October 26, 2002
Rob Bryant, <i>Hullabaloo</i> News Co-Editor
Tulane is taking this years homecoming outside. For the first time since 1974, the Green Wave will take a vacation from the Superdome to play an outdoor homecoming football game against the Navy. The game, being played at Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park, is a move by Tulane to give students, parents, and alumni a more "traditional" homecoming experience, complete with tailgating parties, a tent village, and live music.
"I hope we have a sell out crowd and the entire event is packed with fun and Tulane spirit," President Scott Cowen said. Russell Dean, director of sales and marketing for the Athletic Department, feels that the new location will help build the spirits of everyone attending homecoming this year. "The atmosphere outside of the Superdome is stagnant. It is still our home, and inside the stadium has world class facilities, but outside, there are a lot of traditional homecoming activities that you just cant do, such as tailgating, open flames and parades."
The tent village, made possible by holding this years homecoming game at Gormley stadium, will centralize all of the gamedays events so that students, faculty and alumni can share in the Homecoming experience. Tulanes different departments and student organizations will gather in separate tents to show off their spirit, and the tents are being arranged to form the shape of a wave.
"We're just trying to bring everyone together," Russell said. Planning for this years Homecoming began in January.
Every year, each school and large department appoints a representative to the Homecoming Committee to plan the next year's event. Richard Dickson, director of Athletics, spearheaded the idea to hold the festivities at Tad Gormley; the Athletic department idea was brought up at a homecoming committee meeting last March. The idea took off and departments all over the school became enthusiastic about the prospect.
"The homecoming village is going to be fabulous. To have music there, to have food, for alumni to be able to walk around in the tents and reconnect with old friends and people that they knew its all very exciting," Charlotte Travieso, director of Alumni Affairs, said. In past years, the Homecoming parade took place the night before the Homecoming game on McAlister Drive.
This year, the parade will run directly adjacent to the tent village in City Park on the day of the game during the tailgating and will include the Homecoming court, Shriners, the Tulane Alumni Association and student organizations individual floats. The largest tents at the village will be the Presidents tent, the Alumni Affairs tent and the T-Club tent for ex-Tulane varsity athletes.
"I can't think of anything that the Homecoming Committee has forgotten," Travieso said. She also said she was very excited about the free face painting, balloons and Tulane CDs that will be passed out at the village.
Staff continued to work on Thursday at City Park and Tad Gormley Stadium to prepare for Saturday's events. Parts of the stadium were being renovated for the game. The press boxes received new carpeting and a fresh coat of paint, the Tulane logo and name were painted on the field, and work continued on setting-up new end zone scoreboard. The crews also erected tents and stage equipment tent village.
"Everything we do is to bring more fans in," Dean said. This years events began last Sunday evening with the "Lighting of Pocket Park," in which the 2002 Homecoming court was presented. The park was decked with green lights for school spirit, and the court presentations were followed by fireworks, a cappella concerts and a step show.
The festivities continued through the rest of the week as organizations painted the windows in the Pederson Lounge in the University Center. Students were served blue and green snowballs in Pocket Park, and President Cowen hosted the Reunion Reception for the classes of 1927, 1932, 1937, 1942, 1947, and 1952. Homecoming and parents weekend events continue to take place all day today, tomorrow, and Sunday.
The festivities will open Saturday with performance by violin player Amanda Shaw on the stage in Homecoming Village at 10:30 am. The football team will arrive at the stadium at approximately 12:25 p.m. at Gate D of the stadium. Fans are encouraged to meet the team as they enter to game to cheer them to victory. The Green Wave Mambo Parade will begin driving down Roosevelt Mall after the team arrives. Prior to the 2:30 p.m. kickoff there will be a military flyover of the stadium.
If the Wave wins, Tulane will pick up its sixth victory, moving the team one step closer to a post-season bowl game. Mewelde Moore needs just 56 yards to become the Green Wave's all-time rushing leader. Students interested in attending the game will be bussed from the University Center to the stadium beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday and go continuously until 2:30 p.m. when the game starts. Buses back to campus will leave immediately after the game for one hour.
Students will be dropped off and picked-up at the intersection of Roosevelt Mall and Golf Drive. Buses for people parking at Marconi Meadows will also be available beginning at 1 p.m. These buses drop off and pick-up at Gate B on Marconi Drive.
"I hope it will be a lot of fun. I cant wait to see how the tailgating and City Park work out!" said Stacy Mallard, Newcomb College Junior. When asked what he was most looking forward to about this Homecoming, Cowen said, "Seeing all the alumni and parents, and a big win over Navy."
Students, alumni and parents are encouraged to wear blue and green all weekend to show their school spirit.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org