Students and alumni to celebrate Homecoming week with food trucks, tailgates and football


Illustration by Olivia Abeyta

The Northwestern Homecoming Committee planned festivities, including the annual pep rally, for returning alumni and current undergraduate students.

Julian Andreone, Reporter

Alumni and current students will come together this weekend for football, a pep rally and lots of free food as part of Northwestern’s annual Homecoming Week.

Planned by the Homecoming Committee, a branch of the Alumni Association’s Arch Society, the weeklong celebration began Sunday and will conclude this Saturday.

Committee co-chair and Weinberg sophomore Duke Lin said it’s fun to engage with undergraduate students and alumni on campus through the slate of events. 

“(Homecoming week) is a great opportunity for students to take a break, especially during the start of the Fall Quarter, and for alumni to come back to campus and see what’s going on,” Lin said.

Committee co-chair and Weinberg junior Kaitlyn Hurka said the planners prioritized scheduling popular activities and traditions in this year’s celebration. This year’s agenda includes events like the food truck festival and Wildcat Warm-Up on Friday. 

The committee is also hosting a tailgate before the volleyball game Friday, following the success of last year’s tailgate before a women’s soccer game.

“We’re trying to mix it up and highlight other sports, as well as football,” Hurka said.

The Homecoming Committee began planning for the week of festivities last winter. Hurka and Lin selected five students to join the committee and help plan events during the summer.

Hurka and Lin also said Student and Young Alumni Engagement Director Bobby Dunlap and Senior Associate Director of Student Engagement Suresh Mudragada offered integral advice throughout the planning process.

“Our job is to really promote the events and get undergraduates to know about what is going on,” Hurka said. “Homecoming week is a reunion where a lot of alumni come back, but we want undergraduate students to be involved, too.”

Homecoming week will culminate in a Saturday afternoon football game, with the Wildcats facing off against Wisconsin at Ryan Field. 

The annual pep rally will be held the night before on Deering Meadow. The event features student performers, the marching band and royalty court nominees. 

Eight nominees from the senior class make up the royalty court. Students select one nominee as the “Homecoming Wildcat.” The Homecoming Wildcat crowning ceremony adds to the buzz around the event. 

“I think the biggest success will definitely be the pep rally because everyone is just very excited about it,” Lin said. 

Weinberg senior Jules Wesson said she has attended the Homecoming football game and voted for the royalty court in past years. 

Wesson said events throughout Homecoming Week could inspire more school pride among returning Wildcats.

“(Alumni) reinstilling interest in Northwestern that they may have lost over the years (could benefit the community),” Wesson said. 

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Twitter: @JulianAndreone

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