By: Taylor Cunningham
Traditions. Customs or beliefs that are passed on generation to generation. There are many traditions here at McPherson College, but let’s talk about fall ones specifically. Those include homecoming, Bulldog Madness, and even two new traditions.
Homecoming is one of the largest traditions at McPherson College. This tradition helps to bring alumni together and back to campus to meet students and the reunite with fellow classmates. Monica Rice, Director of Alumni and Constituent Relations, says that the Young Alumni Award is one of her favorite things about homecoming. “It celebrates what cool things young alums are doing,” Rice said. There are a few components to homecoming, including the Honors Convocation and Young Alumni Award, the activities fair, the homecoming theater production, the church service and choir concert, and the homecoming ceremony itself.
Jd Bowman, Professor of Theater, shared some of his memories about homecoming. “There has always been a show on homecoming. We’ve done six alumni shows since 1993. A former alumni contacted Rick Tyler about doing an alumni show, and they did. The first one was a murder mystery in the fall of ‘93. It used to be students did tech and alumni performed, and now it’s typically students perform one weekend and the alumni perform one weekend.” This year, the students will perform Thursday, alumni Friday, and a blended cast on Saturday due to fall break being early. “We have alums come from in and out of state, and they rehearse for 10 hours a day. I’m excited for the student response,” Jd said. He also appreciated that homecoming has been about alumni, the number of activities that go on, and especially hearing about the Young Alumni Awards.
President Schneider was a student from 1992 until 1996. He says that since being a student and becoming President, homecoming has changed in a few ways. “Homecoming has been going on for a long time. It was always a really big deal, I remember the student booths going all morning until game time. When I was on Spec staff, I wrote an editorial about homecoming. I wrote about welcoming alums, and how students were frustrated it wasn’t as student-driven. I think now we are doing a good job of balancing alumni and student activities. I love getting to see all of the alumni and meeting new people,” President Schneider said. He also remembers Bulldog Madness.
“It used to be called Midnight Madness, and it was always at midnight on the first day basketball was able to practice,” Schneider shared. This year, Bulldog Madness will be held on Sunday, October 21st at 9 p.m. in the Sports Center. This is the 11th annual Bulldog Madness. It is the kick off to basketball season, and there will be snacks, a free t-shirt for the first 300 people, performances, and a scrimmage.
Two new traditions at MC are the fall sports preview and Family Day. The fall sports preview is a new tradition this year. Each fall sports team was introduced, and SAB hosting games for students to participate in. The cheer team also performed fight song and various chants. Family Day began in spring of 2018, and although it began in spring, it will be held in the fall each year. This year, Family Day took place on September 29th. Families participated in a variety of activities throughout the day, including Family Feud, bingo, a scavenger hunt, and sporting events.
Many traditions come and go, but these are the ones McPherson College has seen throughout its history. The new ones are hoped to be carried on for many years to come, much like the ones already in place. These traditions help to make MC what it is today.