Members of the Columbia College Spirit Squad cheer during the Homecoming Festival on Friday, Oct. 13, on the Quad at main campus. Photo by Columbia College Photographer & Graphic Designer Abigail Wade

Members of the Columbia College community gathered for a movin’ and groovin’ good time on Friday, Oct. 13, at the 2023 Homecoming Festival on the Quad.

The celebration marked the first time CC hosted one combined event to cap off Homecoming week. Students, alumni, faculty, staff and supporters enjoyed food trucks, live music, games and several special announcements by Student Affairs staff.

“Like many other colleges across the world, Columbia College hosts a Homecoming ceremony to welcome back alumni and celebrate our college community,” says Dave Roberts, dean for Student Affairs. “People attend these Homecoming events not just for the awesome food trucks, fun activities and beautiful campus grounds, but because they found a sense of belonging in college. They built relationships with peers, their faculty and staff who served them, who made them feel like they matter.”

Roberts gave a shout-out to alumni while standing on a stage not far from the Alumni Fountain. He applauded students who planned events and participated in activities throughout the week.

“Our Homecoming Committee put in a lot of hard work this week creating a vibrant, fun and groovy Homecoming celebration,” says Roberts.

Celebrating Homecoming royalty

Scooter the Cougar stands with 2023 Homecoming court members, from left to right, Delaney Moser, Jewel Morelan, Guy Baskerville, Kara Fisher and Kaylee Brown. Homecoming court member Ellie Rockers is not pictured. Photo by Columbia College Photographer & Graphic Designer Abigail Wade

Six Columbia College students were selected as members of the 2023 Homecoming court.

As part of the process, each finalist shared a favorite memory or what CC means to them:

Guy Baskerville | Graduate student | London, England: “The soccer team has been the center of my CC experience. I have made lifelong friends and memories with my teammates that I’ll cherish forever.”

Delaney Moser | Junior | Mokane, Missouri: “My favorite CC tradition is Homecoming formal. Dancing the night away without a care in the world is the best way to wrap up a week full of activities.”

Ellie Rockers | Senior | Jefferson City, Missouri: “When I first walked on campus, I felt like I was home, and I felt that way for the past five years that I have been on campus. I love when you can walk around campus and know people as well as we know them. It’s a great gift that I will never take for granted.”

Kara Fisher | Senior | St. Peters, Missouri: “My favorite Columbia College tradition is Ivy Chain because of the idea behind it – growing apart yet still having a part of CC with you forever.”

Jewel Morelan | Graduate student | Wentzville, Missouri: “Being a Couguar means getting involved in the CC community and getting a chance to meet lifelong friends.”

Kaylee Brown | Senior | Perryville, Missouri: “Being a Cougar means supporting other Cougars, showing your peers that we are all in this together as everyone faces challenges along their college journey.”

Congratulations to the 2023 Homecoming crowned royalty, Guy Baskerville and Kaylee Brown!

Office decoration contest

For the past nine years, the Homecoming Committee and the Staff Association Advisory Council have worked together to include faculty and staff in the Homecoming festivities by facilitating an office decoration contest.

This year, TRiO Student Support Services earned first-place honors in the decoration contest, followed by Admissions in second place and Alumni Relations in third place.

“Congratulations to the office winners, and thank you for your continued support and CC Homecoming spirit,” says Connie Crites, senior office coordinator for Student Affairs.

Shopping cart decoration contest

Columbia College student Kiersten Gibson pushes a decorated shopping cart while fellow student Jaylie Echternach walks alongside during the Homecoming Festival on Friday, Oct. 13, on the Quad at main campus. Photo by Columbia College Photographer & Graphic Designer Abigail Wade

Student organizations decorated shopping carts that were featured in the Homecoming parade across the Quad during the festival.

First place in the shopping cart decoration contest was awarded to the Campus Activities Board.

“If you can’t already tell, the competition is tough,” says Marina Turner, coordinator of the Center for Student Leadership. “A lot of these carts looked amazing, and a lot of hours went into them, so thank you to all the student organizations that participated.”

Week of activities

Friday’s Homecoming Festival followed a week full of activities for students.

These events included “Burning Up with That ’70s Show: Bonfire and Showing” on Monday; the sixth annual Color Run on Tuesday; a game of Capture the Flag on Wednesday; and a trivia competition and Battle of the Halls contest on Thursday.

The Art Department hosted a reception Thursday evening at the Sidney Larson Gallery for “Tokens: Alumni Exhibition,” the latest showcase in Brown Hall. The exhibit features Columbia College alumni as well as work from CC emeriti professors. The show will last through Nov. 3.

After the Homecoming Festival on Friday evening, the athletic department hosted its Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony in New Hall. The Class of 2023 included Laurie Frew ’18 (Women’s Soccer), the 2003 Women’s Volleyball Team, Carly Spalding ’17 (Softball) and Tex Little (Play-by-Play Voice). Scrimmages and alumni games filled the day Saturday.

Students culminated their 2023 Homecoming experience Saturday evening at the fall formal, held in downtown Columbia in the event space at The Broadway Hotel.