PENN STATE HOMECOMING
Embrace the Journey, Roar with Pride
Penn State Homecoming Week begins Sunday, Nov. 5, culminating with the Homecoming and Military Appreciation Football Game, Nov. 11, against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in Beaver Stadium. Will you be there?
Honorary Grand Marshall Announced at Homecoming Legacy Celebration
Students gathered in the HUB-Robeson Center on April 26 to join Penn State Homecoming during their 7th annual Legacy Celebration. The event is traditionally held in the Spring and celebrates the end of another great year at Penn State.
Taking place throughout the ground and first floors of the HUB-Robeson Center, the 2017 Legacy Celebration was filled with a variety of activities. Students could stop by any of three prize-filled game tables, which included a multi-leveled Penn State Trivia, a game of Penn State themed Headbands and an Alma Mater sing along challenge. Students were also able to enjoy live student performances from groups such as the a cappella group Blue in the Face, the band TV Dinners, the rap group Stuart Little, and Whiplash Dance Team. When students weren’t eating, dancing, participating in games or buying merch, they also had the opportunity to visit the Royalty table and submit nominations for the 2017 University and Student Courts.
Legacy Celebration is a fun-filled event used as a means not only to commemorate another awesome Nittany Lion school year but to also excite students for upcoming Homecoming festivities. Executive Director, Jillian Susi, said “Legacy Celebration is a great reminder that Homecoming is a yearlong celebration, not only a week in November. It’s also a good way to get everyone excited for Homecoming!”
During the Legacy Celebration, Penn State Homecoming announced former Penn State football player Scott Shirley to be the 2017 Honorary Grand Marshal.
Scott Shirley graduated from Penn State University Park with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 2003. Shirley continued his education at the university and in 2004 received his Master of Engineering degree in Civil Engineering with a focus in construction management. During his time at Penn State, Shirley was recognized as the top student in his class. Shirley now serves as the Executive Director of Uplifting Athlete and founded the innovative fundraising platform Pledge It.
“During the selection process, Scott really stood out as someone who encompasses all that we look for in an Honorary Grand Marshal,” said Emily Heere, the Alumni Relations Director for Homecoming 2017.
When selecting the Honorary Grand Marshal, the Homecoming Executive Committee considers many notable Penn State alumni who have made great impacts in their communities, the Penn State community and their respective career fields. Leading by example, the Honorary Grand Marshal is an individual who inspires students and community members.
When asked about his reaction upon learning he was selected as the 2017 Honorary Grand Marshal, Shirley said, “I was very flattered as it was not something that was even on my radar. I often come back and speak to students, but Honorary Grand Marshal is a unique way to give back and offers a different part of campus to reconnect with.”
Penn State Homecoming 2017 Logo Makes First Appearance
At the recent Blue and White Football Game, the Homecoming Executive Committee took the field during halftime to unveil the year’s logo.
The logo was created by Turner Blashford, a junior graphic design major.
When asked about his design process, Blashford said, “I was seriously exploring two other concepts, when I drew a little doodle in the margins. The doodle ended up being the route I took for the final logo.” The logo includes none other than the Nittany Lion posing in his iconic “roaring embrace,” which is seen at every home game when the Lion pumps up the crowd.
Blashford’s design was one of 20 presented by students from Professor Kristen Sommese's junior graphic design class. Every year, students from Professor Sommese’s class designs prospective Homecoming logos as one of their major projects.
The Big Reveal
The Penn State Homecoming 2017 theme, “Embrace the Journey, Roar with Pride,” was announced during THON. The inspiration behind the theme includes the varying backgrounds and “journeys” each Penn Stater experiences, and the similar pride they all share.
“I love this year's theme,” said Executive Director Jillian Susi. “I think it truly encompasses Homecoming and Penn State, and that is my favorite part about it. All Penn Staters have different journeys that lead us here, as well as different experiences once we get to Penn State. Even though we are all unique, we are bonded in the immense pride we have for our university.”
Another big Homecoming announcement? The two student emcees—Emily Chertow and Stevie Sievers—chosen to promote Penn State pride by announcing at all Homecoming events, including the For The Glory Talent Show, the Best of Penn State Carnival and the Homecoming Parade.
Selecting the emcees is a rigorous process, with two interview stages and readings with other students. “Seeing Stevie and Emily interact together during their interview was thrilling,” said Paige Wisehaupt, Homecoming 2017 Production Director. “The Production Committee looks for students who interact well together and build off each others’ energies. We are very happy that we found that with Stevie and Emily.”
“By volunteering in Penn State Day of Service, I think all of the volunteers can look back and be proud of the tradition that they are a part of. It always amazes me that each year, we can get 200+ volunteers to wake up and dedicate their time to our organization and to the community. This really emphasizes the pride they have for their university,” said Bailey Gibson, the University Relations Director in charge of planning the event.
This year, 230 volunteers participated at 15 different service sites, from local parks to nursing homes.
The next Homecoming event, the 7th Annual Legacy Celebration, is set for April 26.
Stay tuned for more updates on all things Homecoming!