Homecoming at Mercer University is one of the most exciting times of the year. Students stay on campus, push their homework aside and fully get into the spirit of cheering on the basketball teams to victory.
During this time of year, spirit and pride reaches a visible high. Homecoming 2011, welcomed back thousands of Mercerians to campus to celebrate with the current students in a two-day series of spirited events. Part of the tradition of Homecoming is the annual Bonfire and Pep Rally to get everyone pumped up for the men’s game on the following afternoon.
After breaking a student attendance record at the women’s basketball homecoming game against Auburn, hundreds of students gathered outside on Bear Hill to enjoy the rest of the night’s festivities. The event kicked off with a student skit competition centered around this year’s Homecoming theme: “I Love the 90s;” celebrating the best of the 90s from the student’s perspective.
The skit competition, won by Alpha Tau Omega and Phi Mu, was followed by the introduction of the Homecoming Court, the ceremonial bonfire lighting by President William D. Underwood, a performance by the Mercer Pep Band, Cheerleaders and dance team.
A pep talk by men’s basketball Head Coach, Bob Hoffman, to fire up the crowd. Hoffman got everyone excited for the men’s homecoming game against Emory University on Saturday afternoon. The night’s events concluded with a traditional fireworks display.
The overall opinion of the event was that it was a huge success. Amanda Epperson, a junior Spanish major, said the pep rally “was super cold, but fun.”
Her friend Crissy Dyson, a junior middle grades education major said, “As always, the bonfire and Fireworks were spectacular. And even though they got a little redundant, the skits were really fun to watch.”
Dyson, as well as a few others agreed that “the setup of the stage was not very well thought out because the viewing area was on a hill.” A lot of people couldn’t see because the people in front were higher up blocking the view of the stage from the people in the back.
Shelby Brigman, a junior biology major, suggested that the skit competition be held in Willingham like it was a few years ago.
Despite being unable to see the entire time, Brigman said, “It was way too cold...but other than that, it was awesome. It’s a great way to raise Mercer Spirit.”
Holly Burrell, a junior chemistry major, absolutely loved being at the bonfire and watching the skit competition.
“It was great to see so many people out there supporting both the Men’s basketball team and the groups who worked hard to put together a skit for us to enjoy,” she said.
Lyndsey Autrey, a sophomore math major, also thoroughly enjoyed herself.
She said, “It is the first time I have really seen a large portion of our school filled with school spirit and supporting each other. It definitely made me proud to be a Mercer Bear!”
Students enjoy traditional Homecoming events