be the largest in the nation, will start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in downtown Waco.
Large and detailed floats will highlight the parade, produced by several Baylor Greek organizations that are continuing the long-standing homecoming tradition. Each year the different chapters work on a semester-long construction project to build a float with a specific theme from scratch. After months of hard work is put into these floats, they are revealed on Saturday morning at the parade.
Austin senior Jennifer James is one of the head “Float Chairs” in her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. This year, the sorority is pairing with the fraternity Delta Tau Delta. James said she can’t wait to finally show people what they have dedicated so much time to.
“These past few days I haven’t gotten any sleep because I’ve either been working on or thinking about our float,” James said. “But it’s just so cool to see a final product come together. Being there from the sketches we made to finishing a massive float, it’s so cool to see. And, of course, I’m proud of my sisters and the men of Delt for making it all happen.”
Baylor Homecoming began Thursday, and it will conclude on Saturday with the football game. You can find the full homecoming schedule here.