“When the leaves begin to fall and the air becomes crisp, I know my favorite time of year is here – Homecoming.” – Corinne Burrell ’18, 2017 Homecoming Chair and Queen
“All Rows Lead Home” was the theme of Homecoming 2017, calling all alumni to venture back to campus to reminisce and take in all of the nostalgia of their time as a Concordia student. The highly anticipated weekend gave ample opportunities to catch the Cobber spirit. Cobbers of all generations gathered Sept. 28-Oct. 1 to celebrate “home.” A few of the Homecoming events included a bonfire and fireworks, parade, football game and Homecoming Concert.
“Homecoming this year seemed extra special,” said Matt Dymoke ’14, assistant director of Alumni Relations. “The weather was perfect, all of the events went so smoothly, and the air was filled with Cobber spirit. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.”
Seniors Andrew Johnson and Corinne Burrell began their reign as Homecoming King and Queen during Monday night’s coronation ceremony. Other members of the royal court, all from the class of 2018, include Ryan Walla, David Schneck, Erik Sneltjes, Tyler Eliason, Summer Hayes, Natalie Rivera, Bailey Hovland and Reyna Bergstrom.
A 20-foot bonfire and fireworks lit the night as students gathered at the Jake to “Release the Beast” and kick off the weekend.
At the Homecoming Banquet and Gala, three distinguished alumni were presented with the Alumni Achievement Award (Allan Carlson '61, Philip Noss '61, and Mary Ranum '78), and the RISE campaign – the largest campaign in Concordia’s history – was launched. Nearly 900 Cobber alumni from all generations made their way back to town Friday evening.
The Cobber 5K Fun Run and Kids’ Niblet 1 Mile were the perfect way to wake up, get the blood pumping, and start Saturday’s events.
Eighth Street was shut down in order to fit all of the Cobber pride at the Homecoming parade. Young future Cobbers came to cheer and collect candy as campus organizations, faculty and staff, and local businesses made their way on their floats.
Watch the drone video above Eighth Street
Before the football game, tailgating at Jake Christiansen Stadium included a corn-eating contest and great concessions. A total number of 300 ears of corn were eaten throughout the day with only three cobs to spare!
During halftime, four new members were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame: Tory Langemo ’97, Shana Letnes Erickson ’01, Brandi (Myers) Rostad ’02 and Sports Information Director Jim Cella.
“To be inducted into the Hall of Fame is incredible, and I am extremely honored to receive the award. It’s very surreal. To think of my name in the same group as Jake Christiansen, Irv Christenson, Sonny Gulsvig, Jim Christopherson and Bucky Burgau is mind-boggling,” Cella said. “Saturday couldn’t have turned out any more perfect. From the parade to the football game and halftime ceremonies to the Hall of Fame banquet and finally the soccer reunion gathering – it was a day I will never forget.”
The attendance for Saturday’s Homecoming football game against Gustavus was 4,774.
A pair of big turnover plays in the second half helped Concordia triumph over conference-unbeaten Gustavus 27-17. Jake Erholtz ’19 picked off a pass and ran 32 yards for a touchdown to turn a 14-10 deficit into a 17-10 lead in the third quarter. Then Sam Michel ’20 recovered a fumble on a kickoff after Concordia had taken a 20-17 lead, which set up the game-sealing touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter.
“The win shows the resilience of this team. I told them at halftime that no one remembers the score after the second quarter – it’s what’s on the scoreboard after the fourth quarter that matters,” said head coach Terry Horan ’89. “All the players battled for the entire game and the atmosphere, and crowd, at the stadium during the game was electric.”
The Homecoming Concert, reunion gatherings and the Johnny Holm Dance capped off a memorable Cobber Homecoming. The class of 1967 had several reunion activities and the class of 1992 had an epic reunion evening gathering in the Centrum of Knutson Campus Center.
“Experiencing Homecoming as a first-year alum was a totally different experience. I had never given much thought to what it means to ‘come home’ during Homecoming, but returning to campus and seeing so many familiar faces and feeling the energy of everyone around me reminded me that I really had left behind a ‘home’ at Concordia,” said Sydni Kreps ’17. “I felt a surge of gratitude for my experiences at this place, for the people I was lucky enough to meet, and for the relationships that have continued since I’ve left.”
On Sunday, Homecoming concluded with All-Campus Worship in Memorial Auditorium with music by The Concordia Choir and the Symphonic Band, and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Edward Antonio shared his message on the meaning of “home.”
“When you leave this place and say, ‘I am a Cobber,’ you are acquiring an identity. This is why you come home. You belong.”
– Dr. Edward P. Antonio, Chief Diversity Officer at Homecoming’s All-Campus Worship
After the worship service, everyone was invited to attend the Integrated Science Center dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony.
A special thank you to the Alumni Relations Office and the 2017 Homecoming Committee for their hard work to make these events happen.
“Being on the committee let’s you view Homecoming from a completely different perspective. You see all the work and meticulous details and hours of prep that go into making the whole week go smoothly,” said Bailey Tillman ’18, Homecoming Committee member. “I have a much greater appreciation for the weekend after being part of the team that planned it.”
See you at next year’s Homecoming – Sept. 28-30, 2018!
Danyel Moe '17 is a content specialist at Concordia.