Skip to main content

Homecoming Collection

Identifier: uarc 1219

Scope and Content

The collection consists of homecoming programs and press releases, select committee meeting minutes, fundraising correspondence directed at alumnae, flyers, handbills and promotional fans. Collection extent dates are 1914 to 2005, with the bulk of the materials covering the 1950s and 1960s. Of note is the program from the first annual homcoming in 1914; a report issued in 1938 by the homecoming business manager discussing changes in homecoming business practices, including copies of homecoming publicity for that year, and minutes and directories from selected years of the Homecoming Association Board.


  • 1914-2005
  • Majority of material found in 1950s-1960s


Language of Materials

Collection material in English

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Historical Note

The first Homecoming events were held at the University of Minnesota in November 1914. The October 5, 1914, Minnesota Alumni Weeklyreported that the “All-University Council (a student government organization) has decided to institute an annual ‘Home-coming’ celebration in connection with one of the big games (football) of each season. The date has been set this year for the day of the Wisconsin game (November 14, 1914).” In addition to the football game, activities at the first Homecoming included a button sale, a tour of Minneapolis and St. Paul campus buildings, a luncheon, a banquet, and a dance. Opinions differed on the success of the first Homecoming. With varying levels of participation and enthusiasm by alumni, students, and staff, annual celebrations for Homecoming continued with activities such as crowning a Homecoming Queen, decorating fraternity and sorority houses, holding a parade, putting on musical or variety shows, and holding an on-campus pep rally and bonfire added throughout the years. Campus participation was robust, particularly amongst greek society members.

Homecoming celebration activities were curtailed during World War I and World War II. Changing student attitudes about campus events, growing student interest in national and international issues (U.S. military involvement overseas, racial and gender equality, etc.), dwindling fraternity and sorority participation, and questioning of traditions such as crowning a Homecoming Queen and having a bonfire brought changes to Homecoming activities in the 1960s. No homecoming parades were held in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and few students participated in Homecoming events during this time, prompting events such as bonfires, Homecoming royalty, button sales, fraternity and sorority house decorations, and dances to be scaled back or dropped.

By 1975, an all-University emphasis began with student coordinators and the University Alumni Association working to make Homecoming relevant and enjoyable for students and alumni. New activities were added such as mini-marathons, concerts, film screenings, seminars, and speakers, and traditional Homecoming events began to re-emerge in the mid- and late 1970s including royalty competitions, bonfires, and parades. Events to benefit local non-profit and service organizations were added to Homecoming in the 1980s and 1990s as were intramural sports and talent competitions in the 2000s.


1 box (.5 cubic feet)


The collection contains material relating to University of Minnesota Homecoming celebrations.

Source of acquisition

The collection was assembled in July, 2014 from materials the found in Homecoming Information Files folder and the University Archives Print collection.

Related Materials in University Archives

Minnesota Alumni Association records

Waseca Technical College records

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs records

Office of the Dean of Students papers

University Relations records

University of Minnesota Athletics records

Information Files collection

University of Minnesota Gopher yearbooks (

Processing Information

Collection has not been processed.

  • Homecoming Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
University of Minnesota. Homecoming Collection
Susan Hoffman
July, 2014
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area