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Alumni, Come Home–An exhibit celebrating Homecoming at BYU

The L. Tom Perry Special Collections is currently hosting a small case exhibit in honor of Homecoming at Brigham Young University. The exhibit features two Banyans that illustrate the importance of Homecoming to students in the 1960s, a list of activities from the 1970s (come see what Colonial Days was all about), and two flyers inviting alumni to return to campus to participate in Homecoming activities. It will run through October 17th, 2010.

President Benjamin Cluff began what would become our Homecoming with the establishment of Founders Day in 1891 to remember individuals who had established Brigham Young Academy and helped it to flourish. The first Founders Day was held 16 October 1891, and quickly became an annual tradition. The first event officially called Homecoming was held in the fall of 1930. According to the Wilkinson centennial history, Homecoming was associated with a football game and parade from the very beginning. “During the halftime of the November 15 football game with the Montana State Bobcats, floats, costumed students, stunts, and people depicting various periods from 1875 to the year 2000 paraded past the stands.” Founders Day became an integral part of Homecoming, while retaining its purpose of honoring the university’s founders.

White and Blue Homecoming headline, May 1920

Homecoming has always been important to Brigham Young University. The May 28, 1920 issue of the school’s newspaper The White and Blue featured a large headline announcing that “Hundreds of Old Grads Return for Homecoming.” The full newspaper is available through the BYU History Digital Collections and this specific article can be accessed here.

If you would like to know more about the resources available for studying Homecoming at BYU, please contact the University Archivist at (801) 422-5821 or gordon_daines@byu.edu.

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