Homecoming Returns to UArizona Campus
After last' year's virtual Homecoming, the theme of this year's in-person celebration is "Wildcats Together Again."
A week of University of Arizona Homecoming events begins Oct. 31 with the lighting of "A" Mountain and ends Nov. 6 as Arizona Football takes on Cal.
The theme of this year's celebration is "Wildcats Together Again," and thousands of alumni, friends and community members are expected to visit campus to enjoy new and traditional events.
This year's Homecoming also will include a Commencement ceremony for the class of 2020, which was unable to celebrate graduation in person due to COVID-19.
Last year's Homecoming festivities were mostly virtual amid the pandemic, making this year's celebration a true Homecoming, said John-Paul Roczniak, president and CEO of the University of Arizona Foundation, which manages the University Alumni and Development Program.
"It will be such a pleasure to see people returning to campus to reconnect," he said. "I'm also excited to recognize the class of 2020 in person. Let's make this Homecoming a great one for them and everyone in our community, including our student-athletes who will be performing on the field."
Halloween Lighting of "A" Mountain Kicks Off Festivities
Homecoming kicks off with the traditional lighting of "A" Mountain on Oct. 31. Members of the Bobcats Senior Honorary student group will gather to direct the placing of LED lights around the rocky "A" atop Sentinel Peak, known as "A" Mountain, to celebrate the start of the festivities.
A free community celebration of the lighting will take place at 5 p.m. at the MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento.
"We welcome families, students, alumni — everyone who wants to enjoy Homecoming and Halloween. Student groups will have candy for trick-or-treaters, and it will be a festive way to begin this special week," Roczniak said.
Sentinel Peak's "A" was proposed more than 100 years ago by UArizona football player and civil engineering student Albert H. Condron. It was built by UArizona students in 1916 at a cost of $397.
Tailgating, Bonfire and Alumni Awards
The last two days of the Homecoming week will be especially filled with celebratory alumni events, as well as events open to the public.
On Nov. 5, the day's events will begin with the announcement of a transformational gift to the College of Pharmacy at 9 a.m. Later that day, class of 2020 graduates and family members who have registered will attend Commencement in front of Old Main at 4 p.m. Bear Down Friday, Tucson's community pep rally, will begin at the same time at Main Gate Square, located on East University Boulevard between North Euclid Avenue and North Park Avenue. The traditional bonfire and crowning of Homecoming royalty will take place immediately after, at 7:30 p.m., at Old Main Berger Memorial Fountain. The celebration will conclude with fireworks.
On Nov. 6, the Wildcat for Life Tailgate Party on the University of Arizona Mall will begin at 8 a.m., four hours prior to the football game kickoff at noon. New this year will be Homecoming main-stage entertainment, featuring a variety of performers including the UArizona Club Cheer Team and musicians from the Fred Fox School of Music. The Asian American Faculty, Staff and Alumni Club will welcome dancers from the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, who will perform a lion dance. The club will also host a performance by Underskore, the university's student K-pop dance team.
Representatives from colleges will greet alumni at tents during the Wildcat for Life Tailgate Party and showcase their deans, faculty and students. Colleges will also host breakfasts and other gatherings that give alumni opportunities to reconnect throughout the week. Additional Homecoming events include the class of 1970 and 1971 reunions and Alumni of the Year Awards celebration.
A full calendar of events is available on the Homecoming website.
Campus visitors also will have a new opportunity to view and take photographs with a large sign reading "Bear Down." The sign, made of steel letters measuring 5 feet high by 36 feet wide, will be permanently installed during Homecoming week in front of the Main Library. The sign honors the history of "Bear Down" as the University of Arizona's rallying cry, as well as the more recent perseverance of the university community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Homecoming sponsors are Bank of America, UArizona BookStores, Geico, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, American Pacific Mortgage, Hensley Beverage Company and Raising Cane's.
- Lighting of "A" Mountain celebration at the MSA Annex, Oct. 31, 5 p.m.
- Alumni of the Year Awards Ceremony reception, Nov. 4, 2 p.m.
- Alumni of the Year Awards Ceremony, Nov. 4, 3 p.m.
- College of Pharmacy gift announcement, Nov. 5, 9 a.m.
- Class of 2020 Commencement at Old Main, Nov. 5, 4 p.m.
- Bear Down Friday at Main Gate Square, Nov. 5, 4 p.m.
- Pep rally during Bear Down Friday at Main Gate Square, Nov. 5, 6 p.m.
- Bonfire and crowning of royalty at Old Main Fountain, Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m.
- Wildcat for Life Tailgate Party on the University of Arizona Mall, Nov. 6, 8 a.m.
- Arizona Wildcats vs. California Golden Bears, Nov. 6, 12 p.m.
The Homecoming website provides full event details and offers the opportunity to sign up for updates and reminders.
All guests will be required to follow campus health and safety protocols in place at the time of events as well as adhere to any existing state and local guidelines. In addition, events may be canceled or changed on short notice due to public health circumstances. For updates and information, please visit covid19.arizona.edu/updates.
Livestreams of the lighting of "A" Mountain event, bonfire and Wildcat for Life Tailgate Party entertainment will be available on Arizona Alumni's YouTube and other social media channels for those who wish to join remotely.
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