Wearing a white feather boa, University President Joanne Glasser stood on a stage clapping her hands and dancing.
“Louder, louder!” she screamed, trying to excite students for the Homecoming soccer game. “They want to hear you in Shea Stadium. Coach [Jim] DeRose wants to hear you.”
The pep band and cheerleaders joined Glasser in trying to enthuse the crowd.
Students, alumni, faculty and fans congregated outside Shea Stadium, surrounded by booths and games.
Glasser introduced the nominees for Homecoming king and queen. Two hours later, junior Nick Fahnders and grad student Tera Lippert were crowned.
Junior entrepreneurship major Tyler Fryer said the tailgating party reminded him of something that would happen before a high school football game “in a good way.”
“I’m excited for the game because it’s Homecoming,” he said. “I’ve never been to any of the soccer games, mostly just basketball.”
Senior history and economics major Aaron Rogers said he’s attended the Homecoming tailgate each year he’s been at Bradley.
“It’s a pretty good turnout [this year],” he said. “Bigger than what I’ve seen in previous years.”
Rogers said he had more fun at this year’s event than he’s had in the past because there were more people and a better atmosphere.
“I’ve just been hanging out, playing some bags,” he said.
The three-hour tailgate party began with an Indianapolis-based band covering popular modern rock songs.
“The band we had, Mike and Joe, was amazing,” Activities Council Homecoming Coordinator Kym Spooner said. “I think the live entertainment brought a good atmosphere.”
Some attendees picked up food at the booths sponsored by Avanti’s, Haddad and Haagen-Dazs, while others brought their own grills and grilled out by their cars in the parking lot.
Other booths were sponsored by academic departments and student organizations.
Public Relations Society of American Publicity Chairperson Jamie Rasmussen said a lot of people stopped by PRSSA’s booth.
“[We thought] mostly freshmen would come to Homecoming events, and it would be a good way to recruit,” she said. “A lot of people have come by to see what we are and a couple kids have stopped by to do our bobbing for apples.”
Rasmussen said she thought the event seemed well-organized.
“And it’s beautiful outside, so that’s a great contribution,” she said.
Fryer said the event could have been better if there were contests going on.
“Maybe like a mini soccer game,” he said.
Rogers said he would have liked to have seen “big games like are sometimes set up on the quad.”
Although there was an inflatable moon bounce set up, it was crowded with children who appeared under the age of ten for the whole event.
Spooner said she thought the tailgate created a lot of school spirit.
“I think Homecoming week went really well,” she said. “We had good attendance at all of the events during the week. The voting for the queen and king raised over $600 for the American Red Cross.”