September 25, 2013

Homecoming Theme “commUNITY” continues traditions and features new events

VALDOSTA—Valdosta State University’s homecoming celebration will feature numerous activities throughout the week of Sept. 30 – Oct. 5 for alumni, students, faculty, staff, and members of the community.

“This year there are more activities to promote the spirit of unity among alumni, students, faculty, staff, and members of the community,” said Heather Proctor, director of VSU Alumni Relations. “The success of homecoming focuses on community involvement, and we are excited to add events that welcome participation from businesses, clubs, organizations, and schools.”

Homecoming activities will also feature events that recognize VSU’s 50 years of integration, including acknowledgement of the pioneers who were pivotal to the integration efforts of the university. Drewnell Thomas and Robert Pierce Jr., two of the first African-American students enrolled at Valdosta State College in 1963, will serve as grand marshals in the homecoming parade. Many of the pioneers will attend a special brunch hosted in their honor, as well as tailgating activities before the football game. 

Campus spirit ignites Monday, Sept. 30, with various competitions to showcase Blazer pride. Faculty and staff are encouraged to decorate their offices while students will adorn the residence hall lobbies with red and black. Students also have the chance to showcase their artistic talents with sidewalk chalk displays and sheet signs.

On Thursday, Oct. 3, the “Black Light with the Blazers” pep rally begins at 7 p.m. in the P.E. Complex. Fans are encouraged to wear white clothing to get the full effect of the black lights. The pep rally will feature appearances by football players and coaches, cheerleaders, the Red Hots, and the Blazin’ Brigade. Stay late and enjoy the “Battle of the Bands” as students, faculty, staff, and alumni take the stage to claim victory.

Friday, Oct. 4 is “Red & Black Day” and everyone is encouraged to wear VSU colors. That same day, the Alumni Association will host their annual golf tournament at Stone Creek at 8 a.m. The cost is $75 per individual and $300 per team of four.

Alumni are invited to reconnect with classmates during one of the college receptions from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday. The Distinguished Alumni Dinner, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom, will honor a graduate from each college. Cost is $25 per person and advanced registration is required.

Friday night’s events also include the “Blazin’ Downtown Community Throw Down” hosted by Valdosta Main Street. The evening festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. with performances from VSU cheerleaders and the Red Hots, music from the pep band, and a special guest appearance from Blaze. The VSU Bookstore will have its traveling store with merchandise for purchase, as well as passing out free tattoos and pom-poms for the children. 

Downtown businesses and merchants will be in competition for the best “Blazer” decorations, as well as offering discounts to VSU students, faculty and staff throughout the evening.

“Downtown Valdosta is looking forward to showing its Blazer spirit during October’s First Friday events,” said Valdosta City Main Street Director Amanda Peacock.  “In addition to the performances, downtown will be decked out in red and black.  We invite everyone to come downtown and enjoy the evening.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be homecoming without a parade and football game.

This year’s homecoming parade will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5. The new route begins at the Oak Street parking deck, heading south and turning right on Georgia Avenue, then right on Patterson Street, right on Brookwood Drive, and concluding at the Oak Street parking deck.

Following the parade, alumni and friends can start tailgating on the front lawn. Barbecue dinners will be available for $10 per adult and $5 for children under 12. Guests are also welcome to bring their own food and enjoy pregame festivities.

The traditional Blazer Walk starts at 1:30 p.m., as fans line the streets to cheer on the Blazers when they arrive at the stadium for a 3 p.m. kickoff against Florida Tech.

For more information on homecoming activities and to register for events, visit the website

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

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