Homecoming is one of the most precious and time-honored traditions at Baylor University. It started in 1909, making it the first homecoming. This tradition has been carried out for over 100 years. Baylor’s Homecoming has also evolved into the largest homecoming in the nation. Homecoming is something that united both the current students, and invited the alumni to come back and reminisce on their college years. This weekend of events is something that even over the many years has changed little to none. It is something that is so loved and cherished by both alumni and current students and encouraged collaboration between the two. However precious this tradition, it was not consistent right after it first began. Baylor had to choose between tradition or patriotism.
The First Homecoming This first homecoming was November 24 & 25, 1909. This was Thanksgiving weekend. Homecoming was a much-anticipated event. “It has been the dream for years of many of the former students and graduates of Baylor University to have some time a reunion of the large Baylor family” (Guittard, Pool, & Ragland). The “purpose of Home-coming was to give and opportunity for the joyful meeting of former student friends, an occasion when old classmates could again feel the warm hand-clasp of their fellows, recall old memories and associations, and catch the Baylor spirit again” (Hargrove, 1909). Professors F.G. Guittard, W.H. Pool, and George Ragland, who composed the general committee of arrangement, wanted to make sure that the alumni knew that they were not inviting them back for fundraising. “The purpose of the home-coming is to be purely social and fraternal” (Guittard, Pool, & Ragland). Baylor launched a massive outreach to their alumni publicizing this event. They sent out personal invitations written by students, which included signatures
References: Armstrong, A.J. (Ed.) (1918, August 22). Military Training. The Lariat. p.1 Baylor University Senior Class Brooks, S.P. (1913). Newspapers and International Peace. A letter to the Galveston-Dallas News. Brooks, S.P (1924, October 24). Homecoming Day to Be Made Annual Event: Work is Continued. The Lariat, p.4. Minatra, O. (Ed.) (1909, November 26). Campus Scenes. The Lariat, p. 4 Minatra, O Minatra, O. (Ed.) (1909, November 26). Old Folk Soirée. The Lariat, p. 2 Minatra, O Roy, C.W. (1915, January 28). Strongest Football Schedule of Bear’s History Promised. The Lariat, p.1 Walker, H.W Walker, H.W. (Ed.) (1915, September 30). Member of Class of ’50 Will Be at Home-Coming. The Lariat, p. 1 Walker, H.W Youngblood, M. (Ed.) (1918, November 7). Baylor Takes Initial Step in United War Work Drive. The Lariat, p.1