ECSU HOMECOMING ADDS NEW TWISTS TO LONGSTANDING TRADITION
Katie Murray June 21, 2012
It's the best of both worlds at this year's Viking Homecoming, taking place Friday,
October 12th, through Sunday, October 21st, 2012. During the 66th annual Homecoming
celebration, coordinators plan to showcase the deep-rooted tradition of the university
and its traditional Homecoming events, while adding a fresh spin to this year's festivities.
Most notable this year will be a series of pre-homecoming events happening the weekend
before Homecoming. The ECSU Foundation Golf Classic, traditionally taking place in
Elizabeth City, will now be the first event in a 10-day series and will take place
at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course at NC State University on Friday, October 12, 2012.
This event will be hosted by the Raleigh-Durham-Wake Alumni Chapter of the ECSU National
Alumni Association, Inc. Back on campus, 89.9 WRVS-FM will host a fundraising concert
and food drive Saturday evening. This new event, a fundraiser for the university's
radio station, will feature R&B musicians and a canned food drive for the Food Bank
of the Albemarle.
Wednesday, October 17th, will provide a new addition to the Homecoming line-up. In
partnership with the ECSU Lyceum Series, an annual series which brings national performing
artists to the stage of the Floyd L Robinson Auditorium, homecoming coordinators are
planning a Gospel Concert which will showcase a nationally known gospel group or artist.
While artists are still being discussed, both Homecoming and Lyceum coordinators are
confident that this will be a much welcomed addition to the university's schedule
of Homecoming events.
ECSU is also in the process of increasing its community outreach efforts for Homecoming
2012. While events such as the Homecoming Parade and football game are traditionally
well-supported by the community, organizers hope to involve community members in more
of the school's offerings, as well as implement volunteerism and service through university
groups. In an effort to incorporate new ideas from non-university community leaders,
a representative of the Elizabeth City Chamber of Commerce, as well as Elizabeth City
Convention and Visitors Bureau Board Member Andy Montero will be serving as planning
committee members. "We felt that it was important to look beyond the confines of the
University for new ideas in an effort to get our surrounding communities more involved,"
states Chancellor Willie J. Gilchrist. "ECSU Homecoming brings thousands of people
into town every year, and has a major impact on the local economy, but we want to
know how we can better involve the people who live here year-round."
The Viking Homecoming Parade is one of the largest events to take place during Homecoming
and includes thousands of community participants and spectators. With increased growth
has come a need for increased organization, and this year's parade will require an
official registration application. Organizers are confident that this year's changes
will result in a better parade experience for participants, and will allow for more
opportunities to enhance the parade in future years. This year's parade Grand Marshal
is Julia Congleton-Bryant, a graduate of ECSU, Class of 1963. A native of Rocky Mount,
NC, Mrs. Congleton-Bryant is currently chairperson of the Down East Viking Football
The theme this year is It's All The Way L.I.V.E (Living In the Viking Experience).
As always, Viking Homecoming will offer a wide variety of events for all ages. All
events are open to the public, with highlights including the Step Show, Block Party,
Alumni Cabaret, Comedy Show and Concert featuring national recording artists. At this
year's football game, the Mighty Vikings will take on the Hawks of Chowan University,
following the Homecoming parade. Both the game and parade will showcase the new Sound
of Class Marching Band, under the leadership of Tomisha Brock, ECSU's new director
Parade applicants and vendors are currently being accepted and community sponsorships
are now available. Please visit www.ecsuhomecoming.com for more information or contact
Rhonda M. Hayes, Homecoming Chair at (252) 335-3103.