Ouachita Baptist University alumni and current students can connect at Homecoming Week Oct. 7-12 by participating in various activities planned on campus, including celebrating 35 years of Tiger Tunes.
The goal of homecoming “is to get more people to come back, we want to make it more about the whole weekend,” said Jon Merryman, director of alumni. The attendance for Tiger Tunes, a campus-wide song and dance competition that raises money for scholarships, is typically great, but Merryman said he hopes that by adding more class reunions, OcTiger Feast and a Street Festival more people will be drawn to visit for the whole weekend.
“We want to make sure alums stay as connected as possible,” Merryman said. “When alums come back and see students on campus and what they are doing, they are more inclined to continue to be involved. Also, they are encouraged to hire Ouachita grads and want to give back to the university. It’s a great thing for them to come back and be on campus.”
In addition to increased alumni-focused events, student organizations will host a number of events for current students.
Monday, Oct. 7, lunch will be served on the lawn from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The men of Beta Beta and Rho Sigma will host an assortment of games on the lawn for students to enjoy at that time, and the men of Eta Alpha Omega will serve root beer floats at noon in Grant Plaza. Down at the SPEC lower parking lot, the women of EEE will decorate cars with purple and gold from 3-4:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, Oct. 8, Homecoming Chapel will begin at 10 a.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center, where the Homecoming nominees will be introduced. Alumni who live in Clark County are invited to a special dinner at Magnolia Manor at 5:30 p.m. Complimentary tickets are available at www.obualumni.org. Later that night, the men of Sigma Alpha Sigma will roast s’mores on the campus lawn from 9:30-11 p.m.
At noon on Wednesday, Oct. 9, the women of Tri Chi will provide all the necessities to make spirit flags and game day banners at the Rachel Fuller & Ouachita Singers Memorial Amphitheatre. Also at that time, the men of Eta Alpha Omega will serve chili dogs in Grant Plaza, and the women of Chi Rho Phi will host balloon dart art on the Mabee Fine Arts Center porch. Later that night is Tiger Tunes dress rehearsal, immediately followed by an after party at Dr. Jack’s Coffeehouse, sponsored by Student Senate.
“This will be the first night that they will all have been given a chance to see the shows that their friends have been pouring hours of practice and energy into,” said Student Senate President Lindsey Fowler, a senior political science, history and business administration/finance major from Arkadelphia. “The excitement of Tiger Tunes is at an all-time high as everyone looks forward to the weekend’s festivities.”
Thursday, Oct. 10, kicks off GROW (Getting Ready for Ouachita’s World), an opportunity for prospective students to experience what life at Ouachita is really like by staying overnight in the residence halls, attending Tiger Tunes and visiting classes. At noon, the men of Kappa Chi will serve brownies and ice cream on the campus lawn, and the women of Chi Delta will serve gold and purple snow cones in Grant Plaza. The first performance of Tiger Tunes will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center. Thursday night’s Tiger Tunes performance will be immediately followed by Refuge, Ouachita’s weekly student-led worship service, in the Student Village circle.
“Since this is the 35th annual Tiger Tunes production, we are doing a lot to showcase the history of the show,” said Joey Licklider, manager of Jones Performing Arts Center. “We have invited back all the past hosts and hostesses to the show and are even going to have them perform in a number on stage! It’s going to be great to see lots of alumni who have been in Tunes before and talk about some great memories from past shows.”
On Friday, Oct. 11, the men of Eta Alpha Omega will serve Frito chili pie in Grant Plaza at noon. The Buddy Benson Memorial Golf Tournament will tee off at 12:30 p.m. at DeGray Lake Golf Course. The classes of 2003, 1988 and 1973 will all celebrate reunions that evening in Walker Conference Center at 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively. Another Tiger Tunes performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. at JPAC, followed by a cookout in Tiger Alley (5th St. between JPAC and Jones Science Center) hosted by the men of Kappa Chi.
On Saturday, Oct. 12, Homecoming is in full swing. Breakfast is available at Dr. Jack’s Coffeehouse starting at 8 a.m. OcTiger Fest, a time of fellowship and reunion for groups across campus, will be held on the campus lawn from 9-11 a.m., followed by a new event, OcTiger Feast at 11 a.m.
Pre-game activities including the crowning of the 2013 Homecoming Queen will take place at 12:30 p.m. at A.U. Williams Field before the 1 p.m. kickoff time of the football game against Northwestern Oklahoma State. At halftime of the footgall game, the Alumni Milestone Award Recipients will be recognized by President Rex Horne. Recipients include Dr. Larry Taylor (’63), Judge Bobby Shepherd (’73), Gene Whisenhunt (’83), Jay Heflin (’93) and Dr. Kristen (Rickett) Nelson (’03). Alumni from the 1980s are invited to a mixer in Walker Conference Center immediately following the football game.
Saturday evening, the first of two Tiger Tunes performances begins at 5 p.m. in JPAC. Between shows is the Homecoming Street Festival featuring grilled fajitas and festive fare from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Tiger Alley (5th St. between JPAC and JSC). The final Tiger Tunes show will begin at 8:30 p.m. in JPAC. Immediately following the final Tunes performance, the men of Eta Alpha Omega will host their annual Muggin’ root beer party on the campus lawn.
Alumni can reserve all Homecoming event tickets online at www.obualumni.org or call the Ouachita Alumni office at (870) 245-5111. Tiger Tunes tickets must be preordered through the Ouachita Student Foundation (OSF) online at www.obutigertunes.com. A free Tunescast of the 8:30 p.m. Saturday Tiger Tunes performance will be webcast live at www.obusignal.com. To register your high school junior or senior for GROW, call (800) DIAL-OBU or visit www.obu.edu/grow.
By Jessica Stewart