The beginning of Homecoming at Indiana Wesleyan University.
In a 1923 Marionette Yearbook, the caption reads, “As the Days Go By”. It records the earliest tradition of what was called then, “Harvest Day”. It was recorded as October 20th, 1923, a Saturday. This was an event that included the Wesleyans of Indiana showing their interest in Marion by making a visit.
“After a big dinner in the dining hall (then lower level of Teter Hall) we had a program in the chapel. Both Dorms kept open house. Hope they liked the dorm, for we worked ‘till eleven o’clock fixing it up. The staff put on their first big drive for subscriptions. The Freshman had the street lights and buildings decorated in their class colors of Gold and White.” (Marionette, 1923. Parenthesis added)
The school was funded and supported by a strong support from the Wesleyan Methodist Connection of America. The school was furthered through enrollment called Subscriptions. The Harvest Day events would be liked to today’s homecoming where student, staff and community come together in celebration and demonstrated support for Marion College.
According to Millie Jacobs Troyer the name eventually became “Harvest-Coming” and in the early 60’s the event was changed to Homecoming. She was the Alumni Director at the time of this name change. Events were held on the grounds of the “Old Triangle” and much was made of the celebration in song; “Cheer! Cheer! For Marion College” and “Down On The Old Triangle”. These song sheet are handed out at every 50/60 Class Reunion Luncheon and the tradition of singing continues.
That would mean that for 91 years we have held to the idea of Homecoming. Perhaps the terms have changed but the tradition and purpose has not!
I hope that this walk through history is helpful.
Submitted by Rick Carder, Director of Alumni, Indiana Wesleyan University