MSC bridge window painting provides gateway to the best homecoming yet

Freshman Cannelle Grizaud puts a personal touch next to her name on the UMSL cheerleading team’s window design. Thirteen other entries line the Millennium Student Center bridge to celebrate Homecoming 2018, which runs from Feb. 19-24. (Photos by August Jennewein)

If you took a stroll across the Millennium Student Center bridge Friday afternoon, one thing was clear: Homecoming week was on the horizon.

Armed with washable window markers, University of Missouri–St. Louis students took to the oft-traveled walkway with plans to showcase their organizations and spread Triton cheer.

Graphic design major Amina Taylor is a member of KHAOS, a newly recognized campus K-pop dance group, and was proud to raise awareness about the organization through its window design. Taylor worked alongside anthropology major and homecoming queen candidate Tori Dieckman to recreate the KHAOS mascot, Carl the “flying sheep ball.”

Dieckman (at right) identifies herself as a “super-duper-super senior” but has been unable to fully partake in homecoming festivities in previous years due to work conflicts. With an exciting week of activities that run through Saturday, she’s ready to take advantage of her lighter schedule.

“This is the first time I’ve really been allowed to be active on campus and have the time for it, so I just decided to go all out,” she said.

In the days ahead, Dieckman and the campus community can anticipate a variety of events, including the annual Chili Feed, a double Friday Night Flicks feature, Service Saturday and the Homecoming Dinner and Dance.

Criminology and criminal justice major and queen candidate Scarlet Montilla is particularly pumped for her participation in the Lip Sync Competition at 7 p.m. Friday in the J.C. Penney Auditorium.

The University Program Board representative is keeping her song selection a secret, but she’s prepared to “enjoy the moment and work the crowd.”

A day before the lip sync battle, students can get into the homecoming spirit by attending several events on campus. The day’s lineup includes:

  • CANstruction from 8 a.m. to noon in Century Room C at the MSC,
  • Chill Feed from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Century Rooms A and B,
  • Be Inspired Kickoff from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in Century Room C
  • Pack the Stands starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Mark Twain Athletic & Fitness Center.

While he has difficulty narrowing down a favorite homecoming event or tradition, Dre Williams, a king candidate who is double majoring in business management and theater and cinema arts, is excited for the camaraderie the “Gateway to the Best” themed week will provide.

Williams is one of four students up for the 2018 king crown and believes the future winner should exude UMSL pride.

“They should represent the culture of UMSL,” Williams said. “They should definitely be someone that is involved, that wants to contribute to the UMSL community and someone who just wants to exemplify what it means to be a UMSL Triton.”

Online voting opened Monday, which accounts for 20 percent of the candidate scoring system.

The Entrepreneur Club design is one of 14 entries to line the windows of the bridge. Several of the entries are sponsor organizations for members of the homecoming court. Yaniv Dudaie, a finance, logistics and international business major, is the representative for the Entrepreneur Club as well as Alpha Sigma Phi.

Members of Alpha Xi Delta were among the students to prep their windows Friday afternoon. The organization’s final design incorporates its philanthropic partner, Autism Speaks, the homecoming theme and a sketch of Louie, the UMSL mascot.

On Saturday, Alpha Xi Delta members and other representatives of the fraternity and sorority life community will gather for the Leaders and Luminaries Reunion at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark. The annual homecoming event connects alumni with current student leaders.

For the full lineup of Homecoming 2018 events and additional information, visit


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