Eastern Kentucky University’s homecoming game and events have been pushed back to Oct. 24 due to a scheduling conflict with opponent team, Central Arkansas University. Because of the change in schedule for the football game, the decision was made by Alumni Engagement to also push back the other homecoming events.
“We wanted it all to happen in a week with a home football game,” said Dan McBride, associate vice president for development and alumni engagement.
While all signature homecoming events are still scheduled to happen, the majority of the events will be conducted virtually, including a virtual Colonel Corn Roast, Eastern’s Got Talent and a virtual Pub Crawl.
The homecoming parade will also still take place virtually over livestream. The football game itself will have limited capacity, with ticket sales prioritizing season ticket holders and students, as well as implementing socially distanced seating.
The crowning of the homecoming court will also take place virtually, with nominations and voting taking place through EKU Direct Oct. 19 - 20.
The Colonel Corn Roast will feature a virtual pumpkin decorating contest, with pumpkins and supplies available for pickup in the Powell Student Center on Oct. 20.
The annual homecoming 5K will also be held virtually, with participants individually registering online and participating in the race on their own time.
Homecoming events for alumni will also look a bit different this year due to social distancing guidelines. Though no in-person alumni events will be held on campus, many virtual and live streamed events are being held throughout the week of Oct. 24 for alumni.
“Though we are limited by what we can do in-person, virtual events allow us to reach a wider base of alumni than ever before,” said McBride.
The Alumni Center will be streaming films about EKU’s history and hosting trivia nights for alumni and students to participate in. A virtual homecoming will allow for those who were previously unable to participate in on-campus homecoming events to engage in the events virtually.
Students who are on campus this semester may feel less able to engage with homecoming events than they were able to in past years.
“I’m disappointed because I wanted to hang out with my friends at some of the things,” said Stephen Morrissey, a junior homeland security major from Florence, KY.
While many in-person events are not possible to have safely during a pandemic, many traditional homecoming events can be translated to a virtual format and still be held.
“The school needs to do what it needs to do to keep us safe and I do, for the most part, agree with them,” said Connor Mitchell, a junior history education major from Simpsonville, KY.
Though homecoming may look different during a pandemic, students and alumni can still participate in many of the time-honored traditions at EKU in a safe way.
“So much of the Eastern experience takes place outside of the classroom,” said Dan McBride.
For more information about homecoming events, see the Homecoming and Reunion Weekend page at alumni.eku.edu.