Golden Billikens back for Homecoming

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Rooted in a tight-knit community, homecoming at Saint Louis University is a time for families, alumni and students to come together. It is here where members of SLU’s community celebrate its traditions and mission.

One such tradition is the Golf Cart Parade, which will take place on Saturday, Sept 28.

“The parade features about 50 carts that are decorated by various student groups and departments on campus. It’s definitely a unique experience where students and staff members are able to show pride in their own organization or office,” said Anastacia Sontag, Student Activities Board (SAB) Advisor.

This year has a special event marking Oriflamme’s 50th anniversary. The group, which helps first-year students adjust during their first few weeks at SLU, will be hosting an alumni reception on the homecoming weekend to celebrate their milestone.

Homecoming organizers generally spend the majority of a month getting things together. Cindy Aiazzi, who works on alumni relations, says that planning starts 11 months in advance. “From coordinating alumni reunions, to setting athletic schedules, to inviting parents and families, large parts of the University are involved in all of the events.”

Aiazzi also has a special role in planning the 50th reunion for the Golden Billikens group. She remarked that, when these alumni come back, “it is so incredible for them to see how much SLU has grown.”

Not every event takes place on Saturday however.

SAB is co-sponsoring an outdoor movie with Parent & Family Programs on Friday evening at 9 p.m. that will show Monsters University.

In addition to the other events on Saturday, Greek Life is sponsoring a wiffleball tournament.

Families and students are also invited to attend the soccer game, with a firework show at halftime.

Whatever the event, many can agree that being with the SLU community is the best part.

“Though all of the events are special, my favorite part is seeing all of the groups come together to celebrate,” said Aiazzi. “Seeing our Golden Billikens meet our current students, seeing parents meet our outstanding Jesuits, seeing our recent grads gather again at the soccer game – and seeing our alumni bring their young children back to their campus – it really shows that we are all Billikens.”

Sontag held the same sentiment.

“It’s really sweet to see families reunited after being away for the last month since the start of the academic year,” Sontag said.

“While I have really enjoyed my first month here, I miss my family back home very much,” Freshman Tracy Gutzke said. “Seeing them and showing off how great SLU is will definitely be a highlight of my freshman year.”