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Homecoming Celebrates UH's 80th birthday

Cougar pride has been going strong for 80 years, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, it will be in full force during the University of Houston 2007 Homecoming week Nov. 10 – 17. Themed “Roarin’ 07,” this year’s event will celebrate eight decades of excellence, while extending a helping hand to the community.

Since 1946, homecoming has been one of the campus’ most anticipated annual traditions. On this 80th anniversary, faculty, staff and students will commemorate the past, while celebrating the future.

“Homecoming is always a celebration of Cougars old and new. This year, we’re also focusing on the Cougars of tomorrow,” said William Munson, UH dean of students. “During last year’s homecoming, the campus framework plan was unveiled, detailing a bold vision for the campus. The community’s very excited about what the next 80 years holds for UH, and with good reason.”

Among this year’s homecoming highlights are the UH 80th Anniversary and Go Coogs Day on Nov. 14 in Cullen Family Plaza, the annual Cougar Marching Band Gala on Nov. 16 at Moores Opera House and the homecoming football game that pits the Cougars against Marshall University’s Thundering Herd on Nov. 17 at Robertson Stadium.

Homecoming week also will be marked by the campus’ festive décor. It’s become a tradition for
student groups to paint the windows of the University Center with colorful illustrations that capture the event’s theme. Likewise, UH staff gets into the act by holding the annual Cougar Spirit Bell Office Competition in which departments adorn their work spaces with decorations.

“Homecoming is an opportunity for the campus community to get to know each other,” said Keith Kowalka, Staff Council president and University Center director. “There are so many events during the week that allow the faculty, staff and students to interact and show their pride in this institution. While alumni play a large role in this week’s events, the campus community really has a chance to show their spirit as well.”

In addition to the revelry and cheer surrounding homecoming and the university’s 80th anniversary, the campus community will have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of homeless Houstonians.

This season, the Athletics Department has been collecting canned food donations for its “Thanks-for-Giving” campaign benefiting the homeless residents of the Star of Hope mission. At the homecoming game on Nov. 17, the donations will be presented to mission residents who will be in attendance.

Donations are being collected at the Cougar Authentic store in the Athletics and Alumni Center and Smart Financial Credit Union locations. They’ll also be accepted at Robertson Stadium’s Gate 7 the day of the homecoming game. Donors contributing five or more goods will receive vouchers to be applied toward football tickets and Cougar gear.

“Homecoming is always special, but this year’s event is particularly gratifying,” said Lee De Leon, assistant director of marketing and promotions for Athletics. “Our goal is to deliver a victory to all of the fans at Robertson Stadium, but we’re also ready to step up and help some Houstonians in need.”

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