Homecoming Expands for FallBy Ann Ames
Associate Sports Editor
MIT will hold its first formal homecoming on the weekend of Oct. 23. A series of events, athletic and otherwise, will take place to celebrate the theme: "Mind and Muscle . . . MIT Salutes Scholar Athletes."
During half-time of the traditional homecoming football game, former recipients of the GTE Academic All-American award or an NCAA post-graduate scholarship are honored. Collectively, MIT has received more awards than any other school, according to Theresa Joyce, project manager of alumni/ae activities. Fifty-nine men and women have been invited to return, and to date sixteen have committed themselves to the affair, Joyce said. Athletes will arrive from all over the country, and one is returning from as far away as Cyprus.
"We're thrilled that the Institute is using this theme," said Roger Crosley, director of sports information. "The fact that MIT is honoring these people says a lot about its commitment to the athletic department."
The weekend's busy athletic schedule actually begins on Friday afternoon, when the women's soccer team faces Clark University, here at MIT. At MIT on Saturday, the rifle squad takes aim against Virginia Military Institute, the men's soccer team takes its turn against Clark, and women's field hockey meets Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Men's cross-country runners will trek to Franklin Park, in Dorchester, for the Constitution Athletic Conference Championships. Also, the MIT crew teams will participate in the Head of the Charles Regatta, a coincidental occurrence the homecoming organizers were unaware of until just recently.
The football game will begin at 1:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon, with Nichols College opposing the Engineers.
A reception will be held for the honorees after the game and will be open to the entire MIT community. It is currently scheduled to take place in Rockwell Cage, though Joyce feels the location may have to be changed to avoid excessive noise from other athletic facilities.
In addition to the plethora of sporting activities, there will be a carnival Saturday in the parking lot of Johnson Athletic Center which will last until half-time of the football game. Any MIT organization may set up a booth to play a game or offer information. Also, just prior to the football game, Phi Gamma Delta will be barbecuing in the pits by the Athletic Center. People may purchase meals there or bring their own picnic lunches.
To "salute the mind," the Student Center Committee has arranged a virtual reality demonstration in the lobby of Kresge Auditorium, to take place on Saturday and Sunday. This will also be the feature presentation of Saturday's carnival.
Whether or not this is the Institute's first homecoming is actually a matter of debate, according to Crosley. There has been an annual homecoming game since the inception of the football team in 1978. This year, however, marks the first time campus organizations other than the athletic department will get involved.
The idea for a large-scale event originated in the Alumni Office. Drawing on her experiences at Northeastern University and other universities, Joyce began planning a homecoming that would incorporate various aspects of MIT life. She emphasized that this is "not just for alumni. It will only work if the whole community participates." All living groups are encouraged to organize reunion events for their alumni, and to contact the Alumni Office for assistance, if necessary.