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Northwest international students wait to raise the flags of their native countries during the University's annual International Flag-Raising Ceremony last year. The ceremony will be part of Northwest's Homecoming week activities again this fall, though other events are canceled or limited as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Northwest international students wait to raise the flags of their native countries during the University's annual International Flag-Raising Ceremony last year. The ceremony will be part of Northwest's Homecoming week activities again this fall, though other events are canceled or limited as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Sept. 23, 2020

Northwest announces changes to 2020 Homecoming activities

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Northwest Missouri State University has announced changes to its October Homecoming week activities as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the MIAA’s suspension of fall sports competitions.

Northwest will alter its Homecoming week activities, scheduled for Oct. 4-10, to meet University mitigation measures and limit spread of coronavirus. The annual Homecoming Variety Show is canceled, and the Department of Athletics has postponed its annual M-Club Hall of Fame induction ceremony until an undetermined date.

“All of us are disappointed that the Homecoming traditions we look forward to each fall at Northwest will look different this year,” Dr. Kori Hoffmann, assistant vice president of student affairs for student engagement and development, said. “However, this decision is necessary in our efforts to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in our University community and help ensure Northwest maintains an active learning environment.” 

The Homecoming parade will be part of Walkout Day activities on Friday, Oct. 9, and streamed live online. Beginning at 3 p.m., the parade will proceed through the Northwest campus, starting at the corner of College Avenue and College Park Drive and proceeding north to Centennial Drive, then south on University Drive and ending at the Mabel Cook Recruitment and Visitors Center. Parade entries are being limited to student organizations and on-campus departments only; large floats, jalopies or dancing clowns are not being admitted. Click here for a map of the parade route.

Hoffmann said the significant time student organizations spend preparing Homecoming floats, skits and other displays at off-campus locations, in combination with the postponement of fall athletics contests, played a factor in the University’s decision.

“Student organizations commit considerable amounts of time and financial resources into planning Homecoming,” Hoffmann said. “As our Northwest community continues to navigate the impacts of COVID-19, it is important that we protect our students and resources while we make alternate plans for this year’s Homecoming week.”

Additionally on Walkout Day, the Northwest community is invited to celebrate its international students during the annual International Flag-Raising Ceremony at 1 p.m. at the Joyce and Harvey White International Plaza. Later, at 5 p.m., the Northwest community is invited to the Memorial Bell Tower for a Homecoming showcase event featuring performances by the Bearcat Marching Band and the Bearcat Steppers. Homecoming royalty and award winners also will be announced at that time.

For additional information about Northwest’s 2020 Homecoming week, including updated schedules and activities, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/getinvolved/homecoming/.

The tradition of Homecoming at Northwest dates back to 1924. The University's modern day Homecoming week began during the late 1940s when the Variety Show and house decorations were added to the festivities, and the parade grew to include more marching bands, large floats, jalopies and clowns. On the Friday of Homecoming week, all classes are canceled and students participate in a variety of activities on the campus – a tradition that began Oct. 22, 1915, when students walked out of classes and declared the day an unscheduled holiday.

Northwest continues to evaluate all University-sponsored activities and is modifying or postponing events to help protect the health and safety of its community and prevent the transmission of COVID-19. For more information about Northwest’s response to COVID-19, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/alert/coronavirus/.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704