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Florida State Homecoming 2009: Ignited by Tradition

Homecoming at The Florida State University has always been an exciting time for alumni to return to campus and join current students in celebration of an extraordinary university and its unconquered spirit, and soon they'll do it again during Homecoming 2009. This year's theme is "Ignited by Tradition."

Homecoming week activities will begin on Sunday, Oct. 25. For seven days, the nearly nonstop activities sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA) and Alumni Association promise to provide a spirited lead-up to the Homecoming game, which kicks off at noon on Saturday, Oct. 31, as the Seminoles take on the Wolfpack of North Carolina State University at Doak Campbell Stadium. Major events slated for Homecoming week include perennial favorites such as Warchant, Pow Wow, the traditional Friday afternoon Homecoming Parade, and Saturday morning's Alumni Association Homecoming Awards Breakfast, at which prestigious honors are bestowed on distinguished alumni and staff. And, this year, several brand-new Homecoming events will make their debut — among them the Garnet and Gold Reception, to be held on Monday, Oct. 26, from 4-5 p.m. in the Oglesby Union Ballrooms in honor of all Florida State faculty and staff, and the game-day All College Tailgate, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and located between Doak Campbell and Dick Howser stadiums.

Homecoming happenings that comprise not only celebration but also service to the Tallahassee community include Sunday's 5K Run/Walk hosted by FSUCares and the College of Medicine, and Renegade Recess on Oct. 27, at which Florida State students will supervise playtime fun for 350 elementary school students from the local Boys and Girls Clubs.

The following list highlights these and many of the other Homecoming week events slated for 2009. For a complete listing of activities, contacts and updates for all SGA-sponsored Homecoming activities, visit the Homecoming 2009 Web site. Additional information on alumni-related events is available on the Alumni Association Web site.

  • FSUCares Homecoming 5K Run/Walk — Sunday, Oct. 25, 4 p.m., hosted by FSUCares and the FSU College of Medicine. Alumni and students are encouraged to participate. The race will begin at the College of Medicine and end at Warchant on Langford Green. All participants in the 5K Run/Walk will receive free admission to Warchant (others attendees will be asked for a canned food donation for Second Harvest). Go to to register for the Run/Walk. All proceeds go to FSUCares' medical philanthropic efforts.
  • Warchant — Sunday, Oct. 25, 7-9:30 p.m., Langford Green (near the Unconquered statue). The event that kicks off Homecoming week will feature two nationally known acts, Gym Class Heroes and Pitbull. The first 1,000 arrivals get free food from Sonny's Bar-B-Q. In addition, there will be a Chili Cook Off competition among student organizations. In lieu of an admission fee, organizers ask each attendee to donate two canned food items for Second Harvest.
  • Garnet & Gold Reception — Monday, Oct. 26, 4-5 p.m., Oglesby Union Ballrooms. R.S.V.P. to by Friday, Oct. 23. The 2009 Homecoming Executive Council will host this inaugural Garnet & Gold Reception — a celebration of the dedicated Florida State University faculty and staff and their commitment to Seminole values and promotion of school spirit and pride. The event is free and offers light refreshments. Guests can mingle with fellow employees and prominent student leaders.
  • Renegade Recess — Tuesday, Oct. 27, 4-6 p.m., Old Intramural Fields (off of St. Augustine Road). A fun-filled example of Florida State's dedication both to community service and future Seminoles, Renegade Recess is a "recess break" staffed and supervised by FSU students and replete with themed booth activities for more than 350 elementary students from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tallahassee. To learn more, contact Nikki Burney at
  • Homecoming Parade — Starts rolling at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30. The parade will feature the usual colorful array of floats from more than 100 campus organizations and community groups. As always, Renegade, Osceola, FSU cheerleaders, the candidates for Chief and Princess and the Marching Chiefs will be on hand. Beloved coach Mickey Andrews, long-time defensive coordinator for the FSU football team, and his wife, Diane, will serve as the Parade Grand Marshals. This year's Faculty Marshal is William Moeller, co-director of the Center for Leadership and Civic Education. The parade will follow a different route than in 2008. It begins on West Madison Street near the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center and heads east, turning north on Martin Luther King Boulevard, west on College Avenue, south at Copeland Street in front of the Westcott Building, and east on West Pensacola Street, where it will conclude just west of the Civic Center.
  • The 15th Annual Clock and Seal Leadership Banquet — Sponsored by Burning Spear; Friday, Oct. 30, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Civic Center, prior to Pow Wow. Current students, alumni, faculty and friends of Florida State are invited to celebrate leadership, devotion and service to the university as they meet and share their common experiences and memories. This year, FSU Rhodes Scholar and Burning Spear alumnus Garrett Johnson will be the keynote speaker. Tickets must be purchased no later than Oct. 26; they are $40 per person or $300 for a table for eight (plus applicable PayPal fee). Buy tickets online at or by e-mailing requests to Lauren Robertson at; she will provide an address to which payment (checks) must be mailed/received prior to Oct. 30.
  • Pow Wow — Friday, Oct. 30, Civic Center; doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. This year's headlining comedian is Jim Gaffigan. (Performance may contain explicit language; discretion is advised.) Open to students, alumni, friends, fans and the community at large. Advance tickets for Florida State students with a valid FSU Card are $17.75 ($18.75 day of show). FSU student tickets must be purchased in person at the Civic Center Box Office. Tickets for the general public are $28.50 ($30.50 day of show) and can be purchased either online or in person from the Civic Center Box Office or through Ticketmaster. Questions? Visit the Pow Wow Web site or e-mail
  • FSU Panama City Campus 21st Annual 'Nole Fest — Friday, Oct. 30, 5:30-8 p.m., behind the Holley Academic Center on Florida State's Panama City campus. This homecoming tradition is geared to the entire family and includes family-friendly entertainment, live music and great food. The event also will feature the lighting of the bonfire and the 21st annual Torch Run. 'Nole Fest is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Christy Grant, event coordinator for the Panama City campus, at (850) 770-2155 or
  • Alumni Association Homecoming Awards Breakfast — Saturday, Oct. 31, Oglesby Union Ballrooms. Breakfast begins at 8 a.m. and the program commences at 8:30 a.m. The event will honor the distinguished winner of the Westcott Medal, to be announced by FSU President T.K. Wetherell; the recipients of the Alumni Association's 2009 Bernard F. Sliger Award and Parade Grand Marshal title; the 2009 "Grads Made Good," chosen by the FSU Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) National Leadership Honor Society; and this year's Ross Oglesby Award winner bestowed by Garnet and Gold Key, a student-run leadership honor society, and always a closely held secret, even to the recipient, until the name is revealed at the breakfast. Tickets for the Homecoming Awards Breakfast ($10 per person) are required and must be purchased on the Alumni Association Web site. To learn more, contact Megan Barnes: (850) 645-8133 or
  • FSU Circle of ODK National Leadership Honor Society Initiation Ceremony — Saturday, Oct. 31, Oglesby Union, rooms 312 and 313. The brief initiation ceremony for the 71 new members of the FSU Circle of ODK is expected to begin at around 9:30 a.m., or immediately following the Alumni Association Homecoming Awards Breakfast. All ODK Circle members, including alumni and faculty, are invited to attend. The event is free; no advance reservations are required, though seating will be limited. To learn more, contact ODK President Chelsea Ziembko at (850) 516-7731 or or e-mail ODK adviser Adrienne Frame at
  • All College Alumni Tailgate — Saturday, October 31, beginning at 9 a.m., on the green between Doak Campbell and Dick Howser stadiums. Florida State alumni from all of the university's 15 colleges will gather to socialize in the morning hours leading up to the Homecoming game kick off at noon. On tap at the All-College Alumni Tailgate: food, entertainment, a cash bar and plenty of Seminole spirit. Admission is $5 (no charge for children 5 and under), which includes a free drink ticket for all FSU Alumni Association members. Register for the tailgate online at this link. For additional information, contact Mandi Capeletti at
  • Homecoming game: Florida State vs. North Carolina State — Saturday, Oct. 31. Kick off is at noon as the Florida State Seminoles face the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Among the other SGA-sponsored activities planned for Homecoming 2009 are the Spear-It Night Talent Competition, Big Fan on Campus Competition, and Alma Mater Singers Competition (Oct. 26); Vires, Artes, Mores Knowledge Bowl (Oct. 27); Seminole Festival and Pep Rally, Skit Night, and Homecoming Court elections for Chief and Princess (Oct. 28); and the Garnet and Gold Gala (Oct. 29).

By Libby Fairhurst