Olivia Piziali | Reporter

This year, BGSU will celebrate the 100-year anniversary of homecoming. 

Current students, families and alumni will come together this week to celebrate the spirit of the university.

This year, there will be a dedication ceremony for the Alumni Gateway. On Friday, there will be a Welcome Back Party on Court Street from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Director of Student Engagement Brian Heilmeier talked about the Welcome Back Party and what it represents.

“The party stretches from Thurstin to Prospect Street near the courthouse. For current students or alumni returning, it gives them a chance to walk around and check out the different activities. There will be games, music, food…all kinds of things happening. It is a new addition… gives a sense of connection between campus and downtown,” Heilmeier said.

One tradition that continues to be a favorite among the Bowling Green community is the Freddie and Frieda 5K. On Saturday morning, students and alumni can walk or run alongside our favorite birds in the long-standing tradition. In addition to our favorite birds, BGSU alumnus and Olympian Gold Medalist Dave Wottle will start the race.

With many changes to campus, Heilmeier spoke on why the new design features on campus create a special feeling for those involved in the race.

“One of the long-standing events, it is a cool opportunity to see all of campus. The route is on campus this year. Starting at the gateway and ending at the BGSU letters. It is also a fun way to start the morning,” Heilmeier said.

One annual tradition is the tailgate before the big football game. Tailgates and football typically go hand-in-hand but there is some curiosity about their origin.

In an article from the History Channel, the author explains that the modern tailgate dates back to ancient Greece and Rome.

“When contests emerged for entertainment, it was natural for food to be part of the gathering. People would travel to watch and would bring meals, which turned into festive gatherings,” according to the history channel. 

This year’s tailgate on Saturday, Sept. 17 has various attractions for current students and alumni. Food, games and a zipline will be available to enjoy.

Heilmeier spoke on the various tents that will be on display for the BGSU community during the tailgate.

“We have about 32 different tents in the tailgate area. Each college has a tent as well as some athletic teams, sororities and fraternities and the Thompson Scholars. There are a lot of different chances for folks to find a place at the tailgate tent… or hang out with friends,” Heilmeier said.

Homecoming has always been a great way for the BGSU community to come together and show school spirit. This year, homecoming will be seen as monumental.

Heilmeier talked about the importance of this year’s homecoming events, whether it be for alumni or current students, but most were created for both.

“The 100th year is a big thing, we have a lot of folks coming back. Last year, we were able to do homecoming but people were a little apprehensive due to COVID-19. I think we are in a lot better place public health-wise. You only get to celebrate 100 years once. Those two things coupled together… will make this weekend very special,” Heilmeier said.

Homecoming events for students, in addition to the events mentioned above:

  • All-Campus Picnic, Sept. 14, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bowen-Thompson Quadrangle

  • Res Life Annual Bed Races & Block Party, Sept. 15, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Parking Lot N

  • Free Movie Under the Stars, Sept. 16, 9:30 p.m., Bowen-Thompson Quadrangle

  • Falconland, Sept. 17, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Bowen-Thompson Quadrangle

  • Tailgate, Sept. 17, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tailgate Park on the south end of Doyt L. Perry Stadium

  • Homecoming Football game, Sept. 17, 5 p.m., Doyt L. Perry Stadium

  • Brunch with the Birds, Sept. 18, 10 a.m. to noon, at the Social House

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