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School Spirit Shines During Homecoming 2009

Published: October 20, 2009
 Homecoming 2009 is a time of shared recollection, of shared school spirit and of shared commitment to the community of the University of Tampa, and it kicks off Oct. 20.

“It’s a great opportunity to show that UT students do have school spirit,” said Rachel Rollo, coordinator of student programs and events for the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement. “It is exciting seeing everyone come together for one common cause.”

With a new kickoff party, UT will begin homecoming Oct. 20 in Vaughn Courtyard from 8 to 11 p.m. Team Rootberry, a juggling and stunt group, will entertain with sword swallowing and flaming chainsaws. While they emcee, the homecoming court will be introduced, the volleyball team will be showcased and UT cheerleaders and dance team will keep the energy going.

The annual casino night follows on Oct. 21 from 8 to 11 p.m. with the Monte Carlo Company bringing casino game tables and professional dealers to Vaughn Lobby.

“This tradition is held every year and includes a full casino set-up with roulette, craps, Texas holdem and blackjack, which is always popular,” Rollo said.

Students can win one of about 20 prizes, including a flat-screen TV. They’ll also be entertained with incredible balloon animals and face painting and body art. UT’s own DJ Dayve will be performing all night.

On Thursday, Oct. 22, students and alumni are encouraged to attend the Fall Dance Happening in Falk Theater at 8 p.m., and then on Friday, cheer on the 15 groups who will parade through the brick street of University Drive, throwing beads and showing off their floats.

The parade starts by the ROTC building and ends at Brevard Hall, where participants can walk to the tailgate party in the McNiff Fitness Center parking lot at 5:30 p.m. The student group Class Campaign for UT will be tossing pies at faculty members during the tailgate in its fundraising event, Pie-A-Professor, which is helping to create a student scholarship.

The women’s volleyball game against Lynn University will be at the Martinez Sports Center at 7 p.m. and will include the crowning of UT’s homecoming king and queen and the most spirited student organization.

“It’s all about fun and having school spirit,” Rollo said.

Alumni are participating in homecoming with 5, 10, 20 and 25 year reunions for the classes of 2004, 1999, 1989 and 1984. The UT National Alumni Association will host a party at the end of the week, reviving the UT homecoming tradition of Oktoberfest.

Traditional Fletcher Lounge will be transformed into a German beer hall on Oct. 24 from 7 to 11 p.m. For tickets and information, go to or call (813) 253-6209.

For a complete schedule of homecoming events, go to . For other information, contact Rachel Rollo, , for student activities and Jay Hardwick, , for alumni events.