A History of Homecoming

Hidden in the perfectly lined shelves of the Mundt Library are a row of books that are no longer made. “Selfies” and online publications have taken their place. They are DSU yearbooks, dating all the way back into the early 1900s. I decided to scout out a rough history of DSU Homecomings past, and this is what I found.

So as not to be biased, I selected random years from each decade. The last one on the shelf was made in 2003, so that is what I stop with.

The first contender is a small, tan yearbook from 1905. The pages start out with a display of advertisements ranging from ice cream soda to suits for men to pharmaceuticals. These ads, I assume, help payed to put the book together. Upon flipping through the pages, I am surprised to find nothing about homecoming. (Upon further research, I find that homecoming in the U.S. in general didn’t surface until the 1910s.)


I quickly grab the 1923 yearbook, and stumble upon something interesting. I see a crowned queen, and dancing figures at a formal. However, there is no mention of “homecoming.” Instead, I find something called Pioneer Day, which is what they called their homecoming activity day back then, parallel to our “Trojan Days” now.

Throughout the following decades, the Pioneer Day named would be changed to Eastern Frontier Day, to Eastern Day, to Tutor Day. The name of Tutor Day reigned for twenty years.


I pull out the yearbook of 1955. Homecoming (aka Tutor Day), along with all of its events are present. There was a coronation of the queen, bonfire, parade with floats made by organizations, dance and football game – many of the same things still present in the modern DSU Homecoming. Except, still, I notice that there is still no homecoming king.

The yearbook of the 1960s decade – 1964 – brings along another DSU Homecoming. I am noticing some common themes in the many years of DSU Homecomings thus far. There is still just a queen, no king present. Also, every year, students would hold a pep rally and something called a “snake dance”, in which the students would all hold hands and run around campus, chanting cheers or school songs to get people pumped up for Homecoming week.

snake dance
Trojans snaking around town
  1. There are finally a fair share of colored photos present in this yearbook. Again, students got to participate and watch the Trojan Games. It says in this yearbook that the Trojan Games always happened on the Friday of Homecoming week, and that students were let out at 1:00 pm for the Games. All the more reason to bring them back! Oh, and did I mention….there is FINALLY a crowned Homecoming king!

The 1990s brought the use of computers, and that is prevalent in the bright borders and tacky word art in the 1993 year book. The DSU Homecoming of that year had all the usual happenings, along with the Trojan Games. (Did I mention we should bring those back?) This year, they also had a 10K and 5K the day of the Homecoming football game, which we will actually have this Saturday also.

  1. The last year that is on the shelf. It has a Trojan head on the front and the bubble letters “2003” printed on the front. Very 2000s. This is the last DSU Homecoming documented in a yearbook. Their theme that year was “Mission Peace: Can Ya Dig It?” Different events were held each night of the week, as they are now, but 2003 included a few that we longer have. One example was a hall decorating contest to see which hall had the most Trojan Pride. (I vote we bring this back too!)

Through my informal research of DSU Homecomings past,  I noticed that the DSU Homecoming traditions have changed throughout the years. However, one thing has remained the same and has not faded throughout the decades – the Trojan spirit.





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