Underclassmen, transfer students to experience their first homecoming week

Last year's modified homecoming celebration included a socially distanced pep rally with required masks and no access to the stands. Anna Prendi | Photographer

By Ana Ruiz Brictson | Staff Writer

After a year of limited homecoming festivities, the tradition is back in full swing. This will be the first time many freshmen, sophomores and transfer students get to see Baylor crowded with students and alumni alike celebrating the university’s age-old tradition.

From Oct. 11 to Oct. 17, Baylor will be hosting its annual homecoming week at full capacity, welcoming families and alumni to campus to celebrate Baylor pride.

According to the Baylor Homecoming website, the university has organized 15 main events. Attendees can expect something different every day. Compared to last year, it is a big change for students who just joined the Baylor community; both the class of ’24 and transfer students did not get the opportunity to experience a traditional homecoming event.

The Woodlands senior Madison Manherz was able to experience two homecoming events during her freshman and sophomore years. She said she has a lot of school pride and would wake up at 6 a.m. to get the best spot to view the homecoming parade.

“I remember trying to get a spot because it happens in the middle of Fountain Mall, and people were starting to get there so early to try to get a good spot, but at the end of the day, it didn’t really matter where you were standing because the fire was so massive,” Manherz said.

One of the things Manherz enjoyed from homecoming was being surrounded by many people, and she said there was always really great energy from everyone at every event.

“A lot of people who haven’t experienced it on a normal year should go,” Manherz said. “I feel like it’s going to be semi-normal this year, but we just haven’t had a normal homecoming in a couple of years.”

Homecoming also gives students the opportunity to interact with alumni who graduated from the same departments. According to the schedule, there are events on Friday and Saturday for students of many majors to meet with their respective alumni. This is an opportunity to ask questions and make connections.

Houston freshman Emma Jessen said she is excited for Pigskin Revue and the bonfire.

“I’m super excited for homecoming,” Jessen said. “As a nursing major, I only get to be in Waco for two years, so I want to make the best of it while I’m here.”

This year’s homecoming will give freshmen, sophomores and transfer students the opportunity to experience one of the biggest and oldest traditions Baylor has. After not being able to have a full experience last year, they can finally enjoy a tradition that will allow many to feel like they are part of the Baylor community.