Whether it was rallying around a bonfire, cheering on the Bearcat sports teams, pulling for their favorite soapbox racer, or just tailgating on the front lawn, Lander University students finished another annual Homecoming Week in high spirits and style.
Held Feb. 6-11, Homecoming Week gave all students a chance to get some relief from the intensity of study and classes by participating in more than 10 events across campus.
"Homecoming is kind of a getaway for me," said junior Berkley Casey. "So many of us are always involved with school work, and Homecoming gets people involved and brings out the school spirit in everyone."
That spirit was evident in many events, including a three-point shootout at Finis Horne Arena, the annual Lander King and Queen, and a medallion scavenger hunt that saw sorority group Phi Mu as the main winner for a second straight year.
"We captured three of five hidden Lander medallions, and the medallion search has become a new tradition for our chapter," said Brianna Schmieding, a member of Phi Mu. "It's so much fun being able to be kids again with our sisters, and we all value the events and view them as a great way to support Lander."
Other competitions and winners included:
The sorority Zeta Tau Alpha was also named as the best overall winner.
"Our Greek organizations tend to dominate Homecoming Week because they have the time, the numbers, and the unity for the competitions," said Jill Franklin, Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life. "But this year, six of our winners were non-Greek, which means more of the overall student body were involved in Homecoming."
Mike Rapay, Director of Student Activities and Engagement added that in the years to come, "I think there will be more things to add to our Homecoming tradition."
Sophomore Rebekah Pinkel said that if she could improve one tradition about Homecoming Week for next year, it would be to find a way to eliminate "the stress."
"It can be stressful at times getting ready for Homecoming Week and preparing for the activities," said Pinkel, who performed a dance number with other members of Phi Beta sorority during the annual Bearcat Showcase. "But in all the activities, I do like how everybody shows a lot of spirit."