The 2011 University of Arkansas homecoming theme, “Journey Through the Decades,” unites alumni of all generations with today’s students. The theme was unveiled during Friday night’s pep rally at the Chi Omega Greek Theatre.

“This year’s theme shows new and old traditions to connect students and alumni through various activities and community service,” said Alexa Albrecht, the Student Alumni Board homecoming chairman.

Activities leading up to the Nov. 5 homecoming game against the South Carolina Gamecocks  include a variety of events such as Make a Difference Day, in which the Student Alumni Association encourages students and alumni to participate in community service projects all over the Northwest Arkansas area.

Another new event for this year’s homecoming includes the Campus Beautification Project with the Associated Student Government and Facilities Management. Faculty, staff, students and alumni can take pride in the campus and participate in this project.

Always a success, the Homecoming Blood Drive, hosted with the American Red Cross and University Recreation, is set for Nov. 2 and 3. The goal is to collect 1,800 units of blood, Albrecht said.

Other events throughout the week of Oct. 31-Nov. 5 include: Hot Dogs with Head Hogs; Tusk Tuesday chili cook-off; a 3-3 flag football game; a Thursday night concert, in partnership with the Associated Student Government, featuring student bands; a pep rally; the lawn competition; a Halloween event in partnership with University Programs; Hogs Through the Decades; and the traditional parade.

“We really want to emphasize volunteering and community service,” Albrecht said. “Our main focus is to implement healthy competition, increase student diversity, increase unity and increase alumni involvement.”

A new addition to homecoming includes distributing special red and white “Journey Through the Decades” wristbands to blood drive volunteers and donors. The wristbands can be used to receive special discounts at Dickson Street businesses.

For more details about homecoming and a schedule of events, visit homecoming.uark.edu or call the Arkansas Alumni Association at 888-275-2586.

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