It has been one month since we celebrated Mizzou’s 107th Homecoming. The black and gold glitter has settled and our business professional has been hung up for the season, marking an end to the month-long celebration of bringing alumni home. One of the main pride points at Mizzou is that Homecoming does not consist of just a parade or a home football game; rather, it is made up of 15+ unique events that take place all across campus and the Columbia Community. This past year I have seen first hand that when the Mizzou Alumni Association boasts that “we do it best,” they aren’t kidding.
The grand scale of these events means that preparation is not exclusive to the fall semester. Perfecting Mizzou’s most honored tradition takes time, energy and grace. It is a yearlong commitment from 40 dedicated student leaders who represent each corner of campus and embody all this University has to offer. I had the honor of leading this Steering Committee over the last 8 months as a Homecoming Steering Committee tri-director. The months of hard work and long nights came to fruition on Homecoming day, when we got to stand hand-in-hand on Faurot Field. On October 20th at halftime, a lot was racing through my mind. It was the symbolic end to a beautiful journey.
As I walked onto Faurot my first thought was, “Please let me make it across the field without tripping in these heels!” Then, standing on the field, staring at the black & gold packed stands, my thoughts turned to “How incredible is it that our hard work paid off and these alumni filling the stands are back home where they belong??” There is something so special about the Columbia streets busting with cars with license plates from all across the country.
Now, I need to accept that my major is no longer Homecoming, I look back on this experience with gratitude. Walking across the 50-yard line that day reminded me exactly why I chose Mizzou. The tradition that is engrained in me from spending four years somewhere that does it better than anyone was exemplified this past October. Celebrating the past while instilling the love of tradition and Homecoming in future generations of Tigers made the long nights and meetings all worth it. Leaving the field, I couldn’t help but think to next year as a new group of leaders will put their own spin on Homecoming. I cannot wait to come home next October as an alumna to watch a new Steering Committee assume this honor when they too will have a moment of reflection as they walk across the field.
Until next year, Mizzou Homecoming.
Jenna Cederblad, 2018 Homecoming Steering Committee Tri-Director