Every week, we use STATEside to take a look back at the recent and not-so recent past, using the archives at the Vidette. This week, it’s a special Homecoming-themed edition.

If you recall any of the campus happenings referenced in our This Week in Illinois State History feature, feel free to post in the Comments below.

Previous weeks: September 4 | September 13 | September 19 | September 28


Homecoming Bash is set for the Bone Student Center on the Saturday night of Homecoming week. There are three musical acts planned for the night — Dave and the Dynamics, King Solomon’s Grave, and First Name Basis. A comedian named Craig Robinson is also scheduled to appear at Reggie’s bash. Robinson, then known for his appearances with Def Jam Comedy and other outlets, would later get a regular gig on NBC’s “The Office,” playing Darryl. Robinson also happens to be an Illinois State alumnus from 1994, when he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the College of Fine Arts.


The front-page story today is about a vandalism spree that’s targeting several student-made sculptures on display on the Quad. Professor Marya Roland’s four Sculpture III students were asked to create a piece that related to the Quad in some way. Student artist Maureen Kinsloe, for example, made a portable outhouse that was a comment on the necessity for restroom facilities on the Quad, after the artist noticed some troublemakers relieving themselves in public. But someone ripped a door off Kinsloe’s outhouse and stole the “men” and “women” signs. “When placing art in public, the possibility of vandalism is understood. Being confronted with the reality is disturbing,” said Roland.


The Vidette’s special Homecoming 1982 pullout features many local businesses as advertisers, several of them offering special Homecoming deals that today seem quite affordable. The Pit Stop #6 across from Atkin-Colby – offering “the only video game room in town open 24 hours a day,” by the way — is offering “adult beverages” for $2.99 for a 12-pack. Pantera’s (“Home of the 7.5 Pound Combo”) at Oakland and Veterans is offering the first pitcher of soda for only 25 cents. And the Alamo II, long before the days of cell phones and SD cards, is offering rolls of Kodak film as a “Home Coming Special” for well under $2.


Homecoming 1962 is a little later in the semester than it is these days, taking place in mid-October. In 1962, as was the custom at the time, the festivities got under way with a play, this time a production of “The Madwoman of Chaillot” at the Westhoff Theatre. The Saturday morning parade — some things don’t ever change — features 20 high school bands, 21 floats, “riotous sound” from the Carson-Piere-Scott steam calliope, and 35 head from the McLean County Saddle Club. And Vidette writer Jane Wallace dramatically spells out the rest of the schedule: “To climax the flourish of Homecoming activities, couples will dance from 9 p.m. to 12 midnight in the musical atmosphere provided by the orchestras of either Skitch Henderson in McCormick Gymnasium or Walt Loftiss in the University Union Ballroom.”

Ryan Denham can be reached at rmdenha@ilstu.edu.