Colorado State University students and faculty reflect on the meaning of homecoming

Haleigh McGill

Tom Milligan, Vice President for External Relations. (Photo Credit: Megan Fischer)
Tom Milligan, Vice President for External Relations. (Photo Credit: Megan Fischer)

Colorado State University students and staff alike can enjoy the 100th homecoming week celebration that will take place on campus Oct. 13 to 18.

Tom Milligan, the University’s Vice President for External Relations and self-described ‘homecoming parade commentator’, elaborated on what homecoming week is truly about.

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“Homecoming is good for two reasons: For one, [alumni] get to come back and their eyes are like saucers;  they can’t believe all the changes and how great everything looks,” Milligan said. “The other reason is that homecoming events, especially the bonfire and the competitions, are the things you’re going to remember. Homecoming keeps you connected to this place as you make your way in the world.”

CSU junior and journalism major Morgan Givney gave a student perspective on the purpose of homecoming week and what it can accomplish.

“Homecoming unites people,” Givney said. “It’s really lighthearted, and it motivates people to get more involved.”

The events of homecoming week, according to Milligan, help to foster the pride found in tradition, and gives students a chance to reflect on and strengthen their connection to the University.

From its humble beginnings as a football game against a group of alumni back in 1914, homecoming has grown into something huge that gives students, staff and alumni a certain feeling that’s difficult to describe. Milligan believes that it largely stems from bringing everyone together in this one place that connects us all.

“It gives us that feeling, that vibe. It’s totally a glow, that goosebump-y, misty-eyed, ‘wow this is cool’ kind of thing,” Milligan said.  “When you can bring everyone together to celebrate how this one place has changed their lives, how can you do better than that?”

Collegian Reporter Haleigh McGill can be reached at news@collegian.com, or on Twitter @HaleighMcGill.