Through all the hardships and changes over the past year and a half, the NAU community can come together, celebrate the university’s success and show off our Lumberjack pride during this year’s Homecoming week. Homecoming 2021 will include many traditional events that were missing from last year’s virtual celebration.
“The committee is excited to have in-person events,” Kevin Gemoets, director of Student Life, said. “Last year the committee planned a phenomenal virtual Homecoming experience, but nothing beats being in-person to experience the vibrancy of our campus during Homecoming week.”
With an event as large as this, many different departments, organizations and committees help plan the week’s events. Blue Key Honor Society helps with the planning of Homecoming events, specifically the Homecoming Parade on Oct. 16.
“Every year, Blue Key heads up and is responsible for coordinating and putting on the Homecoming Parade to finish off NAU Homecoming week,”
Canon Tulloss, Blue Key vice president, said. “We work with the Homecoming Committee as a whole, interacting with major departments that are responsible for making NAU run the way that it does. As a club, we separate into different committees, each responsible for a different aspect of the parade. We are all in constant communication with each other, helping and answering questions that come up.”
Homecoming is all about connecting students, faculty, staff and the community and celebrating the university through campus events and activities. ASNAU, the undergraduate student government, plans the Homecoming carnival each year. Although the carnival is a student-only event, ASNAU’s Chief of Staff Shelby Varner loves how Homecoming week brings people together.
“There’s something for everyone! Every year, Homecoming is dedicated to a staff or faculty member who is honored at the dedicatee banquet. The parade involves not only students, but faculty, staff, alumni and the Flagstaff community, as all are welcome. Homecoming is where we all come together to celebrate and show off our Lumberjack pride, and it’s amazing to see.” Varner said.
Homecoming week begins Monday, Oct. 11, and ends Saturday, Oct. 16. Student-only events are marked with an asterisk (*) and may require a valid student ID.
Monday, Oct. 11
- Make it Monday*, 7 p.m. in Union Point—Students will gather and make festive decorations for Homecoming week to show their Lumberjack pride.
- Coming Out Month open mic*, 7 p.m. in the University Union Fieldhouse —Join the Office of Inclusion (IMQ) as we celebrate National Coming Out Day with an LGBTQIA+ focused Open Mic Night. Come share your voice and enjoy performances from fellow NAU community members.
Wednesday, Oct. 13
- Dedicatee banquet, 11:30 a.m. in Ponderosa/Skydome—This banquet honors a student-elected faculty or staff member who embodies the values and true spirit of NAU. This year, Ralph Padilla will be honored for his 33 years of service working in NAU’s grounds crew. Read more about Padilla, and purchase tickets for the banquet online.
Thursday, Oct. 14
- Traditions Day pep rally, bonfire and chili cook-off*, 5:30 p.m. in Central Quad—Warm up with a large bonfire and great-tasting chili with other students.
- Women’s volleyball vs. Idaho State, 6:30 p.m. in Rolle Activity Center—Tickets are required and can be purchased online.
Friday, Oct. 15
- Homecoming Carnival*, 4 p.m. on the Union Pedway and parking lot P11—ASNAU hosts the annual carnival for students, including free rides, hot chocolate, hennas, caricatures, photobooths and more.
- Honored Alumni ceremony, 5 p.m. via livestream—Celebrate alumni who have demonstrated excellence in their careers and extraordinary dedication to the university. The livestream is available on the NAU Foundation website.
Saturday, Oct. 16
- Flannels and Flapjacks*, 8 a.m. in Central Quad—Enjoy a free pancake breakfast before the rest of the day’s festivities.
- Café au Louie alumni breakfast, 8 a.m. in 1899 Bar & Grill—Alumni can come together for a buffet-style breakfast. Tickets can be purchased online for $10 or $15 at the door.
- Homecoming Parade, 8:30 a.m. for VIP staging, 9 a.m. for parade around campus perimeter—Floats made by students and community members will surround the campus with Lumberjack pride.
- Tailgate, 10 a.m. in Skydome parking lot—Pregame fun for everyone.
- Honors College open house, 10:30 a.m. in Honors College—Learn more about NAU’s Honors College program at this informative open house.
- Football vs. Southern Utah, 1 p.m. in the Skydome—Tickets are required and can be purchased online.
- Women’s volleyball vs. Weber State, 6 p.m. in Rolle Activity Center—Tickets are required and can be purchased online.
Maddie Blunier | NAU Communications