NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Homecoming on college campuses is a tradition, but many were canceled or held virtually last year due to the pandemic.
Tennessee State University is gearing up for their homecoming week. It’s in-person and they’re kicking off celebrations this weekend.
On Sunday, the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest, Gospel Explosion, and a block party will be held. This year’s homecoming is called TSU Homecoming: “The Return."
Homecoming will be the first in-person celebration in over a year for the HBCU.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced TSU to have a non-traditional virtual homecoming last year.
This year’s celebration is much back to normal, but the university is still being mindful of COVID-19 and keeping everyone safe.
“We're being very strategic and very intentional about our planning. We want to proceed with caution and we want to follow all of our safety protocols. We will be social distancing. And are encouraging mask wearing throughout the entire weekend, even outside,”
Homecoming is usually about the alumni, but this HBCU wants to make it a special event for current students too.
They’ve been through challenging times and the 2021 Chairman of Homecoming Planning Committee Grant Winrow says this upcoming week of events is for them, too.
He’s hope everyone will follow protocols, so they can keep all the events on schedule and people can have a great Homecoming.
“We're being very strategic and very intentional about our planning, we want to proceed with caution, and we want to follow all of our safety protocols, and throughout the you know all of our social distancing. You know we're encouraging mask wearing throughout the entire weekend, even outside” TSU Asst. Dean of Student Affairs, 2021 Chairman of Homecoming Planning Committee Grant Winrow said.
Besides the big game against Murray State at Nissan Stadium on Oct. 30th and the parade that morning, another major highlight of TSU’s homecoming is the annual scholarship Gala, TSU’s signature fundraiser event.It will take place on Oct. 29 at the Music City Center.
This year, the gala welcomes Grammy award-winning artist Howard Hewett, and for masters of ceremony, award-winning radio personality Jasmine Sanders and comedian and actor Rodney Perry.
“The Gala provides the critical funds necessary to meet the significant need for student scholarships, as well as ensure students have access to relevant academic programs that prepares them for an innovative and global marketplace,” says gala chairwoman Iris Ramey, who is assisted by co-chairs Debbi Howard and Marie Sueing. “We are very fortunate to have a community of donors and friends who have given of their time, energy, and personal resources to invest in Tennessee State University.”
Other homecoming activities this year include:
- Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest on Oct. 24
- Coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU on Oct. 27
- Homecoming concert featuring rappers Chief Keef, Sada Baby, Dreezy, and Big Scarr on Oct. 28
- Breakfast of Champions, the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, and the National Pan-Hellenic Step Show on Oct. 29
- Homecoming Parade on Oct. 30
The parade will start on 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Boulevard.
“We are bringing back our legendary parade, which is a staple of our homecoming. We have over 100 entrants that will be participating this year, including a lot of our elected officials, and those who are aspiring to be elected officials. All of our alumni and friends want to come back just to celebrate what we've missed out in 2020,” Winrow said.
To see the full list of events for Homecoming at TSU; click here.