Monday, October 08, 2012

Ball State Homecoming: A Digital History

The arrival of Homecoming 2012 provides members of the Ball State community with the perfect opportunity to celebrate school spirit, traditions, and memories.  And what better way to get in the homecoming spirit than to check out the many digitized resources documenting the history of this tradition at Ball State.  Thanks to the efforts of Ball State University Libraries, many archival materials documenting the history of homecoming at Ball State are available for viewing worldwide in the Digital Media Repository.

The fanfare and pageantry of Ball State's homecoming parades are captured best in the Ball State University Historic Films and Videos collection, which contains a variety of Ball State-produced films documenting homecoming events throughout the school's history.  A few highlights from this collection are available below:

Ball State vs. Indiana State,
Homecoming 1951 (Click to view)

Homecoming pie-eating
contest, 1955 (Click to view)

Pride of Mid-America march
in parade, 1972 (Click to view)

The Ball State University Campus Photographs collection, another Digital Media Repository resource, contains thousands of digitized archival photographs documenting the history of Ball State, including many from homecomings past.  A few favorites from this collection are available below:

Homecoming bonfire, 1963 (Click for full image)
Homecoming parade passes by the Administration Building, 1965 (Click for full image)
Students cheer on the Cardinals at the homecoming game, 1973 (Click for full image)

1962 Homecoming Queen Charlotte Beach (Click for full image)
Digitized archival publications such as the Orient yearbook and the Ball State Daily News (known previously as The Easterner and The Ball State News) also provide insight into the history of homecoming at Ball State, highlighting fun and interesting facts about the development of this tradition.

First ever homecoming game, 1926
(Click for full image)
For instance, the first homecoming at Ball State was held on November 13, 1926, with Hanover College serving as the opponent on the gridiron.  As reported in the November 18, 1926 edition of The Easterner, the game resulted in a 13-0 victory for Ball State (then known as the Hoosieroons of Ball Teachers' College, Indiana State Normal School, Eastern Division, or Normal for short).  According to the same edition of the paper, the first homecoming attracted 400 alumni and featured a bonfire, pep rally, parade, and a student-led snake dance through downtown Muncie.

Marjorie Haisley
(Click for full image)

The selection of a Homecoming Queen at Ball State was not always part of the school's homecoming festivities.  This tradition at Ball State traces its roots to the 1938 Homecoming, when Marjorie Haisley was awarded the crown.  The decision to begin this tradition was announced in the September 30, 1938 edition of the The Ball State News.  The paper explained the the duties of the Homecoming Queen were "to head the parade on Saturday, present awards, preside over the football game, and reign at the Homecoming dance."

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