Panther Pride is alive during Homecoming

The colors purple and gold seem to dominate the University of Northern Iowa student's wardrobe this time of year. Window paint and an abundance of sidewalk chalk appear overnight and Panther Pride Cries can be heard throughout campus. This can mean only one thing…Homecoming!

Almost every university and college in the country celebrate this tradition; UNI's Homecoming activities started on Oct. 3 and ends Oct. 8. Students, faculty, staff and alumni attend familiar events including the Panther Pride Cry Competition, campaniling, the Panther Festival, the UNI vs. Indiana State football game and more, all with a Panther Pride twist.

Homecoming

UNI students stop by the Panther Pride Picnic for some lunch on a gorgeous day during Homecoming 2011.

"Homecoming is a time to celebrate why we, as a community of students, faculty and alumni, love the University of Northern Iowa," said Kristen Mcpheron, UNI junior and pep rally chair for the 2011 Homecoming Committee. "It allows us to come together, despite differences we may have, to share the pride that comes with being a Panther."

Homecoming-themed mural paintings already line the halls of Maucker Union and students got to enjoy a gorgeous day outside for the popular Panther Pride Picnic.

On Oct. 5, the first round of the Panther Pride Cry Competition was held, with finals taking place on Oct. 7 in conjunction with the pep rally and a fireworks finale.

"The one thing I enjoy most about Homecoming is the pep rally," said Jessie Stinson, UNI program coordinator for Greek life and advisor for the Homecoming Committee. "I love that it brings the campus community and the Cedar Valley community together to get excited about the big football game!"

The big day is Oct. 8. It starts early with a Panther Pacers 5k cross country run, then moves onto the Panther Festival featuring UNI student organizations, inflatable games, food and fun. And, what is Homecoming, or even a football game for that matter, without tailgating? Campus and community members are invited to the Sixth Annual Safe Date Tailgate for a free pre-game lunch as well as information about the issues surrounding gender-based violence prevention – safe dates are always the best dates.

Finally, the UNI-Dome will be jam-packed with a sea of purple and gold as the Panthers take on Indiana State in the culmination of Homecoming activities.

"Homecoming is important for UNI because it gives us the opportunity to reflect on past memories and look ahead to what new memories we can make," said Mcpheron. "It really is a time of celebrating what we have and why we're here."

Keep checking the This is UNI website for more Homecoming photos. For more information and a full list of Homecoming events, visit http://www.uni.edu/homecoming/.