Rowan has festive homecoming

Rowan has festive homecoming

James Gaymon had one rule for Saturday's Homecoming festivities at Rowan University -- show up early.

"You've got to come claim your spot," Gaymon said shortly after 9:30 a.m., well before the day's events began. "This is prime real estate. We'll be able to see the game and the parade."

Gaymon, a campus administrator, and members of the Harley Flack Mentoring Program had been in the parking lot between the school's football field and parade route since before 8 a.m. It was so early, they beat their group's tailgating equipment to the spot.

But they weren't alone. Other groups were setting up around them for the school's first Tailgate Competition Party, a nonalcoholic event.

The day's theme, "Reel Rowan," encouraged students to play off movie titles and spoof them with a university theme. Those in the competition were judged on originality and use of theme, said Constantine Alexakos, the assistant director of student activities.

The Student University Programmers had outlined their tailgating space, called "Brokeback Rowan," with bales of hay. Inside, they worked a cowboy theme, complete with a life-size pony doll.

"We had to be here for Rowan pride," said Katie Hipshman, a junior.

Others did the same in even more unique ways.

It's a longstanding tradition for the school's fraternities and sororities to build floats and perform skits along the parade route before final judging in the parking lot by the football field, said Chris Del Vecchio, a junior Alpha Chi Rho member.

Just one catch. Groups can't begin to build their floats until Friday night.

Del Vecchio's fraternity worked with the Delta Zeta sorority on a "Shrek 2" float. They finished the float five minutes before the 9:30 a.m. entry time.

"We're all a little delirious," said Jess Diponziano, a sophomore from Mount Laurel, minutes before the group performed for the judges.

The float competition was won by the Theta Phi Alpha fraternity, Alexakos said later in the afternoon, although he couldn't recall its theme.

While most of the activities centered around current students, alumni weren't left out. A picnic was held just outside the football stadium prior to the game.

A group from the class of 1961 held a portion of their weekend-long 45-year reunion.

"We made new old friends again," said Bobbi Branco, who met her husband, Richard, during college.

Branco and friend Paula Crawford were two of the first women to live off campus on Carpenter Street.

Friend Lynn Bush has one memory from that house.

"They had the best parties," she said, laughing.

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Date Published: Sunday, October 22, 2006 - 01:00
Source URL: Courier-Post