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The “Road” back to America’s Greatest Homecoming

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When the time of the year comes for the library fountain to dye its water orange, and sorority and fraternity houses participate in all-night pomping, Oklahoma State students know it is Homecoming week.

Celebrating OSU’s Homecoming is important to some students and alumni and OSU expects close to 80,000 people each year to attend Homecoming. Alumni, OSU fans and students’ families start planning their trip to Stillwater weeks, and even months, in advance.

“We started planning in April of this year to find a place to stay,” said OSU alumnus, Stephen Cliff. “We ended up booking an entire cabin south of Ponca City because all the closer places were already booked up.”

Cliff said he will be driving seven hours with friends and family from St. Louis to attend Homecoming.

Some are choosing to fly like OSU alumni, Colton Steel.

His trip will be about four hours from Denver.

Steel said OSU’s homecoming “is like nothing else.” He said this is the first year he will be attending as an alumnus and expects he will be making Homecoming a yearly ritual.

“There’s nothing like walkaround, game day atmosphere, seeing all the people you went to college with, and all the new people,” Steel said. “It’s just a friendly fun environment. It’s probably something I will go to every year I can.”

OSU alumnus, John Rogers said he is “traveling across the country for Homecoming.”

Rogers will be making a six-hour plane ride from southern California and is looking forward to catching up with old friends, enjoying a good game and getting back on campus. Rogers said Homecoming being cancelled last year in combination with it being the 100-year anniversary is what makes this year’s Homecoming special.

 “Looking at all the decs, hopefully running into some people I haven’t seen in a long time, and honestly being on campus and feeling like I’m back at home is what I’m excited about,” Rogers said.          

Cliff said the absence of Homecoming in 2020 is what makes this year’s Homecoming “that much sweeter."

With the challenging years we have all faced, this year’s 100th Homecoming means much more than just the walk around, football, or tailgating. Cliff said, Homecoming this year is about coming together.

“The most special aspect of OSU Homecoming is that it serves as a yearly reminder of where we all started and how we were brought together in such formative years of our lives,” Cliff said. "No matter how much we change, how our families expand with children, or how our careers advance, Homecoming brings us all back together to reminiscence on the fun days that remind us that we will always remain loyal and true.”

news.ed@ocolly.com