On Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, Kean University hosted its annual Homecoming. Students, faculty, alumni and staff alongside their families filled the parking lots of Harwood Arena and Kean Hall, expressing their Kean Pride through the enjoyment of family-friendly activities and cheering on the Kean Cougars Football team as they played Salisbury University.
The Homecoming tailgate began at 9 a.m. and concluded at 1 p.m. with the Kean Cougars Football team squaring off against Salisbury University. The football tailgate was held in the parking lot of Harwood Arena.
Across from the Harwood lot, a carnival was held in the parking lot of Kean Hall. There were many games such as wacky water racing, flip a chick, shoot out the star and the hammer slam. Bouncy houses and a Rolling Video Game truck were in the lot. There was also face painting, along with campus tours.
Attendees filled both lots. Various organizations around campus such as Greek fraternities and sororities, Kean Pan-African Student Union, Student Health Services, Office of Student Government and many other organizations had tents up in the lot of Harwood Arena, handing out free food and goodies to everyone. A live DJ and rock climbing wall were also featured.
In the Kean Hall lot, there were tents with zeppole and funnel cake, cheese steaks, hot dogs, sausage and peppers, french fries, mozzarella sticks and pizza.
Once attendees were finished checking in, they were given two sets of tickets: one for games at the carnival, and the other for food at the various stations.
Kean University's Barnes & Noble also had a pop-up shop, selling Kean sweatshirts and other Kean related gear.
During the game's halftime, winners for the giveaway were announced. The prizes were a MacBook Pro, a $500 gift card to Barnes & Noble, a parking pass and free tuition for a semester. Homecoming King and Queen winners were announced: David Patterson Jr. and Ciara Williams.
The Green Lane and Woodland Avenue entrances to the university, along with the roadways in front of Kean Hall and Harwood Arena, were closed to traffic on Saturday. Attendees had to use the Morris Avenue and North Avenue entrances. The campus trolley ran along the Morris Avenue lot into the Vaughn-Eames lot.
Homecoming is a time where people come together to share traditions and reconnect with everyone. The NCAA credits the University of Missouri with the first homecoming event, which took place in 1911, according to Active.
Over 10,000 alumni and fans came to the event. Its game was the centerpiece. Throughout the years, as the popularity of football has increased, more schools have been prone to hosting their homecoming events filled with parades, tailgates and celebrations.
Homecoming 2019 was a spectacle for all students, faculty and alumni of Kean University. All of Homecoming weekend shows the unity of the community and how it encourages everyone to climb higher. This will be an unforgettable memory for everyone who was able to attend and participate in the festivities.