Homecoming Festivites to Focus On Football, Scholar-AthletesBy Ann Ames
MIT will hold formal homecoming festivities this weekend for the first time in its history. Although there has been a homecoming game as long as there has been a football team, this is the first time people outside the athletic department have become involved.
In keeping with tradition, the focus of the weekend is a football game to be held at 1:00 p.m. in Steinbrenner Stadium. It will be broadcast by Tech sports columnists Mike Duffy G and Andrew Heitner G on WMBR. Coverage will begin with pre-game analysis at 12:45 p.m., and will include interviews with some of the honorees.
Many athletic teams other than the football team will also be competing this weekend, beginning with a golf tournament on Friday afternoon and ending with a women's sailing intersectional on Sunday morning. Coincidentally, this is the weekend of the Head of the Charles Regatta, an occurrence unknown to the planners of homecoming when they began their task.
The theme of the event is "Mind and Muscle: MIT Celebrates Student Athletes." Past recipients of the GTE Academic All-American award or NCAA post-graduate scholarships have been invited back to campus to receive recognition for their outstanding achievements. As a result of the invitation, twenty-three scholars will return to participate in the event. "I'm very excited. We've had a great response," said Theresa Joyce, homecoming coordinator in the Alumni Office.
The honors ceremony will take place during halftime of the football game, when melodies of praise provided by the MIT marching band will usher returning athletes onto the center of the field. Master of Ceremonies Howard Johnson, former president of MIT, will introduce each honoree and say a few words about athletics at the Institute.
Dwight Smith, head coach of the football team, feels that the homecoming theme "sums up what we're all about. It's appropriate to recognize scholar-athletes at a place like MIT." He hopes that the excitement of the weekend will spur renewed interest in the MIT athletic department.
Although the response from alumni in general has been less than promising, Joyce hopes this is simply because there was no formal response required of them. "The only thing they could do in advance was buy tickets to the barbecue. Since it's so inexpensive, it wasn't much incentive for people to reply," she said.
For those of the MIT community interested in mingling with alumni, Phi Gamma Delta has organized a barbecue next to the Howard Johnson Athletic Center. There will also be a post-game reception in the lobby of Kresge Auditorium.