Homecoming: A legacy then, now and forever

Homecoming Week at Fresno State features events in anticipation of the homecoming football game. (Marcos Acosta/The Collegian)

Homecoming is a unique experience and time like no other. Undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni come together each year to enjoy Fresno State festivities.

Fresno State held its homecoming this past week ahead of its 17-10 win over San Jose State. 

After having limited celebrations in 2021, the Fresno State Homecoming Committee was excited to host several events on campus this year. While there were some events last year, the week was much more low-key, according to Bianca Palmer, who is in her second year serving on the committee. 

“There are a lot more students on campus this year, and we’ve also been able to host more events,” Palmer said. 

Homecoming Week kicked off on Monday, Oct. 10, on the lawn in front of the Kennel Bookstore with live music from DJ Kay Rich; free Fresno State ice cream; games and activities; photo opportunities; and giveaways for students, faculty and staff. 

Besides several hundred students, members of the Fresno State women’s basketball team, equestrian team, Associated Students Inc. and the Bulldogs spirit squad were also there. 

“This week is special as we bring the whole community together and get everyone involved,” said Miguel Sanchez, third-year student and member of the Bulldogs spirit squad.

While the committee does celebrate alumni coming back and reconnecting, it makes sure its current students are a priority, according to Palmer. 

“Homecoming is special as we welcome new students, engaging them in the campus and Bulldog spirit,” Palmer said. 

The kickoff was far from the only event on campus last week. 

“Our goal is to have our events include as much of the student body as possible. [The committee] hopes all students attend at least one event during the week,” Palmer said. 

On Tuesday, students created their own airbrush pennants, decorated spirit paws and stuffed  plush Bulldogs to show off their Fresno State pride. 

Students also had an opportunity that night to tie-dye white T-shirts and bandanas to wear for the homecoming game.

The committee held Bulldog Recharge for students the next morning at the Resnick Student Union (RSU) for music, relaxing activities and giveaways.

That night, students, alumni, faculty and staff visited Valley Children’s Stadium for food trucks and a showing of the hit Marvel film, “Thor: Love & Thunder.”

On Thursday, it was karaoke night at the RSU. Students were offered free mocktails, caricatures, body art and animal balloons.

“I love when there are activities on campus. It’s fun getting together with other students all in preparation for the big game,” said Miranda Gonzalez, a junior at Fresno State.

A pep rally was held on Friday morning led by the cheer team and the marching band.

Students got the chance to dance later that night at a silent headphone disco at the Ruiz Ballrooms inside the RSU.

Of course, no homecoming week is complete without the big game. Three tailgates were held for students and families in addition to an alumni option.

The alumni tailgate was held in the outfield at Margie Wright Diamond. Former Bulldogs got back in the Bulldog spirit with food from Maw n’ Paw BBQ, treats from Rolling Donut, cold beer from Tap Truck, music with DJ Burns, games, a kid’s zone and a Bulldog pop-up shop hosted by Kennel Marketplace.

The tailgate also featured special meet-and-greet opportunities with Fresno State’s live mascot, Victor E. Bulldog III, exclusive alumni giveaways and photo opportunities.

“Homecoming is a great opportunity for Fresno State alumni to come back and reconnect with their former classmates,” said James Boren, a 1972 alumnus and current journalism professor at Fresno State. “It’s particularly special for alumni that have moved away [to have] the opportunity to come back home and visit with friends and family [and join] in Bulldog spirit.”

The Bulldogs welcomed back superstar wide receiver Davante Adams at halftime to retire his jersey. Adams is the ninth Bulldog in team history to have his number retired. 

When it was all said and done, the Bulldogs were victorious, sending the Spartans home deflated and fans in high spirits with a week to remember. 

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