Students, citizens and alumni gather at Homecoming Festival
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 13:10
Saturday morning, University of Northern Iowa students, alumni and members of the community gathered around the Alumni House to attend the Homecoming Festival. At the festival, many student organizations, such as Northern Iowa Student Government, the Black Student Union and Anthropology Club, set up booths informing students about their organization.
Shortly after the festival had officially started, the UNI Marching Band performed for the crowd and received a round of applause. Afterwards, members of the UNI women’s and men’s basketball teams were signing autographs while a DJ played music.
Shiori Gima, an exchange student from Okinawa, Japan majoring in education, explained why she came to the festival.
“I came here to share my culture – Japanese culture – and I think the UNI (Homecoming) Festival is so fun and fantastic,” said Gima.
Ashley Oetken, a senior early childhood education major, is the Homecoming executive in charge of the Homecoming Committee this year.
“This (festival) is for students, alumni and members of the community to be involved with what’s going on here at UNI,” said Oetken. “We also display the murals that a bunch of different organizations painted the week before Homecoming.”
Four student organizations took part in the Mural Painting competition this year. The Honor Society took first place, the International Student Association placed second and the Student Admissions Ambassadors and Connecting Alumni To Students organizations teamed up to take third.
Kelly Cunningham, a sophomore studio art and anthropology double major, painted the winning mural for the Honor Society.
“The theme was throwback, so we took pictures from old UNI Homecomings and put them in frames in black and white, and had a picture of the newest tradition, which is the Amazing Race, in color at the bottom, so it kind of threw back to past Homecomings,” said Cunningham.
Cunningham further expressed how she felt when she found out her mural won.
“I was just so excited!” Cunningham said. “It was the best feeling ever. We put a lot of time into it and we’re just super proud.”
Adele Kessler, a UNI alumna who graduated in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in education, said, “I love the festival. I mean, I liked the parade, it was a great tradition, but it’s fun to have this informal festival.”