Mizzou Homecoming: Longstanding Tradition Lives On

Inaugural MU Homecoming game between Missouri and Kansas. Columbia, MO, Rollins Field, 1911.

Along with the fall season comes the proud and electrifying tradition of Mizzou Homecoming! Inspired by the pre Civil War “Border Wars” between Missouri and Kansas, the MU Tigers and Kansas Jayhawks continued their spirited rivalry on the college football gridiron. Their fierce head to head matches were played out in neutral sites like Kansas City and once in St. Joseph. But by the early 1900s, Mizzou was trailing in the series by 12-3-5 and enthusiasm for the rivalry was waning.

During this time, the conference also mandated that all intercollegiate football games had to be played on campus. To generate enthusiasm and pride in the longstanding tradition, MU Athletic Director Chester L Brewer called for all “Old Grads” to “come home” for the game in 1911. For this inaugural “coming home” event, over 10,000 alumni and fans flooded Rollins Field (now Stankowski Field) for the Missouri vs Kansas game! The football weekend was marked by spirit rallies, a parade, and other Tiger pride celebrations that we still hold over 100 years later!

Today, in the days leading up to Homecoming weekend, the thrill of Homecoming permeates campus and The District. The main traditional events like the annual parade and spirit rally are still integral parts of the weekend; but overtime, newer events have also been adopted, including concerts, blood drives, a community day of service, and talent competitions which all draw students and alumni together to celebrate Mizzou’s incredible history and ensure that the tradition lives on!

Homecoming Program from 1936

Homecoming 1963

Mizzou students donate blood during Homecoming Week blood drive

Mizzou Students decorate storefronts all throughout downtown during the week leading up to Homecoming

Football fans at Memorial Stadium cheer on the Tigers at the MU Homecoming game!

Students and alumni watch as the band Imagine Dragons performs at the Homecoming Spirit Rally Concert in front of the Student Center on Rollins Street. Photo by Rachel Coward

A crowd of 67,843 at Memorial Stadium witnessed Mizzou’s first SEC victory during Homecoming, 2012. Photo by Rob Hill

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