The Oct. 26 gridiron showdown between the Sam Houston State University Bearkats and the McNeese State Cowboys will culminate a fun-filled week of activities surrounding SHSU's 1996 Homecoming celebration.

A variety of special events, including the traditional parade, bonfire and alumni receptions, are scheduled throughout the week of Oct. 21-27. Event organizers hope to make this year's SHSU homecoming one of the most memorable ever.

"We think homecoming events provide a unique opportunity for both current and former students to celebrate their connection with the institution that has played, and is playing, such a decisive role in shaping their lives," said Kathy Bowman, director of SHSU's Office of Alumni Relations. "In that spirit we're working with the SHSU Office of Student Activities, academic departments and student organizations to coordinate a myriad of campus-wide activities."

A western theme, "The Good, the Bad and the Orange," will echo throughout the week's festivities as student organizations vie once again for the coveted Homecoming Spirit Award. During the competition, teams will amass "spirit points" by demonstrating their enthusiasm at a number of special events organized by the Office of Student Activities. Points will also be garnered from contests in banner design, door decorating, parade float construction and even a special fashion competition event scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

The organization earning the most points during the week will be honored at the Oct. 26 halftime festivities at Bowers Stadium.

Receptions, dinners, parties and picnics will highlight special alumni-related activities during homecoming weekend as various academic and student organizations roll out the red carpet for returning students.

On Oct. 26. the SHSU Lettermen Association will hold its 25th Annual Hall of Honor Luncheon at 11 a.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

This year, three men who served as coaches and teachers and another who served in the military have been selected as SHSU Hall of Honor inductees. The former lettermen and the years in which they received degrees include: Albert W. Choate ('69); Curtis L. (Dike) Rose, ('37); Tom Wendt, ('77, '79); and William C. (Sonny) Lindley ('40).

Other special events planned for returning alumni include: the Kappa Alpha Open Golf Tournament, an open house at the Baptist Student Union, a special reception for black SHSU alumni, Zeta Phi Beta's Blue and White Picnic, and Sigma Chi's Alumni-Parent Barbecue.

Delta Sigma Theta is sponsoring three events on homecoming weekend: the "Fire and Ice" Step Show, a reunion banquet and a Sunday morning prayer breakfast.

Academic department-sponsored homecoming events include: the Journalism Recognition Reception, the Family and Consumer Sciences Reception, the Agricultural Alumni Reception, the Political Science Alumni Luncheon, the College of Business Mixer and the Biology/Environmental Science Barbecue.

Perhaps some of the biggest homecoming sideshows--the Golden Circle Reunion, the Distinguished Alumni Award Reception and "The Good, the Bad and the Orange" Pre-game Picnic--will be sponsored by SHSU's Office of Alumni Relations.

At the Golden Circle Reunion, SHSU's Class of '46 will celebrate its 50th year. The event, slated for 11 a.m., Oct. 25, at the Lowman Student Center, is open to all alumni in the Class of 1946, their friends, family and members of previous Golden Circle classes.

Five former SHSU students will be recognized for outstanding achievements at the annual Distinguished Alumni Award Reception set for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Lowman Student Center Ballroom. A silent auction benefiting the SHSU Alumni Association will be held during the reception and a dinner will follow at 7:30 p.m. Among those items on the auction block are autographed copies of faculty-authored books and a chance to conduct the SHSU Symphony Orchestra.

SHSU alumni to be honored at the event include: Dr. Thomas Davis, a SHSU mathematics professor; Dr. John H. Keller Jr., a family practice physician from Fairfield; Lynne Liberato, a Houston attorney; W. Jeanne Meurer, district judge of the 98th District Court in Austin; and Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra, deputy prime minister of Thailand.

On game day, the Bowers Stadium parking lot will be the center of activity for the "The Good, the Bad, and the Orange" Pre-game Picnic. From noon until gametime, ticket holders are invited to stop by for free food, cold drinks and a chance to mingle with current and former SHSU students. "Planet Hollywood," a band which includes former SHSU students, will perform at the picnic event.

The SHSU Residence Hall Association and the Department of Student Activities are joining forces with the Alumni Association to make the picnic one of the premier homecoming activities. Student organizations interested in contributing to the effort are urged to call the Office of Student Activities at 294-3861.

Running enthusiasts won't want to miss the Raven 5K Trail Run, slated for 8 a.m. Oct. 26. The foot race will follow two 1.5-mile loops through the piney woods adjoining the SHSU campus. The same course will be used later that day for the SHSU Cross Country Invitational competition.

Fun run registration runs through 5 p.m. Oct. 25. Entry fees are $2 for SHSU students and alumni, $3 for SHSU faculty and staff, and $4 for the general public. Race registration forms are available in room 104 of SHSU's Health and Kinesiology Center. Late registration will cost $5 and will be accepted from 5-8 p.m. on Oct. 25 at the HKC and from 8-8:45 a.m. at the race site on Oct. 26.

Those interested in more information on the Raven 5K Trail Run may contact Marvin Seale, assistant director of SHSU's Department of Recreational Sports and Activities, at 294-1985.

Homecoming activities actually begin Oct. 21 with the 1996 SHSU Homecoming King and Queen election. Students will cast their ballots through 6 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Cloak Room of the Lowman Student Center. In case of a runoff, the balloting will continue through 6 p.m. Oct. 23.

Another early event, a university-wide costume party slated for 8 p.m. Oct. 22 at Jackson-Shaver Hall, will offer students an opportunity to give their Halloween costumes a trial run.

On Oct. 24, festivities will shift into high gear when the homecoming parade rolls down Avenue H at 8 p.m.. This year, distinguished alumni honorees are expected to join homecoming queen and king candidates and a host of student organizations participating in the parade. Parade entry forms, due by 5 p.m. Oct. 21, may be picked up in room 316 of the Lowman Student Center.

Following the parade, amid a flurry of fanfare, the "Sam Jam Bonfire" will be torched in the Intramural Field next to Bowers Stadium. The bonfire-pep rally is slated to begin at 9:30 p.m.

In addition to the big Oct. 26 Bearkat-Cowboy showdown, three other collegiate athletic events are on tap for Homecoming weekend. At 7 p.m. Oct. 25 and 26, SHSU's LadyKat volleyball team will compete at the Bernard Johnson Coliseum. The women will face Southwest Texas State University on homecoming Friday and return the following day to take on the University of Texas-San Antonio. Beginning at 10 a.m. on Oct. 26. SHSU's Men's and Women's Cross Country Teams will host the annual SHSU Cross Country Invitational at the Intramural Fields.

Anyone interested in more information on Sam Houston State University's 1996 Homecoming festivities may contact SHSU's Office of Alumni Relations at 294-1941 or the Department of Student Services at 294-3861.


Media Contact: Phillip Rollfing

Oct. 18, 1996