Great weather, parade food, tailgating atmosphere — not to mention Middle Tennessee Electric’s grilled cheese sandwiches — and more were all a part of festivities surrounding the Middle Tennessee State University’s 2023 Homecoming events of the Friday-Saturday, Sept. 22-23.
It would have perhaps been perfect had not the Blue Raiders fallen 31-23 to the Colorado State Rams during an exciting contest Saturday night inside Floyd Stadium despite a late opportunity to potentially tie and send the game into overtime.
With the theme of “Once in a Blue Moon,” the MTSU Alumni Association and Student Government Associationcollaborated on numerous special events leading up to Homecoming Day when students, alumni, staff and friends of the university gather to reminisce and enjoy the fun activities available to all ages.
The weekend began with MTSU Golden Raiders, Alumni Awards and Black Alumni Society Party events on Sept. 22 and wrapped up Sept. 23 with an outstanding parade, tailgating, children’s activities, Mixer on Middle Parade Watching Party alumni lunch catered by Slick Pig, hours of fun leading up to the 6 p.m. kickoff and crowing of Homecoming King and Queen at halftime.
Beth Dye, Alumni Relations assistant director, said more than 70 parade floats and participants were part of the parade, which drew hundreds of parade watchers along East Main Street and Middle Tennessee Boulevard. The Mixer on Middle featured commentary from Chip Walters (’85), voice of the Blue Raiders, and alumna Heather Mathis (’11), cohost of NewsChannel 5’s “Talk of the Town.”
Other vendors included Schenck Photography, providing souvenir photos, and Kona Ice.
One busy Friday
Golden Raiders came from all parts of the country to celebrate the Class of 1973.
“Golden Raiders reunited with friends to relive some of their best college memories,” Dye said. “They enjoyed a bus tour of campus and were able to see how much the university has grown over the past 50 years. For some, this is the first time they have returned to campus since they graduated. President (Sidney A.) McPhee and National Alumni AssociationPresident Debbie Hickerson presented 17 new inductees with a certificate and pin and welcomed them as the newest members of our Golden Raiders Society.”
Robert McCalmont of O’Fallon, Illinois, and wife Jane McCalmont (’74) returned. A product of MTSU ROTC and an international relations major, he spent 26 years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a lieutenant colonel, and retired from the Department of Defense in 2019.
“MTSU had a very small environment, where everyone knew everyone, the instructors were personable and a nice atmosphere to do your studies — my home for four years,” he said, adding they plan to return in 2024 for his wife’s Golden Raider induction ceremony.
Hours later, the president helped recognize Alumni Awards True Blue Citations of Distinction recipients William “Bill” Crabtree, Lauren Rhae, Christian Ketel and Rickey Smith. Distinguished Alumnus William “Bill” Phillips and Young Alumni Achievement recipient Justin Hart were unable to attend. Read more about this year’s recipients.
More than 200 people attended the extremely popular Black Alumni Society Party at Walnut House in downtown Murfreesboro.
Homecoming King and Queen
Alexander Hamilton, a senior organizational communication major from Falkville, Alabama, and Lily Beth Woods, a senior finance major from Murfreesboro, were crowned 2023 Homecoming King and Queen by McPhee.
Both are Blue Elite Tour Guides, with Woods also involved in the University Honors College, as a Student Ambassador and with the Student Organization for Advancement in Research while Woods is an SGA senator and member of Epsilon Tau chapter of Alpha Delta Pi.
Rewatch the Homecoming Parade
For those who couldn’t attend the Homecoming Parade, True Blue TV has several more encore broadcasts scheduled in the coming days:
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