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Sunday, May 19
The Indiana Daily Student

campus student life

115 years of IU Homecoming


IU hosted its first homecoming event back in 1908. Then called “Gala Week,” it was an event designated for alumni and included a circus and banquet, according to the Indiana University Bloomington website.

According to IU Blogs, one of the earliest mentions of IU’s homecoming parade was in 1908—the same year IU began celebrating “Gala Week,”—in the Arbutus yearbook, which included a campus promenade, or public walk.

The first official documentation of IU’s homecoming parade is a photo from 1923 of a float in the parade. That year, “Gala Week” was officially recognized as a homecoming celebration.

According to IU Blogs, these early parades consisted of city and university officials, local celebrities, marching bands, football players, members of IU athletics staff, coaches and cheerleaders.

According to the Herald-Times, “Gala Day” was officially moved to the weekend of IU’s football game against Purdue in 1909, and the week leading up to it was referred to as “Home-Coming-Week.” In 1910, the event was just referred to as “Homecoming.”

Celebrities have also made appearances at IU’s homecoming festivities over the years, including television host and writer Jane Pauley, and comedian and actor Bob Newhart, according to the Herald-Times article.

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