‘Come One, Come All’ to Homecoming

An activity-filled week on campus for students, faculty and families in the Akron community.


(Photo courtesy of The University of Akron)

By Jordyn Etling, Sports Editor

When you say the word ‘Fall,’ everyone thinks of something different; such as the season, Halloween, sweaters, a warm blanket, pumpkin spice and best of all: Homecoming. Every year, schools all over the country prepare for this wondrous event and The University of Akron is no exception.

This year, Homecoming had the theme, “Come One, Come All” in reminiscence of the infamous carnival slogan and as a way to show inclusion. Willy Kollman, the Executive Director of the Alumni Association, in conjunction with the Homecoming committee, said the 2018 theme was chosen with input from students.

“The committee loved how the students came up with ways to incorporate the theme through on-campus student programming throughout the week,” Kollman said. “This was key in incorporating the phrase ‘come one, come all’ as it was inclusive of alumni, family, friends, faculty and staff and the surrounding UA community.”

In order to plan and complete the events that factor into making Homecoming a reality at UA, the Alumni Association worked with the Homecoming Committee, which is comprised of students and community members involved with various organizations on and off campus.

Some of the organizations involved include the Department of Student Life, Zips Programming Network, Athletics and ZipAssist, according to a statement from the Homecoming Committee.

Offering something for everyone on campus, the week of Homecoming was full of a variety of activities including different sporting events, a showing of Incredibles 2, a carnival and a pep rally.

Due to the extensive amount of time and effort needed to make Homecoming happen, “the events for the week are broken up, assigned and implemented by various members,” unless a specific organization is responsible for the overall event, such as a sporting event, according to a statement from the Homecoming Committee.

As of last year, Homecoming was intentionally overlapped with Family Weekend at the University in order to give students a chance to share the Homecoming experience with their families.

“No actual committee existed leading up to it, but partnerships were formed and following that weekend, it was found that both events complemented each other very well and it made for a wonderful homecoming weekend,” the Homecoming Committee said.

The committee began discussions in February of this year and hasn’t stopped since. Within this process is making sure the funding is there for Homecoming.

According to the committee, “Homecoming is funded from university funds, endowments, and donations.”

The discussion of recent budget cuts at UA sparked potential compromise for the committee in its planning stages. Although students, faculty and community members have voiced varying thoughts and opinions about the issue, the committee’s main goal has been and will always be making a successful Homecoming week for everyone.

The committee’s response to the potential compromises was:

“Doing more with less can be difficult but it can be achieved with hardworking and engaged campus partners which we are lucky to have. Through a strategic and budget-conscious process [were] able to achieve much of what the committee decided on for Homecoming 2018. With regards to any parts we were unable to achieve, marketing homecoming via mail to the entire alumni base would result in substantial costs. The committee elected to be strategic in its approach and utilize other mediums to promote the events taking place.”

Homecoming will always hold a special place in the hearts of students and alumni, as it is often the first event attended after college graduation, the committee stated. The main intention for anyone involved in the extensive planning process is always to make all of the events fun and memorable, no matter the year.

As this year’s planning is complete and Homecoming is wrapping up, the committee said, “we will meet again… and evaluate the overall homecoming experience. Upon doing so, we will begin to discuss 2019, its vision and the addition of campus partners.”

Whether or not you are a fan of sports, carnivals, or performances, the Homecoming committee has done their research and planning and will have something for you to enjoy.

The Homecoming Committee said they were most excited about the “fair food, tailgate, carnival games, [and] announcing king and queen,” during Homecoming Week 2018, along with hoping for the Zips to defeat Miami.