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What is Homecoming?

Homecoming is a long-standing American tradition where colleges and high schools would welcome alumni back to campus and the community. The earliest homecoming celebrations centered around alumni football games. 

Today, homecoming still shares many of these same features but has broadened its reach. Now it is an annual tradition where alumni, students, fans and community members come together to honor a school’s traditions and history. At Illinois, Homecoming is an important tradition that has been celebrated since the first event took place in 1910. 

Illinois Homecoming History

The University of Illinois is the first university to have a week-long homecoming celebration. Other universities claim an earlier start-date for their homecoming celebrations, but Illinois is the first to have a full week of homecoming events.

The only year without a homecoming celebration, once it started in 1910, was 1918 because of the nationwide influenza pandemic. However, there was still a football game.

Along with the football game, the annual homecoming parade is the longest-lasting tradition during the week of homecoming events.

At the very first Homecoming more than 100 years ago, there were Illinois students from Cuba, Syria, Greece, Iran, Lithuania, Ukraine, Ireland, Poland, Mexico, Egypt, China, Peru, and Costa Rica.

Join us for featured homecoming events!

Sunday, Oct. 13 – 5K/Kickoff Event
Monday, Oct. 14 – Dinner on the Quad
Wednesday, Oct. 16 – Global Talent Show
Friday, Oct. 18 – Homecoming Parade
Saturday, Oct. 19 – Football Game