University of Central Arkansas will celebrate homecoming virtually October 26-31. There will be downloads, interactive virtual events and more.

“Homecoming at UCA is such a special time of year. Traditionally, homecoming is a time for alumni to come home to campus. This year will be celebrated a little differently—from the comfort of their own home. I still want to bring the feeling of being back on campus and getting to visit with fellow alumni,” Executive director Alison Taylor said. “We have created several avenues for our alumni using interactive virtual events and some other fun activities, like a virtual 5K.”

Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Life Jacob Ternes said the committee has been meeting via zoom to prepare for homecoming.

“The biggest changes are the shift of focus from in-person events to virtual and/or hybrid. For example, the bingo event that took place last year in the Student Center Ballroom will now happen virtually, hosted by a company called Degy Entertainment,” Ternes said. “The Pep Rally will also be live streamed on Youtube instead of having an in-person audience, the only people who will gather in person will be the people participating in the program.”

Ternes said, “involvement will look different, but we are optimistic there will still be a high level of student involvement. The royalty nomination deadline was Oct. 5 and this year we had more nominees than last year, so that's great. Since the bingo event is happening virtually, an unlimited number of students are able to participate, whereas last year participation was capped at 200 students. The live-streamed pep rally will allow students to participate from wherever they are and so we hope to have hundreds tune in for that event.”

In order for Homecoming to be successful and enjoyable, Ternes said students must be willing to participate in the virtual events and have fun with them. “They must also commit to following social distancing and mask guidelines at the things that are happening in person, for example the football game,” Ternes said.

According to uca.edu/homecoming, there will be a banner competition Monday, Oct. 26. Banners will be displayed at the Student Center Amphitheater and on the Student Center Lawn by 10:00 a.m. Banners will remain on display for the week of Homecoming.

The Homecoming pep rally will be Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Virtual Bingo will start on Zoom at 6pm Wednesday, Oct. 28.

The Bear Essentials Non-Perishable Food Drive- Day 2 will be Thursday, Oct. 29.

The football game will be against Missouri Western State University Saturday, Oct. 31 at 3pm.

According to uca.edu/homecoming, Homecoming shirts can be pre-ordered online. The shirts are heathered purple short sleeve style, featuring Bruce and Sugar in their Roaring 20's style attire on the front pocket. The back is styled in 1920s design with the final two lines of the Alma Mater prominently featured.

The shirts are $15 and can be pre-ordered today. They will be available for pick-up at Buffalo Alumni Hall or can be shipped to you for $5 flat rate.

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