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Homecoming 2014: Prepare to Honor the Purpose, Carry the PrideOn the heels of the announcement that the NCAA has restored Penn State's bowl game eligibility and scholarships effective in 2015, along with the team's eligibility to play in this year's Big Ten Championship game, let us "raise the song, raise the song" with our brothers at Sigma Chi as we prepare for Homecoming 2014.

As you make plans to return to 400 E. Prospect and celebrate with our Sigma Chi brotherhood, consider participating in some of these events planned for the largest student-run Homecoming in the nation. Click here to access the Penn State Homecoming site. And be sure to visit the Homecoming Twitter page, also!

Sunday, Sept. 14, 9:00 a.m.: Annual PSU Color Run
Now in its second year, the Color Run is the only event of its kind at Penn State. Teams can register by clicking here, and run, laugh and dance their way through the course, which takes them through campus. This is one event that really brings Penn State and the Happy Valley community together.

Wednesday, Sept. 24, 3:00-7:00 p.m.: Penn State Carnival
One of the largest events held during Homecoming, students, alumni and community members can join this carnival celebration on the lawn of Old Main. You can count on plenty of games, food and fun for the whole family!

Friday, Sept. 26, 1:00-4:00 p.m.: Ice Cream Social, Hintz Alumni Center
The Homecoming Ice Cream Social is an event that all students, alumni and members of the Penn State community are welcome to attend. With help from the Nittany Lion, Berkey Creamery ice cream is served along with a fun assortment of toppings. Throughout the event, guests have the opportunity to win festive prizes as well as watch performances by a variety of student organizations such as the Alumni Blue Band and Penn State Cheerleaders. Located in the Hintz Alumni Center, the Ice Cream Social helps boost pride and morale leading up to the Homecoming Parade.

Friday, Sept. 26, 6:00 p.m.: Homecoming Parade and Float Competition
A tradition that stands the test of time, the annual Homecoming parade is an event to be enjoyed by students, alumni, faculty, staff, the community and guests. The procession makes its way through the University Park campus and the State College downtown area. This year, we welcome back Penn State alum and "Good Morning America" co-anchor, Lara Spencer, as the grand marshal.

Saturday, Sept. 27, 8:00 a.m.: Check-in begins for the Student-Alumni Homecoming Tailgate Competition at Gate E; judging begins at 9:00 a.m.
The Student-Alumni Tailgate Competition is held right before the Homecoming football game and is open to current students as well as alumni. Tailgates are judged in four categories: best overall, best food, most spirited and most creative. On the day of the event, judges help score all tailgates and reward winners with spirited prizes. This event helps promote Penn State pride and creates a fun atmosphere leading up to kick-off. Go State! Click here to register.

Saturday, Sept, 27, Noon: Kickoff at Beaver Stadium
Bring it, Lions! Need we say more? We'll let you take the celebration from here.


It all looks so organized, doesn't it? And it should! In a model fashioned after THON — the largest student-run philanthropy in the nation (and coming up in February 2015) — Penn State's Homecoming is a true example of university-community partnership, leadership and comradery.

Juliana Ravally, a senior preparing to graduate this December, is an Alpha Delta Pi sister in charge of corporate relations for Homecoming. A public relations major, Ravally is one of 17 directors on the Homecoming Executive Committee — a committee responsible for production, alumni relations, distribution, merchandising, events, technology, the parade, university relations, public/media relations, corporate/organization relations, finance, operations and security. Specifically, she oversees seven captains in securing and collecting all corporate monetary donations for homecoming.

"Two weeks after last year's Homecoming," she explains, "the Executive Committee was selected. By the second week of November, we were busy planning for this year. So, we have really been at this for 10 months."

Following the 2014 holiday break, the Executive Committee returned early for a retreat at Camp Krislund in Madisonburg, Pa. — about 45 minutes from the University Park campus. With no cell phone service and an agenda to begin planning Homecoming events, the committee soon found they had more quiet time than expected. Hit with an unexpected snowstorm, they quickly learned the real meaning of "retreat" as they worked their way back to the Penn State campus.

The spring brought THON and the announcement of the Homecoming theme: "Honor the Purpose. Carry the Pride." On Saturday, April 5, during the Homecoming Day of Service, committee directors and captains visited various organizations in Happy Valley to donate hours of community service. The following weekend, during the Blue-White celebration, the Homecoming logo was revealed.

"It is incredible to us that Homecoming is only four weeks into the start of school," Ravally says. "We all had to really step up over the summer to make this happen. I am proud of the entire student organization for what we have accomplished. We encourage all students, alumni and community members to be part of this. After all, WE ARE!"