The WKU Alumni Association, in partnership with the Department of Student Activities and WKU Athletics, has announced that the tradition of WKU Homecoming will be celebrated with a “Wild, Wild Western” theme throughout the week concluding on Saturday, Oct. 30.
The Hilltoppers will face Charlotte in the annual Homecoming football game at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium on Oct. 30. Kickoff time is currently set for 3 p.m.
“Homecoming is an annual tradition that beckons all Hilltoppers back to their alma mater,” said Caitlin Greenwell, Senior Director of Alumni Engagement and Philanthropy. “At WKU, Homecoming is an important tradition that has been celebrated since the first event took place in 1927. Today, Homecoming still shares many of the original features but has broadened its reach. Now, WKU’s Homecoming is an annual tradition where alumni, students, fans and community members come together to honor WKU’s traditions and history.”
Greenwell said the 2021 Homecoming theme, “Wild, Wild Western: Back in the Saddle Again,” was selected by a special Homecoming Student Advisory Committee composed of representatives from the Residence Hall Association, Hilltopper Organization of Latin American Students, Mahurin Honors College, Interfraternity Council, Student Alumni Ambassadors, Panhellenic Council, National Panhellenic Council, Intercultural Student Engagement Center, Campus Activities Board, Student Government Association and Student Athlete Advisory Council.
“Earlier this year, WKU President Timothy C. Caboni made a charge for students to have more input in the look and feel of the Homecoming celebration,” Greenwell explained. “To begin, the WKU Student Alumni Ambassadors, the official student organization of the Alumni Association, put out a call to current students for Homecoming theme submissions in late July via Instagram and Facebook.”
Students were asked to consider ideas that were easily illustrated through design, allowed for immersive experiences, were inclusive to all generations and segments of the WKU Family, and would be memorable for future generations, as well as evoke emotion and connection.
“We were thrilled that more than 70 ideas were submitted through direct messaging,” Greenwell said. “As the Homecoming Student Advisory Committee will help us plan all aspects of Homecoming, the group’s first task was to narrow down theme ideas for a popular vote. Criteria for scoring included creativity, ties to WKU tradition and engagement.”
The two themes with the highest scores — “Heroes on the Hill” and “Wild, Wild Western” —were brought forward for popular vote, with “Wild, Wild Western” receiving about 80% of the votes.
“The group liked that theme is fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously in a time of uncertainty,” Greenwell said. “It will also lend itself well to design for apparel, floats and decorations for campus residence halls and buildings, as it evokes thoughts of cowboy hats, horses, spurs, bandanas and ‘riding off into the sunset.’”
For up-to-date Homecoming information, visit alumni.wku.edu/homecoming. Visit WKU Sports to see the complete 2021 schedule for WKU Football.