Alumni, professors remember Homecoming

Students often think of Homecoming as being about the week’s biggest football matchup and the crowning of a Queen. To many UA alumni, however, Homecoming is about so much more.

“I walk and look around campus today and, while it might look a little different, to me the feel is the same,” said Robin Rogers, a UA graduate and chemistry professor. “Even the football atmosphere was similar.  I played in Bear Bryant’s last two national championship games, as starting right tuba, in back-to-back years.  School spirit and pride ran high, and it was a very enjoyable time for me.”

Rogers said he had quite a few Homecoming memories from his time as a student at the University, from being tapped into Mortar Board on the mound to the seven years worth of football games, which he marched in with the Million Dollar Band. 

“Homecoming was about parades, bonfires and running around the field to provide my tuba to alumni so they could play during pregame,” Rogers said.

Roy Ann Sherrod, a professor at the University’s College of Nursing, said one her favorite UA Homecoming memories as a student was going to the football games and seeing the different organizations present.

“Homecoming really was a nice time,” she said. “I can remember everyone was nicely dressed, and even in coordinating outfits. There was such great interaction with one another.”

Kristy Reynolds, a UA professor in the College of Commerce and Business Administration, said one thing that stands out about her time at the University as a student was that no one had their own computer or their own cell phones and that she can remember writing some of her papers on a typewriter.

“We just spent a lot of time together talking and hanging out in our free time,” Reynolds said.  “The fashion was very casual.  I see students going out so dressed up now.  We just wore jeans and T-shirts or sweaters.”

Reynolds said Homecoming was always a lot of fun.

“We built a huge lawn decoration every year at the Phi Mu house,” she said. “I remember pomping for hours, but it was fun because we all did it together.”

Liza Wilson, a professor in the College of Education, said some of her favorite Homecoming memories came as an alumna.

“We had a very close group of friends who always met to tailgate under the same tree each year,” Wilson said. “We took pictures of our kids as they grew. We caught up with each other’s lives. Really, whoever could come to Homecoming met under that tree.

“This weekend really presents an opportunity to think about the lifelong friendships you’ve created. That’s my advice for this weekend. You should really spend time with those lifelong friends.”

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