Abby Crow was in the last months of her senior year of high school when the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly upended ordinary life.
She and her classmates missed out on so many of the traditions.
“Being a senior during Covid, I lost my last high school dance,” Crow said.
Now in her second year pursuing her BSN at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, Crow is eager to have an opportunity to in some small way make up for that lost memory as UMSL celebrates its annual homecoming this week and brings past the dance to cap a four days of festivities.
“Each year, we sit down with the committee and talk about what events our campus would like to see,” said Jessica Mode, coordinator of student activities in the Office of Student Involvement. “There are certain traditional events we host every year such as our annual Chili Feed where faculty members submit original chili recipes, as well as our Pack the Stands basketball game. This year, the students on the committee were really passionate about having a homecoming dance on campus and we made it happen. We currently have over 300 students registered to attend.”
Crow was one of those eight students on the committee pushing to hold the dance as they worked with the staff Mode and her team to plan the homecoming activities.
The planning began in October, and homecoming activities actually began on Feb. 7 with the Helping Hands service project, which asked the UMSL community to donate toiletries for the Triton Pantry.
Other events include Wednesday’s virtual show by mentalist Sean Bott, who among other things will read minds and demonstrate telekinesis.
The annual Chili Feed happens from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Century Rooms of the Millennium Student Center. The evening, students will Pack the Stands of the Mark Twain Athletic Center for women’s and men’s basketball games against Southern Indiana beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Friday features a virtual trivia event from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday features a Tiny Tritons Pancake Breakfast from 10 a.m.-noon and the dance from 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. in the lobby of the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center. The theme for the dance is “Roaring Back into the ’20s.”
UMSL homecoming tradition began in 1963, its inaugural year. Starting with a basketball game and a dance, it has developed into a series of events to engage students, faculty and staff and welcome back alumni. Homecoming was held in October from 1974 to 2013 with a four-year hiatus between 1986 and 1990, but it’s been held in February since 2014.
More information on Homecoming can be found on the Homecoming events schedule page.