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Riots as a tradition[edit]

"Riots" should really be in some other section of the article. By putting it under "traditions" it sounds like riots are an acceptable thing to do. Also it says "schools usually denounce these activities" but has anyone ever heard of a school who's officials encourage vandalism?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:26, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Purpose of Homecoming[edit]

CAN WE THINK OF ANYTHING ELSE OTHER THAN PARADES?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:48, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

"Its purpose is to welcome back former residents and alumni" - maybe that was the original purpose and maybe some schools still follow that tradition, but my high school (and I'm guessing most high schools) celebrate homecoming without actually welcoming back alumni. I'm not certain though so I don't want to make any changes. Oct. 5, 2006

No, yeah, that's true at my school too... it probably just varies. But it WAS the original purpose... hence name, 'homecoming'! Oct. 20, 2006

I have never heard of alumni being involved in homecoming. I really had no idea that was part of the original purpose. It would be nice if the article more accurately reflected current customs. Lagringa (talk) 18:20, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, technically, homecoming is supposed to be about alums coming back. However, considering that alums may haves moved away, and (particularly for high school) no longer care, many alums just don't bother. I've been to the grand total of one homecoming game at my college, and absolutely none for my HS, because I didn't have the time or money to attend more.Wschart (talk) 00:40, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Missing Info[edit]

When does homecoming occur? Is this an annual event? Does it happen at a particular time of year? User:Ianeiloart

Usually, a high school or college homecoming celebration will take place in the fall (late September or anytime in October), and is centered around football.

However, many smaller schools that do not field a football team may have their homecoming during the winter (with a basketball game as the centerpiece event). In other communities that do not have athleteic programs, homecoming often amounts to an alumni banquet or other similar event.

So what is this tradition about? Where did it originate? When did it originate? What should is symbolize? What/who is honoured? What should it express? Where does the name come from? The article is all about WHAT is happening, but not at all WHY this is happening. 18:26, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

A time to get out of class

History of Homecoming[edit]

To User: – Perhaps these missing details – such as the origin of homecoming, etc. – is something you can supply. After all, Wikipedia is "the encyclopedia anyone can edit." If you believe an article is lacking in any way, it should be up to you (or someone else who shares the same opinion) to fix it. That said, I sincerely hope this article does not become an analytical article with details nobody cares about. If you're going to add information you suggest, I'd highly recommend following the KISS principle – "Keep It Simple ..." (you fill in the rest). [[Briguy52748 17:44, 26 October 2005 (UTC)]]

Update – I guess some bright fella already added info about the history of homecoming celebrations. Thanks to whomever, and yes, you did keep it simple! :-) [[Briguy52748 01:41, 27 October 2005 (UTC)]]
I don't think it's possible to pin down an exact history without an in depth study of the subject. University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) claims to have started the homecoming tradition, but I've heard other schools make that claim as well. I believe Northern Illinois University is one of those schools, but I could be mistaken. My guess would be that several schools independently started a homecoming like event, and eventually the traditions merged into one common celebration. That said, this is just a guess, I haven't done any sort of research into this, so I could be wrong. 20:13, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
As recognized by the NCAA, University of Missouri held the first homecoming in 1911. This occured when the football coach asked alumni to come back to support the team in the rivalry game against the The University of Kansas. Several sources for this are:

Grey Wanderer 22:37, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

I could not find mention of the NCAA recognizing Missouri as the first in your links. Many schools lay claim to the first homecoming as is noted in the source cited in the article [link], illustrating that first depends on your definition of first. Technically Baylor's first "Home-Coming" was held in 1909 with the professors inviting the alumni to return to "renew former associations and friendships, and catch the Baylor spirit again." It wasn't made annual until 1915, but the annual celebration was suspended some years because of WWI and WWII. [The School's Website]

My apologies, I've now got a source for that. It is in the references section, but I'll put it here as well: [3]. Grey Wanderer | Talk 08:06, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I may not be the best person to make this argument because I have a bias towards the University of Missouri, but here goes nothing: this page defines homecoming as an annual tradition, and in that light the Illinois and Baylor claims don't make much sense, it was five years before between their first and second 'homecoming' games. It is impossible to tell who used the word 'homecoming' to first describe the annual alumni games that have been going on in the US since before any of the three claimants existed. Anyways it would be good to have organizations and sources that aren't affiliate with the university in question and recognize it's claim. Sorry if i came across harshly. Comments welcome. Grey Wanderer | Talk 00:47, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I find the article compiled by the archivists at the University of Illinois to be quite compelling in terms of defining the origins of homecoming. While it may be fair to state that Missouri has held the most consecutive annual homecoming events, it is not clear to me that this adequately describes the origins of university homecoming events. It seems to me that the homecoming phenomenon sprang up in several places around the country in varying guises at or around a similar time frame. It is not surprising that the form and function and frequency of homecoming varied in the early years. Specific elements of this history that strike me are the idea that it is an event around a central event and several schools have had such events pre-dating Baylor, Illinois, Missouri and the lot. Further, at least one school actually called their pre-1911 event Home-coming and it was an event that fits the rest of the definition very well other than not being annual. There are sources that lead you to believe that the school (Baylor) contemplated making it a recurring event in the future. And it did lead eventually to an annual event. Personally, I started off wanting to say Baylor held the first homecoming, but after doing some research I think the whole story of the various schools starting up similar, but somewhat varied events to be more interesting and useful to potential researchers and readers than the simple point of pride that we have now or might have with a simple revision to one of the other schools. I suggest that we add a section on the history of homecoming that describes a more diverse origin for homecoming that includes and cites the information in this University of Illinois archivists' statement and other info that we can find. As a final point, I believe that the article from University of Illinois is effectively more neutral than anything else I've seen regardless of the connection to the university. While the NCAA and Jeopardy may report something specific, I think that is too simplistic, and those sources do not impress me much as definitive sources. The line we have today strikes me more as a marketing claim than a point of fact. I don't know that the NCAA has a big research staff out verifying these kinds of things. In the end, the information on this subject is going to be found in university archives and libraries, which is what we have from the University of Illinois paper.IBqwerty 05:19, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree that homecoming was a movement rather than created at one university. I have no problems with you listing Baylor's and Illinois' claims, in fact we most certainly should. My earlier revert was simply because of sentence structure that seemed to have an agenda and the presence of a photo from one of our three contenders. Like I said, I may have a bias just because of my location, sorry if thats true. I'll make an edit and you can tell me what you think. Thanks Grey Wanderer | Talk 05:36, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Actually the photo was already there when I found the article. There was a caption in the photo and I knew where there was a reference (maybe not a great reference).... and the tag at the top of the article said we needed more citations/references. At this point I don't much like the short simple approach of adding the Illinois and Baylor claims. I am more inclined to try to write a new section that tells a more complete story of the history of the development of homecoming (and homecoming-like) events in a number of places. IBqwerty 05:51, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I've written a history section from what was in the intro already. Feel free to add to it, though I would recommend against removing the most traditional first-homecoming-schools (Missouri, Baylor, and Illinois) because they are widely known as such. I tried to add a little bit about how the homecoming we know today is likely a mesh of traditions from across the nation using the Illinois and Missourian sources. Grey Wanderer | Talk 06:01, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I know you admitted you have a pro-Missouri bias Grey, but how could you doubt the veracity of the sources I provided when they are equal to or more trustworthy than the ones on the site (local paper and university hosted sites)? It's logically inconsistent. The Bentley source isn't just an article but appears to be an actual archive from a respected library ( The other source is a fairly widely distributed/published book. The paper article cited is from some local paper with, by all indications, a circulation of only 5000-6000 people! Perhaps the reporter didn't check their facts, as nothing is available on the NCAA's website. In any case, the Michigan claim is almost certainly better documented than any of the others. As a compromise, I'll soften up the language of the Michigan claim, but there exists no rational basis under which one can claim that Michigan's claim doesn't belong while all three others do.

Please read this and this this might help to clear up some of your questions. Grey Wanderer | Talk 13:08, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Other Members of the Court[edit]

The article as stands mentions other members of the court, such as dukes and duchesses, princes and princesses, but what are the escorts of the queen called? (escorts, maybe?) And what started the election of King/Queen? What is the history behind that?

OK, why the move[edit]

OK, why should this page be moved to "Homecoming"? [[Briguy52748 14:05, 22 December 2005 (UTC)]]

Support move Homecoming already redirects to Homecoming (tradition). Since the disambiguation page is linked to from the article, the redirect is redundant and this page should be moved to replace the redirect. This move will require administrator assistance. --Lox (t,c) 22:18, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Moved. —Nightstallion (?) 07:56, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Referencing Stephen King's Carrie[edit]

This may seem like a minor nitpick but the book/movie Carrie is used as an example for the negative aspects of Homecoming. Except Carrie centers around the high school prom not homecoming. Can anyone correct that. Sorry if I seem nitpicky. LadyJ3000 12:26am 14 February 2007


This article redirects from homecoming queen but doesn't explain the concept. For me as a foreigner who never has been to the US and knows the word only from the refrain of a song, a lapidary sentence mentioning a coronation of queen and king does not suffice to explain it. What is a homecoming queen? I.e. who elects, by what criteria, how? --Ben T/C 11:37, 8 April 2007 (UTC)


Does anybody else think that the portugal section is out of place and bears little resemblance to "homecoming." I'm suggesting creating Festa Das Latas(The Tin Can Festival) as its own article. Grey Wanderer | Talk 13:08, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

There was already a Festa das Latas article that was prodded and merged here per this discussion. I think all the unreferenced material needs to be seriously trimmed. -- VegitaU 13:38, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

The consensus was to merge to University of Coimbra not to homcoming right? I'm just trying to figure out where the moniker "homcoming" got attached to this festival. Grey Wanderer | Talk 13:46, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Oh, you're right about that. My mistake. Maybe it should be cut. -- VegitaU 13:48, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
In case it's useful to anyone who writes further on Festa Das Latas, I just deleted this link *Some pictures and a description of Festa das Latas (Coimbra) - while cleaning up some spam. It's a blog, so while not a reliable source, I didn't want to just eliminate it while you were all discussing how and where to cover the subject properly. -- SiobhanHansa 13:15, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

I've done some more investivating and I don't see any reason for this festival to be mentioned on the homcoming page. It does seem to be historicaly significant, but bears little resemblence to the homcoming tradition. It should be moved to the University of Coimbra article, made into its own article, or deleted. It also needs and english source as this is the english wikipedia. Grey Wanderer | Talk 19:27, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

I went ahead and moved the section to University of Coimbra. --Apoc2400 19:50, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

...around the world?[edit]

The article currently opens with:

Homecoming, welcoming back of former residents and alumni, is a tradition in several universities, colleges and high schools around the world.

At present though, only two countries, both of them in North America, are covered in the article. Can anyone add more info? I know "homecoming" isn't a tradition in the UK: I came here to find out what it means after a quarter-century of ignoring my puzzlement at pop-culture homecoming references! Casper Gutman (talkcontributions) 15:20, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Now it says "in North America" not "around the world", so I've taken off the "globalize/USA" thing. Juzhong (talk) 11:24, 2 September 2008 (UTC)


Just throwing this out there, there are some specific american-english words used in this article that might make it slow to read for those living outside of america and canada. Since the page would probably be read by international readers more often than americans, a shift away from the american only words might be a good idea. (talk) 13:03, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Care to share any examples of the words you are referring to? BlueGold73 (talk) 00:22, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Dead link[edit],0,5174976.story

seems to no longer link to the story about going to homecoming in groups. I added this section because I don't know how else to handle this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:21, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Canadian homecoming's at highschool uncommon?[edit]

"Homecomings are not popular among Canadian high schools, and it is rare to find one that celebrates homecoming. Newmarket High School and London South Collegiate Institute are the only known schools in Ontario to arrange homecomings"

Umm... my high school has homecoming dances and so do many others. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:02, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

I think perhaps it is more of an eastern Canadian thing. I had only heard of it in Archie comics, and therefore assumed it was a purely American thing, until I went to a university in Nova Scotia where they celebrate homecoming. But where I'm from originally (southern Alberta), it is almost unheard-of. I don't know where to find information on geographic distribution of Canadian homecoming celebrations, but if someone could find that, it should definitely be added to the article. Because I was just as surprised to see it listed as "common" in Canada as the OP was to find it listed as "uncommon." (talk) 12:11, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

what ever[edit]

fgfgfgfgfgfgf —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:34, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Origins of homcoming[edit]

I restored and reworked an older version of the origins paragraph. I mentioned Missouri first since it is the best documented and supported by the NCAA. Baylor and the Universtiy of Illinois strong claims are also mentioned in the lead. Grey Wanderer (talk) 21:44, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

The current organization of this section doesn't work. The key for an "origins" paragraph/section is to follow chronological order, not the order of which school is "best documented." That, the evidentiary aspect, can be controlled in the text itself. But the origins passage should go from earliest onwards. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:54, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Origin: Observations on Change to "Origin" Section[edit]

Based on the primary-source references in the version that was removed by Grey Wanderer on 2009-12-28, it seems that the University of Illinois has at least as much documentation as the University of Missouri, if not more. In addition, Missouri's first "homecoming," per se, occurred in 1911, one year later than Illinois' first homecoming—and Illinois has celebrated what it calls "Homecoming" annually since 1910. Finally, given the several claims, a chronological approach seems to make more sense than elevating one school to the primary position simply because the NCAA (or Trivial Pursuit, for that matter) declared it so; we have no record of how rigorously the NCAA pursued the matter. Let's let the historical record hold sway. PlaysInPeoria (talk) 23:52, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Origins (of Homecoming): A Neutral Approach[edit]

What follows is the version that was removed by Grey Wanderer on 2009-12-28 (with a few revisions on 2009-12-31). Opinions on whether to take this chronological (and more neutral) approach to the section on "Origins" are encouraged. PlaysInPeoria (talk) 18:37, 31 December 2009 (UTC)


The tradition of Homecoming has its origins in alumni football games held at colleges and universities since the mid-1800s. Many schools lay claim to having the first Homecoming, but several seem to have the strongest claims.

University of Illinois, 1910—

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign credits two senior members of the class of 1910 with establishing the tradition of homecoming at Illinois. These two men were Clarence F. Williams and W. Elmer Ekblaw. According to recollections Williams in 1930, the idea came to the two men in early 1910 while they were sitting on the steps of the YMCA discussing ways of contributing to their alma mater. The men's idea culminated in Illinois' first homecoming event on October 14–15, 1910.[1]

Illinois celebrated its 100th annual Homecoming in 2009. The accompanying events were cancelled in 1918 due to the influenza pandemic, but the football game was held, albeit behind locked gates without an audience.[1]

The name "Homecoming" was used in 1910 and every year since then.[1]

On the afternoon of Friday, October 14, three events took place: a match between the Illinois baseball team (nicknamed the "Illinois 1,000 Per Cent Team" because of its perfect record in 1910) and the Alumni All Stars, a squad composed of ex-Illini; the annual pushball contest pitting the sophomores against the freshmen; and performances of the Hobo Band. For Friday evening, a band reunion, a mass meeting, and various initiations and banquets were held. The following morning, Saturday, October 15, the annual interclass track meet took place. And then, at 2:30 p.m., the centerpiece of the entire event—the Illinois-University of Chicago football game—kicked off.[1]

In the years after 1910, the Illinois homecoming model, with its parade and spirit rally centered around a large football game, very quickly spread to other colleges and high schools across the United States. Within the next several years, many other universities—for example, Wisconsin and Missouri in 1911; Arizona in 1914—launched their own homecomings. Indiana University held its first "homecoming," which is what the football game against Illinois was called, on November 5, 1910.[1]

University of Missouri, 1911—

For the record, the NCAA, Trivial Pursuit, and Jeopardy! have chosen to give the title of "first homecoming" to the University of Missouri's 1911 football game during which alumni were encouraged to attend.[2][3][4]

University of Missouri's first Homecoming game in 1911

The history of the University of Missouri Homecoming can be traced to 1891, when the Missouri Tigers first faced off against the Kansas Jayhawks in football in the first installment of the Border War, which is also the oldest college football rivalry west of the Mississippi River. The intense rivalry originally took place at neutral sites, usually in Kansas City, Missouri, until a new conference regulation was announced that required intercollegiate football games to be played on collegiate campuses. To renew excitement in the rivalry, ensure adequate attendance at the new location, and celebrate the first meeting of the two teams on the Mizzou campus in Columbia, Missouri, Mizzou Athletic Director Chester L. Brewer invited all alumni to "come home" for the game in 1911.

Along with the football game, the celebration included a parade and spirit rally with bonfire. The event was a success, with nearly 10,000 alumni coming home to take part in the celebration and watch the Tigers and Jayhawks play to a 3-3 tie.[5][6]

Baylor University, 1909, 1915—

In 1909, Baylor University was the first university to hold an organized alumni event described as a "Home-Coming" whose focus point was a varsity sports match, as well as a concert, pep rally, parade, and bonfire; however, the extensively planned event was isolated and was not replicated again at Baylor until 1915.[1]

Northern Illinois University, 1911, 1914—

On Oct. 12, 1906, Northern Illinois State Normal School held its first annual alumni banquet. The following day, Northern Illinois’ football team played an alumni squad in a match that resulted in a 0-0 tie. Subsequently, a provision in the 1907 constitution of the school’s Alumni Association stated that "There shall be a social meeting of the alumni and guests, annually following the annual football game, on the evening of the second Saturday of October." Significantly, in these annual football games, Northern Illinois did not play an intercollegiate opponent until 1914 in a contest against Wheaton College. According to Glen Gildemeister, university archivist at NIU, "homecoming" was not used formally as a proper noun by the school until 1911.[7][8][1]

By the 1920s, Homecoming was widely celebrated across the nation.[9][1]

I'm not sure of what the correct method of listing the schools is. I liked the way it was before with the schools listed by the number of organizations that recocogized their claim as having the first homecoming. But I can also understand why some would want to go with a chronological method. The only issue I have with the current version is the dubious citation that was added to the Missouri part. I think if you're going to say that their claim is dubious, the same citation should be added to all the schools in the article.

Who was first?[edit]

The whole who was first issue came up again in recent edits. I added an intro to the origins sections Several schools claim the first Homecoming[1]. Baylor, the University of Illinois, the University of Indiana, and the University of Missouri all have strong claims. This is ABC order. I then reversed it in the list to be fair. Of course, it's not up to us to decide who was first, that for the historians. We just cite what they say & in this case they don't agree. I hope this calms the waters for a while. Let me know what you think or if you have other ideas. Thanks HornColumbia talk 21:16, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

  • PS - all the claims could use better citations. I think add some cite tags. HornColumbia talk 21:16, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
    • ps2 even better: The tradition of Homecoming has its origins in alumni football games held at colleges and universities since the mid-1800s. Many schools lay claim to having the first Homecoming, but several seem to have the strongest claims. this entry from above. Why'd we ever take that out?HornColumbia talk 21:23, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
      • Couple of thoughts the Mizzou claim is for a homecoming football game. The Southwestern University claim is for an event in April without a football game (as far as I can tell, anyway). No reference yet on the other claims, but modern-day homecoming pagentry seems to always involve a football game. Something to think about.--Paul McDonald (talk) 19:36, 25 August 2014 (UTC)