The rebirth of homecoming

In an attempt at nostalgia, school spirit and arbitrary royalty, a group of students are bringing the tradition of homecoming – complete with over-hyped football game, dance, and king and queen – back to Portland State.

The V-Team, 10 student interns interested in sports marketing, helmed the homecoming challenge last fall when member Chase LoGreco brought the idea to his colleagues.

Last fall saw the first homecoming dance at PSU since 1968.

“We ended up turning a profit,” LoGreco said, “and it was very unexpected.”

After a 35-year absence, it was unclear as to whether or not the PSU community wanted such a dance. Then an unexpected 300 guests showed up, and the V-Team decided to expand on its week of homecoming events for this year.

Taking place the week of Nov. 3-8, planned events include not only the football game and dance, but also a week of noontime pep rallies and a homecoming court, complete with king and queen.

The noontime pep rallies will be set up and run by student groups in Park Way north of the Smith Memorial Student Union to increase interest in and awareness of homecoming.

The last PSU homecoming queen, crowned in 1968, Mary Lou Webb, has agreed to return to crown the new king and queen.

Nominations for the court are on the V-Team Web site,

Students can nominate themselves or another student until Oct. 20. After this, the nominees will be contacted with an application asking them about their interest in homecoming and their involvement with PSU.

The applications will then be reviewed by V-Team advisers, who will pick the five men and five women to be on the court.

Voting for king and queen will take place during the football game Nov. 8. The crownings are set to happen during the dance immediately following the game.

The radio station Z100 will provide music and advertising for the dance, joined by Nike to distribute free merchandise at the football game.

“We’re very proud of the support we’re getting from the community,” LoGreco said.

With a theme of “A Night in Paradise,” the dance will run until 1:30 a.m. For those over 21, there will be a beer garden complete with microbrews and wine for a low price. A photographer will also be there for students to commemorate the night.

Football tickets are free as always for students and can be picked up at the PSU Box Office.

Dance tickets are $8 if bought ahead of time, $10 at the door. They go on sale Oct. 27 and can also be bought at the PSU Box Office, but they will have a $1.50 surcharge added. For the best deal, check out the V-Team table in the Park Blocks during homecoming week.

All students, alumni and guests are welcome.

So, if you want to see how PSU celebrates homecoming, come check out the events. As LoGreco said, “This is how a tradition gets built.”