With the kick off of the first Homecoming celebration in 1921, Redbird alumni have made their yearly return flight to campus for 100 years. To commemorate this milestone, University Archivist April Anderson-Zorn has pulled together photographs and artifacts that celebrate 100 years of Coming Home.

This exhibit explores the history of Homecoming at Illinois State University and the start of many of its celebratory events including the first homecoming parade, the annual house decorating contest, class reunions, and game-day celebrations. Featuring early Homecoming programs, textiles, and memorabilia, Coming Home shows visitors Homecoming’s century-long evolution from an alumni reunion party to a vital Redbird tradition.

Homecoming 2021 logo with Reggie Redbird and the words October 11-17, 2021 Homecoming 100 Years Illinois State University

While Coming Home is steeped in tradition, it’s also full of surprises.

“All of us at the Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield University Archives love celebrating Homecoming each year,” said Anderson-Zorn. “We are so excited to share this year with Redbird Nation all of the history and pageantry of ISU’s 100 Homecoming celebrations! This exhibit dives into some great history, stories, and even a bit of scandal. Come by the second floor of Milner Library and see for yourself how Homecoming got its start, how we launched some of our longest-running event traditions, learn about the fruitcake in the Quad, and read about an out-of-control snake dance that got some students in trouble. Come Home to learn about Homecoming traditions at ISU!”

Coming Home: Celebrating a Century of Homecoming at ISU
September 20 through December 16
Milner Library, Main Floor
Selected photographs, programs, textiles, and memorabilia curated by University Archivist April Anderson-Zorn

About Milner Library Exhibits Program

Milner Library’s Exhibits Program provides a platform for campus and community partners to host and present diverse works of art, science, and culture. Milner Library pursues informative, interactive, and educational programs that support the University’s educational mission and reflect our vibrant community. For more information, visit library.illinoisstate.edu/exhibits.

If you need an accommodation to fully participate in any events, please contact Erin Link. Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.