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New fall schedule means fresh approach, more outdoor events for VCU Homecoming 2015

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Scenes from Homecoming held last winter.

A Virginia Commonwealth University tradition promises to heat up a few degrees this year, as Homecoming 2015 will forego the winter in favor of fall. A full slate of events celebrating black and gold Ram pride is scheduled Nov. 8–14, an update on the chilly winter schedule that’s been in place since 2002.

Students and alumni desired events that took place outside, such as tailgates and the Homecoming parade.

“Students and alumni desired events that took place outside, such as tailgates and the Homecoming parade,” said Amy Gray, VCU Alumni’s interim senior director of outreach and engagement. “Having homecomings in January and February the past several years, it's been unbearably cold and even snowed at our events. Moving it to this date, we hope more people will come outside for our events this Homecoming.”

Those outdoor events include the “Rectacular Spectacular” (flag football, a mechanical bull, obstacle course, refreshments), an MCV Campus carnival, a parade down Harrison Street, and a tailgate and outdoor watch party to celebrate as the VCU men’s basketball team opens its 2015–16 season against Prairie View A&M at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.

“We knew the basketball game so early in the season would be a nonconference game, and we would know the time of the game well in advance,” Gray said. “As you get into conference games in the spring, the game time isn't set due to television schedules until sometimes the week before the game, therefore making it very difficult to plan street closures for traditions such as a Homecoming tailgate and parade.”

Of course, Homecoming 2015 will feature plenty of indoor events, too, including a 3-on-3 basketball tournament open to students, alumni, faculty and staff; a pep rally; the Homecoming court pageant; the women’s and men’s basketball season openers; a concert at the Richmond Coliseum with artists PARTYNEXTDOOR, Rae Sremmurd, JMSN and Bad Rabbits; and the Fall Block Step Show at Altria Theater.

The step show has been a tradition since 1985 and, thanks to the new date, can now finally be part of Homecoming. “Many alumni already attend this event every year, so we are excited to market it as part of Homecoming,” said Gray.

This year’s pep rally will showcase athletes from each of the VCU fall sports teams and will feature performances by the Peppas pep band, cheerleaders and the dance team, among others. It will also feature a live DJ, inflatables and giveaways.

The week is filled with service opportunities for the VCU community, too, such as blood drives on both campuses, a clean-up effort at Belle Isle and a volunteer event at the Children’s Museum of Richmond.

The time of year is not the only change for 2015. There is also a greater focus on faculty and staff joining in the fun with students and alumni.

“The Homecoming Committee is encouraging faculty and staff participation by competing in the blood drive, building floats for the Homecoming Parade, decorating their offices with VCU colors for a competition, and tabling at the Homecoming tailgate on Friday before the game,” Gray said.

Another new event celebrating all things VCU is the Rodney Renaissance, in which students, alumni, staff and faculty will be encouraged to indulge their artistic side by creating a Rodney the Ram using any medium they can think of.

Selected events listed below. View the complete VCU Homecoming 2015 schedule at http://vcuhomecoming.com.

 


Sunday, Nov. 8

Rectacular Spectacular
Cary Street Gym, Field
Noon–3 p.m.

Homecoming Kickoff
University Student Commons, Commonwealth Ballroom
9 p.m.–midnight 

Monday, Nov. 9

Pep Rally 
Siegel Center 
6–9 p.m. 

Tuesday, Nov. 10 

Ram-A-Palooza, MCV Carnival 
Turpin Street, outside of the Larrick Student Center 
5 p.m.–7 p.m. 

Wednesday, Nov. 11

Rodney Renaissance 
James River Terrace 
1–3 p.m. 

Reign of the Rams Court Pageant
University Student Commons, Commonwealth Ballrooms
7 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 12

Paint-by-Numbers Mural 
University Student Commons, James River Terrace
9 a.m.–6 p.m.

Ram Fest Homecoming Concert
Richmond Coliseum
6 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 13

Women’s Basketball Game
Siegel Center
11 a.m.

Homecoming Parade 
Starting at Floyd Avenue 
4 p.m. 

Men’s Basketball Pregame Tailgate
Harrison Street
4–7 p.m. 

Men’s Basketball Game
Siegel Center
7 p.m. 

Men’s Basketball Watch Party 
Harrison Street 
7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 14

Fall Block Step Show
Altria Theater
6 p.m.

 

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Scenes from Homecoming held last winter.
Click to view slideshow. Scenes from Homecoming held last winter.