Indiana State University Newsroom

Homecoming Week begins

October 16, 2009

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Indiana State University's 2009 Homecoming, set for Oct. 16-25, will celebrate the university's past, present and future while honoring a longtime staff member for his accomplishments.

"This year's trike race is the largest in its 46-year history," said Chris Hancock, executive director of the ISU Alumni Association. On Friday, Oct. 23, more than 30 teams will compete in two separate races. The teams reflect campus life - sororities, fraternities, residence halls and student organizations.

The Indiana State University Foundation will kick off its first comprehensive campaign, "MARCH ON!, the Campaign for Indiana State University," during halftime of the football game against Western Illinois on Saturday.

John Newton ('70 and '80), Terre Haute native and retired executive director of the Alumni Association will serve as the Homecoming Grand Parade Marshal. He retired earlier this year after nearly four decades of service to the university and the foundation, most recently as vice president for alumni and constituent relations.

There is no bigger Sycamore than Newton, who is thankful to Indiana State icons Dale McKee, the late Mike Phillips and former presidents Richard Landini and Alan Rankin for their friendship and guidance throughout his tenure. But he's been a friend to thousands more students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors.

"I'm proud to be a Sycamore. Indiana State is who I am," Newton said. "I've tried to represent ISU in a way that conveys how special of a place this is."

Newton is a window into ISU's history. While working under five presidents, he witnessed the campus transformed physically, attended countless Homecomings, Founders Days and Reunion Weekends; watched Larry Bird take the Sycamores to the national championship game, molded boys into men while advising the Alpha Tau Omega chapter and witnessed thousands of students join the alumni ranks.

On Oct. 24, he will become part of the rich tradition of Homecoming, leading the Blue & White Parade, from its start at Seventh and Cherry streets down Wabash Avenue to Fifth Street; and finishing up on campus. Newton's magical journey begins at 9 a.m., surrounded by his friends, colleagues and new acquaintances.

"This year's parade will feature a total of seven marching bands," said Freda Luers, associate director of student activities and organizations. "Bands from Terre Haute North Vigo, Terre Haute South Vigo, Cloverdale, Riverton Parke, Otter Creek and Sarah Scott will join the Marching Sycamores providing the music and pageantry."

In addition to the excitement provided by the floats and marching bands, the ISU Foundation will be giving away a four-year full tuition scholarship to one lucky child aged 10 years or younger along the parade route.

This year's Tent City festival at Memorial Stadium is the largest ever, growing to include live entertainment as well as more than 80 tents. Everyone is invited to stop by the Alumni Association Community Tent, located in the center of Tent City, to celebrate with the ISU family, between 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

"We are inviting the general public to celebrate Homecoming with us," Hancock said. "You are always welcome in the Sycamore Family!"


2009 ISU Homecoming highlights
"MARCH ON! Celebrating the Past, Present, and Future of Indiana State University"

Monday, October 19
Blood Drive 2 - 7 pm Dede II
University Speakers Series: Mitch Albom 7:30 p.m. Tilson Auditorium

Tuesday, October 20
Blood Drive 10 am - 3 pm Dede II
*Sycamore Sync 7 pm Tilson Auditorium

Wednesday, October 21
Hanging of the Blue Residence Halls
Torchlight Parade 7 pm Dede Plaza
Pep Rally 7:30 p.m. South Gym

Thursday, October 22
Tug-O-War 3:45 p.m. Wolf Field

Friday, October 23
Sycamore Spirit Day (wear blue and white)
*Sycamore Tricycle Race 4:30 pm Michael Simmons Student
Activity Center

Saturday, October 24
Blue and White Homecoming Parade 9 am Seventh and Cherry down Wabash Avenue to Fifth
Street, ending at

Tent City 11 a.m. Memorial Stadium
+Football Game 3:05 pm Memorial Stadium

Sunday, October 25
Praise Service 10:45 a.m. Dede I
Featuring the Ebony Majestic Choir

A complete schedule can be found at

* Homecoming Button required
+Entrance Fee

For more information about ISU Homecoming activities, email  or call 812.237.3852.


Media contact and writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, 812.237.3783 or