Sixty-two years and 11 United States presidents later, 1928 College graduate Richard Samson said that the University's homecoming celebration hasn't changed all that much. While Quaker fans were evading Spectaguards and sneaking mixed drinks into the football game this weekend, Samson remembers students secretly violating the U.S. Constitution to drink on campus during the Prohibition years. He said that the sea of red-and-blue-attired fans and the festive atmosphere this weekend reminded him of homecoming celebrations during his undergraduate days. Samson added that school spirit in 1990 is still "pretty darned good." But other alumni noted some dramatic changes in homecoming festivities, held this weekend, at the University since their graduations. Noting all the blue jeans and "PENN" sweatshirts around campus Saturday, 1964 Wharton graduate Ira Meiselman said that students appear to be more casual and relaxed than during his undergraduate days when homecoming celebrations were marked by male students in coat and tie and female students in semi-formal dresses. Several alumni said that the relatively new tradition of toast throwing during "Drink a Highball," at football games was clever, adding that it contributed to a sense of comradery among the undergraduates. But one alumnus fondly recalled the days when "students would actually drink a highball after the song." Recent graduates said that they were impressed with the turnout at the football game and the number of students who attended other homecoming events. 1989 graduate Monica Savage, returning to campus in her first homecoming as an alumnus, said that she missed the collegiate atmosphere, adding that "I just came to see people and to drink." The Social Planning and Events Committee kicked off homecoming activities with several new events including a 22-float parade, a pep rally and bonfire, a spirit brunch, and a concert. Alumni who attended the events said that they were pleased that undergraduates were more involved in a traditionally alumni-oriented weekend. The Saturday-evening concert capped off the weekend of activities as about 5500 students and alumni enthusiastically jammed to the sounds of the Hooters and to dee-jayed music in the Palestra. But after the Hooters performance, nearly everyone filed out of the Palestra before the following two acts finished. The Four Tops were originally scheduled to play but canceled at the last minute. Several students said they were "thrilled" by the Hooters' show and by the deejayed music, but added that the ensuing performances were a "let-down." Before the show, administrators, alumni and students packed Hutchinson Gymnasium for an extensive buffet dinner with entertainment supplied by both campus and area musical groups. College for Women 1958 graduate Irene Moy, who said she attends Homecoming functions each year, said the festivities this year were more lavish than usual. Helen Jung contributed to this story.Comments powered by Disqus
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