Homecoming got its start on college campuses as a fall celebration of the first football game of the season, for which alumni would return to their alma maters. For Villanova, in particular, originated as an annual homecoming known as Alumni Day, which consisted with a football game, dinner, and alumni business meeting. The alumni returning is a long tradition as the alumni association started in 1875.
Homecoming really took off as an all campus event around the 1930s. It was not until the 1950s when Homecoming became a multi-day event for the entire Villanova community.
Here are some of the major traditions:
During Homecoming week the dorms would have a decoration contest for the best decorations. The theme usually surrounded Villanova’s victory on the field.
The Homecoming bonfire was a long-standing Wildcat tradition that kicked off the weekend’s festivities.
A surprising tradition, certainly not seen today, is the Homecoming parade where prior to the big game Wildcats would have a car parade through campus to the football field. Like the dorm decoration there would be float decoration contests.
Of course, Homecoming revolved around the big football game. Longstanding foes have been Georgetown University and Temple University.
And to cap off the festivities was the annual Homecoming dance.
Many more images of Homecoming can be found in the Digital Library and Villanova University Archives
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