Indiana State University Newsroom

Legacy, traditions honored during Homecoming festivities

October 10, 2013

Indiana State University graduate David Dickson enjoyed driving down Wabash Avenue early Saturday morning as people lining the street glanced at him for the 37th time.

Yet this was the first time that they ever saw him out front.

Dickson, who first participated in the Indiana State Homecoming parade in 1975, drove the lead car for this year's parade in downtown Terre Haute. Dickson drove his 1975 Caprice convertible (the second such vehicle he has driven in the annual event) with parade marshal Jack Maynard. While Dickson has driven members of the Indiana State administration in past Homecoming parades, this was the first time he was the lead.

"Every year, it's an honor to be part of ISU Homecoming, and I think it's a distinguished honor to be the lead car driving the parade marshal," Dickson said. "It's just fun."

Dickson, an ISU graduate thrice over (bachelor's in 1962, master's in English in 1969 and Ph.D. in education administration in 1976) has missed participating in the parade just once. Family members have witnessed his performance in the parade, including one of his sons who graduated with two degrees from Indiana State.

"It's been a family tradition," Dickson said of Homecoming. "My kids grew up watching me drive in the parade, and now my grandkids."

He drove Maynard, who stepped down last June after serving as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs since 2003 and College of Education dean from 2001 to 2003. Among the achievements during his tenure, Maynard helped advance the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative, adopt the Foundational Studies curriculum, implement the laptop campus concept and redesign the University Honors Program.

"Dr. Maynard's service to the university will continue to benefit current and incoming students many years into the future," university President Dan Bradley said. "By having him as the marshal of the parade, the university and Terre Haute communities had an opportunity to reflect and thank him for the ways he has fundamentally changed and improved the student experience at Indiana State."

The weekend's Homecoming festivities started on Friday, when Indiana State hosted the annual Sycamore Tricycle Derby. Prior to the race, the university honored Johnny Shipman, a longtime starter of the trike and tandem races who passed away in April. He was 96.

After the Homecoming parade in downtown Terre Haute, which featured 134 entries, people journeyed to Memorial Stadium to the tents hosted by Indiana State offices and departments, with some even providing free food to people who wanted to stop by. Tent City featured 59 tents from different university and local organizations.Alumni and students who are members of Indiana State's Alpha Zeta chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi celebrated the chapter's 85th anniversary on campus with Tent City festivities that included a cookout. About 300 people, including alumni, current Indiana State students and staff visited the chapter's tent during the festivities.

"The numbers are really good and I love to see how people are enjoying coming to our tent," said Noral Parham III, the Alpha Zeta chapter president who is a senior from Indianapolis pursuing a double major in philosophy and political science. "Everyone is enjoying themselves and everything is nice. It's a really big turnout."

Some members of the fraternity's chapters at several other Midwestern universities traveled to Indiana State to celebrate during Homecoming. Many alumni, from 2013 graduates such as Keith Dickerson to older graduate members of the fraternity joined in the celebration as they returned to their alma mater for the weekend.

"I like meeting these older brothers of mine," said Dickerson, who graduated in May with a major in accounting. "Most of the brothers of mine here are actually from this chapter during those years. It's great to meet them and they get to meet me to see what I'm doing the rest of my life. It's a great way to make relationships."

Photo: Indiana State University graduate David Dickson drives his car, which featured parade marshal C. Jack Maynard sitting in the back seat, as the lead vehicle of the annual Homecoming parade. Dickson, who has only missed driving in the Homecoming parade once since 1975, received the honor to be the lead vehicle for the first time this year.

Photo: Indiana State University students representing the Center for Global Engagement and Interlink Language Centers march during the Homecoming parade in downtown Terre Haute.

Photo: (Submitted photo)Members of Kappa Alpha Psi during Tent City.

Media Contact and Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or