History of Homecoming Week at Idaho State University – Jesse Weatherly

Throughout the 1950s-1960s homecoming weeks were memorable times for sororities and students. Competitions, football games, dances, parades, parties, and school were the ‘to-dos’ at Idaho State University (ISU). During the 1950s and 60s, public perception gained excitement during homecoming week due to the planning the public put into it.

People gathered for the preparation of the game, and danced together in the sorority halls. The evening balls were filled with laughter, dancing, and memories. There was just as big competitions with parading, dancing, and football. This kept alumni putting their homework aside for this week. There was just as much hype in the football preparation as the sorority float preparation. Queens and kings prepared for the recognition in the wicciup runner ups. The public prided their floats, and it was a culture to win the parade of homecoming week. There was code names for each group of alumni events, and it didn’t matter about the weather, all these sights filled the streets with spectators for the homecoming parade despite the weather. Competitors came from all over to compete for survival of the fittest competitions. The famous “Noise Parade” brought the pride into the football games, which ISU won most of them (8 out of 10). In 1962, they developed a newspaper to broadcast all of the ideas and events to the public. Throughout these years, the outreach of the events started getting bigger.

During the 2000s, homecoming week has turned to an iconic town event. The public as well as alumni look forward to the homecoming party after the football game, and lay it all out on the line. There is a difference in the communication of student body, and there is a less personal vibe at these events. “Strength in Stripes” is a saying that took over to hype up the alumni. “Homecoming is always a special celebration.”[2] These events were now broadcasted over social media events, and pictures of current events were up on the web. During 2018, a big bonfire burned in the parking lot in front of Holt Arena as we burned Cal Poly’s team flag. This pumped the football team up to beat Cal Poly. The teams and alumni get together to sing the Bengal pride song after the win of the football game. The homecoming party was at the PAR5 bar afterwards and there was dancing. Every day of the week, they had different events including free movie night, parade time, ISU homecoming dance/bonfire, and “kiss a Bengal” on red hill. In these years the outreach and coordination were at all-time highs. This was because of the technology which brought very good participation of the alumni. With the good participation it brought, technology also brought confusion in some of the people. They were confused on the spirit that was put into some of the events because of the form of communication among the student body.

The rise in technology has no doubetly played a role in how homecoming week outcome. The homecoming traditions are reminiscing of the 50s-60s. The student bodies have since lost spirit in the parade, but even more are involved. The spirit is still there, but the methods of interaction and communication was changed. ISU’s classes, student body, has all changed. The interaction of the students matters when reflecting homecoming week. This week of events had pages and pages in the wicciup, and now it’s on social media. After 1971, the wicciup stopped getting created. This was also a time when coloring just started to come out, and the broadcast media wasn’t up to speed. During these prime years (1970s-2000s) there was a gap in technology. This led to disconnection at the ISU updating homecoming week. This technology also brought more people to the school, which is the reason they stopped doing wicciups after 1971. The 50-60s were a highlight growth time of homecoming week, and the interactions with what students attended was remarkable. The interactions are the same nowadays, but in different ways.

Through homecoming week’s legacy, technology has played a huge role on the participants’ perception of the events. Humanity has caused changes in homecoming week from then to now. The culture, preparation, and the marketing of homecoming week has changed. How will homecoming continue to change with the evolution of technology? The memorable cultures have and will remain the same. However, if the participants of homecoming week celebrate it like old times with the new broadcast technology, what would it look like? Homecoming week is a fun time for the town of Pocatello, and the culture will remain the same from the sororities back in 1959.

– Jesse Weatherly


Works Cited

“Godfrey Reggio Technology Quotes.” QuoteHD. Accessed December 02, 2018. http://www.quotehd.com/quotes/godfrey-reggio-director-quote-its-not-just-the-effect-of-technology-on-the.

“Idaho State University Alumni Homecoming Week Events Planned Sept. 22-24.” US Fed News (USA), August 20, 2016. http://libpublic3.library.isu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsnbk&AN=15EE555D8CA98420&site=eds-live&scope=site.

Special Collections Department, Idaho State University Eli Oberli Library, Pocatello, Idaho. Eli Oberli Library Publication. Pocatello, Idaho : The Library, wicciups, 1950-1960s., 2018. http://libpublic3.library.isu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat06825a&AN=isu.b1344332&site=eds-live&scope=site.









[1] Quote by historian Godfrey Reggio

[2] Quote by K.C