homecoming_prerally_hogUniversity of Arkansas 2009 Homecoming jump started as the Student Alumni Board, in partnership with the American Red Cross, collected 1,717 units of blood during the two-day blood drive. That number set a new regional and state record for the third-consecutive year.

Following the 2009 Homecoming theme, “A Red & White Affair: Celebrating 100 Years of Razorback Pride,” the week-long schedule of events leading up to the victorious Eastern Michigan vs. Arkansas game carried on a tradition that officially began in 1922. Throughout the week, fraternities and sororities, registered student organizations and residence halls competed for points. The Homecoming winners were announced during the football game, where Kimberly L. Smith, a health science major from Hot Springs, was crowned queen. She was escorted by Associated Student Government Vice President Andrew LeNarz and the four members of the court – Mattie Bookhout, Locke Isaacson, Alexandra Kosmitis and Katie Sellers – accompanied her on the field. Her candidacy was sponsored by the Kappa Iota Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Earlier in the week rain moved Hot Dogs for Homecoming indoors, but it was still a success as all 2,000 hot dogs donated by Tyson Foods were handed out. That afternoon, the 16th Annual Unity Step Show, hosted by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., once again was a huge hit throughout the community. With 17 teams, representing National Panhellenic Council and Inter-Fraternity Council chapters across campus, the competition was impressive for a large crowd of sorority and fraternity members, family and friends who filled up half of Barnhill Arena. Each team is coached by a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in order to build and perfect the best step show. The show awards the top three teams within Panhellenic and IFC, with all teams fighting for bragging rights for the next year. This year, first and second place NPC teams were separated by only one point.

University of Arkansas 2009 Homecoming Photos on Flickr

The Pigskin Classic was rescheduled to Wednesday evening after a wet and rainy Tuesday at the University of Arkansas intramural fields. More than 75 teams participated in the annual 3-on-3 flag football championship hosted by Intramural Recreation and Sports. Teams competed for the championship and chance to be the male and female teams to travel to Atlanta, representing the University in the national intramural 3-on-3 flag football tournament. This year on the men’s side, the champions of the fraternity division, Sigma Chi, defeated the champions of the residence halls division in order to earn the trip to Atlanta. They will be joined by the ladies of Chi Omega from the women’s division. Each battled through five games in the muddy and wet intramural fields to emerge victorious.

Homecoming expanded its community service and philanthropy efforts this year by adding the Up ’Til Dawn Movie Night to its schedule and points competition. On Thursday night, the Up’Til Dawn committee and members of Student Alumni Board teamed up with the athletics department to open up Bud Walton Arena to all students for a movie night to raise money and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. More than 1,600 students participated in the event which included a message on the importance of giving.  Chi Omega had the highest percentage of participation, followed by Delta Delta Delta, and in third place, Kappa Delta. There were also representatives of the Student Ambassadors, Beta Upsilon Chi and many of the residence halls present.

University of Arkansas 2009 Homecoming Photos on Flickr

Other competitions throughout the week included the cook-off, in which student groups showed off their culinary skills for three judges, the University Programs talent show, the lawn decoration contest and the banner competition. The night before the football game, Dickson Street was lined with alumni, students and Razorback fans, who watched the parade and then headed to the Greek Theater for the pep rally.

Tell us about your favorite Homecoming tradition!