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A Redefined Homecoming By: Savannah Stutevoss

Homecoming is one of the most beloved Hardin-Simmons University traditions that students, alumni and their families can enjoy. However, this year’s homecoming looked a lot different than past homecomings due to both COVID and unusually severe winter weather.

HSU was anticipating a redefined homecoming this spring after the postponement or cancellation of many of the traditional fall sporting events amid pandemic health concerns and/or heightened safety measures. Students and their families were excited at the prospect of all such events returning in the spring, but last minute changes had to be made yet again.

History-making snow and icy conditions during homecoming week caused a lot of last-minute changes to become necessary. Heather Hadlock, associate vice president for alumni engagement,was responsible for many of these decisions.

“Homecoming 2020 was different than expected. First, being postponed from its original dates in the fall to the spring made the event feel different. Then, having to pivot multiple times due to the weather made for an interesting weekend,” Hadlock said. “We had approximately850 individuals that signed up to attend some portion of Homecoming. With the cold temperatures and impending winter weather, many alumni and family members chose not to make the drive to Abilene. The following events were postponed due to weather: Alumni Awards Banquet, Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, Football Game, Basketball Games, Tennis Matches and the Department of Arts Alumni Artist Exhibition Reception.”

Nevertheless, some favorite events still occurred. Both performances of SING! took place Friday and Saturday night as planned, with Tri Phi and Lambda Alpha Tau bringing home the first place award. The late night breakfast, complete with purple pancakes, was still enjoyed in Moody. Lastly, HSU crowned the homecoming king and queen on Friday night, with fireworks for a finale. Congratulations to Lucas Lopez and Lauren Moser respectively for receiving these titles. Lopez is a senior biology major from Round Rock, and Moser is a senior strategic communications major from Boerne.

Even though many obstacles came between HSU and a normal homecoming, the tradition lives on. Spring welcomed a safer time and more opportunity for events, and even though we did not enjoy a football game or being outdoors, students and alumni still got to spend time with their families and enjoy a beautiful, snowy campus. We are so glad that everyone stayed safe and we continue to lift up in prayer those severely affected by the weather. Hadlock still maintains an optimistic perspective on this year’s events and on future plans.

“While the weekend may not have turned out as students, alumni, and family members would have hoped, the events that did take place were enjoyed by those on hand and allowed for memories that we could not have imagined,” Hadlock said. “Although some may be sad about missing out, we do have Homecoming 2021 to look forward to October 21-24, 2021.”


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