In 1916, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, held its first Homecoming celebration with three hundred alumni attending the event. This year, thousands of students, alumni, faculty, and staff will show their Volunteer spirit during Homecoming, scheduled for November 8–14.
The Vols will take on the University of North Texas at noon Saturday, November 14, in Neyland Stadium.
This year’s Homecoming theme is “Mean Green Meets Rocky Top: Let the Games Begin,” and Vol fans can enjoy more than forty events leading up to the football game.
The annual Homecoming parade will begin at 4:00 p.m. Friday, November 13. The parade will start at Fiji Island beside Fraternity Park and will travel west on Volunteer Boulevard.
Gus Manning will serve as this year’s parade grand marshal. Manning, the university’s consultant athletics director, has served UT for sixty-four years since being hired by General Robert Neyland in 1951.
The parade will showcase student organization floats and the sixth annual Little Vol Walk, featuring children ages ten and younger riding on decorated wagons, strollers, or tricycles. Children can then head over to Lindsey Nelson Baseball Stadium to enjoy snacks, activities, and crafts from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. during Little Vols at the Ballpark.
On Saturday, Homecoming’s signature event, Party in the Park, will begin at 9:00 a.m. in Circle Park. Attendees can enjoy live entertainment, performances by the pep band and cheerleaders, door prizes, face painting, and balloon art. There is no admission fee; however, the cost to eat barbecue is $12 per adult and $8 per child ten and under.
More than 2,500 prospective students and parents will arrive at Circle Park at 9:00 a.m. Saturday for the Rocky Top Tailgate, which gives families an opportunity to experience a one-of-a-kind tailgate where they can meet UT counselors, take a campus tour, learn about college programs, and hear from alumni about their UT experiences.
New to Homecoming this year:
Self-Guided Campus Tour
Visit the offices, residence halls, and fraternity and sorority houses participating in the lawn and lobby display contest and office decorating contest all day Thursday, November 12. A walking-tour map will be added to the Homecoming website next week.
Rocky Top Talents Student Showcase
All Campus Theatre and the Central Program Council will host “Rocky Top Talents” at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, November 12, in Alumni Memorial Building’s Cox Auditorium. Undergraduate and graduate students will showcase their talents in this show. The event is free and open to the public.
Other highlights during the week include:
Saturday Game Day Tailgates
The Colleges of Nursing, Law, Engineering, and James A. Haslam II College of Business will host tailgates beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Multicultural Student Life and the Black Cultural Programming Committee will host its annual tailgate from noon to 3:00 p.m. at the Frieson Black Cultural Center.
Central Program Council will host a tailgate with free food and games open to all students and alumni from 9:30 a.m. to noon along the Johnson-Ward Pedestrian Walkway.
Pregame Faculty Showcase
Devon Burr, associate professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, will discuss her recent experience as a participant in the research expedition on the East Antarctica plateau during her talk “Searching for Extraterrestrial Rocks in Antarctica.” Free and open to the public, the showcase begins at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, November 14, in the McClung Museum of Natural History Auditorium.