Homecoming traditions passed down in family genes

By Camille Cox | Staff Writer

Since 1909, Baylor Homecoming has brought the Baylor family of the past, present and future together for a weekend full of traditions.

Flower Mound sophomore Lauren Leath said her parents, Blake and Dawn Leath, graduated from Baylor in 1992 and have gone as a family to homecoming over the years.

“I’ve been to homecoming four or five times; I don’t remember the youngest times, but I have so many pictures of my dad and I at the bonfire,” Lauren Leath said. “We would always watch the homecoming parade, and they would provide food and hot chocolate, so we would get up super early on Saturday mornings for that and then go to the game.”

Lauren Leath said she grew up immersed in homecoming traditions, including the bonfire, Pigskin Revue, the parade and the football game. Now, she is experiencing those traditions as a student.

“I remember when I was growing up and coming to homecoming, I looked up to all the students so much, and it was so cool to think at the time that my parents did all of this too,” Lauren Leath said. “I talk to them about floats and pomping, and my mom said that that’s exactly like what she did.”

Dawn Leath said she feels it has come full circle now that she sees her daughter participating in the very traditions she did when she attended Baylor.

“Part of it has been a little bittersweet with COVID-19 because this feels like her freshman year would’ve been,” Dawn Leath said. “It’s been even more meaningful as a parent because as a kid, we were there as students and just going to school, but as a parent, you see that they take such great care of our kids.”

Dallas sophomore McKay Harman said he had a similar familial experience growing up and is now a fifth-generation Bear.

“I have been going to every single home game since 2011 when RG3 was here, and he was literally my idol when I was little,” Harman said.

Harman said Baylor Homecoming was a time for his extended family to reconnect and watch the traditions and game together.

“Homecoming was always a time that my whole extended family would come to the game, and we’d go to the homecoming parade together,” Harman said. “Homecoming was a family reconnection between long lost relatives that I don’t see that often.”

Southlake sophomore Hannah Holmes said it feels special to be able to experience the same traditions that her mom, Kari Holmes, class of 1993, and her older cousins did when they attended Baylor.

“I always came to homecoming things growing up, specifically Pigskin with my family, which was really fun because my cousins are seven years older than me, so seeing them perform was always special,” Holmes said.

According to Baylor’s website, Pigskin Revue “provides a showcase of winning acts from the previous year’s All-University Sing competition.”

While the 2020 Pigskin Revue was held virtually, this year, the event will take place in person in Waco Hall.

“I’m really excited to participate in Pigskin because I always saw my cousins do it, so it was something I always saw as a big deal,” Holmes said. “I know there will be young kids in the audience watching us, just like I did growing up.”

While hundreds of alumni flock to Waco for Homecoming weekend, students can choose to participate in various traditions, including the parade held at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Various student organizations can choose to make a float and walk the path from downtown Waco to campus, celebrating the rich community the school holds.

“I’m part of the Dr Pepper Hour Club because I went to enough Dr Pepper Hours last semester, so everybody in the club gets the opportunity to be in the homecoming parade,” Harman said. “Kind of watching from the sidelines as I grew up, knowing I would go to Baylor, and now that I’m actually in it, it’s a different experience.”